Frank Guthrie Hanover '50


If it weren’t for Brother Frank Guthrie ’50, Rho Phi probably wouldn’t be here today. He was the main point of contact when a small group at the Rose Polytechnic Institute was looking to start a new fraternity. As if that wasn’t enough, he was the first Rho Phi Purple Legionnaire. Brother Guthrie dove into life as a FIJI without hesitation. His long list of achievements within the chapter as an undergraduate alone, are the markings of someone who was willing to honor the art of experience, and life education.

During his years as an undergrad, he served two years as the chapter historian, and the time-consuming position of treasurer for one other. He was also a delegate to the 1948 Ekklesia, the first FIJI Academy, and the National Intrafraternity Conference. He was also the primary author of the Annual Report, naming Hanover College as the best IFC in 1950. As if Brother Guthrie wasn’t busy enough, he also found time to take part in the Science Club. He also held a steady job as a chemistry stockroom assistant.

After picking up a doctoral degree from Indiana University in 1962, Brother Guthrie then dove into the world of education, choosing to honor the value of teaching others a very complicated but crucial field -chemistry. He retired in 1994 from Rose-Hulman, where he is today an emeritus professor.

He began his career as a visiting lecturer for the Chemistry Department at the University of Illinois, and also completed a sabbatical as a visiting professor of Chemistry for the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY.

If he wasn’t on campus, Brother Guthrie was working his vast array of extracurricular activities, which include treasurer of the Indiana Academy of Science, or chair of the Academy Foundation Trustees, a position he still holds today.

For his fraternity, Brother Guthrie served as a member of the Hanover House Corporation for two years and was also the organizer of a dinner/joint meeting with the Rose group and 15 local FIJIs. He was also the local House Corporation treasurer for five years.

Frank was the Wabash Valley Section treasurer for the American Chemical Society, as well as chair. Today he is still a counselor there. For the Division of Analytical Chemistry he was the directory editor for more than a decade, secretary for four, and chair for one year.

Outside the world of molecules and reactions, Brother Guthrie was deacon of the Washington Avenue Presbyterian Church. He was also clerk of session for two terms and the invested funds manager for 23 years. For Leadership Terre Haute he was selection committee chair for two years. Frank served as vice president of Boy Scouts of America in 1976 and was on the Executive Board for 16 years. He also received his Woodbadge in 1976 and Silver Beaver standing in 1980.

One of Frank’s lasting legacies to Rho Phi was his intelligent investment of house corporation funds in the early years which allowed the House Corporation sinking fund to grow to one of the largest funds that any Phi Gamma Delta house corporation has today. This financial stability has kept the Rho Phi chapter strong for the last 35 years.

One word can sum up how Brother Guthrie feels about his chapter – pleasure.

“I was involved in many ways during the first two decades and found both undergraduates and graduates a pleasure to work with,” he said.