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Toronto '98
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Pikathlon '98
Homecoming '98
Meeting Minutes
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Pi Kappa Alpha Crest
Fall 1998 Volume 47 Number 1
5 Apr 99

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

Annex Fire

D. Nelson Anderson '99

It is rare that members of a fraternity are allowed to help each other in a way that truly warrants the word brotherhood. However, in the past weeks, the bonds of friendship of our brotherhood were put to the test; and the depth and speed of this chapter's response can only be captured by the word brotherhood. The recent events, which have afflicted some of the brothers of our house, have brought out an amazing aspect of brotherhood that is seldom seen.

On the night of October 24th, a Collegetown apartment complex (407 College Avenue) housing eight Pikes caught on fire. The fire, which apparently began in a Chinese restaurant, spread through the building's walls causing extensive damage to all of the apartments. The Pike apartments were directly above the restaurant, and were therefore the most damaged. While the actual extent of the damage could not be assessed for a number of days, the yawning holes in the apartment's interior walls and the soot stained walls of the buildings exterior provided grim prospects of recovering anything from the apartments.

Funds from the active chapter covered immediate expenses. The brothers afflicted by this disaster, Nick Scaletta, Chris McNally, Jeff Birnbaum, Heath Rosenthal, Alfredo Rabines, Jason Chirichigno, Josh Friedman, and John-Paul DiMauro, were temporarily moved into other Pike annexes. They were offered accommodation in the house at 17 South Ave for the rest of the semester. They were given clothing and blankets. Most importantly, they were offered brotherhood shirts, pictures, and other house memorabilia that is essentially irreplaceable.

The brothers have settled back into a more normal life. They found a place to stay for the remainder of the semester on Williams Street (in front of The Chapter House), they are beginning to process the insurance forms required for reimbursement, and finally, they are busy catching up with the two weeks worth of work that they have missed. The help of the brotherhood stands as an open invitation for any assistance that they might need.

The reaction of our brotherhood was truly astonishing. People all over campus approached me and expressed their concern for our brother's situation and also their amazement at the support of the fraternity house. I believe that the immediate and selfless reactions of the brotherhood to the needs of their peers are a testament to the strength of our brotherhood and to the value of the bonds of Phi Phi Kappa Alpha. I am proud to know that if ever afflicted by a similar situation, a group of friends is there to help me through in the spirit of brotherhood.

Toronto '98

Scott Pobiner '01

This past summer four representatives from Beta Theta and over six hundred brothers and Alumni from Pi Kappa Alpha chapters around the United States and Canada attended the International Convention in Toronto. At the convention brothers Josh Elkin '00, Dan Switzer '00, Marc Lachs '01, and Scott Pobiner '01 were well received and were welcomed as representatives of one of the outstanding chapters in Pi Kappa Alpha.

During the four days of the convention each of the representatives attended seminars, discussions, and panel lectures which focused mainly on topics such as rush, pledge education, risk management, and continuing education. Some of the issues discussed were directly linked to pieces of legislation on the table for voting during the convention. Topics such as alcohol awareness and pledge education had pieces of legislation that were voted on.

One of the highlights of the weekend was the presentation of a 1998 Smythe Award to Beta Theta as one of twelve 'Outstanding Chapter' Awards which were announced during the Awards Banquet. Beta Theta also took home a scholastic achievement award and a chapter excellence certificate. The most important part of the entire event was the ability for all of the representatives and alumni from every chapter to get together and have a good time, while also discussing and making decisions on topics which are sure to affect the fraternity in the coming years and will carry Pi Kappa Alpha into the next Millennium.

Congratulations to all the brothers of Beta Theta for promoting excellence and success making Beta Theta what it is today.

Fall '98 Update

Luis Reformina '00
Alumni Relations Chair

The brothers of the Beta Theta Chapter were excited to come back in the fall semester to celebrate the Roger Adger Smythe Award given to the top ten chapters of Pi Kappa Alpha. President Nelson Anderson '99 has been directing the chapter towards winning it again this year and impressed the national consultant during his visit this semester.

The chapter also won the Scholastic Award from the national fraternity for its excellent academic achievements, including an average GPA of over 3.0. External Vice President Nick Scaletta '00 is helping maintain the chapter's tradition of contributing community service hours by getting our members to participate in projects like the Collegetown Cleanup and raising money for charities such as the Child Sexual Abuse Project. We also continue to be actively involved with the Interfraternity Council with Josh Elkin'00 serving as the Vice President of Communications.

