The Beta Theta Pi - Fall 2021

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BETA the beta theta pi magazine

FALL 2021 A Message to the Trustees | Selfless Sacrifice | Convention Recap

unmasked! the secret identities of beta’s most iconic catchphrases

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Selfless Sacrifice

On April 8, 2021, Kim McGrady, Auburn ’89, was enjoying the end of a family vacation on Florida’s Miramar Beach. Before the day was out, he’d be lauded as a hero while making the ultimate sacrifice for strangers in distress.

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contents inside this issue DEPARTMENTS 04 | Archives

historical throwback

06 | The Inbox

unfiltered feedback

10 | Newsworthy fraternity updates

12 | Volunteer Vacancies making a difference

A Message to the Trustees Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Commission Chairman Bill Lowry, Kenyon ’56, shares heartfelt remarks with the Board of Trustees.

BETA the beta theta pi magazine

FALL 2021 A Message to the Trustees | Selfless Sacrifice | Convention Recap

unMasKed! tHe secRet idenTitiEs of beta’s mosT iconic catChPhRases


Unmasked! Explore the origins of eight iconic Beta catchphrases and how they became entrenched in the hearts, minds and vocabularies of brothers everywhere.

On the Cover Eight of Beta’s most iconic catchphrases come to life, courtesy of DC and Marvel Comics artist Tom Nguyen.

The Beta Theta Pi Magazine The oldest continuously published college fraternity magazine, The Beta Theta Pi was founded on December 15, 1872, by Charles Duy Walker, VMI 1869.

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Convention Recap Take a look back at the importance of the 182nd General Convention, where attendees embraced the theme “We Reaffirm” and centered themselves on the important year ahead.

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

36 | Campus Life


student highlights

42 | Cut and Polished refining men of principle

Annual Report

43 | Beta Eponyms worldwide tributes

The Beta Foundation recognizes its FY21 donors while commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Beta Leadership Fund.

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:

48 | Chapter Eternal in loving memory

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lifelong brotherhood


16 | Alumni News

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

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4 THE BETA THETA PI Photos: The NASA Library / Alamy

archives historical throwback Space Shuttle Columbia completed its maiden voyage in 1981, with Joe Allen, DePauw ’59, providing ground assistance as a support crew member and spacecraft communicator. It was only 18 months later in November 1982, however, that Allen (above and far left) joined the orbiter’s flight team and launched from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center as a mission specialist on STS-5 – the first fully operational flight of the Space Shuttle program. In conjunction with his time aboard Space Shuttle Discovery in 1984, Allen logged a total of 314 hours in space. The Oxford Cup recipient remains one of only four brothers to ever journey to the Beta stars, alongside Ken Cameron, MIT ’71, former U.S. Senator and current NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, Florida/Yale ’65, and Paul Weitz, Penn State ’54.

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hile navigating the hardships of growing up (sarcasm intended), it became clear I really enjoyed school – particularly the social side of the whole deal. Maybe too much.

As a box of childhood artifacts will reveal, report cards often included one recurring theme in the comments section from my teachers: "Martin likes to joke and talk a lot – often at the expense of his classmates." Some things never change. With a curious mind and one that never really had to work too hard to make the grade, particularly with math as the rush of solving a problem was, and still is, hard to beat, I absolutely despised history class. In my mind, nothing could be more boring or irrelevant than the "black and white picture" mental block I had with events that happened hundreds of years ago in far off lands. Just, blah.

Editor | Chief Communication Officer

Creative Director

Sarah Shepherd

Managing Editor | Graphic Designer Mike Roupas, Iowa ’10

Director of Media Relations | Senior Writer

Justin Warren, SMU ’10

Director of Digital Media

Sutton Jacobs, Wittenberg ’18

Publication Printer

Royle Printing Sun Prairie, Wisconsin

Such is the backdrop to this fall's magazine, as our editorial team pontificated earlier in the year: "Betas quote them routinely, but just how did the Fraternity's frequently cited catchphrases come to life? And why do they capture such emotion and command so much influence over our band of brothers?" Thus began a research project that has explored more than 80,000 pages of The Beta Theta Pi magazine dating back to 1872, and the vast library of Beta books that have preserved the Beta story for generations.

