Matt Dole '01, Andy Byers '07, Dan Moorman '92, Greg Manko '93, Shawn Selby '92 and Robert Ferguson '71.

Matt Dole ’01, Andy Byers ’07, Dan Moorman ’92, Greg Manko ’93, Shawn Selby ’92 and Robert Ferguson ’71.

“Between our emcee and the speakers tonight that we have assembled to pay tribute to you, there’s two middle-age gay men, a pig farmer, a Chris Christie look-a-like and a former stripper. It is a good thing [Fergie is] held in such high regard. Otherwise, we might have had to scrape the bottom of the barrel.”

 

Following are the prepared texts delivered, in order, by Shawn Selby ’92, Andy Byers ’07 and Matt Dole ’01 at the Marietta Delt 45th Anniversary and Roast of Chapter Advisor Robert Ferguson. Roaster Dan Moorman ’92 spoke extemporaneously. Greg Manko ’93 was the master of ceremonies.

Shawn Selby ’92

I am required by my employer to make the following disclaimer:

Any remarks, comments, opinions or “words” that I express do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Washington Post, it editors, its owner Jeff Bezos, or anyone who works there. Or anyone who reads The Washington Post. Or anyone who has ever heard of The Washington Post.

In fact, The Washington Post disclaims any association with me whatsoever.

Jon Hartshorn, president of the House Corporation, and Karl Grant, president of the Undergrads, also handed me similar statements to read.

When I was asked to speak this year, it was with a little trepidation. Especially when I was told that I would be the perfect choice to say mean things about our guest of honor and other Brothers of ours.

Such a statement about me was offensive to my sensitive and delicate nature.

I would never say mean things about my Brothers. I respect my Brothers. I care about my Brothers. I love my Brothers.

Fortunately, none of them are here tonight.

When I look at the totality of my Marietta Delt Experience, it is these quinquennial get-togethers that I enjoy the most.

Now, I realize by saying “quinquennial,” Dan Moorman is now confused.

Dan, that means once every five years.

These anniversaries are not only our best chance to see the Brothers we went to Marietta with, but to renew our acquaintances with the Alumni who came before us, and who have come after us.

But for most us these anniversaries were our first understanding of the breadth and scope of being in a fraternity – of what being in THIS fraternity chapter – means.

As alumni, we all know that we didn’t just join an organization of a group of men that were at Marietta at the same time we were. We joined a lifelong organization which has Brothers that came before us and Brothers that came after us.

But such a realization is not readily apparent during our Undergrad years where our experience is confined to working with, hanging out and living around a select group of people. And then once a year, a bunch of old people come back and we do our best to avoid them because they are our parents’ or grandparents’ age, and hey, we have our own college lives to live.

But on these anniversaries, that picture changes somewhat. Suddenly there’s a lot of old people around. And it is a big deal, and – whoa, you mean there are 500 members of this Chapter? And it was founded in 1968?

And then, as Undergrads, our horizons expand and we start to see.

Now because the Undergraduate experience is typically on a four-year cycle, there are classes of Delts who join after an anniversary and then graduate before the next one. And that is unfortunate that they never get this experience during their college years.

And then there’s another class of Delts. And I fall into this class – ones who pledge right before an anniversary.

Almost to the day 25 years ago, Jon Morein, Chris Bennett, Dan Castelli, Brian Burke and I gathered on the Wednesday before Homecoming in front of Dawes Memorial Library and walked down to 219 Fourth Street and became Delt Pledges.

And for anyone trying to do the math, I was four years old 25 years ago.

Two days later we were being scooped up and taken to the Holiday Inn in Parkersburg for this Chapter’s 20th anniversary banquet.

It was a bit overwhelming. I really knew nothing about Delta Tau Delta or this Chapter. Hell, I didn’t know the names of half the guys in it. And there I was, being thrown at a bunch of alumni who were my parents’ age.

The sum total of my knowledge of Greek life began and ended with that famous movie, “Animal House.”

Now, I had no desire to join a group of screw-ups as represented by the Delt Tau Chis. Nor did I desire to be in a group of over-privileged, please-sir-may-I-have-another? jerks as represented by the Omega Theta Pis.

Although the thought of a young, underwear-clad Kevin Bacon getting paddled does have a certain appeal to me today.

