Incoming SMC Report
Chapter Advisor's Desk
Rush & Athletics
Hatches & Matches
Spring 2003 Volume 51 Number 2
News & information by the alumni association of the Beta Theta Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity at Cornell University
Jeffrey Mihalakis '03
As we approach the end of the Spring 2003 semester, we are very proud to report that the Beta Theta Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha has not only maintained its new high standards of excellence but continues to exceed them in every capacity.
A year ago this month, the brotherhood was placed in a very precarious position. Beta Theta was placed under alumni receivership and numerous university sanctions. We witnessed, as a result of university actions, the demise of many comparable fraternities. The Greek system as a whole at Cornell was reorganizing, and truth be told, Pike was skating on very thin ice. Fortunately, the members of Beta Theta would not allow Pike's future to follow the same road as others on campus. This past year the active brotherhood has been an impressive display of sacrifice and resiliency to uphold our fraternity and our values.
As for accolades the chapter has received, I am pleased to report that at the sixteenth annual Interfraternity Council Greek Awards Ceremony Pi Kappa Alpha received the Most Improved Chapter Award for its continuing hard work to become a model fraternity on Cornell's campus. Additionally, I am a pleased to announce that Richard Goldman, our new member educator, and I, both received awards for Most Outstanding Leaders. The entire active chapter is extremely proud to have received such awards because they represent Cornell's acknowledgment of the positive turnaround our chapter has demonstrated. We hope to continue our efforts to remain in good standing with the University.
Furthermore, we are proud to report that we have earned a cumulative chapter GPA of 3.39 and were ranked number two amongst all Cornell fraternities. Currently we have brothers who are members of Order of Omega, Cornell's Greek Honor Society, as well as the Judicial Committee of IFC, and the Student Management Corporation (SMC) Board of Directors.
I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you and goodbye to our fraternity advisor Reid Orth. Reid has successfully completed his educational responsibilities to Cornell and will be moving on this summer after spending five years with us in Ithaca. Though he will physically be removed from Cornell, Reid will always remain as a viable presence in our chapter. For many years Reid was a source of support of guidance and he will be missed.
Overall, this has been an incredible year for Pi Kappa Alpha at Cornell. With hard work and dedication by the brotherhood, our chapter was able to exceed the high goals we set for ourselves. The results have been amazing and I am very proud of Pike's new reputation on campus. I am extremely confident that our efforts this year will be the backbone for this fraternity's longevity.
In closing, I wish the graduating seniors the best of luck in all their future endeavors and hope they remain active in their fraternity. To the members we leave behind, we have the utmost confidence that you will continue the proud traditions of Pi Kappa Alpha so that it will continue to be the great fraternity it truly is. I am extremely proud to have been a part of this fraternity over the past four years and of my leadership role over the past year. It truly was an honor and privilege to work with the active and alumni members of Pi Kappa Alpha, and I thank you all for your involvement and support.
Our most important goals as brothers are to uphold the character and reputation of our house, while exemplifying those qualities of our motto. This past semester we showed our strength in adapting to new changes and proved to ourselves that we were the strongest brotherhood on campus. Our goals for the upcoming semester are symbiotic with those that we have begun to implement and complete.
One of our most important goals was to edit our existing New Member Education Program so that it would produce leaders and gentlemen. We will continue to improve in the coming year.
A major concern of ours is to revise our Alumni Relations Program and get an increased effort and involvement from alumni and brothers. This is integral in our efforts to raise money for a capital campaign to renovate major sections of the house and to help keep our brotherhood, both past and present, strong.
One hundred and thirty-five years ago, our founders created the rich, meaningful ritual of Pi Kappa Alpha. My personal aspiration is to explain the importance of this ritual to all current brothers and new members so that it is carried on for the next one hundred years. Knowing and understanding our ritual is what keeps us bonded together as brothers, and as SMC, I will keep that bond held together.
The most important job for the entire brotherhood each year is to rush students that exhibit the characteristics we hold dear; we need to develop a rush program that does this without err and is recognized for doing so. In order to further dominate our campus in athletics, academics, community service, and leadership, we need to continuously and carefully select quality candidates for brotherhood.
