Bob “K” Kochman ’73: Phi Sigma Kappa meant “Friends for Life” 

Along with some of his best times at Penn State, Bob Kochman’s Kappa chapter experience blessed him with some meaningful friendships that lasted long after graduation: 

“We communicate daily (I’m not exaggerating, daily) via text and email, amazing that the short period of time we were together has become decades of shared experiences.” 

As an undergrad, he was attracted to a house that was “always in the top ten in both academics and sports out of the 53 fraternities” and the strong impression made by the upperclassmen at the time. “(They) were great role models. Individuals from that group excelled after graduation to a great degree. I know at least three of them became doctors and others successful in business.” 

Looking back on his fraternity days, he fondly recalls the social experience and nonstop banter of communal television viewing in the “Tube Room” – “There were no personal TVs… I feel sorry for the current actives who don’t have that experience” – and the tradition of “bagging,” dropping water balloons on unsuspecting brothers walking or standing outside the house. “Just thinking about it makes me laugh.” 

Bob also a remembers hitting the road for Spring Break 1972: “Four of us piled into Rick Stratford’s (’72) grandmother’s Dodge Dart and drove to Fort Lauderdale. My shift was driving from Virginia to the Florida border with Little Dick yelling at me every time I drove over 60 mph. We camped out, went to the beach every day. Worst sunburn I ever had. On the way back we stopped at the brand new Disney World. We stayed out of trouble, no arrests, but just a great time.” 

Memories of the glory days will always have their welcome place, but for Bob, the true lasting gift of Phi Sigma Kappa has been “the group that I communicate with daily. A lot of it is fun and games but we also ask for and get advice when needed. My biggest support system.” 

His advice for the current actives? Don’t wait until these days have passed to appreciate them. 

“There is a time to be very serious about the academic side, but we always managed to find time to enjoy ourselves. I hope they don’t forget that there are decades of life after college to establish careers, raise families and that time goes so fast. I hope taking time to stop and appreciate what you have in the moment is always a big part of your time at Kappa Mansion.” 

A marketing major, Bob worked in heavy duty truck sales. His last position was President & CEO at Houston Mack/Isuzu, a truck sales and leasing organization. He lives with his wife in Wimberly, Texas. They have three children and three grandchildren. 

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