If you’ve ever doubted the transformational power of a fraternity experience, your faith will be renewed in reading the new memoir by David Crow ’75. David’s book, The Pale-Faced Lie, describes his incredibly difficult childhood growing up on a Navajo Indian Reservation, his coercion into his father’s criminal activities, the new path he began to pursue through his Sigma Chi college experience, and the final harrowing showdown with his Cheyenne father. The Pale-Faced Lie was published on May 7th and can be ordered on Amazon.

David was kind enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to sit down with us and answer our questions. Here's what Brother Crow had to say.

 

Q. What is The Pale-Faced Lie about?

A. The Pale-Faced Lie is about family and survival. My mother was mentally ill, and my father was a violent ex-con who was released from San Quentin the year before I was born. My first memory is of him telling me we had to get rid of my mother. For me and my three siblings, every day was a fight to survive at the hands of our parents. Outside our home, life wasn’t much better. We lived for several years on the Navajo Indian Reservation, where we often weren’t welcome, and I had to be on guard all the time.

Throughout my youth and into my 20s, my father tried to turn me into a criminal and make me his right-hand man. I helped him steal expensive tools from the Navajos as he told me tales about murders he had committed. I was determined to escape his grasp and become a decent, moral human being. It was a long, tough road.

 

Q. What made you dedicate an entire chapter in your book to Sigma Chi?

A. When I was writing my book, I wanted to shine a light on Sigma Chi for coming along at a time when I desperately needed help. In college, I had nowhere to go. Home was a cold and forbidden place. Luckily I was introduced to the Sigma Chi fraternity at the university, and they became the family I never had. They made me feel like a real brother, gave me a strong sense of belonging, and taught me the principles of our founders. To this day, that experience frames my reference for decency and moral behavior. 

 

Q. Why did you join Sigma Chi?

A. I joined Sigma Chi because it offered a safe haven, along with structure and lasting bonds. I was incredibly fortunate to stumble onto the fraternity, and I realized quickly that it was the blessing of a lifetime. 

 

Q. If you could give an active brother one piece of advice, what would it be?

A. I would tell every active brother that Sigma Chi isn’t a four-year commitment but a lifetime one. If I had known early on how much the bonds would grow, I would have focused on giving back more. If you’re seeking true friendship, you’ll find it here—but only if you work hard to be the best brother you can be. Never lose sight of that.

 

Q. How has your membership in Sigma Chi benefitted you in your professional life?

A. Over the years, Sigma Chi has given me a valuable professional advantage. I own a government relations company, and many doors have opened because of the fraternity. I’m very grateful for that. I have also mentored dozens of Sigma Chi members, including the children of many of my classmates. The connection is truly lifelong.

 

Q. What is your best memory of your Sigma Chi days?

A. My best memory is of walking back from campus one day and hearing music, guys playing basketball, and lots of laughter. What has always stood out for me is the day-to-day fellowship I shared with the brothers as we learned to live together. 

 

Click here to visit David's website.

 

Click here to buy the book on Amazon.

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