And being only 18 years old back then, I mean 4 years old, my view of the world was binary. It never occurred to me that there could be something in between screw-ups and jerks.

Now I only decided that I would join a fraternity – THIS fraternity – because I had become friends with Todd Meyers, Michael Moffitt, Dave Frick and Kevin Oliphant before rush took place. And they didn’t a seem like a bunch of screw-ups. Well, maybe Kevin was. Nor were they over-privileged jerks. Not even Moffitt.

But at that 20th anniversary, I found myself thinking that maybe I had chosen a real-life Faber College and that – OH MY GOD – I had just joined a fraternity that was only one letter different than Delta Tau Chi.

And when Bob Peterson showed his slides from the early 1970s, seeing a slide of Martin “Cowboy” Santini’s ass displayed in full moon did nothing to arrest my fears.

But in the following weeks, I learned the names of the rest of the men in the Chapter. I learned about Delta Tau Delta and I learned about the history of this Chapter. And things got better.

But that is the sum total of my memories as a pledge during the Chapter’s 20th: Cluelessness, fear and Cowboy’s ass, as it looked in 1975.

Now, Bob Peterson made a digital version of his famous slide show available to me to show you all. I chose not to in order to spare you from Cowboy’s Moon Over Marietta. So … you’re welcome.

Moorman – keep your pants up. Said every woman who’s ever met him.

Now when I wrote this speech a couple of months ago, this is the point at which I pivot and start making fun of people. And I promise you that will happen.

But instead I need to talk about another issue before doing so. And I beg the indulgence of my fellow Brother-speakers in order to do so.

If we end up pressed for time, we can always cut Moorman’s speech. I’ve taken a look at it. And I have to tell you his speech consists of a drawing – in crayon – of two pigs. Mating.

Which is exactly what I would expect from a sports communications major.

We are here tonight to roast and honor Fergie, but we do so on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the Crescent Colony of Marietta, formerly known as the Beta Delta Epsilon local fraternity, becoming the Epsilon Upsilon Chapter of Delta Tau Delta International Fraternity.

And it is our history I need to talk about – not a history lesson but a challenge for the future of our history.

Those of you who were at the House Corporation meeting this morning got to see the new Web site – MariettaDelts.org. Now having a Web site is not “new.”

In fact, I think this probably the third incarnation of an Epsilon Upsilon-related Web site.

The difference this time is that it is being maintained by the alumni, and we are the ones handling Alumni news and Chapter history. The Undergrads are part of the project, too, and they are supplying Undergrad-related content.

But it is the history part that makes the difference.

Our Chapter is 45 years old, but in the scheme of things, that is relatively young.

We were the last fraternity established on this campus, so for the entirety of our history, we have been the youngest fraternity here.

But time and tide have a way of changing things. And five of the six fraternities that preceded us onto this campus – most of them with beginnings in the 1800s – were all – how do I put this politely? – were cordially invited to no longer be here.

Now a few of them have come back – and on balance that is a good thing because lack of competition breeds complacency – but they have lost their connections to their previous histories.

As a young fraternity we have been in the position for the past 45 years of continual growth. Every year we welcome Delt graduates into the Alumni body. And we have only had to subtract eight brothers who have passed away from our total count of around 450 Marietta Delts today.

But we are quickly headed toward a cliff where we will start losing alumni every year. I know this is something none of us want to think about, but it is simple demographics. We are all eventually going to go over that cliff, so we should face the fact that as an Alumni body we are going to probably plateau around 500 Marietta Delts before the number of men we lose each year starts matching the number of men we add.

Again, that’s demographics and reality.

But I need to tie this back into the Web site. Rick Neel had asked a couple of times for you all to collect your photos and other memorabilia and bring it this weekend. I have spent the day scanning those items in. And thank you for bringing them.

We need to continue this process. If you have memorabilia and if you have a scanner, please scan these things in and send them to us. We are using the Web site to create a digital archive so that we can not only preserve these bits and pieces of our history, but to have a location where we can all enjoy seeing these things.

But this leads to a bigger question: Is a digital archive the only way we should be preserving our history?

I think we need to do a traditional curation and preservation as well, but that means we need to acquire our scattered pieces of Chapter history.

