Silas Axtell '52

Alumni Profile: Silas Axtell '52


3/11/2005
For Hall of Fame Inductee, Kenyon Is Family Tradition

In October 2004, Silas Axtell '52 was inducted into the Kenyon College Athletic Association Hall of Fame for his achievements in soccer and lacrosse. His remarkable collegiate athletic career, occurring in the early days of the soccer and lacrosse teams, included serving as captain of the soccer team and co-captain of the lacrosse team, and helping build the success of the two programs.

Attending Kenyon is a longtime family tradition for him: His father, Silas Blake Axtell (Alpha Delta Phi); two uncles, Howard (Delt) and Lucien (Alpha Delt); brother Halton (Alpha Delt); and his son, Silas Blake Axtell '75 (Delt) are all Kenyon men. "I'm waiting for one of the grandkids to go to Kenyon," he says. "I told my kids that somebody has to do it!"

When asked about his college days, he speaks primarily about the steadfast, lifelong friendships that were forged at Delta Tau Delta.

"Our entire pledge class has remained close, and we see most of them and their wives on a regular basis. It's pretty unique," he says. "Most of us were athletes in school and bonded together."

Jerry Ellsworth '52, who'd been a fellow soccer and lacrosse player, is a neighbor. Others from the pledge class are Bill Ranney '52 (who was a football player and has remained actively involved with Kenyon and Delta Tau Delta), brothers Bob Jones '52 and John Jones '52 (who captained both the soccer and lacrosse teams prior to Silas), Bill Hurd '52, Ed Ames '53, Harry Read '52 and Burt Craig '52.

The network of friendships has even extended into successive generations: Silas's son and Bill Ranney's son are good friends, as are the two men's grandsons.
Unfortunately, Bob Eggert '52 and Bob McOwen '52 are deceased. Eggert, Silas points out, was a professional builder who designed and built the Lodge in 1969.
Silas and his wife, Patricia, began dating in high school and wed when Si was a senior in college. They've been married 52 years and have three children (two sons and one daughter) and six grandchildren ranging in age from 13 to 19. The couple's primary home is on eastern Long Island, but they spend winters in Vero Beach, Fla., and also co-own a cabin in Vermont with John Jones.

Si fondly remembers his days at Delta Tau Delta and returns to campus every two or three years for reunions and homecoming. He has even taken grandchildren a couple of times. His favorite fraternity memories are dance weekends, parties and what he calls "an airplane panty raid" on Denison College. "Somebody had an airplane and dropped leaflets about the raid, and hundreds of Kenyon guys showed up in their cars for it," he explains, laughing.

Jeffrey Moritz '86

Q & A With Jeffrey Moritz '86


2/3/2005
Why did you join?
Jack Emens '83 and Steve Neri '84 were hometown friends who were members and it was clear to me that the chapter was the best and most well rounded group on campus. It is a decision I have never regretted.
 
Tell us about your favorite memory of the fraternity
Trips to Seven Springs, Christmas parties and lodge symposiums
 
What kind of influence has the fraternity had on your life since graduation?
 I have been alumni association president for about 10 years which keeps me in touch with the chapter as well as many alums. It is great to see how the brothers from various eras keep in touch with each other and to hear stories about how the chapter was such a great experience for them in their lives.
 
With whom do you still stay in contact? Who would you most like to find?
Peter Stautberg, Byron Horn (occasionally), Pat Gallagher, Cully Stimson. I see many brothers at the open house over reunion weekend every year. I finally connected with Dave Kiefer after 18 years! I am looking forward to our 20th reunion next year.
 
Tell us about your family: Have you married? Do you have children?
Married for 10 years with three daughters; Emily (5), Sarah (3) and Caroline (newborn). I have been living in Cleveland OH for 13 years.
 
What other activities or organizations were you involved with during your college days?
Swim team, rugby, and student council.
 
What is your nickname, if applicable, and how did you get it?
Didn't have a nickname although Tim Ehrhart tried to get "Bear" stuck on me but no one else picked up on it.
 
Did you live in the house? If so, who were your roommates? Tell us about a memorable time with them.
Did not live in the lodge but lived two great years in middle leonard.

What do you do for a living?
I work on mergers and acquisitions for KeyCorp (bank holding company based in Cleveland)
 
What affiliations do you currently have and/or public service do you participate in?
Active in my church and various charitable and political organizations. Also president of the Chi Alumni Association.
 
What hobbies do you enjoy?
Working out, home repair, sporting events. Three young daughters do not leave me much time to spend on hobbies.

What are your goals for the next few years?
Enjoy watching my daughters grow up. 


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John S. Porter '93

Q & A With John S. Porter '93


9/30/2004
Why did you join?
The friends I made during the early part of my freshman year were all interested in becoming Delts. Once I met the upperclassmen, it seemed like an organization which I would enjoy.

Tell us about your favorite memory of the fraternity.
Almost too numerous to mention all of the fond memories I have of my time in the fraternity. What I remember most are the friendships and the four years of fun.

What kind of influence has the fraternity had on your life since graduation?
It provided me with a keen sense of what a true friend really is.

With whom do you still stay in contact? Who would you most like to find?
Unfortunately, I have lost contact with most of my classmates. I would love to talk to Josh Phillips and Greg Endress.

Tell us about your family. Have you married? Do you have children?
I am married and I have a sixteen month old son named Andrew.

What other activities or organizations were you involved with during your college days?
I was involved in the Rugby club and the Honor's History Program.

What is your nickname, if applicable, and how did you get it?
Fortunately, I was not tagged with a nickname.


Did you live in the house? If so, who were your roommates? Tell us about a memorable time with them.
I lived in the house for two years, and then I moved into the Lodge for my senior year. My roomate senior year was Greg Endress. Living in the Lodge that last year was the best. Having the place to ourselves in the middle of the woods was really enjoyable.

What do you do for a living?
I am an attorney in Wilmington, Ohio.

What affiliations do you currently have and/or public service do you participate in?
I am a member of the local, state, and federal bars.

What hobbies do you enjoy?
I enjoy watching Ohio State football, golfing, reading, and spending time with my family.

What are your goals for the next few years?
My goals are simple. I want to be a good father and a husband.


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