BETA the beta theta pi magazine
WINTER 2022 Oscar Chapman | Wrongfully Convicted | Campus Life
Sondheim Father of the American Musical Dies at 91
2/1/22 3:04 PM
A variety of chapter and student highlights are covered in this issue’s expanded eightpage collection.
They wore suits and ties for their initiation, but the day wouldn’t be complete without a bit of fun. Per tradition, 24 newly initiated members of the Alpha Nu Chapter at Kansas changed into their best “surly suit” attire for a group photo.
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contents inside this issue DEPARTMENTS 04 | Archives
06 | The Inbox
08 | Newsworthy fraternity updates
10 | Alumni News
Oscar Chapman The houseman for the Delta Chapter, Oscar was initiated into the Fraternity in 1971, but his name was missing from DePauw’s Roll Book for 50 years.
BETA the beta theta pi magazine
Sondheim Father of the American Musical Dies at 91
WINTER 2022 Oscar Chapman | Wrongfully Convicted | Campus Life
Wrongfully Convicted A new documentary details a murder conviction gone wrong – and justice served thanks to John Raley, Oklahoma ’81.
On the Cover Photographer Fred R. Conrad shot this photo of Stephen Sondheim for The New York Times in 1990.
The Beta Theta Pi Magazine The oldest continuously published college fraternity magazine, The Beta Theta Pi was founded on December 15, 1872, by Charles Duy Walker, VMI 1869.
The Beta Shop Introducing “The Beta Shop” — Beta’s new marketplace that brings together merchandise from a variety of licensed vendors in one shopping experience.
Publication Schedule Issue Deadline Mail Date Winter Jan. 15 Feb. 15 Spring April 15 May 15 Fall Oct. 15 Nov. 15 Who Receives the Beta Magazine? All Beta undergraduates and parents, current and former volunteers, Foundation donors, and anyone who requests to receive it in print. Update your subscription and contact info at my.beta.org, 800.800.BETA or firstname.lastname@example.org.
38 | Campus Life student highlights
46 | Volunteer Vacancies
making a difference
The Zeta Chapter brother and legendary composer-lyricist brought Broadway’s most revered shows to life and transformed musical theater in the latter half of the 20th century.
How Does One Get Published? Content submissions and photos can be sent to email@example.com or: Beta Theta Pi Administrative Office 5134 Bonham Road Oxford, OH 45056 While space constraints make it difficult to include all submissions, a fair evaluation process is exercised to publish a variety of unique content. Want Instant Access to a Past Issue? All issues since 1872 can be accessed in Beta’s digital archive: magazine.beta.org.
48 | Chapter Eternal in loving memory
50 | Beta Eponyms worldwide tributes
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refining men of principle
36 | Cut and Polished
The Beta Theta Pi, (USPS 052-000), official magazine of Beta Theta Pi, is owned by the Fraternity, edited and published under the direction and control of its Board of Trustees, and published winter, spring and fall for a $30 one-time, pre-paid subscription. Standard non-profit class postage paid at Oxford, Ohio, and additional points of entry. Canada Post International Publications Mail (Canadian Distribution) Sales Agreement No. 0397474. Copyright Beta Theta Pi Fraternity. Produced in the USA.
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4 THE BETA THETA PI
archives historical throwback Brothers of the Olympiad
Jerry Lucas, Ohio State '62, at the 1960 Olympic games in Rome
Qualifying for the Olympic games is a crowning achievement for amateur athletes. To date, it’s a feat fewer than 100 Betas have ever realized. These brothers, who over the years have represented teams from across the globe, such as the United States, Canada, Sweden and Australia, are unquestionably among our order's most elite competitors. Even more elusive is the gold medal, a prize won 34 total times by 21 different brothers. As the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing come to a close, the Fraternity honors all of these sports stars, including several whose accomplishments are commemorated in the Beta Museum in Oxford (left to right): Eddie Eagan, Denver/Yale 1920; Donald Bowden, UC Berkeley '58; Jerry Lucas, Ohio State '62; Bruce Furniss, Southern California '79; Murray Rose, Southern California '61.
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ang around long enough in this Fraternity and one can't help but pick up on the number of brothers who have gone on to considerable acclaim. Beta names like Walton, Wooden and Nordstrom need little introduction.
Listen closely when some reference other Beta VIPs, however, and they're often followed with whispers: "Yeah, but he was never really involved with the Fraternity," or "He was a Beta in name only." The desire many Betas have for brothers to stay engaged throughout life is genuine, make no mistake about it. The suggestion of degrees of "Beta-ness" is concerning, nonetheless. "Once a Beta, Always a Beta, Everywhere a Beta" has long been the mantra, but is there some hidden litmus test that determines a Beta's worthiness in the Fraternity? Let alone a gauge of one's affinity for it?
foreword editor’s note Editor | Chief Communication Officer
Sarah Shepherd firstname.lastname@example.org
Managing Editor | Graphic Designer Mike Roupas, Iowa ’10 email@example.com
Director of Media Relations | Senior Writer
Justin Warren, SMU ’10 firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Digital Media
Sutton Jacobs, Wittenberg ’18 email@example.com
Royle Printing Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
The record suggests differently. In personal correspondence about 10 years ago when the Fraternity last proposed the notion, Stephen, a noted introvert, shared he simply received so many requests to be honored and attend events that he found it increasingly difficult to say "yes" to some and "no" to others. Not silence, nor "Take me off the Roll." Simple humility that, while flattered, he didn't need his ego stroked, and he didn't want some organizations he belonged to to think he thought less of them and more of others. Brothers of much less notoriety have their reasons for not being overly active in the Fraternity, too: pressing careers, growing families and other civic duties. Still, most are proud, caring Betas.
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Martin Cobb, Eastern Kentucky ’96 firstname.lastname@example.org
Yet, he consistently declined invitations from the Board of Trustees to receive the Oxford Cup, Beta's highest honor for professional achievement. How could that be, so many Beta loyalists often ask? How hard is it to receive an award, after all? He must not care for the Fraternity, so goes the thinking.
Stephen J. Sondheim, Williams '50, is one such brother. Arguably one of the most recognizable names in the world of theatre and songwriting, his record is epic: eight Grammys, eight Tonys, an Academy Award, a Pulitzer Prize and the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom. He's a giant among giants.
"The suggestion of degrees of 'Beta-ness' is concerning, nonetheless. Is there some sort of litmus test that determines a Beta's worthiness in the Fraternity? Let alone a gauge of one's affinity for it?"
A 2014 note (page 30) thanking the Fraternity for a copy of the 175th anniversary coffee table book, "Beta Brotherhood," which trumpeted him as a Beta, suggests poignantly the sentiment Sondheim held for his "Singing Fraternity." The form of signature says it all. As Supreme Court Justice and Beta Brother Josiah Brewer, Wesleyan 1855, once remarked, "It is enough that he is a Beta Theta Pi." Stephen Sondheim was a Beta. Sincerely and yours in ___kai___,
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magazinefeedback “Just saw the
‘Unmasked!’ trailer, and it put a big smile on my face. So impressed with the creativity. Kudos to the team – it was pretty awesome. I read the article last night and continue to be amazed in y’all’s new and creative ways.” — John Stebbins, Emory ’92
“Put something like
this in the magazine if you want, but why put it on the social media site all our potential new members use the most? Even worse is I know this cost way too much with all the voice actors.” — Lane Witt, Arkansas ’22
“Just a quick note to
THE BETA THETA PI
let you know how much I enjoyed this issue. Outstanding job.” — Kris Swanson, Lawrence ’87
In the fall magazine, Beta’s editorial team pursued a superhero interpretation of the Fraternity’s historic catchphrases. Alumni generally favored the creative approach, but the social media trailer was (ahem) certainly not a favorite of many undergraduates. Never too proud to receive constructive criticism, it seems pleasing the masses these days is about as easy as voting on party favor T-shirt designs in chapter.
the inbox unfiltered feedback
“Think this money
could’ve been spent bettering things that actually matter?” — Jackson Zoellers, Eastern Kentucky ’21
“A really good fall
issue of the magazine. Even better than what my wife gets from [her sorority].” — Karl Maier, Wesleyan ’67
“This kind of post
does not bring in the kind of kids we need in Beta, nor does it represent the current population of Beta.” — Daniel Mahn, Mississippi ’23
magazine. I liked the ‘Unmasked!’ feature. Nice to have something light to read! How did we get Tom Nguyen to do the illustrations? As a big comic book fan from age 7 to 17, I appreciated it! Well worth the investment. It had a great impact.” — Mike Feinstein, MIT ’82
“The most recent post
has no relevance to being a fraternity man or being a Beta. This is a complete waste of time and money and is clearly not being received well, hence the comments. I don’t know who thought this was a good idea but it should be deleted. Thank you. _kai_” — John Holland, SMU ’24
“The Fraternity isn’t
about making stupid Marvel movies for nationals to show off. The only reason this account should exist is to showcase chapters doing good and what it means to be a brother. Nationals should reevaluate its priorities.” — Jake Driver, South Carolina ’17
“It has often been
observed that the root of many contemporary personal and social problems is … rootlessness. Great job with ‘Unmasked!’ What a wonderful and creative way to breathe new life and vitality into the watchwords of our beloved Fraternity.” — Curt Paddock, Westminster ’73
1/31/22 10:27 AM
thevoice “Thank you, Phyllis!
thankyou whatarelief exceptional young man who found my purse on the street in D.C. Monday night, took it home and contacted me through Facebook.
He would not take any money from me even though I tried more than once. I found you all on his Facebook page and saw how much the Fraternity means to him. I figured this donation to the Beta Foundation would be a good way to honor and thank him for his kindness in a way that would not dishonor his refusal of the cash.” — Karen Newnam
“I am so thankful for
the article and for all the copies you sent. It really was a beautiful tribute and so honoring of Kim. Thank you for your work on this.” — Leigh Anne McGrady, Beta Sweetheart (Did you miss out on the fall magazine that documented the heroic, life-saving tragedy of Beta Brother Kim McGrady, Auburn ’89? Check it out at beta.org/mcgrady.)
“Wishing you all the
best in this next chapter, Phyllis. We greatly appreciate all you did for Beta Theta Pi. Services rendered. :)” — Dave Schmidt, Connecticut ’06
Phyllis. You’ve been a wonderful voice for Beta.” — Jon Steiner, Willamette ’63
“Oh, Phyllis . . . You have
been such an important part of the Beta family. Thank you for so many acts of kindness and grace. You are a remarkable woman.” — “BB” Breittholz, Friend of Beta
At the heart of Beta operations in Oxford since 2001, December 23rd marked Phyllis Bowie’s retirement as receptionist and ‘The Voice of Beta Theta Pi.’ Not surprisingly, the news was met with an outpouring of Beta love . . .
