The Beta Theta Pi - Winter 2024

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BETA the beta theta pi magazine

WINTER 2024 Rethinking the Beta House | Mike Brown | It Starts With Us


In today’s ever-connected world, why do men feel so alone?

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Rethinking the Beta House

A 112-year-old chapter house, evolving student preferences and alumni time constraints lead Illinois Betas to usher in a new approach to “the house.”

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contents inside this issue Vol. 151, No. 2

DEPARTMENTS 04 | Archives

historical throwback

05 | Foreword editor’s note

06 | The Inbox

unfiltered feedback

08 | Newsworthy fraternity updates


Mike Brown

BETA the beta theta pi magazine


In today’s ever-connected world, why do men feel so alone?

WINTER 2024 Rethinking the Beta House | Mike Brown | It Starts With Us


Mr. Lonely

Fifteen percent of men report having no close friends – a number that’s grown fivefold since 1990. Why do men feel so alone in today’s everconnected world, and can Beta help?

On the Cover The figure, all alone on a city street, portrays the “epidemic of loneliness” men of all ages are increasingly facing.

The Beta Theta Pi The first college fraternity magazine, founded December 15, 1872, by Charles Duy Walker, VMI 1869, and published continuously since.

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It Starts With Us

Gamma Beta Chapter at Utah celebrates 10 years (and half a million dollars raised) supporting the Rape Recovery Center.

Publication Schedule Issue Deadline Mail Date Winter Jan. 15 Feb. 15 Spring April 15 May 15 Fall Oct. 15 Nov. 15 Who Receives the Beta Magazine? All Beta undergraduates and parents, current and former volunteers, Foundation donors, and anyone who requests to receive it in print. Update your subscription and contact info at, 800.800.BETA or

26 | Cut and Polished refining men of principle

Remembering Two Beta Greats When a mighty oak falls, the loss reverberates far and wide. Such has been the passing of Jerry M. Blesch, Centre ’60, and Ferd Del Pizzo, Washington in St. Louis ’58.

How Does One Get Published? Content submissions and photos can be sent to or: Beta Theta Pi Administrative Office 5134 Bonham Road Oxford, OH 45056 While space constraints make it difficult to include all submissions, a fair evaluation process is exercised to publish a variety of unique content. Want Instant Access to a Past Issue? All issues since 1872 can be accessed in Beta’s digital archive:

34 | Volunteer Vacancies making a difference

36 | Campus Life student highlights

48 | Chapter Eternal in loving memory

50 | Beta Eponyms


In a private event in downtown Cincinnati, Bengals Owner Mike Brown, Dartmouth ’57, received Beta’s 90th Oxford Cup. Joined by Beta brother and Jacksonville Jaguars Owner Shad Khan, Illinois ’70, it was an event for the ages.

lifelong brotherhood


10 | Alumni News

worldwide tributes

The Beta Theta Pi, (USPS 052-000), official magazine of Beta Theta Pi, is owned by the Fraternity, edited and published under the direction and control of its Board of Trustees, and published winter, spring and fall for a $30 one-time, pre-paid subscription. Standard non-profit class postage paid at Oxford, Ohio, and additional points of entry. Canada Post International Publications Mail (Canadian Distribution) Sales Agreement No. 0397474. Copyright Beta Theta Pi Fraternity. Produced in the USA.

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archives historical throwback At 175th, Wabash Adds Two Volumes to Chapter's Published Histories

Twenty-five-year anniversaries for most chapters are viewed as a pretty big deal. They're a perfect excuse to bring brothers back together to "see the milestones backward run." They also provide great opportunities to recognize longtime volunteers, reconnect alumni with campus changes, inspire collegians, and, for those with houses, fundraise for important needs.

175th Tau Chapter history author Ross Dillard, Wabash '07, and 150th coauthor G.B. Landrigan '85.

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Few have done better, however, on the historical documentation front than Tau Chapter at Wabash College, one of only three all-male schools left in the U.S. The alumni have published a chapter history every 25 years since their centennial celebration in 1946. As part of their COVID-delayed 175th held October 28, 2023, and thanks to Jon Myers, Wabash '81, G.B. Landrigan '85, and Ross Dillard '07, they updated the 150th anniversary edition and republished it with a new 25-year chronicle in a two volume set. Reverence for telling the Beta story is alive and well in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

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ast November, an email from General Secretary John Stebbins, Emory '92, landed in my inbox with the subject line: "The Friendless Male." Besides the fact my close relationship with John dates back 25 years given our work together on the Men of Principle initiative, when the big guy reaches out, it tends to grab your attention. Before I had an opportunity to respond, however, Scott Fussell, Middle Tennessee State '95, a new Trustee who is passionate about mental health, echoed John's forward that teed up the podcast by wit and wisdom author Tom Greene. With an endorsement from two brothers I love and respect so much, there had to be something to the content being shared. So, I dove in. And boy, were they right.


Martin Cobb, Eastern Kentucky ’96

Chief Communication Officer

Creative Director

Sarah Shepherd

Director of Brand Marketing Mike Roupas, Iowa ’10

Director of Digital Media

Sutton Jacobs, Wittenberg ’18

Assistant Director of Digital Media

Alex Fuentes, Texas at Arlington ’20

Publication Printer

Royle Printing Sun Prairie, Wisconsin

As you give the feature article, "Mr. Lonely," a fair shake, I hope the Legend of Wooglin comes flooding back for all Betas, especially given the loneliness he, too, once suffered by isolating himself from a society that did not reciprocate his love and affection. Fortunately, he was born anew upon overhearing the zeal for life being exchanged between young Betas eager to share their brotherhood: "I resolved to withdraw from the companionship of men and for the rest of my years to live alone. [But,] I am inspired by the words of warm and lasting friendship I have just heard. [The] happiness I seek is dependent upon friendships between men."


Justin Warren, SMU ’10

So, we bumped plans we had for the feature article in this winter issue and decided to explore the topic to see how it may relate to Beta Theta Pi. Could loneliness be the undercurrent that led to the Fraternity's suicide-focused magazine in 2020?

"Last November, an email from General Secretary John Stebbins, Emory '92, landed in my inbox with the subject line: 'The Friendless Male.' When the big guy reaches out, it tends to grab your attention."


foreword editor’s note

Anchored with convincing data, Greene contends males are increasingly isolated and, compared to prior generations, very much suffering from a loneliness epidemic.

For those who may wonder if Beta Theta Pi is worth it, set aside those jaded and cynical thoughts. Fraternities are an important part of society – helping fulfill men's biological and emotional needs that sustain them throughout life. Read on and I think you will agree. Sincerely and yours in ___kai___,

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the inbox unfiltered feedback realandlasting acannon fallmagazine THE INBOX


“It’s taken me a few


“I’ll always remember how kind Ferd and Linda were hosting us to film his Beta Greats documentary and the fantastic sound bites he’d provide, intentionally or not. (He always had a twinkle in his eye, so I’m inclined to believe the former.) ___kai___” — Mike Rodmaker, Cincinnati ’13 Read more about the legacy of Convention veteran Ferd Del Pizzo, Washington in St. Louis ’58, on pages 46-47.

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“As Betas shared at

“Brother Rales needs to hook a brother up with some all access passes!” — Trey Earnhardt, Eastern Kentucky ’99

“Great work with the

Dwight Morrow, Amherst 1895, Eponyms feature (page 25) in the fall magazine! I was born in Englewood, New Jersey, and two of my sisters attended Dwight Morrow High School. One more fun fact to share: Brother Morrow’s daughter was Anne Morrow, as in Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Charles’s wife and the mother of the Lindbergh baby. __kai__” — Martin Lewison, Columbia ’88

Shervin’s service, ‘We had some sayings in college that when someone was good at something, they were “a gun.” When someone was really good, they were a “huge gun.” And when someone was the best, they were “a cannon.” Your husband and dad was “a cannon.”’ In memory of Shervin Sadighian, Purdue ’91, congratulations to Owen Mahin ’24, (left) and Mark Rapp ’26, (right) 2022 and 2023 recipients of The Cannon Scholarship we established at the Beta Foundation. The boys and I are impressed with your commitment to Beta at Purdue. We look forward to continuing this scholarship every year.” — Cindy Seliga Sadighian, Beta Sweetheart

months to send this message, but I just wanted to say ‘thank you’ to Dipper for telling our men (young and old) what they needed to hear this past Convention. The first time I heard him speak was at a Beta event in the late ‘90s (when I was a young man). His words had an important impact on how I viewed myself and the Fraternity. As a Toronto Beta, I was drawn to his affection for Canada, and I smiled once again when he mentioned the importance of Canada this past August. More important than the impact he’s had on my life is the post-pandemic message he gave our young men. In a world where so much is ephemeral, they needed to hear ‘this is real and lasting.’ His message did that: It broke through the profound sadness and really set things straight. Thank you. -kai-” — John Smid, Toronto ’99

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truebrotherhood “As my time in college

comes to an end, I want to talk about an important topic: brotherhood and family.


Beta inspired me as a college student because of our core values of mutual assistance, cultivation of the intellect, friendship and service, and I feel so proud to bring those values to my work each day at Best Buddies. Your passion for Beta was evident throughout the tour. ‘The first mark of a Beta will be his Beta Spirit.’ -kai-” — David Quilleon, South Florida ’95

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One of my only visitors was Ben Murphey, who drove over an hour to be with me. When I was able to move my arms and use my phone, I received numerous messages from all of my Beta brothers. Although there were strict rules for visitors, my brothers made me feel as if I was never alone. Eventually I was moved to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, but having visitors was still impossible; only my parents could be there. I remember being able to join one of our chapter meetings on Zoom. Our president, Jack Furla ’22,

When I returned to Atlanta and was working toward walking again, I had the feeling that my brothers were picking me up and were behind me. It made me push myself to get better because I knew, metaphorically, if I fell they would pick me up again. During those tough times in the hospital, they were there for me so I would not go through this alone.


“When I came rolling in on my wheelchair, everyone came to me. The amount of love they showed made me realize this is true brotherhood. I knew Beta was my home.”


for taking the time to show Josh and me around the Administrative Office. We had a blast, and it was super fun to connect with you and the Beta team. I’m so grateful for the work you are doing for our Fraternity.

Since COVID was still a major issue, visitors could only see me for one hour in the morning and afternoon. No visitors were allowed overnight; I was alone most of my stay in Memphis.

A few weeks later I was released from the hospital, and Jack asked when I would be able to come to Oxford. When I came rolling in on my wheelchair, everyone came to me. The amount of love they showed made me realize this is true brotherhood. I knew Beta was my home.


“Phil, thank you again

On July 5, 2021, I was at a pool with one of my brothers. Unfortunately, I dove in and broke my C7 vertebrae. Although I remained conscious, my brother, Ben Murphey, Mississippi ’24, helped me out of the pool as I started losing mobility from the waist down. He took care of me until the ambulance arrived and I was airlifted to Memphis.

turned the camera around so I could see everyone. The guys were cheering, shouting and causing so much noise that I swear if I had turned down the volume I could’ve still heard them all the way from Oxford. For a moment I felt as if they were in Atlanta with me, that I was not alone at all.