5 FALL 2021 | BETA.ORG

Martin Cobb, Eastern Kentucky ’96


foreword editor’s note

Aging has an interesting effect on one's evolution, however. It certainly has mine. And I give Beta Theta Pi all the credit in the world for lighting a flame that has created a love affair with history ever since. For it was my chapter's insistence that learning the lore of the Fraternity is one of the first and most important steps in understanding the soul of the organization. From John Hannah Gray at Hanover and how Beta brothers stood guard to protect his grave in days when association with a fraternity would have you expelled, to the difficulties of brother fighting brother during the Civil War and how Betas came together afterwards and helped mend a fractured nation, storytelling has long been the greatest teacher and culture carrier.

"Storytelling has long been the greatest teacher and culture carrier."

Curiosity and teaching are as old as humankind itself but, in a day and age that is filled with sensational headlines and handwringing beyond measure, it's equally important we reflect on the goodness in the world and, in particular, all the promise Beta Theta Pi brings to the men who love her. This historical exploration may well prove interesting and fun for all ages. Sincerely and yours in ___kai___,

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amother’stouch “Kudos on your cover

story about house mothers. At age 87 I’ve forgotten the name of Omicron’s mom in the 1950s, but I certainly recall her efforts to be certain that Virginia Gentleman stood for more than a local brand of bourbon.” — David Bowes, Virginia ’56

”Received the Beta

magazine today. Good read (as usual). So, I wanted to share some thoughts on the housemother article. THE INBOX

My Delta Omega Chapter had a housemother during our initial years of housing (1990-onward). Many alumni will remark on Lela’s influence. A housemother serves to remind boys they are actually young men.


The Beta Theta Pi’s spring 2021 feature article, “A Mother’s Touch,” struck a chord with Betas and friends across the continent. Uniquely absent from the feedback, however, was dissension about the proposal to reinstate housemothers in every Beta house across the land.

the inbox unfiltered feedback Share your thoughts with Beta’s editorial team at

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Of course, many schools have gone the way of the ‘house-director-grad-student’ model. While perhaps better than no adult – often young and without worldly experience, as well as possibly being male – the ability to impact in the same way as a housemother just isn’t there. I served as a house director for Kappa Alpha Order at Maryland prior to becoming a full-time grad student while in law school at Florida. Although I had a suite in the chapter house and good relations with the president, house manager and house corp, I was more of a figurehead. I didn’t have the support – and more importantly the respect – of

the members and wasn’t able to impact them in the same meaningful way a female housemother would. One challenge as noted is the financial savings. But it’s up to alumni and house corporations to understand the benefit: The viability and health of the chapter has a direct cause-and-effect on the house as a physical asset. Perhaps Beta and others will start moving back to the model.” — Gene Wasserman, Maryland ’92

”Thank you for the

idea that bringing back housemothers might make fraternity houses more attractive, more civilized places. Having just celebrated the 65th anniversary of my initiation, I may be a bit out of touch with current fraternity life, but I have been appalled by the stories of abuse of alcohol and of women. My own house has been closed for several years largely because of such uncivilized behavior. I shared this article with my wife, an Iowa State Chi Omega, class of 1962. When she was there, all of the houses had housemothers, and when she was dating, she found they made it feel comfortable and safe to go into a fraternity house. Typically, as one of her first contacts when she entered a house as the guest of one of the brothers, she would meet the housemother, being welcomed and spending a

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few minutes chatting before going on the date. Yes, a housemother can be a great asset as a house director or a live-in advisor. But they can also be vital in raising the standards of behavior and in helping Betas live their principles when they bring young women into the house, and in helping those young women feel comfortable and respected in the Beta house.” — John Philbrick, Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon ’59

I learned through the years there were young men who, for a variety of reasons, did not have a biological mother in their lives. I became the only mother they had, and I cherished that role. (Some of

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To help promote the health, safety and well-being of Beta’s collegiate members, please encourage all chapters to have a housemother living in the fraternity house. It was one of the best things I have done in my entire life.” — Kathy (“Mama K”) Hankins, MD, Pi Beta Phi