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I was so discouraged that my bag was taken and so encouraged that he reached out when he found it. It would have been less trouble to walk by it and not do the digging to find me. While the folks who stole my bag took my credit cards, my license, apartment keys, vax card and AirPods were there. What a relief!
anniversary congratulation was most likely a computergenerated missive, I will say that it is the first personal acknowledgment of my membership that I have received in all these years. And I appreciate it. (And no request for money! Wow!) I’m probably too old and irrelevant to have any meaningful interaction with the local chapter brothers, but I do take pleasure in reading The Beta Theta Pi magazine. Thanks again. And keep up the good work.” — Jim Hodos, Columbia ’68
“Thomas Falcigno is an
“Although the initiation
A friendly smile and helping hand anytime I needed anything at the Administrative Office! Congratulations on a well-deserved retirement!” — Brendan Lucas, Kentucky ’16
“We love you, Phyllis!
Thank you for two remarkable decades of kindness and professionalism.” — David Rae, British Columbia ’00
“What a true jewel
of our Beta diamond, and what excellent service. Happy retirement, Phyllis!” — Ben Lupica, Bowling Green ’69
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Photo: TCU Fall 2021 New Member Class
newsworthy fraternity updates Chapters Roar Back With Best Fall Recruitment Since 2017
In the wake of COVID-19, chapters sprung into action last summer and fall, securing the third largest new member class in Beta history. Term
Visit beta.org/recommend to refer young men to any of Beta’s 139 chapters.
General Fraternity House Corp Invests $200,000 to Protect Chapter Houses From Water Damage
In September, General Fraternity House Corporation President John Stebbins, Emory ’92, announced a program to install for free in all Beta-owned chapter houses PipeBurst Pro, a water leak detection system. A $5,000 value for each of the remaining 40 chapter houses eligible, nine house corporations expressed interest in partnering with the General Fraternity: Michigan, MIT, Purdue, Stevens, Texas Tech, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wichita State. To learn more, visit beta.org/pipeburstpro.
Arizona State and NC State Chapters Disbanded for Hazing
Following hazing investigations in the new member programs at Arizona State and NC State, General Secretary S. Wayne Kay, Virginia Tech ’73, made the difficult decision this winter to close both chapters in Tempe and Raleigh. Charters will remain in care of the Board of Trustees until reestablishments are pursued as early as 2025.
Lowry Named Inaugural Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Commissioner
On November 29, 2021, General Secretary S. Wayne Kay, Virginia Tech ’73, appointed Bill Lowry, Kenyon ’56, as Beta’s first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Commissioner. A former Beta Foundation director, Lowry is widely recognized as Beta’s first Black initiate thanks to the courageous leadership of his Beta Alpha Chapter brothers in 1954.
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February 2022 25
James Madison Installation Harrisonburg, Va. email@example.com
Judge Rules Penn State Beta House Can Be Purchased by University
Eastern Kentucky 50th Anniv. Lexington, Ky. deltaxi50.com
Florida Gulf Coast Installation Fort Myers, Fla. firstname.lastname@example.org
April 2022 2
Sacred Heart Installation Fairfield, Conn. email@example.com
Colorado Installation Boulder, Colo. firstname.lastname@example.org
Foundation Giving Day Challenge
May 2022 15
Spring Beta Magazine Published
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29-30 Spring Board of Trustees Mtg and MIT Installation Boston, Mass. email@example.com
On December 21, following a three-day trial two months earlier, Centre County Judge Brian Marshall ruled a 1928 deed provides Penn State with the right to purchase the Beta house if it is no longer used as a fraternity. The university permanently banned Alpha Upsilon Chapter from campus as a result of the 2017 hazing death of sophomore new member Tim Piazza ’19. Both parties have six months to reach a purchase price agreement or arbitrators will be ordered by the judge.
15-19 Wooden Institute Session 1 23-26 Wooden Institute Session 2 beta.org/wooden
60 Minutes Feature Critical of Fraternity Attitudes Toward Hazing
Focusing on the tragic story of Sam Martinez, a new member of Alpha Tau Omega at Washington State University, who died in November 2019 due to the forced consumption of alcohol, CBS’s 60 Minutes and Anderson Cooper questioned in compelling fashion on Sunday night, November 28, 2021, the methods today’s college fraternity leaders are employing to rid their organizations of such threatening behaviors. Contending information presented was void of additional interviews and data provided by the North American Interfraternity Conference, 21 members of the NIC’s governing council issued a response immediately following the broadcast. Read more at nicfraternity.org/nic-statements.
183rd General Convention Atlanta, Ga. beta.org/convention
Learn more at beta.org/calendar! Upcoming alumni event? Email specifics to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2/1/22 9:57 PM
Photo: Associated Press
alumni news lifelong brotherhood Beta Coroner Officiates Autopsy in Tragic Murder of Gabby Petito
The murder of 22-year-old Gabby Petito captivated the U.S. last fall after the manhunt for her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, led to the discovery of his death by suicide and acceptance of responsibility for her killing in his personal journal. At the heart of the case to determine Gabby’s cause of death once her remains were discovered on September 19 in Grand Teton National Park was Dr. Brent Blue, Vanderbilt ’72, coroner for Teton County in Wyoming. Following a multi-week process of scientific evaluation, Blue determined Petito died due to manual strangulation three to four weeks earlier. ”Unfortunately this is only one of many deaths around the country of people who are involved with domestic violence.” – Dr. Brent Blue, Vanderbilt ’72
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A self-described outdoorsman and native of Louisville, Kentucky, Blue is a graduate of the University of Louisville Medical School. Far from a Beta in name only, he regularly attends his Beta Lambda Chapter’s biennial “Beta Boat Brigade,” an alumni reunion at Center Hill Lake, Tennessee, to “celebrate friendship and tradition.” Blue is the first physician to be elected (2014) coroner of Teton County.
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alumninews A | A Matter of Duty
“Flip” Godfrey, DePauw ’76, (second from left) laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery on October 29. He is president of the alumni association of the 3rd U. S. Infantry Regiment known as The Old Guard Association. He was joined by three directors of the association. Flip served the Caisson Platoon from 1975-77, riding the Caisson and walking the Caparisoned Horse. A
C | Beta Editor Helps Initiate
Recently turned 90-year-old Beta Great and former Editor Erv Johnson, Idaho ’53, helped initiate the Boise State founding fathers on November 14. He signed every one of their “Son of the Stars,” the new member manual he authored in 2002, and even delivered the ceremony’s alumni part!
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On October 30, Oklahoma State alumni and chapter memorialized Bryan Curtis ’05, a refounding father and president, due to his passing from COVID-19. With his young family on hand, including parents, sister, wife and kids, the dining room portrait includes Curtis’ “What Beta Means to Me” essay while pledging the Fraternity. The chapter also presented his three boys with Beta paddles and personalized boxes including Beta flag and American lapel pins given his military service.
B | Young Beta Remembered
D | Columbia Brother Honored
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Longtime house corporation volunteer Richard Goldstein, Columbia ’76, was recently honored by his brothers via a memorial stained glass window at the Dix Hills Jewish Center. It faces his customary seat in the sanctuary.
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Eccles Gifts $110 Million for New Medical School at Utah ALUMNI NEWS
The University of Utah recently announced a $110 million gift made possible by the generosity and leadership of Spence Eccles, Utah ’56, and the Eccles family foundations. The gift includes $40 million for endowment, $40 million for research and $30 million for a new state-of-the-art building. It will be renamed the Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine.
THE BETA THETA PI Photo: University of Utah
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alumninews H | Former District Chief Calkins Files for Congress
A.J. Calkins, GMI-EMI ’88, filed for the Democratic primary on May 3, as he pursues the 3rd Congressional District seat in Indiana currently held by Republican Jim Banks.
I | Villanova Young Alum Named to “Top 40 Under 40” Photo: Purdue University
J | Wrestling Hall of Famer
E | Whites Gift $5 Million; Hospitality School Renamed
In October, Purdue President Mitch Daniels, Phi Gamma Delta, and Trustee Chair Mike Berghoff, Theta Chi, unveiled the new White Lodging - J.W. Marriott, Jr. School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. Recognizing a $5 million gift by Beth and Bruce White, Purdue ’75, and the Dean and Barbara White Family Foundation, it honors Bruce’s request that the renaming include the Marriott family. This follows the Whites’ $30 million gift to Purdue in 2018. White Lodging, one of the United States’ leading hospitality development firms, was founded in 1985. Bruce is company founder and CEO.
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F | Dr. Lai Named to National Therapy Board
Founding Father Tony Lai, Truman State ’95, has been appointed to a three-year term on the board of directors of the Association for Play Therapy. Play therapy is a favored approach of mental health professionals, particularly with children. Lai is a licensed counselor and registered play therapist in McMinnville, Oregon.
K | Beta Leadership Pervasive in EKU Athletic Department
Corey Neal, Kentucky ’14, has been appointed chief of staff of the EKU athletic department, but Beta leadership doesn’t stop there. He’s joined by Kirk Moats, Louisville ’14, director of compliance and student success, and Matt Branham, Eastern Kentucky ’21, athletics operations intern.
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Last fall, wrestling All-American, coach and referee Ed Hanley, MIT ’74, was inducted into the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Niko Hahalis, Villanova ’18, was recently recognized in The National Herald as a “Top 40 Under 40” of The Hellenic Institute, given his participation in the Connect the Dots Mentorship Program – a U.S. Embassy-backed effort that links mentors with Greek tech startups.
G | Gibbons Runs for Senate
Businessman Mike Gibbons, Kenyon ’74, is running for the seat vacated by retiring U.S. Senator Rob Portman. A first-time candidate in the Republican primary for Senate in 2018, he won 38 counties and 32% of the vote. Gibbons is CEO of Brown Gibbons Lang & Co., an investment bank and advisory firm.
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alumninews L | Toronto’s DiFelice Continues Musical Passion
A musician and producer for some 30 years, Marco DiFelice, Toronto ’95, has nearly 70 credits to his name, including work for Grey’s Anatomy. He recently released “Wish I Was Here,” which was followed last fall by “The Year That Changed Everything” – a time stamping effort produced in New York City. As DiFelice said, “The last lyric, ‘a blessing and a curse,’ sums it all up.”
M | Forbes Names Beta Gamer to 2022 “Top 30 Under 30”
TCU’s Grady Rains Forkin ’20, was recently named to Forbes’ “Top 30 Under 30” list in the Games category. Forkin, who goes by Grady Rains, is executive producer of NRG Esports, which features 13 million social media followers and two multimillion-dollar content houses. He also founded Full Squad Gaming and has landed partnerships with EA Sports, Snapchat and TikTok.
14 THE BETA THETA PI
N | NBC Game Show Influenced by Central Florida’s Femia N
He got his start in the entertainment industry years ago with a then-little known show, “The Voice.” Today, Joey Femia, Central Florida ’12 (far left), helps bring to life Jimmy Fallon’s “That’s My Jam,” which features celebrity talent competing on topics related to the music industry. Quite fitting for an alumnus of North America’s best known “Singing Fraternity.”
O | Trailblazers Tap Pair of Betas for Gamecalling
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Craig Birnbach, Rhode Island ’94 (left), and ESPN’s Neil Everett, Oregon ’84, have both been tapped to serve as TV studio hosts for games of the Portland Trailblazers. Check them out and see if any Beta lore shout-outs make it into the predictable banter.
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Go Dawgs ALUMNI NEWS
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A starting quarterback during college and former head coach at Southern Mississippi, Todd Monken, Knox ’89, was named offensive coordinator at the University of Georgia by Head Coach Kirby Smart in 2020. A critical part of the Bulldogs’ 2021 NCAA championship team, Monken has served in offensive coaching roles with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, Oklahoma State and LSU.
