Spring Update
'98 Pledge Class
Campus Visit
'97 HC Meeting Minutes
'98 Regional Conference
Class of '98


Summer Party '98 Homecoming '98
Alumni Notes
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Chapter Eternal


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Pi Kappa Alpha Crest
Spring 1998 Volume 46 Number 2
17 Jun 98

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

Spring Update

Luis Reformina '00
Alumni Relations Chair
The quest for excellence continues at the Beta Theta Chapter as we strive to receive a Roger Adger Smythe award at the National Conference, which is being held in Toronto from August 8-12. Scott Pobiner '00 is in charge of organizing the trip to the international convention in Toronto and would like to invite interested alumni to attend. Any alumni interested in attending the conference to represent Alpha Theta or to show support can contact Scott Pobiner '00 . The Executive Board is overseeing the development of the Smythe report, but have asked sophomores to prepare it in order to educate underclassmen in preparing the report. This will enable them to pass down the knowledge necessary to continue to win awards every year. The report is being prepared by Daniel Switzer '00, Jeff Birnbaum '00 and Luis Reformina '00.

The spring of 1998 has been a very exciting semester. It started with a successful rush that resulted with 19 new men signing their bids. President Lucas Kovalcik '98 made a successful effort of bringing back many rituals to the house including holding formal house meetings. He also emphasized the importance of our attendance in conferences by sending brothers to both the Regional and National conferences. Our representatives described them as being both a fun and educational experience. In hopes of receiving the coveted Smythe and to continue to show our support of the national fraternity, we are expecting a big representation at the National Conference this summer.

As usual, the chapter continues to contribute much of its time to community service. Vice President Larry Klecha '99 built a basketball booth that was set up in front of Willard Straight Hall to raise money for the American Cancer Society. We have continued our participation in the Collegetown Cleanup and Cornell Phon-a-thon events. You might have even gotten a call from us bugging you for money. We also helped out in demolition projects for On Site Volunteers, Ithaca's Maple Sugar Festival, and raised money for various charities. These events and the numerous hours our brothers have contributed to the community earned us the community service and most philanthropic chapter award from the IFC this year.

A web site for our chapter is currently under construction. It contains news, activities, profiles, history, etc. pertaining to the house. One of its goals is to serve as a job networking tool between alumni and active brothers. By next semester, we aim to put up all actives' resumes on the web page for alumni to view. It will give a chance for alumni to help out active brothers looking for internships and permanent jobs. On that note, if any alumni plan on going back to campus to recruit and are looking for active brothers to fill their interview schedules, please e-mail Luis Reformina so that a match can be made.

We held many successful social events this semester including the Valentine's Formal, Pledge Formal, Pledge Party, Parents Weekend, a Crush Party and the away formal in Montreal. About sixteen brothers spent their spring break basking under the warm sun of Cancun while meeting Pikes from all over the country, only to come back to a snowstorm in Ithaca.

Athletically, we continue to do well. We are currently fielding an undefeated softball team and a strong floor hockey squad. In varsity sports, Robert Schiffer '98 was named to the all-league second team squad for lightweight football. Chris Weldon '98 received an award as the team's most diligent player. Peter Stahl '99 (tennis) received academic All-Ivy Honors and Luis Reformina '00 (lightweight football) was inducted into Club 400 for excellence as a student-athlete. Marco Boyce '01 is currently the fifth ranked triple jumper in the Ivy League for track and field.

The chapter had a strong showing academically in the fall semester boasting a 3.027 GPA. In addition, Heath Rosenthal '00, Chris McNally '00 (Ho-Nun-De-Kah) and Jeff Birnbaum '00 (Kappa Omicron Nu) were all inducted into their college's honor societies this year.

Individually, the brothers continue to make their presence known on campus through various activities.

