Hal Moldstad ’56 in Art Exhibition

Molstad 2

Hal Moldstad ’56

On December 3, 2010 a group that included a number of the members of the Class of ’56 traveled to Wenatchee, WA to demonstrate their support for their classmate brother and artist, Hal Moldstad ’56. The occasion was Hal’s public showing of his art at McDees Art Center.

Hal had a long career as a prominent architect whose work included the design of homes around the world for the likes of Paul Allen and Bill Gates. Hal’s now retired to Wenatchee where he dedicates much of his time to painting. Among those representing Sigma Tau Fijis at Hal’s art exhibit were: Bill Revere ’54; Jerry Gibbons ’54 (and his wife Barbara); Jim Hilton ’56 (and his wife Peggy); Len Perry ’56; Steve Wells ’56 (and his wife, Darcy); Kelley Moldstad ’59 (Hal’s brother) and Roger Hulbush ’56. This group of ten was a healthy representation of support for Hal’s “public display of his art”.

Hal’s wife, Donna, is also an artist and several of her works were also on display. Roger Hulbush was so taken by one of her pieces that he purchased it and brought it back to his home in Bow, WA. There no further reports on whether other members of the group made purchases, but a good time was enjoyed by all members of the group of ten.

Michael Blue ’82 shared his IronMan “Champ” story

Mike Blue '82 Ironman Champ
Mike Blue ’82
Ironman Champ

Class of ’82 Fiji crowned Ironman World Cham for his Age Group

On Saturday October 9, 2010 Seattle attorney Michael Blue (Class of ’82) covered 140.6 miles by sea, bike and foot to become an Ironman Champion. This was the tenth time Mike competed in the Ironman Championship which is held every October in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. He swam, biked, and ran his way to besting all competitors in his age group (men 50-54) at the Ford Ironman Triathlon World Championships. Designed for the ultimate athletes, The Ironman consists of a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bike and a marathon (26.2 miles 42.195 km) run. Blue finished under ten hours. His precise time elapsed was 9:48:48 – four minutes ahead of his closest age group pursuer.

Mike’s luncheon presentation (December 2010) covered the history of the Ironman which paralleled much of Mike’s participation in the competition. After reading an article in Sports Illustrated magazine which chronicled the 1979 event, Blue accepted the challenge and his first Ironman was in February of 1981 at age 20. That year was the first IronMan on the Big Island and only 326 competitors started. The event now strictly limits the competitor field to 1800 athletem that each must qualify for the privilege to race there.

For the record this was Blue’s 10th time he has qualified and competed in this championship event. His record includes multiple top five age-group finishes in Kona but this is his first World Championship finish.

Since it began as a challenge between a group of Navy Seals in 1978, the Ironman has grown to become one of the most recognized endurance events in the world. Blue qualified for the event in April after winning his age group at the Ironman 70.3 in Oceanside, California with a time better than 11 minutes faster than the age group record.

After reading an article in Sports Illustrated magazine which chronicled the 1979 event, Blue accepted the challenge and his first Ironman was in February of 1981 at age 20. That year was the first on the Big Island and only 326 competitors started. The event now strictly limits the competitor field to 1800 athletes that each must qualify for the privilege to race there.

The race will be televised on December 18, 2010 on NBC (1-3 PST) and on Universal Sports at various times. For more information visit http://www.ironman.com/ and http://www.ironmanlive.com/ . Michael Blue is a partner in the Seattle law firm of Campiche Blue & Le, PLLC. He is trial attorney and his practice is devoted exclusively to representing people injured in motor vehicle or bicycle accidents, product liability claims, and medical malpractice cases. Blue is licensed to practice in the state and federal courts of Washington, California, Colorado, and the District of Columbia.

Burr Odell ’37 ends his Husky football attendance at 330 games


Burr Odell '37 at Coach Sarkisian luncheon in 2009
Burr Odell ’37 at Coach Sarkisian luncheon in 2009

After retiring at age 89, Burr Odell became a frequent attendee at the Tuesday luncheons. We are sad to report he passed away, and below is his obituary notice as authored by him and published in the Seattle Times.

