Serving others. Encouraging brothers. Paul Szczesny '82

Paul Szczesny '82 and Jake KesslerAs one of nine children, Paul Szczesny, always knew that his parents wouldn’t be able to write any big checks to pay for his education. But the family pitched in as best they could to get him though Michigan Tech. “My sister and brother-in-law helped out, and my mom would send me $10 a week,” he remembers. “That was a lifesaver.”

Paul enjoyed Tech, but Greek life took his experience to another level. “In the middle of mysophomore year, I got involved with Sigma Tau Gamma,” he says. “When I joined the fraternity, it became my home.”

After earning a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in 1982, Paul remained active in the fraternity, both at the national level and serving for decades as housing manager and financial advisor to Michigan Tech’s Sigma Tau Gamma chapter. Then he began to think about establishing a scholarship fund.

The result was the Paul G. Szczesny Endowed Scholarship, which has given over two dozen $500 awards, with preference to fraternity members majoring in chemical engineering. He also co-founded the Sigma Tau Gamma Endowed Scholarship with another Sig Tau, Jim Bernier ’73, and supports it annually. “Now we are encouraging other alumni to give,” he says. “We all received a tremendous benefit from Tech and the fraternity, and I’d like to see more of us giving back.”

"Paul Szczesny is by far the most involved alumnus and advisor of Sigma Tau Gamma, and to receive a scholarship that implies that I exemplify even a few of his qualities, is a great honor. He has never stopped giving back to the fraternity, which has inspired me to maintain my involvement with Sigma Tau Gamma long after I leave Michigan Tech.
Paul never lets us forget our values, including community service, and I plan to adhere to those values for the rest of my life. I’m a construction management major, and after I graduate I plan to use my degree in developing countries to help build infrastructure—schools, hospitals, whatever is needed."Jake Kessler, Paul Szczesny Scholarship Recipient