Grand High Zeta Profile: Wayne Klasing, Grand High Beta
At Bradley University in 1959, a young Wayne Klasing has just arrived on campus, looking to make his mark on the world through engineering. Because of his choice in major, the life of a fraternity man was not in the cards for Klasing his first semester.
After he made his grades, though, Klasing was searching for something more than just his schoolwork and books. Klasing recalls that waiting a semester made all the difference for him and played a large role in finding his brothers of Lambda Chi Alpha.
Once he was there, Klasing loved every experience he had with his fellow members, not only socially, but in preparation for his life in the business world. Klasing says that he believes whole-heartedly in the benefits a fraternity has to offer a young man about to make his way in the world.
“For an undergraduate, the fraternal experience is just great, great management training for his future work life,” stated Klasing. “You have to learn to get along with different individuals to get people to cooperate with an overall mission and get everybody to pull together. I think kids who are in a chapter and then get out in the business world really have a leg up on how to operate.”
In his professional life after college, Klasing certainly did reap the benefits from his fraternity. The San Antonio native went to work full-time for the company his great uncle founded, later taken over by his father, Klasing Industries. The company was fairly small, manufacturing brakes for railroad cars.
Klasing remembers working at the company all through his high school and college days. When his father retired, Klasing took over the entire management of the company and served as the CEO until selling the business in 2008. During his time at the family company, Klasing reorganized and grew the business, while producing seven patents in his name.
In addition to his career at Klasing Industries, Klasing was successful later owning another company which manufactured fittings for water wells and water systems while serving as a director and vice chairman of a savings bank.
Now retired, Klasing has seen that same success in his work with different non-profits and charitable organizations. Currently, Klasing serves on the Bradley University Board of Trustees, and of course, the Grand High Zeta for Lambda Chi Alpha. Prior to the Grand High Zeta, he served on the Educational Foundation Board.
Klasing, though away from the hustle and bustle of the business world, still imparts his wisdom not only for the students of Bradley, but undergraduate members of Lambda Chi.
“I enjoy interacting with the students on the Student Advisory Committee (SAC),” said Klasing. “If you look, most of the things I have been involved with center around higher education through Bradley’s Board Of Trustees and through Joliet Junior College Foundation Board; I believe that education of one type or another is really the key to success in life.”
When Klasing is not traveling across the country with the many boards on which he serves, you can find him catching up on some reading, playing a round of 18 on the golf course, or fishing for the next big catch.
For Klasing, Lambda Chi was the start of a wonderful professional life, and his hopes for undergraduates today is that they find the same friendships and opportunities he did.
“I think we have a really good message and program for young men, and I would like to share it with more young men,” stated Klasing. “My hope for the future is that we can continue to improve our programming and education for young men and teach them how to grow up to be responsible and successful individuals.”
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