Photo: University of Georgia
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2/1/22 10:02 PM
Top: Photo of Oscar in the summer of 1990. Bottom left: David Allen, DePauw '61, with Oscar at the senior picnic in 1961. Bottom center: Oscar with Dave McKeag '58 (left), and Jim Waltz '58 (right). Bottom right: Alumni gather with Oscar at the DePauw chapter house in late summer 1990. Photos courtesy of Dave Allen '61, and Richard Nowling '55. 16 | Oscar Chapman | The Beta Theta Pi
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OSCAR CHAPMAN An Initiated Houseman Missing From the Roll by Sutton Jacobs, Wittenberg '18 designed by Mike Roupas, Iowa '10
rothers at DePauw University always came to the same consensus: “I don't know when Oscar's going to retire, but whenever he does, I want you to initiate him.” Like clockwork, seniors made the same comment, year after year, at their final chapter meeting. Again and again, “When Oscar retires, he should be initiated as a member.” When it finally came to be, however, his name was left off the Delta Chapter Roll. Oscar Chapman, a Black man who served the chapter as houseman for more than three decades, always left a positive impression with everyone he met. He was said to have had a smile that radiated warmth throughout the room. A lovable guy, brothers were accustomed to him being in the house and appreciated his consistent, constant encouragement. On April 5, 1970, he witnessed the secret Ritual of the Fraternity in the hall of the Delta Chapter. He learned the password and Beta Grip and he passed the Loving Cup with his new brothers on the front lawn adjacent to Anderson Street. One step of joining the Beta brotherhood—putting pen to paper and etching his name into permanent chapter history—was overlooked, however. Oscar's initiation was also never reported to the Administrative Office in Oxford. At the time, DePauw was not as integrated of a campus as it is today. Phil Eskew ’63, recalled, "A handful of my football teammates were Black, but there were few students of color on campus otherwise." Even into the 1980s, the total non-white students was less than 50. It is not hard to imagine Oscar’s race could have been the reason why the chapter kept hush on the initiation. Or, it could have been as innocent as administrative oversight in the hustle and bustle of undergraduate chapter activities. Young men are often disorganized. Fifty years later, today’s chapter and advisors wanted to change that.
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Group photo of brothers and guests at the public initiation of Oscar on November 7, 2021. Front row includes Phil Eskew '63 (second from left), Oscar's daughter Dorothy Brown (third), granddaughter Charlene Shrewsbury (fourth) and DePauw University President Lori White (fifth). John Morehead '57 (far left), Scott Morehead '83 (back row, left), and Chapter Advisor Adam Cohen (far right) also attended. Photo by Linda Striggo.
Oscar serves food at the annual pig roast, while Brother Bob Hutto '64, and Beta Sweetheart Sherry Brown Wetzel prepare plates. Photo courtesy of Dave Allen '61.
"I might not have my elevator, but I love this house as much as the boys do. I’ve more area to cover but it sure is easier." — Oscar Chapman
Oscar first arrived in Greencastle, Indiana, in search of work in the 1920s. He was born to work with his hands, raised on his father’s farm outside of Nashville. He made the trek some 300 miles north, leaving his two children behind, before finding a job as a hod carrier. Back and forth, he lugged the bricks that formed what is today Mason Hall at DePauw, an upperclassman residence hall. When the building was complete, two brothers tried to convince him to stay in Greencastle as the houseman for their fraternity. The pay as a laborer was more than what the Betas could match, but at a rate of $15 per week and three meals provided a day, Oscar stayed. Before long, he saved enough money for his son and daughter to move in. Oscar is only the beginning of a legacy his family has had on DePauw and the greater Greencastle community. His daughter, Dorothy Brown, has had an illustrious academic career, including first Black woman to teach in Greencastle schools and to become principal. Later, she became the assistant dean and director of minority
affairs at DePauw after years as an education professor. The Cultural Resource Center on campus is named for Dorothy, and she received an honorary doctorate from the university in 2018. Her daughter Charlene Shrewsbury, granddaughter of Oscar, currently serves campus as the chief of the police division. After retiring from the university, Dorothy followed in her father’s footsteps. She was hired by Kevin Eskew, Phi Kappa Psi—son of Beta Brother Phil Eskew—as housemother for his chapter at DePauw. She filled that role for 26 years. During his tenure, Oscar seemed to enjoy everything he did. He was tasked with keeping the chapter house in its best state; he swept the halls, mowed the lawn and fixed whatever the Fraternity needed. “He came into your room while you were studying and emptied your waste cans,” said Eskew. “And I can still hear him; it didn't make any difference whether you said anything to him or not, he would come in the room and he'd say, ‘Just fine, just fine.’”
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He was there for the brothers every day and he was part of their brotherhood. They learned from him as much as he was an ear for them. As early as the 1940s, Oscar heard rumblings of a forthcoming house renovation. Brothers went as far as promising him an elevator in the new facility, but he began to wonder if he would ever see the day it was raised. The ground breaking was delayed but the new chapter house was completed in 1958. “I might not have my elevator, but I love this house as much as the boys do," Oscar said. "I’ve more area to cover but it sure is easier.” In addition to cleaning and maintenance, Oscar knew how to cook. He was chief of the chapter’s annual pig roast. Oscar, along with the young freshmen, would roast pig halves through the night. It was ready to be served up by the following afternoon after some chickens were roasted over the hot embers, too. It was tradition for senior Betas to take part in Oscar’s famous end-of-year dinner, a tradition that stood since the late 1930s. After getting through final exams, brothers waiting for their degrees to be officially conferred would congregate in Oscar’s humble home, mere blocks away from the chapter house. The menu for the night was consistent; you could always expect a hearty plate of fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, green beans, coleslaw and rolls, all with a glass of iced tea and beer to wash it down.
Oscar, back center, with three chapter brothers roasting chicken halves. Photo courtesy of Dave Allen '61.
Ben Lupton '23, former chapter president, points to the line where Dorothy Brown, Oscar's daughter, would sign her father's name into the Delta Chapter Roll of Beta Theta Pi. Photo by Linda Striggo.
On occasion, Oscar would help the cooks in the kitchen at the chapter house. When it came to those senior dinners, however, it was often his daughter Dorothy who was charged with helping her father. She recounted, “Never was I so glad to get old enough to get out of that house, so I didn't have to pluck those chickens.” Because of his kindness toward the brothers that he befriended during his tenure, Oscar’s legacy continued after his passing in 1991. Joe Allen ’59, and Dave Allen ’61, helped launch a scholarship in his memory at the Beta Foundation in Oxford. Walter Sampson ’58, also endowed a fund in Oscar’s name that sponsors DePauw brothers to the Fraternity’s leadership programs each year. He lives on in the hearts of so many more that have shared his story. And now, he is officially written into Delta Chapter history.
A public initiation was the first of its kind for DePauw. Ritual, including the Initiation Ceremony, has always been private and held dear to the brothers of Beta Theta Pi. Although already initiated 50 years prior, the brothers believed he needed to be preserved once more in the Roll. On November 7, the special proceedings took place under the tent staked to the front lawn where Oscar once stood. Ben Lupton ’23, former chapter president, read through the opening paragraph of the initiation Ritual before pronouncing Oscar’s Roll Number for the first time: 2577. In his stead, his daughter Dorothy penned Oscar's name into the official register. The lunch menu after the ceremony was handpicked by Dorothy. There was no better way to celebrate Brother Oscar than over a plate of fried chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans.
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written by: Brian Breittholz, Friend of Beta Designed by: Sarah Shepherd
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horrific crime, a rush to judgment and years of stonewalling and hiding the truth: the perfect recipe for justice gone wrong. Seventeen years later and focused on the confines of prison, John Raley, Oklahoma ’81, arrived on the scene. Michael Morton’s life would never be the same.
LIFE WAS GOOD The year was 1986. Ronald Reagan was president of the United States, a gallon of gas averaged 89 cents and, at the box office, Americans lined up to see “Top Gun,” “Back to School” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” The glory days of the ‘80s were very, very real. At the time, the population of Austin, Texas, was a fraction of its current size. Perceived as a big college town, Austinites prided themselves on the growing music scene where local bands played fraternity parties, outdoor festivals, and local joints like Liberty Lunch and the Armadillo. It was August in Austin, and everything was hot. The sun blazed down on the Texas Hill Country baking the dry air and dense clay soil. The party scene was even hotter—as was the food scene featuring local Tex-Mex and good ‘ole Texas barbecue. Also feeling quite hot, and amorous, was Michael Morton. It was his 33rd birthday on that Tuesday, August 12. Morton had much to celebrate. He had a stable job, a nice home in the north Austin suburbs, a son and a wife, Christine, his college sweetheart. Life was good for Michael Morton. On the day of his birthday, Morton planned a special evening out at one of their favorite restau-
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rants. Beyond dinner, he was planning to cap off his birthday with a romantic night at home.
HORRIFIC SCENE Why would little Eric be roaming around outside by himself, the Mortons’ neighbor thought, as she observed the 3 ½-year-old from her window Wednesday morning. Although north Austin was considered safe by all measures—the kind of place where neighbors don’t lock their doors—a child outside by himself just didn’t add up. Concerned, she approached Eric and brought him inside the Morton home to find his mommy. With a soiled diaper in need of changing, she began calling out for Christine. It wasn’t like her to leave Eric unattended, and the boy was normally at daycare at that time of the day. There was no response to the calls for Christine, so she began checking the different rooms. Making her way down the hall to the master bedroom, she discovered a horrific scene—one unlikely to ever be forgotten.
‘WHEN YOU STEP OUTSIDE, BREATHE FREEDOM.’ THE SUN HIT HIS FACE, AND HE TOOK IN A DEEP BREATH. ‘IT WAS SUCH A BEAUTIFUL MOMENT.’
EVERYTHING HAPPENED SO FAST August 13 started as any typical weekday for Michael Morton. He arose at 5:00 a.m. and dove into his normal routine—showering and shaving before leaving home
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to clock in at Safeway by 6:00 a.m. Before leaving the house that morning, he taped a note to the bathroom vanity where he knew Christine would see it. In the note, he expressed his disappointment in her falling asleep and unable to have sex on his birthday. Christine was now dead, bludgeoned to death. Blood everywhere. On the bed, on the wall, on family photographs on the nightstand and on the floor. Her face so badly beaten it was unrecognizable, much less that of a beautiful young woman. Fragments of bone and tissue from her head were found across the room. The site was gruesome. Christine’s lifeless, bloody body lay on the bed. Thrown on top was a blue suitcase and a large wicker laundry basket. Other than her purse and one of Michael’s handguns, nothing of value seemed to be missing from the Morton home.
BEFORE I CAN LIVE WITH OTHER FOLKS, I’VE GOT TO LIVE WITH MYSELF.
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Within weeks of Christine’s murder, Eric was pulled from Michael’s arms as he was arrested. First Eric lost his mother, and now his father. “Everything happened so fast,” said Matt Morton, Michael’s brother. “Right after the funeral, they zeroed in on him.”
