Annex Fire Wrap-up
Pledge Class of '99
Spring '99 Activities
'98 Survey Results
Reunion Weekend '99 Homecoming
'98 Meeting Minutes
'99 Welcome Back
Spring 1999 Volume 47 Number 2
News & information by the alumni association of the Beta Theta Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity at Cornell University
Annex Fire Wrap-up
Heath Rosenthal '00
It seems like an eternity has passed since our apartment burned down. However, I can still clearly picture the thick, black smoke pouring out of our rooms into the streets of Collegetown, and the site of all of our pictures, clothes, and belongings destroyed by water and soot. Yet, what sticks in my mind more than anything is the support that we were given by the members of our fraternity. The housing that our brothers provided for us, the $500 that each of us obtained from the fraternity, and the love that we received enabled us to get through that hard time in our lives with relative ease.
This semester, we have all settled back into our normal lives. While the eight of us had to split up into different living arrangements, we have thankfully had a wonderful, smoke-free past couple of months. Josh Friedman and Jeffrey Birnbaum, spent this past semester abroad and had the time of their lives. Jason Chirichigno successfully completed his MCATs, something we all admire. Chris McNally played an integral part in the pledging program, serving as an assistant to the pledge educator, Seth Wunder. Jon Paul DiMauro was able to keep up his superior GPA. Alfredo Rabines has recently been elected into the highly prestigious position of President of Cornell's National Scholars program. Nick Scaletta, who served as External Vice President last semester, and I, who took over the position this semester, led Pike into the winning of the award for the most philanthropic house on Cornell's campus. One of the many philanthropy events that we took place in this year included raising money for the American Red Cross in Ithaca. Nick and I chose the American Red Cross because they helped us tremendously after the fire, and we felt it necessary to give something back to them.
Overall, we are all doing great. On behalf of all of us, I would like to once again thank the brotherhood for all of the love and support that they gave us after the fire and throughout the rest of last semester. It made us see how truly wonderful a brotherhood can be, especially the brotherhood of Pi Kappa Alpha.
Back in January, the Pledge Class of 1999 was merely a topic discussed at Pike house meetings. Over the course of Rush Week, however, 16 future Pikes were to find their new home at Cornell. The home cooking of Marc T. Cook, combined with the friendliness and sense of brotherhood displayed by the brothers of Pi Kappa Alpha, were merely small additions to the efforts of Rush Chair Andrew Michael Schleimer. Also, each night, some of the brothers found the time to come and talk to us on a more personal level, where many serious issues with the house were discussed. Through a week of partying, talking, and just hanging out with the brotherhood, it was simple to make a decision for those lucky enough to be extended a bid.
The Pledge Class of '99 is a solid group of individuals, who, by working together have formed many lasting bonds. For example, Joe Tino and Chris Maurice Re are both kickboxers. However, their aggressive behavior has never interfered with the pledging program. As a matter of fact, Chris happens to be an excellent carpenter as well. Carlton Chapin Durling, a calm and mild-mannered person, has the quickest mop in all of Ithaca, a much-admired quality in a young man, especially during house cleanups. Ben Anderson, leader / pornstar, was our representative in the Greek God competition. Does he have any specific talents? Ask someone who was there.
The entire pledging process was conducted in a mature and organized fashion. Our Pledge Class President, Steven Matthew Niditch, was a strong leader through even the roughest times. Steve, a dedicated and hard worker, earned the respect of the pledges and the brotherhood early on, earning the nickname "the Workhorse" for his valiant efforts.
With the combination of strong leadership and individual talents, this year's pledge class was able to accomplish a great deal. We helped the community continuously throughout the semester; Cabin Fever, the Phone-a-thon, Pop-A-Shot (Amish style, of course), and the Collegetown Cleanup were not only beneficial to the community at large, but loads of fun as well.
In a social sense, we were pretty impressive too. Our parties and mixers were fun times for all, yet no comparison to the Pledge Party, Pikestasy. For an entire week, the pledges sacrificed sleep, class, girlfriends, and parties in order to decorate for the biggest party of the year. The entire house was decorated, and there was an eight-foot tall Buddha suspended above the front door, thanks to the creative carpenter skills of Chris Maurica Re.
