During the month of February the Alumni Relations chairmen for Sigma chapter, Zachary Eckel, was able to bring an incredible opportunity to our chapter. He came into contact with Curtis Tigard, who is 103 years old and an alumni from our chapter. As it turns out, Brother Tigard is also the oldest currently living Theta Chi in the nation and is part of the family that started the town of Tigard, Oregon, and we could not pass up the opportunity to visit him. The following is a small bio of Tigard, written by Brother Eckel:
“Curtis Tigard, born April 13th 1909, will be turning 104 this year. Curtis began his college career living in a house on the south side of campus with five other men from the areas currently known as Beaverton and Tigard. One of the men he lived with was invited to join the Sigma Chapter of Theta Chi and became initiated his freshman year. Curtis, majoring in finance, was workingman and felt that he didn’t have time for extracurricular activities outside of school and searching for a job. He later was given a room in the chapter house and hired to work in the kitchen during his sophomore year, along with the main chef who he assisted with making meals and also maintaining the kitchen. He met many men in the fraternity throughout his sophomore and junior year while working in the kitchen everyday and living in the house before moving to the dorms his junior year. It wasn’t until Curtis’ senior year that he was invited to become a member of Theta Chi Fraternity. By this time, Curtis had already become affiliated with many men in the fraternity and agreed to join.
When Curtis was in college all men were required to take one year of military training and because of the depression, Curtis continued to pursue a military career throughout college and graduated with the rank of Second Lieutenant. After leaving the military with tours in both the European and Pacific theaters, Curtis found unpaid work at the First Bank of Tigard familiarizing himself with the equipment, and was later hired at another bank in Albany, Oregon. A few years later the First Bank of Tigard was searching for a branch manager, in which Curtis was delighted to transfer. He worked there for close to two decades, and then pursued other areas of work. He currently lives by himself in Tigard, Oregon, and still goes out to play golf every day.”
During our trip, we presented Brother Tigard with a golf polo with the Theta Chi letters embroidered on it, as well as a new Brother pin and a framed photo of how our chapter house looked back in 1929 when he lived there. He was very pleased with our visit, and couldn’t believe that so many of us would come to talk with him. Myself and the other Brothers who joined me that day were very grateful to learn about our house history, and with his birthday coming up in April we plan to make another trip to visit him and bring more Brothers along so they can also be inspired to realize that all of us are Theta Chi’s for life.
President, Sigma Chapter