So I urge you to gather your Delt memorabilia up, put it someplace safe. And then have a conversation with your loved ones. And if your pledge pin, badge, composites, paddles and photos don’t hold that much value to them, then please make sure that they are given to us when the time comes. And by “us,” I don’t mean to the Undergrads of some future date. I mean House Corporation.

And let me be clear: I’m not just talking to our oldest living Delts. I’m talking to every Delt in this room. Because there will be a time when each of us and our contemporaries ARE the oldest living Delts.

This is the challenge that House Corporation needs to meet. And by “House Corporation,” I don’t mean Hartsy and Fergie. We are all “House Corporation,” and we need to figure how to take custody of our history, who will maintain it, where it will be stored and what ultimately will be done with it.

I personally envisage a secure, lockable room in a future Delt Shelter where these items can be protected, preserved, displayed and enjoyed by us and future Marietta Delts for years to come.

And hopefully at the Chapter’s 60th or 70th anniversary, Chapter Advisor Chad Showen, House Corporation President Ryan Gontero and special guest the Honorable Jordan Herrick, United States Senator, could be unveiling such a Marietta Delt museum.

Does that sound good?

If it we want that future to unfold, then we have to work in the present to preserve our past.

OK, I’m way over time, so I’ll go through my insults quickly.

The animated corpse of the late Rick Neel is here.

Congratulations to you for a fantastic weekend. I have had the honor and pleasure of working with you the past seven years on various Alumni things. And this illustrates what’s great about our fraternity – two very different men with very different life experiences and outlooks from very different eras – can become friends as well as Brothers.

And you are, really, the focal point of our Alumni body. You have served to unite us in a way we never were before, through your work and your nearly 100 newsy emails you have sent out over the past seven years. And I mean this sincerely – this is not just a set up – thank you.

And so please join me in congratulating Rick on the new role he has undertaken for our Chapter: Rush chairman for Chapter Eternal.

Our House Corporation President, Jon Hartshorn, is here.

I see your hair is starting to retreat faster than Dan Moorman does from soap and water. I read a story the other day, and there’s a new procedure for hair restoration. Find a very hairy donor and harvest hair from them and the doctors will surgically implant the hair on your head. Well I know there’s two very hairy places – ungodly, scary hairy places – where you can find some follicles: Dan Moorman’s back. And Jeff Houston’s boobs.

Brian Rothenberg is here. Brian’s the closest thing we have to a member of the Board of Trustees. If you know Brian, he is active in Democratic and progressive politics in Ohio. Which of course means he’s hated by people who work in Republican and conservative circles. And this includes the editorial board of the Columbus Dispatch.

A couple of years ago, the Dispatch decided to out Brian. Which came as a total shock to me. I had no idea Brian is Jewish.

Vince Hendershot is here. Vince, who is a newly minted alumnus, was last year’s Homecoming King. I said King, right?

He handed over his crown today with class. However, wearing satin gloves and a pearl necklace was a bit over the top.

And finally, Fergie.

Between our emcee and the speakers tonight that we have assembled to pay tribute to you, there’s two middle-age gay men, a pig farmer, a Chris Christie look-a-like and a former stripper.

It is a good thing you are held in such high regard. Otherwise, we might have had to scrape the bottom of the barrel.

But what can you say about someone who has devoted their adult life to this Chapter? Someone who has been a successful businessperson, a leader of the Marietta community and devoted to their family?

All you can do is turn, and say, from the bottom of your heart: Thank you Ginny Ferguson for all you’ve done for us!

Ferg, congratulations on all you have done. I hope you enjoy this evening. And thank you for everything.

Andy Byers ’07

Thanks Greg. In honor of Ferg, I’m going to keep this short.

Thanks to Karl and the undergrads for keeping the chapter running, stand up and let’s applaud you.

Knock Knock. That’s the sound of Kyle Hummel at the house last night.

And how bout Shawn Selby, wasn’t he great? You know he’s single, ladies.

1991. 1992.1993.

Those were the years Shawn … did anything that mattered.

Shawn’s old roommate Dan Moorman is here.

