The True Gentleman Still a Cornerstone of Life

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Dick Toohey ’68 Reflects on SAE’s Tremendous Impact During His Formative Years

The True Gentleman Still a Cornerstone of Life Known as the fraternity of True Gentleman, Sigma Alpha Epsilon holds its members to high standards. This reputation played a major role for Dick Toohey '68 when deciding to join SAE.

“I have found the True Gentleman to be the cornerstone of SAE,” he says. “It helped me and all of my brothers to become better men as we follow the core beliefs of The True Gentleman. I believe SAE exemplifies the virtues of the men we strive to achieve.”

Many memories were made during Dick’s time in the house, but the most important ones were those of love between brothers.

“I lived in the fraternity house for most of my years at Carolina,” he says. “I had many great memories, but my most fond ones are those of the fellowship, love, and encouragement that I received from my SAE brothers. They were always there for me and we have created bonds that will last forever.”

When Dick reconnects with his brothers, he is surprised at how little has changed over the years.

“When we get together, the one thing that sticks out to me is that it is almost like we went back in time—that, in many ways, time stood still,” Dick reflects.

This phenomenon is a testament to the incredible bonds of brotherhood and the strength of SAE’s foundation.

“I think we all still have the love and devotion as we always did,” Dick says.

On several occasions, Dick has returned to South Carolina and stopped by his old stomping grounds. He even attended the grand opening of the new house, pleased to see the changes.

“What a beautiful facility—I went to the grand opening and have never felt so welcomed,” he proudly states.

Seeing the current brothers welcome those who walked before them and share pride in SAE was an experience Dick will not soon forget.

“It was a tremendous inspiration to see the young men so proud to be SAEs,” he says.

Despite the years that have passed since Dick’s undergrad days, he continues to stay active within SAE, attending reunions, visiting the house, staying in touch with brothers, and giving back to financially as best as he can.

“I make donations to both my local chapter and the SAE Foundation,” he comments. “My SAE family have made such a positive impact on my life, and I am blessed to be able to give a little back.”

Today, Dick is retired after a 35-year career with HJ Heinz. Through retirement, he is able to truly appreciate the special people and opportunities he has been given.

“I have a wonderful life with many blessings—my health, my faith, my friends, family, and loved ones,” he says. “I am so fortunate to have my wife, Becky, and our children and grandchildren.”

In his free time, Dick can be found reading and volunteering at his church or spending time at his mountain home with his family and friends.

For Dick, his personal foundation of honor, respect, and working to be the best man he can be, was developed during his years at SAE. According to him, these values are lifelong and in all honesty, quite simple.

“I go back to the True Gentleman,” he says. “It taught me the real meaning of having a successful life—that is love for my fellow man.”