— Cole Wright, Mississippi ’24

It is difficult for me to tell this story because I have a hard time finding the right words to say. Describing the feeling of it all can only be said in two words: true brotherhood.” — Cole Wright, Mississippi ’24

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Fall 2023 Initiation, University of Texas at Austin

newsworthy fraternity updates Fall Recruitment Returns Fraternity to 10,000+ Undergrads

For the first time since onset of the pandemic in spring 2020, the Fraternity has surpassed the 10,000-student mark thanks to robust summer and fall recruiting. With 130 of 141 chapters taking fall classes, 2,504 young men accepted bids, a 4.6% increase year over year (2,395). Fall 2023 becomes Beta’s third largest recruitment class in the Fraternity’s 184-year history, closely behind fall 2015 (2,546) and fall 2017 (2,508).

Initial Expansion Plans Take Shape for 2024-25

Evaluating campuses, mobilizing alumni and planning for founding father recruitment, education and advising takes considerable effort to be successful. Strong chapters aren’t produced overnight. While additional campuses may be added, the Fraternity is pleased to announce it will return to Arizona, Auburn and West Virginia next year, and establish a new chapter at Temple University.

Trustees Vet Strategic Plan

In their fall meeting, Trustees focused on a critical analysis of the six priorities of their strategic plan and the return on investment for the time and treasure being allocated: 1) Member Education and Safety; 2) A Diverse and Inclusive Brotherhood; 3) Fraternity Growth; 4) Volunteer Recruitment and Training; 5) Alumni Engagement; 6) Safe and Competitive Homes.

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Closure at UNC Wilmington

In September, General Secretary John Stebbins, Emory ’92, announced Beta’s new chapter at UNC Wilmington was being disbanded. Established fall 2022, closure rationale included dishonesty and a breakdown in trust during investigations related to new member practices, recruitment and social events.

Dr. Williams Named Director

In late October, CEO Jeff Rundle, Kansas State ’03, announced the appointment of Dr. Viancca Williams, Alpha Chi Omega, as Beta’s new director of leadership and education. A longtime Friend of Beta, her resume includes leadership roles at the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors, University of Central Florida and University of South Florida.

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betaevents April 2024 6

South Florida Installation Tampa, Fla. 26-27 Spring Board of Trustees Meeting Virtual

May 2024 3

Embry-Riddle Installation South Daytona, Fla.

June 2024

greekheadlines Update: Lambda Chi Rejoins North American Interfraternity Conference

Having resigned its membership in 2015 citing “internal squabbling” as a distraction from the NIC’s purpose, on November 28 Lambda Chi Alpha announced its decision to rejoin the 58-member conference. “We are excited to rejoin the NIC and support its mission of providing opportunities for young men to form positive, enriching fraternal bonds,” remarked CEO Troy Medley. Founded in 1909, the NIC serves as the trade association focused on advocacy, standards and education for more than 6,000 chapters on 600-plus campuses across North America. Some 250,000 students and 4.2 million alumni belong to NIC member fraternities.

Fraternity Men Elected to Top Political Posts

LSU’s Mike Johnson, Kappa Sigma, was elected 56th Speaker of the House on October 25. In early November, Millsaps’s Tate Reeves, Kappa Alpha, was re-elected governor of Mississippi, and Vanderbilt’s Andy Beshear, Sigma Chi, was re-elected governor of Kentucky.

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1-4 Wooden Institute Session 1 8-11 Wooden Institute Session 2 22-25 Wooden Institute Session 3 Oxford, Ohio

July 2024 25-28 185th General Convention Oxford, Ohio Learn more at Upcoming alumni event? Email specifics to!

College Enrollment and Grad Rates Continue to Decline, Particularly Among Men


On October 18, a statewide appeals court panel affirmed a Centre County judge’s ruling that found Penn State has the right to purchase the Beta house following closure of the Alpha Upsilon Chapter in the days following the February 4, 2017, hazing death of sophomore new member Tim Piazza ’19. The state Superior Court upheld Centre County Judge Brian Marshall’s 2021 ruling, finding each of the judge’s conclusions were “supported by competent evidence and are clearly free of legal error.” Per university spokeswoman Lisa Powers, Penn State desires to use the chapter house for something other than student housing. The Alpha Upsilon house corporation is evaluating options for further appeal.


Update: Appellate Court Rules University Can Purchase Beta House

Men are going to college with less frequency than in the past, and not persisting to graduation at the same rate as women — 64.1% compared to 71.4%, respectively.

According to The Wall Street Journal and nonprofit research group National Student Clearinghouse, women make up 59.5% of college students, an all-time high, and men 40.5%. U.S. colleges and universities have 1.5 million fewer students than five years ago, and men account for 71% of the decline.

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Burning Man; Black Rock Desert, Nevada

alumni news lifelong brotherhood Dragon Ship Art Car Becomes Force for Good

Anyone who has visited the Beta house at Ohio University is immediately struck by one unique feature that distinguishes it from all others: a stately Beta dragon perched high atop the roof. Uplit at night for dramatic effect, it symbolizes the pride OU Betas have long been known for.

Tim Clark, Ohio ’95, is joined at one of his events by NBA great Bill Walton.

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That’s why it’s not hard to understand where Tim Clark, Ohio ’95, may have gotten his inspiration 18 years ago when he created a dragon ship art car as a feature of his charitable event promotion company. Abraxas, the 70-foot-long structure that stands 20 feet tall, debuted at Burning Man in 2006 and has traveled all over the continent shedding awareness for disaster relief, the homeless and celebratory events. “It has a huge stage and sound system, holding up to 120 people,” Tim said. “It’s a parade unit, a giant microphone for causes we believe in.” Armed with a massive diesel generator to power its large kitchen, current efforts are focused on disaster relief detailed at “Beta was a big part of me learning how to serve my community and help people out,” he shared. “Our Dragon Abraxas is shining in the community to be a force for good just like Wooglin.”

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alumninews A | Steven Rales Captures 20% of NBA’s Pacers


Mitch Rales, Miami ’78, was the cover feature of last fall’s Beta magazine given his new co-ownership of the NFL’s Washington Commanders, but big brother Steve Rales, DePauw ’73, recently increased his own stake in the world of professional sports. Steve spent $525 million last November to expand his interest to 20% of the Indiana Pacers.

He learned piano at age 5, drums at 9 and guitar at 11, and took the stage for the first time at 12. Last August, however, Colby Acuff, Idaho ’19, made the pilgrimage to country music mecca: the Grand Ole Opry.


Drawing inspiration from Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Tyler Childers, Acuff recently signed with Sony Records. “Western White Pines,” his fourth album, was released in June.


“The Opry to me is like playing on a different planet,” he shared. “It’s so far from what I thought I could do or where I was going. It’s pretty unreal.”


B | Acuff Steps Into the Light of the Grand Ole Opry

C | Devoted Canadian Brother Honored by the Fraternity


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Supporting others has always come natural to Ken Stephen, Toronto ’97. Former district chief and threedecade advisor to chapters in Canada, he was honored with the General Fraternity’s highest honor for local volunteer service, the Distinguished Service Award, at a special luncheon in Woodstock on September 30 by Beta’s Alumni Association of Canada. A longtime Convention veteran, in 2013 Ken also authored “Sons of the Northern Stars,” a 344-page tribute to Beta’s first 100 years in Canada.

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Raj Presents at Energy Department Having served in multiple executive officer roles, Tejas Raj, Whitman/Columbia ’24, earned the distinct honor last November of presenting research to the U.S. Department of Energy. Conducting a deep analysis of federal energy data, Tejas and his team identified access disparities resulting from socioeconomic status and disabilities. “We’re not just analyzing data,” he said. “We’re guiding investments in grid resilience and restoration. [It] has been a testament to the power of collaboration and dedication to societal betterment.”

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alumninews G | Tulsa Family Biz of the Year

Started in 1980 by David Littlefield, Oklahoma State ’75, and now run by his son Sam, San Diego ’14, and fueled by 20-plus creatives, Littlefield Agency was named Tulsa’s 2023 Family Business of the Year and one of Ad Age’s “Best Places to Work 2024.”

H | A&M Names New Chief


I | Biotech Firm Goes Public


J | The War for Raw Materials

D | White House Taps Amerine As a student, he was elected Delta Xi Chapter’s house manager at 515 W. Main Street. Thirty years later, it’s no surprise alumni turned again to Bryan Amerine, Eastern Kentucky ’77, to design the chapter room on the eighth floor of the new Greek Tower.

Kentucky Betas quickly tapped Bryan for the interior design work in their $4.8 million chapter house in 2018, which may be why, despite 8,000 applications, he (third from right; First Lady Dr. Biden fifth from right) was selected among just 150 to decorate the White House for Christmas. His nomination was a birthday gift from his wife and children, including son Michael, Eastern Kentucky ’04.

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E | Beta Authors Children’s Book When Dan Granger, Wisconsin-Oshkosh ’00, was in college, he recognized a pattern with authors listed in the Beta magazine: none wrote children’s books. Personally vowing to change that, this past fall Dan’s first book, “Why is Sam so SAD?” finally got published. Helping kids understand seasonal affective disorder and depression, it’s available for purchase at

Ernie Scheyder, Maine ’06, senior correspondent for Reuters covering the clean energy transition, recently released a new book, “The War Below: Lithium, Copper and the Global Battle to Power Our Lives.”



Focused on immune-based therapies to attack cancer tumors, Intensity Therapeutics, a biotech company founded 12 years ago by Lew Bender, MIT ’81, was added to the NASDAQ last June.


Former chapter president, Administrative Office staff director and Purdue Chief Communications Officer Ethan Braden, Willamette ’02, was recently named vice president and chief marketing officer at Texas A&M.

K | Golden Hoosier Award

Tom Farris, Ball State ’67, was recently presented with the Golden Hoosier Award for a lifetime of service to his community.

F | Nebraska’s Mind Coach

Nebraska Betas were treated to some Sunday sessions last fall thanks to Pete Allman, Nebraska ’79, (left) and his book, “Thoughts: The Power of Your Mind.” Rolling up centuries of wisdom in one book, Pete added his own credentialed insights. Fifty copies were donated to the chapter by alumni.






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alumninews L | Senator Returns to the House Chapter president turned U.S. Senator Dr. Roger Marshall, Kansas State ’84, (right) returned last fall to tour Beta’s $4 million renovation at 500 Sunset Avenue. Addressing the chapter and alumni who returned for the reunion, he was joined by his new member educator, Paul Attwater ’83 (left).

M | President Brant to DFW


Routinely the first alumni association to invite a new Board of Trustees officer to speak at its fall luncheon, the Dallas/ Ft. Worth Beta Alumni Club wasted no time recruiting new Fraternity President Jonathan Brant, Miami ’75, after Convention. Joined by 40 alumni at the Park City Club on October 25, Brant helped recognize Association President Pax Glenn, North Carolina ’58, for his years of volunteer service.



N | Beta Bond Discovered


Founding Father Steven Ciaccio, Florida Gulf Coast ’19, (right) was sent to the USS Mobile combat ship in Singapore a few months ago to work under Navy Captain David Gardner, San Diego ’06 (left). “One day I overheard Capt. Gardner talking to officers about college life and fraternities,” he said. “He mentioned he was a brother of Beta Theta Pi. My ears certainly perked up, especially since we were both founding fathers.”


