George and NMHU 1969

Remembering George Beck: Chapter Builder

Wayne Au, Jr. ’68 – New Mexico Highlands University

I joined Pilam at Ohio State. I had heard of George Beck but never got to meet him. When I transferred to New Mexico Highlands University, I become friends with a small group that played cards at the student union or at one of the dorms. 

In the spring, the college had Greek Week, where the frats would compete in different activities and put on skits. My friends thought it would be fun to join in but to participate you had to be a fraternity. 

I thought, why not? I missed the close bonds and organized events, and there was no Pilam chapter on campus. So we started a local fraternity and went to the dean and the fraternity council for their blessing. 

I suggested that if we were all really serious about being a fraternity, I could contact Pilam and see what happens. When they asked, why not another fraternity? I explained my ties to Pilam, what it meant to me, and said that I wouldn’t be joining if they chose another fraternity. 

I wrote Pilam National, care of George Beck. In a few days, I received a letter from George. He was thrilled to hear from me and about the prospect of expanding to the South West. He came out and first talked to the officers of our local at dinner. Later he met with the whole group, described what was involved with becoming a part of Pi Lambda Phi, what Pilam was all about, and answered questions.

The rest fell into place thanks to George’s dedication to our fraternity, knowledge and leadership. We became a Pilam chapter! He came to our chartering banquet to present our charter. I still have the letters he wrote me. 

This all opened up a number of job offers for me. George left a “Pilam hand shake” on my life. Thank you, George Beck!

Honor George with a donation

George generously funded many scholarships in his retirement. To honor George, we are asking brothers to help grow the fund George created to recognize our outstanding undergraduates. Anyone wishing to honor George may designate a donation to the George A. Beck Fund.