“Bravo! The article

on housemothers is the most meaningful article I’ve seen in all my years as a Beta. The presence of a housemother at Sigma Rho Chapter at the University of Illinois was a major factor in my having chosen to accept a bid to pledge Beta. It was apparent in the demeanor of the men, in the condition of the house and, above all, at mealtime when decorum reigned and nobody sat until we had sung the ‘Beta Doxology’ and the housemother had been seated by the president after he and a pledge had escorted her from her apartment in

I’ve made it clear that the ‘new model’ of the Beta house at Illinois must include space for a housemother (not a house director and definitely not a male) as a prerequisite to continued support of the chapter as it reestablishes. I suspect there are many others of my era who share this position.” — Gant Redmon, Illinois ’59

“Long overdue article

on housemothers. Never has the need for a mature house presence been greater. As a retired physician with college health experience, I can attest that the level of insecurity and stress among students is significant. I’m convinced the isolationist impact of technology plays a part and the need for belonging and moral responsibility to others is great. It would be wonderful for Beta to lead the wave to reestablish resident housemothers. The benefits to the physical and moral integrity, not to mention etiquette and civility, have been demonstrated in the past. This could be a mitigating factor for hazing, drug abuse and general depravity, and promote gentlemanly behavior. A chance to recover some needed recognition and respect for all fraternities!” — Dennis Samuelson, MD, Iowa ’62

“What a pleasant surprise when I opened the spring 2021 Beta magazine and saw the picture of Mom Troth. It brought back memories of a wonderful lady who was the centerpiece of the Alpha Chapter for so many years. How she loved to play bridge and read the newspaper in the living room before dinner. I’m sure her tender ears heard things never meant for her to hear. Hats off to a real lady. Bring back housemothers.”

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I always wanted a bigger family, but gaining 20 college age ‘sons’ was not what I originally had in mind. By the time I left Beta Beta nine years later, the chapter had grown to over 200 members, becoming Beta’s second largest chapter.

I have often wondered if Beta Beta Chapter would have experienced reorganization if a housemother had been living in the fraternity house. I believe a mother’s love can make men stronger and healthier. It augments Beta Theta Pi’s development of its members into men of principle.

the house. At the end of the meal, nobody exited the dining room before the final song without asking the housemother to be excused.


”When my son

joined Beta Beta Chapter at Ole Miss, I was shocked to learn they didn’t have a housemother. My son invited me to meet his brothers, and they asked me to be their chapter mother. (The chapter was in reorganization, and there was real concern the chapter might close.)

the most memorable conversations were 2:00 a.m. phone calls that began, ‘Mama K, did I wake you up?’)

— Bob Huebschman, Miami ’54

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Got something on your mind? Pro or con, the sentiments of Betas and friends matter in this Fraternity. Share your thoughts with Beta’s editorial team at

“I enjoyed seeing a translation

financialrelief “My congratulations to all


involved in the thinking and crafting of these financial adjustments and incentives for all chapters. They are well thought through and most appropriate. Well done!!! — Jim Strilesky, British Columbia ’72


hooverdam “I saw the announcement of


Brother Stephen Bechtel’s passing, along with the mention of his family’s involvement building the Hoover Dam. I thought I’d pass along that Epsilon alum W.B. Mathews, Centre 1885, played a lead role in creating and structuring the Hoover Dam project and, although he passed away before its completion, was honored when one of the project’s primary reservoirs in Southern California was named after him – Lake Mathews. He’s pictured (far right) with President Calvin Coolidge (third from left) on December 21, 1928, when the Boulder Canyon Project Act was signed. So, Betas were there from conception through execution of the Hoover Dam. _kai_,” — John Stanton, Centre ’89

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(In light of the pandemic, on August 19 the Trustees announced a second year of financial relief to help all chapters rebuild their memberships and normalize operations. Totaling $650,000 – on average $4,600 per chapter – check out the specifics at

communicationculture “Thanks so much for copies of the Wooglin Daily News. It’s nice to see something I started [in 1994] still going!” — Erv Johnson, Idaho ’53 (Johnson is editor emeritus and was the Fraternity’s first director of communication, 1992-2001.)

