The Beta Theta Pi - Spring 2019

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BETA the beta theta pi magazine

SPRING 2019 what is brotherhood? | top 10 stories of the year | the beta house


The Beta House: Kentucky Just two years ago, 440 Pennsylvania Avenue in Lexington was merely dirt. Today, it boasts one of the finest fraternity houses on campus.

contents inside this issue DEPARTMENTS 04 | Archives

historical throwback

05 | Foreword editor’s note

06 | The Inbox

08 | Newsworthy

10 | Change Our Thinking? 22 | Beta’s Greatest No. 2 Investigative journalist Alexandra Robbins opines: “It’s time to advocate for the [fraternity men] who aren’t causing trouble.”

Before elected U.S. vice president 150 years ago, Schuyler Colfax, DePauw 1854, made a public stand to end slavery.

12 | What is Brotherhood? 26 | Seven Deadly Sins Beta’s new cultural assessment tool analyzes the undergraduate Beta experience at each chapter.

Where have fraternities gone wrong? The problems stem from the shiftless and selfgratifying shortcomings inherent in us all.

14 | Top 10 Stories of 2018 50 | Advice for Young People With nearly 450 posts featured on Beta’s social media platforms last year, Beta identifies its top performing headlines.

President George H.W. Bush shares advice in a 2009 letter to former IBM CEO Sam Palmisano, Johns Hopkins ’73.

fraternity updates

16 | Alumni News

lifelong brotherhood


worldwide tributes

44 | Campus Life student highlights in loving memory

55 | Bridge Builder donor spotlight

On the Cover Custom artwork commissioned for The Beta Theta Pi depicting the Seven Deadly Sins that men – and fraternities – struggle to overcome.

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.

Publication Schedule Issue Winter Spring Summer

Deadline October 15 January 15 April 15

Mail Date December 15 March 15 June 15



Who Gets the Beta Magazine?

How Does One Get Published?

Upon initiation, each Beta is guaranteed a lifetime subscription to The Beta Theta Pi. That commitment by the Fraternity remains, although for a variety of reasons some no longer wish to receive the hard-copy version. So, who automatically receives the Fraternity’s magazine? All undergraduates and parents, current and former Beta volunteers, donors to the Beta Foundation, and any alumnus who documents his preference to receive the hard copy with the Administrative Office in Oxford. One can easily do so at 800.800.BETA, or

Content submissions for the magazine are always encouraged and certainly welcomed. While space constraints naturally make it difficult for the editorial staff to include every idea presented, a fair evaluation process is exercised in order to publish the greatest variety of chapters, generations, geographical regions, events, unique member achievements and stories. High resolution pictures should be submitted to

Want Instant Access to a Past Issue? Every issue of The Beta Theta Pi since its founding on December 15, 1872, can be accessed in Beta’s online, keyword-searchable digital archive:

Send Photos, Stories and Address Updates to: Beta Theta Pi Foundation & Administrative Office Brennan Hall 5134 Bonham Road PO Box 6277 Oxford, Ohio 45056 800.800.BETA or

The Beta Theta Pi, (USPS 052-000) official magazine of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity, is owned by the Fraternity, edited and published under the direction and control of its Board of Trustees, published winter, spring and summer for a $30 one-time prepaid 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.


24 | Beta Eponyms

52 | Chapter Eternal


unfiltered feedback


archives historical throwback Send your old Beta photos to the Beta magazine!

It is well known within the Fraternity that First Lady Barbara Pierce Bush was the daughter and sister of two loyal Alpha Chapter Betas. So, it came as no surprise when the Miami brothers of Luxembourg-born John Dolibois, Miami ’42 (background) – a U.S. Army World War II veteran and Nuremberg trials Nazi interrogator – advocated for his native country's ambassadorship to newly elected Vice President George H.W. Bush, Delta Kappa Epsilon. That behind the scenes effort came into fuller view during the 2001 Oxford Cup acceptance remarks of Bob Cottrell, Miami ’54, when he presented the Fraternity with humorous personal correspondence (above) between the eventual president and Bush’s Beta brother-in-law, Scott Pierce, Miami ’54 – also Bob’s pledge brother.

Six years ago, members of the Fraternity’s communication team bantered around the idea of featuring a magazine article that explored the primary drivers behind chapter closures. Recognizing hazing and alcohol would be likely, albeit overly simplistic and somewhat short-sighted since they are symptoms of deeper, underlying issues, analyzing chapters' demise through the lens of the Seven Deadly Sins may prove far more interesting – and helpful. Yet, we could never find a logical timeline from which to pursue the concept. Each succeeding quarter seemed to justify a different emphasis and unique direction for the Fraternity's official record, The Beta Theta Pi. But, as the old saying goes, “Patience is a virtue.”

foreword editor’s note Martin Cobb, Eastern Kentucky ’96

Creative Director

Sarah Shepherd

Managing Editor | Graphic Designer Mike Roupas, Iowa ’10

Director of Media Relations | Senior Writer Justin Warren, SMU ’10

Director of Digital Media | Photographer Mike Rodmaker, Cincinnati ’13

Publication Printer

Royle Printing Sun Prairie, Wisconsin

Surely we can rise to a mature level of dialogue that is void of fake outrage, hairsplitting and small-mindedness. Second, we have tried hard not to be “preachy” in comparing the sentiments of each sin and how they might relate to fraternity life. Nothing smacks more self-righteous than pious journalists opining from an ivory tower. Still, we feel strongly the historical underpinnings of Beta Theta Pi are rooted in principles that recognize the difference between right and wrong, good and evil. The Seven Deadly Sins provide a recognizable framework from which we can look objectively at the self-indulgent tendencies of man. Tendencies that are not foreign to a brotherhood like ours that falls victim to them often. Ultimately, at a time when so many fraternities are questioned on their existence, we hope a reflection on the temptations of life sharpens the focus on what may be at the root of so many of our problems – and stiffens our spine on how best to remedy them. Sincerely and yours in ___kai___,


Editor | Director of Communication

Now, to some, this issue’s feature could be perceived as violating Beta’s longstanding position of neutrality on the matter of religion. The Fraternity is clear in the initiation ceremony that Beta's Seven Obligations “ . . . will in no way compromise you in your social, civil or religious relations.” Yet, we respectfully suggest that, in a day and age where it seems everyone is offended by something, there is nothing wrong with drawing from religious teachings that address universal truths – especially when it comes to discussing matters of character in the lives of young men.


So, a couple of months ago we finally planted a flag on the topic. Given Greek life's turbulence the last few years, there may be no more appropriate time to elevate application of the Seven Deadly Sins from chapter closures to the larger fraternity experience altogether.

betathrowback “Since I am a St. Lawrence Beta


of the early 70s, I remember opening the front page of the magazine and seeing and reading with pride the “Inter Fratres” column by Seth R. Brooks, St. Lawrence 1922. I am hopeful and then disappointed when I open the current issues and the column is absent. I would like to suggest you reintroduce this feature to the magazine. If you’re considering this request, I suggest that the byline should be Bill Fox, St. Lawrence ’75. As a current university president, Bill is certainly aware of all the issues facing undergraduates, alumni issues, current crises and more. He also has a deeper appreciation for the “Inter Fratres” column than most.

6 THE BETA THETA PI For 36 years, Dr. Seth R. Brooks, Lawrence 1922, published a quarterly column in the Beta magazine that he dictated to his secretary and was recorded without further revision. All 136 Inter Fratres columns can be purchased as a digital book set at or viewed online at

the inbox unfiltered feedback Share your thoughts with Beta’s editorial team at or on the Fraternity’s official social media platforms.

Growing up in Washington, D.C., Bill was a parishioner at Seth R. Brooks’ church. I know Brother Brooks was an important role model and that he played a significant role in getting Bill to attend St. Lawrence. Seth also visited the chapter house at Beta Zeta more frequently than before – largely, I believe, because Bill was an undergraduate there. I know he was especially proud when Bill was elected chapter president. Although not related, Bill Fox is surely a Beta Zeta legacy of Seth R. Brooks.” — William (Lefty) Petruska, St. Lawrence ’75,

“Beta just sent me an email letting me know today is the anniversary of my induction into the Fraternity. This week has been full of reminders of my time as a student at Florida and Colorado.” — Shawn Connelly, Colorado ’82,

“Beta has been and will always be a special place in my life. Thanks for taking the time to acknowledge [my initiation] 53 years ago.” — Brant Sanders, Alabama ’66,

“Today marks my 9th year as a member of Beta Theta Pi. God supplied more than I could have ever dreamt through that fraternity.” — Austin Rich, Oklahoma State ’12,

“Thanks for remembering my entry into the fraternity.” — John N. Turner, British Columbia ’49, 17th Prime Minister of Canada

“Thanks for the reminder! Just looking at my shingle alongside of my dad’s from May 10, 1924. Glad to be a Beta!” —Dick Church, Oregon ’55, ypresvet@gmail. com, son of Rusty Church, Washington State ’27

“I’m now a Fraternal Fifty, but I don’t feel any different now from the way I felt at initiation.” — John Birkett, Western Ontario ’71,

harvardreactions “This is an insult to the fraternities, sororities, and other social clubs and organizations that promote character building, camaraderie, and mutual support. When will we stop this thoughtless knee jerk overreaction to problems rather than addressing the real issues in a way that makes a difference? Banning things, taking away student rights, is not the answer. #standup to Harvard.” — Jon Kerr, Florida ’79,

“Another step in the madness of our colleges and universities. Administrations are throwing common sense and the Constitution off campus. They haven’t had a backbone for decades. Sad. Betas and all other fraternities, past and present members, must stand strong.” — Wayne Light, Centre ’64,

“I’m very excited to announce that I’ll be serving the Board of Trustees of Beta Theta Pi as one of the first ever undergraduate commissioners. Over the next year and a half, I’ll be providing an undergraduate perspective to the Board’s discussions and decisions. Thank you to everyone who supported me and got me to where I am now. I’m excited for this chapter!” — Ryan Padden, Connecticut ’19,

“The only thing the college should be concerned with is the safety and education of its students. What one does in the extracurricular activities is none of their business. A lot of alumni give back to their alma mater and risk losing support. More politically correct nonsense to make the many not feel as inadequate as the few.”— Harrison Simon, San Jose State ’10

“Why not allow individual Beta chapters the ability to go coed if they choose to? Isn’t a centrally mandated men-only rule going against the tide of history?” — Eric Weiner, Cornell ’84,

“My alma mater banned such organizations following my first year. It completely changed campus life. Whether you believe it is a helpful change or sad change it is an unfair change to those caught in the middle. Folks signed up for and paid for a system that drastically changed midcourse. My collegiate social structure was in complete transition without appropriate warning and transitional structures in place. It was not what I signed on for nor beneficial overall.” — Gretchen Gerhrke, Facebook Comment

“To be honest over the past decade I have witnessed a major progressive movement within the General Fraternity, one that I personally did not welcome. I am excited to see that there are limitations to the progressive rollercoaster.” — Christopher Zapalski, Nova Southeastern ’98,

“To this day I have friends that I shared the Beta experience with (thanks to the internet). I can’t say that about my dorm experience.” — Lou Wagner, Wisconsin ’64,

“Beta Theta Pi was my best experience at Wittenberg University. SING IT AGAIN, MOTHER OF MEN ... Hail to the Greek system and hail to Beta Theta Pi.” — John Komara, Wittenberg ’83,

“I am a proud Beta and find this deplorable. How could such an academic beacon become so dim?” — Steve Deller, Western Ontario ’81

newsworthy fraternity updates Rho Chapter at Northwestern Closed On January 6, General Secretary Wayne Kay, Virginia Tech ’73, announced closure of the Rho Chapter at Northwestern University. Based upon an investigation that verified the chapter provided alcohol to minors during an unauthorized social function, the actions were in direct violation of the terms of a spring 2018 suspension. “This individual transgression likely would not have warranted such drastic action had it not followed a number of similar and concerning missteps dating back several years. In that time, Rho has established a dangerous pattern of behavior, specifically related to alcohol, resulting in some 10 chapter status changes, three reorganizations and directives aimed at cultural reform,” said Kay. Founded in 1873, the chapter was home to 48 undergraduates and had recently benefitted from a $4 million chapter house renovation by the university. The charter will remain in the care of the Board of Trustees as the Fraternity and university look to recolonization in fall 2022.

