Brother Hugh Jacobsen

Pedro Wasmer '62 is both a Significant Sig from Gamma Chi and a very distinguished UMD alumnus. Brother Wasmer was both a very successful entrepreneur and CEO. Pedro founded a company in 1980 that leased IT equipment to Fortune 1000 companies worldwide that was later successfully sold and then he later founded another successful IT equipment leasing company.

Pedro recently wrote in his remembrance of Brother Hugh Jacobsen, to see what Pedro had to say, read on below.

"Brother Hugh Jacobsen, as a Fine Arts Major at Maryland, he used his artistic talents to paint eyes all over the walls of the downstairs restroom, next to the Quaestor’s office in my day, which we reserved for the ladies when we invited them to our events. This masterful work of art often had quite an impact on our visitors, some of whom chose not to return to it that day, or ever! 

However, Brother Jacobsen’s most impactful work for Gamma Chi and for our Alma Mater is the beautiful Riggs Alumni Center. To its attendant gardens Gamma Chi contributed columns to a gate, and some of us, John and Vicki Rymer, George Doetsch and yours truly donated benches to further grace the Sigma Chi gate. 

Hugh Newell Jacobsen was not only a world-renown architect, with great taste, but a fun character with whom to share time. We became acquainted when we met in probably 1961 after a football game. We became re-acquainted when I called him to invite him to bid on the design of the Riggs Center. I had to insist, because “His Haughtiness" did not like the idea of submitting bids. That insistence on my part led to many Martini-fueled lunches at the old Jockey Club at the Ritz Carlton in DC, with an occasional pre-lunch visit to the Cosmos Club, one of his haunts. He was clever, witty, and an impossible Liberal, with whom I enjoyed many a verbal battle. Needless to say, I miss him. Specially miss him if I ever wonder into the Prime Rib and the pianist is regaling the crowd with his music. A few years ago, if Hugh and I walked into the place, this pianist, who, somehow knew we were Sigs, would break into the Sweetheart Song. Of course, if our wives were with us they were sure the pianist was playing for them, and loved it. 

So, I thought I should mention the eyes as important to Gamma Chi and the Alumni Center as important to both the University and to Gamma Chi. Both reflect on Hugh Newell Jacobsen, his persona, and his talent. I wonder how he is trying to impact the design of wherever he now is….. 

In Hoc Signo Vinces, 

Pedro E. Wasmer, 1962"

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