Nickname? Jon Love Pleads The Fifth

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Nickname? Jon Love Pleads The FifthJon Love ’88, recalls life in the House and how there are no failures if you learn from them.

Talk to Betta Gamma alum Jon Love and you’ll likely be brimming from ear-to-ear as he regales you with tales of his time at 338 E. Fairmount Avenue as a Brother of Penn State’s Phi Kappa Theta.

“During my time as a Brother, I remember it as an eclectic, genuine group of young men who liked to have a good time,” said Love. “Within that group, I developed my closest group of lifelong friends.”

Some of Jon’s fondest memories of those days at the Chapter House include hanging out with Mel in the kitchen, Augie Day, Viking Dinner, Animal Night, The Great Pumpkin (one of the benefits of being a tall guy), Spring Streak, football game tailgates, hikes up Mt. Nittany, Spring Break trips to the Bahamas and SoCal, experimenting at the boundaries, and a few things that are better left unsaid (thankfully everyone didn’t have a camera and video recorder back in those days).

“There are a lot of memories and stories that stand out,” said the Beta Gamma Brother. “But I need to think about which ones are suitable for this story! A few in particular are Joe Grabowski ‘89 performing at Animal Night and Bruce Shewalter ‘88 clucking like a chicken behind the House.”

Love resided in the Chapter House for two years, with Jeff Feldman as his roommate for both of them. He did have a nickname, however it “isn’t something you’d want to repeat to the family.” Love takes the fifth on how he acquired the mysterious nickname.

He’s most proud of the lifelong friendships he gained with good people who are committed to their families and communities.

“I keep in touch with many of my Brothers,” said Love. “Even though I’m 3000 miles away from most. Pledge Brothers Bob Protheroe ‘88 and Jeff Feldman ‘88 (and shout out to Tip, too), Joe Grabowski ‘89, John Felag ‘87, John Burd ‘89, Bruce Shewalter ‘88, Matt Evanko ‘89, Matt Thompson ‘85, Bill Allen ‘85, Rick Gradone ‘87, Dan O’Meara ‘84, Al Serpa ‘90 (hung out with him at Ironman Arizona in 2017), Mike Burnham ‘87, Todd Goodstein ‘91, John Foster ‘86, Greg Hoel ‘89, Jim Swanner ‘85.”

Love graduated Penn State in May of 1988 with a B.S. in Psychology. His very first job as a bellhop lasted three months at the Sands Casino in Atlantic City, NJ. The goal was to save money the summer after graduating so he could move to Huntington Beach, CA to live with Greg Hoel ‘89. After that, Love got into the field of Corporate Recruiting and then Executive Search.

As for additional education, love cites the “school of hard knocks.”

“I worked for two small corporate recruiting firms before going into business for myself in 1996,” he recalls. “I’ve lived in southern California (Huntington Beach, Newport Beach), then Northern California (Sausalito and Mill Valley).”

Love was not a member of the Military but extends nothing but respect for all those who serve.

As for family, Jon has two sons: Josh; 19, a freshman at Haverford College playing on the basketball team, and Jason; 16, a junior in high school who also plays hoops. He is wed to his amazing wife of 22 years, Gale, who runs a private speech therapy practice.

Love enjoys triathlons (one Ironman last year- no more, he says) and running (six marathons, two ultras- hopefully more in the future), along with general health/fitness and philanthropy.

He counts being a good husband and father as his biggest successes and says he does not regret any of his failures, for there are no failures in life if you learn from them.

“I think you need to take risks and pursue your passions,” says Love. “I moved to California knowing I could always move back. I started my own business with the confidence I could make it work – or figure it out if I didn’t.”

As for how he’d like to be remembered, Love offers this: “In 50 years I will be 101 going on 102. I made a big commitment to health a few years ago, so I am hoping I will still be hanging out with my grandkids and maybe great-grandkids at that point. If I am remembered down the road, I hope it’s as a good friend, husband and parent/grandparent/great-grandparent.”

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