- Chris Weldon '98 was named the Greek Man of the Year, the most prestigious individual award given by Cornell's Interfraternity Council (IFC).
- Josh Elkin '00 is doing a stellar job as the IFC's Vice President of Communications. He has improved the internal communication system of the IFC through development of a listserv and other methods.
- Jeremy Geller '01 is serving as a member of the Junior Inter-Fraternity council.
- Jason Pechet '99, Andrew Schleimer '99 and Brian Kabot '00 headed a student-run restaurant (TCAB) serving fine French dining.
- Jeff Birnbaum '00 managed the Greek Directory publication, a directory listing of every Greek member on campus which is distributed to all fraternities and sororities. After the distribution of the Directory, Jeff began managing City Jamz DJ service, one of Ithaca's largest DJ companies.
- Mike Arnold '00 manages Big Red Shipping & Storage, a department of Student Agencies, Inc.
- Alfredo Rabines '00 had monthly dinners with Cornell University Vice President Susan Murphy as the Executive Mentoring Group Liaison for the Cornell National Scholars. Their goal was to improve student-faculty relations. He also served as a Cornell University Emergency Medical Services Trainee and wowed women as a runway model in a fashion show sponsored by a student run organization.
- Ashur Kalb '00, as the business manager of the most prominent acapella group on campus, Cayuga's Waiters, recently organized and performed at Bailey Hall in their annual sold out concert, Spring Fever XXIV. The event brought back many alumni, including Danny Hest '97, Bill Schwab '97, George Lakis '96, Rob Blair '95 and Chris Kelly '94. Ash also managed the artwork for and production of the group's latest CD Channel Zero. Ash also spends his time giving tours to prospective students for Campus Information and Visitor Relations.
- Eric Neuner '98 capped his successful college career with a riveting performance as the dentist in a student production of The Little Shop of Horrors.

Off campus, there were many members of the junior class who studied away this semester. Austin Gayer, Seth Wunder, Eric Cagner and Ian Weiskopf went to Italy for the semester. Rob Alvarado and David Asam were in Spain. Justin Heindel and Noah Kerner took part in the Cornell Urban Semester program at NYC. Ian Smith is currently partipating in the Semester at Sea program in which he travels the world while taking classes on a ship.

The winners of the Hugh Sylvester Gibbs award which recognizes two graduating seniors for their contributions to the chapter were: Chris Weldon (1st) & Rob Schiffer (2nd). Chris was the president of his pledge class, served as Alumni Relations Chair, Assistant Pledge Master, and was the VP of Communications for the IFC. As a junior, he won an Outstanding Member Appreciation award from the IFC. As mentioned earlier he was also this year's IFC Greek Man of the Year and the most diligent player on the lightweight football team. Rob has served as the Assistant Social, Assistant Pledge Master, Vice-President and Pledge Master. As previously stated, he also attained second team all-league honors for lightweight football.

Finally, the chapter proudly welcomes Greg Resnick '00, a Pike transfer from UMass who was officially inducted into the chapter. He is sure to be a fine addition as he has much to offer to the chapter.

Pledge Class of '98

Joshua Eric Peck '01

My pledge class was drawn to Pi Kappa Alpha by the smell of the chicken fingers and jalepeno poppers prepared by Marc the Cook. Once inside the fraternity house we were greeted immediately by brothers who were eager to tell us about the house and introduce those of us who were already familiar with the house to brothers we did not know. What was especially impressive about rush is that nearly the entire brotherhood participated and spent the entire day searching for the people who they felt could continue the excellence of the house. Anytime a rushee asked a difficult question, Rush Chair Mike Mihalakis quickly directed that rushee in the direction of the food. What was also impressive about the brotherhood is that many members participate in Cornell Varsity Athletics, and house intramural games are taken very seriously. At night, the brothers came by to the rushee's dorm rooms and gave the rushees a chance to inquire further about the house in a more personal setting.

