Greek Life alumni discuss friendships after graduation: ‘You have a group of friends who you can count on’

Emily Bracher | @emily_bracher_ Jan 16, 2023

Tom Farrar was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon when he was a student at LSU. Farrar graduated from the university in 1970, but he still calls his fraternity brothers around once a month to try and stay in touch as much as possible.

Greek organizations can play a major role in student life at LSU, and for people like Farrar, the friendships formed within Greek Life can go beyond graduation. 

The Epsilon Chapter of Kappa Delta was the first sorority at LSU, chartered in 1909. Sigma Alpha Epsilon was the first fraternity on campus when it was established in 1867. According to the LSU Greek Life website, there are now over 6,000 members in the 35 chapters on campus.

Farrar, who now runs a family-owned hearing aid dispensary, decided to join a fraternity after seeing how much his parents enjoyed Greek life when they were in college. He believes that the bond he made with the people in his fraternity was the most beneficial part of his experience.

“What I have gained is primarily lifelong friendships,” Farrar said. “Greek life isn’t for everyone, but I would advise to be open-minded and experience new things.”

Larry Howard, a construction management alumnus, joined the Acacia fraternity in 1981 to have a small group of people to socialize with.

“I enjoyed the fraternity because it gave me a home on campus, a place to go during the day if I lived off-campus, or a room if I chose to live in the house,” Howard said. “You are not ‘best’ friends with 200 people, but you do develop a close friendship with 15 to 20, and then you are a part of the bigger group.”

Howard said that although the intramural athletics and parties were fun, he really enjoyed meeting everyone for lunch and dinner throughout all four years.

“I think Greek life enabled me to feel comfortable in new environments later in life, such as joining a new company and fitting in at work,” he said.

Now, Howard sees many of his fraternity brothers several times a year. He noted that it did get harder to stay in touch after they separated and left Baton Rouge, but that the effort is worth it.