Mark C. Cross, Jr. '82

Profile Mark C. Cross, Jr.

Alumnus Advisor, Gamma
Chapter: Gamma '82 - University of Georgia

Education: B.S. from the University of Georgia.

Professional: Sr. Vice President IJL
Wachovia Securities Athens,Ga. Financial Advisor.

Personal: He and his wife, Susie have two sons, Curry, 6, and John, 4.

Hobbies include hunting, golf, and UGA athletics. Member of the Athens Touchdown Club.

Volunteer service: University Greek Housing Steering Committee; Athens First United Methodist Church: Finance Committee, founded and served as president of the Partners Sunday school class for three years; Gamma Chapter's alumni advisor: 1999 to present; President, Gamma Advisors: Member, Gamma Housing Corp.; member, of the advisory board since 1997.

What made you decide to stay involved with the chapter after the risk management incident that nearly closed the chapter?
"When the incident happened in the fall of 2000, I chose to stay involved with Gamma because I new that we had a great group of young men and that they had gotten side tracked. As I talked to past Number I's on how the chapter functioned when they were in school, I was able to determine that the chapter had drifted in the last 4 or 5 years from the basics of what KA was founded on. There was also a good nucleus of young men that shared the same ideals and vision for KA that existed when I was in the chapter. We also had a number of men whose fathers, brothers, and uncles had been in the chapter and wanted to preserve the history of Gamma. Long story short, it was the quality of men who chose to stay and rebuild the chapter the right way."

What advice could you give to other alumni volunteers who may face similar situations?
"Listen to the university's concerns and be a mediator between the students and the university. Listen to the Greek advisors and administrators as they have a good idea of what is happening in your chapter. The incident that may get the chapter in trouble might be the tip of the iceberg...you have to dig deep to find the real attitude of the chapter. If doubts remain, then do a full membership review. You've got to find out who really cares about KA and the chapter. If a member doesn't show up, or becomes confrontational, you show them the door. Everybody has to be on the same page; everyone's expectations must be made clear. It is amazing what can happen when everyone sits down and communicates."

How has the risk management incident and the ensuing bad PR affected Gamma's alumni?
"The effect on the alumni would have been general embarrassment. But once we became aware of the problem we did everything in our power as alumni advisors to make sure that the chapter owned up to the situation. It took hundreds of long hours working with over two dozen alumni and members of the national staff to resolve the problem. I think everyone is confident that the chapter has owned up to their short-comings. We didn't strike a back room deal...it was a fare process and the university worked with us."

What attributes do you think a good alumnus advisor should have?
"A good alumnus advisor should lead with honesty and integrity. Our job is to hold these younger men accountable, while also remembering that a fraternity is a laboratory for them to learn in. We all learn a great deal from our mistakes. I know that the mistakes I made in college were numerous, and some of my college friends that read this article will be shaking their heads, but those mistakes have made me a better person and have hopefully enabled me to be a good role model for the men of Gamma. It is amazing how far a reverence for God and a chivalrous respect for women can take you in life."

What has been your greatest satisfaction working with the undergraduate members of Gamma?
"The satisfaction of seeing these younger men grow is boundless. To see a Number I develop into a true leader and reach his full potential in school is just great. The common bond of KA that transcends every generation is fantastic. I like working with young people...they keep you on your toes and their energy and zest for life is refreshing. It has been time well spent."

Brad Thomas '86

Q & A with Brad Thomas '86

Bulldogs football, road trips to Washington, D.C., and hanging out with friends are some of the favorite Kappa Alpha memories of Brad Thomas '86. He still spends time with KA friends in the Atlanta area. Here's a brief Q&A interview with Brad, which is part of an ongoing series designed to help us get to know our brothers better. If you would like to recommend a brother for a future profile, please send his name and initiation year, along with your name and year, to our alumni relations service at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Make sure to mention that it's for Kappa Alpha at the University of Georgia.