“The Wooglin Daily News that

covers Convention is a truly professional product and I have appreciated being able to get highlights and an overview of activities while not being able to attend. Thank you; well done! Yours in _kai_,” — District Chief Malcolm Andrews, Virginia ’89 (Interested in this year’s Convention headlines? Check out all four issues of the WDN at See pages 44-46 for this year’s Convention Recap.)

of ‘Gemma Nostra’ in the spring magazine. A half dozen brothers from our class, starting at our 25th reunion, have – with our wives – traveled somewhere in the world once every year since. Before the last meal of our trip, we sing the ‘Beta Doxology’ and, following dinner, we try to find a spot where we will intrude minimally on other travelers and sing a group of Beta songs, including ‘Gemma Nostra.’ Sometimes we have been joined by Betas from other chapters who were on the same trip. It was for our group that I, too, translated ‘Gemma Nostra’ several years ago. My translation follows: Verse 1: Our precious jewel goes forward, never darkened, linked to a wreath with constant affection. Chorus: All hail, Beta Theta Pi. You rule untarnished. Beloved, you are precious and valued. Verse 2: Comrades, sparkling stars are all equal. So now may harmony be among us. Chorus Verse 3: Among brothers may there always be truth, honor, friendship. Fidelity, virtue, justice and morality. Chorus I do believe I prefer Dr. Montgomery’s translation, however. Mine is more literal, his is more lyrical. But I thought you might find it interesting to know the effort was undertaken more than once. – kai –,”— E.H. (Ned) Lamkin Jr., MD, DePauw ’56

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heartfeltpride “Max Meeks, TCU ’17,

deidisappointment “I am saddened to see Beta’s

(Beta’s Pride post on June 1, 2021, ranks as the Fraternity’s fourth most “Liked” Instagram feature of all time and 12th greatest in overall engagement relative to the 2,578 posts since the feed’s establishment in 2012.)

“Just getting caught up on

some Beta reading, but I thought [the winter 2021] op-ed, “Politically Speaking,” was spot on. One of the best lessons I ever received was in high school as we had a very proper English teacher. When it came to debates, he would ask for volunteers for each side – and then he would make us switch teams and defend the opposite side of the aisle. We should always be able to debate the facts, and, if necessary, agree to cordially disagree! Yours in ___kai___,” — Randy Master, Hanover ’82

9 FALL 2021 | BETA.ORG

This country has strayed greatly from Martin Luther King’s ideal of judging people by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin. He envisioned a color-blind society. How far we, and Beta, have fallen. The worst part is that, by implementing DEI, you have chosen to flow with politically correct winds, instead of being men of principle.” — Mark Sonnenklar, Beta Parent

onpolitics THE INBOX

embrace of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). DEI elevates race, and downgrades merit, as the primary criterion for rewards in our society. It is therefore patently racist. DEI is designed to undermine the concept of equality of opportunity upon which our country was founded and replace it with the concept of equality of results, which is entirely antithetical to the founding principles of this country. Thus, by embracing DEI as the standard by which Beta judges people, it is promoting racism and injustice.

shared this social media post with me from the General Fraternity honoring the beginning of Pride. It brought tears to my eyes because I knew as an 18 year old that I would eventually have to come out. I will never forget when I stood up in chapter and came out to everyone and received a huge round of applause. It reaffirmed my decision to join Beta. So incredibly happy that the General Fraternity is making it clear that gay brothers are fully welcomed in this Fraternity. This declaration from the Fraternity means so much to both Max and me. Be well, brothers.” — Jordan Hamilton, TCU ’16

“Is Brother Turner the only Beta to appear on a postage stamp?” — Kal Pipo, Case Western Reserve ’86

Such was the question posed when the Fraternity featured via social media the new postage stamp released by Canada honoring former Prime Minister and Beta Brother John Turner, British Columbia ’49. The answer? See “Alumni News,” page 21.

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10/24/21 9:52 AM

newsworthy fraternity updates Beta Makes $50,000 Gift to Piazza Center to Prevent Hazing On September 15, Beta Theta Pi announced a $50,000 gift to support the Timothy J. Piazza Center for Fraternity and Sorority Research and Reform.

“As young men deal with unprecedented levels of depression and disconnect, the fraternity experience is as important as ever,” said Executive Director Jeff Rundle, Kansas State ’03. “It forges deep friendships that sustain one through the ups and downs of life. That’s why Beta is making this investment in the Piazza Center – because we know more can be done to improve a profound, 245-year fraternity and sorority experience that continues to enrich some 750,000 college students across North America every year.” Considered one of the darkest hours in Beta’s 182-year history, Piazza was a sophomore who died on February 4, 2017, after a forced consumption hazing incident in Beta’s chapter house at Penn State.

