This month’s featured is Frater Don Beeson, scroll 78
Frater Donald D. Beeson was born in Shenandoah, Iowa in 1934, and graduated high school there in May of 1952. After his service in the Korean War, (USAF) he then attended NWMSC, graduating in 1959 with a BS degree in Accounting and Economics.
This period of time for TKE and fraternity life was dynamic, with TKE being located in the Quads where all fraternities lived in close quarters. During this time period TKE was first to introduce the Rah-Rah jacket, first to don formal wear (white dinner jackets) for composite photos, and added the Alphas as our ‘sister’ sorority. Volunteerism was underway and directed to charities including Noyes Children’s Home in St. Joseph.
In the late 50s, there was a number of returning TKE military servicemen with wives. One couple, Paul and Carla White, hosted ‘Bull Sessions’ where much of the planning for TKE projects took place over pizzas and chili. TKE welcoming servicemen introduced a level of maturity and a can-do attitude that propelled Delta Nu forward in big ways. It was one such session in 1958 that was the genesis for TKE being the first fraternity to move off campus into their own house at 222 West Cooper. Don was the signor for that purchase, but he is quick to site the efforts of Dale Cooper (first House Manager) as instrumental in taking a residence to fraternity home.
TKE was out front – setting the pace.
Don lived off campus after his first year and found himself above the pool hall in Maryville which may have sharpened his game, but challenged his GPA at times. The Palms was close by as well, and many TKE dances were held at the Elks Club as they were not possible on campus. Theme parties were the norm, and Don’s job as PLAYBOY campus rep ‘made possible lots of party decorations’.
After his Maryville years, Don worked for Principal Financial Group in Insurance and Financial Product sales, specializing in Estate and Financial Planning. He earned an MFS from American College in Bryn Mar, PA as well as his CLU-ChFC designations. He served on the Northwest Foundation where he was President for a total of six years in three separate terms from 1986 to 1998, and was also a board member of the West Des Moines Historical Society. Don has also been awarded a ‘Hall of Fame’ designation by the Principal Financial Group, as well as a ‘Lifetime Achievement’ award. NWMSU has given Don a ‘Distinguished Alumni Award’ as well as the ‘Turret Award’ for his contributions.
Don married his wife Ann in 1980 and they raised five children, including Don’s daughter and two sons. Don’s daughter Kimberley is a retired US Navy Lt. Cmdr. His son Scott is a US Coast Guard Captain, overseeing the Gulf Oil Spill cleanup. His youngest, D. Erich was Delta Nu TKE Prytanis from 1988 to 1989 and works for Royal Oaks Hospital in Windsor, MO. Don and Ann are currently retired in West Des Moines, Iowa and he enjoys studying history of the Civil War era and traveling. Ann is a retired banking executive.
In summary – Don stated “… from 1956 through the years, he has watched Delta Nu benefit from the talents and personalities of hundreds of fraters who brought uniqueness to the brotherhood – that believe in ‘fraternity for life’.”