Membership Decline

Expansions Confirmed

General Secretary Gives Bigger Voice to Undergrads

Marking a 3.7 percent decrease compared to fall 2017, this past fall’s recruitment effort yielded Beta’s smallest new member class since the Fraternity’s all-time high in 2015 – a 5.2 percent drop, or 132 young men.

Beta’s 2019-20 recolonization roster is confirmed: University of Oregon (Beta Rho), Bowling Green State University (Delta Delta), University of Toledo (Epsilon Tau) and University of South Florida (Zeta Beta).

Citing an absence of undergraduate voices, General Secretary Wayne Kay, Virginia Tech ’73, announced at the recent 179th General Convention the creation of undergraduate commissioners that will attend all quarterly Board of Trustees meetings. Including a competitive application process open to all undergraduates, the following men were appointed in January: (L-R) Ryan Padden, Connecticut ’20, Collin Abeln, Iowa ’19, and David Navadeh, Cornell ’19.

greekheadlines betaevents March 2019

21 Naples Alumni Assoc. Luncheon Naples, Fla.


April 2019

5-7 Auburn Alumni Reunion Auburn, Ala.


18 Naples Alumni Assoc. Luncheon Naples, Fla. 25 Portland Alumni Club Luncheon Portland, Ore.

June 2019

1-5 Wooden Institute Session 1 8-12 Wooden Institute Session 2 22-26 Wooden Institute Session 3 29-7/3 Wooden Institute Session 4 Oxford, Ohio

August 2019

1-4 180th General Convention Oxford, Ohio

November 2019

1-3 Board of Trustees Meeting Kansas City, Mo.

January 2020

1-3 Joint Meetings: Board of Trustees, Beta Foundation Board, General Fraternity House Corp. Atlanta, Ga.


A | Seventeen Plead Guilty at Penn State; Trial Set for President, Pledge Ed Seventeen former Beta undergraduates have pled guilty to a range of charges for the events that led to the 2017 hazing death of Beta new member Tim Piazza, Penn State ’20. Given 18 drinks within 82 minutes, Piazza fell down the chapter house’s basement steps, suffering head trauma and a lacerated spleen that led to massive internal bleeding. Paramedics were not called until nearly 12 hours after the initial fall. President Brendan Young (above) and Pledge Educator Daniel Casey await trial, as does House Manager Braxton Becker for allegedly tampering with evidence.

B | NIC Takes on Harvard Focused on Harvard’s decision to penalize students that join single-sex organizations, on December 3 two lawsuits were filed in state and federal courts on behalf of NIC members challenging the policy that prohibits students who do join from holding campus leadership positions and athletic captainships or from receiving university support for Fulbright and Rhodes Scholarships. Harvard hired Boston-based law firm Goodwin Procter as defense in both lawsuits. Goodwin Procter was founded by Beta alumnus Robert E. Goodwin, Harvard 1901. As an undergraduate, he was elected chapter secretary.

C | Administrators on Forced Leave Following the closing of the Delta Kappa Epsilon chapter at LSU for alleged hazing in

fall 2018 that led to the arrest of nine undergraduates, University President King Alexander announced in February three Greek life administrators had been placed on leave pending investigation into their knowledge of the chapter’s issues. This follows the death of freshman Max Gruver who died in 2017 due to the forced consumption of alcohol while pledging Phi Delta Theta.

D | $14 Million Settlement at NIU Announced November 30 as the largest hazing settlement on record, the 2012 forced consumption death of Pi Kappa Alpha pledge David Bogenberger at Northern Illinois University (parents, above) resulted in a combined $14 million payout by all parties, including the national fraternity and 22 chapter members. All 22 were found criminally guilty of hazing or reckless conduct.


26-28 Board of Trustees Meeting Oxford Cup: Dick Evans, Denver ’66 Denver, Colo.



13 Elon Installation Elon, N.C.





Alexandra Robbins is a journalist and author of multiple books, including her newest, “Fraternity: An Inside Look at a Year of College Boys Becoming Men.”

“We’re going to talk about this. I know you don’t want to, and it sucks right now, but tell me about him.”


That’s what a fraternity brother said to Oliver, (a pseudonym for) a sophomore I followed for a year for my new book, after Oliver learned a close friend had died and went to his room alone. In the wake of that loss, Oliver withdrew. But his fraternity brother was worried, and he took action. Although Oliver was initially reluctant to open up, the discussion soothed him. And when the rest of his brothers heard the news, they immediately took over his house chores so he could have more space to work through his grief. It may surprise some to learn that it was because of his fraternity that Oliver learned to be comfortable confiding emotionally to friends

in a way that he told me he would not have if his group were co-ed. Most all-male institutions don’t have reputations as sites of emotional growth. As the misleading term “toxic masculinity” dominates the news, colleges are sounding a clarion call to abolish all-male groups, fraternities often the most notorious among them. But during years spent reporting for a book on fraternities, I learned that eliminating all of them could deprive good people of important social resources that many schools otherwise do not provide. Women’s, multicultural and LGBTQ centers admirably facilitate valuable opportunities for many students. However, college men — whether racial minorities, LGBTQ, or straight and white — need supportive, inclusive communities, too.

Does that sound controversial? It shouldn’t. No matter their background, college guys are mostly teenagers, often vulnerable, living away from home for the first time. Fraternity members are not all decent guys. But most of them are. The healthiest part of good fraternities is the side the public doesn’t see. I spoke with brothers — like Oliver — who interpreted the goal of making their brothers “better men” as helping them to become better people. They believed it was their responsibility to hold brothers to high standards of tolerance and cooperation. They were able to create a subculture in which members were rewarded for being good guys. They embraced minority, gay, bisexual and nonbinary members and didn’t pressure each other to hook up. They encouraged members to open up to each other and to give unconditional support. Some students told me that their fraternity friendships and accountability saved their lives. But the public, the media and universities seem to have a prejudice against all-male groups — even if the groups express masculinity in non-“toxic” ways. Some of that prejudice naturally stems from highly publicized incidents of hazing, assault or alcohol abuse associated with some all-male groups, including fraternities. Part of the problem may stem from confusion about what “masculinity” is supposed to mean. Much has been said about the American Psychological

Association’s recent new guidelines and the Gillette Super Bowl ad, both of which debuted in January. But a semantics problem is clouding the issues. The dominant media narrative has conflated “toxic” masculinity with “traditional” masculinity. And while the phrase “toxic masculinity” was popularized as a way to describe gender role limitations on men, today many people misconstrue it as a description of men who are violent toward women. Both toxic masculinity and traditional masculinity are confusing — even insulting — terms that should be changed or abandoned. But many men don’t realize this because our education system largely doesn’t teach students that there are a variety of ways to be masculine. Instead, male students often feel pressured to conform to stereotypes instead of being themselves. Certainly, the best way to teach young men about masculinities (plural) is not to abolish all-male campus groups. In December, a coalition of fraternities, sororities, and students sued Harvard because of its policy of penalizing unrecognized single-gender group members by denying them campus leadership roles and endorsements for major scholarships. Harvard announced the de facto ban after the university’s Task Force on Sexual Assault Prevention denounced campus finals clubs for having “deeply misogynistic attitudes,” connected them to sexual assault issues and lumped fraternities in with the clubs.


Members of the Alpha Chapter in 1893.

Erdley added, “is that boys do not get the support they need from their friends, and this leaves them vulnerable to loneliness, anxiety, and depression symptoms. And males are more likely to lash outward when they are depressed.” A solution, according to several experts, is to give boys a safe space in which to form healthy and intimate friendships with other boys and to learn that there are many healthy ways to be a man. But universities largely aren’t providing those spaces. Good fraternities do. At their best, fraternities help teach members how to share their thoughts and feelings and encourage them to rely on and communicate with other guys. Some brotherhood rituals even

script opportunities to express emotions and to ask for help. For example, members of one national fraternity told me that because the ninth value in their Code of Conduct is “I am my brother’s keeper,” some chapters teach brothers to say, “I need a number-nine favor” whether they need help understanding a concept in class or a sympathetic ear to listen to their woes. Few non-Greeks realize that many of these all-male groups are encouraging boys to participate in activities — such as confiding in and comforting peers — that some people would consider un-masculine but that everyone should consider human. And the guys are healthier for it. As colleges weigh whether to eliminate all-male groups, they

should also assess whether their schools provide other safe spaces in which guys can comfortably open up to other guys. If they don’t, they should take steps to address this gap. Meanwhile, it’s time to advocate for the boys who aren’t causing trouble. Rather than destroying all-male groups, Harvard and other schools instead could remove egregious offenders and require reforms that would reward and maintain the healthy organizations. More of them exist than you’d think, given the headlines. It’s imperative that we attempt to comprehend and alleviate the pressures faced by teenage boys in twenty-first-century America — and acknowledge that even fraternity brothers struggle with them, too. 


Because of common expectations that men should be stoic, during adolescence, when masculine stereotypes sink in, many boys reluctantly distance themselves from intimate friendships. But close, solid friendships might be even more important for boys’ psychological adjustment than for that of girls. University of Maine psychologist Cynthia Erdley found that low quality of friendships was associated with loneliness and depression only for boys. While her study focused on younger boys, she told me her findings “suggest that boys, who generally have lower quality friendships than girls, are left more vulnerable to psychological difficulties when they have less supportive, intimate friendship experiences.” The biggest danger,






In 2018, Beta Theta Pi adopted a strategic plan based around the priorities of Brotherhood, Personal Growth and Home to aid in driving forward the Fraternity’s mission, vision and core values. The ideal Beta experience – the Beta, the Theta, and the Pi – is created at the intersection of Beta’s three strategic priorities. To move the Fraternity closer to this ideal experience, the Board of Trustees adopted six strategic initiatives, one focused on cultural assessment.


For many years, Beta has measured the health of undergraduate chapters using basic performance indicators such as GPA, chapter size and retention rates. While these numbers still hold value as a measure of chapter performance, they only tell a part of the story. The Beta Brotherhood Assessment is a tool for assessing how our members feel about their Beta experience and whether the chapter is building deep brotherhood in healthy ways. Last September, the Beta Brotherhood Assessment was distributed to all undergraduates. It is a confidential, online survey developed and administered by Dyad Strategies, a professional research firm that specializes in student assessment and fraternal belonging. There are several dozen questions and the survey takes about 30 minutes to complete. A custom report with chapter results was sent to officers, advisors, house corporation officers and General Fraternity Officers. At Chapter Presidents Leadership Academy and the Keystone Leadership Conferences, officers and volunteers received training on how to interpret and act on their Beta Brotherhood Assessment results.


“Friendship gave our order birth.” Cultivating deep and purposeful relationships is the foundation for a sustainable Men of Principle experience. The Beta Brotherhood Assessment provides insight into how members interpret brotherhood and in what ways that contributes to the culture of their chapter. It measures: • Shared Social Experiences: This type of brotherhood revolves around friendship. Some men emphasize the social aspects of brotherhood, while others describe it as friendship going above and beyond the context of fraternity. • Accountability: This type of brotherhood goes beyond friendship or belonging and represents a mutual commitment to make one another better through accountability. • Solidarity: This type of brotherhood emphasizes loyalty to each other beyond anything. Unity and allegiance to brothers is very important and is the top priority for new member education and pledging.


