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Michael Grossman ’99 Can’t Help but Give Back Each Year

Michael with his two sons, Tyler (8) and Jack (6).

The lax stick in Michael's hand is actually the same one given to him in his sophomore year at Penn by his roommate in the Sigma Chi house, George Bell.

If you ask Michael Grossman ’99, Phi Phi was anything but the negative stereotype that most fraternities bear. Instead, he found it to be the perfect balance of everything he was looking for during college. Like for many others, that started with the desire for a smaller, closer-knit community within a school as big as Penn.

“During rush, it became clear to me that Sigma Chi was the community that I wanted to be a part of,” says Michael. “Surrounded by brothers with diverse interests and serious passions pursued outside of the house, but who at the end of the day came together upon common ground for friendship and release at 3809 Locust Walk.”

Like most of his pledge class, Michael was quite focused on his studies, and he balanced them with extracurricular activities like lightweight football and hockey. Sigma Chi, however, was what truly made the college experience complete.

“I most appreciated those nights coming back from the library, the football field, or the rink to the house, where there was always a different brother to unwind with,” he says, “either in the basement, the library, or someone’s room.”

And the brothers of Phi Phi, Michael says, were not at all what the fraternity stereotype would have you believe.

“Despite the perception of being a homogenous group of ‘frat guys,’ I found the brothers in Sigma Chi to be a fascinating group of people with unique interests, incredible smarts, and a deep loyalty for one another,” Michael says. “We held a true brotherhood.”

So many of my pledge class brothers have become extraordinary successes in life. I am incredibly proud and inspired by their accomplishments, be it in the fields of finance, medicine, entertainment, or entrepreneurship.

Michael moved to Boston following graduation for a job as a junior analyst at Putnam Investments, where he fell in love with investment management and the dynamic nature and challenge of beating the equity markets. Now almost 20 years later, he is still in the same industry as a portfolio manager for MSF Investments, where he has been for almost 12 years. He lives in the South End in Boston with his wife, Abby, and their two great sons, Tyler (8) and Jack (6).

Michael still keeps in touch with many of his Phi Phi brothers, primarily with Scott Glosserman, Jon Jachman, George Bell, Alex Rouse and Bobby Dziedziech from his ’96 pledge class. Living in vastly different cities (everywhere from New York to L.A. to London), it’s not always easy to visit or even have a conversation. But even when more time than usual passes between catching up, Michael says they always fall back into their friendships with incredible ease, all because of their Sigma Chi foundation. He also feels extremely honored to share that foundation with friends who have accomplished so much.

“So many of my pledge class brothers have become extraordinary successes in life,” says Michael. “I am incredibly proud and inspired by their accomplishments, be it in the fields of finance, medicine, entertainment, or entrepreneurship. I am lucky to have been a part of their small circle in college.”

It is the combination of all of these factors that keeps Michael supporting Phi Phi however he can.

“I recall that simply ‘pay(ing) your dues,’ in the words of Steve Harris ’00, didn’t cover all of the costs of the Sigma Chi experience,” says Michael. “Given all that I gained personally from my days in Sigma Chi at Penn, I can’t help but give back each year.”

Outside of his work, Michael spends a great deal of time with his family. He especially enjoys watching his boys play sports and coaching them in hockey and lacrosse.

“I guess some of the lax knowledge from some of my Phi Phi brothers has rubbed off on me!” he says.

(This must be true, as he still to this day uses the lacrosse stick given to him his sophomore year at Penn by George Bell, his roommate in the house.)

Michael also has a deep passion for saltwater fishing, and spends as much time as he can on the water. He keeps a boat in Boston Harbor, and says that he would be happy to take any Phi Phis out on Cape Cod Bay for a day of fishing if anyone finds themselves in the area.