Jeff McGraw ’88: Phi Sig gave me leadership skills and friendships that continue today

Jeff McGraw ’88 says that he pledged to Phi Sig because of its culture and brotherhood. “The guys who were in the house at the time and the culture of Phi Sig was a better fit for me than the other houses that I rushed,” he says. “I also felt that I could be more involved and provide a bigger impact to Phi Sig.”

As he got more involved, he found even more to admire. “Over time, I am proud to know that Phi Sigma Kappa has a strong board of directors, executive committee, alumni base, and a great group of actives who continue to manage, support, and grow our Chapter.”

He became involved in leadership, first as Rush Chair and then as Chapter President. “Living in the house and being part of the Phi Sig leadership provided so many opportunities for maturity, growth, and responsibility,” he says. “Learning to live with 30 other brothers provided me the opportunity for bonding and friendships that continue to this day.” 

“From a leadership and responsibility perspective we, as young 19–20-year olds, were responsible for developing and managing a $100,000 budget, overseeing the purchase of house supplies, and even the hiring (and firing) of our house chef. These were great learning opportunities.”

But the most impactful thing that Phi Sig did for him? “Without my fraternity, I wouldn’t have met my wife!” he says. “During one of our rush dinners, I met Steve Thompson ’89. As we talked, we discovered that our fathers both worked at the same company, and knew each other well. Fast forward to the best part of the story … A few years after graduation, Steve and I were at happy hour at a local bar called Kason’s in Pittsburgh. Steve introduced me to one of his co-workers, Sharon, who became my wife.”

Today, McGraw owns and manages recruiting and search firm Reflex Staffing Solutions, a Pittsburgh company with a global reach that provides direct-hire and contract staffing. He and wife Sharon (also a Penn State alumnus) have two sons who graduated from Penn State. 

He’s remained involved in leadership with Kappa Chapter, serving on the alumni association and capital campaign committee. He says that giving back to the house is critical. 

“I volunteer on the board because I want to ensure the continuity of our chapter so that our new brothers have the same and better opportunities that I had during my time as an active. I also believe that, when managed the right way, a Fraternity can play an important role in a person’s growth, development, and maturity.”

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