James Lambert '57

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Keeping it All in the Family with James Lambert '57

Why did you join?
Brothers C. Richard "Rick" Lambert '56 and Robert E. "Bob" Lambert '52, along with cousin Gilbert Lambert '53, are PSU Tekes. In addition, I wanted a "dry" house and a good study environment. Gary R. Lambert '76, Bob's son, also is a PSU Teke.

Tell us about your favorite memory of the fraternity.
The musical heritage was outstanding with the IFC sing competition and the dance trio created by music education major Fran Taylor '56. They played in the living room for couples on Saturday nights. On the foolish side of things, I remember doing mandated push-ups in the Ketchup Bowl during pledge activities.

With whom do you still stay in contact? Who would you most like to find?
I stay in touch with Robert W. Seamans '57, my pledge buddy and friend now living in Oceanview, Del. I would like to find Carl "Curly" Nale '56, Bill Dominick '56 - a transfer into my pledge class from the U. of Virginia who I believe graduated late due to mononucleosis and Gene DeMark '58 who played the trumpet, became a music teacher or band conductor in Pennsylvania and was a very funny man. He married a PSU grad, I believe.

Tell us about your family: Have you married? Do you have children?
My wife, M. Theresa Lambert, is misstated as a PSU '58 grad. She is a music education major from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. We were married in 1964. We have a son, Gavin (31). He and his wife, Rebecca, are both U. of Mass. Amherst alumni and have a son, John (21 months). They live within a 30-minute drive of our house. Terrie, my wife, taught K-6 music in public schools during her first career; she has been a realtor in Lexington, Mass., since 1986.

What other activities or organizations were you involved with during your college days?
I was involved in the Daily Collegian's photography section and at WDFM radio as a staff announcer. I worked 50 hours weekly as a senior through the university's placement office. The Tavern Restaurant employed me as a pizza chef for 30 hours weekly. I drove a classic British Ariel 1,000cc motorcycle. As a pledge, I interacted with a young girl affected by disability and sponsored by the Easter Seals Society. I transported her to her rehabilitative treatments.

What is your nickname, if applicable, and how did you get it?
Jim. In student days, I was often called "Jungle Jim" in reference to my penchant for life in the wilds including outdoor adventure. I was also called "Splinter" in reference to my extreme slimness (5'10" height and 128 lbs. at graduation). My health was excellent. The joke was that I was too thin to cast a shadow and could appear invisible to anyone approaching me from the side. Jokesters warned fraters about hurting themselves through collisions with an unseen object.

Did you live in the house? If so, who were your roommates? Tell us about a memorable time with them.
Yes. I also lived independently with Rick Lambert and Bob Seamans in an all-weather cabin in a state forest near Boalsburg. My roommates at the house were Walter "Wally" Fresch '56 and Bill Dominick. A memorable time was unfailingly humorous. Fresch, a Navy veteran and hard-nosed disciplinarian, majored in engineering and "mentored" Dominick and me rigorously. Dominick, who was smart but eternally "painless," spent most of the semester on the bed, totally wiped of energy, complaining of his mononucleosis (real or imagined?) and telling original, humorous stories that cracked me up daily but kept Fresch hacked off for the millennium. He thought Dominick a shirker.

What do you do for a living?
I am a university development officer. I presented live educational science programs on stage in 1,700 schools in North America and, later, edited a trade newspaper. From this experiential foundation of speaking and writing, I segued into raising funds for private, higher education. Now in my 38th year as a career development officer, I specialize in securing corporate and foundation support for Boston's Northeastern University, a private, national research university renowned for cooperative (practice-oriented) education. I have previously worked at USC, MIT, Yale, Children's Medical Center and Tufts U.

What affiliations do you currently have and/or public service do you participate in?
My religious faith is very important to me to practice and be involved with. My career takes a heavy commitment and leaves small encouragement to take on public service.

What hobbies do you enjoy?
My interests include military history, classic jazz, natural science and, above all, quality time and adventure with my wife.

What are your goals for the next few years?
I have no plans to retire. This is a high-stress profession fraught with mandated yearly dollar goals and inviolate deadlines. The objective of bringing education closer to those who aspire to succeed is an encompassing goal.