I now see these qualities of brotherhood in my pledge class. As individuals we are a very talented group of people. Ari Hest writes his own music and performs regularly in New York City. Jason Redlus TA's a class in the Business School and works for the Career Services Office. We have a lightweight football player and many other gifted athletes that make significant contributions to our intramural teams.

The above are outstanding individual accomplishments; however, as a pledge class we accomplished a tremendous amount. In two days, we covered the entire inside of the fraternity house based on our theme for our pledge party. We all sacrificed sleep for the purpose of going all out for our party. We were especially proud with the line that went into the street and, might I add, there was an eight-way mixer that evening.

For our pledge project, we made five new dinner tables including a new President's table. Vor Vudthithamrong discovered his artistic talent and drew an impressive crest. It took us only two days to complete these tables as everyone contributed. We also performed a skit poking fun at the brothers. It was our chance as pledges to show something to the brotherhood and it brought our pledge class closer together.

Ari Hest was our representative in the Greek God Competition and blew away the competition with his song in the talent competition. Then came the joke portion of the contest. Another important night for the pledges was our pledge formal. We sang the Dream Girl of Pi Kappa Alpha like professional singers to Melanie, Eric Neuner's girlfriend.

We received an award for being the most philanthropic house on campus this year, and our pledge class was instrumental in earning this award. We worked at a nature center, laid wood chips on a path, cleaned out an abandoned house, and secured a foundation in another house. We also raised money for Cornell by working a phonathon for the Cornell Fund.

Since we have been initiated, we all feel a strong love for the house and still attend dinners and athletic events even though they are not mandatory. I can say that the pledging process worked because nothing made our pledge class happier than when we were finally initiated. Almost the entire pledge class was nominated for various E-Board positions and speaking to my pledge brothers everyone really wanted to contribute to the house.

Campus Visit

Ken Hull '64
Vice President, Alpha Theta

David Miles and I attended the Fraternity & Sorority Campus Visit sponsored by Cornell University the weekend of April 25th-26th. It was very impressive, and I'd like to share some thoughts.

First of all, Cornell received a substantial donation to explore how to improve fraternity relations at the University. The Trustees of Cornell (70% were Greek members) adopted a resolution verifying Cornell's commitment to the Greek system, declaring that the Greeks are an important aspect of the University's Residential initiative. We all were quite surprised and elated with the news.

Secondly, Cornell paid for an assessment of all Fraternity and Sorority houses at Cornell (both private and Cornell-owned), so that each would know where they stand and how to focus any fund-raising efforts. That 30-page report would have cost us big bucks!

Thirdly, Cornell is not in any position to buy fraternities, nor do they have any interest in doing so.

We spent a great deal of time addressing alcohol consumption. Three large national fraternities have declared that they are going alcohol-free by the year 2002. David & I believe that this would only encourage underground activity. Cornell agrees, and does not want to ban alcohol. Instead, they are promoting social responsibility. They realize that students will drink no matter what the rules are, so they want alumni/alumnae of fraternities/sororities to help promote the idea of doing so responsibly without encouraging it in any way.

We visited several Greek houses and found that our house is in much better shape than some. We saw the results of some fund-raising efforts (e.g. Phi Kappa Psi raised $4 million), and we were quite impressed. We heard of others' efforts to build new facilities, and how ADA requirements make it prohibitive. We realized that we should keep the house we have, and put our energies into renovation projects.

I was surprised that even the big houses only sleep about 25-30 guys, and therefore all brothers cannot live in; so we are normal in that respect. One disturbing trend is for fraternities to offer single-room housing, which could put us at a competitive disadvantage during Rush.

Everyone we ran into, including Administrative officials, has high praise for our undergraduate chapter. Right now, we are the envy of the Greek system.

David and I propose that the Alpha Theta Board of Directors get together in Ithaca this summer to discuss the Condition Assessment Report, assign priorities, and establish a plan to raise funds. We are both asking you to keep an open mind about using Stuart Howe's services in this regard. Pete McChesney is involved with several multimillion dollar fraternity fundraising efforts. Also, Cornell can give us guidance and resources (but not the manpower or staffing) to assist in this effort.