Intramurals are going well so far with an impressive basketball team led by the high flying sensation, Craig Shapiro '01. There are currently ten varsity athletes in the fraternity participating in lightweight football, tennis and track.

House Manager and Alpha Theta Capital Improvement Trustee Tony Nardi '01 has done an excellent job in maintaining the house and undertaking new projects. The beach above the pool table room is currently being converted into a deck. Brothers are excited to use it for spring barbecues and other social events. The front of the house also got a facelift thanks to a new sign and the landscaping job done by Marco Boyce '00, Seth Sgorbati '00 and Jeremy Geller '01.

The chapter home page continues to be under development and can be reached at It includes chapter news as well as profiles and resumes of chapter members.

Pikathlon '98

Mike Arnold '00
Internal IMC

This year's Pikathlon may have been the most successful to date. For one week, the brothers of Pi Kappa Alpha took to the campus and sold t-shirts and raffles in order to raise money for the Child Sexual Abuse Project of Ithaca. We raised over two thousand dollars in one short week. The charity was very appreciative and invited us to continue our service for them in the future.

Of course, I should not forget to mention the night events associated with Pikathlon. On Thursday night, Pike hosted one of the largest two-hour bar tabs ever thrown in Cornell University history. But this night was nothing when compared to the events that took place on Friday and Saturday. On Friday night, with almost full brotherhood attendance at the house, an intense, yet beautiful century club took place, followed by our Pikathletes running down College Ave. It has been rumored that some of the participants may have forgotten to dress for the occasions or that their clothes fell off on their way down the street. Either way the crowd was highly amused by their sprinting skills, and decided to cause Cornell's first ever midnight riot, that lasted for about an hour. No one was seriously hurt, but many, including the police were impressed with the students' abilities to lose control and have fun for once. The weekend culminated with the Saturday night Pikathlon throw down, with guests and Pike favorites Stephen "Shaq" Bard and DJ Noah "Lt. Dan" Kerner. Everybody had fun, even Brother Greg Resnick who was seen dancing with himself at around 2am.

In all, the weekend was a great success and we are looking forward to an even better time at next year's Pikathlon.

Homecoming '98

Dan Fabian '01
1999 Homecoming Chair

Homecoming '98 was a success. From the alumni turnout to a rebirth of current brotherhood enthusiasm, Homecoming provided the Beta Theta chapter a weekend to remember, and momentum to build upon. Although Homecoming events did not officially begin until Friday night, that did not deter a number of alumni from arriving as early as Thursday afternoon. With three nights ahead of us, everyone knew that this weekend was going to be one to remember.

Friday evening kicked off the official '98 Homecoming events. The traditional wine and cheese began at 8:00pm, which allowed brothers of past and present to get together to talk about what has happened since last year's meeting. Cayuga's Waiters, led by our resident legal advisor, Ash B.L. Kalb, provided the brotherhood with great entertainment; especially when Ash hit his first ever "high C note," in his rendition of, "You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman." Clearly the highlight of the evening, however, was Homecoming Chair, Heath Rosenthal's stirring thank-you speech which informed all of the brothers about the upcoming events for the weekend.

Saturday morning, bright and early, current brothers, once again led by Heath Rosenthal, set up the Pike area where the tailgating would go on all day. Brother Jeremy Geller proved to be the star of the day with his selfless work behind the grill. It was not until brother Geller proclaimed, "There is smoke in my eyes," almost five hours later that he had to be replaced at the grill. Major changes in the tailgating system made some alumni unsure of how the weekend would turn out. The parking area where the Greek System was located was no longer BYOB. Instead, Cornell University catered the whole event, charging $1 per beer. Cornell set up stations located around the perimeter of the parking area to serve beer, which sometimes resulted in long lines. Despite the changes, tailgating was still a very positive event, due to the strong Pike turnout.

The traditional Homecoming formal took place on Saturday night. The menu consisted of Chicken Marsala, broccoli, wild rice, and a fantastic cheesecake, all prepared by our very own Mark T. Cook. In events immediately preceding the formal, Mark managed to let out some secrets that made the menu a touch less appealing. Mark explained, "The chicken's overcooked, the broccoli's undercooked, but the rice is damn near perfect." Those of us who were privileged enough to obtain this information, took heed to Mark's advice, and concentrated our appetites on the rice. After dinner, the famous Steven "Shaq" Bard brought out his guitar and began to play, and he did not stop until the early hours of the morning. While Steven was playing, Brother Nick Dyner provided the brotherhood with much entertainment as he showed off his new dance, "The Mop."

