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Rho Lambda Newsletter

Jerry Duncan ‘59 has recently joined the Mystic Circle, and the Brotherhood received a nice note from Ellen Duncan thanking us for our donation to the John Marshall Foundation on his behalf. When Brothers pass away, our Association provides flowers to the gravesite or makes bereavement donations if the family specifies. If you become aware of a member who’s passed away, please let us know.

Bill Iseminger ‘67 gave a presentation at the McLean County (Illinois) Museum of History based on his new book on the history of the 94th Illinois Infantry Regiment from McLean County, IL. It was live-streamed on YouTube, and that link is Two of Bill’s great-grandfathers were in the regiment, and it’s a richly researched history of McLean County’s participation in the Civil War.

The password we emailed to you opens any file. If you don’t have it, contact us. 

From The ΔKE ΡΛ Literary Association
As we head into the Christmas Holidays, I am very proud of the board’s accomplishments this year and look forward to reconnecting with more of our Rho Lambda Brothers in 2023. One Legacy that will live long after we join the Mystic Circle is the establishment of the Randy Morrison Scholarship Fund through the OU Foundation. We are 40% to our goal of $25,000 by 2025. Please consider a donation/pledge or additional donations with your year-end tax planning. Karen and I wish the Rho Lambda Brotherhood and their families a joyous Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Kerothen, Bob Tierno, Chairman of the Board

ΡΛ Brother of the Month – JIM MATTHEWS



I’m adding this photo of Jim digging a foxhole during WWII as proof that he’s got serious skills with an entrenching tool. He also gave me terrific photos of a paddle and bulldog from a visit to a Yale friend’s house.

 “I pledged DEKE in September 1955,” Jim told me, “when freshman pledges working in the kitchen could live in the old house. Whenever the house had parties with dates, we’d freeze a plate of mashed potatoes and gravy beforehand and serve it to a deserving member. 

“I roomed with a couple of twins on the second floor – Sherrell and Derrell. They both graduated with aeronautical engineering degrees and 4.0 GPAs. Possibly the most notable happening was our 1957 football loss, 0-7, to Notre Dame, which ended OU’s 47-game winning streak. We’d hoped to win 50 straight to celebrate Oklahoma’s 50 years of statehood.” Remember, OU beat Notre Dame the previous year 40-0, after beating Texas 45-0. And before beating OSU 53-0.


Here’s something else notable about OU-Texas: Jim said, “On a trip to the game, Rick Kingelin roared through a radar trap in north Texas, where they’d collect 10 cars and caravan us all to a judge. Rick asked me to go in with him in case he needed to borrow some money for his fine. The judge told one guy that he couldn’t accept a check, ‘not even from Theodore Roosevelt.’ I told Rick, ‘That’s good, ’cause he’s dead.” The judge heard me and said, ‘Wait ‘til I get you up here, you SOB, you’ll never see the light of day again.’

“Rick paid his fine and eased out the door. As soon as the judge looked down, I cleared out, too. As for the DKE goalpost, Rick and I retrieved a piece of a goalpost after the victory. I had my arms around two necks and went up in the air to come down and break the crosspiece just as a pair of hands grabbed it.” Rick said, “When we let go of Jim, his weight was enough to break a piece of it. Bob Ward and I grabbed it and wrestled our way out of the melee and took it to the Deke house.” Bob said, “I recall Matthews and others struggling for the wood. Some elbows were flying; it wasn’t a fight, but there were some bloody noses.” 


Jim graduated in 1960 with degrees in Math and Engineering, then signed up for Navy OCS. He served three years on the USS Maury, including a year commanding a 52-foot boat conducting inshore surveys in SE Asia. Jim said, “My Boson’s Mate later told me that when he first saw me, his initial thought was, ‘My God, it’s the Boy Scouts.’ 

“After the Navy, I grew a beard and went to sea for another 12 years with the Naval Oceanographic Office, then worked for the Naval Research Laboratory, performing Antisubmarine Warfare research. Mary Lou and I got married and had two sons, John and David. I decided to be a tree hugger for a while and worked for the EPA’s Gulf of Mexico Program to protect and preserve the waters of the Gulf. 


“Later, as the Director of the University of Southern Mississippi’s GIS and Remote Sensing Laboratory, we developed an AI system to predict the most likely areas for marijuana cultivation. Mary Lou was secretary to the Deputy Director of NASA’s Stennis Space Center then, and we decided to retire.”

Our youngest, David, retired as a Walmart manager and now runs a sporting goods store in Houston. John became a serious skydiver, with over 4,000 jumps. Two weeks after winning the National Championship, a gust of wind collapsed his chute, and he fell 60 feet onto the tarmac. He lived but received a Traumatic Brain Injury and has physical and memory problems.


“I now fish, garden, and market my second cookbook – Barbecue with Benefits: A Guide to Healthier Grilling and Smoking.” 

Jim’s no ordinary grill man. He was previously Food Editor for the “Gulf Coast Fisherman” magazine. He appeared as a guest chef on the New Orleans television program “Alec’s Kitchen,” which also hosted noted chefs Emeril Lagasse, John Folse, and Paul Prudhomme.

Jim’s website and Facebook page are PhD-level classes on grilling and delve deep into the history of each recipe’s food, its origin, its original spices, and how to pull hidden flavors out of the most ordinary ingredients. (Here’s his advice on measuring different salts in the Beef Taco recipe: *NOTE: Table, Morton kosher, and Crystal kosher salts all have different volume measures for the same amount of seasoning. One ounce of table salt equals 2 tablespoons Crystal Diamond kosher, 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons Morton kosher, and 1 tablespoon table salt.)

“My website and Facebook pages are here: and Facebook posts food trivia on Mondays and points to my BLOG on Thursdays, which posts a new BBQ recipe.”

I have a history with the Goal Post. I get a huge kick out of hearing about the lives of the Brothers who brought that trophy to the Deke house. 

                                                                                    Ron Sorter

Leave a comment if you wish, or contact us here. Keep an eye out for January’s Newsletter. 

Can you help us fund our activities? $50 a year is less than $5/month, and it would help our chapter immensely. Here’s our Donate Page. Thank You!

Please contact Rich Burns if you know of any Brothers who’ve passed away, or who aren’t receiving our Newsletter.

RIP, Randy


The ΡΛ Commo Crew