O | Supreme Quote


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As part of the chapter’s 175th anniversary last fall, Centre alumni commissioned a 60” by 45” rendering of a quote by Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan, Centre 1850, most known for his lone stance against racial inequality: “When the battle of life, my brother Betas, is about to close, may we have the consciousness that we have led our fellowmen straight toward that which is right, pure and just.”

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Coach Wooden Memorialized in New Postage Stamp Last November the U.S. Postal Service announced a first-class stamp was being commissioned to honor Beta’s own John Wooden, Purdue ’32. Considered one of the greatest coaches of all time, the “Wizard of Westwood” joins at least four other Betas who have had stamps dedicated in their memory: Baseball Hall of Famer Eddie Collins, Columbia 1907; Presidential Candidate Wendell L. Willkie, Indiana 1916; “Perry Mason” Actor William W. Talman Jr., Dartmouth ’36; and Canadian Prime Minister John Turner, British Columbia ’49. The stamp features a field of “UCLA blue” in the background, and the numbers on the players’ jerseys represent the Bruins’ record-breaking four perfect seasons (30-0) and 10 national championships. The Wooden stamp will be issued as a Forever stamp, with 18 million scheduled for production.

Photo: Getty Images

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Oxford Cup Roll No. 90

“In college, you will likely make three of the most important decisions of your life: your life's work, your life partner and your lifelong friendships. And friendship is what fraternities are all about. Those friendships make life more interesting, happier and better. That's what fraternities do. They are the seedbeds of friendship.” — Mike Brown, Dartmouth ’57


ith the last name Brown, it’s no surprise a second-generation NFL owner is associated with football royalty – and one of the league’s most treasured franchises. So, on October 24, 2023, in a private event on the third floor of the Queen City Club in downtown Cincinnati, 42 Betas and guests joined to celebrate presentation of the 90th Oxford Cup to Cincinnati Bengals Owner Mike Brown, Dartmouth ’57. It was an event for the ages.


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“Cincinnati is where Nancy and I raised our family. It's where my father wanted to build the Bengals into a successful NFL team. We had to make every effort to stay in Cincinnati.” — Mike Brown, Dartmouth '57

home is where the heart is

A favorite son of Massillon, Ohio, Mike Brown was initiated into the Alpha Omega Chapter of Beta Theta Pi on December 12, 1954. A graduate of Dartmouth College, where he also played quarterback (below), Mike went on to graduate from Harvard Law in 1960. A buckeye through and through, he eventually returned home to join the family business. Son of legendary football coach Paul Brown, Delta Kappa Epsilon, who coached Ohio State to its first national championship in 1942, and co-founded and coached the Cleveland Browns to three NFL championships throughout the 1950s, Mike followed his beloved father south for the 1968 co-founding of the Cincinnati Bengals. Compared to most media markets, the Cincinnati area is of course smaller. But, what Bengals fans cannot control through total population, they certainly make up for in spirit – as evidenced by sellout crowds along the riverfront for virtually every home game. Playing against the San Francisco 49ers in the 1981 and 1988 Super Bowls, it’s the passion of that avid fan base that has sustained Mike and the Bengals through the years.

loyalty, leadership and giving back

When it became clear in the mid-90s a new stadium was needed to compete with other hallmark teams across the country, the city of Baltimore pursued the Bengals aggressively to lure the team away – even promising a new stadium of their dreams. But Mike resisted the lucrative offer in favor of his native state. As he shared with 50-year friend, Game Day Stadium Announcer and fellow Beta Brother Tom Kinder, Miami ’76, who was also a featured speaker at the event, “Cincinnati is where Nancy and I raised our family. It's where my father wanted to build the Bengals into a successful NFL team. We had to make every effort to stay in Cincinnati.” What followed is one of the best stadiums in the NFL, and a downtown urban renewal of epic proportions. Like his pioneering father who is recognized as one of the first NFL owners to help break the color barrier by adding Black players to his team, Mike was one of the first team owners to hire a Black coach in the modern era. Assum-

Visit to watch the Fraternity's 6-minute tribute honoring Bengals Owner Mike Brown, Dartmouth '57.

Paul Brown Stadium, originally named in honor of Mike's father (seated, above, with Mike on the left), opened in 2000.


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ing the reins in 2003, Marvin Lewis led the team for 15 years and was named NFL Coach of the Year in 2009. Overseeing seven playoff appearances and four division titles, he is the winningest coach in Bengals history.

The oxford Cup Roll View the full gallery of Beta's 90 Oxford Cup honorees to date at

That commitment to community and leading by example are Mike’s trademarks, despite his low-key nature.

#4: John Turner British Columbia ’49 17th Canadian Prime Minister

Above: Brown celebrates winning the 2021 AFC Championship Trophy. Left: Brown is joined by Shad Khan, Illinois '70, and chapter presidents from Ohio and Kentucky.

Notoriously private, including most every aspect about his charitable giving, he once remarked, “When it comes to charity, you shouldn’t brag about it.” Widely known for his support of the Cincinnati Zoo and the preservation of big cats and Bengal tigers, and The Cincinnati Boys and Girls Club, Mike is also rumored to be the largest individual donor to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Museum that opened in 2004 just yards from the Bengals’ home. Today, thanks to Mike’s hiring of Head Coach Zac Taylor and NCAA Champion, Heisman Trophy winner, and number one NFL draft pick Joe Burrow, the Bengals have returned to football glory. AFC champions in 2021 and runner-up in 2022, they came up just three points short in Super Bowl 56 against the Los Angeles Rams – the second-most-watched game in league history.

a fraternity within a fraternity

Mike joins the Oxford Cup Roll alongside fellow Beta and Jacksonville Jaguars Owner Shad Khan, Illinois ’70, and welcomes Beta Brother Mitch Rales, Miami ’78, as co-owner of the Washington Commanders. Shad, Beta’s 2017 Oxford Cup honoree, flew to Cincinnati to attend the luncheon and support his Beta brother and fellow NFL team owner. Humbly and respectfully declining to speak from the podium upon the General Fraternity’s invitation to do so while planning the program, Shad remarked, “This is Mike’s day. All the attention

should be on him. I’m just one of the brothers, like everyone else.” With best friend and luncheon sponsor Jack Schiff, Ohio State ’65, by his side, Mike certainly didn’t disappoint. Following presentation of the Oxford Cup by General Fraternity President Jonathan Brant, Miami ’75, Mike received the honor with grace – and incredibly effective humor. At the conclusion of his remarks, however, he turned and offered pointed words to the 10 undergraduate chapter presidents who traveled in to represent their brothers from surrounding chapters in Ohio and Kentucky. “In college, you will likely make three of the most important decisions of your life: your life’s work, your life partner and your lifelong friendships. And friendship is what fraternities are all about,” he said. “Those friendships make life more interesting, happier and better. That’s what fraternities do. They are the seedbeds of friendship.” Joined by six family members, including his wife, daughter, son and Kappa Kappa Gamma granddaughter, October 24 was a special occasion for both the Brown family and the family of Beta Theta Pi. For it’s been a storybook football journey for Brother Mike Brown, but it’s been his character, humility and loyalty that have firmly established him within the upper echelon of NFL owners. 

#7: Jimmy Yen Yale 1918 Worldwide Educator and Humanitarian #9: John Wooden Purdue ’32 UCLA Basketball Coaching Legend #13: Richard Lugar Denison ’54 U.S. Senator, Indiana #16: Sam Walton Missouri ’40 Founder/Chairman, Walmart #23: Mike Schmidt Ohio ’71 MLB Hall of Fame, Philadelphia Phillies #44: Bruce Nordstrom Washington ’55 Chairman and CEO, Nordstrom, Inc. #68: Bill Bowerman Oregon ’33 Co-founder, Nike, Inc. #78: Gov. Ray Mabus Mississippi ’69 U.S. Navy Secretary; Amb. to Saudi Arabia #79: Dan Carney Wichita State ’53 Co-founder, Pizza Hut #82: Shad Khan Illinois ’70 NFL Owner, Jacksonville Jaguars


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“ There come

points in life where, if you don’ t make changes,,you can lose opportunities.. In our instance,, this was a way to preserve beta at illinois.”. –mike henneman, Illinois’’75

n 1839, the thought of a fraternity house likely never crossed the minds of “eight earnest young men” who met by candlelight “in the Hall of the Union Literary Society.” More likely top of mind for John Reily Knox, Miami 1839, and his associates was a lyric eventually written for “There’s a Scene,” the opening chapter meeting song that tugs at the hearts of most Betas: “Friendship gave our order birth.” That focus on brotherhood reigned supreme from the start. But, where friendship gave life to the Fraternity, it has been the chapter hall that has given Beta form and structure and helped sustain it for nearly 200 years. In 2023, fueled by a love for the brotherhood but challenged to accept the shortcomings of a 112-year-old house, changing student preferences and alumni time constraints, University of Illinois Betas stepped out of their comfort zone and ushered in a new approach to their chapter hall. Welcome to rethinking the Beta house. THE TRUE TRADITION Before behemoth columns graced front porches, commercial kitchens and dining rooms accommodated dozens, and spacious living quarters gave little reason to venture anywhere except the classroom, fraternities talked shop in the chapter hall.

Like Beta, most fraternities started out meeting under the cover of darkness in dedicated space for literary societies or in residential quarters on campus and above the town’s merchants.

In a nod to their beloved 202 E. Daniel Street, University of Illinois Betas drew inspiration from the house they called home for 112 years to foster a new facility full of brotherhood.

In Beta’s case, clear evidence of a move toward acquiring property of its own first appeared in “Beta Lodge,” an 1878 article and sketch in The Beta Theta Pi magazine by C.J. Seaman, Denison 1871, who called for chapters to pursue permanent meeting space. Such sentiments must have enjoyed broad appeal at the time, as part Rethinking the Beta House | Winter 2024 | 21

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of the case for Beta’s pioneering step of publishing an Open Constitution in 1879 was to “legally incorporate . . . before the law [so] we can own and hold property.”


HOME SWEET HOME On February 28, 1902, following rejection of four local charter petitions over the prior 30 years, the Fraternity installed the Sigma Rho Chapter at the University of Illinois.

The chapter quickly outgrew two rental houses during those formative years so, by 1903, the Sigma Rho Building Association was constituted to identify a permanent Beta home. Building and occupying a new house that fall at 305 East Green Street, within two years the association bought three lots on the old Champaign fairgrounds. Paying them off by November 1908, the association quickly set its sights on merging the lots and building the house more than 2,000 Betas have called home ever since.



When the 32-man chapter moved into the Neo-Classical Revival Style house at 202 E. Daniel Street in 1912, it was the largest on campus, valued at $40,000. C

THE SHIFT Like many Beta chapters that discontinued their housemother and were plagued by the absence of robust alumni oversight, member decorum eroded and debilitating risk management issues in the late 1990s and early 2000s took their toll. Despite the best efforts of a few incredibly loyal local alumni who sacrificed much to keep the train on the track, in 2009 the chapter closed.