THE TRIAL Within six months of his arrest, the trial began. The process moved quickly. Morton’s defense team argued he had a solid alibi: He was at work at the time of Christine’s murder. Additionally, Michael was a loving family man who had no motive to kill his wife. The crime must have been committed by someone else while Michael was at work, they asserted. His coworkers verified he seemed normal that day. The prosecutors brought their A-team to litigate the case, including District Attorney Ken Anderson who served as the lead. Based on the rate of food digestion in Christine’s stomach, the prosecution argued Michael was at home at the time of the murder. The prosecution claimed the marriage was not a happy one, and when Christine fell asleep and didn’t perform on Michael’s birthday, he went on a sex-crazed rage and beat Christine to death. “Anderson was quite clever playing on the emotions of the case,” Attorney and Beta Brother John Raley, Oklahoma ’81, later reflected. “Character assassination was their strategy.” In Anderson’s closing remarks, he pled with the jury, “Don’t let this monster get away. We are not going to be safe if you let him get away.” Within hours, the Williamson County jury unanimously found Morton guilty of murdering Christine and sentenced him to life behind bars.
A CALL THAT CHANGED HIS LIFE John Raley spent most of his professional life as a civil attorney. Based in Houston, his firm largely represented clients in civil cases— primarily commercial litigation.
Raised in small town Ponca City, Oklahoma, Raley attended the University of Oklahoma as an undergraduate and law student. He pledged Beta’s Gamma Phi Chapter soon after his arrival on campus and enjoyed all the customs and activities associated with the proud Beta tradition in Norman. Along with fraternity activities, the 6’3” and 235 lb. Raley played offensive guard for the winning Sooners football team. Practicing law had been his aspiration for years. As a kid, he knew he wanted to become an attorney as soon as he read the book “To Kill a Mockingbird.” “Atticus Finch has always been one of my heroes,” Raley said. “He exemplifies everything a lawyer should be— calm, professional and fearless in standing against injustice.” “I’ve always sought to practice law like him,” he added. “As Atticus Finch said to his daughter, ‘Scout, before I can live with other folks, I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.’” Seventeen years after Morton’s conviction, Raley received a telephone call that would forever change his life. On the other end of the line was the New York-based Innocence Project, a nonprofit legal organization devoted to exonerating the wrongly convicted through DNA testing and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustices. The organization learned of Morton’s case through the original defense team that had unsuccessfully appealed the verdict. A trial lawyer with more than 25 years of civil litigation under his belt, Raley was asked to take on the Morton appeal pro bono.
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Never having practiced criminal law, Raley initially felt “completely unprepared” to handle the case. But, as he reflected, “When God puts on your heart something that must be done, it’s often something you’re not qualified for. But you should not be afraid.” Added Raley, “Once I was in, I was in.” In reviewing the case files, “I was unsure at first about his innocence, but was absolutely sure he didn’t get a fair trial,” Raley said. After meeting with Michael in prison the first time, “everything about him communicated honor and integrity. I cross-examine people for a living and have a pretty good sense when someone is lying. I came home and told my wife, Kelly, ‘He is innocent, and we have to get him out!’ She said, ‘Then do it.’” Much had changed between 1986 and 2004 in the forensics field. Shortly after Christine was murdered, a bandana containing blood was retrieved from behind the Morton home. Raley said, “It was put in a bag, stored and ignored.”
MUDDY THE WATERS Raley felt strongly the bandana had to be tested as it potentially contained evidence that would exonerate Morton. Technology could now detect information that was impossible to acquire in 1986. Raley’s initial request was met with a dismissive response. Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley (succeessor to Anderson who was now a judge) dismissed Raley’s first request for the DNA test, as it would, according to him, “muddy the waters.” Raley thought, Muddy the waters? Baffled by the response and with so much at stake, Raley reminded him, “Mr. Bradley … the truth clarifies.”
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I CAME HOME AND TOLD MY WIFE, KELLY, ‘HE IS INNOCENT, AND WE HAVE TO GET HIM OUT!’ SHE SAID, ‘THEN DO IT.’
In 2005, Raley filed a motion for DNA testing of the bandana. The test, he contended, would cost taxpayers nothing as the Innocence Project would cover it. The DA’s office did not respond to the motion for 10 months as the state continued to dispute the need. The wheels of justice ground slowly, but Raley was resolute. Although it was a pro bono case, and he/his firm wouldn’t see a dime, Raley treated it as if it were the most important case of his career and was giving it his all, as were his colleagues and the Innocence Project. Unfortunately, Bradley was a protégé of Ken Anderson. The two men were closely tied, considered close colleagues, friends and political kingpins in Williamson County. Both were recognized at different junctures as Texas Prosecutors of the Year. “We had a strong political machine against us,” said Raley.
For nearly six years, Bradley vigorously opposed the DNA testing. All the while, Morton remained incarcerated behind bars. “[Bradley] was afraid of the truth. He feared truth,” Raley said.
“ALL I HAVE IS MY INNOCENCE.” After 22 years in prison, Morton was eligible for parole. Once granted, he would be free to return to life in the outside world. The tiny cage that served as his home for so many years would become a relic of the past. There was one catch, however. To be eligible for parole, Morton would have to confess to Christine’s murder and demonstrate remorse to the parole board. Freedom was so enticing, but Morton refused. “All I have left is my actual innocence,” he said. “If I have to be in prison the rest of my life, I’m not giving that up.” Morton remained incarcerated while Raley continued to do battle. The legal fights between Raley and Bradley continued through the courts. Raley demanded, “All we want to know is the truth.” There was no legal basis to deny testing of the bloody bandana. What did Bradley fear? What were they hiding?
BREAK IN THE CASE
Never tested in the aftermath of Christine Morton’s 1986 murder, in 2005 Raley waged a six-year battle to finally evaluate DNA on the bloody blue bandana.
Finally, a victory for Morton when the third appeal was granted to test the blue bandana that had been sealed away for the past 24 years. All those struggles fighting through the legal system were now going to produce a result. In June of 2011, the DNA results began trickling back. As suspected, the blood on the bandana belonged to Christine. The blood stains all belonged to her. Ad-
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ditional findings, however, included DNA from the sweat and skin cells of a male. But the man was not Michael Morton; in fact, there was no trace of Michael’s DNA anywhere on the bandana. The next step was to run the DNA samples through the databanks of known offenders. Within weeks, a match was made. The DNA on the blue bandana matched a known felon—Mark Alan Norwood. Norwood had a long criminal record in several states for crimes that included breaking and entering and assault with intent to murder. They had their man. Although the DNA evidence placed Norwood at the scene of the crime, Bradley publicly discounted the importance of the DNA results and continued to fight Morton’s release from prison.
THE RALEY FILE
John Raley, Oklahoma ’81, is partner at Houston-based Raley & Bowick, L.L.P. He graduated summa cum laude and was initiated into Phi Beta Kappa. He was Note Editor of The Oklahoma Law Review and named “Best Speaker” of the moot court competition during law school. He obtained a LL.M in International Law from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Raley’s wife, Kelly, is also an attorney, and they have three adult children. He is active in church and enjoys tennis, golf and performing in local theatre companies. His younger brother, Rob, is also an OU Beta, class of 1985. When news of the Morton case TV documentary made its way to Raley’s OU Beta brothers on Facebook, one commented on his Beta ring in the notorious courthouse photo (above). Raley responded quickly, “For 37 years now, I ALWAYS wear it to court! -kai-”
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GAME CHANGER In September, the Innocence Project’s Freedom of Information Act request for the complete file of the original Christine Morton murder investigation was granted to Raley and his team. Sealed for 25 years, according to Raley, “It was a game changer.”
FOR ME, IT’S A TYPE OF MINISTRY. THAT’S WHAT LAWYERS SHOULD BE ABOUT. IN BETA, JUSTICE, VOLUNTEERISM AND TRUTH ARE PART OF OUR VALUES. IT’S WHAT WE STAND FOR. In exploring the files, new evidence came to light that was intentionally kept from the attorneys defending Morton. Among the findings were reports from neighbors about a strange man in a green van casing the Morton house a few days before the murder.
Evidence in the files included references to a footprint near the back of the home that was never caste by the police. Fingerprints on the unlocked glass sliding door were never run as if they already knew who the murderer was. Christine’s credit card had also been retrieved in San Antonio one day after her murder. A few days after her death, a check made payable to herself was cashed with a poorly forged signature.
AN EYEWITNESS Also discovered in the files were written notes from an eyewitness to the slaying. An eyewitness the defense team was completely unaware of. On the day of Christine’s funeral, Eric Morton (Christine and Michael’s 3 ½-year-old son) began sharing with his grandmother what he witnessed the morning his mother was brutally murdered. Eric referenced a “monster” in the house with a big mustache who hit his mother and broke the bed. Eric also mentioned the monster threw a blue suitcase on the bed. “He’s mad,” Eric added. When the grandmother asked if daddy was there, Eric said no … he, mommy and the monster were there. She provided the information to investigators, which was never shared with Morton’s defense team. Instead of focusing on finding the monster, or following up on other leads, law enforcement willfully ignored and shielded evidence that didn’t fit their narrative. At the trial, a key piece of the prosecution’s case was testimony from Medical Examiner Dr. Roberto Bayardo, who opined the time of death. No customary autopsy was conducted on Christine. Instead, Bayardo examined her stomach
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contents two days after her murder. Based on digestion, Bayardo’s opinion of time of death occurred before Michael left for work. Under deposition by Raley in October 2011, Bayardo admitted the Morton case was the first—and only—time he gave an opinion on time of death based on stomach content. Bayardo confessed, “There is no precise scientific method to determine the time of death based on stomach digestion.” In the original trial, Anderson misrepresented Bayardo’s medical opinion. Bayardo concluded, “My testimony was that this method was not a scientific way to make a determination of time of death.” Bayardo also stated his testimony was taken out of context in the prosecution’s closing rebuttal. “I’m very disturbed because that’s not what I meant to say at the time of the trial.” Based on the DNA testing, the evidence that came to light after Raley’s team uncovered the concealed files, and how Bayardo’s medical opinion was misrepresented, the state’s case against Michael Morton collapsed.
A REAL MURDERER GONE FREE “I am hopeful people remember that when an innocent person is convicted of murder and wrongfully incarcerated, the real murderer is allowed to go free and commit other crimes,” Raley said. In fact, that’s exactly what happened while Morton was in jail. Christine’s real killer, Mark Allen Norwood, roamed free to commit more crimes, including one nearly identical to Christine’s—the murder of Debra Baker. Baker was another young mother brutally beaten to death with a blunt
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instrument while at home, just months after Christine’s murder. Perhaps hers was a death that could have been prevented had law enforcement considered all the evidence found at the Morton home and continued their search for the monster. Two young lives lost. Twenty-five years of another life stolen away. A child raised by in-laws who believed his father killed his mother. Families torn apart by a rush to judgment. Public servants who served themselves and their political ambitions. “Morton was just a normal guy, living a normal life, and what happened to him could happen to any of us,” said Raley. “We have to do whatever we can to keep this from happening again.” On October 4, 2011, Michael Morton exited the Williamson County Courthouse as a free man with John Raley by his side. As they walked out of the courthouse, Raley whispered to Morton, “When you step outside, breathe freedom.” The sun hit his face, and he took in a deep breath. “It was such a beautiful moment,” Raley said. Raley believes strongly in pro bono work and in giving back. “For me, it’s a type of ministry. It’s something I can do to help people who need it. That’s what lawyers should be about.” Raley added, “In Beta, justice, volunteerism and truth are part of our values. It’s what we stand for.” “Michael Morton is my friend. And he’s my brother,” said Raley. “This was the most satisfying case I ever worked on.”
