Duncan Schofield ‘67: The bonds of SAE last a lifetime


In November 1964, 10 rushees were initiated into the Alpha-Zeta Chapter of ΣAE Penn State University. The last man on the list, Duncan Schofield, says that he waited a long time for that day. “I went to the house at least two times a week before I was initiated,” he said. He wanted to be part of SAE because it was such an upbeat chapter, and so inviting. Beyond that, it was an institution — already 75 years old by the time he pledged — was something that he wanted to be part of.

Today, Duncan is battling brain cancer. His SAE brothers, whose friendship has spanned the careers, families, trials, and joys of the last six decades, are calling to wish him well. It’s a testament, he said, that the bonds of SAE truly do last a lifetime.

In a recent interview, he recalled his first days in the house.

“It was wintertime in Central Pennsylvania and it was cold,” he remembered. “I had a date and we cuddled up together. There was a formal dinner with champagne and music — it was a wonderful evening. The best part was that the pledges didn’t have to clean the house — sophomores cleaned it.”

He said that before every party, the floor had to be waxed by hand, with brothers on their hands and knees buffing the floor.

The next fall, there were parties during football weekends — but since the school was still operating on quarters, several of the football Saturdays were already passed before classes started. “That made our football parties pretty limited,” he said.

For him and his fellow pledges, SAE’s impact went far beyond the parties that they loved.

“We were responsible for the condition of the house. We learned to appreciate the facility, and learn the history of the chapter and the national fraternity,” he said. “The chapter was formed in 1893 — that’s an institution, not just something hanging around!”

What he remembers the most is the thing that has lasted the longest: the enduring friendships of the brotherhood.

“I learned to appreciate other people and their positives. That brotherhood was very strong…. We learned to appreciate each other.”

If you’d like to extend well wishes, he’d love to hear from you. Email: dnnschofield@comcast.net