Another major accomplishment of this year's pledge class was the pledge project. With the help of Lawrence Klecha, we were able to clear out the land separating the house from Theta, and build a wall from railroad ties. This wall is the foundation of the basketball court that will soon be enjoyed by all of the Beta Theta brothers.
Over the course of the past five months, strong and lasting friendships have been formed between pledges and brothers alike. Formals, parties, mixers, barbecues, and sporting events were all attended by the majority of the brotherhood. Since initiation, the pledges have already contributed as brothers. Dinners, meetings, and events have all been enhanced by the newest members. Just as this emotional semester began, it is currently ending, with a strong sense of friendship and brotherhood, and the home-style cooking of the world renowned gourmet cook, Marc T. Cook.
The spring of '99 was an eventful semester during which sixteen new brothers were welcomed to the Beta Theta chapter. The newly initiated brothers are an eclectic group composed of talented scholars, leaders, athletes and gentlemen. The chapter is excited about the dedication and leadership that the new initiates bring to the house. Rush Chair Andrew Schleimer '99 helped introduce them to the house while President Eric Cagner '99 and pledge educator Seth Wunder '99 did an excellent job of exposing them to the traditions and rituals of the chapter.
The chapter is striving for another Roger Adger Smythe trophy after receiving an excellent report from the national consultant earlier this year. This year's report committee is being led by Sebastian Guerra '00. We are hoping that the chapter's work will earn another trophy at the national convention this summer.
Community service continues to be an important part of the chapter thanks to the work of Vice President Heath Rosenthal '00. Brothers contributed their time in events such as the Collegetown Cleanup, Phon-a-thon, and the Basketball fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. As a result, the chapter received the IFC Community Service award for the second year in a row.
The chapter boasted many leaders on campus this semester. Josh Elkin '00 continues his service to the IFC by acting as the Executive Vice President. Dave Kapson is currently a member of the Board of Directors for the Student Management Corporation (SMC), which handles financial affairs for all organizations on campus.
The intramural season ended with a trip to the finals for the softball team. In varsity sports, we continue to make our presence known. Peter Stahl '99 and Luis Reformina '00 served as captains for the tennis and lightweight football teams, respectively. New athletes were brought in this year as the newly initiated pledge class includes a lightweight football player and two tennis stars.
Among the social events this semester were the Valentine's Formal, Pledge Formal, Pledge Party, Parents Weekend, a Crush Party and the away formal in Toronto. Brothers also took advantage of the new deck and grill to hold barbecues whenever Ithaca's weather permitted it.
The winners of the Hugh Sylvester Gibbs award given to two seniors who have shown outstanding contributions to the chapter were Eric Cagner (1st) and David Nelson Anderson (2nd). Eric Cagner served as his pledge class president, internal vice president, assistant pledge master and as president of the chapter this spring. David Nelson Anderson served as the treasurer and as the president in the fall of 98.
The chapter would like to thank the seniors for the dedication they have shown to the fraternity. This year, they held the top leadership roles as rush chair, pledge educator, secretary and president. We thank them for the contributions they have made throughout their stay at Cornell and wish them the best of luck on their future endeavors.
The past semester has been one filled with exciting events and moments for the Beta Theta Chapter. Starting in early January, rush week was long, yet rewarding as 16 fresh faces stepped forward and accepted an exclusive bid to pledge our fraternity. This set the stage for a semester filled with events, projects and exciting times.
One of the highlights of the semester was winning the award for most community service hours amongst every house on the Cornell Campus. This award, which we have won two years in a row now, was attained through participation in events such as Pikathalon, Collegetown Cleanup, Cornell Phone-a-thon, the pledge party, and the basketball shootout. We gained over 2000 hours in community service as a house, and raised a tremendous amount of money for such causes as Prevention of Sexual Abuse Project, the American Red Cross, and the American Cancer Society. The feat was truly an accomplishment for our fraternity and a trend that I hope continues next year. Other things such as the new basketball court being constructed, Parents Weekend, the Pledge party and the Pledge Formal were all exciting highlights from this past semester.