Lastly, we hope to vivify Pi Kappa Alpha's reputation as a model Greek chapter on our campus and in our community. The only way we will accomplish this and the rest of our goals is by working together, sometimes needing to make sacrifices along the way, but always remembering phi phi K a and what it means to us, and the brothers we make those sacrifices for.
In 1998, I began serving as Chapter Advisor while I served as Assistant Professor of Aerospace Studies and Commandant of Cadets for Cornell's Air Force ROTC program. I finished that position in Aug 2000 at which time I became a full time Ph.D. candidate in Biomedical Engineering. On May 5th, 2003, I passed my B exam thus finishing the final requirements for my degree, and I will depart for Florida at the end of May. When reviewing the past five years as Chapter Advisor, I can safely say it was a wonderful opportunity and I learned much from many developing leaders. I provided guidance to Executive Boards, helped plan and coordinate events, served as a link between the alumni and the brotherhood, helped the brotherhood understand the implications of their actions, and helped instill risk awareness in their daily activities.
Members of the Beta Theta Chapter have always stood out as leaders on campus. Along with the leadership positions as the role models on campus comes significant responsibility. This responsibility has become very apparent with the dramatic changes that have taken place over this period. The fraternity's activities, pledging program, and general conduct were a continuation of decades of tradition and legacy. Over these five years, Cornell and the International Headquarters have become increasingly involved in the management of fraternity affairs and consequently raised the standards of conduct. During this period of evolution, the chapter worked closely with members of Cornell's Fraternity and Sorority Affairs. For their hard work on campus, Cornell and the Headquarters at points indicated they were strong contenders for awards such as Best Chapter at Cornell and the Smythe Award. Yet, as they stove to make changes and reach the bar placed before them, the bar was continuously raised higher. To accelerate the evolution, Cornell and Pike Headquarters established expectations for the chapter. Over this period, the Executive Board swam upstream against the strong currents of tradition and legacy, and made unprecedented improvements in chapter conduct and decorum. While Darwinism shows that those that are weak die out, it also shows that the most successful at adaptation survive and rise toward the top of the food chain. As one of the most visible fraternities on campus, Beta Theta has had to bear the brunt of fraternity adaptation and helped the university define how chapters should conduct their activities. Indicators that attest this fact are the awarding of "The Most Improved Chapter" and two "Most Outstanding Leader" awards. These are highly coveted accolades, and they are the fruit of endless hours of diligent efforts, communication, adaptation, and negotiation. Additional indicators to their adaptation were the proactive invitation of the Cornell University Police Department and the director of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs to the house on two separate occasions to speak about how the chapter could best operate in order to acclimate to the ever increasing standards and expectations of Cornell University.
During my tenure, the members have demonstrated every aspect of SLAG: Scholar, Leader, Athlete, and Gentleman. The brotherhood is composed of scholars as demonstrated by being ranked 2nd last fall in the GPA rankings, and other high ratings in previous semesters. The chapter has time and again been one of the best athletic team on campus, if not the best. There has always been strong participation in leadership organizations such as the Greek Interfraternity Council and many key leadership positions in activities around campus. The chapter has always dominated in RUSH-last year the house recruited 26 and this year in they recruited 18 studs (among the top five highest recruiting fraternities at Cornell). Furthermore, the chapter has always been leaders in community service hours. The members show they are true gentlemen through the courtesy and respect they show members of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, Alpha Theta, Michael Hayes, and myself. Additionally, when approached by abrupt members of Ithaca City concerning fire standards and housing issues, the brotherhood resolves these concerns in a diplomatic fashion. Through the combined action of the Executive Board and alumni lawyers, an excessive and expensive fire code planning to be imposed by the Ithaca City officials upon Cornell fraternities has been repealed.
There are several other notable accomplishments. The general condition of the inside of the house has improved, including dramatic improvements to the bar room, carpeting, and furniture. It is now the most livable and presentable I have seen it over the past five years. Additionally, the cohesiveness of the brotherhood has steadily become very close-knit.