Auburn House Protected in New Alumni/GF Partnership

In the wake of the Delta Zeta Chapter’s disappointing closure at Auburn University in 2019, the local house corporation was faced with difficult decisions regarding ongoing maintenance and management of the property. Established in 2017, Beta’s General Fraternity House Corporation was able to work with alumni to purchase the chapter home in order to keep it within the Beta family for future generations of Auburn Betas. The General Fraternity and Delta Zeta alumni are excited about reestablishment of the chapter in fall 2023.

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Beta Census Yields Massive Updates and $108,500 for Student Relief Launched in winter 2021, Beta’s every-10year database project resulted in 25,664 brothers providing new contact data and job information. With a 22% participation rate, Beta ranks among Publishing Concept Inc.’s most successful Greek clients. Thankfully, 1,458 brothers donated $68,500 to the Beta Leadership Fund, and PCI’s guaranteed $40,000 royalty to the General Fraternity allowed the Trustees to renew for a secondstraight year a robust, $650,000 relief program for all chapters. (See chapterrelief for details.) Some 3,400 Betas also purchased special branded merchandise. Verified Addresses: 17,280 Cells: 8,876 Emails: 11,446

Updated 4,738 8,990 9,394

Directories will be mailed in February. Extra copies available at 800.800.BETA.

10/25/21 9:20 AM

SDSU Expansion Postponed

In light of shifting campus health concerns, an abnormally stretched Administrative Office labor force and a strong national peer fraternity also reorganizing at San Diego State this fall, the General Fraternity and Epsilon Beta Chapter alumni have chosen to postpone reestablishment until fall 2022. Interested in getting involved? Email

Schawe Named New Insurance Commissioner

Succeeding 34-year Insurance Commissioner Tom Cassady, Cincinnati ’76, insurance executive David Schawe, Louisville ’06, has been appointed by General Secretary Wayne Kay, Virginia Tech ’73, to oversee the Fraternity’s liability insurance program that protects all volunteers and students.


betaevents November 2021

20 Texas at Arlington 50th Anniv. Arlington, Texas

December 2021

4 Kansas City Alumni Association Holiday Party Kansas City, Mo. 31 Year-End Deadline for Tax-Deductible Gifts to Beta Leadership Fund

January 2022

February 2022

As found in a recent Gallup survey conducted on behalf of the North American Interfraternity Conference and National Panhellenic Conference in early 2021, joining a fraternity provides a multitude of benefits and opportunities for students. Among other notable findings, affiliated alumni were found to have significant experiences in college that helped them feel more connected to their schools, find great jobs and live better lives after graduation. They are also more likely to give back to their school and organization, helping recent graduates land jobs quicker. Across the board, fraternity men are more satisfied with their lives, seeing an increase in their career, social, financial, community and physical wellbeings. Read more at

Story Update: Students Indicted for Fraternity Hazing Death at VCU

Eleven students at Virginia Commonwealth University were arrested in late September and charged with the February 27 hazing death of 19-year-old Adam Oakes, a new member of Delta Chi Fraternity. The chief medical examiner determined Oakes died of alcohol poisoning, apparently after “Big Brother Night” where he was forced by fraternity members to drink a handle of whiskey. Passing out on the couch of an off-campus residence, he was discovered dead the following morning.

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March 2022

4 James Madison Installation Harrisonburg, Va. 5 Eastern Kentucky 50th Anniv. Lexington, Ky.

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Gallup Study Weighs in on Relevance of the Fraternity Experience

4-6 Winter Joint Board Meetings San Diego, Calif. 15 Winter Beta Magazine Published


14-16 Nichols Chapter Presidents Leadership Academy & Stephenson Leadership Summit Cincinnati, Ohio 29 Colorado Installation Boulder, Colo.

Learn more at Upcoming alumni event? Email specifics to!