Beta develops its brothers “through the cutting of education and the polishing of experience.” Strengthening and multiplying the Fraternity’s capacity to develop and educate leaders promotes a sustainable Men of Principle experience. The Beta Brotherhood Assessment provides insight into how members perceive their chapter supports their personal and academic goals and actively encourages their personal growth. It measures: • Responsibility: This indicates members’ tendency to be accountable for their actions and decisions, taking ownership for their behavior and the behavior of their brothers, and showing initiative. • Life Long Learning: This examines how likely members are to embrace opportunities to gain knowledge and experience. This also displays members’ ability to apply new learning to familiar circumstances. • Loyalty: This measure examines how reliable members are to promises made and commitments undertaken. This indicates their level of loyalty as a friend and how likely they will “do what they say they will do.”


Our brotherhood lives “within the halls of Beta Theta Pi.” While Beta’s “halls” take many forms, creating a healthy, safe and competitive local environment allows a sustainable Men of Principle experience to thrive. The Beta Brotherhood Assessment provides insight into how strongly members feel a sense of belonging within and commitment to their chapter. It measures: • Belonging: This sense of brotherhood transcends friendships and social interactions. Men who think of brotherhood this way feel connected to Beta and describe it as a “home away from home.” • Social Status Importance: This measures how much members care about their position relative to other chapters in the campus social hierarchy. • Overall Satisfaction: This measures how happy members are with their experience. It often influences how men talk about Beta or if they will stay involved after college.





chapters achieved a 100% response rate



chapters achieved at least 85% survey participation (Sisson Award level)

chapters achieved at least 90% survey participation (Knox Award level)


5.0 4.8 4.60

4.6 4.4

4.30 4.30


4.2 3.99



response rate across all undergraduate members





3.94 3.90



The Beta Brotherhood Assessment measures a chapter’s thoughts and feelings in several key health and safety areas. While results from the survey data are still forthcoming, listed below are sample questions and prompts that Beta undergraduates are asked to weigh in on in the survey.




Alcohol Use & Consequences In high school, how often did you have a drink containing alcohol?

Sexual Assault Mindset I think issues around sexual assault on campus have been largely overblown.

Mental Health Support I understand how to change my coping habits if they become unhealthy.

During the last year, have you missed class because of using alcohol?

If a female friend told me that she was raped by a member of my fraternity, I would believe her and be supportive of her.

I feel confident I could help a friend who is dealing with mental health challenges.

During the last year, have you been hurt or injured because of using alcohol?

Supporting a brother accused of something bad is what brotherhood is all about – we have to look out for one another.

I feel confident I could help a friend who is in crisis.

Shared Social

Members are loyal to one another, almost to a fault. Members may “protect” the chapter through secrets, as well as work hard to ensure others are as loyal as them. Members like each other and have developed deep friendships. As a fraternity we are doing well but must remember to stay focused on building deep, authentic friendships.



Our members feel strong affinity to Beta Theta Pi and believe Beta provides a home away from home. As a fraternity, accountability is high. Members believe accountability is important and everyone should be held to high standards.


Members will be asked to complete the Beta Brotherhood Assessment over the next three years. This large-scale assessment project will allow chapters — and Beta’s senior leaders — to see where Beta is making progress in key areas and where the Fraternity may need to provide enhanced programs and services. To view a sample Beta Brotherhood Assessment chapter report, visit




With nearly 450 unique posts across Beta’s social media platforms throughout the year, the Fraternity analyzed engagement and reach to determine the top 10 Beta headlines featured in 2018.





9. THE TIME IS MEOW APRIL 20 7. IMPORTANT The Colgate Betas of the famed Broken Lizard comedy troupe are back UPDATE AUGUST 9 Their cars are gassed, snacks are packed and Spofor more shenanigans! “Super Troopers 2,” the follow-up to the group’s During Beta’s recent tify playlists are queued. The 2018-19 leadership 2001 cult hit of the same name, lands in theaters today! 179th General Conconsultants have officially departed Oxford. vention, and following Destination: Chapters across Beta’s Broad Doa thoughtful, analytmain! Front row (left to right): Michael Schultz, 8. LEADING THE WAY FEBRUARY 8 After tragedy struck the Florida State Greek community last fall, Uniical and dignified deWichita State ’17; Ethan Bell, Wisconsin-Oshversity President John Thrasher, Sigma Phi Epsilon, announced the need bate between brothkosh ’16; Kellon Jones, George Mason ’18; Zane for reform. Calling Beta a role model within the fraternity community, ers, delegates affirmed Carlson, Knox ’16; Back row (left to right): Izzy Thrasher met with three brothers to discuss how the Delta Lambda the Board of Trustees’ Garcia, Loyola Chicago ’17; Cody Golden, Texas Chapter will lead in establishing new norms, and appointed Chapter substance-free housat Arlington ’17; Ty Leech, Minnesota ’17; Tyler President Jimmy Kropelin ’20, to a campus advisory board overseeing ing policy by a vote of Necaise, Mississippi ’18; Nic Nelson, Elon ’17 the Greek system’s transition back to campus. (L-R: Grayson Levitt ’17, 91 to 49. Jimmy Kropelin ’20, FSU President John Thrasher, John Wilcox ’18.) 10. ROAD WARRIORS AUGUST 17


DAUGHTER APRIL 17 Tonight the Fraternity remembers First Lady Barbara Bush, daughter to Beta Vice President Marvin (Monk) Pierce, Miami 1916, and sister to Scott Pierce, Miami ’54. May a “true Beta lady, Beta daughter and Beta Sweetheart” rest in peace for a life incredibly well lived.







3. GONE TOO SOON SEPTEMBER 12 Tonight, the Fraternity is grieving the sudden passing of Evan Hansen, Wabash ’19. A Spanish major, Little Giants linebacker and senior captain, and two-time All-North Coast Athletic Conference selection, Evan represented Beta Theta Pi proudly as Tau Chapter’s secretary and sergeant-at-arms. “He was a very well-liked young man and a real leader at Wabash,” College President Gregory D. Hess remembered. “To say that he will be missed is an understatement.



2. IT’S TIME FEBRUARY 2 Today, on the one-year anniversary of the events that led to the tragic and senseless death of new member Tim Piazza at Penn State, the Board of Trustees announces the Fraternity’s new strategic plan, including six initial strategies that will chart the organization’s future in combating hazing, elevating housing standards and more.

1. WE STAND UP DECEMBER 13 Harvard has imposed a policy punishing students for joining private, single-sex organizations like Beta Theta Pi. Left unchecked, this policy stands to set a precedent threatening Greek life at schools across North America that Beta calls home. The Fraternity stands in support of the group of sororities, fraternities and students who filed lawsuits today challenging Harvard, its unconstitutional and contradictory policy, and culture of intimidation and fear. Take a stand with us and pledge your support at #standuptoharvard


“At nine o’clock on the evening of the eighth day of the eighth month of the year 1839 ...” Happy Founders’ Day to the nearly 209,000 Betas worldwide who have followed the path those eight earnest young men set 179 years ago.



FEBRUARY 4 Much has changed for the Fraternity in the last year, but one thing has not – the Piazza family’s pain continues to be felt by all who wear the Beta badge. Our hearts are with them on this sorrowful day as we all remember Tim.

David Wallace, The Republic

alumni news lifelong brotherhood Chapman Delivers Parting Dignity for Phoenix Homeless

A 15-year volunteer chaplain for the White Tanks Cemetery in Phoenix, Arizona, Tom Chapman, Louisville ’71, is no stranger to putting others before self. As reported in the Arizona Republic last fall, Chapman serves as coordinating chaplain for the Indigent Burial Program that oversees the burial of Phoenix’s homeless. Aided by Maricopa County inmates, his reason for serving is for the grace. “Any one of us could be in that situation. Why would we not want to honor those who do not have someone?” One of eight chaplains, Chapman is quick to point out, “It doesn’t matter what denomination you are. Burials must be simple and should not contain a sermon but only prayers or blessings.” When questioned about the emotional impact, he suggested, “Be grateful you’re a part of it. Thank God you can reach out in compassion and love in this situation.” In addition to visiting every Thursday to offer prayers, Chapman joins some 200 people every Thanksgiving for a cemetery-wide memorial service and to light all graves with candles of remembrance.

“The Man Who Saved Washington Wine”

Credited by Seattle Business Magazine in 2009 as “the man who saved Washington wine,” Ted Baseler, Washington State ’76, recently stepped down as president and CEO of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. Concluding 17 years leading one of the largest wine distributors in America, it follows a 34year career with the company.


Considered a Washington-centered company upon his appointment in 2001, while at the helm Baseler increased sales from $21 million to $146 million in 2017 – a 12.1 percent compound annual growth rate. Such a feat was accomplished through strategic acquisitions, capital investments and the addition of an imported wines division. In terms of sales by volume, the company increased shipments from 2.8 million cases to more than 8.5 million.


Much of the company’s success was also the result of building brands like 14 Hands Winery and buying Oregon’s Erath Winery, among others. As noted by the Seattle Times, the company’s position was solidifed when the Columbia Crest 2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon was ranked No. 1 in the world by Wine Spectator magazine. Described as a “strong advocate for higher education,” Baseler was appointed by the governor to the Washington State University Board of Regents, including chairman of the board in 2011-12 and 2017-18. To this day, he remains supportive of his Gamma Theta Chapter.

Rick Dahms

notablehighlights F | John Nicholas, Oklahoma ’93

First elected in 2014, Nicholas was sworn in for a second term as an associate circuit judge in Jasper County, Missouri, on December 27, 2018.

G | Mark Sebastian, Villanova ’01 A former member of the Chicago Board Options Exchange and the American Stock Exchange, Sebastian founded OptionPit. com and is a frequent contributor on CNBC, Fox Business and Bloomberg.


H | Lawson Whiting, Miami ’90 ALUMNI NEWS




C | Blind Faith: UVA Alum Sails Pacific with Sightless Navigator


Having embarked on a 60-day trans-Pacific sail from San Diego to Japan, novice sailor Doug Smith, Virginia ’86, was joined by experienced – but completely blind – skipper friend Hiro Iwamoto to raise awareness of funding needs that can prevent and cure blindness. Adopting a personal motto of “anything is possible when people come together,” the duo boarded Smith’s 41-foot “Dream Weaver” and set sail on February 24. Follow their adventure at

D | The Gift of Life

What started off as a joke when Jeff Kniert, North Dakota ’05 (right), suggested to railway co-worker and kidney-diseased friend, Donnie, “I’ll give you one of my kidneys in exchange for an ice cream cone,” became no laughing matter when he stepped to the plate and did that very thing upon learning Donnie’s “perfect match” donor relative fell through. Reflecting on the Fraternity and what it has meant to him in life, Kniert commented, “Of all our Three Great Principles, mutual aid and assistance has impacted me and humbled me the most.” Further, “While the recovery will be slow going, it is all made worth it by the fact that four days post-op Donnie’s kidney function is back to that of a normal, healthy adult.

He says he feels better than he has felt in years, and is excited to move onward with his new lease on life.” The very one Beta alumnus Jeff Kniert gave him.

E | Studying Athlete Stress

As part of an interdisciplinary research team of clinicians, engineers and nurses, Ph.D Student Dhruv Seshadri, Case Western Reserve ’14, is participating in a study of the university’s crew team and the relationship between athletes’ stress levels and their recovery periods. Building upon work by the university’s Department of Biomedical Engineering and the University Hospital’s Sports Medicine Institute that studied an NFL team, Seshadri believes their “findings can have an impact in the sports medicine field ... and address unmet medical needs.”

Now 21 years with the company and becoming just the 10th executive since its 1870 founding, Whiting was named CEO of Brown-Forman on January 1. Based in Louisville, Brown-Forman is one of the largest American-owned companies in the wine and spirits business and boasts brands like Jack Daniel’s, Early Times, Old Forester, Woodford Reserve and Canadian Mist.

I | Steve Johnston, South Florida ’94 Founding Father of his chapter in the early ’90s, Johnston recently launched, a platform focused on matching sellers and top-rated, full-service local agents at a reduced commission.

J | Walter Massey, MIT ’51

The Canadian Actors Association (ACTRA) recently created the Walter Massey Award to acknowledge the outstanding achievements of a breakthrough artist. An award-winning actor with a career that spanned seven decades, Massey passed in 2014.







