On January 6, 2014, a beloved brother and influential SigEp passed away. Brother Duncan Wimpress, Oregon ’46, received a SigEp Citation in 1973 and served as a Life Trustee of the Sigma Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation. He was 91 years old.
Brother Wimpress was an accomplished soldier, scholar, businessman and philanthropist. During World War II, he earned a Bronze Star for Valor and five major battle stars. He participated in the invasion of Normandy on D-Day and in the Battle of the Bulge, and became a licensed commercial pilot with instrument and multi-engine ratings.
After graduating from the University of Oregon with his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, he earned a Ph.D. from the University of Denver and was later awarded two honorary doctorate degrees. He went on to have a successful career as a university administrator, serving most notably as president of Monticello and Monmouth colleges in Illinois, and of Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.
Outside of his full-time positions, Brother Wimpress spent his life in service to organizations like the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, and the Mission Road Developmental Center, serving as a chairman for each. He was also heavily involved in the Rotary Club, serving as president of its San Antonio branch and as district governor of Rotary International District 5840. Both he and his wife, Peggy, are major donors to the Rotary International Foundation, and have been named as Paul Harris Fellows.
Inside SigEp, Brother Wimpress was well known for his fundraising ability, his wise counsel, and his many contributions to the Sigma Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation.
Past Foundation President Charles White, Western Michigan ’62, recalls Wimpress’ influence.
“Duncan Wimpress was a man who believed deeply in the American college fraternity and supported it throughout his life.”
“I remember early on in SigEp’s first endowment campaign, Duncan came to me and corrected me on the names of several of our giving clubs. We took his suggestions, and in the end were able to raise more than $7 million for the campaign. To this day, those names are still in use.
“Duncan’s wise counsel and his enthu-siasm for SigEp will be missed.”
Brother Wimpress is survived by his wife, Peggy, three children, four grandchildren, a niece, and two great grandchildren.
Photo courtesy of Trinity University.
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