A leader in the fraternity can transfer his skills to many different places. Brother Sidney Dunn (Wayne State, 1968) is a past Executive Vice-President of Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity and Foundation. He has managed other entities, including two educational foundations.
Brother Dunn grew up in Detroit, Michigan. Celebrating all of the Jewish holidays, going to shul every shabbos, he attended Yeshiva Beth Yehuda from Kindergarten through 8th grade. He then attended public high school.
After entering Wayne State as an accounting major and working for a CPA firm for two years and two tax seasons, Brother Dunn did not want to become an accountant anymore. “So I transferred into the College of Education and graduated with a B.A. in education.” He did his student teaching in the Detroit area.
During his freshman fall semester, Brother Dunn had a long-time friend from Yeshiva Beth Yehuda attending Wayne State. “In college, he was in the fraternity already because he was a year ahead of me. At Wayne, I reacquainted myself with him.” Brother Dunn’s friend asked him to come to the AEPI table at the student union. A few months later, Dunn became a Brother. He served the chapter as scribe and rush chair. “I went to the Convention in Miami Beach in 1966 as the chapter scribe and heard a brilliant keynote address by Regional Governor Sherwin Pomerantz (NYU Heights, 1960). I got very involved and very excited about the fraternity after convention.”
After graduating, Brother Dunn taught American History and English at the 8th grade level from 1969 to 1974 in Omaha, Nebraska where he met and married his wife of 53 years Linda. “Eighth grade is a very challenging year, when students grow from being children to young adults.” He then went back to work for AEPI in 1974 as the Executive Secretary training with George Toll (Pennsylvania, 1934).
When he came back to the fraternity in 1974, AEPI only had 45 chapters and colonies and about a third of them were not predominantly Jewish. The goal was to make AEPI a predominantly Jewish fraternity again. “There were a lot of middle of the road fraternities in the fraternity world and AEPI was never going to be Sigma Chi or SAE or PIKE. The best way to exist was to be a Jewish fraternity.” Brother Dunn and then Supreme Master Phil Cohen were on the same page when it came to developing the mission statement of AEPI. Brother Dunn also helped develop a relationship between AEPI and Hillel. “The most rewarding part was expanding the fraternity and meeting new people, getting them excited about the opportunities in AEPI for leadership and cultural identity.”
Brother Dunn traveled a lot for AEPI. “My favorite memory was when I was working for AEPI and I visited our chapter at the University of Omaha. I met my future wife there. We went on a date. Even though it was a long distance relationship, we made it work. We’ve been married 53 years.” He focused on expansion, and starting new chapters and colonies of AEPI when he traveled. He traveled most of the year, for almost three years and then took over the management of the fraternity and moved the office from St. Louis to Omaha, Nebraska. “I continued to travel and work for the fraternity for the next 30 years.”
After retiring from AEPI, Brother Dunn became the Executive Director of the Fraternity Executives Association and the North American Interfraternity Foundation. In 2004 and 2005, he created a management company and picked up two more clients, The Osteopathic Cranial Academy (OCA) and the Osteopathic Cranial Academy Foundation. “I managed two educational foundations and two membership organizations as a consultant.” He created a consulting practice, so that he could continue to serve non-profit organizations. He is also the founder and second president of the Fraternity Insurance Purchasing Group and served on the Fraternity Risk Management Trust.
Brother Dunn has won numerous awards including the Order of the Lion (AEPI’s highest honor); the Distinguished Service Award from the Fraternity Executives Association; the Gold Medal of the North American Interfraternity Conference; and the American Academy of Osteopathy’s Academy Award. “I’ve been fortunate enough to have a number of honors in my career. You become a product of the opportunities afforded to you and I tried to make the best of those opportunities.”
Currently, Brother Dunn volunteers and manages five Jewish cemeteries in Indianapolis. He is highly involved in the synagogue that he helped found, Congregation Shaarey Tefilla. “I am the Gabbai (Ritual Director). I lead services, read Torah, and chant Haftorahs.
“Not everyone is meant to be a leader. You cannot be a leader if you do not have people following you. Identify those who will be leaders in your chapter and work with them to develop their individual skills. That is how the fraternity grows and prospers.”
For those who wish to reconnect with Brother Dunn, his email is: [email protected].