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Fritz Jacobi '76

The majority of Fritz Jacobi’s career was spent in the newspaper industry. It was a journey where he started at the bottom and worked his way to the top. Fritz started out supervising newspaper girls and boys who delivered newspapers to houses. By the time he received his MBA, he already earned a number of promotions and decided to stay with newspapers for a while. Ten years later, Fritz ran his first newspaper in Wausau, Wisconsin, as its publisher. He ended up as a publisher of three other newspapers: Springfield, Missouri, Fort Meyers, Florida, and Rockford, Illinois. Fritz’s 20 years serving as a publisher was a wonderful experience in that you not only got to run a business, but also have an impact on the local community as well. He retired from newspapers in 2008. The next year, 2009, Fritz was asked to chair and facilitate a business peer group in central Wisconsin. It is part of Vistage, which has over 23,000 CEO members worldwide.

Fritz was initiated into Lambda Alpha Chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon in 1972, scroll #142. The next year, he transferred to the University of Wisconsin. With the help of Rob Weigend, they restarted Lambda Chapter, which was rechartered in 1974. He served over 30 years on the Lambda Chapter Housing Corporation, with 25 years as chairman. At the international level, he has served ten years on both the TKE Educational Foundation and the TKE Grand Council. Among the TKE awards, Fritz has received: Top TEKE (1976), TEKE Alumnus of the Year (1992), and Grand Prytanis Award (2017).

One of Fritz’s compassions is economic dev1elopment. His rationale was that if a community was growing, the newspaper would grow as well. He was elected to serve as Chairman of the Economic Development in Springfield, Fort Meyers, and Rockford. In addition, over the years he has been involved with Rotary International, Make a Wish Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, and the Inland Press Association.

Fritz believes that had it not been for TKE, he would not have been anywhere near successful as he is. In Madison, not only was he able to start a new chapter, but as president, got to manage and develop a small business (the chapter and house budget was over 125,000). During the last 40 years he has managed and started a number of businesses, which he learned the basics from TKE years ago. His advice to undergraduates is, “First, have goals. Where do you want to go?"