His pledge brothers say Brother Taylor Heidenheim was the light that guided the Gamma-Rho Chapter through the dark tunnel of the 1970’s, and 30 years after he left the Chapter House, the immense impact he made on Gamma-Rho still lingers.
Brother Heidenheim came to Gamma-Rho a rebel of sorts, with long, curly hair, a wild attitude and an infamous leather jacket with long fringes that he always wore. While he quickly calmed down upon meeting his wife, Debbie, his flair for fun never seemed to subside.
“He was definitely a maniac, just like all of us. He was always up for a trip to Rocky Point, that’s for sure,” said Pledge Brother Stu Hindley ’71. However, Brother Hindley added that while Brother Heidenheim knew how to have a good time, he also knew how to take the preservation of the chapter seriously, during a time when enrollment was down and membership was dropping to dangerous levels. “He knew what to do. He realized what had to be done,” Hindley said.
He and others took charge of restoring the chapter, whether it was ridding the house of those who really didn’t belong, to getting people to actually eat the food made in the house kitchen.
Working with him to bring Gamma-Rho back to being one of the best on campus was Brother John Turner ’71. “We faced some pretty tough times during those days, Taylor helped break the mold,” Turner said.
Brother Heidenheim’s knack for rallying the troops paid off. He was Grand Master for two terms. No alumni spends more time working at the Chapter House than Taylor does. He has an immense pride in the facility and tries to invoke that spirit of “ownership” in taking care of the facility in all the undergraduates. Because of his dedication to the fraternity, Taylor has been a Gamma-Rho Hall of Fame Inductee and Man of the Year in the past.
After graduating from the U of A in 1974, Brother Heidenheim picked up a job at Weyerhauser where he worked as an engineer. He quickly moved up the corporate ladder as a manager and team leader during the 1980s and 90s, overseeing projects throughout the facility and improving efficiency. Like setting up Gamma-Rho for success, he was also credited for setting up a very innovative state of the art monitoring system for safety throughout his facility, a process, which was carried out to others around the country.
Today, he’s a favorite among the brothers who golf. Since he became a Golf Starter for the Lodge at Ventana Canyon, he’s been known for getting brothers to play on the best courses in town.
And although the years have calmed Brother Heidenheim even more, Brother Hindley says that the course is the only place where his once wild demeanor peeks out. “He’s more calmed down now, as long as he doesn’t three putt,” he said.
Taylor is the current Property Manager for Kappa Sigma. He and his wife Debbie spend their winters in Tucson, with their six “children” (all with four legs).
This award is given to an undergraduate who serves as House Manager and demonstrates a true commitment to the cleanliness and maintenance of the Chapter House.
Ryan King ’04
Andrew Cohn ’05
Brian Freuler ’05
Alphonse Jacobellis ’07
Garret Hall ’07
Drew Delgado ’13
Austin Castillo ’13
Evan Molnar ’15 (2016)
Evan Molnar ‘15 (2017)