I plan to talk further with McChesney on the cost of such an effort, and I'll keep you apprised.

I would like to propose getting together either at the Summer Party or July 30th (Gibber's birthday). Please let me know what your thoughts are.

'97 Homecoming Meeting Minutes

David Miles '66
Secretary, Alpha Theta

The Annual Meeting of the Alpha Theta Fraternity, Incorporated was held at 17 South Avenue, Ithaca, New York, on September 27, 1997, being the 79th Annual Meeting of the Corporation.

The Meeting was called to order at 10:02 am. by President Tim Cole.

The following members were in attendance:
Ken Hull '64, David Miles ' 66, Tim Cole '83 , Steve Amador ' 86, J. S. Rosenberg ' 86, Lars Fuchs ' 86, Jeffrey Lowe ' 86, Andy Bjork ' 82, Keith Ward ' 74, Andrew Chang '74, Charlie Weinberg ' 82, Rick Eno ' 82, Brian Pickerall ' 82, Paul Barresi ' 84, Ed Conti ' 83, Ralph Olivier ' 75, Elliot Dee '84 , Tom Atwood ' 64, Jeff Birnbaum '00, David Becker ' 97, Seth Wunder ' 99.

A report was given by David Becker, SMC of the undergraduate chapter, including the successful rush last year.

A report was given by Nelson Anderson, Treasurer of the undergraduate chapter.

A report by Steve Amador, Treasurer was given and approved.

A report by Tim Cole, President, was given and approved.

A report on the Capital Improvement Fund was given by Ed Conte and Steve Amador.

A report was given by Ralph Olivier on the CornellPike Education Fund. A proposal to change the structure of the fund from a corporation to a trust, to simplify administration, was discussed.

A motion was made and passed that all official acts of the Officers, Directors, and Trustees of the Corporation during the previous year be ratified and approved.

The meeting was opened to nominations for Director to succeed Mike Greenberg, whose term expired last year, but whose successor was not elected due to lack of a quorum at the last meeting. Ken Hull was nominated. A motion was made and passed that nominations be closed. Ken Hull was elected.

The meeting was opened to nominations for Director to succeed Ian Brown, whose term expired today. Ralph Olivier and Rick Eno were nominated. Ralph Olivier declined the nomination. A motion was made and passed that nominations be closed. Rick Eno was elected.

The meeting was opened to nominations for Trustee of the Hugh Gibbs Capital Improvement Fund to succeed Ed Conti, whose term expired today. Ed Conti was nominated. A motion was made and passed that nominations be closed. Ed Conti was elected.

Larry Klecha was appointed Undergraduate Member-at-Large of the Capital Improvement Fund. Larry gave a report concerning the condition of the house and the most pressing remaining problems.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 11:05 am.

Respectfully Submitted,

David S. Miles, Secretary

The Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors of Alpha Theta Fraternity, Incorporated was held at 17 South Avenue, Ithaca, New York, on September 27, 1997.

The Meeting was called to order at 11:10 am. by President Tim Cole.

Directors Cole, Amador, Hull and Eno were present, and Miles, Secretary.

Minutes of the directors meeting of 1995 were read and approved, there having been no meeting in 1996 due to lack of a quorum.

The following were elected officers of the corporation:
President - Cole
Vice President - Hull
Secretary - Miles
Treasurer - Amador
Alumni Relations - Eno

Ed Conti joined the meeting to discuss fund raising for the Capital Improvement Fund.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 11:27 am.