Burr ODELL 1914 – 2010 Written by Burr Odell 2008

Burr Odell died December 7, 2010. He was born August 15, 1914 in Vancouver, B.C. of American Parents, Mark and India Bell Odell. The family returned to their permanent home in Seattle. Burr attended Broadway High School. Following high school graduation in 1929, he entered the University of Washington at the age of 15 as a Engineering major for one semester. Then Burr left school for two years and went to work the blind bookseller, Harry Hartman. At Hartman Book Store Burr acquired a livelong interest in literature.

Burr re-entered the University of Washington in 1932 and graduated in 1937 with a B.A. degree and Ensign’s commission in the U.S. Navy Reserve. He was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. His first employment after graduating college was with Dun and Bradstreet. In the summer of 1940 his Reserve Navy unit was called to active duty in the Pacific Northwest mine sweeping fleet. In early 1942 Burr transferred to Lighter-than-Air where he took his blimp pilot training at Lakehunt, N.J. He earned his wings in October 1942 and married Mary A. Cole. He was then assigned Blimp Pilot Duty at Moffet Field, California and was subsequently transferred to Tillamook, Oregon. In early 1943 he became Commanding Officer of Blimp Headquarters Squadron 33. In late 1944 Burr transferred back to Moffet Field as Operations Officer. He was discharged to inactive duty in 1946 with the rank of Commander USNR.

Shortly after returning to Seattle, Burr became a sale representative for Olympic Stain Products Company. He became National Sales Manager in 1949, in charge of expanding the sale and distribution of Olympic Products nationally. In the early 1950’s he purchased a partnership interest in Olympic from the founder, Philip R. Bailey, and continued with Olympic until 1958, when he sold his interest.

Soon afterward, Burr was hired by Boeing Company to open a sales office in Sydney, Australia. During the first two years he traveled with Boeing to Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan and other Pacific countries as a sales division representative. His plans to move to Sydney were canceled in 1966 when the Boeing sales office expansion program was canceled.

Burr then entered the commercial/industrial real estate business, working as a contract negotiator for the Jack Benaroya Company. In 1970 he became a licensed real estate broker, working for several shopping center developers, continuing until his retirement at the age of 89.

Burr became an intense UW Husky Football fan after attending the first football game at the Husky Stadium in 1920 when the Huskies hosted Dartmouth. Dartmouth won 27 to 0. Over the years Burr attended 330 Husky football games, including 6 Rose Bowls. For many years Burr was an avid golfer as a member of the Seattle Golf Club. He never lost his passion for literature. Until the spring of 2010, Burr lived independently in his home of 37 years. Burr’s wife of 51 years, Mary A. Cole of Seattle passed away in 1993. He is survived by his son Mark Cole Odell and his wife Phyllis and their twin daughters Kelly and Sydney; daughter Charlotte A. Fitch and her husband Ronald; and his son Stuart Burr Odell; plus numerous nephews, nieces and their families. Burr’s love for his children was extended to their friends. At Burr’s request, no services will be held. A gathering of family is being planned.

Published in The Seattle Times on December 12, 2010

132 Chapters and Colonies — an All-Time Record for our national fraternity

The national fraternity continues its drive to establish new chapters and re-establish chapters on campuses where we once were. Since 2006 our national fraternity has originated 35 colonies. It’s almost like we are back to the Sixties when the Greek organizations were welcomed by Universities, and students were eager to join.

The latest schools to welcome a chapter or a colony are:

  • diamond pinColorado College
  • Coastal Carolina University
  • University of Missouri
  • Oklahoma City University
  • Vanderbilt University

According to the recent issue of the Phi Gamma Delta magazine, the average chapter size is also growing. In 2008 the average chapter was 56 compared to this past spring when the average chapter size was up to 59.

All of this growth is supported by a staff of two dedicated to the expansion program along with the team of seven — yes seven — field secretaries.

This is an exciting time for our national fraternity.