Eventually, but with equity protections for the house corporation, the General Fraternity bought the chapter house to ensure Beta’s position on campus wasn’t jeopardized. Unfortunately, the culture around the 2013-reestablished chapter, in addition to a chapter house that had far exceeded its lifespan, fatigued volunteers and a group of young men who, in retrospect, joined for the wrong reason,



A | Past House Corporation President Mike Murphy, Illinois ’79, flanks the saved 112-year-old stone that anchors the front of the new house. B | To match the two salvaged stone tablets that were originally dedicated adjacent to the front door of the prior house, four additions were commissioned that underscore Beta values: the chorus of “Marching Along;” C | the Founders; D | the first Beta badge and chapter motto of Sigma Rho; and E | the chorus of “Loving Cup.” F | The stone surround of the original front door continues to welcome Betas home, preceded by a 20-foot walkway of bricks from the house at 202 E. Daniel.

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meant the restart was short-lived. The new chapter closed in 2017. Faced with few alternatives, the notion to sell the house to developers who had offered to help years earlier reentered the conversation. Because “mutual aid and assistance” means something at Illinois. The developers were Beta brothers.

known as “Legacy 202” that appeals to students and parents that have grown tired of dilapidated rentals and neglected fraternity houses.

“ We stand on the

shoulders of remark– able leaders who got the chapter where it is today. Continually recruiting engaged alumni is paramount to a successful chapter.”..

A four floor, 6,500 square-foot lodge-style chapter house anchors the corner, and the model to cash flow the long-term lease is ingenious. Seventy percent of the house corporation’s annual dividend covers the AN IDEA lease obligation while the remaining 30% –Brian Moran,,Illinois’’96 Royal Properties, Inc., a national student- is for the house corporation to invest in based and multi-family real estate A priority on the horizon for the house special alumni events, chapter support development company, was formed shortly and scholarships. corporation is to also reinstitute a Beta after graduation by Mike Henneman, housemother, who already has her prime Illinois ’75, and Rick Schmidt ’75. Putting Equally important, Betas who live in the parking space reserved by the back door. $36 million complex receive a 5% discount, their own emotions aside, they proposed and property management has instructions Yes, life in the Beta house may look a lita high-end student housing development to pair Beta-occupied units close together tle different at Illinois going forward, but that included a reimagined Beta house. for brotherhood building. Perfect timing Sigma Rho is likely to be just fine. After “The house corporation was real estate all, “Friendship gave our order birth.”  for the 2021-reestablished chapter. rich but cash poor, and alumni were tired of investing in a house that required so much maintenance,” Mike shared with The Beta Theta Pi. “We had to find a way to unlock that capital to work for Beta and foster the type of chapter we all want.” So, Beta Legacy, LLC was formed, which purchased the property for $5.75 million. After paying off $2.4 million in debt, the house corporation had nearly $3.4 million to turn around and invest in the project and become a shareholder. The concept would put the house corporation back on strong financial footing while relieving it of owning residential space and the never-ending maintenance that comes with it. Alumni attention would return to the experiences that foster hanging out, meals, chapter meetings, studying, ritual ceremonies, social gatherings and alumni events. “There come points in life where, if you don’t make changes, you can lose opportunities,” Mike continued. “In our instance, this was a way to preserve Beta at Illinois.” LEGACY 202 The result? A 144,000 square-foot, 113unit luxury student housing development

On September 23, 2023, 150 Sigma Rho Chapter Betas dedicated their new home. Top, from left: “Mr. Sigma Rho” Gant Redmon ’59, Rick Schmidt ’ 75, Mike Henneman ’75, Chapter President Eli Crouch ’24, and Les Mathers ’72. Bottom: Alumni celebrate with live music on the fourth floor rooftop patio. Rethinking the Beta House | Winter 2024 | 23

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A LOOK INSIDE THE BETA FLOOR ONE Upon entering the formal living room, one is struck by the warm environment and attention to detail. Coffered ceilings, extensive millwork and refined furnishings underscore the caliber of the Beta experience being reestablished at Illinois.

FUN FACT Prioritizing emotional connections for all alumni, the house includes the original stone fireplace surround from the old house and a hearth made from its bricks.

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FLOOR TWO The second floor hosts the chapter’s meal plan and dining room, including a catering-size buffet and TVs for game-day events. All three interior floors include men’s and women’s restrooms.

ROOFTOP The fourth floor is an extensive, private, outdoor living area for hanging out and special events. FLOOR THREE The third floor provides Sigma Rho with its own chapter room, perfect for weekly chapter meetings and ritual ceremonies.

RESIDENCES The model apartment on the first floor depicts furnishings provided at Legacy 202. The luxury housing development offers 113 units, a mixture of one-, two- and four-bedroom apartments sleeping 272 students. Betas who live in the complex receive a 5% discount and property management prioritizes placing their units next to one another.

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cut and polished refining men of principle "How to Win Friends and Influence People" ... in 2024

Be a good listener Carnegie recounts a party where he spent an entire evening listening to a guest talk about her travels and, at the end of the night, she complimented him on his skills as a conversationalist. All he did was listen! Listen intently and with interest.


Not all of the principles in Dale Carnegie’s 1937 classic, "How to Win Friends and Influence People," have stood the test of time. But many are as relevant to the modern Beta as ever.


Talk about others’ interests Teddy Roosevelt once said, "The royal road to a person’s heart is to talk about the things he or she treasures most." So, don’t fret over bringing an "interesting" topic to a conversation. People will warm to you naturally if you just let them talk about themselves. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain Humans can be logical, but just as often we’re prideful and self-centered. Criticism breeds contempt and rarely leads to lasting, healthy change; instead, approach others’ bad habits or peculiarities with sympathy, tolerance and kindness. Gain some perspective One of the fundamental keys to successful human relations is understanding that other people may be totally wrong, but they don’t think they are. Don’t condemn them; try to understand them.

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If you’re wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically As Carnegie put it: "Any fool can try to defend his or her mistakes – and most fools do – but it raises one above the herd and gives one a feeling of nobility and exultation to admit one’s mistakes." Next time you find yourself in the wrong, be the first to point it out. Doing so shows that you are responsible, honest, diligent and trustworthy.

Remember people’s names This is a critical component of good leadership. Forgetting or misspelling names conveys distance and disinterest. When meeting someone new, repeat their name several times, associate it with something in your mind and don’t be afraid to ask how it’s spelled.

Give honest, sincere appreciation You can find something nice to say about anyone. A verbal "thank you," one-off text or hand-written card expressing your gratitude goes further than you might think. Just remember, there’s a fine line between flattery (which people can see through) and appreciation (which people feel deeply): Flattery comes from the tongue; appreciation comes from the heart.

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Congratulations, Class of 2024 In Beta, brothers are brothers for life, and the fraternity experience continues far beyond your college graduation. Here are three ways you can continue to stay engaged as a Beta Theta Pi alumnus:

• •

UPDATE your email and mailing addresses on MyBeta to stay connected with the General Fraternity and your local chapter. While you’re there, confirm your interest in receiving the Beta magazine. VOLUNTEER as a chapter advisor or join a house corporation to help build the bridge for future Betas. JOIN a local alumni association to rekindle old or build new Beta relationships.


Graduation Stole | $29.95 Honor Cord | $14.00

Photo: Jack Muscatello, Quinnipiac '25

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In today’s ever-connected world, why do men feel so alone? By Justin Warren, SMU ’10 | Designed by Sarah Shepherd

Last year, United States Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy issued an advisory. That’s actually a big deal, though you’d be forgiven for not understanding why. You see, these statements are reserved for what the nation’s top doctor perceives to be the most significant public health challenges requiring the American people’s immediate action. In 2023, only two were produced. Only one in 2022. They cover topics like youth mental health, maternal health and opioids. The topic at hand this time was an epidemic of loneliness and isolation. Even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately half of U.S. adults reported experiencing measurable levels of loneliness and disconnection that fundamentally affect their mental, physical and social health. But for those who dug deeper into the data of the advisory and related studies, one population is directly and urgently in the crosshairs of this crisis: men.

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Loneliness and Isolation Loneliness and isolation are not the same. The former is subjective, the difference between the level of connectedness one wants and what they have. The latter is objective, a measure of one’s connections (or lack thereof) to the people and communities around them. Moreover, loneliness and isolation are not mutually exclusive. One can be in constant contact with others and still feel lonely, or, alternatively, be perfectly content alone. Everyone experiences loneliness from time to time. It’s akin to an alarm signaling that something is amiss. Quickly addressed, the deficiency is resolved much like a hunger pang being satiated or thirst being quenched. Left untended to, however, it can be damaging to your mental health and physical well-being. “Loneliness is far more than just a bad feeling – it harms both individual and societal health,” Dr. Murthy says. “It is associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular disease, dementia, stroke, depression, anxiety and premature death. The mortality impact of being socially disconnected is similar to that caused by smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day, and even greater than that associated with obesity and physical inactivity.”

The mortality impact of being socially disconnected is similar to that caused by smoking up to


cigarettes a day.

The rate of loneliness among young adults has increased every year between 1976 and 2019, and the amount of time Americans spend alone every day rose nearly 50 minutes between 2003 and 2020 (amounting to almost one additional full day of solitude each month). Today, we find ourselves in an “epidemic of loneliness” on par with the public health crises of opioids and obesity – one fueled by generations of societal changes, including an overall accelerated pace of life and the encroachment of technology into nearly all of our social interactions.

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Friendship Comparison Percentage of men who report having the following number of close friends, not counting relatives ...

NUMBER OF FRIENDS:  No Close Friends  One Friend  Two Friends  Three Friends  Four Friends  Five Friends  6 to 9 Friends  10 or more Friends

90 19


3 8

21 20 15



9 6




14 These efficiencies and conveniences, Dr. Murthy says, have “edged-out” the timeconsuming messiness of real relationships.


Where Have All Our Friends Gone?


Close friendships are in decline, according to the results of a 2021 survey by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Friendship groups are becoming smaller and the number of men and women who report having no close friends has risen sharply in the last three decades. In 1990, 55% of male respondents said they had at least six close friends (41% of women reported the same). In 2021, that number had dropped to only 27% (24% for women). Perhaps even more concerning, 15% of men now report having no close friends at all, five times higher than in 1990.

16 13

“When it comes to our social circles, size matters,” AEI’s Daniel Cox says. “Americans with one close friend are not any less lonely or isolated than those without any close friends. And those with a couple of close confidants are only modestly better off. For those with three or fewer close friends, loneliness and isolation are fairly common experiences: More than half say they have felt that way at least once in the past seven days.” While men and women have both seen a decline in overall

Figure does not add up to 100 percent due to rounding. Survey of U.S. adults (N=2,019). Source: American Perspectives Survey, May 2021; Gallup, 1990

number of close friendships, a gender gap exists elsewhere. In addition to smaller social circles, men also report having fewer emotional bonds with their friends. Almost half of women say they’ve recently had a private conversation with a friend during which they shared their personal feelings, while only 30% of men reported the same. The data couldn’t identify any generational differences in this regard either, meaning young and old men alike more scarcely experience this kind of emotional support within their social circles.