Respectfully submitted,

David S. Miles, Secretary

'98 Regional Conference

Lucas Kovalcik '98
From February 6-8, three Beta Theta members attended the North Atlantic Regional Conference this year in Philadelphia, hosted by the University of Pennsylvania. Lucas Kovalcik '98, Seth Sgorbati '00, and Jason Pechet '99 all road-tripped down to Philly for a weekend of meetings, educational seminars, and a lot of fun. We have finally re-substantiated ourselves as a voice in our region as this is the third consecutive year attending this conference, which we had not attended for approximately five years prior. Relations have been re-established and we have more closely bonded with our neighboring chapters and were able to openly discuss issues affecting the chapters in our region. Several issues came up especially that of becoming a "dry" fraternity both because of local regulation and the pending vote at this years international convention as to whether we, as a national organization, will require all chapters to become "dry". All attending took a lot out of the conference and met a lot of great people. We even arranged to have Columbia, a newer chapter, founded in 1990, come to visit our chapter with their pledges, which was a fun weekend which went over quite successfully. We will continue to maintain good relations with our regional advisors including Mr. Howard Goldstein and hope to possibly have a member of Beta Theta on the Regional Executive Board next year.

Class of '98

Luis Reformina '00
Alumni Relations Chair
The chapter is very proud of the graduating senior class for their contributions and unrelenting commitment to the house. This semester, their class filled the roles of President, Secretary, Pledge Educator and Rush Chair among other positions. Here are their after-graduation plans:

- Craig Desanto (B.S. Biometry & Statistics) is going to Europe with Rob Schiffer and Seth Martin over the summer and then will be living in NYC working at New York Life Insurance Company as an actuary.
- Lucas Kovalcik (B.S. Hotel Administration) will be working at the Waldorf Astoria, a Hilton Hotel in New York, as a Front Office Management Trainee.
- Paul Kramer (B.S. Genetics and Development) will attend Iowa Medical School, Iowa City, Iowa, Class of 2002. Joining brother Eric (Beta Theta '92).
- Seth Martin (B.A. Government) will take some time off to travel and then will return to America to enter the business.
- Mike Mihalikis (B.A. Government) will attend the University of Pittsburgh Medical School.
- Eric Neuner (B.S. Communication) will be moving to Princeton NJ starting June 16th to begin a Sales Training Program for Bloomberg Financial Markets, Commodities, News. He'll then be moving to NYC.
- Dave Pihlgren (B.S. Hotel Administration) will be skiing for the next two years in lush powder up to his neck in sunny Telluride CO while working for The Peaks, Carefree Resorts. (Damn hotelies! I guess they do what they always do: they say they work, but all they do is have fun).
- Rob Schiffer (B.S. Civil Engineering) will be working for Price Waterhouse as a consultant in NYC.
- Jeremy Shell (B.S. Hotel Administration) will be working for Bankers Trust Alex Brown in the Real Estate Investment Banking Division in Baltimore MD.
- Chris Weldon (B.S. Agricultural, Resource, & Managerial Economics) will be an Assistant Buyer for Lord and Taylor, New York.

We would like to thank them for their leadership and for providing a great example of how to run a successful fraternity. Good luck guys!


As you are aware, this publication would not exist without the contributions of several brothers. This issue, in particular, carries the most content in recent Beta Theta Data history.

It's gratifying to receive recognition for the effort made by all contributors. A few months ago, Mike Mathy, Gamma Xi (Washington State) '80, passed along kudos:

"I have long admired Beta Theta Data. Your organization and presentation is a model for the rest of the chapters. Keep up the good work."


June 12, 1998
Ari Hest '01 & his band
The Elbow Room, Bleeker Street, NYC
July 4, 1998 Summer Party contact Chris McNally
October 17, 1998 Homecoming vs. Bucknell
November 1, 1998 Fall 1998 Beta Theta DATA deadline
May 1, 1999 Spring 1999 Beta Theta DATA deadline
November 6, 1999 Homecoming vs. Yale

Homecoming '98

Friday, October 16, 1998 9:00pm-11:00pm Wine and Cheese Pike House
Saturday, October 17, 1998 10:00am Alpha Theta Meeting Pike House
11:00am-1:00pm Tailgate Party Schoellkopf Parking Lot
1:00pm Cornell vs. Bucknell Schoellkopf Field
8:00pm Homecoming Formal Pike House
Sunday, October 18, 1998 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
Heath Rosenthal
311 East 23rd Street
New York NY 10010

Please send funds to arrive by August 20th 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 Heath.

