Tim Harlan, Indiana State University '72, Rose-Hulman '08
“As Purple Legionnaire, I often hear the undergrads talk about how much I give them, and that is gratifying. What they don’t know is how much they give me…” Tim has held the title of Purple Legionnaire at the Rho Phi Chapter of Phi Gamma Delta for seven years now but has been involved in Phi Gamma Delta in one form or another since his graduation from Indiana State in 1972. “Phi Gamma Delta has been an important part of my life for over 35 years now. Through my association with the fraternity, I have been fortunate enough to meet wonderful brothers from all walks of life and from all over the world. I have been able to participate in the colonization or re-colonization of several chapters and through that, have seen many quality young men brought into our brotherhood.”
Tim became a charter member of the Iota Sigma Chapter while attending Indiana State University and served the chapter as Corresponding Secretary as well as an IFC delegate. He was also involved in student publications, serving as assistant editor of both the Sycamore Yearbook and Indiana Summer Statesman. Tim was also a member of Alpha Phi Gamma journalism honorary, both the junior and senior class councils, and was a finalist for the Outstanding Senior Award. During his tenure as IFC rush chair, he found his true niche as he ran two semesters of formal rush for the 12 fraternities on the Indiana State campus. It was during this time that Tim says he met a brother who inspired, and continues to inspire him. “Don Mighell was not only one of the founders of both Iota Sigma and Rho Phi, but he served as a personal role model for me during my entire adult life. While he may not have known this, as an undergrad who was working with Don in his role as fraternity advisor in the Indiana State Greek Affairs Office, I saw his devotion and mentoring and belief in the Greek system played out on a daily basis, and I wanted to some day be able to do that.”
In 1972 Tim graduated form ISU with a degree in English and speech and taught originally in the Anderson, IN school systems. He returned to Indiana State in 1974 on an English teaching fellowship to work on his master’s degree in English, which he received in 1980. While there he became interested in student life and served from then until 1980 in various positions including residence hall director, summer orientation student advisor, and was an assistant director of the Office of Admissions at Indiana State University. In 1981 Tim returned to teaching and was on staff in the Vigo County school system until four years ago. He currently is on staff at Indiana State University as an instructor in the English Department. His professional memberships include the Indiana State Teachers’ Association and National Council of Teachers of English.
Outside of education and career, Tim has been married for nearly 35 years to his wife, Kathleen, whom he met when she asked him to her sorority pledge dance. Kathleen served as the Chi Omega personal advisor to the Gamma Lambda chapter at Rose-Hulman for ten years. She is also one of the founders of the chapter, which was the first sorority on the Rose-Hulman campus. His daughter, Virginia (26), graduated from Vanderbilt where she was active in Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. She will be graduating in May 2009 with an MBA in marketing from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. Tim likes to joke that in his own family, they have their own little “IFC/Panhellenic Council!”
Of his involvement with Rho Phi Tim says, “My association with these fine men continues to be a wonderful part of my life, one that I hope to continue for many years to come. Working with this chapter has been like a gift to me, and I often like to say that I have one daughter and hundreds of sons! I admire many things about the brothers at Rho Phi but especially their academic integrity, their sense of fair play, their fierce belief in Phi Gamma Delta, and their love of and belief in the principles of our ritual. There is sheer joy in watching them come to this rigorous institution and then graduate with all the promise the future holds for them and knowing that, even in a small way, I somehow enriched their experience. These guys are part of my extended family and, in many ways, part of my legacy. For all of us graduate brothers, and there are many both here at Rose and across the country who give of their time and energy and money to see something wonderful live on and prosper, I believe we all, deep down inside, do it because we know a little part of us will go on living in these young men we choose to mentor. I truly believe and hope that I live our motto: “NOT FOR COLLEGE DAYS ALONE.”