Department of Defense Names Deasy CIO Primary advisor to the Secretary of Defense on all information technology matters, Dana Deasy, Southern California ’81, has been appointed by the president to serve as the department’s chief information officer. Prior, Deasy served four years as chief information officer of JPMorgan.

Master Sgt. Angelita Lawrence






K | Coach Monken to Cleveland A three-year lettering quarterback while an undergraduate, Coach Todd Monken, Knox ’89, was recently lured away from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to serve as the Cleveland Browns’ new offensive coordinator. Monken has coached at both the college and professional levels, including stints at Oklahoma State, LSU, Southern Mississippi and the Jacksonville Jaguars.

L | $600 Million (And Counting) Recognized as the modern-day face of philanthropy in Utah, Spence Eccles, Utah ’56, continues to lead the George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles Foundation that benefits causes large and small across the state. As chairman and CEO of the foundation started by his aunt and uncle, Spence oversaw release of the foundation’s 90-page

O report in December celebrating its 60th anniversary and the more than $600 million that has been contributed to “universities, hospitals, arts and cultural organizations, community groups, and preservation projects” since 1982. In that time, annual grants have increased from $481,000 to 208 groups to more than $20 million benefitting 1,071 groups. To date, it remains the largest family-run foundation in the state.

M | Uber For Farmers At the 2018 Nebraska Power Farming Show, Trevor McKeeman, Kansas State ’00, may not have won the $20,000 grand prize as one of six finalists competing in the Innovation Pitch Competition, but he did walk away with the $5,000 People’s Choice Award. To McKeeman, “That’s the one I cared about the most, because farmers thought it was the most useful.”

Likened to “Uber for farmers,” HitchPin is an app that connects farmers with services to sell or equipment to rent. “Farmers can list what they have or what they need and immediately connect with another farmer who can supply or use it.” An MIT MBA graduate, McKeeman is also founder of HiddenGenius, an agriculturally-oriented technology company based at the KSU Institute for Commercialization.

N | $10 Million Gift for Purdue Now the largest gift to Purdue’s athletics program, a $10 million commitment by Dick Buell, Purdue ’72 (left, with Purdue President Mitch Daniels, Fiji), will create the L. Dick Buell Endowed Head Men’s Basketball Coach position. Buell credits his love for basketball as being “reinforced by Beta brothers who played during a highly successful period for the Boilermakers.”




O | Saudi Arabia Releases Khoja

Q | 50 States, 50 Marathons

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, following repeated beatings and more than a year of imprisonment without being charged, former McKinsey consultant Hani Khoja, Virginia ’91, was released by Saudi Arabia on January 23. Khoja’s detainment was part of a roundup of hundreds of businessmen, government officials and royal-family members.

Starting with the Seattle Marathon in 2000, last September Chris Griffes, Auburn ’78, completed his quest to run at least one marathon in every state by completing the Jackson Hole Marathon in Wyoming. Averaging three marathons a year for the last 18 years, Griffes logged more than 1,000 miles annually. Not one to sit still now that running is in his blood, he completed his 54th marathon on Thanksgiving weekend in the city where his passion began: Seattle (pictured).

P| Online Startup for Startups Recognizing the difficulty technology startups experience when trying to access D&O insurance coverage as required by their venture capitalists, Carl Niedbala, Villanova ’10 (right), and a colleague launched Founder Shield, an online insurance agency focused on “a seamless and intuitive purchasing experience for business owners focused on technology.”

R | Oxford Cup to PGA Champ Surrounded by brothers and friends, retired professional golfer and 1958 PGA Champion Dow Finsterwald, Ohio ’52, (center right) was awarded the 85th Oxford Cup – Beta’s highest honor for professional achievement – by General

S Fraternity President Bob Schnese, Wisconsin ’83 (center left). Finsterwald won 11 Tour titles between 1955 and 1963, played on four Ryder Cup teams, and is a member of both the Ohio University Athletics and the Colorado Sports Halls of Fame. The presentation was made January 12 at the Bay Hill Club in Orlando.

S | Forbes Names Fox’s Yingst Top 30 Under 30 for Media In the recently released 2019 edition of the Forbes 30 Under 30, Founding Father Trey Yingst, American ’16, was named to the Media category for his work as White House correspondent for One America News Network and as a foreign correspondent for Fox News reporting on the Middle East from Jerusalem.



The Rough Notes Co., Inc.

Colfax BETA’S GREATEST NO. 2 By L. Martin Cobb, Eastern Kentucky ’96

In the 2012 award-winning movie, “Lincoln,” Director Steven Spielberg, Theta Chi, explores the president’s final, four-month drive to end slavery. Detailing his march to pass a constitutional amendment that would once and for all deal with the issue that had plagued the country since well before independence, Spielberg sheds light on the president’s brilliant tactics and the men who helped secure victory. Eventual Vice President Schuyler Colfax, DePauw 1854, was one such man.

FAST FACTS Born March 23, 1823 Died January 13, 1885 1855-1869 House of Representatives (Indiana’s 9th District) 1863-1869 25th Speaker of the House 1869-1873 17th Vice President of the United States


Grandson to the captain of George Washington’s bodyguards during the Revolutionary War, Schuyler Colfax Jr. was born in New York City in 1823 – five months after his father succumbed to tuberculosis and four months before the death of his only sister. Eventually remarrying, his mother and step-father moved the family to South Bend, Indiana, which became his lifelong home of 50 years. Elected county auditor, his step-father’s public role likely planted the seed for Colfax’s professional trajectory. Appointed deputy auditor at the age of 18, he would serve alongside his step-father the entire eight-year term.

Journalist at Heart

Local public service aligned well with Colfax’s childhood passion of reading newspapers “voraciously.” As such, he began covering the Indiana Senate for the Indiana State Journal. Admired for his objective writing and diligent work ethic, his articles on Indiana politics were often requested by newspaper owner Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune – widely considered the best newspaper of its time. Colfax eventually bought the Journal in his

early 20s. Noted author and devout abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe caught wind and praised his professional approach, “It is a morally pure paper.”

Speaker of the House

That engagement in political affairs invigorated Colfax, sparking his eventual run for Congress in 1852 on behalf of the Whig Party. Narrowly losing to his Democratic opponent, he ran again in 1854 as a Republican and on an anti-slavery platform challenging the KansasNebraska Act, which would allow people within those territories to decide the issue of slavery for themselves. A founder of the Republican party and energetic campaigner against slavery, he was elected seven times, including three terms as Speaker of the House. He assumed that post in 1862 during the heart of the Civil War. Senate archives describe Colfax “with a ready smile” and “as amiable a man who ever served in Congress, good-natured, kindly, cordial, and always diplomatic.” It’s no surprise he gained the affable nickname, “Smiler.”


“His election as vice president isn’t what earns him that title – nor did it bring him his greatest honor. That is reserved for what put him in the vice presidential position to begin with: a principled and public stand to end slavery.”

Colfax was never a lawyer and he certainly used that to his advantage. “He could put complex issues of the day into layman’s terms,” wrote Confederate sympathizer and writer James Dabney McCabe. “Watching Colfax battle southern representatives over the slavery issue, he took an active part in the debate, giving and receiving hard blows with all the skill of an old gladiator.” A master of the rules of the House, both sides considered him fair. Senate biographers characterize him as the most popular Speaker of the House since Kentucky’s Henry Clay: “Colfax aspired to be as powerful as Clay,” and, “He resembled Clay’s dramatic style, stepping down once from the Speakership to urge the House to expel an Ohio Democrat who had advocated recognizing the independence of the Confederacy.” Most notably, he broke precedent by insisting from the Speaker’s chair his vote also be recorded in favor of the Thirteenth Amendment to abolish slavery. Met with thunderous applause for taking a public stand, he announced the final tally with voice shaking, “On the passage of the Joint Resolution to amend the Constitution of the United States, the ayes have 119, and the noes 56.”

Lincoln’s Confidant

A dear friend and close advisor to President Lincoln, Colfax was often sought for counsel by the wartime president, and as one Lincoln biographer noted, “The president rarely took any step affecting the interests of the nation without making his intentions known to and consulting with Mr. Colfax.” Interestingly, he met with Lincoln to discuss Reconstruction on April 15, 1865. During that exchange, Colfax and his wife were invited by Lincoln to join him in the presidential box at Ford’s Theatre, but Colfax declined given an upcoming long trip to tour the western states. As Colfax recorded it, the president remarked, “How I would rejoice to make that trip, but public duties chain me down here, and I can only envy you its pleasures.” It was the last time the two ever spoke. Upon learning the news that Lincoln had been shot, Colfax rushed to Petersen House across from Ford’s


Theatre. He spent the night in the room where Lincoln would die at 7:22 a.m. the following morning.

Mr. Vice President

Upon Colfax’s election as vice president in 1869, Ohio Republican Senator Bluff Wade, whom he had beaten for the role, commented upon learning his own political fate, “His friends love him devotedly, and his political adversaries respect him thoroughly.” Believing President Grant would not run for a second term, Colfax declared he would not seek re-election. Historians believe it was an attempt to be pursued by the party into running for president. But, by the time Grant decided to run again, momentum for the country to identify a new vice president had begun. Colfax completed his term in office and retired to South Bend where he enjoyed a successful career as a traveling lecturer. His most acclaimed speeches were on the life of Abraham Lincoln. Colfax was an enthusiastic Beta, having visited no less than 12 Beta chapters during his retirement. He even cut his vacation short and traveled 600 miles to attend the 1881 General Convention in Chicago. On January 13, 1885, Colfax dropped dead at a Mankato, Minnesota, train station on his way to Rock Rapids, Iowa, to give a speech.

Historic Statesman

Now 150 years since his election as vice president, Colfax’s role in one of the most historic moments in U.S. history is certainly worth remembering. He could disagree without being disagreeable, and stand on principle no matter the intensity of the storm. He ascended to the second highest office in the land, making him arguably Beta’s greatest No. 2. But, his election as vice president isn’t what earns him that title – nor did it bring him his greatest honor. That is reserved for what put him in the vice presidential position to begin with: a principled and public stand to end slavery. To that end, like Lincoln, he was one for the ages. 

MORE TO THE STORY . . . #1 Colfax was present at the White House for Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation Jan. 1, 1863.

#2 As Speaker, Colfax led adoption of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, all seeking to free slaves and provide civil and political rights for African Americans, namely the right to vote. The 14th Amendment is widely considered by legal scholars as one of the most consequential to this day, as it includes the Due Process Clause, Equal Protection Clause, Citizenship Clause and Privileges or Immunities Clause.

#3 At least 12 states have towns and counties named for Colfax, in addition to dozens of streets and schools across the U.S.

#4 “I helped initiate him.” -John Hogarth Lozier, DePauw 1857, Author, “The Legend of Wooglin”




beta eponyms worldwide tributes Know of an entity that pays homage to a Beta? Send the story to

Showcased in the Fraternity’s summer 2018 magazine, countless physical structures, works of art, landmarks and even towns across North America bear the names of Betas who have led with distinction. As Beta’s editorial staff introduces a new standard highlight, this quarter’s magazine features a striking eponym named for Nike Co-founder Bill Bowerman, Oregon ’33. Considered the “Father of Jogging” and inventor of the waffle sole, he coached more sub-four-minute milers than any other coach in history, led four national NCAA track and field title teams and served as the 1972 U.S. Olympic Team head coach. Above, the main entrance to Nike’s global headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, memorializes Brother Bowerman’s contribution to the world of sport.

Home is where the heart is. BETA HOME APPAREL Rep your home state or province with Beta pride. Available in various garment styles. BETASPIRIT.COM

By Justin Warren, SMU ’10 Illustrated by Adam Fields


nti-secret society sentiment has existed since before the inception of the fraternity system. When Beta Theta Pi was established in 1839, brothers were forced to meet secretly as the topics our members hoped to discuss and debate were thought too inappropriate by faculty and our operations deemed too mysterious. By joining, the earliest Betas faced the threat of expulsion.