THE REST OF THE STORY Following Morton’s exoneration, District Attorney Anderson was found in contempt of court. He was disrobed, disbarred and sentenced to pay a $500 fine and serve 10 days in jail. He was released for good behavior after five days. John Bradley was defeated in his reelection bid. Applying to lead Texas’ Special Prosecution Unit, the job fell through when his application garnered unwanted media attention. In 2014, he was hired as assistant attorney general of the Republic of Palau, a country of 20,000 in the Pacific islands. In light of the Morton injustice, Texas lawmakers unanimously passed the Michael Morton Act. The law created an “openfile” criminal discovery policy requiring county and district attorneys to disclose most of their investigative evidence to the defense, allowing attorneys to prepare an adequate defense to avoid wrongful conviction. To date, 4% of U.S. prosecutors involved in wrongful conviction cases tainted by prosecutorial misconduct have faced discipline.
Mark Norwood was convicted of murdering Christine Morton and Debra Baker. Norwood is serving two life sentences.
Released last fall, the Investigation Discovery channel’s documentary, “Guilty Until Proven Innocent,” details Brother Raley’s inspiring leadership.
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"The whole idea of getting across to an audience and making them laugh, making them cry — just making them feel — is paramount to me."
Sondheim Father of the American Musical Dies at 91 The Zeta Chapter brother and legendary composer-lyricist brought Broadway’s most revered shows to life and transformed musical theater in the latter half of the 20th century. By Justin Warren, SMU ’10 Designed by Mike Roupas, Iowa ’10
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Stephen Sondheim, Williams '50, was initiated Roll No. 386 on February 22, 1947. Respectfully waiving Beta's attempts to honor him with the Oxford Cup, citing the volume of such invitations and a desire to avoid favoritism, a 2014 personal note thanking the Fraternity for a copy of "Beta Brotherhood" certainly suggests the sentiment he held for Beta Theta Pi.
Sondheim pictured top row, fourth from right
n American stage musical revolutionary, world-renowned composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim, Williams ’50, died on November 26, 2021, at the age of 91 from cardiovascular disease. Just one day before, friends joined Sondheim at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut – where he spent the majority of his time during the pandemic – for a Thanksgiving dinner. Earlier that week, he played songs from an unfinished score for a reporter from The New York Times. And that same month, he made a trip back to Manhattan one last time to attend the revivals of two of his productions, “Assassins” and “Company.” The decorated theater icon, best known for reshaping the modern musical by introducing songs brimming with complexity and tinged with ambivalence, spent his final days amongst his greatest admirers, celebrating an unmatched career that spanned some 65 years. Before Stephen Sondheim was a famous name in the Broadway houses, however, he got his start in the Beta house at Williams College in Massachusetts. AN ARDUOUS UPBRINGING Stephen Joshua Sondheim was born March 22, 1930, in New York City. The
only child of two working parents, Etta Janet and Herbert Sondheim, Stephen’s first exposure to Broadway tunes came when his father played them on the family piano. Often, Stephen sat on his father’s lap, his small hands atop Herbert’s being guided like a puppet. Sondheim loved his father, a dress manufacturer he once said was the most liked man in the industry, if not the most successful – foreshadowing for his own career trajectory. In 1940, when Sondheim was 10 years old, his father left his mother for another woman. What Stephen deemed up to that point “an institutional childhood” in short order spiraled towards abuse as his mother, seemingly punishing young Stephen for his father’s transgressions, frequently acted out towards him in spite and callousness. Though their relationship eroded beyond repair over the years, one spot of luck for Stephen was his mother’s penchant for chasing celebrity. It was in 1942 that she moved them from New York City to Doylestown, Pennsylvania, to be near her friend, Dorothy Hammerstein, and Dorothy’s lyricist husband, Oscar. There, Sondheim would develop the most formative relationship of his life.
MEETING HIS MENTOR Sondheim was a fixture at the Hammerstein house, and Dorothy and Oscar became like surrogate parents to him throughout his teenage years. Oscar, in particular, was a role model who Stephen, reflecting on the chaos and trauma of his family life, later suggested saved his life. “It was because of my teenage admiration for him that I became a songwriter,” Sondheim wrote in his book “Finishing the Hat.” He wanted to do what Hammerstein did, and if Hammerstein had been an archaeologist, perhaps he would have been one, too. Sondheim received an early lesson from his mentor when he asked for an unbridled review of a musical he wrote while in prep school entitled “By George.” Oscar called it “terrible” and the worst thing he had ever seen. The rest of the day, the duo reviewed the work’s flaws and Hammerstein created a guided path forward for Stephen’s theatrical pursuits that would carry him through his days at Williams College. “In that afternoon I learned more about songwriting and the musical theater than most people learn in a lifetime,” he said in the 1986 book “Sondheim & Co.”
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"I don't find my life that interesting. The shows, maybe. But not me." Photo: Friedman-Abeles
Stephen Sondheim at the piano and famed conductor Leonard Bernstein, right, with cast members during a 1957 rehearsal for "West Side Story."
BETA TAKES THE STAGE A music major, Stephen Sondheim was initiated into the Zeta Chapter of Beta Theta Pi on February 22, 1947, as Roll No. 386. He was elected chapter secretary and participated in various campus activities, including “The Purple Cow,” a humor and literary magazine of which he served as editor, and the undergraduate drama society, Cap and Bells.
on the efforts of a Swindlehurst Prep School fraternity, Dogma Nu, to replace the compulsory physical education classes with more house parties,” Becque says. In total, Stephen wrote 25 numbers for the show, including his first-ever published songs, “How Do I Know?” and “Still Got My Heart.”
According to Fran Becque, Ph.D., a historian on Greek-letter organizations and mother of two Knox Betas, Bradley ’08, and William ’08, during Sondheim’s sophomore year he paired up with his fellow chapter brother, Josiah Horton ’49, to write a campus musical, “Phinney’s Rainbow.”
“A ‘Goat Room’ was where all the rituals of initiation were performed,” Sondheim said, and so he took Beta Theta Pi’s ceremony “with just a slight smidgen of variation and exaggeration and put it on the stage. All the brothers were horrified, but of course everybody else thought it was screamingly funny; it seemed like a work of the imagination. And I told everybody at the house, ‘Don’t get into an uproar. If you don’t tell anybody it’s real, they won’t believe it.’”
“The plot of the satirical look at campus life centered
The book “Stephen Sondheim: A Life,” offers the following from the playwright:
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The only reason to write, he said, is because of love and passion. A REVOLUTIONARY APPROACH Sondheim’s signature frankness, ambivalence and depth was particularly frontand-center during his collaborations in the 1970s, with producer and director Hal Prince, and 1980s, with director James Lupine.
Photo: Ted Thai
Sondheim sits in an alcove in his home in 1991 with musical composition draped over his lap.
THE GREAT WHITE WAY Intended to open during the 195455 season, Sondheim’s first foray into Broadway, a musical called “Saturday Night,” was halted after a producer’s death prevented the show from raising the necessary funds to secure a run. He also nearly forwent the next two Broadway gigs to fall at his feet. Approached to strictly write lyrics for both “West Side Story” and “Gypsy” in the late 1950s, he scoffed at the idea, fancying himself a full composer and not a mere lyricist. On the advice of his mentor, he reconsidered. For “West Side Story,” Hammerstein urged Sondheim to set his pride aside in the interest of working with accomplished professionals like Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Robbins and Arthur Laurents. For “Gypsy,” he advocated for the experience Sondheim would gain by writing specifically for a star like Ethel Merman. Sondheim’s association with these early successes not only bolstered his reputation in the industry, but in the case of “West Side Story” forever attached his name to one of the most cherished and revisited Broadway shows of all time. AWARDS AND ADMONISHMENTS The first musical for which Sondheim wrote both the songs and the lyrics was a runaway hit entitled “A Funny Thing
Happened on the Way to the Forum,” which opened in 1962 and held 964 performances – a number easily exceeding both “West Side Story” and “Gypsy,” despite their bigger star power. The show won six Tony Awards, including best musical, and placed Sondheim among a small group of major theater composers who wrote the words to accompany their scores alongside the likes of Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Frank Loesser, Jerry Herman and Noël Coward. Riding high from the success of “Forum,” Sondheim quickly came crashing back down to earth when his next show, “Anyone Can Whistle,” folded after a meager nine performances.
“Everybody is troubled; everybody has problems,” Sondheim said. “Nobody goes through life unscathed, and I think if you write about those problems, you’re going to touch people.” He believed every song should be like a play and have a beginning, middle and end. He wanted audiences not to sit back and listen but sit up and take notice. “People have gone to musicals to forget their troubles,” Sondheim said. “I’m not interested in that.” What was so special about this era of Sondheim’s career was his collaborators’ willingness to also stretch the music beyond the limitations of entertainment. It included such triumphs as “Company,” “A Little Night Music,” “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” “Sunday in the Park with George,” and “Into the Woods,” which critics consider
Sondheim felt his work on the previous three consecutive successes – “West Side Story,” “Gypsy” and “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” – helped prepare him for the flop he experienced with “Anyone Can Whistle.” Though not the worst performing of his shows, he considered his next project, “Do I Hear a Waltz?” to be a massive failure. He called the show a spectacle, an adjective that quickly became the antithesis of what audiences and critics came to expect from Stephen Sondheim. While politely received by the audience and critics alike, Sondheim remembered there being absolutely no passion behind the music.
Photo: Michael Stephens
Princess Diana presents Sondheim with the Special Award at the Evening Standard Drama Awards in 1989.
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not only a high point for Sondheim, but a defining moment when the artistic standard for the American stage musical as a whole was raised and reset. A CRITICAL PRODIGY It is hard to argue that Stephen Sondheim was not a critical success, though the industry’s adoration for his style has grown with time. Throughout his career, he has written both the music and lyrics for 15 major stage works, five of which won Tony Awards for best musical and six winning best original score. A show that won neither, “Sunday in the Park with George,” won the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for drama. Of the many past and present revivals of his shows, three have won their own Tony Awards. Two theaters, Henry Miller’s Theatre on Broadway in New York City and the Queen’s Theatre in London’s West End, were renamed in his honor in 2010 and 2019, respectively. He has collected an Academy Award, eight Grammys, six Laurence Olivier Awards, the Kennedy Center Honors for lifetime achievement and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Yet Sondheim rarely found commercial success. In fact, many brothers – particularly those unfamiliar with his music – may have been completely unaware of his foundational influence on American theater, much less his affiliation with this Great and Good Fraternity.
A COMMERCIAL CASTAWAY There was a time during the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, when many of the most popular hit songs arose from musicals and movies. That began to change, though, with the rock revolution of the 1950s – just as Sondheim was entering the scene. After this point, it was possible to have hit shows but without any hit songs.
