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"PiKA Prepared Me For My Career In Many Ways"For Frank Kenlon ’74, it was love at first sight.

“Beta Pi was my first choice, really, even though I visited some other Fraternities,” Kenlon said. “A number of us in our dorm at the Quad, which consisted of 28 Freshmen, went to some PiKA parties and activities and collectively decided it was the right place for us.”

The memories come flooding back for Kenlon, but as he describes, it’s hard to pick just one

“That’s a tough one,” he says. “We had so many good times. We had some outstanding parties, went to Lehigh for a PiKa meeting of some kind – Monday Night Football was always fun, playing guitar and singing with Ed Shamy ‘74, playing risk in the library, intramural sports (we won the co-ed softball intramurals one year). Lots of good times.

There weren’t really a ton of great hangout spots, but we had so much fun at Beta Pi and other Fraternity parties. A group of us really enjoyed Greek and Indian food, so we had some great dinners. Some of the concerts at the Spectrum were outstanding – The Who’s Quadraphenia tour and Yes’ Close to the Edge tour come to mind.

I think Beta Pi helped provide a group setting with a diverse set of Brothers and different experiences that increased confidence in my ability to work with others as well as lead and manage group efforts. Even though we rarely see one another, I still consider several of my PiKA Brothers close friends.”

“The top three things I gained from the Fraternity were a sense of belonging, confidence in my skills and abilities (I came from the small town of Bradford, Pa), and enduring friendships,” said Kenlon.

I remember being PiKA MEP chairman and held one or two other positions (It’s a bit hazy). Regardless, even the mid-level leadership positions I had provided leadership and management experience that helped in my post-UPENN activities.

After graduating U of P, I joined the Peace Corps and spent two years as an English teacher at the University of Ouagadougou, Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso)

After returning, I started my career with the Defense Department as Department of the Navy civilian in 1980. I retired from the Office of the Secretary of Defense as a member of the Senior Executive Service in January 2013.  My bio (which I have attached) provides a synopsis of my civilian career.

Kenlon During Desert Storm

I joined the U.S. Navy Reserve as an Intelligence Officer (Direct Commission) in 1985 retiring at the rank of Captain (equivalent of Colonel) in 2010.  I was mobilized for Desert Storm and served in theater.

I am currently a part-time Professor of International Acquisition at the Defense Acquisition University, Ft. Belvoir, VA

My family includes my wife of 35 years, Michele, and my son Phillip who is a senior at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC.”

“PiKA prepared me for my career in many ways,” said Kenlon. “To name a few – the ability to work with a diverse group of highly-capable, motivated, and intelligent peers, initial leadership and management experience, and confidence that I could succeed at a higher level, which enabled me to embrace challenges (rather than fear or avoid them).

Figure out what you like doing -- what you do as a career/work is not your whole life but is a large part of it – then figure out how to shape your career/work efforts so you end up doing what you like.

Make sure you are having fun often enough that you are still fun to be with/around

Treat people with respect -- “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice” – regardless of their (apparent) position or place in life

Strike the right balance in your life between “purpose” and “pleasure” – and if the balance doesn’t seem right, then make changes in the way you’ve structured your life until you get it right

Never stop learning.”

From Dr. Kenlon’s bio:

Frank D. Kenlon is a Professor of International Acquisition (Intermittent) in DAU’s Defense Systems Management College – International (DSMC-I) Department, Fort Belvoir, VA.

Prior to his retirement in January 2013, after nearly 36 years of combined federal service, he held the position of Acting Director, International Cooperation in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (AT&L). As Acting Director, Mr. Kenlon was responsible for establishing international armaments cooperation policy, ensuring that policy is properly implemented, and engaging with US allies and friends around the world to achieve closer cooperation.

Mr. Kenlon became a member of the Senior Executive Service in 2006.  From 2006 until July 2012, he served as Director, International Negotiations within the International Cooperation Office where he was responsible for AT&L international agreements, technology transfer, and export control business process oversight and improvements. From 2000 until 2006, Mr. Kenlon served as the Deputy Director, Plans and Analysis Directorate within the International Cooperation Office. From October 1998 to February 2000 Mr. Kenlon was AT&L/IC’s German and Central European desk officer responsible for coordination and oversight of all international acquisition matters between the DoD acquisition community and their foreign counterparts. He served as Director for International Agreements at the Navy International Programs Office from 1988 to 1998, and in other Department of the Navy positions from 1980 to 1988 at the Naval Air Systems Command, Chief of Naval Operations, and Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Engineering, and Systems). Mr. Kenlon retired as a Captain, United States Navy Reserve Intelligence Officer (1985-2010), and is a Desert Storm Veteran.

Mr. Kenlon received a Master’s degree in International Transactions from George Mason University. He received a Diploma from the Naval War College’s Command and Staff Seminar Program and his Bachelor’s degree in European History from the University of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Kenlon was awarded the Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award in 2008 and 2013, the Office of the Secretary of Defense Exceptional Civilian Service award by USD(AT&L) in January 2001, and the Department of the Navy Superior Civilian Service award in 1995.