As I depart, there are several things I will miss about 17 South Avenue. First, I will miss the outstanding leadership demonstrated by the Executive Board members. The Executive Boards constantly made judicious decisions about house activities in an increasingly demanding environment. Second, I will miss the dynamic duo (Ken Hull and Dave Miles) who do a remarkable job setting up and administering Reunion Weekend. Third, I will miss the psychological damage I receive each year when I hear the songs sung at Homecoming Weekend by alumni from the 70s and 80s. Oh, what it would have been like to live in those eras…wow! Fourth, I will miss the brothers of the chapter who have always welcomed me into their events and provided a friendly face to turn to on campus. Likewise, I will miss the supportive alumni who year after year either work from their homes or return to Cornell to help the chapter run smoothly.
Once again, it has been a distinct pleasure working with this fine group of undergraduate and alumni professionals. Best wishes for your continued successes!
This semester, Pike has tried to redefine our role as a philanthropic organization. Recognizing the need to participate and contribute more to the community, the fraternity has made great efforts to go above and beyond the minimum requirements of Cornell University. In doing so, we have solidified our place as the premier fraternities on this campus.
The spring 2003 semester has been among Pike's best in terms of philanthropy and community service. Brothers have participated in many forms of service, some in the name of the fraternity and others individually. Among the hallmark events of our semester was the Pike/AEPi/Hillel Charity Auction, which raised money for several important local charities and alternate spring break programs. Brothers not only participated in the auction but also eagerly promoted and advertised the event. Members also took part in a charity bowlathon in late February. Donations on behalf of each participant were given to an Ithaca charity. Brothers also participated in 26 hours of sex education and spent nearly 120 hours serving Gannett Health Center.
With that said, we hope to continue our successful philanthropy into the fall semester. The brothers of Pi Kappa Alpha eagerly await the challenges and rewards of charity and service.
New Member Program
Richard M. Goldman '03, New Member Educator
This was a very successful semester for the Beta Theta New Member Education Program. This year's program instituted many goals including developing brotherhood, educating on history and tradition, and maintaining a cohesive unit of new brothers to welcome into our fraternity. Most importantly, however, the paramount goal was to ensure that the new member program remained within the standards of Cornell University's Code of Ethics and the Pi Kappa Alpha Bylaws. After eight weeks of pledging activities and a beautiful initiation ceremony, I am proud to report that Beta Theta accomplished all of its goals, and has set an example for future classes to follow.
A feat that does not often occur took place this year when all 18 pledges who signed bids completed the entire 8-week process. From attending retreats to maintaining the upkeep of the house, participating in community service events and facilitating social events, all 18 new members took part in activities that they will eventually partake in as they begin to assume leadership positions in the fraternity. In fact, this year's pledge program was almost a microcosm of how our fraternity runs as pledges were given, on a weekly basis, tasks and challenges that many of the leaders of the fraternity experienced during their tenure in certain positions.
Already the success of the pledge program can be seen, as a majority of the incoming brothers chose to run for positions on the executive board of Beta Theta. Our house is slowly changing from one that is led by seniors to one that is run by sophomores and juniors. I have great expectations for the incoming brothers and have no doubts about their capabilities to keep Beta Theta atop the fraternal mountain of Cornell University.
I would like to thank the brotherhood for their support during the new member program. This year's program changed somewhat due to conflicts that existed between the program and Cornell's standards, but the brotherhood was supportive and cooperative with its change.
Marc Pantirer '05, Athletic Chair
This year our Pike Intramurals teams ranked amongst the best against all other fraternity teams on campus. We advanced into the playoffs in all sports that we participated in, putting us in the running for the All Sports Trophy for Cornell Intramurals. We placed first in tennis and lost in the semifinals in ice hockey, basketball, and flag football. Our successful participation was not just in these major sports, but was also seen in sports like volleyball, golf and skiing. We hope to continue participating in all possible fraternity sporting events.
Kristopher Cocivera '05, House Manager
During the school year of 2002-2003, the house of the Beta Theta Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha saw many physical changes. These much needed changes have made the house look the best it has in recent years and have added to the overall efficiency of our chapter.
In our chapter room, our old couches were moved into our TV room and on to our landings. New black leather couches in the chapter room replaced these couches. We also installed new chandeliers and upgraded most of the light fixtures throughout the house.
