SPOTLIGHT SIG MARK PURCELL '61
MANY MEMORIES, LIFE LESSONS LEARNED, AND LIFE-LONG FRIENDSHIPS MADE
I Could Not Be Prouder.
I grew up in Farmington Hills, MI, where I attended Farmington Harrison High School. Here I earned 11 varsity letters in football, baseball and gymnastics, and was a member of the National Honor Society.
I enrolled at Michigan State University with aspirations of playing baseball and becoming a veterinarian doctor. I accomplished neither of those initial goals in college!
I walked on and was ultimately cut by the MSU baseball team, which was very difficult to accept. Fortunately, MSU Varsity Lacrosse player, Tim Flanagan, lived on my same dorm floor in Mason-Abbott. Tim encouraged me to learn the game of lacrosse and then walk on MSU’s NCAA D-1 Men’s Varsity lacrosse team. I took his gracious lead, and by the grace of God I made the team. I ultimately played four years for MSU as a student athlete with my biggest accomplishment being voted captain my junior and senior year.
Sig Note: I met brother Rick Micciche my freshman year during the MSU baseball tryouts.
I did not have the grades to get into the MSU College of Veterinary Science, so I pivoted to the MSU School of Business and graduated in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing.
In addition to being a student athlete, one of my longtime friends, Jerry Finlayson, and I were lucky enough to be introduced to the Sigma Chi by brothers Steve Russell and Michael Berry. We pledged fall semester our junior years at MSU. Sigma Chi played a major and very positive role, with so many memories and life lessons learned. The Jordan Standard specifically influenced the lives of many of us and has been carried forward into our adult lives.
Sig Note: Think about the life lessons of learning to how to live in a relatively small space with 100 brothers; 50 in house and 50 out of house, who come from all over and bond together; internalizing our Sigma Chi Creed and Standard. This is my big takeaway!
My Big Brother, Kurt Kramer, Little Brother, John Rometty and lifelong friends like Grant Delbecq, Jerry Finlayson, and Mike Cattell have been lifelong friends that I am thankful for and think of often. In addition, I have had the opportunity to meet brothers Mike Kennedy, Mike Otto, and Mark Gensler in southern California, Mark Richards in Ft. Worth, TX ,and Mike Cattell and Grant Delbecq in Michigan and Texas; and Jerry Finlayson in Georgia.
E.B. Hill was a father figure for many of us who came through the doors of Gamma Psi. We often talked about E.B. and what he would think of this or that. He really did have a positive influence on many young men.
I have many fonds memories about the fraternal socials, athletics, my friends and their families, all because of my Sigma Chi experience.
After MSU I obtained an MBA from Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis. I have been in the commercial electronic security and HVAC space for most of my life. Today, I am the Vice President General Manager of Knight Security Systems, LLC and living in Dallas, TX.
I married my wife Monica and we have three children; Tyler, Katie and Garett. I could not be prouder of my wife and family who have unconditionally supported me despite it requiring us to often move.
I have been lucky enough to give my spare time to coaching. I have coached youth spots and college men’s lacrosse coach for the past 10 years; 3 at Oklahoma University and 7 at Texas Christian University. I enjoy giving the young men a strong but balanced college experience in the areas of academics, athletics, and social, much like I fondly remember at MSU.
A Proud Sig Note: This past year one of our Gamma Psi brothers, Jim Kutil, had a very serious, life-threatening illness. Several brothers assembled for multiple conference calls for updates on Jim and brainstorming on how we could assist in getting him to the best possible medical care. Kurt Kramer, Scott and Jay Gooding assembled about 15 Gamma Psi brothers who assisted in getting real options for the Kutil family.
This is a level of brotherhood action that one could only hope for and I could not be prouder.
If my life is judged as being in line with our Sigma Chi Creed and Standards; then I have won my battle.
A special shout out to my wife, and partner, Monica and our children!