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Changing Norms If this “friendship recession” is, in part, causing the uptick in feelings of loneliness and isolation, what’s causing friendships to decline in the first place? If you lay blame on the COVID-19 pandemic, you’re right. But that alone doesn’t tell the whole story. Changing societal norms and structures may be the “big bad” most responsible for this epidemic. Today, people are marrying later (if at all), delaying or eliminating a natural opportunity for companionship (or, conversely, straining one’s friend group in the event of a separation or divorce). We’re more geographically mobile than ever, moving to big cities and stretching our networks across great distances. Once a cornerstone of one’s connections within their community, fewer people now identify as religious. Parents (men especially) are spending more time parenting, eating into the vanishingly little time they had before for friends. And we’re more wrapped up in our work, logging more hours and traveling more, often leaving us with little energy to maintain current or develop new relationships.

speed past the usher directly into the dark, quiet theater; access to around-the-clock deliveries of food or groceries direct to our doorstep contact-free; even therapy sessions are now often held via text.

The Man Factor The difference in emotional bonds between male and female friendships was outlined earlier; however, that’s not the only reason loneliness is an especially urgent issue for men. According to the surgeon general’s advisory, while many factors contribute to suicide, more than a century of research demonstrates significant gender-specific links between a man’s lack of social connection and death by suicide. These links may result from a low sense of belonging and perceiving oneself as a burden to others.

This makes understanding why men, specifically, might resist seeking emotional support from friends a topic of urgent importance. A common culprit is often said to be the traditional view of manhood, that emotional intimacy is weak and far less desirable than toughness and stoicism. “While there may be some truth to this, the story is more complicated,” AEI’s Daniel Cox says. “Younger men, who are far more likely to reject traditional notions of masculinity, struggle the most with developing enduring social bonds.” Cox says an alternative explanation is simply that women are more likely to put in the work required for close, meaningful relationships. In adolescence, he says, Americans prioritize their friendships more than

Even many of the daily micro-interactions we once had with our neighbors – the moments that might provide us a “quick fix” when we’re feeling lonely – are now fleeting. The prevalence of online shopping minimizes the time we spend exchanging pleasantries with cashiers or holding doors for strangers; the mobile movie ticket allows us to

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Reeves believes one way to help men, specifically, is to understand that they are better communicators when they are, as he says, “shoulder to shoulder” instead of “face to face.” That’s to say, maybe resolving men’s feelings of loneliness and isolation doesn’t always require deep one-on-one conversations, but can also be addressed through shared activities like a drive in the car, playing video games or over a hand of poker.

A Way Out

at any other point in their life. We spend more than two hours a day, on average, with our friends at age 18, but only about 30 minutes a day to maintain those friendships by the time we reach middle age. This is simply not enough. Time should be intentionally spent fostering friendships at work, in our neighborhoods and even online. Few investments provide such an immediate and enduring reward while entailing so little risk.

“There’s obviously a dystopian version of how these trends could continue, which is a world of essentially atomized individuals without friends, isolated, sad, lonely, perhaps in ill health,” says Richard Reeves, author of the book “Of Boys and Men.” “I think that’s why we have to pay real attention to these trends and recognize that friendship is incredibly important for human flourishing, and that people want to make friends. We are wired to want to be social creatures – but it might be harder for us to do so in certain circumstances. Circumstances where we’re under too much pressure, where we’re too segregated, where the opportunities to cultivate friendship are not there.”

“I think that, as a general rule, male friendship likely requires more institutional support than female friendship,” Reeves says. “Male friendships might well be formed and sustained through school, or work, or sport or church. It’s not that women’s friendships aren’t as well, of course. But my sense – I won’t say it more strongly – is that male friendship needs more social scaffolding than female friendship.”

A Beta Postscript In the opening of his report, Surgeon General Murthy wrote: “Given the profound consequences of loneliness and isolation, we have an opportunity, and an obligation, to make the same investments in addressing social connection that we have made in addressing tobacco use, obesity and the addiction crisis.” Beta Theta Pi is doing just that. When experts say the best thing one can do for a lonely person is not only give them support but increase their sense of worth by asking for their support in return, is that not just mutual aid and assistance in action? When they

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suggest male friendships need greater “social scaffolding,” is that not what Beta does in chapter housing and with every chapter meeting, brotherhood event, social outing, alumni gathering and General Convention? When studies show death by suicide often stems from a low sense of belonging, does the Fraternity not directly seek to address this through its strategic priority of creating a home away from home? Beta Theta Pi is often the connection that keeps lifelong friendships, well, lifelong. It’s the keystone of annual golf outings, class reunions and “guys weekends” away from home. It’s a bridge that naturally creates friendships between the young and the Silver Grays. It’s a society where brothers can find fellowship amongst like-minded men whenever and wherever life takes you. Members seeking greater involvement need only seize the opportunity: join one of the Fraternity’s more than 75 chapter- and locationbased alumni associations, complete an interest form to volunteer for a local chapter or house corporation ( volunteer), attend a Beta event or access the member directory ( to reconnect with a brother from your class. An alarm has been sounded that men are facing an epidemic of loneliness and isolation. Many Betas are among them, but that need not be the case. After all, what brothers ask for in friendship we are charged to answer with fidelity. 

7-Day ‘Social Fitness’ Challenge One week focused on the strength of your relationships Adapted From Jancee Dunn, The New York Times

Day 1: Take Stock of Your Relationships Challenge: Take the quiz at How strong are your relationships? Find out with these 10 questions aimed at identifying areas of your life in which you would like to be more connected. Day 2: Find Eight Minutes Challenge: Initiate an 8-minute phone call. Think of someone you miss or wish you connected with more often. Send them a quick text asking if they can chat on the phone for eight minutes. Experts say that’s just enough time for a meaningful conversation that doesn’t feel intrusive to one another’s schedules. Day 3: Small Talk Has Big Benefits Challenge: Talk to someone you don’t know well. Or to a stranger. Or to both. This network of “weak ties” is actually important. Brief, warm exchanges directly affect happiness and your mood and energy throughout the day. Day 4: Compose a “Living Eulogy” Challenge: Thank someone special. What would you tell someone special if you never got to see them again? Write down this “living eulogy.” Then, whether by email, text or note, send it to them. Day 5: The Importance of Work Friends Challenge: Get closer to a colleague. We spend lots of time in the workplace, so colleagues can immediately improve our daily experience. Reach out to someone at work, school or wherever you spend time and forge a new connection. Day 6: Don’t Cancel Those Plans Challenge: Put a social plan on the calendar. If you’ve ever told someone you like that you should get coffee “sometime,” today’s the day to make it official. Do not cancel or postpone. Day 7: Keep Happiness Going All Year Long 1. Set specific relationship goals for the year 2. Commit to consistency 3. Ritual is key View the full “Happiness Challenge” series from The New York Times at

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Boise State

Member Education Advisor


Member Education Advisor

Central Michigan

Member Education Advisor



George Mason

Chapter Counselor


Financial Advisor Risk Management Advisor



Recruitment Advisor Risk Management Advisor


Financial Advisor Member Education Advisor Recruitment Advisor Risk Management Advisor


Financial Advisor Member Education Advisor Recruitment Advisor Risk Management Advisor


Member Education Advisor


Financial Advisor Member Education Advisor Risk Management Advisor

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Florida State


Colorado Mines

volunteer making vacancies a difference

Risk Management Advisor

Financial Advisor

Recruitment Advisor

Visit to view the full list of vacancies and discover more ways to get involved.

Florida International

Member Education Advisor Recruitment Advisor Risk Management Advisor


Yet, the need to enlist talented individuals to coach Beta collegians is constant. As of February 1, some 98 chapters have at least one core advisor opening, totaling 198 volunteer vacancies.

Recruitment Advisor Risk Management Advisor


Financial Advisor Recruitment Advisor

Beta has long been known for its deep bench of volunteers who tirelessly serve the Fraternity they love. It's a hallmark characteristic of one of North America's greatest college fraternities.

Florida Gulf Coast


Financial Advisor

Financial Advisor Recruitment Advisor

George Washington Financial Advisor Recruitment Advisor


Financial Advisor Member Education Advisor Recruitment Advisor Risk Management Advisor


Member Education Advisor

Illinois State

Recruitment Advisor


Chapter Counselor Financial Advisor Member Education Advisor Risk Management Advisor


Financial Advisor Member Education Advisor

James Madison

Risk Management Advisor

Kennesaw State

Financial Advisor Recruitment Advisor


Financial Advisor

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Oklahoma State

Loyola Chicago


Financial Advisor

Member Education Advisor Recruitment Advisor Risk Management Advisor



Recruitment Advisor Risk Management Advisor Member Education Advisor Financial Advisor Risk Management Advisor

Loyola Marymount

Financial Advisor Recruitment Advisor Risk Management Advisor Member Education Advisor

Miami (Fla.)

Member Education Advisor Recruitment Advisor Risk Management Advisor

Michigan State

Risk Management Advisor

Member Education Advisor Recruitment Advisor Risk Management Advisor


Risk Management Advisor

Saint Louis

Financial Advisor Member Education Advisor Risk Management Advisor

San Diego State

Member Education Advisor

Chapter Counselor Financial Advisor


San Jose State


Chapter Counselor

North Carolina

Financial Advisor Member Education Advisor Recruitment Advisor

North Dakota

Financial Advisor Member Education Advisor Risk Management Advisor


Financial Advisor Risk Management Advisor


Financial Advisor


Member Education Advisor Recruitment Advisor

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Member Education Advisor Recruitment Advisor Risk Management Advisor

South Carolina

Recruitment Advisor Risk Management Advisor

Southern California

Financial Advisor Member Education Advisor Recruitment Advisor Risk Management Advisor

St. Lawrence

Chapter Counselor Recruitment Advisor


Member Education Advisor

Member Education Advisor Recruitment Advisor Risk Management Advisor


Chapter Counselor Member Education Advisor Recruitment Advisor


Financial Advisor


Financial Advisor

Washington & Jefferson Member Education Advisor

Washington in St. Louis

Financial Advisor Member Education Advisor Risk Management Advisor


Member Education Advisor


Risk Management Advisor

Wichita State

Member Education Advisor Risk Management Advisor

“I love my brothers and I want to see them succeed. Advisory teams are crucial touchstones in the lives of college students as they help young men develop themselves as individuals within our wider world." — Chapter Counselor Matt Hermenau, Delaware '17 (right)


Risk Management Advisor




Member Education Advisor Risk Management Advisor

William & Mary

Financial Advisor Recruitment Advisor Risk Management Advisor


Member Education Advisor Recruitment Advisor Risk Management Advisor

Texas Tech

Chapter Counselor Risk Management Advisor

2/6/24 1:37 PM

campus life student highlights Wisconsin's Hertz Shines on the International Stage

The story of Jack Hertz, Wisconsin '25 (left), the youngest member of a Danish-rooted family, intertwines lacrosse, heritage and a Beta brother's sheer exhilaration for representing his native country on the global stage. It's a tale of athleticism and kinship. Spending the first three years of his life in Denmark, Hertz maintains a deep bond with his homeland through annual visits, where lacrosse acts as a bridge between his two worlds. Competing fiercely in the sport throughout middle and high school back in the United States, he found an opportunity to immerse himself in the high-octane world of the Copenhagen lacrosse team during visits to Denmark. Alongside his older brother, Oscar, Hertz has charged onto the world championship stage. Despite the pandemic dealing a heart-wrenching blow to the siblings' plans to vye for the European Cup, the men recently received the chance to represent Denmark at the 2023 World Lacrosse Championship. For Jack, lacrosse is now more than a game, it's a heart-pounding conduit to his Danish roots. That's why, despite finishing the tournament 29/30, all were ignited in an adrenaline-fueled joy. According to Brother Hertz, that's due to the COVID-19 delay. "It felt like a collective exhilaration for a group of first-timers to play," he said. It's no doubt Jack and his peers find themselves woven into the dynamic fabric of Denmark's lacrosse narrative, forging lasting memories and connections that transcend borders.

