Gary Fryer has found a set of brothers among a group of men young enough to be his grandsons at Arkansas Tech University.
Fryer enrolled at Arkansas Tech for the fall 2016 semester at the age of 70 as a graduate of and transfer from the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton.
During orientation activities at Tech, he attended the annual Involvement Fair on the Hindsman Tower lawn. The event connects new Tech students with community entities and campus organizations.
It was there that Fryer met the men of Kappa Sigma Fraternity.
“They had all the booths set up, and I went by the Kappa Sig one,” said Fryer. “I had a badge on saying I was a transfer student, so they could recognize that and know I wasn’t just some old goof ball.
“They spoke real friendly and so did the other fraternities, but I guess I responded more to (Kappa Sigma).”
There are several reasons why the connection was immediate.
Fryer’s older brother, Jack, joined Kappa Sigma at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville during the 1960s.
Attending fraternity events with his brother while he was still a junior in high school introduced Fryer to the camaraderie and brotherhood of the organization.
Fryer’s younger brother, Robert, as well as his father-in-law, son-in-law and multiple business associates and friends over the years were also members of Kappa Sigma.
And now, more than a half-century after he first developed an affinity for the organization, Fryer is a member of Kappa Sigma at Arkansas Tech.
“I have a bunch of 18 or 19-year old brothers,” said Fryer. “I have a group of young men who aren’t afraid to pat me on the back or hug me around the shoulder.
They told me they thought it would be great having me in there because I may have experience and be able to give them advice.
I told them I don’t give advice.
I’ll share experiences with you, and I’ve been through all the experiences you’re going to go through, so I’d love to do that.”