CORVALLIS, Ore. – About 25 World War II veterans and fraternity brothers from Oregon State University will gather at the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity house on Sept. 29 for a reception and dinner. These men will come from around the country to share memories of their war and college experiences at what was then Oregon State College.
Many of the fraternity members had to postpone college for the war. Some left for the service and did not return, while others came back to complete their studies. The GI Bill brought new returning veterans to campus. When they came back to Oregon State College from the war, they shared a special bond and found a home at the fraternity.
Dick Smith, an 83-year-old Florence resident who is organizing this reunion, said he decided an event like this was needed now.
“We’re disappearing pretty fast,” Smith said. “We’ve already had three or four who have died since I sent out the first letter about this event in October.”
Smith said many current members of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity will be at the reunion on Sept. 29 as well. There will be a display of pictures and memorabilia set up.
Smith said some of the members also will attend the football game the following day at Reser Stadium.
The men will gather and share memories starting at 3 p.m. Sept. 29 at the fraternity house, which is located at 26th Street and Van Buren Avenue in Corvallis. A reception is set for 5 p.m. with dinner at 6 p.m.