Nolan Mitchell ’95 knows all about brotherhood support. When he was a junior at Drake University, he and another Theta Chi brother were in a serious motorcycle accident on Forest Avenue. Nolan said while it was days and weeks of recovery, Gamma Tau brothers were always by his side. “It was amazing for my family to watch the brotherhood come together and make the tragedy a bit more bearable,” he said. “I still remember the Friday morning, four days after the accident, when I was scheduled to be flown by air ambulance back to a hospital in Milwaukee and nearly 20 people were in my hospital room before 9 am to say goodbye. It was unexpected and uplifting at the same time.”
Over the next few weeks, the phone calls and encouragement from his Gamma Tau brothers are what pushed him to get back to Drake, beating any doctor’s expectations. “Once I was a part of Theta Chi it was the brotherhood itself and eveything it encompassed that kept me for life,” he said.
Nolan served as secretary and chapter president of Gamma Tau while earning a degree in sociology. He has spent the past three years living in Shanghai, China, as vice president of Asian operations for Richloom Fabrics. “I think Theta Chi helped significantly in my ability to lead and manage a diverse organization,” he said. “The diversity was a big reason why I chose Theta Chi. Now I’m dealing on a regular basis with different languages, cultures, food, etc., and that experience at Theta Chi certainly helped.”
Nolan’s experiences in Gamma Tau are what encouraged him to give back to the campaign. “We need a new foundation for the brothers of the future and that is the reason I support the plan to build a new chapter house,” he said. “A comfortable, safe, and updated house will help recruit the next generation for sure.”
While he lies halfway around the world, Nolan still finds time to connect with his fraternity brothers. “I maintain close friendships with a number of the brothers,” he said. “We have a group called Fat Boys that tries our best to get together on an annual basis, but it hets harder each year. We’ve been to Colorado, Florida, Las Vegas, Chicago, DC, and even a few of us went back to Drake for Relays in 2012.”
Nolan said living in China allows him the luxury of a country-mandated vacation twice a year for a week at a time. These holidays have allowed him to see places like Mongolia, Bhutan, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Cambodia. In his free time he trains for races in triathlons. This year he participated in three half Ironman races known as Ironman 70.3. These took him to Singapore the Philippines, and Taiwan. He has also raced in Thailand and Korea.