First Take

 Ken Imwinkelried

Finding family

Sac State alumni often gain a second family through clubs and organizations— or in Ken Imwinkelried’s case a fraternity— that lasts well beyond graduation.

My college career didn’t start (or even end) at Sacramento State. But like many of you, I found family here.

Oddly, my introduction to this new Sacramento State family started in a small Midwestern town. As a freshman at Miami University, I rushed Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE). Fast forward a couple years and many great memories, I found myself moving back to California and enrolling at Sacramento State in the spring of 2007. Walking through campus to class my very first day, I stumbled on several fraternity/sorority rush booths. Much to my delight, one booth had those familiar letters affixed: TKE, my extended family. In an instant, I was home again surrounded by my brothers —a rambunctious, energetic, and above all loyal, family of brothers.

I soon learned about the tragic loss of one of my TKE brothers the prior summer—Ryan Huhn. I heard countless stories from fellow members and his sister, Kendall, who was attending Sacramento State at the time. Ryan had entered Sacramento State in the fall of 2003, and was pursuing a degree in business. He planned to deploy his passion in the culinary arts through restaurant management. He was a brother clearly espousing our core principles of love, charity and esteem, as highlighted in his final act of fortitude as an organ donor. I repeatedly heard about his bright smile, positive outlook, and ability to light up a room. To put it mildly, an irreplaceable part of our TKE brotherhood—as well as a beloved literal brother, son and friend—had been lost in that accident.

Andrea Arango

LASTING LEGACY—Communication studies major Andrea Arango is the 2014-15 recipient of the Ryan Huhn Memorial Scholarship. Huhn’s Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity brothers established the award to pay tribute to him.

Sadly, I never had the opportunity to meet Ryan in person, although his spirit lives on in the lasting impression he left on the men and women whom I met at Sacramento State. To continue Ryan’s legacy, my TKE brothers and I were inspired to establish a small scholarship in his honor. While paling in comparison to the gifts he gave us, the Ryan Huhn Memorial Scholarship is a lasting tribute to the love and camaraderie he shared in his time at Sacramento State. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet several of the recipients. I have been proud to see those small funds put to hard work with the passion to pursue their goals and dreams, the same way as Ryan did.

When graduates discuss collegiate relationships, many mention professional networking opportunities. This is undoubtedly true. However, reminiscing now on my time at Sacramento State, what I treasure most is the extended family that I gained, my TKE brothers—most of all, the brother I never had the privilege of meeting, Ryan Huhn.

For more information on, or to make a gift to, the Ryan Huhn Memorial Scholarship, contact the Office of University Development at (916) 278-6989.

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