"If people have split views about your work, I think it's flattering. I'd rather have them feel something about it than dismiss it."
It’s a mistake to say Sondheim’s work held no place in the popular zeitgeist during his life. His musicals, most recently “West Side Story” (2021), “Into the Woods” (2014), and “Sweeney Todd” (2007) have been adapted into feature films, for example. And most notably, the classic song, “Send in the Clowns,” from 1973’s “A Little Night Music,” won a Grammy for song of the year in 1975 and spent a cumulative 27 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 list, though it was only after it had been recorded by musician Judy Collins. To date, the track has been recorded by over 900 singers, including Frank Sinatra, Carol Burnett, Patti LaBelle, Elizabeth Taylor, Barbara Streisand, Judi Dench, Cher, Bernadette Peters, Glenn Close, Bing Crosby and Kenny Rogers. These, however, are the exceptions rather than the rule.
To explain why, one must believe, like Sondheim, that the music, and by extension the human experience, cannot simply skim the surface. Winter 2022 | Stephen Sondheim | 33
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"Art, in itself, is an attempt to bring order out of chaos."
Sondheim receives the 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama.
Largely, the characteristic of Sondheim’s scores that makes them commercially cancerous can be traced back to a complaint he had all the way back with “West Side Story”: To the public, it just isn’t hummable. THE VOICE OF A GENERATION Stephen Sondheim’s shows are described by The New York Times as having “hefty ambitions in subject matter, form or both.” His lyrics are said to be “scrupulously literate and resonant with complex ideas or emotional ambivalence.” He himself is painted as a “world-class rhyming gymnast, not just at the ends of lines but within them.” Such puffery stands to intimidate a novice listener or alienate fans of famous franchises making a run at Broadway fame. Remember, though, that Sondheim’s intentions were never for his themes and words to glide right by without the audience actively choosing to
go along for the ride. After all, he was an intellectual and wrote with depth. “Mr. Sondheim rarely gave audiences the fizzy, feel-good musical experience or the happily resolved narrative that the shows of his predecessors conditioned them to expect,” Bruce Weber of The New York Times says. “He also didn’t give them the opulent spectacle, the anthemic score or the melodramatic storytelling that became the dominant musical theater style of the 1980s and ’90s with the arrival from Britain of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s megahits ‘Cats’ and ‘Phantom of the Opera,’ and Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s ‘Les Misérables’ and ‘Miss Saigon,’ followed by the corporate productions of Disney.” Stephen Sondheim was instead the voice of a generation of doubters who viewed their parents’ stage plays, sitcoms and relationships with a cynical eye. He made music for those who grew up in an age with rising divorce rates and ever-increasing anxiety. To these fans, the picture-perfect lives of Lucy and Ricky Ricardo were not to be believed, and if love could last a year, it could just as easily last a week.
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Sondheim's Top Accolades Eight Tony Awards Eight Grammy Awards
Six Olivier Awards 1985 Pulitzer Prize 1991 Academy Award 1993 Kennedy Center Honors 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom
As President Barack Obama said of Sondheim upon receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015: “As a composer and a lyricist, and a genre unto himself, Sondheim challenges his audiences. His greatest hits aren’t tunes you can hum; they’re reflections on roads we didn’t take, and wishes gone wrong, relationships so frayed and fractured there’s nothing left to do but send in the clowns. Yet Stephen’s music is so beautiful, his lyrics so precise, that even as he exposes the imperfections of everyday life, he transcends them.” TRANSCENDANT On several occasions, Beta Theta Pi attempted to honor Brother Sondheim with the Oxford Cup, the Fraternity’s top alumni award recognizing members who have reached the pinnacle of their professional pursuits. He kindly declined each time, citing the volume of such invitations he received and his desire to avoid favoritism amongst the various organizations he held dear.
Though he was not a public face for the Fraternity, he was a Beta and he lived out the values and purposes instilled in him back at Williams College in his daily life and work.
mutual assistance and the sense of home and togetherness our order calls brotherhood. He took particular offense to reactions he received about a song from “Into the Woods” titled, “No One Is Alone”:
An only child who spent much of his time alone, he eventually concluded loneliness had become a habit. His first serious romantic relationship did not arise until he was 60 years old, but he showed it’s never too late to embrace placing absolute faith and confidence in another. Sondheim did so when he married Jeffrey Romley in 2017, who survives him.
“I have read and heard criticisms of the idea of this song by people who say it’s nonsense, we are all alone,” he said. “But the point is, that’s not the kind of alone this song is about. Of course we are all, in a sense, profoundly alone, but not when we are connected with each other.”
Acknowledging that his life was saved by his teachers and mentors like Oscar Hammerstein, Sondheim grew to see education and the cultivation of the intellect as sacred. In his later years, he became a confidant for theater up-andcomers like Jonathan Larson, the creator of “Rent,” and Lin-Manuel Miranda in the earliest stages of “Hamilton.” He was admired by his friends and counterparts not only for his work, but for his honesty and generosity. Finally, he was a fierce believer in collaboration, which aligns with Beta’s value of
STILL HERE Throughout his life, Stephen Sondheim pursued the ways of Beta Theta Pi and found comfort going against the grain. In his final months, he continued writing even more original work, celebrated his involvement with Steven Spielberg’s cinematic revival of “West Side of Story,” anticipated an all-new production of “Into the Woods,” which is scheduled to be staged later this year, and more. Whether or not he was appreciated in his time, it’s clear “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” for Stephen Sondheim and the legacy he has left behind.
Photo: Daniel Dorsa
Sondheim is photographed in his home in Roxbury, Connecticut, on November 21, 2021, for the New York Times. Winter 2022 | Stephen Sondheim | 35
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cut and polished refining men of principle stayingontrack On January 1, brothers across Beta’s Broad Domain resolved to make big changes for 2022. This issue, the editorial board asks: How’s it going? Is yours a “new year, new you” success story? If not, read on for tips to get back on track. We’ll focus on fitness here, but many of these best practices can (and should) be applied more broadly.
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36 THE BETA THETA PI
THE 2-DAY RULE If you resolved to hit the gym daily, consider scaling back. Here’s the new rule: Whether it’s pumping iron, hitting the pavement or showing off your best downward dog, at minimum you must do something every other day. Bonus points to you for the workouts you complete on back-to-back days, but this twoday allowance helps strugglers avoid slumps and guilt because, well, sometimes life gets in the way. And that’s OK. 10-MINUTE MINIMUM Early on, the hardest days to convince yourself to exercise are the ones that end in -y. Commit to exercising for just 10 minutes per session. If you want to call it quits afterwards, no problem! Chances are, though, you’ll quickly settle in and find the energy to keep going. MAKE A PLAN As coaching legend John Wooden, Purdue 1932, said: “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” One thing sure to ruin your motivation is uncertainty. Don’t step on the weight floor hoping for the best. Know which movements you’ll do and how many reps and sets.
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CHEAPSKATES WELCOMED Personal trainers and boutique fitness studios are great, and if shelling out copious amounts of cash helps keep your fitness journey on the straight and narrow, more power to you! But they’re not necessary for a slimmer waistline or better built chest. Check out programs like “100 Pushups” or “Couch to 5K” that are self-guided yet structured and – importantly – free. DON’T SUFFER This should go without saying: Do something you actually enjoy. Don’t run if you hate running. Don’t Pilates if you hate, um, Pilates-ing. Explore and find something you love. Then, do that. If you need to sample your options, see if ClassPass is available in your area. If so, you can try countless fitness studios on for size for one monthly price.
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BETA TEHTA PI
Develop Men of Principle.
Pictured: Brian Landauer, Utah ’23
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campus life student highlights Top 10 Freshmen
With an incoming class of over 4,000 students at Oklahoma State, being named among the top 10 freshmen is no small feat – let alone a double-feature from the Gamma Lambda Chapter. As freshmen, Brothers Sam Alaback ’24 (left), and Corbin Kirkpatrick ’24 (right), were not only focused on their academics as members of the honors college, but they were spirited leaders in the campus community, as well. Alaback, an economics major (pre-law) from Tulsa, continues to be active on President’s Leadership Council, as well as with Junior Greek Leadership. He has also been known to carry a Beta tune or two, named the best male vocalist at the Greek musical competition last year. Then there's Kirkpatrick, the accounting major from Amarillo, Texas, who takes care of business in the classrom and on the field. While maintaining a perfect 4.0 GPA through his freshman year, he boasted stellar volleyball skills that contributed to the chapter's 13th consecutive intramural overall-championship trophy. Recognized by the Mortar Board Society, the duo’s success during their first year on campus earned them spots on Oklahoma State's annual Top 10 Freshmen list. They are a testament to the Gamma Lambda Chapter’s achievements in community service, extracurricular activities and academics. Men of principle, indeed.
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campuslife IFC Presidents
A | New Brothers in the Domain
Beta’s letters look great on these new members. The Carleton chapter initiated eight young men into their merry band last fall. All told, some 2,500 men were recruited to join chapters across Beta's Broad Domain last term with several chapters seeing their largest recruitment classes in at least two years.
B | Five Generations of Beta
Since 1889, five generations and now 12 men in the Boardman family have been initiated onto the Rolls of Beta Theta Pi. Stavros Boardman, East Carolina '25, was presented the family badge — that of his great-great-grandfather, Frank S. Boardman, Wisconsin 1893 — by his father, Frank, Auburn '90, at his initiation on December 5, 2021.
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C | Buzz-A-Beta
At their second annual Buzz-A-Beta event, the men of Purdue rallied together and tripled their fundraising expectations. Including a matching gift from the Walther Cancer Foundation, a whopping $90,000 was raised for the Tyler Trent Cancer Research Endowment in October. As a result, 60 chapter brothers shaved their heads in solidarity.
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1. Peter Dunkle, Bowling Green ’23 2. Atta Toosi, Creighton ’23 3. Aaron Skubby, Denison ’23 4. Max Arden, Elon ’23 5. Patrick Tajanlangit, George Washington ’23 6. Braeden Boyle, High Point ’24 7. Nathan Satterfield, Michigan ’23 8. Connor Cunha, Sacred Heart ’23 9. Brett Eilts, Wichita State ’25 10. Grant Steffen, Wisconsin-Oshkosh ’22
Congratulations to the 17 brothers across Beta’s Broad Domain who recently concluded their terms leading interfraternal councils at their universities. To that end, 10 brothers have answered the call to take the helm in 2022. While several chapters have been consistent faces at the head of the table, this year it’s the Lambda and Alpha Eta Chapters on a hot streak. Nathan Satterfield, Michigan ’23, and Aaron Skubby, Denison ’23, are each the third consecutive Betas to lead the IFC executive boards on their campuses.
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campuslife D | Beta Royalty
It’s a clean sweep of the homecoming court for the Eta Gamma Chapter at Florida International. Brothers Jordan Griffin '21, Lucas Zamora '23, and Nicholas Pita '25, were crowned homecoming king, prince and duke, respectively. Through the festivities, the trio combined efforts to raise roughly $2,000 for Fostering Panther Pride, a program supporting former foster youth and students experiencing homelessness. CAMPUS LIFE
E | An Analysis of Wealth
C.J. Walker, Miami ’22, was the winner of the American Economic Association’s Andrew Brimmer Undergraduate Essay Prize. Upon receiving the honor, Walker remarked, “Having the opportunity to do research on economic inequality was a great way to display my passion for macroeconomics and understanding inequality when it comes to Black Americans."