The carpet on the stairs from the main floor to the basement was removed, and the original wood floors were refinished. We also did extensive restoration to the house stair banister; we completely reinstalled the second floor banister so that it would be sturdier, yet still match the original woodwork of the house.
The walls of our dining room were covered with new wainscot style wood paneling, which was then stained to match the rest of the house woodwork. The remaining wall surface was painted garnet.
Another new addition to our dining room was new dinner tables. Our five old dinner tables were replaced with five new dinner tables. Also, the big round table, which was used to serve our food, was removed from the dining room and was replaced by counters attached directly to the wall. This is very convenient for dinner-serving purposes.
Our bar room has become one of the centerpieces of our house's social arena. We completely removed all the old white plaster and exposed the stone foundation. The stone was reappointed and three new wood booths we constructed. We also doubled the size of the bar by extending it to create an L shaped bar. The old furnace closet was removed, exposing the original woodwork on the basement stairs and opening the room up even more.
The carpets, which are laid out in the chapter room and main foyer of the first floor, were replaced with brand new garnet-colored rugs. We also installed a large new brass chandelier in the foyer.
This summer we expect the Cornell Grounds department to finally address the front South Avenue retaining wall, which has been crumbing as of late. The plans call for the removal of the retaining wall, the regrading of our lawn to closer match those of our neighbors, and the installation of a new sidewalk and stairs to match Cornell's changes to our property along South Avenue.
It has been a great experience getting to know the undergraduate and alumni brothers of Beta Theta. While I wish the circumstances of our meeting were a little different, it's been quite a year. The chapter remains on Alumni Receivership from a series of events which placed the chapter "in not good standing" status with either the University or the International Fraternity. I am confident that if things proceed as they currently are, the chapter will be returned to good standing soon.
Beta Theta has responded well to the challenges this situation offered. Under the leadership of Jeff Mihalakis and his E-Board, the chapter has confronted some demons, honed and enhanced existing programs, and implemented new initiatives, most importantly, the New Member program. The alumni should be quite proud.
The challenge for Beta Theta will continue to be surviving and thriving within the Cornell culture and balancing the new expectations placed upon them from both the institution and the Fraternity. Times have changed and times will continue to change. While all involved are thrilled with the improvements and hard work of the chapter, there is more to do and the expectations even higher. I have no doubt that these men will rise to that challenge.
I look forward to meeting and working with the chapter and its alumni leadership in the future.
The PikeCornell website is currently under construction, but the layout and future pages are there for viewing. The website will contain many features to attract new rushees and further promote a closer link between active brothers and the alumni.
Rushees and people wondering what the Beta Theta Chapter is all about will have a chance to read about our founding ideals, history and what makes Pike work today. The section devoted to Rush will provide up to date rush events and the ideals that Pi Kappa Alpha strives for. It is a great communication tool allowing outsiders to get familiar with Pike.
The website will also feature sections devoted to past members and the roles they played for the fraternity, such as past Presidents, Pledge Masters, and Rush Chairs. We will also have a section for pictures from the numerous Pike events we have in Ithaca. The site will even have a bulletin board to post comments to those who visit the site and to give us some feed back.
The alumni section will feature constant news and updates. The alumni will have a chance to update their information into our database, so we can close the gap between generations and the growing distance between Pikes of the past and present. The information gathered will be used to remind alumni of upcoming events and to help maintain communication within all the brothers of the chapter.
There will also be a Brothers-only section featuring more pictures from social events, files and lists, and other important information that should be kept within the realms of the Beta Theta Chapter. All together this website will be a great way for the alumni to keep in touch with the chapter and allow new rushees to check out what Pi Kappa Alpha is all about.
This year's Away Formal in Montreal, Quebec, Canada was the best we've had in four years. Thanks to the hard work of event organizer Danny Lachs and the questionable abuse of his power by giving himself, Ex-President Jeff Mihalakis and Dave Pantirer suites, the legendary AJS pledge class had one last hurrah in our neighbor to the north. Despite cries for a change of venue to a breathtaking white-water rafting trip in lovely West Virginia, we braved a SARS scare (Dan Greenwald get well soon).