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campuslife IFC Presidents

Members across Beta’s Broad Domain showcase the Fraternity as a beacon of leadership. Such is the case in 2024 as seven brothers assume the role of IFC president – the highest interfraternal post on their respective campuses. Special recognition goes to Brother Emerson Gray, Furman ’25, for garnering support from his peers and being elected to a second term. Learn more at









A | A Real Knockout

James Spiegel, Miami (Fla.) '24, has turned his journey to unlock mental energy and conquer fears into a passion for MMA fighting. During a second underground fight in Miami, Florida, he boldly announced his 195-pound debut on February 17, 2023, with a knockout. Get ready for more action – Spiegel isn't stopping yet!

B | Triathlon Qualifying Team

A stunning team endeavor, Ohio State's Andrew Misura '25, Tim Greenwell '25 (featured), Joe Sweeterman '25, and Eric Fedde '25, made their appearance at the 2023 Boilerman Triathlon in Monticello, Indiana, conquering the Olympic distance. Each brother secured a spot for the U.S. Collegiate Triathlon Nationals race scheduled for April.

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1. Tanner Pierce, Chapman ’25 2. Rush Lacoste, Elon ’25 3. Emerson Gray, Furman ’25 4. Gavin Freda, Indiana ’25 5. Donovan Marcum, Louisville ’26 6. Caleb King, Texas Tech ’25 7. Zachary Yekta, Villanova ’25

C | Glory and Victory

Baylor's hockey team commanded the ice in a September weekend series against the University of Houston, clinching impressive victories of 20-1 and 27-0. Austin Thurman '25, played a pivotal role, contributing an assist in the first game and three goals and two assists in the second.


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campuslife Collegiate Commissioners Recently announced by General Secretary John Stebbins, Emory ’92, a new cohort of Collegiate Commissioners has been selected and stands ready to provide the student perspective to members of the Board of Trustees, Foundation Board of Directors and General Fraternity House Corporation. The class includes three brothers who are continuing their current appointments: C.J. Fovozzo, John Carroll '23; Alex Houlton, George Mason '23; and Nazar Abbas, Miami '24. Learn more about this year's Collegiate Commissioners at


Board of Trustees 1. Alex Houlton, George Mason '23 2. Christopher Cardenas, Texas '24 3. Nick Zingales, Sacred Heart '24



Foundation Board of Directors 4. C.J. Fovozzo, John Carroll '23 5. Phillip Miavelstück, George Mason '25


D | A+ Efforts for B+ Heroes

Four-year-old Lucas (second from right), a resilient B+ Hero who battled leukemia early in life, and his family have become an integral part of Northeastern University's community-mission aspiring to assist Lucas until he’s 18 years old. Through a trip to the Boston Children's Museum and separate fundraising efforts, Betas raised an astounding $13,000 to help Lucas battle leukemia and provide a positive influence in the lives of families facing pediatric cancer.

E | The Singing Fraternity

Sacred Heart put Beta's Singing Fraternity reputation to the test as members, including Julian Umami '23, sang their hearts out during the chapter's Karaoke Night. Proceeds from the festivities benefited the Thomas Miloscia Foundation, which aims to ease the burden borne by cancer for patients and their families.

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F | Order of Omega Inductees In a testament to their outstanding leadership, four accomplished brothers from the Delta Theta Chapter at the University of Alabama have been inducted into the prestigious Order of Omega (left to right): Bryant Segars '24, Jake Arnold '24, Jack Driscoll '24, and Emory Camp '24.

General Fraternity House Corporation 6. Nazar Abbas, Miami '24 7. Jake Polzin, Minnesota '25








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Round of Appaws In a remarkable display of collaboration and cuteness, the Carleton Betas and sisters of Kappa Beta Gamma joined forces last fall to raise funds for the Ottawa Paws for Cause Foundation. Through this heartwarming initiative, which allowed individuals like Cameron McIntyre '24, to give treats to the adorable dogs at the event, canine tummies and human hearts were equally filled.

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Hammer-On, Brother


40 THE BETA THETA PI p36-41_Campus Life_wtr24-MCOBB-5520.indd 40

Toward the end of his academic career last year, Michael Murphy, Lawrence '23, embarked on a personal and academic musical journey. With the help of a business professor, he created a business model where his passion became profitable. Thus, Michael Murphy Music LLC was born. Soon after, Michael began creating his album, "Indigo Jones," which was professionally created and released as part of his degree requirements. He took his debut album to the stage at the Gibson Community Music Hall in downtown Appleton, Wisconsin, and became the first student to turn a profit from a required senior recital. This success propelled him to relocate to Nashville, where he now thrives as a writer for local artists, managing solo projects and overseeing Living Room Records, his label that is poised to explore collaborations and nurture new talent.

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campuslife G | OU Betas Recognized

Intellectual growth matters, but so does personal growth. That's why Oklahoma brothers like Diego Zaidle '26, (left) and Denzel Akuffo '26, (right) along with many more Gamma Phi Chapter brothers, received campus awards last spring voted on by their peers and Greek Life staff.

H | STEM Across the Globe G



Eta Xi Chapter proudly hosted a banquet night for the Men of Principle Scholarship last fall to announce the recipient, Chris O'Connor. Leadup tasks to the event saw brothers actively engaging with the campus community, tabling and distributing fliers to promote the scholarship.


I | High Point Awards Men of Principle Scholarship


An advocate for education and charity, Luiz Gabriel Vieira Costa, South Florida '23, is empowering the youth with FIRST Global (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a nonprofit public charity. In Singapore, Luiz served as last year's referee, training and directing competitors for FIRST Global, promoting the importance of STEM curriculum to 900-plus students in over 191 countries.

J | Remember the Fallen


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Last fall the Toronto Chapter attended a solemn Remembrance Day ceremony hosted by the university at the iconic Soldiers' Tower. The longstanding tradition invites the Greek community and faculty to pay respects and remember those who made ultimate sacrifices in World War I and World War II, including fallen chapter brothers.

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“Imagine, then do.” That’s the official motto of the University of Utah, brought to life by the Gamma Beta Chapter throughout its now decade-long partnership with the Rape Recovery Center.

It Starts With

Us Utah Betas celebrate 10 years supporting the \ Rape Recovery Center

, by Justin Warren, SMU 10 , designed by Mike Roupas, Iowa 10

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The men’s efforts began modestly in 2013 as they sought a philanthropic cause in the early days of the chapter’s refounding. Alumnus Steve Eror ’03, connected leadership with the local rape awareness and support program where his mother and sister volunteered, giving birth to a productive partnership. Initially, the two groups cooperated to host sexual assault prevention forums on campus. The first year, 50 people attended. By 2015, more than 175 students, campus administrators and clinical professionals were packing into the university’s Spencer Fox Eccles Business Building to discuss sexual assault. Knowing they had captured something special, the chapter’s ambitions grew and their convictions solidified. “It’s incredibly important that men on college campuses are actively involved with the prevention of sexual assault,” said former Chapter President Mitchell Cox ’14. “Men have to be the ones to step up and stop it.” And that’s exactly what Betas at Utah are doing. In the 10 years since their partnership with the Rape Recovery Center formed, the men have continued campus forums, invested thousands of hours to learn bystander intervention and work the center’s 24hour hotline, and made supporting the center financially a cornerstone of their annual philanthropy week. Seen by many as an example of fraternity men overcoming stereotypes, these endeavors have earned the chapter great acclaim, from local newscasts and pieces in the Salt Lake Tribune to national attention on the syndicated

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“Dr. Phil” show. They’re also a likely reason why Gamma Beta Chapter has secured three John Reily Knox Awards and eight Francis H. Sisson Awards for operational excellence in the years since reestablishment, and maybe even why many University of Utah students ever chose to join a fraternity in the first place.

“We have had many members over the years who, initially, were not interested in Greek life, but actively sought membership in Beta Theta Pi after learning of our active partnership with the Rape Recover Center,” said Northwest Regional Chief Nick Gilson, Utah ’03. “Participating in and listening to conversations




our collegiate men have regarding difficult subjects, and seeing how the partnership influences the direction of these conversations, is humbling and emblematic of the different culture that our chapter members experience in the Men of Principle era.” Every fall, the chapter caps off its philanthropy week with the Blue Tie Gala – the largest single fundraising opportunity of the year. The event’s 10th anniversary saw astonishing results, with major donations from Spencer Eccles ’56, John Firmage ’82, Jason Thomas ’92, and Mark Hamberlin – father of Chapter President Nico Hamberlin ’24 – contributing to a total $144,000 benefiting the Rape Recovery Center in 2023. Considering donations in year one sat around $3,000 in all, it’s a testament to the growth of Gamma Beta brothers and this decade-long endeavor to step off the sidelines and become part of the solution to campus sexual assault. As the theme of this year’s gala makes clear: It starts with us. 

,, D


A. Last fall's Blue Tie Gala greatly helped Gamma Beta raise an all-time high $144,000 for the Rape Recovery Center. B. Chapter members present their first donation – roughly $3,000 – to the center's executive director in 2014. C. Former Chapter President Mitchell Cox '13, appears on the "Dr. Phil" show after receiving a grant from the Robin McGraw Revelation Foundation recognizing Gamma Beta's philanthropic efforts. D. Students and administrators gather in the Spencer Fox Eccles Business Building in 2014 for a sexual assault prevention forum. E. Financier, philanthropist and Oxford Cup recipient Spencer Eccles '56, is a key supporter of the partnership. In 2023, he donated $30,000 to the cause.

Men have to be the ones to step up ,, and stop it. , -Mitchell Cox, utah 13 Former Chapter PResident

It Starts with us - Winter 2024 - 43

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at ease

CAPTAIN BLESCH REMEMBERED FOR A LIFE OF LEADERSHIP By Martin Cobb, Eastern Kentucky ’96, and Justin Warren, SMU ’10 Designed by Sarah Shepherd



ince 1992, and for more than two decades, Beta Theta Pi boasted among its most active volunteers the leadership and brotherly love of Jerry M. Blesch, Centre ’60. A retired U.S. Navy captain, Jerry’s life was marked by his larger-than-life personality and deep loyalty to his country, family and Fraternity. Passing from natural causes on November 27, he was 85. Jerry’s stellar academic and athletic careers began at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, where he studied engineering, excelled in track as a half-miler, and was initiated into Beta’s Epsilon Chapter on March 2, 1957. A servant leader at heart, he continued his education at the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating in 1962, and subsequently at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, where he was awarded a Master of Science in management.