Go to List of Hotel Accommodations

Alumni Notes

Go to - Updated Alumni Notes -

Joe Strickland '45 reports that Charles Winchester '48 is actively planning for his 50th Reunion at Cornell this year.

Warren Kurtzman '87 [ ], wife Sharon, & 3-year old daughter Shelby are well into their third year as Southerners, having moved from New Jersey to Raleigh NC.

"I am with a firm that does market research and consulting for radio stations around the US and Europe. If you think the stations where you live are bad, you probably should blame my colleagues and me!"

Greg Weidner '87 [ ] & wife Julie are both practicing internists in Charlotte. "We just welcomed our first child, Olivia Rae, on Thanksgiving Day 1997. Would love to hear from any and all Pikes!"

Lowell Martin '67 retired from motorcycle roadracing after two years of mid-pack finishes. "Not bad for a 50+ year-old in fields consisting mostly of 20yo world grand prix rider wannabes!! The final straw was broken ribs and a collapsed lung due to a crash in a senior race at Summit Point WV in August. Other than that, we are all well."

Neil Best '82 welcomed into the world his second daughter, Simone Leah Best, on September 24th, 1997.

Jeff Lowe '86 [ ] was recently elected to the partnership of Hogan & Hartson, LLP, in Washington DC, where he will continue to specialize in general corporate law. Maribeth & Jeff are expecting a little sister for 2yo son Parker sometime in late May.

Room 9 unites. "Prof" Bob Dores '79 [ ] just bought a house on Candlewood Lake, two doors away from Frank Koh. "We just need Lee Morton to buy the house in the middle. Looking forward to have Pikes visit to play on the lake next summer."

After living in Japan for 4 years, Rick Matton '87 [ ] and wife Nancy are in Anchorage AK for at least the next three years. She is getting her PhD in molecular biology, and Rick is flying airplanes for the Air Force.

Ed Catto '84 [ ] sends his wishes for a Merry Christmas to all, hoping that the ghost of Christmas Past doesn't look too much like Gibber in a bedsheet for you this year! Our intrepid reporter sends an update on this year's Annual Pikes in New York.

"Well, that was a real party. We all had a ball at Pikes in NY. KOC, Mike (Bones) McCoy, Chun, myself and my better half Jann, Ash Kalada, Schrod, Casey Sayre and some guy who married a cute friend of Ed's named Cara all partied our butts off. I cut out at about 1:30, but not before one of the nurses that Chun dragged along, got onto the table for a round of calling Rangoon. Casey stopped just before the lawsuit would have ensued, but we did get her to dance on the table enough so the management came over to 'speak to us' a few times. I shudder to think into what gutters the party deteriorated after Jann and I, and hence all the good taste and common sense of that sad, sick crew, departed. Maybe I don't want to know."

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 W. Case '33
November 15, 1996

Edward "Brother John" Vinnicombe '33
September 13, 1997

Charles H. "Pete" Voorneveld '35
November 8, 1997

Arthur H. Barnes '56
October 25, 1997


term Alpha Theta Director
1998 Steve Amador, Treasurer
1999 Tim Cole, President
2000 Neil Cantor
2001 Ken Hull, Vice President
2002 Rick Eno, Alumni Relations

Fall '98
Undergraduate Exec Board
President David Nelson Anderson '99
Internal VP Mike Arnold '00
External VP Nick Scaletta '00
Treasurer David Kapson '00
Secretary Joshua Peck '01

Go to Beta Theta E-mail Directory

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