Michael A. Callahan '74
For some people, the Greek experience is a short-lived endeavor that ends at graduation. For Brother Mike Callahan this could not be further from the truth.
He has compared the life-long bonds made and built through Phi Gamma Delta, to that of his own family. “After many years I still know where most of the Brothers in my Pledge class and many from the years around that class are today. The only other group I can say that about is my immediate family.”
After graduating from Rose-Hulman in 1974 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry, Brother Callahan began a sales apprenticeship for the Eastman Chemical Company. Nearly 31 years later, he now manages quality assurance at the Eastman headquarters in Kingsport, Tennessee. Over the years, Callahan’s dedication to the company lead to his involvement with several industry trade groups. While living in the Milwaukee area, he severed as President of the Wisconsin Paint and Coatings Association; and after moving to Ann Arbor he served on the board of the Detroit Society for Coatings Technology. More recently, as administrative duties with Eastman Chemical increased, Callahan made the decision to return to school. Starting in 1997 he began evening courses at East Tennessee State’s Masters of Business Administration program. He graduated in 2001 at the top echelon of the program, earning himself membership to the MBA honorary Beta Gamma Sigma.
For all of Brother Challahan’s important commitments he still manages to make time for the Fiji fraternity he cherishes. So when Phi Gamma Delta headquarters called in need of an advisor for the Lawrence University chapter in Appleton, Wisconsin, Callahan gladly accepted. He continued as the chapter’s Purple Legionnaire until moving to Michigan in 1985. It wasn’t long before headquarters again requested Challahan’s services when they asked him to become Section Chief for southern central Michigan.
When Brother Callahan does find time away from his work, he likes to spend it fly-fishing. It was this love of fly fishing that initially got him involved in Trout Unlimited, a conservation group working to protect trout and salmon fisheries and their watersheds. He first become involved with the Southeast Wisconsin chapter, eventually serving as President. When he moved to Michigan, he founded the Ann Arbor chapter, which he also served as President.
Through all of this, Brother Challahan has still found time for a long-lasting marriage to his college sweetheart, and Terre Haute native Marilyn. Together they have two grown children, Megan (27), who lives in western Virginia, and Michael (24), who lives in southern California.
When asked how he feels about his Rho Phi chapter, Brother Challahan assuredly replied, “When I come back to Terre Haute there are a lot of great memories. If you are less than 25 it might sound odd, but this feels like home every time.”