The first night the brotherhood went out to a fine dinner with the worst service of all-time. Lachs' date gleefully guzzled wine that I was paying for, Anthony DiRaimondo made his now-classic toast, and Jesse Hom made a toast that is even more classic. We laughed, Adam Feintisch's date did not. The Formal itself was filled with the usual... toasts, drinks, Release, and some hefty dates (Ed Marcus' et. al.) eating too much of the buffet. Afterward, it was off to the famous Club Super Sex, where, at the site of some attractive, nude women, the brotherhood erupted. Dave Pantirer (Larry) bought a table dance for everyone and some dates (mine) even volunteered to get on stage. It was great fun. All in all, the Away Formal was an absolute success despite the debt it will leave Pike in for the next few years.
Attending New York University Law School in the fall.
Will be doing some actuarial consulting for Mercer Human Resource Consulting.
Legislative Assistant for a lobby in Washington D.C.
Living on Pantirer's couch eating peanut butter and banana sandwiches and watching the Syracuse national championship game over and over... still loving the virgins.
Getting older and balder.
Working for Aramark Sports and Entertainment as a Club Manager at the Meadowlands in New Jersey.
Planning to take several hooked on phonic courses at a local elementary school in Connecticut.
Working as an analyst for Goldman Sachs in New York City.
Living in Brooklyn Heights, working for a prominent restaurant company in New York City.
I will be moving to San Diego to pursue a career in the hospitality industry, hopefully in the food and beverage side of things. I will be moving there this summer to find a place to live and a job, and some hot blondes.
Working in Kansas City, Missouri as Assistant Manager of Food Service with American Food and Vending.
Working for Four Seasons Hotels at the Pierre Hotel in New York City.
Attending Law School in Miami.
Sex drugs and rock n roll....in LA.
Supporting Mihalakis and Conor, continuing to spend his parent's money and pondering the idea of maybe getting a job.
Attending Marymount University for a Masters in Forensic Psychology.
Guiseppe "Jersey" Perrota
I intend to pursue a dual MD/MBA degree.
Working for JP Morgan Chase as an analyst in the asset management division.
James "Ho" Waring
Economic analyst work at Thomson Financial in Beantown... pissing in position.
Moving to Costa Rica, to teach English to underprivileged children, and build straw shacks.
|June 5-8, 2003||Reunion Weekend||Future Reunion dates|
|October 25, 2003||Homecoming vs. Harvard||Future Homecoming dates|
|November 1, 2003||Fall 2003 Beta Theta DATA deadline|
|May 1, 2004||Spring 2004 Beta Theta DATA deadline|
|June 10-13, 2004||Reunion Weekend||Future Reunion dates|
|October 16, 2004||Homecoming vs. Colgate||Future Homecoming dates|
Welcome to Reunion Weekend 2003!
The brothers of Pi Kappa Alpha invite all returning alumni and their guests to the Pike House, 17 South Avenue during this year's Reunion Weekend at Cornell.
|Friday, June 6||7p - 9p||Open House||refreshments will be served|
|Saturday, June 7||11a - 1p||Open House|
|1p - 6p||Wine and Cheese|
|8p - 10p||Meet at the Chapter House|
|Sunday, June 8||8:30a - 12n||Open House||food and refreshments will be served|
On behalf of all the active brothers of Pi Kappa Alpha, we would like to cordially invite you to join us at Cornell for our own celebration of Homecoming Weekend 2003!
Homecoming Weekend begins with a wine and cheese reception Friday evening at the house. Early Saturday morning, we will have our annual Alpha Theta housing corporation meeting where we will be discussing issues regarding the chapter and alumni. This will be followed by a pre-game BBQ and the Cornell-Harvard football game tailgate. We will gather outside the football stadium and eventually make our way into the game. Saturday evening is our Homecoming formal. There will be a catered dinner and live music. Finally, to conclude the weekend, we will host a farewell brunch on Sunday morning.
Your presence at Homecoming will allow us to show you the growing strength of our chapter. Not only will this year's events serve as a great way to rejuvenate old friendships, but they will also give us a chance to make new ones. The doors of 17 South Avenue are always open to you, and your presence will ensure this year's event will have the enthusiasm that has made past Homecomings so great.