This tolerance of high-risk behaviors has resulted in more than 77 fraternity-related deaths across North America since 2005, and following a string of five deaths in 2017 – including Beta new member Tim Piazza, Penn State ’20 – fraternities systemwide were closing chapters at an average rate of one per day. This isn’t strictly speaking a Beta problem, it’s a fraternity problem. Where have fraternities gone wrong? Blaming alcohol abuse and hazing may be natural, but that view may be short-sighted. One need look no further than the Greek and religious philosophies that played such a critical role in our founding to identify that the problems stem from the immoral, shiftless and self-gratifying shortcomings inherent in us all.

These are a Fraternity’s seven deadly sins.


Since the Men of Principle initiative was launched in 1998, the Fraternity has closed some 100 of its chapters and colonies. Yes, a few of these decisions were made because of declining membership or failure to launch in a difficult campus environment, but the vast majority have stemmed from deep-rooted cultures of risk.


In the ensuing 180 years, much has changed: tuition costs more than $24 per year and a Beta’s afternoons are rarely spent chopping wood. And while fraternities continue to exist facing near-constant scrutiny from the public, the reasons for such backlash are more serious, and therefore more justified, than ever before.

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.” – Mahatma Gandhi, Indian activist SEVEN DEADLY SINS




reed is the pursuit of material wealth and gain – the hoarding of possessions at the expense of another. “It is a sin directly against one’s neighbor,” Saint Thomas Aquinas said, “since one man cannot over-abound in external riches without another man lacking them.” What are the traditional hallmarks of a college fraternity? A brotherhood, a house, parties, sports, philanthropy, service, academics. What are often its priorities? Probably not service. Truth be told, as undergraduates many Betas (author included) thanked their lucky stars for brothers whose amassed service hours elevated the chapter average. Fraternities flaunt their giving nature, but too often they’re more inclined toward self-absorption. Beta Theta Pi is home to a number of the most coveted chapter facilities in North America. But do custom basketball courts and multi-screen media rooms help us become the best fraternity on campus? What does a chapter gain by spending frivolously to have well-known bands perform at their parties? Extravagant formals spent in the mountains, hand-stitched intramural jerseys, the list goes on. Objectively, it’s likely that only a small percentage of most fraternity chapters’ budgets are earmarked for the more noble causes of our institutions.

CHARITY cures greed by putting the desire to help others above storing up treasure for one’s self. Critically analyzing a chapter budget should be simple. Consider how far discretionary funds could go toward serving, educating or financially benefiting others.

Many chapters preach interfraternalism, yet raise dues each year to outspend one another and stay ahead of the pack. They claim to cherish inclusion, but their budgets reflect no effort to bring in members with diverse lifestyles and mindsets. Excess funds aren’t utilized to help the veteran attending college on the GI Bill afford the opportunity to bring his valuable experience to our fraternities. All too often they’re not even spent on a chapter’s list of “needs,” but on an ever-growing list of “wants” that purport to enhance our brotherhoods. Is a chapter suffering from greed? Take a look at chapter operations or house corporation budgets. The answer may lie in the numbers.

“Despite their desires, the lazy will come to ruin, for their hands refuse to work.” – Proverbs 21:25


The saying “Once a Beta, Always a Beta, Everywhere a Beta” is highly publicized, but the spirit of the quote is often ignored. Data on giving and volunteerism suggests most members leave their fraternity experience behind them as alumni. Perhaps some would even admit that they largely severed ties to their organization before they even graduated – that they joined, reaped the benefits and split after their junior year. When fraternity men do not live up to their oaths and obligations, the brotherhood suffers. Lazy members might not clean the chapter house or care to recruit. They may look the other way when another member’s behavior crosses a line. They don’t give back as advisors or house corporation officers. “Someone

Apathy results in constant pressure from never having enough members to adequately operate, the impossibility of self-governance after years of low accountability, and a slow and drab death as a few remaining members struggle to keep their chapter on life support. Dr. Seth R. Brooks was wise when he spoke of sloth: “There is hope, it seems to me, for sinners whose transgressions fall in other categories, but the apathetic, the indifferent, may well be beyond redemption.”


DILIGENCE cures slothfulness by placing the best interests of others above the life of ease and relaxation. Attending chapter meetings as a senior is the least a member can do, but working with young Betas as a mentor (or as a chapter advisor upon graduation) are great ways to battle sloth and develop mature leadership within chapters.

President John F. Kennedy might have said of this deadly sin: “Ask not what your fraternity can do for you – ask what you can do for your fraternity.” Joining Beta has hopefully provided its members with any number of benefits, like an expanded social circle, a professional network or a skill set that’s proven useful in their work or at home. What has been given in return?

else will take care of it” is a common refrain. Except when sloth takes over, no one ever does.


loth, sluggish, shiftless. This sin goes by many names, but all are rooted in laziness. When a fraternity chapter thrives, it’s because members put in the work. When they don’t, years of pride and accomplishments vanish in seemingly no time at all.

“Lust’s passion will be served; it demands, it militates, it tyrannizes.” – Marquis de Sade, French philosopher SEVEN DEADLY SINS



iblically, lust is the inordinate craving for the pleasures of the body – an unbridled sexual desire. Acknowledging that attraction and sex are a healthy part of humanity, the Fraternity won’t spend its time on a soap box preaching purity, but will instead focus on two words in this sin’s definition: inordinate and unbridled. When lust takes over in a fraternity, chapters prioritize socialization with others – namely sororities – over the building of a brotherhood. Soon, members are joining not to grow and develop alongside a group of like-minded men, but primarily as an easy way of meeting women. Creating deep, challenging and lasting relationships within the membership is at the core of the fraternal experience. Chapters faulter, then, when attendance at sorority mixers is greater than attendance at brotherhood events. They

faulter when they hold only one Eye of Wooglin Ceremony each year yet find time for 10 date parties. Left unchecked, this lust translates to an inordinate amount of time and resources spent distracted from the Fraternity’s purpose of developing brotherhood. Of course, fraternities must also serve to control the unbridled nature of one’s desires. Chapters all too often accept a “boys will be boys” attitude toward sex. This begins with how fraternity men talk about others over private social media channels like GroupMe. (One fraternity’s infamous 2014 “rapebait” email is a prime example.) And if inappropriate and derogatory words are accepted or laughed off, room for inappropriate and derogatory actions is sure to follow. Some headlines read like a horror story: “Frat brothers rape 300% more.” Outlandish as these statistics are, they leave no doubt that fraternity men’s actions in this regard are under a microscope. It’s on members, then, to restrain unbridled lust within our chapters by holding one another accountable and ensuring that all guests are treated with respect.

CHASTITY and self-control cures lust by controlling passion and leveraging that energy for the good of others. Chapters should be diligent with their digital communications and hold one another accountable for inappropriate words or behaviors. Consider proactive educational events for the chapter or Greek community. Promote brotherhood above all else.


luttony is the desire to consume more than that which one requires. Theologian Thomas Aquinas importantly clarifies: “Gluttony denotes, not any desire of eating and drinking, but an inordinate desire ... leaving the order of reason, wherein the good of moral virtue consists.” This sin is particularly perilous for today’s fraternity man as he must not only battle his own innate desires for gluttony, but society’s celebration of cultures of excess.

Together, the sites Old Row and Total Frat Move have more than 3.2 million followers on Instagram alone. There, you find post after post glorifying excessive alcohol consumption, outlandish pranks and grotesque acts of hazing. A young man videoed vomiting in a drunken stupor is rewarded with 318,000 views. A “Sex Olympics” chart awarding points for performing sexual acts receives nearly 48,000 likes.

– Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman Statesman


“Never go to excess, but let moderation be your guide.”

TEMPERANCE cures gluttony by implanting the desire to be healthy, therefore making one fit to serve others. Practice moderation and deprioritize alcohol personally and as a chapter – starting in the chapter house.


“We have always had a certain percentage of members who only cared about, or at least prioritized, the social aspects of membership,” Dr. McCreary said. “Historically, there have generally been enough responsible leaders in chapters to keep those members at bay and to keep things, for the most part, from running off the rails. But because of the negative publicity and the promulgation of the negative stereotypes, students who are serious about both leadership and their academic pursuits and careers after college are becoming increasingly less likely to join fraternities and sororities.” If these patterns persist, gluttony may be the sin that dooms our Great and Good Fraternity.


Research by Dr. Gentry McCreary of Dyad Strategies sees this contributing to a problematic trend: Students today are fully aware of stereotypes and problematic aspects of fraternity life, and they are signing up for the experience.


rath is manifested in the individual who spurns love and opts instead for fury. Or, in the case of fraternities, the wars engaged in with one another.

There’s nothing wrong with a little competition amongst friends. In fact, a certain amount of rivalry is healthy in the classroom, on the intramural fields or during campus special events like homecoming. But how do chapters approach interfraternalism the rest of the time? Often with vitriol or indifference.


When it comes down to it, Beta’s similarities to its fraternal peers far outweigh the differences. Its rituals are grounded in the same goal – making its members better men. Therefore, Greek organizations should desire opportunities for collaboration and expect mutual accountability when challenges arise. This “us versus them” mentality also exists – and may be most harmful – when it causes fighting amongst ourselves. For colonies, wrath often surfaces as internal politics that leave membership divided and lacking the ability to operate and grow in harmony. For chapters, it’s pledge class identities and the temptation for older members to establish a power dynamic that encourages silence and blind obedience. Both leave brothers impatient and apt to lash out or berate others who don’t know as much, aren’t as committed or have a different perspective. In the cycle of hazing, this may result in verbal abuse or humiliation.


“Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the heart of fools.” – Ecclesiastes 7:9

PATIENCE cures wrath by taking time to understand the needs and desires of others before acting or speaking. Not merely hearing them, but understanding them. Building an active partnership within the interfraternal community and a positive, supportive chapter culture goes a long way to promoting healthy relationships and stifling the cycle of hazing before it begins.

There’s one other relationship where wrath frequently takes its toll – the one between chapters and the General Fraternity. Wrath driven by an inherent distrust of the General Fraternity’s actions manifests itself in the degradation of Fraternity leaders, the creation of factions and alliances within our ranks, and cruel social media comments put on public display. Wrath takes many forms, from vandalism of a rival fraternity’s house to abusing chapter brothers in person, behind their backs or through the courage of the keyboard – all of which move us apart when it’s more important than ever that we stand together.

“Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others. He who envies others does not achieve peace.” – Buddha

When envy sets in, one of two things happen – members either roll over and give up or engage in a dangerous trend of one-upsmanship.

This cycle continues until chaos ensues and extremes become normalized. To stay in the race, chapters must haze harder and drink more, and leaders and advisors feel forced to turn a blind eye to behaviors that would have once been unthinkable in order to maintain a reputation. Status on the social ladder will eventually change for those jockeying for position. Sadly, it’s all too often only because a tragedy takes another fraternity out of contention. It’s these hospitalizations, headlines and deaths that set the Fraternity and community back, and until the envy we feel toward one another is fundamentally addressed, this cycle that threatens fraternities’ long-term existence will continue.


KINDNESS cures envy by placing the desire to help others above the need to supersede them.At the fraternal table, there must be a seat for everyone. No ranks, no degrees, as Beta brothers know. A chapter should work to determine its campus niche and find peace with it, while refusing to engage in the rat race.

Before long, if a chapter’s recruitment process is too wholesome, there’s pressure to introduce alcohol. If a pledge education period isn’t deemed “challenging” enough, hazing sets in. When a group can’t afford to rent out a bar for a social, they sacrifice common sense risk management practices in a desperate attempt just to keep up with the Joneses.



nvy is the desire for others’ traits, status, abilities or situation. The applications to fraternity here are endless, with groups grasping for top-tier social status almost immediately after their founding. It’s an endless race to the top – one where the winner is almost never better off.

“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” – Proverbs 16:18




or centuries, theologians have debated how to rank the severity of the Seven Deadly Sins with only one universal agreement: Pride – vanity, corrupt selfishness and the excessive belief in one’s own abilities – is the sin from which all others arise. Young fraternity men, as members of an institution that carries at least some inherent social power, experience pride as a sense of entitlement and invincibility. With their lives outstretched to the horizon before them, they feel immortal.