Why did you join?
I joined KA because the guys I met seemed like
very solid guys. It really did not seem to matter whether you were from a white-collar background or a blue-collar background. The only thing that seemed to matter was you as a person. The fact that it was rooted in the South appealed to me as well.

Tell us about your favorite memory of the fraternity.
My favorite memory has to be football Saturdays in Athens. I would look forward to it the entire week, and game day never disappointed me. Even when we lost, which was rare, the game day atmosphere at the KA mansion was great. We would always have fried chicken before the game, and several alumni and family members would come to the house to visit, and everyone would be getting fired up about the Dawgs. After the game, we usually had a party outside the house.

Did you live in the house? If so, who were your roommates? Tell us about a memorable time with them.
I lived in the house for two years with David Scott '86, the biggest sports nut I know. If we ever lost a football game, David would go into a deep depression. In fact, he would take losses so hard that everything I just said about game day Saturdays did not apply to David. He and I are still close friends. The best thing about living in the house was getting to know everybody really well.

With whom do you still stay in contact?
We have a big group in Atlanta and try to get together once a month. David Scott helps keep us all in touch. The group includes Jay and David, and Henry Bishop '85, Whit Byram '85, Alex Cann '85, Billy Chipman '86, Jon Christensen '87, Mark Cross '82, Chip Hackett '85, Glenn Kolker '89, Jon LeDoyen '88, Matt Moffett '84, Hamp Roane '85, Matt Roane '84, Marcus Simmons '87, Steve Thornton '85, Chuck Waters '84, John Yates, Todd Yates '85 and a bunch of other guys.

What kind of influence has the fraternity had on your life since graduation?
Countless influences. First, I met my wife through the KA connection. I went to a fraternity brother's wedding where I met Christine, a Kappa Alpha Theta sorority sister and friend of the bride.

The fraternity is also an influence on business. When I graduated from law school, having KA on my resume opened several doors for me. It continues to play a role in business today.

One of my current law partners, Steve Thornton, is a fraternity brother. And finally, the fraternity has given me many lifelong friends.

Tell us about your family.
I am married to Christine Dieterle Thomas. We have two children: Anna (3) and Brett (2).

Tell us a little about your job.
I am a partner in a law firm, Warshuaer Woodruff & Thomas, in Atlanta, Ga. We represent catastrophically injured people.

What affiliations do you currently have and/or public service do you participate in?
I am involved in the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, the American Trial Lawyers Association and the Academy of Rail Labor Attorneys. Additionally, I am involved in several charitable organizations including Leader's Legacy Inc., a nonprofit organization founded to help businesses and individuals learn about leadership development skills.

What hobbies do you enjoy?
Georgia Bulldogs and talking about the Bulldogs! I also enjoy fishing, hunting and bicycling.

What are your goals for the next few years?
Professionally, I hope to see my law firm grow and continue to serve my clients well. Personally, I hope to be able to spend a substantial amount of time with my wife and kids. Hopefully, coaching soccer, Little League and football will be in the mix as well.

Brothers may contact Brad by phone at 404-892-4900.

Peyton H. Keaton III '62

Q & A with Peyton H. Keaton III '62

Why did you join?
Several reasons. One was my older brother (Ferrell Keaton) was a KA at Univ.of Ga. when I transferred from North Ga.Military College in Dahlonega,Ga. at the end of my Sophomore year. He told me to make up my own mind when I was going through "Rush". It was not a hard decision to make. I was impressed with the type of brothers that I met during "Rush". Most stood head and shoulders above the ones in other frats.

Tell us about your favorite memory of the fraternity
Old South Ball in Atlanta. Friendships that have lasted a lifetime. Appreciating the seriousness of what KA stands for and unlike other frats that were mostly about partying.
I am convinced KA,in most part,is truly a frat of Southern Gentlemen.

What kind of influence has the fraternity had on your life since graduation?
It helped me embrace the code KA believes in,such as being a southern gentleman and respecting womanhood. Good character and honesty were expected and helped fine tune each brother in such a way that it carried over into our lives after graduation.