NIC Honors Ross and Zamora

Former Undergraduate Commissioner, IFC and Beta Chapter President Ian Ross, Michigan ’21, and University of Texas Beta Chapter Counselor Jen Zamora, Delta Zeta, were recognized in April by the North American Interfraternity Conference with Awards of Distinction. Their honors were presented on stage at Beta’s 182nd General Convention in Oxford.

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Risk Management Advisor


Member Education Advisor Risk Management Advisor

Cal Poly



Central Michigan

Member Education Advisor


Risk Management Advisor


Financial 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. Yet, the need to enlist talented individuals to coach Beta undergraduates is constant. As of October 1, some 59 chapters have at least one advisor opening, representing 110 volunteer vacancies. Are you interested in getting involved or know a rock star who should be recruited? Email today!

Colorado Boulder

Recruitment Advisor


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Chapter Counselor Risk Management Advisor

Florida State

Member Education Advisor Recruitment Advisor


Chapter Counselor Financial Advisor Recruitment Advisor Risk Management Advisor


Financial Advisor Risk Management Advisor


Recruitment Advisor


Financial Advisor

Financial Advisor Risk Management Advisor


Johns Hopkins

Recruitment Advisor Risk Management Advisor


Member Education Advisor Recruitment Advisor


Financial Advisor Member Education Advisor Recruitment Advisor Risk Management Advisor


Member Education Advisor Recruitment Advisor

Eastern Washington

volunteer making vacancies a difference

Florida International

Member Education Advisor Risk Management Advisor


Recruitment Advisor

Financial Advisor Risk Management Advisor


Chapter Counselor Member Education Advisor Recruitment Advisor Risk Management Advisor


Chapter Counselor Risk Management Advisor

Loyola Chicago

Recruitment Advisor

Loyola Marymount

Recruitment Advisor Risk Management Advisor


Financial Advisor

10/19/21 4:29 PM



Miami (Fla.)


Member Education Advisor Financial Advisor


Recruitment Advisor

NC State

North Carolina

Financial Advisor Member Education Advisor Recruitment Advisor Risk Management Advisor

North Dakota

Member Education Advisor


Chapter Counselor Member Education Advisor

Saint Louis

Member Education Advisor Risk Management Advisor

San Jose State

South Dakota

Member Education Advisor Recruitment Advisor

Southern California


Chapter Counselor Financial Advisor

Puget Sound

Member Education Advisor


Chapter Counselor Recruitment Advisor

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Member Education Advisor

Texas A&M

Recruitment Advisor

Texas Tech

Member Education Advisor Risk Management Advisor

UC Irvine

Chapter Counselor Recruitment Advisor Risk Management Advisor


Member Education Advisor Recruitment Advisor Risk Management Advisor

Financial Advisor

William & Mary

Chapter Counselor


Financial Advisor Member Education Advisor


Risk Management Advisor

“Volunteering for Beta has given me so much more than I could ever give back. I have made lifetime memories with lifelong friends. I can only stand here because I have the support of a phenomenal advising team, staff, alumni, friends and Beta brothers who make this job easy, and the trust and respect of some phenomenal undergraduate men who have always made it worth it."

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Financial Advisor Member Education Advisor


Wichita State

Member Education Advisor Risk Management Advisor



Chapter Counselor Member Education Advisor Recruitment Advisor Risk Management Advisor

South Carolina

Ohio State

Financial Advisor Risk Management Advisor

Washington in St. Louis

Chapter Counselor Member Education Advisor Recruitment Advisor

Risk Management Advisor

Oregon State

Chapter Counselor Member Education Advisor

Chapter Counselor Financial Advisor

Member Education Advisor Recruitment Advisor

Financial Advisor Recruitment Advisor

Washington & Jefferson


Chapter Counselor Financial Advisor Member Education Advisor Recruitment Advisor

Member Education Advisor

— Jen Zamora, Chapter Counselor at the University of Texas at Austin, during her acceptance speech for the NIC Advisor Award of Distinction at Beta's 182nd General Convention


Financial Advisor Member Education Advisor

10/19/21 4:29 PM

a message to

THE TRUSTEES On April 23, 2021, following 10 months of deliberations by the Fraternity’s Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Chairman Bill Lowry, Kenyon ’56, delivered in-person remarks to the Board of Trustees introducing the Commission’s “Phase II” recommendations. His sentiments underscored the importance of actions matching intentions.