One specific event from this past semester, the away formal, which took place this year in Toronto, Canada was the largest attended away formal in my four years. Jason Pechet, the away formal chair, reported that on Saturday night, 45 brothers traveled to Toronto to kick off the weekend. The following day, another 25 brothers, including all the new initiated brothers came up resulting in a total of 70 brothers attending the formal held that Sunday night. This feeling of brotherhood is extremely strong right now, and I hope it flows over into next year where such attendance can be seen at homecoming.
With the positive sentiment, it should be noted too the lack of brotherhood that has been displayed recently. Year to year, the ideals of our fraternity expressed through "ppka" seem to erode. As president, I report this to you because you have a right to know as alumni in our chapter. What you should know is that we are not turning our heads to this situation, rather we are facing it and trying to solve it. Things like involving the class captain program into homecoming as an attempt to increase attendance, having full attendance at the national convention this summer, organizing a summer party, and running a smooth officer transition are just a few of the things that are being done to strengthen the brotherhood. In addition, the e-mail forum set up by Tom Sporney has established a great venue for actives and alumni to communicate and discuss problems and solutions. This list serve has been extremely beneficial for us actives to learn about the way things were done in the past and applying it to the house today. I personally want to thank Tom for everything he does and for establishing a true connection between actives and alumni.
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In my final words, I am graduating on May 30th. As a departing president, I can say that this semester has been filled with great times and tough times. Cornell along with the ideals of Greek life have changed, and with that, so has our house. The changes have been good ones though, and beneficial toward the future of our fraternity, for without change, we merely are only maintaining a vision of the past, leaving us stagnant, and far from progressing. The past four years have been truly memorable.
As I look back, I smile as I see my initiation, I see house meetings, I see parties like Pikathlon where brothers are dressed in togas and singing their lungs out, pledge parties where the house for one night is transformed into a pledge class' imagination, I see brothers coming back for homecoming, I see formals in places like Toronto and Montreal, I see sitting in the fraternity house on a random Tuesday and knowing that something will be going on, I see a driveway rebuilt, I see a roof transformed into a deck, I see a brand new barbecue, I see new kitchen tables, eventually, I will see a new basketball court, I see my security check that I get at the end of each year (thanks dad), I see Superbowls in the chapter room, I see guys still trying to figure out what the blocks are in the chapter room, I see a week of spades during rush, I see fire alarms, I see hundreds of brothers, and finally, I see the house.
These are just a few of the memories that I remember through my years here at Cornell in the fraternity. I take these memories with me as I leave Cornell, and they will stay with me for the rest of my life. As a brother in this house, you are all now part of memories, and for that, I thank you. Thank you Beta Theta, I will never forget.
This past year some grand improvements have been made to our house at 17 South Avenue. During our annual meeting of the Alpha Theta Fraternity it was decided that we would build a deck over the poolroom. The contractors got to work right away and within a couple of weeks we had a brand new deck. Now brothers all get together on the new deck that we have on "the Beach".
Another improvement at the house this past year was the new showers that were put in the third floor bathroom, because the old ones were leaking. Perhaps the largest change is the project currently underway. Under the supervision of Brother Lawrence Klecha the pledges began to build a retaining wall on the side of the house, which they filled in with topsoil. The purpose being to level off the land on the side of the house and then to build a basketball court. The project is still underway and we hope to complete it before the start of the fall semester.
This homecoming there will be a lot of new exciting changes for all the alumni to come back to. Thank you to Alpha Theta for all of its funding and support.
Living in Colorado off the money he received for his invention of the 21st century football, modeled and sculpted from his head
Working in New Mexico doing cancer research, eventually going on to Medical School
Working in Philadelphia for the Four Seasons Hotel
Will be working in New York City
Working for Pindar Press in New York City
Working for Spear, Leeds & Kellogg in New York City
Living in Vail CO and working as an EMT at the local hospital
Staying up at Cornell to finish coursework
Working in Denver CO
Working in New York City
Returning to California to do consulting
Working in New York City, launching a company on the internet based around the music industry of today
Staying up here at Cornell to finish course work as well as his four year project to single-handedly rebuild the fraternity house using sand, water and a Bobcat
Working in New York City for Computer Software Group
Working in Edmonton managing a hotel, also pursuing an acting career along side Lorenzo Lamas by bartending in the local discos wearing only black leather
Working in his homeland of El Salvador for an airline company, but secretly this gringo will be searching for his Victoria's Secret love, Laititia Casta
Returning to his homeland of California to become a professional surfer
Working in New York City for a financial institution
Returning to the shores of California to also become a professional surfer
Working in Vail, Colorado as an EMT in the local hospital
Attending Cardoza University in New York City to study law
Working in New York City for a financial institution
Good luck guys!
