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Pi Kappa Alpha Crest
Fall 2000 Volume 49 Number 1

News & information by the alumni association of the Beta Theta Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity at Cornell University

SMC Report

Marco Boyce '01

What an exciting semester this has been, and it's only just about halfway over. At the time of this writing the Beta Theta Chapter is currently preparing for Pikathlon 2000, the latest and greatest installment of the best week of revelry by any house here at Cornell. Under the leadership of Chairman Andrew Smith ’02, the duration of this year’s Pikathlon has been extended. It now lasts a week beginning on Tuesday the 31st with a Halloween party at the 118 Cook St. annex and culminates on Saturday the 4th of November where the brothers will once again celebrate to the sounds of Stephen Bard while wearing the traditional togas. Everyone is fired up for the week and is ready to show the Cornell community a facet of the strongest brotherhood on campus.

With the Cornell varsity football team winning in an exciting nail-biter over hated Yale and a full agenda slated for the Alpha Theta meeting, this year’s Homecoming on September 23rd was chock full of excitement and intensity. Despite most not being able to vote, a vast majority of the actives made it to the Alpha Theta meeting to show their commitment to the long-term financial stability of the chapter. One outcome of the meeting that had an immediate impact was the Executive Board's decision to absolve the actives of the need to retain a house director. [editor's note: Alpha Theta President Tim Cole clarifies this issue. The board stated that the actives did not have to retain the services of Mark Wagner, who was not performing his duties satisfactorily and costing the house a fortune. The Directors' position is that an acceptable substitute will have to be found in order to ensure that the house is properly maintained and cleaned.] A week later the chapter voted in house meeting to terminate Marc Wagner as house director. This decision was due to the financial burden that his position placed upon the house and the fact that he failed to fulfill most of his duties during the semester and over the summer. Currently Mr. Wagner is still the house cook. During the election segment of the meeting, Jeff Mihalakis ’03 was elected undergraduate at-large member of Alpha Theta. He is a proven hard worker and will tirelessly serve as the eyes and ears of Alpha Theta here at Cornell.

As for intramurals, in football the Beta Theta Chapter sported its best team since the early 90’s. We finished with a 5-0 undefeated regular season, behind the arm and legs of quarterback Craig Shapiro ’01. The offense rolled up over 90 points, while the stingy defense shut down all opponents and allowed only one touchdown during the entire regular season. In the playoffs we made it to the semifinals by beating rival “Sigmachi” 35-34 in an amazing overtime game that seesawed back and forth.

The Beta Theta soccer team also had a good season. Although the potential was there to be the best Pike team in recent years, we were upset in the first round of the playoffs by a lesser side. The team is young however, and will only lose a few players to graduation. So the mantra in the house is “wait till next year”.

On the Saturday, September 16th, the Beta Theta brotherhood had a workday to improve the grounds at 17 South Avenue. Topsoil was ordered and wheelbarrows were rented as everyone worked to re-grade the front yard. Today the outside of the house looks much better for these efforts. As for the retaining wall on the side of the house built by the pledge class of 1999, it was decided that a stone patio is to be constructed on the newly leveled ground that was created. Hopefully this will be done sometime in the near future and will go nicely with the outdoor barbecue built by the pledge class of 1997.

In other house improvement news, after repeated attempts to fix the old one had failed a new 10’ x 20’ banner was ordered and now hangs prominently on the front of the house. Also a design for a new house sign is in the works and will be installed this spring.

These are just some of the good things that have been going down at 17 South Ave this semester and with absolute certainty, there are many more great times to come.

Alumni Spotlight

An interview with Reid Orth '92

Reid, you've served as chapter advisor to the Beta Theta chapter for more than a year, but we know little about you. Please tell us about your background.

I was born and grew up in Cincinnati, OH. I attended Johns Hopkins University where I was a founding father for the Iota Tau Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity in 1992. Upon graduation in May 1994, I earned a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force.

I started my active military service in Fall 1994 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA where I was a spacecraft systems engineer assisting with 9 different rocket launches. In August 1997, I was assigned to Cornell University as an Assistant Professor or Aerospace Studies for my second military assignment instructing junior and senior Air Force ROTC students. I also oversaw all the ROTC military training as the Commandant of Cadets for 2½ years and was awarded Commandant of Cadets of the Year in 2000 as top in the nation (out of 143 schools). In Spring of 1998, I entered the Department of Biomedical Engineering (Electical Engineering and Immunology minors) at Cornell University and took classes part-time. In August 2000, I began my third military assignment as a full-time graduate student in a Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. program at Cornell.

