The John Paul Hartwig Literary Prize
Jack McCafferty, P’21
Pledge Class 2017
I would like to start off by thanking the alumni association as well as his family for offering the brothers of the Peninsular Chapter a scholarship opportunity in honor of John Hartwig. I was incredibly sorry to hear when John had passed away, and I hope he is resting in peace and watching over us from Heaven.
I believe the notion of the scholarship heavily represents the values that John held in relation to all aspects of his life. Having met John and having read about him, it is very clear that he has had a lasting impact on the community, as well as the people around him.
For many years John served on the board of several different organizations, such as Beaumont Health and The American Red Cross Michigan Region, as well as working at the Colombo and Colombo law firm for over 40 years. John possessed strong qualities of leadership, which I am sure led him to succeed in these positions. He was also a very personable man, who was willing to listen and work in a team with others. Being a part of the board of an organization such as Beaumont Health showed that John stood for and agreed on the position to uphold integrity and compassion within the healthcare system and ensuring that people are receiving quality care in hospitals each and every day. Additionally, his membership on the American Red Cross’ board showed his persistent dedication to giving back to the community and providing help for people during a time of crisis. The Red Cross has saved many lives for decades, and it truly speaks to John’s character, as he consistently contributed to a cause and organization that provides such great support to the community. I hope that the example he set for the people around him and the people he worked with in these organizations continues to be carried onto others so that they may also give back to the community as much as John did throughout his life.
When I heard about the opportunity to write about the life and contributions of John, the first thing that came to mind was the impact that he had on my own life. At the start of my freshman year of college, I found it difficult to find a community where I could grow and fit in on campus; that was until I was offered the opportunity to recolonize the Alpha Delta Phi Peninsular Chapter. After joining the movement to restart the fraternity on campus, I knew that we would face a great deal of challenges in the time to come - not only to grow our chapter numbers but also to come closer as a true brotherhood. With this in mind, I was absolutely blessed to have the honor to meet John Burpee and John Hartwig. The two of them set an example for me and for the entire chapter that our brotherhood truly does last long beyond our years at this university. I had the chance to speak with the both of them many times, and they always had great stories to share about their experiences in the chapter, along with great advice to give in reference to running and growing a fraternity. It was an incredible sight to see Hartwig and Burpee stop by the house each semester for our initiation to make sure our traditions have and will continue to be upheld for future generations.
John Hartwig also helped to establish the house operations committee, working with Burpee to generate the charter for the house. Furthermore, John also dedicated a great deal of time to the library and ante room. For the library, he found and donated the moose head that rests above the fireplace, looking over the whole room. For the ante room, he spent a great deal of time to ensure that it was no longer just a storage room, filled with random things scattered around it. Today the room is much more organized and contains different artifacts and pieces of the history of the fraternity.
Having been a witness to such a glowing example of how important and influential the experience of brotherhood in the Alpha Delta Phi can be and how important our history and traditions are, has been a driving factor for many decisions that I have made through the course of my college career.
For many people on campus, interaction with a fraternity is something that only lasts for two years, and then many people drop or go inactive and leave that part of their college life behind them. Beyond a few of the friends that they gained from the experience, many of them leave Greek Life behind them. While this is the case for many students, it has not been the case for me after having met John Hartwig. Not only have I been an active member for all four years of my college career, but I have also lived in the house for three consecutive years and continually held at least one position on the board. The effort than John put into recolonizing the fraternity has never once gone unnoticed to me and has only made me grow closer to the entire society. It has especially been impactful for the current role I have taken on for the past year and half as the Alumni Relations Chairman.
After having seen the enthusiasm and communication that John provided for us, it was important for me to make sure that his legacy is carried on within our brotherhood. It is important that the active brotherhood has a close relationship with the alumni so all the brothers may be influenced and see the importance of our brotherhood and, in particular how it continues much further beyond our college career. While John had an amazing impact on many other people in his life, it was important to me to mention the impact that he had on mine because I will carry that with me and try to pass it on to my fellow brothers until the day I die, just as John did. Speaking from experience, John truly did have a large and positive impact on the people around him. I wish he was still around today to share more of his stories and continue to share his love for brotherhood as it continues to grow larger and larger.
I would like to conclude by referencing the plaque above the cornerstone of the house; it mentions that John was a playmaker, who “delivered guidance and unwavering support to all brothers every step of the way”. While the quote specifically mentions his unwavering support to all brothers, I am sure it also encapsulates his actions and spirit outside of the fraternity, supporting his family and the community around him.
Jack McCafferty is from Bingham Farms, Oakland County, Michigan and was one of a group to pledge in 2017 in the midst of the house reconstruction. He will graduate in May 2021 with a degree in economics. His first job is lined up with Epic Systems as a Project Manager.