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Left to right: Jerry teaches the Beta way at the 1999 Convention; Jerry in his home office in Danville, Ky.; Karen and Jerry during the 2018 Sweetheart Countdown; the 2008 Jerry M. Blesch General Secretary Leadership Award is presented to Jacob Gray, Texas Tech ’10.

As a volunteer, Jerry served first as an advisor and house corporation president to Epsilon Chapter at Centre, as well as a district chief for chapters at Centre, Eastern Kentucky, Kentucky and Louisville. He was elected General Secretary in 1995, a role he held for six of the most transformative years in modern Beta history. His visionary leadership – alongside Beta Greats Bob Cottrell, Miami ’54, and E.B. Wilson, St. Lawrence ’53 – set the course for the Fraternity to radically reshape the Beta experience on today’s college campuses with the advent of the groundbreaking Men of Principle initiative. For many years after, Jerry remained a Convention veteran and frequent attendee of the leadership programs for which he so strongly advocated.

But, Jerry was more than a brother; he was an inspiration. His advocacy for more advisors and training at the local chapter level, an expanded General Fraternity Officer volunteer corps and positive, “Significant Emotional Experiences” in the Fraternity were hallmarks of his years as General Secretary, matched by his frequent sharing of naval jargon and analogies to make his points toward improvement of the Fraternity. In recognition of his profound contributions and embodiment of Beta Spirit, Jerry was honored in 2004 with the highest accolade for service to the General Fraternity, the Francis W. Shepardson Award.

— John Stebbins, Emory ’92 General Secretary


Retirement from the Navy could not slow Jerry down, however. It simply marked the beginning of another chapter of service in his life – to his beloved Beta Theta Pi.

What Jerry gave to Beta Theta Pi in acts of service, he matched in gifts of treasure. Playing the pivotal role of major gifts chairman during the Beta Foundation’s Upon These Principles Campaign 2001-06, he helped raise $20.1 million toward the original $15 million goal – then the largest capital campaign in Greek world history.

AT EASE | 45 |

During his 30-year naval career, Jerry became one of the branch’s most distinguished officers. By the time he retired in 1992, he had commanded the USS Wisconsin, the largest battleship during the 1990-91 Gulf War, the USS R.L. Page and the USS Puget Sound. Among many honors and recognitions, he was awarded the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal and Navy Achievement Medal, and was runnerup for the U.S. Navy John Paul Jones Leadership Award.


Beta’s top collegiate honor also bears his name: the Jerry M. Blesch General Secretary Leadership Award. In addition to three children and two grandsons, Jerry is survived by Karen, his Beta Sweetheart of 61 years, who was constantly by his side singing along in all Beta songs.

Right: Jerry hosts Convention attendees aboard the USS Wisconsin in 2018.

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Remembering Dr. Ferd Del Pizzo by Justin Warren, SMU '10 . designed by Mike Roupas, Iowa '10

Ferd reminisces about his Beta experience with Justin Camp, Saint Louis '18, in 2015.

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wave of grief swept over the Fraternity last fall when Dr. Ferd Del Pizzo, Washington in St. Louis ’58, one of its most esteemed and dedicated brothers, passed away November 10 at his home in Missouri. Del Pizzo’s commitment to Beta Theta Pi and its ideals was unwavering, his spirit infectious and his impact immeasurable. His Beta journey began upon his initiation into the Alpha Iota Chapter on February 13, 1955, marking the beginning of a lifetime of service that spanned nearly seven decades. The roles he held within the Fraternity locally were wide-ranging and spanned decades, first as recruitment chairman, then chapter and IFC president as an undergraduate, then later house corporation president, new member education advisor, chapter counselor and more than 50 years with the St. Louis Beta Alumni Club. At the General Fraternity level, Del Pizzo served as district chief, regional director, member of the Board of Trustees and nearly 40 years as a valued and vocal member of the Advisory Council. “I’m a guy that churns out some advice,” he told The Beta Theta Pi in 2015. “Lots of it, really.” His dedication earned him the 15th Francis W. Shepardson Award in 2007 and additional roll numbers at Beta’s chapters at Missouri-Kansas City and Saint Louis. His passion was always talking with collegians about recruitment, and he was never short-winded with anyone when it came to discussing his favorite topic: Beta Theta Pi. Del Pizzo’s presence was perhaps most felt at the annual General Convention,


A | Ferd in 1954 as he begins his academic career at Washington University in St. Louis. B | Ferd with longtime Beta Sweetheart, Linda. C | Former Governor Jim Martin, Davidson '57, leads Ferd's penultimate "Beta Countdown" at the 174th General Convention.

which he attended 45 consecutive years from 1970 to 2014. “I don’t come to Convention every year to win some attendance prize,” he proclaimed on stage during his penultimate Convention Countdown in 2013. “I come because that’s what Betas are supposed to do.” His Beta Spirit extended to his family, with his son, Matt, initiated into the Zeta Phi Chapter at Missouri in 1990, and his brothers, former General Secretary Vince Del Pizzo, Missouri ’62, and Wilson Del Pizzo, Missouri ’65, also proud members. His beloved Beta Sweetheart, Linda, was an integral part of his fraternal journey, always by his side sharing in the songs, traditions and values that define the brotherhood. In Ferd’s later years, as he was confined to a wheelchair and dealing with the lasting effects of his battle with cancer, Linda actively aided her husband to make their annual trips to the General Convention possible. “He just loved it and looked forward to it every year,” she said. “I think it was our yearly vacation, basically. It was wonderful, like going to a family reunion.” Del Pizzo’s devotion to the Fraternity was matched only by his dedication to his country and profession. After serving two


years as an army doctor in Puerto Rico, he started a medical practice in obstetrics and gynecology in St. Charles, Missouri, where he worked for 30 years. In all, he brought over 5,000 newborns into the world. He became president of the OB/ GYN Society of St. Louis and the board of the University of Missouri medical alumni association. To him, Beta was more than just a fraternity membership; it was a way of life that extended to every corner of his existence. With brothers old and new, he shared his insights, laughter and wisdom. He proselytized the importance of growth and strength within the Beta community to anyone that would listen as he knew it was vital to ensuring the Beta Spirit he so cherished would thrive for generations to come. He was loyal to the end.  "The Ferd Effect" chronicles Ferd’s service to and love for Beta. Watch now at Loyal to the End | Winter 2024 | 47

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chapterineternal loving memory



Forever Remembered Notices of Betas, Sweethearts and Friends of Beta who passed within the last two years and were reported to the Administrative Office between October 26 and January 15 are included in this listing. Report a Beta’s Death Please contact the Beta receptionist at 800.800.BETA or 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.

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Friends of Beta

Colorado Mines



Iowa State

Elizabeth Guevara, Oct. 13, 2023 Dorothy W. Taggart, Aug. 27, 2023

Joseph S. Gates '56, Dec. 6, 2022


Richard E. Davis '50, Jan. 19, 2022 Gilbert W. Schlerf '55, Oct. 11, 2023

John A. Beacco Jr. '64, Dec. 1, 2023 David D. Clapp '69, Nov. 3, 2023 Jonathan W. Lehrman MD '67, Nov. 7, 2023 Evan M. Maurer '66, Nov. 9, 2023


James A. Fitch '52, June 9, 2023 c Edward H. Merritt '64, March 23, 2022 c


Hugh J. Devine '61, Nov. 22, 2023 Harold C. Doster '53, Oct. 26, 2023 Don A. Wagenheim '62, Oct. 11, 2023 Donald C. Wells '43, Nov. 30, 2023 Brent P. Wentz '63, Dec. 21, 2022


Robert W. Holmes Jr. '52, Nov. 17, 2022 c Joe J. Stephenson '54, Dec. 6, 2023


William C. Dennis '83, Nov. 10, 2023 Jay H. Sload '58, Nov. 11, 2023


Robert R. Frederick '48, March 22, 2023 c Thomas G. Spiece '70, Dec. 7, 2022


Gregory D. Buffington '67, Oct. 27, 2023

Johns Hopkins

C. P. Claxton Jr. '57, Oct. 27, 2023 J. R. Wagner '56, Dec. 1, 2023


Gail L. Habluetzel '68, Nov. 16, 2023 Charles A. McPherson '66, April 7, 2023 Martin R. Pryor '83, Dec. 2, 2023 James M. Stewart '53, Oct. 2, 2022

Kansas State

Robert M. Lawrence '54, Oct. 8, 2023



K. J. Malmberg Jr. '60, Nov. 26, 2023 John A. McLeish '51, March 6, 2022 Robert J. Mignin '70, Oct. 15, 2023 Ray A. Seidel '60, Oct. 11, 2023

Fowler Blauvelt '46, Nov. 10, 2023 Leslie B. Disharoon '54, April 18, 2023 Robert F. Mosch '50, Jan. 3, 2022


Thomas B. McKenzie '50, April 24, 2022

Carnegie Mellon

Florida State


Gary M. Boone '51, Aug. 1, 2023 Bruce D. Osborne '74, Nov. 19, 2023


John C. Burrey '54, April 27, 2022 William F. Pounds '50, Aug. 23, 2023 c


Frank C. Nelson '51, Feb. 19, 2022


Jerry M. Blesch '60, Nov. 27, 2023 c Howard N. Perkson Jr. '65, May 10, 2023 David A. Shipp '51, Nov. 25, 2023


Robert G. Lindblom '50, July 8, 2022 c


Hugh H. Doney '52, Aug. 3, 2022

David D. Du Bois '62, June 23, 2023 c

John E. Cashwell '61, Nov. 9, 2023 c Ronald E. Wingerter ’54, Dec. 28, 2022 c

Richard H. Blair '57, Dec. 23, 2023 c Peter S. Sealey, PhD '62, Dec. 15, 2022

John M. Malarney Jr. '71, Nov. 29, 2023


Griffin Samuel Welsh '19, Sept. 25, 2023

Georgia Tech

Lawrence Lehigh

Brian A. Mitchell '79, Jan. 20, 2022


William C. Raizor '71, Dec. 7, 2023


Kenneth W. Castner Jr. '52, Jan. 1, 2023


Frederick B. Bywater '61, Dec. 15, 2023 Gray D. Morrison III '73, May 2, 2023 c Robert B. Stephens '57, Nov. 5, 2023

John P. Russell '63, Nov. 25, 2023


Robert O. Weisman '58, Oct. 3, 2023

Edward L. Payne, DMD '57, Oct. 18, 2023




Edward A. Fulton '52, Oct. 24, 2023 c

Hugh J. Graham III '59, Nov. 21, 2023 Thomas E. Pollard, MD '52, July 15, 2023 Stephen P. Wheeler '70, June 9, 2023

James A. Peden Jr. ’66, Aug. 23, 2023 c



Colorado College

Otto F. Busard '50, Oct. 30, 2023 Curtis F. Thompson '71, Jan. 20, 2023

Bill Pounds Carnegie Mellon ’50 Aug. 23 First a chapter president and fighter pilot in the Korean War, Bill went on to become dean of MIT’s acclaimed Sloan School of Management. Senior advisor to the Rockefeller family, and highly sought by corporate boards, he was known as “a pragmatic visionary.”