What have you found as the outstanding comparisons between chapters at Hopkins & Cornell?

What do you see as the three biggest challenges facing the Beta Theta chapter?

Thanks for you insight, Reid. I think that I can speak for all alumni in expressing our appreciation of the time and effort that you have contributed to the brotherhood.

Forward nominations for future alumni interviews to .


May 1, 2001 Spring 2001 Beta Theta DATA deadline
June 7-10, 2001 Reunion Weekend Reunion dates thru 2005
October 13, 2001 Homecoming vs. Harvard Homecoming dates thru 2001
November 1, 2001 Fall 2001 Beta Theta DATA deadline

Alumni Notes

Go to - Updated Alumni Notes -

C.B. Smith '79 , Janice (Cornell '82), Kendall (11), and Trevor (7) drove to Ithaca from their home in Fairport (a village on the Erie Canal near Rochester, NY) this past September to attend Homecoming. "The drive by the vineyards and farms along Cayuga Lake was as beautiful as ever. The boys hung out in the tube room (they like the donuts always found at the house) as I attended the annual Alpha Theta meeting. Jan met a friend to explore downtown."

"The Alpha Theta meeting was well attended by actives but not alumni."

"The active chapter is strong and enthusiastic. The boys were wearing t-shirts welcoming alumni... and their daughters. Is that why I go to Homecoming and Chip and Linda Baines don't?"

"Steve Amador, our alumni treasurer, was not in attendance as he was recuperating from injuries suffered in a car accident. I left Steve a voice mail the other day regarding the purchase of a new chandelier for the house entry hall. He returned my call from his car?!? He's recovered but .... Many thanks to Steve for his years of solid financial stewardship."

"While in the appreciation mode, I want to thank Dave Miles, the Alpha Theta Secretary for life. Dave has been a steady fixture at the meetings for over two decades. Sorry Dave but I'm dating myself as well. Tim Cole has been leading the ship as the President for a long time as well. He wants a break, so we're looking for new blood. And finally, I miss playing hockey with Tom Sporney. Tom was my class Pledgemaster. The year was 1974 and the house was down to a dozen or so active brothers. Tom and crew (thanks to all) pledged over 20 and began a run of strong pledge classes that continue today. Tom was the Alpha Theta president for many years and now continues to be the glue that holds us together by publishing the Beta Theta Data. Thanks, Tom."

"I had a great time at Homecoming. I'd love to see some faces from the 70's and 80's. Call your classmates and make plans for next year. A good improvement in the Homecoming format is the barbeque the active chapter has in the back lot before the football game. Cornell beat Yale in the last seconds of a fantastic game. After taking the lead 24-23, Cornell tried to give the game back twice, only to fail. The game ended with Yale missing a short field goal with 2 seconds remaining. The freshmen took the field before anything else could happen. Rick Eno and Kevin Weatherman Williams sat with us. Kevin had his family with him sporting the red and white. I could not find Ralph during the game. I missed his singing (notice I didn't use 'We')."

"Mark Doing flew in from Houston to introduce his son Howie (I mean Robert) Doing to college life. Robert is 15 and Mark thought it time to start getting him psyched. Kendall and Trevor are already psyched. Mark and Robert arrived sometime during the game so we didn't connect but they came to Fairport to visit us Sunday, went to an A League soccer playoff game with us and spent the night. The invitation is open to all. We have room in Rochester. Mark is as great as ever. Time stands still when it comes to brothers getting together."

"I spent an hour examining the entire house and grounds. I'm on the Capital Improvement committee so thought it good to establish a baseline of the house conditions and needs. The overall impression is solid but a little tattered around the edges. The rugs are new and the floors are sanded which helped clean up the place a bit. I will be compiling this report over the next couple months."

"The actives are hungry for our stories, traditions and support. They were impressed when I told them my pledge class removed the last of the gray paint applied by the Navy during WW2. We cleaned the ceiling woodwork in the library."

Alan Becker '76 reports that son Michael graduated from Amherst College in 1999, and just completed a fellowship at L'Ecole Normale Superieuve in Paris. He is still living in Paris, but will enroll in the Yale Law School in September 2001. Daughter Marie has just enrolled at Swarthmore College.