lmost 67 years ago to the day, I was initiated into Beta Theta Pi. At that time, I felt the men who had the courage to initiate me were truly special people. Despite my admiration for those men, however, I remained skeptical of the larger organization. My welcome was less than gracious. I was wrong. There have been many things that have happened since that day in 1954 that has enabled me to realize the splendor of this fraternity. Among these treasures was the Board’s foresight to authorize the formation of the Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The wisdom and timeliness of the decision is impeccable. As I look at the world today, a solid understanding of people, places and things is imperative. A seat on the sidelines can be disastrous and horribly unproductive. In my view, we are experiencing perhaps the greatest paradox known to mankind. On the one hand our culture seems strangled by hate, racism, symptoms of fascism, separation, intolerance, violence and more – and these notions are not confined to the U.S. While, on the other hand, there exists widespread expressions for the antithesis of all those negative elements. It appears a universal conscience has been resurrected. People seem to recognize

the pain of others. Many are feeling there is value in difference and agree that consolidation of ideas and actions can be productive. People are trying to find the keys to concerted effort and want to share the benefits of its coalescence. Some people are motivated by a need to have a greater understanding while others have become simply more emotionally involved. Whatever the influence, it seems the metamorphosis is complete and many feel if things continue to erode our minds and actions, life as we have known it will truly dissipate. This brings me to this momentous occasion. Discussing a major step addressing diversity, equity and inclusion – all dimensions related to our continuing enhancement. Several months ago, August 7, 2020, to be exact, upon completion of the Commission’s initial task, I commented on some things I thought important at the time. For instance, I remarked, “Now we have to see if our deeds can match our words. We have to establish a template that not only covers our present environment, but our future as well.” In addition, I suggested “a good starting point for our journey is prioritization. What are the areas we have to identify initially that add the greatest value to what we want to accomplish?”

I think you will see that our focus on Language, Voices and Education provides appropriate direction and offers priorities on which a firm base can be built. Our exploration and expansion of these terms has opened a critical path for us to follow. Additionally, another key component of what is being formulated is empathy. In our initial thoughts concerning these areas, we postulated nothing we do will have meaning if empathy is not achieved. I recognize the difficulty in achieving this dimension, but I marvel at our audacity to pursue it. When we started this journey, we realized the road will be daunting. The road continues to be bumpy and fraught with hazards. We are mindful that perhaps everyone may not be in step, but we are convinced this effort is important not just to us, but all we serve as well. Personal audits will be necessary along the way, but above all we have to be committed to lasting progress in these areas of our concern. We also have to remember temporary attention will only provide temporary relief. We must hurry but not rush, be patient but persistent. I have enjoyed working with this magnificent group and I’m pleased with our progress. Moreover, I applaud the Commission for its supreme effort thus far. I sincerely hope the Board will be pleased as well. 

14 | A Message to the Trustees | The Beta Theta Pi

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10/19/21 4:34 PM


PROGRESS In addition to developing a framework to advance Beta’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, the Commission crafted implementation strategies also unanimously adopted by the Board of Trustees. The following summarizes initial tactics put in motion to enrich the brotherly spirit of Beta Theta Pi, which includes quarterly calls to monitor progress.

LANGUAGE • Beta’s official writing Style Guide has been updated through a DEI lens. • The Ritual and Code Review Task Force has been appointed and is charged with preparing recommendations for the 183rd General Convention’s consideration. • Beta programs and resources are being edited in accordance with Style Guide updates.

VOICES • General Secretary Wayne Kay, Virginia Tech ’73, appointed Bill Lowry, Kenyon ’56, as Beta’s first DEI Commissioner. • The Board of Trustees has assigned its standing Stakeholder Engagement Committee as the permanent home for DEI oversight. • The Fraternity’s reporting system now allows individuals to bring forward DEI concerns when conduct is misaligned with Beta’s values.

