23 New Brothers
Spring Update

Summer Party '97 Homecoming '97
Alumni Notes
Updates ...continuously...

Chapter Eternal


1996 fall
1996 spring
Pi Kappa Alpha Crest

Beta Theta DATA

Spring 1997 Volume 45 Number 2
2 Oct 97

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

Beta Theta Welcomes 23 New Brothers

Chris Weldon '98
Alumni Relations

On Monday morning, April 28th, the Beta Theta Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha initiated twenty-three new members into our brotherhood. As expected, the ceremonies went very well. We were helped this year by a newly purchased set of regalia, which made the ritual that much more amazing and memorable.

Many of the new members were very emotional, showing that they were truly happy to be initiated into our bonds of phi phi kappa alpha. The actual initiation started around 1:30a.m. and did not end until 6:00a.m. It was a late night, but well worth it.

The initiation was followed that afternoon by a brotherhood barbecue which was cooked on the newly made, 10' x 4' cinder block grille, which happened to be the pledge project. Fortunately, it was well built and we all had an enjoyable afternoon.

This pledge class is a group of quality guys, as usual, and we look forward to their leadership in the future. They've already shown their commitment to the house by participating in our intramural events, volunteering more than 850 combined community service hours, and keeping the house in its newly renovated shape. Included are five new athletes: two lightweight football players, a track man, and two rugby men. It's pretty exciting to get some fellow athletes into the house.

We were very successful during rush, relative to results posted by other houses on the hill. The sizes of the recent Beta Theta classes are presently 23, 14, 22, 23 in descending order. Everyone is excited about our new brothers.


Spring Update

Danny Hest '97, Departing President
Chris Weldon '98, , Alumni Relations

The Spring of 1997 has been a semester full of accomplishment for Beta Theta Chapter, instilling a sense of pride throughout the brotherhood and offering tremendous promise for future years.

The semester started with an intense formal rush period during which numbers for the entire greek system were down once again. In spite of this, brothers were practically overwhelmed at the first smoker when more than 200 rushees walked through our doors, far more than any other house. When the week ended, 23 men had signed their bids and one of the strongest pledge classes in recent memory was formed.

A visit in February from Mike Margolin, our national consultant, reaffirmed the brotherhood's commitment to striving toward a Smythe Award. Using a weighted scale of 1 to 5 (a 5 means that the chapter program "far exceeds standard expectations"), Mike assessed all chapter programs. Beta Theta received all 4's and 5's. In a letter to the chapter, Mike wrote, "It was a pleasure to work with such an enthusiastic group of Pikes that are so personally driven toward making Beta Theta simply the best." The Smythe application is due May 15th and is being prepared by Dan Hest, fall President Will Rukin '97, and incumbent President Dave Becker '98.

Under the guidance of External Vice President Andrew Fabian '97, Beta Theta became the leader among all Cornell fraternities in community service man-hours this Spring. Along with the contributions from the first semester, the chapter has far exceeded its goal of compiling over 2,000 hours this year, through a variety of programs and events.

While talking with other Pike chapter presidents at the North Atlantic Regional Conference in Boston, it became apparent to me that one of the areas in biggest need of improvement for each of our chapters was communication throughout the brotherhood. A few weeks later, Beta Theta established 272-PiKA, an automated information hotline for meals, social and athletic events, and brotherhood events. The message is updated weekly, and so far, it has been a valuable addition to the chapter.

Thanks to the work of newly elected Alpha Theta undergraduate trustee Larry Klecha '99 and Alpha Theta treasurer Steve Amador, Beta Theta made improvements to the chapter house by adding new curtains in the chapter room and the library, a new dishwasher in the kitchen, and new chairs in the dining room. In addition, for its pledge project, the newly initiated pledge class built an enormous grille in the back lot to replace an aging one. Upon first sight of the new grille, Mark "The Cook" Wagner's eyes lit up and he exclaimed, "I can get more than 50 hamburgers on that thing!"

Beta Theta recently celebrated its 80th anniversary with a weekend formal in Toronto, Ontario. Thanks to the diligent work and planning of Jason Pechet '99, brothers headed up north to the Sheraton Four Points Hotel for the event. On Saturday, many brothers ventured into Toronto to catch a game at SkyDome, while others took in the many sites of the city, including the CN Tower. Saturday's events gave way to a classy and emotional formal at the hotel, during which the younger undergraduates paid their respects to the graduating seniors.

Upon our return to Ithaca from Toronto, the brothers of Beta Theta were presented with an award for "Outstanding Chapter" from the Cornell Interfraternity Council, one of four given out to all fraternities.

As of this writing, our softball team is currently 4-0 and hopefully on the way to a championship. We reached the semi-finals in both volleyball and bowling. Floor hockey is also very satisfactory in that we are 3-0 with a total of one goal scored on us in all three games combined.

Other noteworthy items:

  • Chris Weldon '98 has been selected President of the Order of Omega Honor Society for the 1997-98 academic year. He also received an Outstanding Member Appreciation Award from the IFC.
  • Josh Brill '99 was elected IFC Vice President of University and Community Relations and will serve through January of 1998. He succeeded Chris Weldon, making it two consecutive years that Pike has been represented on the Interfraternity Council.
  • Winners of the Hugh Sylvester Gibbs Award (selected by the brotherhood for graduating seniors who have exemplified dedication to the fraternity): 1st place, Will Rukin; 2nd place, Daniel Hest
  • Overall, it has been a fantastic semester for Beta Theta. We have every confidence that the newly elected executive board will lead the chapter to continued success.