40 THE BETA THETA PI
F | Campus Presidents
Six brothers have answered the call to lead their student bodies this academic year; Cole Leathers, Washington & Jefferson '22, was the first Beta brother to be elected, getting the promotion in March 2021. He is no stranger to the board, previously serving his campus as the parliamentarian and class representative.
G | A Viral Halloween
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South Carolina Betas set up a table on their porch in front of countless Halloween decorations and waited for trick-or-treaters to make their way around the block. Little did they know a bit of Halloween fun would quickly be seen by millions. Watch the video of them being "blown away" by a young wizard's mystic power at beta.org/uschalloween.
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41 WINTER 2022 | BETA.ORG
Man and Machine
Iowa State’s (left to right) Nick Faith ’23, Nicholas Yowell ’22, Nolan Moore ’22, Patrick O’Dwyer ’22, and Dale Young Jr. ’22, put their minds together to create a rover, showcased at the Make to Innovate Design Expo on December 7. Now, they have their eyes ahead to compete in the University Rover Challenge in June.
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While they were competitors on the pitch, they were friendly brothers after the match. At the recent club soccer national tournament, a trio from the Alpha Chapter found they had a fraternal connection on the Virginia team. Pictured together post-game are (left to right) Dan Hornig, Miami '23; Alec Korsah, Virginia '23; Ben Petersen, Miami '23; and J.J. Federer, Miami '23.
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campuslife H | Leila’s Rose
I | For the Pups
J | Behind the Scenes I
With a camera in hand, Sam Rice, Nebraska ’23, gave Husker fans a new perspective of Nebraska football last fall as a creative media intern. Now, he is keeping an eye on the big moments this basketball season.
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In 2020, Cal Poly hosted a virtual philanthropy event that raised almost $3,000 for the local Woods Humane Society. Fast forward one year and they exceeded expectations with their Pie-a-Beta event, raising $5,400 for the dogs and cats at Woods.
This is no ordinary band; this is a Beta band. Over the years, South Dakota has a long history of Beta house bands. New to the scene last fall, however, is a band under the stage name "Leila's Rose," a fitting nod to the Fraternity flower proposed by Leila McKee in 1889. The six brothers, Kadin Williams '25, Adam Kays '25, Micah Hansen '24, Easton Ritz '23, Connor Drahota '24, and John Kunkel '24, may be coming to a venue near you — if you live close to Vermillion, South Dakota, that is.
K | Super Smash Bros.
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Photo: Erick Cochea '21
There is a good reason why the boat no longer floats. Michigan brothers raised $5,000 for the Cancer Research Institute at the third annual Jackie Edelman Memorial Boat Smash. The event was held in conjunction with the celebration of Lambda Chapter's 175th anniversary on September 25, 2021, attended by General Fraternity President Tom Cassady, Cincinnati '76, and General Fraternity Archivist and Historian Zac Haines, Miami '05.
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campuslife L | Expansion Updates
The Fraternity's growth department in Oxford has been hard at work through the first term of the academic year. Across six campuses, over 100 men have been recruited as re/founding fathers (totals below). The new brothers have formed strong bonds and stand ready to recruit more men of principle this spring. Pictured are the founding fathers at Boise State University in Idaho.
Boise State 26 Florida Atlantic 28 Illinois 12 Kennesaw State 14 Southern California 12 Vanderbilt 14
M | Beginning a Trilogy
Writing is a passion for Reily O'Sullivan, British Columbia '25. He has already published his first fantasy novel, titled Rise of the Lost: Fall of Kings. It's the first book of a trilogy he is expecting to complete.
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N | Fighting Food Insecurity
Food insecurities happen on college campuses, too. To support the student community, Wittenberg brothers partnered with Campus Cupboard to provide a satellite location for a food pantry near their chapter house. It's fully stocked with non-perishables and hygiene supplies for students in need.
O | Best in Class
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Brett Kaliner, Stevens '21, has been on a tear through his final collegiate wrestling season. As of the end of January, he won 17 matches straight, most winning by fall or tech fall. He has held ground as the top-wrestler in the 149-pound weight class in NCAA Division III.
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Zac Bowman, DePauw ’22, wrapped up his collegiate football career with a mountain of welldeserved accolades. The 12-game starter at center collected first team all-conference and third team allregion laurels, while off the field his 3.77 GPA carried him to a Second Team CoSIDA Academic All-America® selection.
Photo: DePauw Athletics / Linda Striggo
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volunteerspotlight supportneeded Chapter Counselors
Emory Furman Kenyon Knox Missouri Pittsburgh San Jose State UC Irvine Washington & Jefferson William & Mary
THE BETA THETA PI
Every chapter of Beta Theta Pi is supported by a team of volunteer alumni and Friends of Beta made up of a core group of five chapter advisors including the chapter counselor and recruitment advisor. As of February 1, these two critical roles are vacant at 10 and 25 chapters, respectively. Are you interested in getting involved or know someone who should be recruited? Get in touch at email@example.com.
volunteer making vacancies a difference
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Cal Poly Colorado Conneticut Dayton Denison Denver Florida Florida State Furman Georgia Idaho Kennesaw State Kentucky Kenyon Loyola Marymount North Carolina Ohio State Oklahoma State Pennsylvannia Texas A&M TCU UC Irvine UCLA Washington in St. Louis Westminster
Bradley de Wet, Virginia Tech '10 Alpha Phi Chapter Counselor "I'm proud to play my small part in mentoring individual students, as well as helping shape the culture of the Virginia Tech chapter so our men become excellent leaders from their experience and go on to make a positive impact in the world."
John Smid, Toronto '99 District Chief "Through volunteering for Beta, I have met so many amazing young men whom I'm proud to call brothers. While I could simply grow old and gripe about how the new generation is not as great as mine, I have chosen instead to learn from them and to help them accomplish meaningful goals. I have gained much insight and admiration for today's youth, which in turn fills my heart with optimism."
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chapterineternal loving memory
Forever Remembered Notices of Beta brothers and Sweethearts who passed within the last two years and were reported to the Administrative Office between October 11, 2021, and January 24 are included in this listing. Report a Beta’s Death Please contact the Beta receptionist at 800.800.BETA or firstname.lastname@example.org to report a death.
THE BETA THETA PI
Donate to the Archives Ask loved ones to donate your Beta badge and important Beta artifacts to the Fraternity’s Archives and Museum in Oxford. Memorial Gifts The Fraternity is often asked how to memorialize a dearly departed Beta. Memorial gifts can be made at beta.org/gift or with Director of Development Laura Lednik at 800.800.BETA. In lieu of flowers, consider naming the Beta Leadership Fund in your own obituary.
Thomas L. Foster ’67, Dec. 23, 2021 Robert L. Stone ’81, Dec. 19, 2021
Matthew A. Touchette ’07, Nov. 25, 2021
Joseph S. Ryan ’49, May 8, 2021 James P. Seidensticker Jr. ’52, Dec. 11, 2021
Richard M. Spurgeon ’50, May 22, 2001
Thomas L. Eversman ’57, June 11, 2021
Herbert C. Chambers III ’70, Oct. 22, 2021
Thomas L. Ferrell ’64, Oct. 18, 2021
John C. Hannon ’60, Aug. 9, 2021 Alan Parsons ’50, Feb. 3, 2021 c
Kenneth W. Culp Jr. ’69, Oct. 31, 2021 Daniel L. Larsen ’58, May 3, 2020
Michael J. Forestal ’80, Jan. 12, 2022
John S. Billingsley Jr. ’53, Jan. 2, 2022 Frederick S. Dieterich ’63, Sept. 16, 2021 David H. Elliott ’87, Dec. 31, 2021
Michael L. Burkhart ’98, Nov. 1, 2021
Denver Charles N. Dold Jr. ’52, Sept. 2, 2021 c Omar H. Quade Jr. ’50, June 5, 2021
Lewis H. Brogan ’65, Dec. 20, 2021 Patrick D. Paske ’71, Dec. 7, 2021 c Paul D. Weigel ’53, Nov. 15, 2021
Baylor Alvin Reid ’11, Nov. 7, 2021
Beloit Frederick W. Kaempfer ’56, Feb. 2, 2021 c Donald R. Larson ’55, Oct. 13, 2019
Bethany Peter H. Kemp ’56, Nov. 29, 2021 c Jeffrey K. Thompson ’59, Dec. 17, 2021
Bishop’s Leslie J. Albert ’94, April 26, 2021
Thomas D. Mathews ’91, Oct. 14, 2021
William A. Ritch ’81, Oct. 23, 2021
Cincinnati William D. Griffiths ’72, March 2, 2020 Robert C. Lamarre Jr. ’63, Sept. 17, 2021 Richard C. Lewis ’49, Aug. 9, 2021 David C. Nordhoff ’61, Jan. 10, 2022 c Roger W. Parry ’57, Sept. 25, 2021 c Walter C. Reesey III ’84, Dec. 3, 2021
Clemson Eric C. Lindskog ’88, Oct. 12, 2021
Colorado William R. Alexander ’51, Dec. 12, 2021 Frederick K. Kleene Jr. ’64, Oct. 7, 2021 c Walter A. Ohmart Jr. ’50, Nov. 5, 2020 Kenneth J. Schulteis ’59, Dec. 6, 2021 c John W. Siple ’55, Oct. 26, 2021 c
Dennis P. Craven ’79, Oct. 24, 2021
John R. Paddison ’49, Aug. 1, 2021 c
Florida Othel Deering ’57, Aug. 1, 2021 Jonathan C. Kerr ’79, Nov. 17, 2021
Florida State Richard A. Hollahan ’76, Nov. 22, 2021
Georgia Tech Kenneth E. Hyatt ’62, Oct. 8, 2021 c William K. Lakenan Jr. ’63, Dec. 23, 2021 Sylvester F. Stroud ’50, April 26, 2019
John S. Borges ’57, Oct. 10, 2021 c F. J. Grist, Jr. ’50, May 3, 2019 Robert G. Yahr ’50, March 2, 2021
Maine William C. Waterhouse ’65, Jan. 4, 2022
Miami John E. Cocanougher ’63, Dec. 14, 2021 c Edgar A. DeMar ’47, Sept. 1, 2020 Robert C. Guerin Jr. ’74, Oct. 25, 2021 Jack R. Jeneson ’60, Nov. 9, 2021 c Joseph D. Reed ’50, Nov. 22, 2021 c Richard A. Rivers ’67, Dec. 4, 2021
Michigan Franklin G. Drake ’50, Sept. 13, 2021
Michigan State Charles M. Ferrer ’55, Dec. 12, 2021 c Sparry W. Sparks ’53, Oct. 25, 2021
Hanover Brandon N. Haven ’02, Dec. 24, 2021 Kenneth H. Johnson ’66, Dec. 9, 2021
Christopher P. Worel ’11, Dec. 30, 2021
William W. Knox ’56, Nov. 3, 2021 c Richard L. Morgan ’51, Dec. 6, 2021 c
George G. Heiser ’64, Sept. 21, 2020
Donald C. Cushman ’43, May 14, 2020
Peter E. Stevenson ’62, Oct. 17, 2021 c
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Groff Collett ’47, Dec. 28, 2021 Thomas M. Jenkins ’57, Nov. 14, 2021 Charles S. Verdery ’64, March 17, 2021
Flags indicate Betas who served in the United States or Canadian armed forces.
