May 5, 2005
New fraternity posed a challenge for
by Sarah Morin,
Herald-Times Staff Writer
This is the third of five stories profiling
graduating Indiana University students.
series by Sarah Morin will conclude on
Saturday — graduation day.
Overland Park, Kan.
Real estate finance and
FAVORITE PLACE TO STUDY:
Woodburn Hall library.
FAVORITE PLACE TO PARTY:
Nick's English Hut.
Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity flag
(red, yellow and blue with a lion).
University of Kansas
never saw himself as a frat guy.
So it's surprising
that his proudest moment in his four years
at Indiana University was finding out last
month that he would receive a national award
for being a fraternity leader.
His brothers at
Delta Kappa Epsilon credit McPherson — or
"Dill," as they call him — for helping
secure a home on Jordan Avenue's fraternity
McPherson, who will
leave business school for law school after
graduating Saturday, said he was attracted
to building up a new chapter on campus.
"Deke" membership has nearly doubled to 42
since his freshman year.
McPherson as a man with two sides. In short,
a go-getting goofball.
"He balances his
fun, carefree college side with his
professional work," said Kevin Cane, DKE
president who met McPherson when they were
McPherson is a guy
who shaved his head into a Mohawk with
Vanilla Ice sideburns for Little 500 and
also earned a 3.64 GPA while interning at
Blackwell Homes, a local home building
"If he stayed in
Bloomington, I'd hire him tomorrow," said
J.C. Hulls, who handles sales and
development for the company. Hulls said out
of all the firm's interns from the business
school, McPherson has been the best.
McPherson created a survey that went out to
150 people for market research, which is
still used as a marketing tool.
everything," Hulls said of McPherson's work,
which covered developing Web sites,
marketing, mailing and researching.
Giving a tour of
the four-floor fraternity house earlier this
week, McPherson was proud that he and the
guys finally have a home of their own.
In the study room,
he said hello to a pair of students seated
at the wooden table, studying for an
"A201, that was my
only college C," McPherson told them.
Downstairs in the
dining hall, where guys are eating chicken
and noodles, green beans, mashed potatoes
and buttered breadsticks, they shared
stories about McPherson. Some they said just
can't be talked about — much less printed in
Sitting next to
McPherson, who is wearing jeans and a
blue-collared dress shirt, Karl Hagedorn
said the former president of the fraternity
has made it easier for him to take on the
role next year.
But paired with the
praise in their friendship is some razzing.
Hagedorn dogged his taste in music — "emo-punk,
but they call it indie rock to make it sound
better" — and his weak jump shot when the
two play hoops behind the house.
When McPherson revealed that he was a
beekeeper back home in Kansas, selling honey
from his Quail Run Honey business, Hagedorn
laughed and shook his head.
"You're such a
nerd," he said, smiling.
"If you met him,
you wouldn't think he's president of a
fraternity at all," Hagedorn said, adding he
decided to pledge the fraternity after
talking with McPherson over dinner at
Applebee's. "He's a pretty good salesman."
For his fraternity
work, McPherson will be presented the North
American Interfraternity Conference
Undergraduate Achievement Award this summer.
"Brendan is 'one of
the guys,' yet he has the respect of his
peers because he is a worthy leader," wrote
Eric Freeman, a DKE alumni from the DePauw
chapter, in one of 13 letters of support for
McPherson said he
joined the small fraternity as a freshman
because he liked the "startup process" of
And he was no
stranger to the concept. With a sizable
savings from his startup lawn-mowing
business in high school, he bought a
four-bedroom house on Bloomington's west
side in the spring of his freshman year. He
sold it last year to move into the
A real estate
finance and entrepreneurship major,
McPherson said his ideal job would have him
doing everything — real estate, law, rental
properties and market research.
His advice to
college students is to give anything a try,
as he did with the greek community.
"Get involved with
as much stuff right away," McPherson said.
Then he added a
suggestion showing his
"Don't party yourself out — you have four