Alpha Theta, our alumni association, plays an important role in the financial management of the house as well as in the support of the active chapter. It also provides us that needed information to call and thank that old brother that carried us home from the Chapter House one drunken Thursday night or perhaps allows us to find someone to impose upon during a trip to some strange city around the world.
Over time, however, while we have continued to graduate Cornell Pikes, our alumni membership has stayed relatively constant . We should change this. We are embarking on a program to locate our lost brothers, find out how they've been and entice them to rejoin Alpha Theta. This is being done via some great alums that have volunteered to serve as Class Captains - searching out bros from their Pike years and dragging them back to Cornell. As readers of this, you can help too.
Look over the Honor Roll from last fall's Beta Theta Data. See who's missing from your era, give them a call, find out about the wife, kids, job, parole officer. Ask them to update Alpha Theta on their lives.
Finally, talking on the phone (or communicating via email for that matter) only goes so far. So in addition to chatting with your fellow alums, make your reservations for homecoming this fall! It's being held on the weekend of November 5th - 7th. Let's recreate the turnout from two years ago - that was quite a trip. I've got my reservations..... I'll see you there!
I am writing to cordially invite you to the event of the year! That's right, I'm talking about Pi Kappa Alpha's 1999 Homecoming Weekend here at Cornell University. From November 5th through the 7th, Pikes from the past will join with our current brotherhood in order to exchange stories, relive tradition, and experience great times.
This year's Homecoming is going to prove to be one of the most interesting in Beta Theta history, for excitement has already begun to stir in many of our active alumni. As a result, the brotherhood's spirit and enthusiasm for this weekend is rising to unseen levels. We would like to get to know many of the legends of our chapter, and relive your experiences because you have helped us reach our goals with continuous support and encouragement.
While last year's homecoming attendance was a little sparse, we are hoping for a tremendous return in 1999. The weekend truly exemplifies the idea of fraternity, and allows all of us for one weekend to witness how phi phi kappa alpha lives on outside the walls of the house and in the hearts of all the brothers. So come back to Cornell for a weekend where you will rekindle old friendships and even start some new ones. Let's make the 1999 homecoming weekend the best ever!
Homecoming Chair 1999
|Friday, November 5th|
|9-11pm||Wine & Cheese||Pike House|
|Saturday, November 6th|
|9am||Coffee & Donuts||Pike House|
|9:30am||Alpha Theta Meeting||Pike House|
|11:45am||Alumni Tailgate||Pike House|
|1pm||Cornell vs. Yale||Schoellkopf Field|
|8pm||Homecoming Formal||Pike House|
|Sunday, November 7th|
|10am-12n||Farewell Brunch||Pike House|
|12n||House Meeting||Pike House|
The fee for weekend events is $30 per person, with football tickets available on Saturday at cost, based on your reservation. Please send funds to arrive by August 20th at the latest. Mail checks payable to Pi Kappa Alpha - Beta Theta Chapter to:
171 W 71st
New York NY 10023
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 Dan.
Go to List of Hotel Accommodations
|June 11-12, 1999||
contact Ken Hull
|July 2-4, 1999||
contact Jarret Slepian
|November 6, 1999||Homecoming vs. Yale|
|November 12, 1999||Fall 1999 Beta Theta DATA deadline|
|September 23, 2000||Homecoming vs. Yale|
Doug Wright '81 [email@example.com ] sends greetings from sunny Arizona.