"Susan and I are empty-nesters!"

Rich Sasson '76 is moving to London in mid-August. Any brothers visiting the area, please send email. "I promise to have plenty of lukewarm beer."

Don Ogren '52 and classmates were saddened by the death of Shirley 'Scotty' Moore, wife of Ron Moore '52.

"We of that era remember her so fondly."

Ralph Peters '49 is still going after a stroke, and happily active in the small town (city??) of 6500 people on Penobscot Bay.

As of the first of the year (2000), Don Whitney '68 left seven years of service with the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, and is now 'on the other side of the table' representing industry. "Trinity Consultants has opened a new office in Oklahoma City and we now have a total of three engineers."

Joe Quade '49 has been chosen as one of five Morris County (NJ) residents, aged 75 and older, who have given outstanding service to others. The "Living Treasures" Program for the year 2000 honors older county residents considered to be an inspiration to their friends, neighbors, and especially the younger generation, who have a history of service to the community and an exceptional knowledge or extraordinary talent which gives them elder expertise.

Joe, 76, retired from Prudential Insurance Company, has previously been honored for his work for others. In 1983, he was named Montville's Citizen of the Year, and in 1985, won a Prudential humanitarian award. He has held leadership positions in many community groups, among them the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, American Legion, United Way, Library Board, Board of Education, Community Education, OCEC Sheltered Workshop. He's also past president of the Prudential Insurance Company Athletic Association.

Friends say Quade became a Girl Scout leader when there were no other volunteers and underwent training so his daughter and her friends could enjoy scouting. He raised $40,000 to fight gypsy moth infestation in his town (winning the title of "the gypsy moth general"), organized a 50th Anniversary Weekend to honor World War II veterans, and serves as Americanism Chairman for the VFW. He also coordinates the high school's Voice of Democracy department and for the last 15 years, has also been a substitute teacher at Montville High School.

Full article: Five County Residents Are This Year's "Living Treasures"

Neil Best '87 and family recently attended the 3rd birthday party of Jeremy Wessel, son of Paul Wessel '83.

"Mike McCoy '84 continues to be my brother-in-law, and Dik Saalfeld '80 continues to be my penpal."

Bob Forness '87 and wife Lindsay (Hotel '84) are back in the U.S. and getting used to big grocery stores, huge Home Depots, and yellow school busses. Bob has joined an Internet startup,

Rick Lipsey '89 , living in NYC, is married to Carrie Cohen (Cornell '89). He's writing about golf at Sports Illustrated, dabbling in TV at MSNBC (when they get desperate for a golf talking head), and running the NY Marathon every year as a guide (Mark Podgainy '88 is a guide, too) for the Achilles Track Club, an international club for disabled folks.

"Have been taking exotic trips, including Nepal's Himalayas in 1995 and this fall Burma and Vietnam."

Mark Podgainy '88 married Lisa Usdan on May 6, 2000. In attendance were Dave Trachtenberg '88 & wife Jennifer Brooks, and Rick Lipsey '89 & wife Carrie Cohen.

"Now, I am moving a few blocks away after returning from the honeymoon in Morocco and London. Does the excitement ever end?"

Chapter Eternal

The brothers of Beta Theta Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha extend their sympathy to the families and friends of the following brothers:

Harry W. Tobey '35
November 22, 1999

Harrison Parker '44

William M. Farnham II '54
June 6, 1998

Paul H. Frick, Jr., '51 writes:

Frank LeFurgy '51 died September 20, 1999, after a five-year battle with cancer.

Frank spent his business career in the insurance industry, primarily as President of Frank B. Hall's International Division.

At retirement, Frank and his wife Priscilla moved from Hartsdale NY to Hilton Head. In addition to Priscilla, he leaves son Rich and daughter Linda.


term Alpha Theta Director
2001 Ken Hull, Vice President
2002 Rick Eno, Alumni Relations
2003 Steve Amador, Treasurer
2004 Tim Cole, President
2005 Steven Gal
Spring '01 Undergraduate Exec Board
President Tony Nardi '01
Internal VP Mark Major '03
External VP Zach Resnick '03
Treasurer Chapin Durling '02
Secretary Brett Katz '01

Go to Beta Theta E-mail Directory

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