Jason Renner, class of ’99, was the first in his family to go to college. He felt that being a “first generation college student” eased the pressure from his family to maintain certain grades or choose a specific career path. Ultimately, he decided to pursue engineering, and paid his own way through his time at Trine University, working about 20 hours per week.

Renner joined Sigma Phi Delta after he became friends with a few brothers in his freshman year engineering class. Due to his family background, he didn’t have prior exposure to anything engineering related, and Sigma Phi Delta provided the perfect environment to gain exposure and insight into the field. He also greatly enjoyed getting to know his brothers, who came from diverse backgrounds and experiences.

His connections with Sigma Phi Delta helped him get a cooperative education job for a geotechnical company while he was in school, which later helped him get his first post-graduation job.

After graduation, Renner worked in the private industry as a geotechnical engineer consultant for about three years in the Midwest. He spent the next five years with the US Air Force as a Civil Engineering Officer.

Because he didn’t go overseas to a combat zone, and spent his five years at state-side bases, he is considered a military veteran rather than a combat veteran. Although he was never deployed overseas himself, he remains supportive of those who are and have been. “Much thanks to all of the military veterans, past and present, who have spent time in deployed locations,”  he says.

Currently, Renner still works with the US Air Force as a civilian employee. He works for the US Air Force’s equivalent of the City/County Engineer’s Office, managing design and construction projects.  

“It’s really fun, and hopefully I can do this type of job for a long time,” Renner says. “You get to meet all kinds of people and help them get their jobs done by providing quality facilities and infrastructure for their interesting and diverse missions.”

Renner feels that his experience with Sigma Phi Delta helped prepare him for the US Air Force. He noticed that the Air Force’s foundations of leadership, discipline and organization are very similar those values of the fraternity, so the transition into the military wasn’t difficult. He also believes that the exposure to different leadership opportunities and interaction with a wide variety of people was also beneficial.

Renner doesn’t keep in touch with other alumni as much he would like because he lives far from the Midwest, but he still feels connected to the fraternity. He is looking forward to seeing the 75th homecoming celebration and continues to donate money to the fraternity.  

Renner has also traveled to Europe, Hawaii, Canada, Mexico and most of the lower 48 states with his wife. Their goal is to see all seven continents while they still have the time.

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