Cal Poly host concert and scholarship in memory of brother

By Alex Horncliff (Cal-Poly)

Spencer Wood

Spencer Wood 1984 – 2006

The memory of Spencer Wood, a rare inspirational personality and former Cal Poly student, will be honored April 9 at 3 p.m. with a memorial concert at Avila Beach Golf Resort.  Wood was an exemplary member of Lambda Chi Alpha, a brilliant young writer, and an avid musician who unfortunately passed away in July of 2006. His passing came as a result of an accident where he fell following a concert attended with friends.

The legacy of Spencer Wood and his words and message carries on at Phi-Sigma Zeta through the Spencer Wood scholarship. Each year members of the chapter anonymously nominate a brother to receive the award. The winner is then revealed at an annual memorial concert.

Wood was one of those rare people that could inspire you within the first few minutes of meeting you. He was someone with an unwavering belief that each interaction had value and purpose. What set him apart, however, was not his intrinsic characteristics, but rather the consistency in which he displayed them to others. He was a man beyond his years in seeing value in other people and helping them to see it as well.

The most recent recipient of the Spencer Wood scholarship, Jack Milstead, spoke to the feeling of learning he had when he won the award.

“I was a bit shocked, it was a cool experience and I was only a second year so I thought to myself, ‘Wow, it is amazing that someone in the house had the respect to nominate me’.”

Following winning the award, brothers get to meet Richard Wood, the father of Spencer.

“It was unreal to simply speak to Richard and just give him a hug and see not only the respect he had for me and previous scholarship winners but also his son. It was powerful to see the value the award has to him and his family.”

It is easy to see upon meeting Wood’s father that he has immense pride that the fraternity continues to honor his son’s memory to this day.

Former roommate and close friend Nick Bilich also added in regards to Wood, “I really enjoyed that he loved being around people. That’s how I saw a little bit of myself in him. Something I appreciated about Spencer is how he would open up and talk to you, he was someone you could have a deep conversation with, he was different.”

In addition to his infectious personality, Wood had a penchant for music and writing.  According to Bilich and others “He loved music and was always supportive of his friends. It is surreal to think about the last music he got to experience, I got to be there with him while listening to Still Time.

When asked about the potential of spreading to other chapters, scholarship winner Jack Milstead replied, “When you meet a brother from another chapter and hear all the positions he’s held and things that he’s done and he mentions that he won the Spencer Wood award, you know he’s a true brother who lives the values of Lambda Chi”.

The legacy and values of Spencer Wood are an integral part of Phi-Sigma Zeta and set the standard for what in means to be an excellent brother. In one of his final writings Spencer challenged himself by asking “What can I do for Lambda Chi today?” This is a challenge that those at Phi Sigma Zeta embrace and encourage other chapters to do so as well.

Tickets for the Spencer Wood concert will be $12 pre-sale, and $15 at the door.

Including performances from Box the Oxford to open, followed by Truth about Seafood, and headlined by Moonshiner Collective. If you would like to support the memory of Spencer Wood via a donation please reach out to Matthew Meredith at (818) 326-9187 or donate via our donation sites: or for larger, tax deductible donations.