Saturday was clearly a great time for everyone. While many people stayed at the house until late into the evening, there was still a good turnout for Sunday's brunch. Despite Mark's activities of the previous evening, he was able to whip up some French toast, scrambled eggs, and bacon, which made the alumni leave with a good taste in their mouth. Heath would once again like to thank all that helped make Homecoming '98 a success.

Alpha Theta President's Report

Tim Cole '83
President, Alpha Theta

Recently, the directors and officers of Alpha Theta held discussions concerning the problem of poor alumni attendance at the house corporation annual meeting and at homecoming festivities in general. As a result of our deliberations, we determined that fundamental changes are needed in order to invigorate alumni interest in visiting the chapter and participating in decisions that affect alumni and active brothers alike. In this regard, the first issue we addressed is that of communication, specifically, the distribution of invitations to chapter festivities.

Unfortunately, the preparation and distribution of a separate alumni homecoming invitation has been inconsistent over the past several years. As a result, the directors and officers of Alpha Theta agreed to assume full responsibility for the homecoming invitation process at the October 17, 1998 annual meeting. We initially decided to send a separate mailing for delivery during the late summer in addition to placing a formal announcement in the spring newsletter. Subsequent discussions with our alumni services director, Tom Sporney '75, however, also surfaced the issue of the summer party and certain other concerns related to a late summer mailing. Hence, we decided to modify our original approach and will now proceed as follows. A separate homecoming and summer party invitation will be prepared for distribution to alumni each year. The joint invitation, which will feature detachable response forms, will accompany but will not be a permanent part of the spring newsletter. The invitation can therefore be retained after the newsletter is discarded and stored for easy future reference.

Alpha Theta will also aggressively utilize electronic mail for purposes of special announcements such as the aforementioned. We currently have nearly 200 e-mail addresses on file, and we encourage anyone who has not provided an e-mail address to alumni services to do so as soon as possible.

The remaining issues related to alumni events require input from all alumni. As a result, an important survey accompanies this letter. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey and return it as quickly as possible. Thank you for your cooperation and support.

The Michael Alan Carter Scholarship

Jeff Lowe '86

As many of you may know, Michael Carter passed away suddenly in the summer of 1997. In honor of his memory, "The Michael Alan Carter Scholarship Fund" has been established at the Pi Kappa Alpha Educational Foundation.

Michael pledged Pi Kappa Alpha during the 1982-1983 school year and went on to serve the house in a number of positions, including SMC, ThC and trustee of the building fund. Michael came to Cornell in 1982 from the small town of Jefferson, Maine to study architecture. He was known and admired by his contemporaries for his honesty, his integrity and his sense of dedication. Michael was one of those rare people who, upon recognizing a problem, took steps to correct it rather than let it persist. Michael probably contributed more to the overall well-being of the house during the 80's and early 90's than any other person. He was the quintessential "good guy" and he will be missed.

Each year a scholarship will be awarded in Michael's name to a member of Pi Kappa Alpha at Cornell who satisfies certain requirements (namely, that they are currently enrolled at Cornell, have a grade point average of at least 2.50, and have a demonstrated financial need. Preference will also be given to students studying in the field of architecture). Until the fund has a $10,000 endowment, the first $250 donated to the fund each year will be used for awards and the remainder will be used to build the endowment. Once the fund has a $10,000 endowment, a portion of the income from the endowment will be used to fund the award. Recipients will be chosen each year by certain of Michael's classmates, after consultation with the then-current SMC.

The fund is being administered through the Pi Kappa Alpha Educational Foundation. By using the Educational Foundation in this way, people will be able to make tax-deductible donations to the fund. Donations can be made directly to

The Pi Kappa Alpha Educational Foundation
P.O.Box 381768
Memphis, TN 38183-9948
Attention: "The Michael Alan Carter Scholarship Fund"
or by simply designating "The Michael Alan Carter Scholarship Fund" as the intended beneficiary when you respond to giving requests by the Educational Foundation. Please note that checks should be made payable to "Pi Kappa Alpha Educational Foundation", but the memo portion of the check should indicate "The Michael Alan Carter Scholarship Fund."

I urge all brothers, particularly those of you who knew Michael, to consider a gift in honor of Michael's memory.


