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Michael Strand ’79
Legacy Lives On
Michael Strand ’79 Shares Fraternity Bonds with Biological Brothers and Son
Michael Strand ’79 has a lot in common with his brothers, Monte ’77, and Gunnar ’81, and with his son, Andrew ’12. They all attended Washington State and they are all members of Washington Beta Chapter.
When Michael arrived at WSU, he was a 20 year old freshman. He quickly followed in the footsteps of his older brother and joined ΣAE. “He told me that’s what you’ve got to do,” Michael said. “He just knew what to do and that’s what I did.”
One of the things Michael loved most about his time as an undergraduate member of Washington Beta was the sense of family. “When I got there, the guys were living together and they got along. There was a set of rules, but everyone enjoyed themselves. There was an order to the madness,” he said.
Michael quickly rose through leadership positions in the chapter, serving as vice president, president, and the little sister advisor. He said those positions taught him to be a good leader and that actions can often speak louder than words. “It was important to be a leader in the house, especially for the young guys,” he said. “We had a lot of older guys that lived in and liked to live in, but the older guys wouldn’t’ let the younger guys get out of hand. There were important rules in place, but it was important for me to be the right kind of person and to follow through with my actions.”
Some of Michael’s favorite memories from his time as an undergraduate were meeting the families of his fraternity brothers, being in the chapter with his biological brothers, and Casino Night with the Gamma Phi Beta’s where he met his wife, Janice.
Greek life runs deep through the stand family. Michael and Janice’s daughter, Amy, followed in her mother’s footsteps and joined Gamma Phi Beta at the University of Arizona. Michael said that while he and Janice never pressured their children to join their Greek organizations, the day he found out Andrew was going to be a member of his fraternity and of his own chapter was a proud day. “I wanted my son to be happy,” he said. “I wanted him to be part of something that meant something to him. I wanted him to have the same experiences I had, just as long as he had a good experience. There was a lot of joy in that.”
Since graduating in 1979, Michael has been in sales and specifically has sold surgical equipment since 1984. He and Janice live on Bainbridge Island, Wash. Michael enjoys playing golf, skiing and travelling. E-mail Michael at Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org.