The best fraternities have long-time, dedicated alumni advisors who are not afraid to go to bat for the Chapter against the university, and who are not afraid to show up at a recruitment event and help rush prospective new members.
For Chi Phi at the University of Georgia, that man is James W. “Jim” Wimberly Jr., Eta 1965.
“I first got started working for Chi Phi my sophomore year wen I was asked to be Rush Chairman,” explained Wimberly, “and I’ve been rushing boys into this Fraternity ever since. Peter Amann, Eta 1968, got me started again in the late 1970’s in an alumni role.
When he’s not advising national trade associations or representing employers in a labor management dispute, Wimberly, an attorney, is often at a Chi Phi recruitment event or spending time with the actives at the chapter house in Athens, Georgia. He can quickly cite the statistics and the status of blue-chip recruits for both the University of Georgia Bulldog football program and Eta. On more than one occasion, he’s been known to push back against the University administration when he felt they might be violating a contract or mistreating Eta.
“Jim is a force. I don’t know how he does it all,” commented John McElderry, Eta 1994. “There’s no question that Jim Wimbery is a legend among our Chapter and one of the reasons we have remained successful over so many years.”
Wimberly’s passion for Chi Phi is contagious. It is fueling Eta Chapter’s efforts to build a new chapter house. To support this project, he’s made a $500,000 pledge and already contributed nearly $250,000 to start it.
Explaining why he’s remained so active over the years, Wimberly commented, “My parents taught me to enjoy my college experience, and Chi Phi gave me the opportunity to learn certain leadership qualities that have benefited my career enormously. Working with the boys in the Chapter has always been a great pleasure to me, and I particularly get excited when we pledge legacies from someone I knew in the Chapter. In short, my role at Chi Phi has benefited me personally and professionally.
A senior principal in the law firm network of Wimberly & Lawson with offices in Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina, Wimberly received his B.B.A. cum laude in 1965 and his J.D. in 1968 from The University of Georgia. In 1969, he earned his LL.M. from Harvard University.
“From the first moment I met Jim, it was obvious that he possessed strong leadership qualities,” commented Brown Wilder, Eta 1964. “He was serious about his Chi Phi membership responsibilities. He was a leader of his pledge class and supported his Chi Phi colleagues throughout his undergrad career.”