    July 19, 1997 Summer Party
    September 27, 1997 Homecoming vs. Colgate
    Nov 1, 1997 Fall 1997 Beta Theta DATA deadline
    May 1, 1998 Spring 1998 Beta Theta DATA deadline
    October 17, 1998 Homecoming vs. Bucknell
    November 6, 1999 Homecoming vs. Yale

    Summer Party '97

    July 19th
    Stewart Park

    party later at 210 College Avenue

    contact Seth Martin
    for further info regarding details, donation requested, & RSVP.

    Homecoming '97

    Friday, September 26, 1997 9:00pm-11:00pm Wine and Cheese Pike House
    Saturday, September 27, 1997 10:00am Alpha Theta Meeting Pike House
    11:00am-1:00pm Tailgate Party Schoellkopf Parking Lot
    1:00pm Cornell vs. Colgate Schoellkopf Field
    7:00pm Cocktail Hour Pike House
    8:00pm Homecoming Formal Pike House
    Sunday, September 28, 1997 11:00am-1:00pm Farewell Brunch Pike House

    The cost for all events of the weekend is $30/person. Mail checks payable to Pi Kappa Alpha - Beta Theta Chapter to:

    Homecoming Chair
    Eric Cagner
    17 South Avenue
    Ithaca NY 14850

    Please send funds to arrive by September 5th at the latest. If you have questions or would like to place your reservations in advance of payment, please use the linked form to RSVP , or e-mail Eric.

    Our undercover reporter has checked the registration desk of the sleaziest dives in Ithaca, and found the following alumni confirmed to be back this fall:

  • Andy Bjork '82
  • Rick Eno '82
  • Bill Grivas '82
  • Brian Pickerall '82
  • Chuck Weinberg '82
  • Ed Conti '83
  • Michael Bates '84
  • Bill Gossman '84
  • Barry Lawrence '84
  • Paul Linskey '84
  • Kevin O'Connell '85
  • Bill Page '85
  • Hans Rempel '85
  • Tom Yazdgerdi '85
  • Lars Fuchs '86
  • Also rumored to put in an appearance:
  • Tom Carbone '82
  • Nate Rudgers '82

  • Alumni Notes

    Go to - Updated Alumni Notes -

    Jeff Lowe '86 [ ] reports that "wife, Maribeth, and I have a 14-month old son named Parker. I've been back in the US for about two years now after doing a stint with Mori Sogo Law Offices in Tokyo, Japan. I'm back with Hogan & Hartson L.L.P. in Washington, D.C. doing mergers and acquisitions."

    David Trachtenberg '88 recently accepted a fellowship in Forensic Psychiatry at NYU Medical Center. "One of my jobs includes interviewing police cases at Bellevue Hospital and consulting for Riker's Island."

    "Wife Jennifer Brooks Trachtenberg (CU '89, MD '93) and I live in Manhattan. We were married August 1994. She is a pediatrician in private practice at Mount Sinai Hospital (anyone need a baby doctor?)."

    Jennifer & David are happy to announce the birth of their first child Noah Jacob Trachtenberg in December of 1996.

    "I keep in touch with Mark Podgainy '88, and we try to play pool every so often at the billiards club on E. 86th Street. Mark still tries to rattle me whenever I shoot. He's manager in a retail clothing company and remains (blissfully) a bachelor."

    Other Pikes seen recently include Brian Goldin, a rheumatologist, who works at Bellevue sometimes, and Howard Ross, who was doing a surgery fellowship at Cornell Medical Center.

    Rich Sasson '76 missed the vonLengerke summer party, but crashed his house in August just the same. "While damaging his beer & steak supply, I met Carolyn who recounted Tom Sporney exploits. Tom never dated shy girls!!"

    "Also bummed two days food & lodging from Chuck Baker '75 -- nice house & good food. Recommend to all in the Philadelphia area."

    "Am settled with wife & two children in Friendswood TX, doing engineering-type work for Parsons. Stop by if in the area."

    Neil Cantor '95 ran into Art Witebsky (literally) over the summer, while on a Marine Corps Marathon Training Run, but hasn't been able to track him down since, not even during the marathon. "Hey Art..."

    In the meantime, he's heard from lots of other brothers who supported related effort to raise money for the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship by completing the marathon. In the end, friends and family donated $5060 to the NCCS, including brothers Ian Brown, Victor Blas, Evan Cagner, Sean Carey, Rob Claypoole, Lowell Figur, Greg Gordon, Scott Ising, David Kim, Peter Lamoreaux, Carlos Medina, Ray Merza, Tony Prentice, Penner Schraundenbac, Nate Schreiber, Mike Sloan, Lowell Taub, and Art. Thanks, guys. Peace.

    Doug Wright '81 [ ] reports that all is well in Phoenix. "I talk to Bob Mateus all the time... in fact, just won some money on the 49ers and Carolina game. Also money on the Yankees!"

    Chapter Eternal

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

    Gus Dammin '34

    Robert H. Flack '43
    March 25, 1996

    C. Douglas Repp '48
    November 11, 1996


    term Alpha Theta Director (interim)
    1996 Mike Greenberg
    1997 Ian Brown, Vice President
    1998 Steve Amador, Treasurer
    1999 Tim Cole, President
    2000 Neil Cantor, Alumni Relations

    Fall '97
    Undergraduate Exec Board
    President Dave Becker '98
    Internal VP Larry Klecha '99
    External VP Dan Switzer '00
    Treasurer Nelson Anderson '99
    Secretary Jon-Paul DiMauro '00
    Rush Chair Mike Mihalakis '98

    Go to Beta Theta E-mail Directory

    Other Links

    Official site
    Unofficial site & directory

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