June 15, 2010: New Concord, Ohio—Nearly ten years ago, a bond of brotherhood was formed at Delta Lambda chapter at Muskingum. From the outside, this bond may have looked just like any other fraternity friendship, but years later, it would be tested and proven to withstand even the most difficult situations.
The connection that Rob McBurney, Muskingum ’00, and Luke Ford, Muskingum ’02, made with Quincy Conner, Muskingum ’99, when they became associate members of the Fraternity was “pivotal,” McBurney said.
“The bond we created at the Phi Tau house at a pivotal point in our developing lives is for life,” he said. “It’s in all the smiles and laughter that the trust is there, knowing all these guys would lay down for you … even after 10 years.”
Conner was well-liked by everyone and “took care” of everyone, McBurney said. He became a father at a young age and worked hard to provide for his daughter, Trinity, and wife, Sarah. Both McBurney and Ford said they learned a lot about the “power of fatherhood” from Conner.
One day, at the end of 2005, Conner came home from work, ate dinner with his family and put his daughter to bed. Not long after, his wife found him laying on the floor downstairs. Conner had suffered a heart attack and entered Chapter Eternal at 28 years of age.
“The legacy [Quincy] left to us was in his passionate pursuit for honor, devotion, pride and, above all, happiness,” McBurney and Ford wrote on the foundation’s website they created in Conner’s name, www.thequincyconnerfoundation.com. “For life, for love, for family, for friends, Quincy brought all of us together and shared with us all of these gifts which continue to brighten our lives.
“An icon for the pinnacle of fatherhood, friendship, marriage, brotherhood and leadership, he will remain forever in our hearts.”
The Quincy Conner Foundation was founded to completely fund Conner’s daughter’s higher-education expenses. A testament to the bond of brotherhood that is created in Phi Kappa Tau, to this day, McBurney, Ford, and their other Delta Lambda brothers keep Conner’s memory alive and haven’t strayed from their original mission.
The foundation’s goal is to raise a minimum of $150,000 for Trinity’s college expenses. The group raised $3,500 in its first year, and this year’s goal is $7,000.
To reach that $7,000 mark by the end of 2010, the foundation will host the second annual “Know your Hole” golf outing at 8 a.m. on July 31, 2010, at Champions Golf Course in Columbus, Ohio. A benefit dinner will follow the tournament at the 94th Aero Squadron in Columbus. All of the proceeds will benefit the foundation. Brothers and friends can learn more about the event at www.thequincyconnerfoundation.com/events/golf.php.
“The goal of our events is to bring together anyone and everyone who has had the opportunity to meet Quincy and wants to share with us their personal stories and smile as we celebrate his life and make sure his daughter feels his everlasting support through us,” McBurney said.
McBurney and Ford said they have been overwhelmed by the support that Conner’s brothers, friends and family have shown for the foundation.
“The process has been like trying to contain a wildfire in 50 mph winds,” McBurney said. “The amount of overwhelming support coming from every crevice of his life has been a testament to who he was and how he made people feel. It’s brought so many of us closer and rekindled old relationships while creating new memories.”
The two friends point to the foundation’s first event as proof that their brother meant the world to countless people: Conner’s Phi Tau brothers traveled to Ohio from 13 states with two months notice.
“There isn’t enough paper to write down what Luke or I personally have learned,” McBurney said. “But one is that brotherhood really does last a lifetime.”