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Everyone wants a sense of belonging.  Some find it with family and friends, others, with organizations they care deeply about.  For Mike Faust ’90, that sense of belonging manifested itself in an unlikely place.  After rushing several Fraternities his first semester at University Park, the Tau Brother had no intention of pursuing Greek Life, until a spring Fraternity rush function changed his mind.

“During the spring semester of my freshman year, a friend asked me to accompany him to a Fraternity rush event,” said Faust.  “A mutual friend of ours, David Sawyer ’90, was already pledging there.  While I went willingly, I wasn’t expecting much.  Two hours later – having met Frank McNamara ‘87, Todd Hand ‘89, John Cavalline ‘89, Doug Jack ‘88, JJ Hartenstein ‘88, and John Perrotti ‘88, I felt like I understood the appeal of joining a Fraternity.”

It was in the basement of the Shelter where Faust, along with Michael F. Sullivan ‘88, Mitch Brown ‘90, and Bill Barrett ‘89, polished their musical talents, a favorite memory of the Tau Delt.

“We were not good,” said Faust.

“There was a period of time when Delta Tau Delta did not exist at Penn State,” the 49-year-old went on to say.  “If we would have had Brothers during that time, they would now be at the age where most charitable giving occurs.  Complicating that, we are sadly losing many of our Alumni who predated those years.  The burden now falls on us.  I just paid off my student loans a few years ago, I have a mortgage, my oldest daughter just started her freshman year at Penn State, and she has two younger sisters in high school.  My Church has very few people to support it.  I have every reason in the book to not give back. But the Current Brothers need us.  The House needs us.  It’s a beautiful structure, but it can’t maintain itself.”

After finishing at Penn State with a B.S. in Biology, Faust went to West Virginia School of Medicine followed by a residency in pediatrics at the Medical University of South Carolina.  Since finishing there in 1998, he has been practicing general pediatrics in his home town of Washington, PA.  He is also the medical director for the neonatal resuscitation team for the Washington Health System.  His wife and afore-mentioned daughters are his true joy.  Faust cites supporting his children as they grow and develop as being incredibly rewarding.

“I was a young man bereft of significant social skills when I matriculated at Penn State,” he recalls.  “The Fraternity helped me develop the skills necessary to communicate effectively with others.  I learned time management skills.  It also started me on the path toward understanding the importance of charity.”

“Your education comes first,” said Faust.  “You are at Penn State for that singular purpose.  But the Fraternity provides opportunities above and beyond this.  It provides the opportunity to help others, to learn from others, and to grow as a person.  You may even have a chance to take on a leadership role, you can participate in THON. All along the way will be lifelong friends.”


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