"If and when in Arizona please know that the welcome mat is out...once again I am single and living on a lake...this time a 50' houseboat equipped with all the comforts of home including 2 jet skis and a 13' Boston Whaler for fishing... sleeps 6... the cook is just as good as he used to be just a bit older..."
ZuLu Rosenberg '90 [firstname.lastname@example.org ] is living it up in Atlanta. About a year or so ago, he left the private practice of law to go in-house with First Data as Mergers and Acquisitions Counsel.
"Recently, I got together with old Chuck Weinberg in ChiTown where, at 3 in the morning, we staggered into his apartment and proclaimed at the top of our lungs, 'there's no way we had 14 pints of beer between the two of us at the House of Blues', after drinking rum and tonics for 2½ hours before. That week I also met the guy dumb enough to hire Thrax (Barry Lawrence) out of law school.
Also got together with Dave Gettelman in Beantown for some brewdogs at Fenway Park. It was a wicked pissah'..."
Jonathan Goldberg '90 [AdenaJon@homemail.com ] writes that baby Benjamin was born 12/2/98.
"Big brother Noah enjoys playing with Benjamin, as well as with Ben Levy, son of Adam '90 & Caroline Levy."
Paul Kinderman '88 [email@example.com ] is now living in Alpharetta GA, just north of Atlanta with his wife Lauren and two little future Cornell Pikes, Paul Douglas (2) and Steven Bradley (8 months).
"Life is going well in Georgia, but we do miss the California sun, having been there for 10 years after leaving Ithaca. We spent some time with the Bosaks over Christmas and enjoyed being together again and having the boys get to know each other. Bill and Patty have a great little boy!"
"Best regards to everyone, if you're ever in Atlanta, look us up."
C.B.Smith '79 [firstname.lastname@example.org ] reports that Brad Smith '80 [email@example.com ] had a daughter, Lauren Kathleen, in April of 1998. His wife Joyce and he are thrilled to be parents.
"Brad is a wheelin'-dealin' real estate man in the Bay area."
Neil Cantor '94 [firstname.lastname@example.org ] ran the NYC Marathon in November with Tony Prentice '94.
"Crossed the finish line together with our arms raised in victory in 3 hours and 52 minutes, and then did a shot of tequila to prove that we're true grit."
"Rob Claypoole '94, Jay Brand '93, Adam Frisch '93, and Darren Massara '93 also planned to run, but couldn't for various reasons. Illness sidelined Claypoole. Brand got sidetracked at Blockhead Burrito on his way to the starting line. Frisch, looking for Brand, passed out when Jay pherbed. D-Mass had class."
"Thanks to Rob Kay '93 for organizing 3rd Avenue support and Greg Gordon '94 for the finish-line crew."
Joe Quade '49 has retired to a position where he is a substitute teacher at a local high school.
Mark Podgainy '88 got a new job in December 1998 and moved in with his girlfriend. "I guess that I tried to fit in as many life changes into a short period as possible. During the last six months, I've run into or spent time with Dave Panitz, Howard Ross, Matt Biben, Dave Cook, Tom Shpetner, and Rick Lipsey, among others."
Steve Crump '82 [email@example.com ] moved from St. Louis to Bethlehem PA, and is looking forward to attending many more events at Cornell now that his family is within driving distance.
Jeff Lowe '86 [firstname.lastname@example.org,JALowe@hhlaw.com ] reminds brothers that they can now make tax deductible donations to the Pi Kappa Alpha Educational Foundation, and earmark those contributions for the Michael Alan Carter Scholarship Fund.
Warrens D. Seibold '30
March 13, 1998
William Polatsek '42
November 24, 1998
Arthur Henry Carver '56
|term||Alpha Theta Director|
|1999||Tim Cole, President|
|2001||Ken Hull, Vice President|
|2002||Rick Eno, Alumni Relations|
|2003||Steve Amador, Treasurer|
Undergraduate Exec Board
|President||Larry Klecha 'email@example.com|
|Internal VP||Tony Nardi 'firstname.lastname@example.org|
|External VP||Josh Elkin 'email@example.com|
|Treasurer||Nick Dyner 'firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Secretary||Brett Katz 'email@example.com|
Go to Beta Theta E-mail Directory
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