Alumni Interview: Matthew Nelson

Matthew Nelson at the summit of Mt. ElgonOnly in the past year have I discovered that Brother Matthew Nelson and I are within 10 miles of one another each day. I work for the University of Minnesota (in St. Paul) and Matt is a student at the University of Minnesota School of Law (in Minneapolis). Being “out of my element” in Minnesota, it is great to have a Lambda Chi Brother to have lunch with.

Matt, we were both in school at the same time, but what years were you in Whitewater and what degree did you earn?

From 1995 until 1999…I earned my Bachelor of Business Administration with a Major in MCS (Management Computer Systems).

And what are you doing now, professionally?

I’m going for my JDMBA at the Business Law School at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.

I would guess that keeps you pretty busy…when you have some free time, what do you do for fun?

Mostly study. But in the moments between school related stuff, I enjoy going out to dinner with friends and my girlfriend…just hanging out.

Do you have any accomplishments that you would like to share with all of the people reading this interview?

I am on the Dean’s List as a Law Student, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Whitewater and will as well from UMN. I have visited over 60 countries in my travels.

Matthew Nelson in Nepal

Any big surprises in your life that people would find interesting?

I’ve been called up by my National Guard Unit to serve in Iraq for a tour beginning this summer. After I return from active duty, I’ll graduate from UMN Law School.

Going overseas will surely throw a wrench in your plans for graduation…will you be in Infantry, as you were when you were at UW-Whitewater?

No Infantry, I’ll be doing Para-legal work on an Air Force Base just a few miles north of Baghdad.

Where did you attend High School and when did you graduate?

I graduated from Vincent High School in Milwaukee…in 1992.

How and when did you get involved with Lambda Chi Alpha?

I was introduced by Sherif El Sayid, who joined at the same time I did. I knew Sherif from High School and decided to check out Lambda Chi with him in the Fall of 1996.

Tell us, what office you held as an Active member in Lambda Chi and why you decided to run for that office.

I was High Sigma (Scholastics Chairman). I considered myself a good student and I wanted to help others achieve their highest potential in the area of academics.

Is there anyone you have lost touch with over the years that you would like to catch up with?

Generally, I would like to talk with anyone who lives in the greater Minneapolis-area and the guys who were in Lambda Chi when we both were.

Are there any of the guys you still keep in touch with?

Yeah, I talk with Mike Terpstra, Sherif El Sayid, you (Jeff Reisdorfer), and Pat Sykes. Mostly, we email or call one another.

What are your best memories of your time in Lambda Chi?

Hanging out and talking with all of the guys…and playing video games (even though it is counter-productive to the life of a good student).

What is the one Fraternity related event that made you say “Wow, I never thought I would be doing this when I joined a Fraternity”?

It would have to be Philanthropic works. Everyone has thinks that Fraternities are all about partying…but they don’t realize the good works and community involvement they take part in. Raking leaves for the people who lived in the neighborhood of the Lambda Chi Alpha House was great. I still remember that.

Matthew Nelson at the Taj MahalCan you still recite the Greek Alphabet?

Probably not… …nope.

Who, would you say, had the biggest impact on your Fraternal experience? Why?

Bryan (6’5″) Phillips, Vito Virgillio, Mike Easton, Brandon Eggert…and generally the Junior and Senior guys.

Did you have a nickname?

Yes, Mumbles.

Who was your Big Brother?

Pat Sykes.

What do you think about the Chapter being brought back to Whitewater this fall (2008)?

I am really excited about it, I hope it brings a great change to Whitewater, Lambda Chi Alpha and the Greek System. It’s a great opportunity to have friends that encourage good grades and good council early on in your collegiate career.

Anyone you want to give a shout out to?

I would like to say hey to all of the Fall of 96 guys…and would like to find out what they all are up to.

Any advice for future Lambda Chi Brothers?

Have a good time — but graduate with a degree you can use…get your work done.

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