Robert (Bob) Mansfeld Vance ’41 – Ad Astra 1992

Brother Vance was one of the most “gungho” Fijis who ever lived. He was initiated in 1938 in the Chi Iota Chapter of Phi Gamma Delta ( University of Illinois) but transferred to the University of Arizona where he affiliated with Upsilon Alpha. He was a Bobcat. He was a member of the 50-man mounted cavalry ROTC troop; founder and editor of the “Pussy-Cat” a weekly newspaper of campus life, gossip, events, notoriety for worthy individuals which he distributed to all the dorms, fraternities and sororities every Monday evening.

Brother Vance was a member of the Social Life Committee, very active in intramurals, particularly baseball, volleyball and swimming in which he helped win a number of championships for the house. He was a very active member of the Board of Chapter Advisors for several years.

Brother Vance received a commission in Horse Cavalry, served on active duty in the Mechanized Cavalry before entering the Army Air Corps where he became a pilot and served in that capacity until the end of World War II, having served with distinction.

After the war Brother Vance became manager of Block and Kuhl Depart­ment Stone in Peoria, Illinois. He then moved back to Tucson where he became Superintendent of the Steinfield’s Department Store. Bob then become a partner in Whitaker Pools where he remained 10 years. Bob resigned from Whitaker Pools to go into his own business building large apartment complexes. He then entered the Episcopal Church seminary where he was ordained a priest, but it was not his desire to become a pastor of a church, but rather to be a consultant to churches in the area. Of course, he could perform funerals, memorials and weddings, which he did for many of his friends.

Brother Vance was a member of Kiwanis International and a founder with five others of the old Tucson Racquet Club which had to disband when the El Con Shopping center took over the property. Bob was a member of Tucson Country Club.

Bob has a brother Fred (now deceased) a brother-in-law and a nephew all of whom are Fijis. His wife, two daughters and sister are members of Kappa Alpha Theta.

Also, he and wife Ann opened their home for frequent rush parties and Fiji graduate chapter gatherings.

Brother Vance once states: “My keen interest in the men of Phi Gamma Delta was a joy and satisfaction to me. I appreciated the brotherhood, the mutual goals in intramurals, scholarship and extra-curricular activities. Lifelong friendships were the result of very precious relationships during college days and since leaving the university. I have cherished knowing and being with my Fiji Brothers.