When faced with the dangers of drugs, alcohol or hazing, prideful chapters simply do not believe anything truly bad will ever happen to them. And if tragedy does strike, pride gives a false sense of security that they are above reproach. Chapters with influential alumni and long histories may be particularly susceptible to this sin, refusing to recognize the need to change long-standing but outdated traditions. Instead, problems are ignored or managed through the persuasion of well-connected members. In their minds, these chapters are the kings of their domains, and kings make the rules. To be clear, not all pride is negative. It’s perfectly acceptable to take pride in one’s work, to be proud of someone or to have pride of ownership. These convey dignity, honor and respect – all traits worthy of a warm embrace. Pride is most destructive, then, when accompanied by self-centeredness, like when an individual or chapter believes they know best, shun help, or disregard others’ needs and feelings. Clergyman Henry Ward Beecher once said: “A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves.” It’s true that those who display excessive pride are often times great. But a person who is truly great is always willing to be little.

HUMILITY cures pride by removing one’s ego and boastfulness, therefore promoting an attitude of service. To practice humility, seek diverse viewpoints, accept critical feedback, remain situationally aware, ask for help, assume responsibility, and put others first.

It’s no surprise, then, that fraternities have battled the effects of these impulses throughout time. William Raimond Baird, Stevens 1878/Columbia 1881, observed of fraternities’ early years: “Their practices did not square with their principles; they raided each other’s trunks and treasuries; they stole each other’s constitutions, records and correspondence; they endeavored to seduce members from one to the other ... all the time professing devotion to a high sense of loyalty, a rare sense of honor, and intellectual attainment.”

As we’ve seen in recent years, Greek organizations’ sins have created challenges and dangers that stand to be fatal to fraternal progress. But in this world of iniquity, there is hope. First, brothers must charge one another with ensuring they approach these Seven Deadly Sins with cognizance and moderation. Second, they must counteract their impulses by practicing the virtues of humility, kindness, patience, temperance, chastity, diligence and charity. And above all else, they must attempt to understand what truly drives people in their more regrettable moments. “Sinful” behavior is never simply that. It is a first response to difficulty and distress that could, if properly understood, guided and forgiven, be redirected toward the nobler ends Beta’s founders proclaimed nearly 180 years ago.

Seven Heavenly Virtues



he modern list of the Seven Deadly Sins dates back to the fourth century, yet man has struggled with these inclinations since the beginning of time. We are hard-wired to be lustful, proud, envious, gluttonous, greedy, angry and lazy.


“The man of principle and integrity who has developed character and self-discipline, is the man humanity must always turn to for its salvation.”



the beta house a look inside kentucky by Justin Warren, SMU ’10 Photography by George Paxton and Mark Cornelison, Eastern Kentucky ’90

Bridge Builders Just beyond a pair of handsome bronze dragons and six stately pillars, a familiar poem hangs outside the entry door of the brand new Beta house at the University of Kentucky. Miss Will Allen Dromgoole’s “The Bridge Builder” is well known to brothers far and wide, but its message of selflessness and sacrifice for future generations rings particularly true here in Lexington.

Beta Theta Pi’s first attempt to establish an outpost at the Bluegrass State’s flagship institution was, in many ways, a success. With help from their designated “sponsoring chapter” – Delta Xi at Eastern Kentucky – Epsilon Omicron progressed at UK for several years beginning in 1987. But, without long-term housing options, and lacking a large, mature alumni base to draw upon for leadership and support, the chapter member-

ship dwindled and closed unceremoniously after a decade. Fast forward to the General Fraternity-led recolonization in 2010 and a reinvigorated Epsilon Omicron stood ready to fight for a different outcome. Believing a chapter house would enrich their brotherhood, the Refounding Fathers matched their words with action, beginning to save almost immediately – $3,000 in their first year and $20,000 by 2012.

Where it’s common for house corporations to fund a chapter’s needs, at Kentucky it was the other way around. That $20,000 was presented as the initial deposit into the newly formed house corporation’s checking account – a contribution critical to laying the foundation for eventual architectural designs and initial permits, and boosting the project until the financing package was closed with the bank.

“And now it stands before you strong, vigorous, symmetrical, disciplined by adversity, but victorious ... with charity for all and hostility to none, ready to set the pace ... it opens wide its doors and invites all to enter.” — James K. Patterson, Hanover 1856 Founding University of Kentucky President 1908 Commencement Address

A Place to Call Home With the university purchasing and razing a string of student rentals on a remaining city-owned street in the heart of campus, staunch fraternity advocate and University President Eli Capilouto, Zeta Beta Tau, designated the land for an expansion of UK’s Greek Park. Resulting in seven new parcels, the young house corporation com-

peted with 13 other organizations and made its pitch to the campus committee relying on a mix of General Fraternity initiatives and chapter accomplishments. That the chapter was recolonized under the Men of Principle initiative, consistently ranked first academically among UK’s 23 fraternities, was the largest on campus with some 150 members and had won nearly 20 national awards worked in

the chapter’s favor. Epsilon Omicron received the prime corner lot next to Delta Gamma and the new Kappa Alpha Theta house.

“For Now, Forever” By 2015, and with plans well underway thanks to the chapter’s $150,000 pledge and instrumental support of the Beta Foundation and General Fraternity, a $750,000 fundraising





C | The dining room features seating for 80 and a 24-hour coffee bar located just outside its commercial-grade kitchen. The men sit down for weekly formal chapter dinners at tables and chairs adorned with custom dragon detailing. The decorative ceiling is in the shape of the original Beta badge from 1839.


D | With their own baby grand piano, Epsilon Omicron has embraced Beta’s reputation as the Singing Fraternity. Played daily, it’s one of the chapter’s prized possessions.


effort was launched. Over the next three years, the “For Now, Forever” campaign saw another 66 alumni, 18 parents and undergraduate donors help make the chapter’s dream a reality – including four Eastern Kentucky alumni who spearheaded establishment of the house corporation to begin with and continued the chapters’ storied partnership with a collective $75,000 in donations.

B: House Dedication and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, October 13, 2018 – (l to r) Campaign Lead Donor Alby Stahmer, Kentucky ’93; Chapter President Brady Ekman ’19; UK President Eli Capilouto, Zeta Beta Tau; Inaugural House Manager Hunter Faulkner ’20; Lead Donor and Kelley Construction CFO Will Roberts ’92; House Corporation President Martin Cobb, Eastern Kentucky ’96.

E | Designed by Beta Architect Randy Zaic, Georgia Tech ’80, the home’s facade is modeled after the New York home of U.S. Steel Co-founder Henry Clay Frick who was, ironically, named for Kentucky statesman Henry Clay, and features several Beta nods, like custom shutters with cut-out stars, two bronze dragons, stone etchings of the Fraternity’s core values (in the shape of the original Beta badge) and a plaque of “The Bridge Builder” poem.


B | On October 13, 2018, the Beta Theta Pi House at Patterson Place was dedicated at a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by 325, including UK President Eli Capilouto, Zeta Beta Tau (center left). The home is named in honor of James K. Patterson, Hanover 1856, who lobbied the Fraternity relentlessly for a Beta chapter throughout his 41-year tenure as founding UK president (1869-1910).


A | Upon entering the home, visitors are greeted by coffered ceilings, dramatic lighting and an expansive Great Hall, which features an open floor plan and three distinct areas for socializing and displaying the chapter’s accolades. The interior design team was led by Beta alumnus Bryan Amerine, Eastern Kentucky ’77.

housetour F | The Kentucky-themed formal library features artwork highlighting the Bluegrass State’s most notable historical figures, like President Abraham Lincoln and certified, autographed portraits of Muhammad Ali and Secretariat (by owner Penny Chenery Tweedy and Jockey Ronnie Turcotte).



To reinforce traditional Beta culture, donor plaques and interior doors throughout the house are etched with Fraternity insignia and inspiring Beta quotes. Here, leading from the Great Hall to the library, the door features the Beta badge and excerpts from the Initiation Ceremony reflective of the Fraternity’s devotion to the cultivation of the intellect. Fitting for a chapter whose GPA routinely ranks No. 1 on campus. G and I | Lofted beds allow students’ rooms to feel spacious and suitable for sleep, study and socializing. Each bedroom also comes fully equipped with a sofa, arm chair, coffee and end tables, two dressers, desks and chairs, and high-quality Tempur-pedic mattresses.



H | This Beta coat of arms, hand-carved from a black walnut tree on the childhood farm of a house corporation member in nearby Nicholasville, is the focal accent of the home’s dining room. But if you look closely, it’s not the room’s only dragon decor. Custom drapes patterned with the Beta dragon can be found throughout the entire first floor. J | Decorated in Kentucky blue and featuring five televisions, seven high-top tables and 21 stools, and a giant sectional, Betas are frequently found taking in a Wildcat basketball game or playing video games in the chapter’s massive basement media and recreation room. Phase two of construction will eventually complete the rest of the basement, adding a second large study hall, five small-group conference rooms and a Beta museum. UK BETA HOUSE FAST FACT Given historic precipitation in 2018, construction was delayed by 75 days. Unable to move in mid-August as planned, all 40 undergraduates lived and ate with Farmhouse Fraternity’s chapter until the Beta house was completed and ready to move in on November 2. Certainly a testament to interfraternalism.


Above and Beyond At a cost of $4.8 million, which was managed by dedicated House Corporation Treasurer Josh Jehn, Eastern Kentucky ’93, the final result is a 22,000-square foot, Georgian Revival-style home that sleeps 40 and boasts the house corporation’s explicit design priorities: safety, academics and brotherhood, all woven together in a home that exudes warmth and character. With tons of IT horsepower, elevated beds and semi-private bathrooms, the house matches modern expectations of students and parents.

Beyond the living quarters, members and guests enjoy access to the dramatic porch, entry Great Hall, formal living rooms, side yards for recreation, library and a large media room. To promote brotherhood, a stately dining room was created to seat 80 and a meal plan and weekly formal chapter dinners were instituted. A sense of having the best fraternity meal plan on campus has already taken hold. Of course, protecting this investment requires security via emergency systems tied in with


I UK, exterior surveillance cameras and the mens’ devoted full-time housemother, Mimi. To that end, “Milk and Cookies Thursday” has become a chapter favorite, as the men are routinely showered with special treats and gestures that only a house mom can provide. With plans to expand the basement to include a second study hall, five private conference rooms and a museum, and construct 17 sleeping spaces on the third floor, as needed, there’s more to come from this instant Beta gem.


Success From the Ground Up Less than two years ago, 440 Pennsylvania Avenue in Lexington was merely dirt. Today, it’s home to the Beta Theta Pi House at Patterson Place. It’s one of the finest fraternity houses on campus for an equally fine chapter. Epsilon Omicron, too, came from little, but now thrives as a four-time Knox Award winning chapter in just the last five years, a 2018 NIC Award of Distinction recipient and the

top academic chapter at UK eight years running. This February, the chapter also received the IFC’s 2019 Dean’s Cup, recognizing it as “Chapter of the Year.” Like its house, this chapter’s accolades didn’t come by chance, but because of the men’s forward-thinking attitude and humble desire to ascribe to the words on the front door – by being bridge builders. 

SONS OF THE DRAGON CLUB UNDERGRADUATE EXCLUSIVE Join the 2019 Sons of the Dragon Club with a Beta Foundation gift of $18.39 and receive a limited edition Beta-emblazoned Hawaiian shirt. Join by April 1. BETA.ORG/DRAGONS





Photograph by Mark Cornelison, Eastern Kentucky ’90

campus life student highlights A Journey 8,000 Miles From Home

The University of Louisville’s International Service Learning Program provides experiential education in which students engage in activities that address human and community needs while promoting their own learning and development. Conrad Johnson, Louisville ’19, expanded his worldview over the winter holidays as part of the university’s program in Cebu – a province of the Philippines. An industrial engineering student, he was one member of a larger multidisciplinary academic team in Southeast Asia working with local schools on topics selected by local leaders. “The memories were made, the tears were shed,” Johnson said when reflecting on his time with the schoolchildren. “I love these kids and I love this place. I know I’ll be seeing them again.” Of course, a journey 8,000 miles from home wouldn’t be complete without pit stops along the way. Johnson also visited temples in Cambodia and spent Christmas with elephants in Thailand.