I remember being 21 (the first time) and going to Slapshots with Dan. He struck up a conversation with a guy and they start talking about love, life and stuff. This other guy turns around and says, “Man i was getting intimate with my wife way before we were married and way after we split, did you do that too?” Dan says, “I don’t know, whats her maiden name?”

Then he hooked up with a “lady” that Argento and I couldnt close the deal with. That second parts actually true …and makes me very sad.

Matt Dole will be speaking later.

He was in the chapter back in 2000 when we went through that downslide with membership numbers, but he was largely responsible for keeping everything together. So you undergrads need to thank him. He’s not so much a God in the chapter, more of a Titan, like Cronus. He ate pledges. He used to be fat and he ate people. That’s why our numbers were down. Because Dole. Ate. People.

I want to thank Rick for everything he does for the chapter. Rick Neel walks into a bar … there’s no punchline, I was just pointing it out.

With those jokes out of the way, that brings me to the man of honor.

You’ve been a powerhouse influence on hundreds of people, just in this chapter, for 40 years, but these are the guys chosen to honor you.

We’re part of your legacy. It may have behooved you to actually attend one of those recruitment seminars you made all of us sit through so many times. How badly does Ginny yell at you to take out the trash, that this expenditure of time was the better option?

And its not just the local chapter, Ferg’s involved with National, Kiwanis Club, Lions Club, and just … a boatload of stuff locally and nationally. He has his hand in more organizations than a Delt at Panhellenic Council.

You run and work this town like a Santa Claus Godfather. You’re retiring soon, I have no idea what you could possibly do to fill your schedule and I have no idea how your wife’s gonna deal with that. She must have the patience of a saint, or she’s setting up a real nice slush fund behind your back.

Umm, in all seriousness, you are just a great dude, and I’m really proud to know you. From Karnea in

Denver, to all the conferences, to teaching me finance, ([Justin Nethers] was my predecessor and he cant even afford jeans that fit). Keeping us in good graces with Arch Chapter. Everyone in this room has directly or indirectly affected by what you have done and by what you haven’t, forcing us to learn it ourselves. I’ve always considered you a fatherly type authority figure, and I feel honored just to thank you on behalf of everyone representing my era.

Thank you Bob Ferguson, and best wishes for the future.

Matt Dole ’01

I was actually nervous preparing for this roast until I remembered the low expectations of Marietta Delts as evidenced by the fact that they elected me President.

Twice.

Speaking of elections … Some of you may know that I ran – unsuccessfully – for city council here in Marietta. I understand that Rick was trying to decide whether to have my opponent or I speak here tonight, and I lost again.

What can I say about Shawn Selby … that won’t sound like a hate crime?

I was talking to some folks before the dinner and we were comparing this evening to the Comedy Central roasts. We decided Selby was the Lisa Lampanelli of the Delt Roast.

I’m not even sure what that means, I’m just telling you the consensus.

Shawn and I clearly have some political disagreements, but we both made the right decision to join Delta Tau Delta. It’s just that after that, I kept making right decisions while Shawn decided that enough was enough.

I’ve actually created a little game where I go on Facebook to see Shawn’s latest rant and the reaction. I call it “right – or – Shawn.” You can either be right or you can be Shawn; it’s never both.

It’s really is helpful in my business to know where the opposition stands. For Democrats, I read the New York Times. For the liberal view I watch MSNBC. And I check Shawn’s Facebook for an off-the-charts cuckoo bird point of view.

And yes, that’s official industry jargon.

Now, how about that Andy Byers? When Andy first pledged the Fraternity he would sit and awkwardly stare at you for hours without saying a word. He was hilarious. If only he had stuck to that strategy tonight …

Andy is in the Army. If that doesn’t make you feel safer … You’re right.

Andy also works for a local polymers company. So let’s get this straight – he should be on a watchlist someplace, but instead he’s in the army with ready access to all sorts of chemicals. This can’t go wrong …

And Dan Moorman will be up next. You’re welcome for delaying that for a little while longer.

I actually saw Dan in the parking lot carrying in a sack of coffee beans … I had to tell him it not that kind of roast.

It’s okay. We got him some crayons and a placemat so he could put down some thoughts.

Dan’s a builder and many folks might remember that Dan once offered to help build a new shelter for us.