Class Captains & Summer Party Coordinator

In its effort to reconnect with lost alumni, Alpha Theta is seeking class captains, and a coordinator for the Summer Party. We would like to elevate the level of connection between the alumni association and its members. The primary responsibility of Class Captains will be to work the Pike network to track down our "lost brothers" to find out how they're doing, keep them informed about Alpha Theta and Pike house news, and to boost Alpha Theta participation by being the link within close-generation initiation/graduation classes.

If you are interested in contributing to this effort, please contact Rick Eno for program details.


May 1, 1999 Spring 1999 Beta Theta DATA deadline
November 6, 1999 Homecoming vs. Yale
November 12, 1999 Fall 1999 Beta Theta DATA deadline

Alumni Notes

Go to - Updated Alumni Notes -

Conti wedding reception September 6, 1998 at Lake Tahoe, on stage singing (and acting) the Eensie Weensie Spider to a screaming crowd of 150.

[left to right] Groom Ed Conti '83, Alan Jacobs '86 behind John Ramsey, John Ramsey '85 (Ed's little brother) standing in front, Dik Saalfeld '80, Barry Lawrence '84 behind Dave Bloom's right arm, Dave Bloom '85, groomsman Eric Pringle (University of Iowa Pike) behind Dave Bloom's left arm, best man Ed "Chow" Catto '84. Not pictured groomsman Paul "Konrad" Linskey '84.

Chuck Smith '79 [ ] says that Janice, Kendall(9), Trevor(5), and he are thriving in their 3-year-old move to the Rochester NY area. He's running the design department of a national custom home building concern specializing in sustainable design and traditional timber framing.

"We live in a 1928 house in the village of Fairport which we are restoring. We're near Jan's family in Orchard Park & Buffalo, and enjoy that we're within easy reach of the Finger Lakes and Ithaca."

John Peterson '83 [ ] has ended his self-imposed exile in Switzerland after 8+ years. He's taken a job at the University of Wisconsin Eye Clinic, working as an Ophthalmic Photographer. "It's good to be back in the States."

Jim Dake '80 [ ] is now Director of Financial Planning for a new financial advisory business.

"After 18 years in the Midwest, we finally got back to the East Coast. Saw Brian Pickerall '82, who's also here in the Triangle area."

David Trachtenberg '88 [ ] continues to work on the Bellevue Prison Unit as a forensic psychiatrist performing evaluations of criminal defendants for the courts.

Warren Kurtzman '87 [ ], wife Sharon, and daughter Shelby welcomed an addition to their family on May 21st. "Our new son is named Cole Brandon and he is doing his part to keep all of us busy."

Steve Caron '89 [ ] extends his thanks to the Brotherhood for inviting him to the pledge formal during his last recruiting trip.

Maribeth & Jeffrey Lowe '86 [ ] welcomed the birth of their second child a daughter, Sarah Elizabeth Lowe, on May 11, 1998.

Alan Hoffman '82 [ ] celebrated the birth of a lovely daughter, Elena Ariel Hoffman, on 13 March 98.

Chris Ashley '81 reports that sons Willis (3+yo) and Hunter (15mo) keep wife Christina and him very busy.

"Still some time to mess around with boats; currently putting a new motor in Doug Wright's old Chris Craft."

Fred Ehrlich '58 retired from York International on Jan 2nd, 1998.

Henry Otto '42 is now fully retired as counsel for IBM.

Dennis King '72 [ ] writes that his daughter, Jessi, will be a freshman at Cornell in Arts & Sciences in the fall. "So my visits to Ithaca will be more frequent."

Howard Spira '85 recently assumed the top technology position in GE Capital's Commercial Finance Division. He's also working on a family with recent addition of baby Nadia to add to Omar(4) & Leila(2).

Chapter Eternal

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

Robert A. Anderson '16
May 30, 1995

Gilbert D. Fish '42
December 31, 1996

John H. Greene, Sr. '48
May 13, 1998

William F. Floyd '49
April 29, 1998

Bill came back to Cornell after WWII and helped to attract incoming men to live in the house. I think they pledged all of them. His group also hired Hugh Gibbs.
- Mrs. William "Marty" Floyd, KD '48


term Alpha Theta Director
1999 Tim Cole, President
2000 Neil Cantor
2001 Ken Hull, Vice President
2002 Rick Eno, Alumni Relations
2003 Steve Amador, Treasurer

Spring '99
Undergraduate Exec Board
President Eric Cagner '99
Internal VP Sebastian Guerra '00
External VP Heath Rosenthal '00
Treasurer David Kapson '00
Secretary Justin Heindel '99

Go to Beta Theta E-mail Directory

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