With whom do you still stay in contact? Who would you most like to find?
John Edwards. John was my "LIL" Brother in the fraternity. We continue to this day having a close brotherly relationship. I plan to go out West to visit him this summer on a cattle drive. He went on it last year and envited me to join him this coming year. I accepted the envitation. The cattle drive is in Montana and will last for 3 weeks.

Tell us about your family: Have you married? Do you have children?
I have been married for 35 years and have two children. Both are grown and on their own. I have a daughter and a son. She is 32 and married with no kids. Her name is Kristie Kaye Yarger. She graduated from Valdosta Univ.(division of univ of Ga.). Her husband is Cory Yarger of Atlanta. They live in Roswell,Ga. My son is 30 and graduated from Univ. of Fla. He received a full basketball scholarship to Stetson Univ in Deland,Fla. He is 6'8'' tall and was an outstanding ball player. He was injured in a game and could not continue playing so he transferred to Univ. of Fla where he graduated with honors in Management. He is currently single and working for a management firm in Orlando where he is Vice President. He also goes to law school part time in Orlando. He will graduate (with honors) next Christmas. His name is Peyton H. Keaton IV. He plans to specialize in labor law. He was a phi delt at Fla. My wife has been a life time homemaker after teaching elementary school for two years before we married. She is a deacon in our church (First Presbyterian Church). Along with being on a tennis team and playing golf regularly, she keeps busy. Needless to say, we are enjoying life in sunny Orlando, Fla. (now that the hurricanes are gone)? Ha!

What other activities or organizations were you involved with during your college days?
I worked summers in sales and that helped me decide to go into a career in sales after college. I was not, needless to say, a great student. I had to scrap for my grades. When you come from a small farm area with a population of approx. 2500, the schools were not the best and the teachers were only "adequate". Not making excuses though, I had ample opportunity to better myself in school. Like many, I played more than I studied, I was just glad to graduate! After leaving Ga and working in Nashville, Tenn with my first job, I realized my folly and while working,I attended Univ. of Tenn. extension in Nashville. I took a marketing course and made the best grade I ever made in college. I thought to myself, "if I had only applied myself when at Ga,how much better I COULD have done". Maturity comes too late for some of us. However, a sales career has been most rewarding for me. In summary, I was not active in other activities while at Georgia.

What is your nickname, if applicable, and how did you get it?
I was called,"Hoss" at the KA house. I got that nickname because I had trouble remembering all the brothers names when I was in my first year as a pledge. I just called them "Hoss" and it became obvious to the brothers that I didn't remember their names so they started calling me "Hoss" in return. It stuck during my frat days at the KA house. thankfully it ended when I graduated and left Athens.

Did you live in the house? If so, who were your roommates? Tell us about a memorable time with them.
I lived at the house for one year and moved to an apartment off campus. I was able to get more studying done in a quieter atmosphere. I would go to the frat house during the week and on weekends.

What do you do for a living?
I am a semi retired Realtor in Orlando, Fla. I bought houses 30 years ago and rented them . I continue doing so today. I have sold 9 of the 20 houses I own. I plan to sell 9 of the remaining 11.My houses are in downtown Orlando. I am leaving my daughter and son a house each in my will. That will end my being a landlord,FINALLY! I sold residential real estate for those 30 years and became sales mgr of 2 Real Estate companies. I enjoyed real estate and it made a very good living for me and my family.

What affiliations do you currently have and/or public service do you participate in?
I was a J.C. when I lived in Atlanta. I am currently involved with the Orange County Sheriff's Dept in a voluntary compacity. No, I won't be carrying a "Glock". Ha! I will however wear a Sheriff's uniform while doing voluntary duties. It is my way of giving back to a community that has been very good to me in my Real Estate career.

What hobbies do you enjoy?
I used to fly a Cessna 150 but gave it up years ago. I fished, hunted, played golf and watched sports events. I have cut back on many of those except, on occasion. I play a little golf and go to ball games.

What are your goals for the next few years?
Now that I am 66 years old, I plan to kick back and enjoy my retirement! Do some traveling and fishing.

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