Michael A. Slusar '86, a True Gentleman
Alumni Association Announces 2015 True Gentleman of NY Alpha Award

The following was published in the spring 2015 issue of the NY Alpha News:

Mike Slusar has made a profound impact on the success of the NY Alpha Alumni Association in general and on our fundraising activities in particular. Throughout his 12-year tenure at the helm of fundraising, he devoted countless hours, added a creative flair, and spearheaded a process we can continue to use for years to come. He devoted himself to stewardship of NY Alpha's communications and alumni relations with commitment, integrity, and zeal, as well as just a touch of levity.

It was clear from the beginning that Mike was dedicated to success. He built a solid team, worked to ensure that it was productive, and was a good "check and balance" for every element of the NY Alpha communications plan. Mike also built strong bonds with numerous alumni who were key to the success of his plan. His spirit was ever present-- yet so was his humility.

Many of you know from attending Homecoming or Reunion events that Mike was always there to meet and greet and do a little arm-twisting as well. He did all this with passion and commitment that are difficult to duplicate and impossible to beat.

Mike was consistently at the forefront of making and keeping strong relationships with Cornell contacts who one day could help in the work we are doing. Whether it was OFSA or Alumni Affairs, or brothers in the active chapter, everyone knew and respected Mike for what he was doing.

Also known as "Slu," he always had a knack for thinking up a new way to ask for the same old thing: "He ain't heavy, he's my brother" ... "The Phoenix Rises... And So Must We" ... "The Time Is Now!" "Thanks for the Memories" ... "It's all about leadership," to mention just a few. This was clearly inspirational, and the results were amazing, even in difficult times.

In all of these efforts, Mike set high standards for himself and others. He excels both at mentoring new people and motivating others. He is also good at recruiting alumni to join the board. He does this with enthusiasm and loyalty that all can appreciate.

Mike's time as an active was both a difficult time and one of important learning. As most of you know, membership was low in the mid-'80s, and that required more from those who were brothers. Mike refers to it as a time when brothers could demonstrate leadership and build the future from within. He has frequently reached back to that experience in communicating the opportunities NY Alpha's members face with reinstatement.

Slu had a long view of his responsibilities but a wide one, too. He understands better than most that all things NY Alpha are related and that everything counts. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the pieces he wrote for the NY Alpha News or in the fundraising letters he wrote. He was always aware of what was going on with facilities or programming.

In addition, Mike was a key member of the committee to develop the Strategic Plan for NY Alpha. He was sure to make all the meetings and contribute to making the result more effective and meaningful.

Above all, Mike was the best team player imaginable. He built a team. He assigned tasks and followed up. He expanded beyond his team when the opportunity presented itself. Teamwork was his thing. Through it all, he always gave others credit, taking none for himself.

We are sure you will agree that the standard Mike set for himself, for others, and for the NY Alpha Alumni Association is one that must be sustained as we look to and plan for the future. Of course, we are counting on him to continue his mentoring and his motivating leadership as we journey down that "long and winding road."

The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little "extra"!--indeed, the precise "extra" that Mike gives. Since becoming an SAE brother, Mike Slusar '86 has always lived by the creed of the True Gentleman. Now he becomes a True Gentleman of New York Alpha, an honor he richly deserves.

profile compiled by Hal Sieling '62