SigEp mourns the passing of longtime volunteer Don Kindle, Cincinnati ’55. Brother Kindle was enthusiastically committed to service and the brotherhood of Sigma Phi Epsilon.
Immediately after graduation, he served on SigEp’s Headquarters staff as a regional director. He later became a district governor, a role in which he served for several years.
Kindle was frequently sought out as a national volunteer. He chaired the National Leadership Committee and was a speaker at the first regional undergraduate leadership academy, the precursor to the Carlson Leadership Academy. He also served as chair of the Candidates Qualifications Committee, National Recruitment Committee and as national alumni chairman.
The ultimate balanced man, Kindle remained highly involved in the Fraternity while being a dedicated husband and father, pursuing a career at Merrill Lynch, and volunteering with other community organizations.
In 1991, his service was recognized with SigEp’s highest volunteer award, the Order of the Golden Heart. While deeply moved, Kindle didn’t want to give the impression he was about to “retire” from volunteering. In his acceptance speech, he simply stated, “There’s still a lot more to do.”
Those words proved prophetic. In the early 1990s, Brother Kindle was one of the volunteers who helped launch the Balanced Man Scholarship. Always a man of ideas and action, he was in his element as he spoke with chapter leaders, explaining the benefits of the initiative and encouraging them to implement the scholarship at their schools. Thanks to his efforts, the scholarship is today one of the primary drivers of recruitment in SigEp, attracting potential members who value the social and academic aspects of our Fraternity.
Several brothers who admired and volunteered with Kindle reflected on his legacy in the Fraternity:
“Don was SigEp’s Energizer Bunny — a new idea a minute. He altered SigEp’s course via the scholarship, a program Don borrowed from the Delts, but ensured SigEp out-implemented. It was always clear with him that the undergrads were #1.” — Ken Maddox, Oregon State ’75
“Don’s life was one of ‘Yes, we can.’ He lived that through his Fraternity. He was ambitious for SigEp and thought we could always be the forerunner.” — Bill Tragos, Washington-St. Louis ’56
“Don Kindle was one of the most forward-thinking brothers I had the honor of working with over the past half century. Don was brilliant at selling innovative ideas. He didn’t mind who got the credit — just that we kept SigEp the nation’s premier fraternity.” — Gary Griffith, Texas-Austin ’70
“Don came to Cincinnati after his stint as a field secretary and lived with me as he continued his devotion to the Fraternity, visiting chapters in Ohio and West Virginia every weekend. Out of curiosity, I started to go with him and began a life of my own devotion to the Fraternity, ending as Grand President. I always believed that most of my accomplishments were the result of Don’s ideas: He was a fount of ideas and questions about how to improve the Fraternity and make life better for the undergraduates.
“We had a life-long friendship from our undergraduate experience at Ohio Theta to our mutual retirements. He will be sorely missed, and St. Peter had better be ready with answers because Don will have ideas on how to improve things.” — R. Eric Weise, Cincinnati ’54
We are a better Fraternity, thanks to Brother Kindle’s tireless devotion. He will be missed.
Don’s family has established a Balanced Man Scholarship endowment that will continue Don’s legacy and perpetuate his focus on the future of SigEp: our undergraduates. To remember Don with a gift, visit sigep.org/kindle.