A | To Whom Our Song At a MLK Day service project with the local Gandhi Institute, one organization leader asked Rochester brothers if Beta closed events with a special ceremony. As the men circled up to sing the Beta Doxology, he soon learned – we sure do.

B | Fire Meets Ice Beta’s flag has traveled the globe, from the tops of mountains to the depths of oceans. Recently, Will Avery, Quinnipiac ’21, took it on his adventure to the icy village of Hallstatt, Austria.


C | Five-Time Champs




D | Beta Bowl


The Patriots weren’t the only New Englanders to come out victorious at a major bowl this year – Zeta Chi at Connecticut raised $2,000 for the United Services Organization at their second annual Beta Bowl!

E | Gone Hurling Brothers’ interests run the gamut, but whatever they do, they do it well. Like Pittsburgh’s Joe Koniszewski ’21, (left) and Alex Houriet ’19, (right) who helped bring their school a National Collegiate Hurling Championship!


F | Feeding the Capital Before Thanksgiving, George Washington Betas got in the holiday spirit by partnering with Kappa Delta and a local organization, Martha’s Table, to make 172 sandwiches for local children in the Washington, D.C., area.


Oh you thought the biggest football game of the year was played in February? Think again. The biggest moment in football this season came in November when Dayton won its fifth straight intramural title!



ifcpresidents In historic fashion, Beta chapters across North America have stepped up to lead their local Interfraternity Councils – and 2019 is no exception. Fifteen brothers have been elected to serve as IFC president and carry forward the spirit of interfraternalism first established by “The Father of Interfraternalism,” Beta’s own William Raimond Baird, Stevens 1878/Columbia 1881.









1 | Adan Moallemi, British Columbia ’21 2 | Ian Finlay, Case Western Reserve ’19 3 | Grant Goffoy, Creighton ’20 4 | Nelson Barahona, Florida International ’19 5 | Jared Levinson, George Washington ’20 6 | Kacper Kubiszewski, Loyola Chicago ’20 7 | Griffin Baumberger, Loyola Marymount ’19 8 | Max Lacoma, Northeastern ’21 9 | Andrew Schneider, Ohio ’20 10 | Matthew Goodell, Oklahoma ’20 11 | Nathan Moore, Oklahoma State ’20 12 | Mason Logan, SMU ’20 13 | Cole Chisom, Virginia ’20 14 | Matt Fajt, Wabash ’20 15 | Zach Eisenreich, Westminster ’20

G | Five Years Served, $200,000 Raised

Utah brothers hit Salt Lake City airwaves last fall promoting their annual Blue Tie Gala, which ultimately raised more than $70,000 for the local Rape Recovery Center. The chapter celebrated five years of work with the center in 2018, forging a successful partnership that has resulted in nearly $200,000 raised to support the organization’s services, hundreds of service hours donated by Beta undergraduates and alumni, and numerous on-campus sexual assault education programs about the causes and prevention of sexual violence.

H | 23 New Beta Bulldogs

This spring, 23 new members made the choice to “Go Beta” at Butler University in Indianapolis! In its first full year since recolonization, Alpha Psi now stands at 68 men strong. To boot, the men produced a top-notch recruitment video showcasing the chapter’s diversity and commitment to a fraternity grounded in the Men of Principle initiative. Check it out at

I | Cal Poly Initiates 12

Cal Poly spent January basking in the California sun and celebrating the initiation of 12 new Betas, which grew the Epsilon Delta brotherhood to 73 men going in to winter recruitment.

J | 21 Beta Canes at the U

There’s hardly a better feeling for a chapter than when months of recruitment preparations pay off. The men of Eta Beta at Miami clearly felt that excitement after inducting 21 new members this spring! The new additions now make 103 total Beta Canes heading in to spring semester.

K | Big Men on Campus

Something big happened at Central Michigan last fall. With the November initiation of 24 new Beta brothers, Epsilon Gamma finished the fall term at 91 total members, officially making it the largest fraternity on campus!
















What a View Thanks to those undergraduate Betas who choose to study abroad, the Fraternity’s name, letters and flag can be found across the globe. Sacred Heart’s Paul Panettiere ’21, (left) and Ryan Schwab ’21, (right) recently took a break from their classes in Rome, Italy, to stare down the Swiss Alps in Switzerland. If there’s an influx of Swedish recruits next year, they’ll sure get some of the credit.









R.L.M. Photography

L | Degree in Hand

N | Air Force Two

P | Florida State Charters

To the Fraternity’s many December graduates: Congratulations on this milestone achievement and good luck in the next steps you take as one of nearly 135,000 living Beta alumni! (Pictured left to right: UC Irvine graduates David Leung ’18, Mitchell Chan ’18, and Jason Nguyen ’18)

Last winter, Ryan Fernandez, Florida International ’21, was hired to serve as the district secretary for Florida State Representative Vance Aloupis. Turns out there was a hidden perk to the job. During a planned visit to discuss the recent turmoil in Venezuela, Ryan had the honor of greeting Vice President Mike Pence, Phi Gamma Delta, as his plane, Air Force Two, touched down at Miami International Airport.

In the time since Beta Theta Pi was recolonized at Florida State in 2013, the men have been nothing short of impressive. Now home to 131 brothers and known across campus as leaders in the Greek community, delegates at the 179th General Convention in Norfolk, Virginia, saw fit to grant the colony its charter. In a ceremony held on January 26 and presided over by Fraternity Vice President David Schmidt, South Florida ’92, the men celebrated the 50th anniversary of the chapter’s founding and the reinstallation of the Delta Lambda charter.

M | A Victory as Sweet as Sugar Cort Jaquess, Texas ’21, went to the Sugar Bowl, and he didn’t just watch from the stands. The Beta Omicron brother was an actual part of the team’s 28-21 win over the Georgia Bulldogs. Originally from San Antonio, Jaquess is a second-year linebacker who has played in nine career games and is a two-time member of the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll.

O | Carving With the Club Brothers from the Zeta Phi Chapter at Missouri have a soft spot in their hearts for children during the holidays. The men held a Breakfast With Santa program for children affected by Down syndrome in 2017, and followed that up last fall with a day spent carving pumpkins with the local chapter of the Boys and Girls Club.





Q | The Great Outdoors

S | Winning High Praise

T | The Great Beta Bake Off

Thanksgiving holidays spent with friends – “Friendsgiving” as it has come to be known – can happen anywhere. For Texas at Arlington Betas, it came in the form of an impromptu brotherhood camping trip to a local state park.

The Fraternity’s colony at WPI has established a philanthropic and service partnership with the nonprofit organization African Community Education (ACE). With monetary donations and the giving of brothers’ time both on-campus and at the center, their work supporting African refugees and immigrant children has won high praise from ACE leadership:

Over the holidays, Sebastian Kondratowski, British Columbia ’22, was one of several Gamma Omicron Chapter new members who volunteered to bake for the homeless and hungry at the Getaway Resource Centre in Vancouver. Whether on the field or in the kitchen, Betas can do it all!

R | W&J Beta on the Run He’s a Beta, an infantryman in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves and an Eagle Scout. Now, Trent Somes, Washington & Jefferson ’21, wants to be a city councilman. In February, Somes held a campaign kickoff event for a seat serving his college town of Washington, Pennsylvania. The Beta Theta Pi will provide updates on his race as they become available. Good luck, brother!

“[Beta] has made such a difference for our students with their fundraising and volunteerism, and they keep upping the bar. What an incredible group of men.” “[Beta] has taken the time to get to know the kids and the challenges they face. They care. They work hard ... You should be very proud of this group of men.”






Getty Images

MY ADVICE TO YOUNG PEOPLE Following the passing of President George H.W. Bush, Delta Kappa Epsilon, in December 2018, Beta alumnus and former IBM CEO Sam Palmisano, Johns Hopkins ’73, a close family friend, shared a handwritten letter from President Bush with Fox News Anchor Bret Baier, Sigma Chi, stating: “41 sent this to me in December of 2009. It says all anyone needs to know about his values.”

GEORGE BUSH I cannot single out the one greatest challenge in my life. I have had a lot of challenges and my advice to young people might be as follows.

2. Don’t blame others for your setbacks.

4. Don’t talk all the time. Listen to your friends and mentors and learn from them. 5. Don’t brag about yourself. Let others point out your virtues, your strong points. 6. Give someone else a hand. When a friend is hurting show that friend you care.


3. When things go well, always give credit to others.


1. Don’t get down when your life takes a bad turn. Out of adversity comes challenge and often success.

7. Nobody likes an overbearing big shot. 8. As you succeed, be kind to people. Thank those who help you along the way. 9. Don’t be afraid to shed a tear when your heart is broken. 10. Say your prayers!!


chapterineternal loving memory



Allen L. Spafford Jr. ’43, June 17, 2018

George A. Lipchak ’72, Sept. 2, 2017

Charles D. Aldrich ’62, Aug. 26, 2018 Robert C. Arms ’65, Dec. 11, 2018 Neal P. Cramer ’49, Jan. 12 C William F. Halverhout ’51, Dec. 16, 2018 C



George D. Donaldson ’50, Jan. 23 C Richard T. Snider ’54, Aug. 26, 2017 John H. Tedford MD ’51, Oct. 15, 2018

James J. Dylewski ’72, Jan. 18, 2017 Harold W. Stanfield ’48, May 23, 2018

Eastern Washington

Vernell O. Holter ’51, Nov. 19, 2018 C


Forever Remembered Notices of Beta brothers and Beta Sweethearts who passed were reported to the Administrative Office between October 26, 2018 and February 4, 2019. CHAPTER ETERNAL


Report a Beta’s Death Please contact Receptionist Phyllis Bowie at 800.800. BETA or phyllis.bowie@ to report a death.

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 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.

Flags indicate Betas who served in the United States or Canadian armed forces.