Although last year's homecoming attendance was tremendous, we are hoping for an even stronger alumni response this year. The life and brotherhood of our house is based upon the overwhelming involvement of both active brothers and our alumni. A great turnout this year will only reinforce this as we celebrate Phi Phi Kappa Alpha!
Eric Ziff '06
Homecoming Chair 2002
Jordan Bettman '06
|Friday, October 24th|
|9pm||Wine & Cheese||Pike House|
|Saturday, October 25th|
|8:30am||Bagels, coffee & juice||Pike House|
|9am||Alpha Theta / Pike Meetings||Pike House|
|11am||Alumni BBQ||Pike House|
|1pm||Cornell vs. Harvard||Schoellkopf Field|
|8pm||Homecoming Formal||Pike House|
|Sunday, October 26th|
|11am||Farewell Brunch||Pike House|
If you have questions or would like to place your reservations in advance, please use the linked form to RSVP .
Go to List of Hotel Accommodations
Go to Updated Alumni Notes
Dean Katsaros '97 writes that three members of OPOP (pledge class '94) are getting married this year:
Dustin Peterson & Katie Scully, 6/28/03
Dean Katsaros & Danielle November, 8/23/03
David Becker & Elena Vassallo, 11/1/03
"Here's to happiness in the future for all three couples, and some out-of-control bachelor parties in the coming months."
Kurt Dodd's contribution to the Capital Improvement Fund is provided under the express, yet unfavorable, condition that, upon closing the Alpha Theta meeting, Tim Cole promptly escort the brotherhood onto the frat lawn, turn left, and lead the brotherhood in a rousing chorus of 'I'm An Armpit'.
"The job of meeting secretary is a thankless job that Dave Miles has performed admirably for quite a while; while I appreciate his dedication and brevity, I wouldn't mind seeing acknowledgement of the fulfillment of this condition in the meeting notes as published in the Beta Theta Data. [In that regard, I sadly note the lack of any mention of last year's condition of Rick Eno... another outstanding alum and Alpha Theta officer!]"
Editor's note: Kurt, we're glad to honor your request for these acknowledgements. As to Tim's meeting adjournment, you'll need to bring that up at the meeting under 'New Business'.
After spending the last 24 years in New Jersey, Chip Baines' employer, Avaya, Inc., decided that they would rather he lived in Texas. So, last April, Linda and Chip bought a house in Allen TX (just outside of Dallas), and Chip started work at a brand-new Avaya building in Richardson.
"Texas is certainly different than New Jersey! However, we're keeping the house in NJ, which we use for family get-togethers at Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc. We'd love to catch up with any other Texas Pikes, and we're looking forward to our 25th Reunion this June."
Ed Krech '54 ran two marathons (Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio) during 2002, and qualified for and will run the 2003 Boston Marathon for the fourth time in April -- "feels good at 70-plus years old".
Matt Kaufer '96 had a baby in May 2002. Eric Wood '95 had a baby in April 2002. Evan Cagner '95 had a baby 2 days ago (22Dec02). All are doing well.
Lowell Martin '67 reports that his kids are fine. Phil, age 28, graduates from Kansas State vet school in May and has been accepted in Harvard's doctoral program in animal pathology. Andrew, age 25, is a chef at the Little Nell in Aspen Colorado. Eric, 15, is a sophomore in high school. "Yikes, I'm getting old."
"I retired from motorcycle road racing after finishing 8th in the mid-Atlantic region in my class last year. Too many $$$ and too many broken bones to continue at at age 57."
"Got divorced this fall, so am an official bachelor."
Jeffrey Hill '90 opened a law firm with two partners in June 2002.
"Send me business. I need to save for weddings for my three little girls."
Aldo Morell '77 has been honored by the Boys' and Girls' Clubs of the Mississippi Gulf Coast as 2002 corporate board "Volunteer of the Year".
|to||Matt Kaufer '96||May 2002|
|Eric Wood '95||April 2002|
|Evan Cagner '95||22Dec02|
|Dustin Peterson '94 & Katie Scully||6/28/03|
|Dean Katsaros '97 & Danielle November||8/23/03|
|David Becker '94 & Elena Vassallo||11/1/03|
Ardell G. Everett '59
Thomas D. Greene '66
December 5, 2002
Howard W. Stout, '27
May 12, 2002
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