TG Brotherhood – David Gagnon

TG Brotherhood – David Gagnon

David Gagnon stands next to his pledge class paddle
David Gagnon stands next to his pledge class paddle

Lifelong friendships are built yearly at Alfred State. Friendships built in the classroom, the dorms, the athletic fields, or in one of the various groups or organizations on campus.

For 1984 graduate David Gagnon his connection and love for Alfred State College stems from the brotherhood he found as a member of Gamma Theta Gamma fraternity.

“It means the world to me! It is where I started. In high school I was a nobody. At Alfred State I pledged, and I got involved. I exploded into a real person.”

Gagnon decided to attend Alfred State late in the summer of 1977. He enrolled in the building construction program and was squeezed into an apartment in Wellsville. 

“I have a lot of family in the construction business. I enjoyed doing construction over breaks. I caught on quick and did well. I thought I could make something of this.”

During his first semester he was introduced to Gamma Theta Gamma and decided to pledge the fraternity. “When I pledged, I was young (17). I didn’t know anything. When I went to rush meetings, I was drawn to the concepts of bonding, trust, unity, community service, and helping out the town in general. I saw the potential before I pledged and that is why I pledged. I thought it would make college an interesting experience.”

He was a part of a pledge class of 12 and quickly was drawn to the idea of leadership roles within the fraternity. He ran for office and became vice president. He also became involved in the Inter Fraternity Sorority Council and served as president of that organization. 

“I learned how to deal with different people and different issues. We dealt with campus administrators and had a lot of responsibilities. I leaned on the skills I developed. They helped me tremendously starting in the work world and moving up.”

Gagnon moved to MacKenzie East his second semester and spent the rest of his college years living in the fraternity house.

After earning his first degree from Alfred State, Gagnon struggled finding a job in the construction field in his hometown of Syracuse. His love of Alfred and a dream of becoming an architect drew him back to work on another degree. He completed a year of the architecture program and took a few years off before returning to complete his degree in 1984.

Nearing graduation, a couple of his pledge brothers convinced Gagnon to head to Florida with them to start their careers.
“I found a job in two weeks in Florida in architecture. It was booming down there with new construction. At Alfred, I had learned how to use CAD machines to do design and the job I found was looking for someone that knew CAD. I knew it and they hired me on the spot. I became an expert with the software and was in high demand.”

A recession slowed down the construction in Florida in 1992 and Gagnon decided to take some classes in appraising. He caught on quickly and spent the rest of his career appraising commercial properties from $100,000 to a $1,000,000,000.
A move to Boston, MA and retirement has given Gagnon more free time in recent years. He realized he needed to reconnect with his roots and Gamma Theta Gamma.

“Last August, I reconnected with the fraternity and decided I wanted to get involved again. I met brothers I hadn’t seen since 1978.”

“Brothers have been through the same thing no matter when they pledged. The same concepts were engrained into our minds. We are taught the same things and focus on the same things. That is what makes it special.”

David Gagnon and fellow brothers at the 2022 clambake
David Gagnon and fellow brothers at the 2022 clambake

Conversations with fellow brothers led Gagnon to wanting to give back to an organization that holds such a big part of his life.

“I’ve met with other brothers. They talked about different initiatives, and one was creating scholarships. I have wanted to do something related with scholarships for the past ten years. I didn’t know how to do it. I got involved and it got my juices flowing. I heard about the endowment concept, and it was golden. We need to make this happen immediately.”

This reconnection and passion to help future brothers led Gagnon back to campus this spring for the annual clambake. During the visit he connected with old friends and met newer members of the brotherhood. Conversations that brought out even more of his love for the impact Alfred State and Gamma Theta Gamma had on his life.

“My personality came out and my confidence came out. Without Alfred and Gamma Theta Gamma, who knows if I would have matured the way I did and so fast.”

Gagnon is proud to be part of a brotherhood that has existed at Alfred State for over 100 years.