J. R. Ave ’54, May 16, 2021 John R. Dehner ’56, Oct. 17, 2021 c Thomas N. Jones ’72, Nov. 10, 2021 John R. Walker ’54, Nov. 2, 2021 c
Bartley P. Osborne Jr. ’56, Oct. 25, 2021 c Clark E. Sloan Jr. ’49, Aug. 25, 2021 c
Donald H. Hooper ’54, Nov. 8, 2021 Stephen S. Stack ’56, Oct. 9, 2021 Andrew G. Stanley ’50, April 30, 2021
Thomas H. Campbell III ’74, Jan. 5, 2022 Judson J. Costlow ’65, April 25, 2021 James P. Hull ’49, Oct. 25, 2021 c Donald R. Morris ’54, Nov. 9, 2021 c
Minnesota William C. Hand ’56, Oct. 29, 2021 c John T. Snore ’54, June 20, 2021
Missouri Steven C. Martin ’77, June 22, 2021 Jon S. Paden ’58, Oct. 18, 2021 Jared S. Palmer ’07, Nov. 1, 2021 Thomas E. Pierson ’56, Sept. 2, 2021 Frederick W. Schwab Jr. ’54, Sept. 19, 2021 William W. Seelinger ’57, June 7, 2020
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James R. Maxwell III ’50, May 11, 2021 c Stephen J. Yeretsky ’59, July 24, 2021
Willard W. Baker ’56, Sept. 25, 2020 David R. Kickert ’79, Jan. 9, 2022 Jeff L. Latchaw ’67, Dec. 11, 2021
Jay L. Huffman ’57, Oct. 15, 2021
Nebraska Rex D. Andrews ’52, March 24, 2021 c J. Roger Myers ’63, Jan. 18, 2022 c Michael S. Milroy ’62, March 1, 2021 Melvin C. Thornton ’57, May 30, 2020 c
North Carolina Robert A. Cash ’50, Nov. 12, 2021 c
SMU Scott D. Bromann ’74, Sept. 1, 2021
South Dakota Rolland C. Loon ’59, Oct. 27, 2021 c J. Arnold Swanson ’66, Dec. 10, 2021
Washington Daniel H. Devin ’52, Dec. 30, 2021 Robert E. Eddy ’47, May 25, 2021 Earl P. Fauser ’61, Sept. 26, 2021 George T. Fraley ’55, Oct. 4, 2021 Roger G. Knight ’61, Aug. 15, 2021 Stephen N. Williams ’64, Nov. 15, 2021 c
Washington & Jefferson Clarke T. Hamilton ’51, Jan. 10, 2021 c Paul W. Huckans Jr. ’66, Dec. 18, 2021 Robert M. McConnel ’58, April 11, 2021 John E. Unger Jr. ’50, Oct. 13, 2021
Timothy E. Lippert ’85, Dec. 27, 2021 Roger D. Pinc ’50, Jan. 1, 2021 Wilson E. Stone ’49, Nov. 2, 2021
Washington and Lee
Kenneth M. Cenicola ’92, Oct. 5, 2021
Dean R. Parke ’54, Nov. 17, 2021
Herman H. Hann ’53, May 31, 2021 Donald R. Howells ’62, Jan. 20, 2021 Daniel J. Pintaric Jr. ’67, May 28, 2021 c Donald B. Poling ’50, Feb. 28, 2021 c Jerry P. Rhinehalt ’61, Nov. 11, 2021 Bruce R. Talbott ’75, Oct. 14, 2021
Ohio Wesleyan Edward C. Close ’73, Oct. 4, 2021 Robert A. Marten ’54, Oct. 7, 2021 c Kenneth C. Rowley ’55, July 24, 2021
Oklahoma William R. McAlister ’69, Nov. 10, 2021 Curtis W. Warren ’85, Nov. 1, 2021 James W. Weed ’55, Nov. 11, 2021 c
Oklahoma State John D. Berry ’92, Oct. 5, 2019 Ashley M. Day ’00, Dec. 31, 2021 Edgar R. Welch ’49, Nov. 28, 2021 c
Stevens Syracuse Charles R. Adams ’52, June 23, 2021
Tennessee Tech Edwin A. Barton ’96, Nov. 11, 2021
Texas Charles R. Buffington III ’67, Oct. 31, 2021 Robert G. Greer ’55, Oct. 1, 2021 Carroll G. Sunseri ’61, Dec. 30, 2021 Leon G. Taylor ’55, Oct. 25, 2021
Tulane Rivers R. King ’49, Sept. 23, 2021
UC Berkeley Robert E. Eddy ’47, May 25, 2021 Charles G. Morse ’50, July 30, 2021 c Nathan S. Shore ’49, Dec. 21, 2019
UCLA Wayne K. Clemens ’54, Dec. 12, 2021 c James H. Ryan ’55, Nov. 12, 2021
Utah John H. Firmage Jr. ’55, Jan. 10, 2022 Guy R. Toombes III ’72, Oct. 24, 2021 John M. Ware ’64, Nov. 25, 2021
Roger L. Turk ’60, Nov. 4, 2021 c
John B. Chester Jr. ’51, Aug. 14, 2020 c Warren S. Clucker ’59, Dec. 31, 2021 Homer A. Holt Jr. ’60, Dec. 2, 2021
Edward C. Myer ’57, Feb. 27, 2020 Kenneth J. Rawley ’76, July 24, 2021 Ernest R. Webster II ’64, Oct. 10, 2021
John L. Bowles ’52, Oct. 9, 2021 c
Washington State Rick C. Erickson ’70, Nov. 9, 2021
Wesleyan John M. Wiese ’51, Jan. 6, 2022
West Virginia Raynor E. Baldwin ’63, Dec. 31, 2021 James W. Fredlock ’51, April 2, 2020 Robert D. Hoffman ’53, Dec. 9, 2021 c James C. McCoy ’61, Oct. 11, 2021 John C. Murphy ’51, Nov. 14, 2021 c
Western Reserve James W. Ferraro ’61, Nov. 18, 2021 Robert A. Soloway ’57, Oct. 4, 2021
Whitman Robert W. Bratton ’53, Oct. 18, 2021 c Paul B. Knostman ’61, Feb. 18, 2021 c Wesley B. Stone ’50, Jan. 2, 2021
Willamette Robert E. Borquist ’53, Jan. 10, 2022 Blair M. Henderson ’65, Nov. 13, 2021 Theodore H. Mertz ’51, Oct. 28, 2021 c G. D. Nicoll ’52, Dec. 11, 2019 Richard M. Page ’49, Nov. 10, 2021 c
Williams Richard B. McElvein ’48, May 1, 2021 Arthur L. Singer Jr. ’50, Dec. 24, 2019 Stephen J. Sondheim ’50, Nov. 26, 2021
Wisconsin James R. Derusha ’55, Feb. 1, 2021 Robert L. Grossman ’66, Oct. 12, 2021
D. M. Ellett ’43, Oct. 1, 2021
Robert W. Denney ’54, Oct. 19, 2021 Robert E. Tiffany ’55, Oct. 3, 2021
William E. Leffel ’57, Oct. 21, 2021 c Rex Rowand ’50, July 1, 2021
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Daniel J. Kim ’06, Oct. 15, 2021
David Nordhoff Cincinnati ’61 Jan. 10, 2022 Following a 10year career at Forbes Magazine in Chicago, Nordhoff retired and moved to Naples, Florida, where he served as the Beta alumni association president. A dedicated brother, Nordhoff also served as a volunteer for the Beta Foundation’s “Upon These Principles” capital campaign from 2001-06.
49 WINTER 2022 | BETA.ORG
William J. Capuano ’75, Nov. 12, 2021 Richard D. Finn Jr. ’55, Nov. 16, 2021 Frank P. Tyson Jr. ’66, Nov. 1, 2021 Thomas M. Weyrick ’67, Oct. 19, 2021 c
Steven W. Graham ’72, Dec. 27, 2021
Bobbie Lonker Kansas State Housemother Jan. 14, 2022 Lonker served as housemother for the Kansas State chapter from 1989–2020 with more than 1,000 Betas calling her “Mom” throughout her tenure. She was awarded Housemother of the Year by the General Fraternity in 2001 and 2020.
Richard F. Mogan III ’47, Sept. 9, 2021 c John J. Molloy III ’68, Nov. 9, 2021 c John P. Plaga ’90, Jan. 26, 2021
Lucy Houser Beta Sweetheart Jan. 16, 2022 Beta Sweetheart of former General Fraternity President Doug Houser, Willamette ’57, Houser was a prominent member of her Episcopal church; she was the first female vestry member and senior warden and was ordained as a deacon in 1989.
Stephen Sondheim Williams ’50 Nov. 26, 2021 One of the most renowned lyricists and composers of Broadway, Sondheim received eight Tony Awards, an Academy Award, eight Grammys, a Pulitzer Prize, a Laurence Olivier Award and a 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom. See pages 28-35 for an extended tribute.
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50 THE BETA THETA PI Photos: The NASA Library / Alamy
beta eponyms worldwide tributes ”Marshall admired Harlan’s courage more than any justice who ever sat on the Court. In Brown, Chief Justice Warren was writing for a unanimous Supreme Court. Harlan was a solitary, lonely figure writing for posterity.” – Hon. Constance B. Motley
New Book Chronicles Lone, Principled Stand of Justice Harlan
Last summer, 125 years after the lone vote against segregation by Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan, Centre 1850, in Plessy v. Ferguson, a new book documenting his principled stand was published by award-winning author Peter S. Canellos. Characterized by noted historian Doug Brinkley as “magnificent,” Canellos’ biography details how a slave-owning Kentucky family gave rise to a man who considered a young slave as his own brother and first coined the phrase “Our Constitution is colorblind.” Eventual Justice Thurgood Marshall, the Court’s first Black member, referenced Harlan’s dissents as his “Bible” to getting segregation overturned in Brown v. Board of Education, solidifying Harlan as a judicial giant in the eyes of most scholars. His dissents were also cited in the upholding of same-sex marriage in 2015.
1/28/22 2:50 PM
JOIN US / 183RD GENERAL CONVENTION
AUGUST 4-7, 2022 THE WESTIN PEACHTREE PLAZA ATLANTA, GEORGIA
B E TA . O R G / C O N V E N T I O N
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Ben Striebel, North Dakota ’22, repping Beta on the shores of Playa del Carmen, Mexico, in September 2021.
Rally your brothers and be ready on April 26 when the leaderboards go live for the Fraternity’s annual 24-hour giving drive benefiting the Beta Leadership Fund.
CHALL Y A D G N VI
APRIL 26, 2022
BET A TH
DA Y. O N
THE GIVING DAY CHALLENGE IS BACK.
E B R OT H E R H
AP .| D O O
ONE DAY. ONE BROTHERHOOD. BETA.ORG/GIVINGCHALLENGE
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