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University of Missouri

Extreme Makeover: Greek Edition

Alumni couple leads capital improvements of Greek houses.

Bruce and Teresa McKinney

Mizzou alumni Bruce and Teresa McKinney lead
Greek house capital improvements at their former fraternity and sorority houses. Photo by Rob Hill.

One of Bruce McKinney’s Delta Upsilon fraternity brothers set him up on a blind date with a Delta Delta Delta girl, but something came up, so her sorority sister Teresa Keith McKinney went instead. “I was second fiddle,” she says. But not for long. The McKinneys married June 28, 1975. Nearly 40 years later, the couple is leading the capital improvements at their former fraternity and sorority houses.

Both Bruce, BS BA ’74, and Teresa, BS Ed ’75, were presidents of their undergraduate chapters, but careers and children kept them from being very active in Greek Life after graduation. When son Chris McKinney, BA, BA ’01, JD ’08, came to Mizzou, Bruce and Teresa felt a renewed sense of Tiger pride.

Teresa joined the Tri Delta House Corp. board, and Bruce became a Delta Upsilon alumni adviser. The couple recognized that their old stomping grounds needed more than a little TLC — Delta Delta Delta was built in 1924 and Delta Upsilon in 1961.

“Both of us feel that the essence of our experiences are much more than bricks and mortar, but you need to have a good living environment,” Bruce says.

Mizzou Delta Delta Delta house

Photo by Nicholas Benner.

Delta Delta Delta

The biggest change to the Tri Delta house is the west-side addition. “The dream of many alumnae was to have a dining room that wasn’t in the basement,” she says. Now the kitchen and dining hall — named Centennial Hall in honor of the chapter’s 100th birthday in April 2015 — are on the first floor, and the basement has a library, study and craft spaces.

Delta Upsilon started over completely, demolishing the old structure and constructing a house that doubles the above-ground floor space to nearly 25,000 square feet and adds more than 12,000 square feet of space below ground for parking, storage and laundry. Both houses will also be upgraded with fire-safety sprinkler systems as mandated by the city of Columbia.

When the McKinneys aren’t working on the housing projects, Bruce is chief financial officer of Community Blood Center of Greater Kansas City, and Teresa is a part-time teacher in the Blue Valley School District. The couple lives in Overland Park, Kansas.

Mizzou Delta Upsilon

Image courtesy of Pennington & Co.

Delta Upsilon