It was a noble gesture, but I think House Corp. was right to tell him that we already have one condemned shelter and we don’t need another …

Now, let’s get to the man of the hour: Bob Ferguson.

[Yell] “I said you’re the man of the hour.”

Thirty-nine years as Chapter Advisor. Wow. When I was an undergrad his weekly chapter report was always the same: Dole go to class. And I did … Go to one class that week.

We’re here because many illustrious people wanted to honor Fergie tonight. Unfortunately, they were busy.

I wrote that joke before I knew that Marietta College President Bruno, Northern Division President Tom Calhoon and Arch Chapter Second Vice President Jim Garboden would be here … but I stand by it.

Believe it or not I have spoken to people who use words like “venerable” or “esteemed,” to describe Fergie. Those are, of course, good synonyms for old.

I really believe that one of the great compliments you can give someone is that they’re wise beyond their years. Well, Fergie is pretty wise, but he’s so old he’s only as wise as his years.

He does try to stay up to date on pop culture so he can relate to the college age crowd, but he’s running just a tad behind. He’s up to Michael Jackson. The good singing one, not the creepy white guy.

In twenty years we can re-convene to get his thoughts on the Kardashians.

I have a joke here about Fergie and the black eyed peas, but I’m not going to bother because I asked Fergie his favorite hip-hop group and he said “Run DMC.”

Don’t you think that when Fergie retires he’ll miss those occasional 3 a.m. calls that his boys on Fourth Street are causing trouble?

I used think those calls kept him young, but look at him …

I’m kidding – he looks good. If he were 75, he’d look great. For 65, it’s only so-so.

Let’s talk about Fergie’s legendary ability to hold a conversation. I’ve had discussions with him that covered baseball, football, accounting, the fraternity, politics and religion.

And that was just the first thirty seconds.

I have no idea what we discussed for the next hour and a half after that.

I called him the man of the hour, but by the time he gets done talking at the end of this thing it might be man of the day or week … so settle in.

Fergie is an enthusiastic conversationalist. I once called him about an important political issue. I said “Fergie, what do you think about the energy bill?” and without hesitating he said “pay it!”

It was always an adventure as an undergrad with Fergie showing up at some random time during the week. We’d be walking through the house and suddenly we hear the TV on the back room and the conversation went like this: “Did you leave the TV on?” “No I didn’t leave the TV on.” “Is the back door open.” “Oh man, is Fergie here?” “Go check.” “I’m not going, YOU go check.”

We really had to be careful. One of the educationals I put together was a program that explained to actives that sending pledges to the pop machine while Fergie was sitting in the back room probably wasn’t hazing, but it was darn close.

It’s not like you can avoid it. Fergie has Jedi-level skills. I’d walk into a room ready to grab something and leave quickly, and then Fergie would say – not even asking – “you want to sit down and catch up.” And inexplicably you’d reply “yes, I’d like to sit down and catch up. “

His Jedi skills and the threat of an IRS audit if you said “NO” always worked.

Speaking of Fergie the accountant – there was a time I considered having Fergie do my taxes. Then, I had the chance to witness his math skills in action.

We were moving his father into a retirement community and Fergie had every box, piece of furniture and doorway measured.

There were two things he didn’t measure, though. The height of the truck and the size of the carport.

Say what you want about my “D” in statistics, but I’ve never dislodged a carport from a brand new retirement community.

Now, before I end, I do want to say something nice about Ferg. Partly because I hope he forgets all those “old” jokes before he gets up here and partly because he deserves it.

We’re all told what a good Delt Alum is. And we all strive to be Good Delts contributing in different ways, whether with our time, our money, or our expertise.

Fergie doesn’t strive. He does. And he’s done it for 39 years at the grassroots chapter and division level.

Make no mistake – Fergie and Mrs. Fergie have made a lot of personal sacrifices for the Delts who came through Marietta.

Fergie is the embodiment of our values, not just inside the Fraternity, but with his family, his work and this community.

One of my proudest moments as a Delt was seeing Fergie inducted into the Distinguished Service Chapter at the Minneapolis Karnea.

More than 150,000 men have been initiated into Delta Tau Delta and just 426 have joined the Distinguished Service Chapter.

I thank him for his time, his expertise and his patience. … And I hope he forgets everything I said earlier.

Thank you.