Don Mighell Texas '56, Rose-Hulman '00
When it comes to stirring the masses, Brother Don Mighell ’56 has made a living of it of sorts. And like the rest of us, his ambition to do what he was good at was only fueled with his involvement with our Rho Phi Chapter.
He was directly involved with the founding of the Rose-Hulman and Indiana State chapters.
Brother Mighell started his Phi Gam days as a Texas freshman, but he graduated as a senior yearning for seniority.
His ability to pick and acknowledge the brightest and best was more than apparent at an early age. He was kind enough to serve the ever- important position of Rush Chairman for two consecutive years at his chapter at Texas. He also somehow found the time to stay active in the pre-med club, as well as keep a phenomenal GPA, serving as a model leader that his pledge brothers definitely admired.
After swooping his bachelors in 1956, Brother Mighell had his calling in the U.S. Navy, where, though his steadfast determination, he rose to the level of captain by the time he retired.
However, Brother Mighell couldn’t stay away from the college campus. Four years after enlisting in the Navy, he picked up a job as assistant dean of student life at the University of Texas.
He didn’t let the military lifestyle keep him away from furthering the educational experiences of others either. He moved to Indiana in 1965 where at Indiana State, he became the associate director of student life programs.
At both of his institutional positions, Brother Mighell worked with thousands of students in some shape, way or form. At the University of Texas, he advised all off-campus housing including the introduction of 31 fraternities. He oversaw another 10 new fraternities to Indiana State. It’s obvious that Brother Mighell’s philosophy is centered around one meaningful phrase, “it’s not for college days alone.”
At Indiana State, brother Mighell advised fraternities for 15 years and student government for 20. He was the director of student publications and even directed commencement. He also made freshman orientation at ISU possible.
Obviously a colorful career like his doesn’t come without the kaleidoscope of awards. He was commended with the Terre Award for outstanding Community Service. He was also the Kiwanis Club president, and a silver beaver recipient for the Boy Scouts. The list continues to grow even today.
As a graduate brother, he was the Purple Legionnaire for Rho Phi, and also helped found and maintain the Terre Haute Graduate Chapter for which he served as president. Brother Mighell was also active on the International Fraternity level as a member of the nomination committee and rose to the level of Archon Councilor and eventually Archon Secretary. At the local level Don has held every conceivable position including membership in the House Corporations for Rose-Hulman, Indiana State, and the DePauw chapters. Don has even been honored with Phi Gamma Delta’s top award, the Distinguished FIJI award. Don rounds out his fraternity awards with three distinguished and exceptional service awards for various efforts on behalf of the Fraternity that he holds in such high regard.
He claims all of his successes to Phi Gamma Delta. If one thing – more than any other - stands out in Brother Mighell’s work with the Rho Phi chapter was his insistence that the chapter adopt a non-hazing pledge education program – a novelty in the late 1960s. Don’s influence in this area has helped maintain excellence in membership selection and education for the Rho Phi Chapter and is part of the reason that the Rho Phi Chapter is now know to have the model pledge education program in all Phi Gamma Delta.
“Phi Gamma Delta means a way I can witness to my faith that brotherhood, love and service are the reason why we are all here,” he said. “Rho Phi means to me that I can leave something behind me a lasting effect on my fellow man. Further, this chapter has honored my with membership and that means everything in the world to me.”