Amherst William Swindells Jr. ’52, Nov. 7, 2018

Arizona Russell D. Beer ’91, May 28, 2018

Auburn Aaron C. Lippincott ’87, Dec. 1, 2018

Bethany William A. Aldrich ’53, Nov. 28, 2018 C George R. Hawkins ’48, Jan. 18, 2018

Bowdoin Edward L. Spalding Jr. ’63, Nov. 11, 2018

Brown Douglas L. Turner ’54, Nov. 4, 2018 C

Carnegie Mellon James M. Anderson ’51, Jan. 6

Case Robert M. Aiken ’52, Nov. 12, 2018 Thomas E. Rebernak ’67, Dec. 26, 2018

Centre Charles K. Mahaffey II ’72, Jan. 14, 2018

Cincinnati John C. Beyersdorfer Jr. ’73, Oct. 21, 2018 Daniel W. Miller ’61, Jan. 7 James S. Zoller ’48, Nov. 26, 2018

Colorado Earl J. Bettencourt Jr. ’46, Oct. 6, 2017 Rodger O. Lindwall ’56, Dec. 2, 2018 C Jack D. Moyers ’42, Jan. 1

Benjamin V. Smith ’14, Dec. 8, 2018

Florida Walter G. Campbell Jr. ’70, Oct. 23, 2018 George A. Vega Jr. ’52, Jan. 19 C

Georgia Tech

Knox Lawrence Paul L. Date ’48, Feb. 15, 2017 Marvin O. Grady ’49, Feb. 14, 2018

Maine William H. Perry III ’53, Feb. 20, 2018

Robert L. Bailey ’46, Jan. 1 Howell E. Graham ’52, Sept. 25, 2018

Hanover George A. Schwemlein ’69, Nov. 9, 2018

Idaho William G. Millensifer ’64, Nov. 26, 2018 C Thomas A. Rudy ’62, Dec. 28, 2018 Samuel W. Vance ’48, May 11, 2017

Illinois Dale M. Curtin ’53, Jan. 4 C Robert M. Meadows ’65, Jan. 3, 2017


Miami Gary G. Dillon ’55, Oct. 30, 2018 H. W. Gibson ’48, Dec. 27, 2018 William W. Humbert ’45, Nov. 22, 2018 C R. C. Leslie ’47, Dec. 25, 2018 C Robert J. Lucas ’40, April 30, 2018 Warren K. Parker ’56, Dec. 3, 2018 Phelps M. Wood ’58, Jan. 8

Michigan Robert K. Ferguson MD ’49, Nov. 17, 2017 David Redick ’57, Nov. 21, 2018 C

Mississippi Paul O. Miller III ’65, Jan. 21

Wade C. Harrison II ’67, June 28, 2017 Charles C. Kroh MD ’72, Nov. 7, 2018 W. A. Silver Jr. ’48, Oct. 6, 2017


Patrick T. Kirby ’66, Dec. 29, 2018 C Donald J. Mc Bride ’56, Nov. 6, 2018

Clay S. Baker ’93, April 17, 2017 William B. McIntyre ’69, Oct. 29, 2018 C George A. Roupe ’57, Oct. 29, 2018 John L. Simmons ’46, Nov. 19, 2018 C James D. Wollard ’61, Dec. 28, 2018

Iowa State


Gene D. Carlson ’67, June 9, 2018 Clarence A. Turner ’70, Jan. 31

Gene V. Christensen ’57, Jan. 26, 2018


Melinda C. (Mindy) Brant Chi Omega Nov. 29, 2018 Loving Beta Sweetheart of Foundation Director Jonathan Brant, Miami ’75, Mindy passed on November 29 following a four-year battle with ovarian cancer. A 30-year Beta Convention veteran, Mindy is survived by four children, two daughters-in-law and two grandchildren.

Sarah D. (Sally) Stephenson Delta Gamma Jan. 1, 2019 Beta Sweetheart of former General Fraternity President and longtime Chapter Counselor Hugh Stephenson, Missouri ’43, Sally passed after six years of deteriorating health. She is survived by daughter Ann Cameron and son Ted, SMU ’88, son-in-law, Alex, and two grandchildren, Sarah and Scott Cameron.

North Carolina


Washington in St. Louis

William H. Lindsay ’70, Dec. 13, 2018 A. R. Willis Jr. ’51, Nov. 28, 2018 C

Kevin M. Falsey ’10, Nov. 16, 2018 Eugene S. Ince Jr. ’49, Dec. 13, 2017 Wayne A. Lundy ’47, May 17, 2017 Jerry R. Snyder ’55, Dec. 9, 2018

Leo I. Miller Sr. ’42, Oct. 27, 2018 Robert G. Winkler ’55, Dec. 12, 2018 C

North Dakota David S. Carr ’77, Jan. 19

Northwestern Duncan S. MacGregor ’53, Jan. 22, 2018 C Harry W. MacKenzie ’57, Oct. 13, 2018 C George H. Schaefer ’50, June 2, 2017 Dan G. Sterner ’55, Nov. 1, 2018

Ohio State

H. S. Smith Jr. ’52, Oct. 30, 2018 C

SMU Arthur O. Evans III ’64, Jan. 3

South Dakota Larry H. Lovrien ’73, Oct. 31, 2018


Eric M. Carr ’06, Dec. 31, 2018 Earl H. Crow Jr. ’46, Nov. 2, 2018 C Christopher M. Lucero ’01, Oct. 15, 2018 Craig A. Olson MD ’67, Nov. 27, 2018

Wesleyan Kenneth A. Bruffee ’56, Jan. 20

West Virginia Theodore R. Hupp Jr. ’60, Jan. 19 C

Western Reserve

Syracuse Albert J. DiCostanzo ’52, Dec. 21, 2018 C

John L. Jirus ’48, Sept. 9, 2018 William H. Watkins USAF ’48, March 9, 2018 Thomas A. Wight ’61, Feb. 21, 2018 C



John F. McCoy Jr. ’74, Aug. 11, 2017

Robert L. VanDyke ’64, Jan. 2 C



Felix G. Cook Jr. ’50, April 29, 2017 David L. Jordan ’63, Jan. 10 C Frederick D. Kurrus MD ’58, Dec. 27, 2018

William G. Hartwell III ’61, Dec. 15, 2018 Loyd W. Mahan ’51, Dec. 16, 2018 C

Toronto Frederick T. Smith ’60, Dec. 8, 2018

Robert E. Lee ’63, Nov. 25, 2017 Keith S. McCoy ’87, Oct. 23, 2018

Oklahoma State



Frank V. Dyer II ’50, Aug. 26, 2017 James W. Griffith ’50, Sept. 11, 2017 James T. Hoke Jr. ’50, Nov. 10, 2018 C James L. Lockett ’51, Dec. 13, 2018 C Philip M. Morton ’53, Sept. 19, 2018 Dan E. Northcutt ’59, Sept. 1, 2018 Clifton M. Speegle ’67, Nov. 20, 2018 C James C. Williams ’86, Nov. 24, 2018

Billy O. Lewis ’48, June 14, 2017 Michel O. Provosty ’47, Jan. 19 C

Loel G. Hahn ’54, Sept. 8, 2018 William M. Korach ’66, Nov. 7, 2018 C James B. Langdon ’52, Dec. 24, 2017 Donald R. Ockerlander ’55, Dec. 24, 2018 C



Owen C. Halvorson ’57, Jan. 14 C

Arthur E. Gerpheide ’52, Nov. 1, 2018 C Shane A. Sanchez ’95, Dec. 31, 2018 Herbert M. Sockman ’53, Oct. 11, 2018

Ohio Wesleyan Noel K. Chamberlain ’61, Jan. 1, 2018 David S. Crockett ’57, Dec. 14, 2018 Gabriel L. Petre ’47, Aug. 16, 2017 G. R. Pipe ’59, Dec. 11, 2018 Clayton C. Purdy Jr. ’24, Sept. 13, 2018 C

Oklahoma Peter Adamson III ’64, Jan. 17 Robert M. Herlihy ’70, Dec. 28, 2018 William K. Shoemaker ’66, Jan. 2 Buster F. Wilburn ’61, Jan. 21 C

Oregon State Charles G. Mombell ’50, Dec. 16, 2018 C

Penn State

UC Berkeley William W. Bliss ’48, July 11, 2017 Donald R. Dickey ’47, Aug. 4, 2017 John R. Ebey ’55, Dec. 30, 2018 Gordon W. Greenlee ’59, Nov. 19, 2018 C


Douglas E. Frey ’54, Dec. 10, 2018 C

Edward R. Brewer ’55, Jan. 6 C Dwight T. Osborn ’70, Dec. 25, 2018 C



William R. Chapin ’48, Nov. 13, 2018 Charles W. Hitschler Jr. ’47, May 19, 2017

Blake W. Nordstrom ’82, Jan. 2, 2018 Charles R. Olson ’50, Oct. 28, 2018 Forrest M. Peringer ’57, Dec. 9, 2018 C Arvid S. Peterson ’45, Oct. 27, 2018 C Irwin C. Shotwell Jr. ’53, Jan. 8 C

Puget Sound Thomas H. Sobottka ’70, Oct. 1, 2018 C

Wichita State

Wittenberg William W. Cottle ’50, March 21, 2017 Roger B. Rogos ’62, March 7, 2017 Albert C. Snyder ’50, July 19, 2017

Yale Thomas R. Gross ’58, Jan. 11 William C. Jones ’50, Oct. 12, 2018

Blake W. Nordstrom Washington ’82 Jan. 2, 2019 Co-president of Nordstrom department stores with his two biological Beta brothers, Peter ’84, and Erik ’85, Blake was one of 11 Nordstrom family members who have joined Beta since 1920. He joins Chapter Eternal at age 58 following a short battle with lymphoma. Loyd W. Mahan C Whitman ’51 Dec. 16, 2018 A Korean War Army veteran, Mahan was a devoted district chief for chapters at Idaho, Washington State and Whitman. Elected vice president of the Board of Trustees and a longtime Convention veteran, his eulogy was delivered by former Vice President Bill Jordan, Idaho ’69.


Vincent G. Weigers ’45, Jan. 24, 2017

Benjamin V. Smith Eastern Washington ’14 Dec. 8, 2018 Former chapter president, vice president and house manager, Smith passed away unexpectedly to the shock of his family and beloved Epsilon Omega Chapter brothers. He is survived by his parents and biological Beta brother, Mitchell, Eastern Washington ’16.


Robert J. Brocker Jr. ’75, Jan. 6 John F. Lewis DDS ’51, Aug. 28, 2018 Robert J. Wallace ’50, Oct. 16, 2018 H. T. Yost ’69, Dec. 9, 2018 C


Washington State

Richard P. Tinkham Jr. DePauw ’54 C Oct. 13, 2018 A United States Marine and original team owner and founding father of both the Indiana Pacers and American Basketball Association, Tinkham was the inspiration behind Market Square Arena – considered the facility that ignited Indianapolis’ vibrant sports culture.


august 1-4 beta theta pi

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Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reunite with your brothers and stand exactly where “eight earnest young men” founded our Great and Good Fraternity.


For the Fraternity’s 180th anniversary, Betas everywhere are coming home to where it all began: Oxford, Ohio.

a great and good fraternity

oxford, ohio

180th general convention

bridge builder society donor spotlight | Bruce McKeag, Nebraska ’68

“Life is full of progressive events: high school, college, work, marriage, children, grandchildren and the passing of friends are but a few. I’ve seen them all, but hold dear the events triggered by my pledging of Beta Theta Pi almost 55 years ago.”

THE BETA THETA PI | SPRING 2019 | BETA.ORG/BBS Bruce McKeag, Nebraska ’68, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business, management and marketing. Today he is retired after a 41-year career as an underwriter for three Lincoln life insurance companies: Ameritas Life, State Farm Life and Assurity Life. He has served the Beta Foundation as an honorary ambassador and is a loyal Alpha Tau, where he is a chapter advisor and a former campaign co-chairman. Bruce and his wife, Lynn, live in Lincoln, Nebraska, where they remain active in their church and have volunteered with several community organizations.

Life is full of progressive events: high school, college, work, marriage, children, grandchildren and the passing of friends are but a few. I’ve seen them all, but hold dear the events triggered by my pledging of Beta Theta Pi almost 55 years ago. As I went through recruitment that summer, I had little information on just what a fraternity was, and how it would significantly impact my life in the years ahead. I seriously considered the chapters of four international fraternities, picking Beta because the men espoused the same values my parents had instilled in me. The upperclassmen and pledge brothers that I met were honest and valued integrity, and I was lucky enough to live in the chapter house all four years and develop close relationships with them all.

Becoming a UNL Beta continues to be one of my favorite life events, and I keep in contact with most of my pledge brothers and many other alumni today. I’ve even stayed involved with Alpha Tau as a chapter advisor, working directly with an outstanding group of young men who will be facing many of the same life events in the years ahead. Shortly after college, I was asked to contribute to the Beta Foundation. With appreciation, I looked back at what Beta had done for me by furthering my leadership skills, work ethic and meshing with multiple personalities – it was an easy decision to give. Yet at the time I donated without knowing the impact my gift would have.

Today I have a much better understanding of the Foundation’s goals and programs, and I know that our support is vitally important if we hope to continue imparting the values of our Fraternity on college campuses like my alma mater. Giving back, whether volunteering and/or financially, is more important today than ever. I don’t recall my first gift amount back in 1972, but it was probably small. Today, while my Beta Sweetheart, Lynn, and I support many great causes, Beta, our Lincoln church and the foundation of her employer of 41 years share the top spot in our hearts and are all recognized in our estate plan. Please join me in recognizing the Foundation in your own estate plans as the “final event” will arrive – sooner or later.

developing men of principle for a principled life

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