Pictured, left to right: Alex McBride ’11, Shawn Yockey ’06, Mark Leonard ’79, Ed Hawks ’76, Michael McGuire ’64, John Hanson ’65, Mike Moerhl ’64, Brent Johnson, Northwest Missouri State ’84, Ray Schwichtenberg ’76, Herb Ohrt ’63, Chris Roderick ’11, Bob Wilhelm ’64
When Gary E. Sutton, Iowa State ’64, passed away in July, his chapter brothers wanted to honor his memory in a meaningful way. Last month, two Iowa State alumni, John Hanson, ‘65, and Don Drobny, ‘65, announced the recipient of the inaugural Iowa Beta Gary Sutton “Dare to Be Different” Scholarship.
Sutton was truly one of a kind, and he loved his SigEp brothers. In college, he spent so much time with his brothers that he barely graduated, but he went on to a very successful professional career.
Sutton’s family and friends knew him as an easygoing prankster as well as a man full of integrity who loved his children and grandchildren. He constantly regaled his descendants with magic tricks and told the same jokes over and over. He met his wife, Nancy, on a blind date while still in college.
In addition to being a loving family man, he was also an inspiring role model. Sutton worked his way up at Lennox, Learjet, Honeywell, Fisher Price Toys and a variety of printing, burglar alarm, and technology companies, eventually holding several CEO positions. He earned a reputation as a turnaround artist with a perfect record of rescuing struggling companies. He was also a talented writer – the author of six books – and a contributor to publications ranging from the New York Times and Wall Street Journal to his community newspaper.
Through it all, Sutton’s chapter brothers, Hanson and Drobny, were with him. Their lifelong bond led to their decision to endow the Gary Sutton “Dare to Be Different” Scholarship at Iowa Beta, inspired by Sutton’s life of unique individuality. Both Hanson and Drobny immediately committed $50,000 each to ensure the scholarship’s longevity, and Sutton’s family and friends have added another $10,000 and counting.
At Iowa State’s Homecoming, Hanson and Drobny announced the first recipient of the annual $10,000 Gary Sutton “Dare to be Different” scholarship, Charley Forey, Iowa State ’16. Forey has aspirations of entrepreneurship, travel and changing the world for the better.
Gary’s wife, Nancy Sutton, with Charley Forey ’16
In 2011, Iowa Beta RLC completed an ambitious $3 million capital campaign for chapter house renovations. The brothers’ bond inspired them to make a significant impact on their undergraduate chapter – John Hanson personally contributed $1 million to the campaign, and Gary Sutton and others also made substantial gifts. Hanson is SigEp’s only living donor who has reached over $1 million in lifetime giving.