As a dedicated alumnus Risk has remained deeply involved over the years, demonstrating that the “PIKE family” is enduring.

Mike Risk reached the milestone of being a 50-year member of PIKE earlier this year. Risk credits the Fraternity for much of his own personal development and formation, as well as meeting his wife, and seeing their son become a Pike and his daughter married a Pike. The Risk story is truly a Pike family affair.

Risk’s involvement with PIKE is extensive. He rushed PIKE and pledged in fall 1969 upon arriving at the Iowa State campus. He served Alpha Phi Chapter as new member educator and president, seeing the chapter earn the coveted Smythe Award in 1972.  He then served as a chapter consultant with the Fraternity in 1974 upon graduating from Iowa State. Risk is still in a key volunteer role today as a house capital campaign chairman at Iowa State.

Alpha Phi became his family in a sense in college. Risk says, “I have a younger sister and brother who were not able to attend college, so I feel quite blessed that the college experience was made available to me. My new fraternity family became like family to me.”

Risk met his wife Renee during his time as a staff member for the Fraternity. While Risk was a chapter consultant during 1974 for a year, Renee was then the assistant editor for the Shield & Diamond magazine as well as coordinator for the consultant mail and reports. Renee worked for the Fraternity for 12 years. Through their mutual employment and involvement with the Fraternity, they married in 1978 and have loved each other for 45 years. They have a son Michael (Alpha Phi ’01) and a daughter Lauren who is married to an Alpha Phi brother, Todd Stegmiller ‘00.

“My immediate family is Pike through and through,” Risk proudly states. His cousin, Kurt Risk (Iowa State, Alpha Phi ‘77) is also very involved with Alpha Phi.

“I was asked to join the national staff as a chapter consultant by then executive director, the late Pat Halloran (Nebraska-Omaha, Delta Chi ‘62), who sadly just recently passed. I was fortunate to be an officer in Alpha Phi at the time the Fraternity was piloting a new membership management and education program called PIKAMEP. Alpha Phi embraced the programming and it really elevated our chapter’s operations and brotherhood as intended.” Risk’s commitment to the Fraternity, his leadership skills and ideas caught the eye of Halloran and the rest is history.

“After this one-year experience as a chapter consultant, which I lovingly call my ‘year out of life,’ only because there will never be another year in my life as challenging and rewarding,” it was in Memphis in 1975 that Risk began a lengthy career in sales management and his ongoing volunteerism with PIKE began when then-director of housing and chapter finance Ray Orians (Memphis, Delta Zeta ‘66) asked Risk to get involved as chapter advisor with the Delta Zeta chapter at University of Memphis.

Risk’s volunteer work continued with terms as Cumberland Region and the Lone Star Region presidencies and finally a six-year term as Supreme Council International Vice President, all while his career in fashion industry sales with several brands including Revlon and later a specialty product division of International Paper took him from Memphis to Dallas, where he now resides in Plano. Risk notes the social, motivational, communication and leadership aspects of PIKE membership helped equip him for successfully interacting with satisfied customers.

Today, Risk is serving as the capital campaign chairman for the Alpha Phi house corporation as it improves the very special property at 2112 Lincoln Way adjacent to the Iowa State campus in Ames.

“We are renovating one of Pi Kappa Alpha’s most beautiful houses. This challenge allows me to speak with hundreds of our brothers. It is a great reward as the brotherhood has pledged over $1.2 million to date.”

Alpha’s Phi’s Alumni Association President Ben Boden (Iowa State, Alpha Phi ‘01) has long admired Risk, says, “I’ve known Mike dating back to when his son Michael and I were in the chapter together at Iowa State. Mike was one of the first people to show me that Pi Kappa Alpha was bigger than what was going on at my campus. Twenty-five years later, we’re working side-by-side as local volunteers to ensure the sustained success of PIKE at Iowa State. Through our current capital campaign ‘2112: The House That Built Us,’ millions of dollars have been raised and every dollar in the door can be traced back to the work of Mike Risk.”

When asked why he stays so involved with Pi Kappa Alpha, Risk answers, “I want the future brothers of my beloved fraternity to have an even better opportunity to grow and experience the tremendous teachings and life skills that I believe can only be found in a fraternity. Not just any fraternity, but an alumni supported fraternity. Supported with both volunteer experience and financial strength.”

Risk truly embodies the servant heart. “I learned at the 1972 PIKE Convention a phrase that has become my core belief: If it is to be, it is up to me. I have used this core belief in both my business and life involvements. If I did not believe that a task was getting the effort it needed to be successful, then I needed to do something about it. My wife, my children, and my friends will all tell you that is what I am about, especially when it comes to my faith, my family and my fraternity.”

Alpha Phi had risen to the ranks of one of Pi Kappa Alpha’s elite chapters and our International Fraternity is a better institution thanks to dedicated, committed, life-long caring brothers like Mike Risk.