Capt. Jerry Blesch Centre ’60 Nov. 27 Retired Navy Captain of the USS Wisconsin, the largest battleship in the 1990-91 Gulf War, Jerry served as district chief and two terms as General Secretary, 1995-2001. Credited for his leadership during advent of the Men of Principle initiative, read more on pages 44-45.

Pete Sealey Florida ’62 Dec. 15, 2022 Coca-Cola chief marketing officer credited with the brand’s polar bear mascot, and Columbia Pictures president of marketing responsible for “Ghostbusters,” “The Karate Kid” and “Stand By Me,” Pete gifted $200,000 to his chapter’s 2018-21 house renovation.

John R. Burdick '64, Nov. 12, 2023


Frederic P. Storke, Jr '53, May 22, 2023

George B. Abbott '53, Feb. 9, 2023


Robert C. Fields '56, Dec. 9, 2023 Willoughby C. Johnson '59, Feb. 20, 2022 Spencer M. Stapf '19, Nov. 5, 2023

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William H. Lewis '63, Oct. 30, 2023

North Carolina

William P. Baldridge '58, Dec. 12, 2023 c David R. Hayworth '51, July 1, 2022 Thomas L. Presson '62, Oct. 3, 2022 c Wesley A. Trotter Jr. '60, Nov. 19, 2023

North Dakota

Clinton N. Jensen '52, Jan. 18, 2022 c John T. McDermott '50, Sept. 3, 2022 c Robert N. Nelson '52, Oct. 24, 2023


Marvin S. Richards '75, Sept. 9, 2023


Henry J. Bowen '58, Dec. 25, 2022

Douglas W. Devin '51, Feb. 1, 2022 c Steven D. Wilson '64, Nov. 10, 2023

South Dakota

Washington in St. Louis

Southern California

Washington State

James E. Sweet II '62, Jan. 9, 2024

Bartlett Burnap '54, July 31, 2022



James R. Patrick, MD '52, Feb. 15, 2023

Kenneth G. Berry '56, Oct. 22, 2023 Eugene B. Martin '49, Dec. 11, 2022

Ohio State


B. D. Dean '56, Dec. 8, 2023 James H. Warren '58, June 16, 2023 c

Ohio Wesleyan



William H. Boies '55, Nov. 1, 2023 c Gaines L. Godfrey '57, Dec. 3, 2022

Paul A. Stonis '93, Nov. 29, 2023


William T. Abbott Jr. '67, Nov. 26, 2023

UC Santa Barbara

Duane W. Dennis '93, Oct. 27, 2023


Tracy L. Morgan '79, Nov. 27, 2023 Fredee C. Plumer '70, Jan. 13, 2023



Andrew Berwick Jr. '55, Nov. 25, 2023 c Gerald F. Brush Jr. '69, Sept. 19, 2023 c Eugene K. Jackson '45, Oct. 27, 2023 Raymond A. Mills '60, Sept. 9, 2023 Donald S. Pickett '52, July 30, 2023

Oregon State

Laraway M. Giustina '71, July 19, 2022 William R. Steele '58, Oct. 30, 2023


Harry A. Alsentzer III '50, March 14, 2023 c Russell McCormick Jr. '51, May 14, 2023 c

Jim Peden Mississippi ’66 Aug. 23 Loyal chapter advisor, “Jeep” earned numerous honors throughout his life and legal career, including a Fulbright Scholarship and the National Guard rank of brigadier general. In 2017, he established a leadership scholarship with the Beta Foundation to honor seven of his closest Beta brothers.

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Ruston B. McDonald '98, Nov. 13, 2023


Kyle C. Andersen '97, April 3, 2023 J. Bradley Gunnell '88, Dec. 8, 2023 Bruce M. Lambert '79, Nov. 12, 2023 Ross W. Moody '51, June 17, 2022 c


Bennett B. Doubleday Jr. '46, Dec. 26, 2023 Richard H. Philpot '52, Oct. 17, 2023


Ferdinand Del Pizzo Jr. '58, Nov. 10, 2023

John T. Glenn '68, June 20, 2023 James M. Vadheim '63, Nov. 20, 2023

Weber State

Scott D. Critchlow '74, Jan. 4, 2024 Eric M. Julian '89, Dec. 18, 2023

West Virginia

William B. Allen '51, May 6, 2022


Joshua P. Dillingham '52, Jan. 12, 2022


Donald J. Anderson '60, Feb. 16, 2023 Charles E. MacFarland '62, Nov. 17, 2023 c George R. Osborne Jr. '66, Oct. 3, 2023 c

Wichita State

Robert D. Razook '72, Jan. 5, 2023


Paul W. Bolliger ', Oct. 25, 2023 Ralph W. Bolliger '53, Oct. 25, 2023 c


Joseph W. Stewart Jr. '52, July 2, 2023


James B. Donkle '57, Nov. 26, 2023 Charles R. Krueger '60, July 16, 2023 c John L. Obourn '54, Nov. 29, 2023 c Lew E. Wartman '54, Oct. 25, 2023


William R. Barrett ’67, April 19, 2023 Lawrence E. McCoy '57, Nov. 6, 2023


Brereton C. Jones '61, Sept. 18, 2023 Richard T. Tedrow '64, Oct. 30, 2022

James A. Howard '51, March 29, 2022 Philip B. Taylor Jr. '51, March 2, 2023 David E. Winebrenner IV '62, March 28, 2023 c

Spencer Stapf Missouri ’19 Nov. 5 First elected technology chairman, Spencer eventually served as Zeta Phi’s chapter president. Attending Beta’s 2018 Keystone Regional Leadership Conference and 179th General Convention in Norfolk, Spencer died from an undiagnosed heart issue.

Joe Chinnici Ohio State ’64 Dec. 4 Serving as a decade-long district chief and as Ohio State’s house corporation leader for 50 years, Joe was named Beta’s District Chief of the Year in 2017 and House Corporation Volunteer of the Year in 2018. Theta Delta’s chapter room was named in his honor in 2023.

Russ Bogda UCLA ’60 Oct. 11 A student manager on Coach Wooden’s basketball team, Russ served for 40-plus years as Gamma Nu’s house corp mainstay. He was named Beta’s House Corporation Volunteer of the Year in 2021. Brad Gunnell Utah ’88 Dec. 8 Part of the Fraternity’s notoriously close Oxford staff from the late 1980s, Brad fought a valiant 10-year battle against cancer. By his side upon his passing were his sister, Utah Betas and staff brothers Corey Bordine, Michigan State ’89, and Bruce Skala, Ohio ’88. Ferd Del Pizzo Wash. in St. Louis ’58 Nov. 10 A 45-time Convention attendee, Ferd served as chapter president, IFC president, advisor, house corp president, district chief and vice president on the Board of Trustees. Read more on pages 46-47.


Oklahoma State

Hedley E. Beesley '53, Aug. 14, 2023 Russell W. Bogda ’60, Oct. 11, 2023 c James T. Burton '53, Sept. 5, 2022 John W. Fulton '61, June 27, 2023 Donald H. Hangen '52, Dec. 10, 2023 c


Richard Draz Ohio Wesleyan ’54 Sept. 12 Known as “the godfather of San Diego water polo,” Hall of Fame Coach Dick Draz was one of five founding advisors who helped establish Epsilon Beta Chapter at San Diego State in the early 1980s.


Joseph A. Chinnici Jr. '64, Dec. 4, 2023 Timothy D. Gaffney '78, Feb. 24, 2023 c Allen J. Thrush '67, Oct. 20, 2023 c W. R. Walton '63, Oct. 29, 2023 c Richard J. Watson '67, July 3, 2022

Richard Z. Draz ’54, Sept. 12, 2023 c William W. Giffin '58, Oct. 26, 2023 Charles P. Hauck '52, Aug. 17, 2023

Virginia Tech

Donald E. Love '63, Dec. 12, 2023 c John D. McDougle '60, April 9, 2023 c

Bill Barrett Wittenberg ’67 April 19 Entering the Peace Corps after graduation, Bill earned his master’s in sports administration from Ohio University. He was Riverfront Coliseum’s first employee in Cincinnati and served as senior vice president of the Harlem Globetrotters for 19 years.

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Photo: University of Kentucky

beta eponyms worldwide tributes Multiple Namesakes Memorialize Founding, 41-Year President at Kentucky

Along with his parents and four younger brothers, James K. Patterson, Hanover 1856, immigrated at the age of nine from Glasgow, Scotland, to Bartholomew County, Indiana. Initiating amidst Iota’s John Hanna Gray legend, Patterson graduated atop his class and earned his master’s in 1859.

James K. Patterson, Hanover 1856 – one of America’s longest serving university presidents.

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Patterson quickly climbed the academic ladder, becoming the 1869 founding president of the University of Kentucky. Serving for 41 years, even personally financing the school during rapid growth, “Pater Universitatis” is memorialized across campus: a behemoth bronze statue anchors the 18-floor Patterson Office Tower; the Patterson School of Diplomacy; Patterson Drive; and Patterson Hall, UK’s first residence for women, for which co-education is among his many credits. In fall 2018, Beta’s new home at UK was dedicated as The Beta Theta Pi House at Patterson Place – a nod to his persistent lobbying of the Fraternity to establish a chapter at the university he loved.

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MARCH 13-14 In its fifth year, Beta’s Giving Day Challenge is raising the bar to support the Fraternity’s strategic initiatives of Brotherhood, Personal Growth and Home. For the first time ever, brothers and friends will rally together over 1 day, 8 hours and 39 minutes to hit an ambitious, record-setting

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2/8/24 1:31 PM

“the orange chair”

“In the fall of 1999, one of my dearest friends, Jeff Jewett, Southern Illinois ’01, and I moved into the Beta house. He had this awful 1970s orange chair that had been passed through his family. Everyone in the house gave him hell for that ugly chair until they plopped into it. You’d just sink right in. Many a naps were taken and episodes of ‘The Price is Right’ and Don West were watched in that chair over the years. Flash forward to today. Jeff’s older brother, Sean, calls asking me to help him sell his home in Nashville as he’s taken a job out of state. I walk in for our initial consultation and…there sits THE ORANGE CHAIR! This week we sold Sean’s home and, sadly for him, there wasn’t room in the move to take the chair. As many know, Shannon and I have a tendency to rescue things. So, we did what we do, and now the orange chair I first sat in nearly 25 years ago at the Beta house lives on to see another day. In this world of throw away and get new, we couldn’t save Sean’s little 650 square foot house. It will soon be scraped for two 2,500-plus square foot homes. But we were able to save the best gem of them all. Beta brothers, you’ve always got a solid place to nap when you come to town. Proud to be a Beta.” –Nathan Stone, Southern Illinois ’02

proud to be a beta Beta Theta Pi Foundation and Administrative Office Brennan Hall | 5134 Bonham Road | Oxford, OH 45056 | 800.800.BETA

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2/7/24 12:03 PM

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