EDUCATION • Expert guidance is being identified to help the Fraternity craft its educational philosophy. • Staff has completed DEI education as part of Beta’s commitment to ongoing training. • Calls with chapter DEI chairs and advisors share best practices across Beta’s Broad Domain. • Consistent with racial data acquisition first implemented in 2013, Beta’s membership system is being updated to capture ethnicity and sexual orientation demographic data. Learn more about Beta’s Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at

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alumni news lifelong brotherhood 50 Meters Away in Afghanistan

Shortly after graduation, 1st Lt. Aaron Grieshop, Ohio State ’19, (above right) joined the Marines. Two years later on August 26, during the United States’ military withdrawal from the 20-year war in Afghanistan, his platoon was standing post at Kabul Airport’s Abbey Gate. An explosion took the lives of 13 servicemen and women that day, along with dozens of civilians. Brother Grieshop stood on the canal ledge where the blast occurred only 10 minutes prior before walking another 50 meters to his post. One member of his platoon took a ball bearing from the shrapnel straight into a round in his magazine, fortunately unharmed. Three more were standing five meters from Staff Sgt. Hoover, who took the blast and didn’t survive. In the hours that followed, Grieshop took to social media and reflected, “Why am I so lucky? Why was I so lucky? Abbey Gate will forever be a part of me, as it will for everyone else who was there that day.” (To Aaron, his fellow soldiers and all who have made the ultimate sacrifice, Beta Theta Pi says a heartfelt “thank you for your service.” Betas everywhere are happy our brother is still with us, yet we pause to honor the fallen and those who grieve them so deeply.)

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alumninews A | Army Soldiers Discover Beta Bond in Kuwait

Tom Currie, Dayton ’13, (left) and Chris Stell, Colorado Mines ’12, (right) are engineer officers stationed in Camp Buehring, Kuwait, yet their fraternity affiliation was unknown to one another. “Our units work together as design engineers throughout the Middle East and the two of us quickly became friends,” said Captain Currie. “After working together closely for almost eight months, we realized we are both Betas – a fact we found quite unsurprising in retrospect.”


C | The Office Seeks the Man

After 28 years of service, Michael Burgess, Eastern Kentucky ’91, was promoted in September to sergeant of the Nashville police department. In recognition, he was inducted as the 29th honoree into the Delta Xi Chapter’s Alumni Hall of Fame at this year’s homecoming, kicking off the chapter’s 50th anniversary year.

17 FALL 2021 | BETA.ORG


A captain during his tour in Vietnam where he flew 211 combat missions, Col. Jack Sanders, Washington in St. Louis ’61, was inducted last October into the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame by the governor – not for his 30-year military career, rather, for his civic contributions helping build over 400 homes for the needy with Habitat for Humanity and for volunteering 16 years at the local Tucson hospital, among a litany of other causes.


B | Hall of Fame Air Force Pilot


D | Navy Week Keynote


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Photo by: U.S. Navy, Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Christopher Newsome

Visiting Buffalo, New York, in July to celebrate 50 years since his 197072 service as Lieutenant Junior Grade aboard the USS Little Rock, former Navy Secretary, Governor and Ambassador Ray Mabus, Mississippi ’69, headlined the ship’s tour as a kickoff to Buffalo’s Navy Week.

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Brant Concludes 45 Years of Service



What an amazing 45 years of service by Jonathan Brant, Miami ’75. Officially retiring this past summer after a 22year role as director of the Beta Theta Pi Foundation, he has become a modern day Beta Great and icon within the interfraternal world.


Prior, following a five-year run as Beta’s Administrative Secretary (1977-82), for 17 years he served as executive vice president of the North American Interfraternity Conference (1982-99). Receiving the NIC’s highest honor, the Gold Medal, in 2006, Beta’s Board of Trustees announced at the 182nd General Convention the Fraternity’s annual interfraternal honor would now be known as the Jonathan J. Brant Interfraternalism Award. Congratulate Jonathan at

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alumninews H | Jazz Journalist Authors Three Books in Two Years

Producing live concerts and authoring articles as a member of the Jazz Journalist Association, Fernando Rodriquez De Mondesert, Houston ’78, published three books since February 2020, including his newest title, “Women in Jazz … in the Dominican Republic.”

I | Toronto’s Becker Launches Non-Alcoholic Beverage Service

J | Carnegie Mellon Names Coulter Chairman of the Board


E | Miami and Cincinnati Betas Form Investment Firm in the Queen City

Betas going into business with one another isn’t a new phenomenon, but it’s certainly more rare when Betas come together from different chapters to pursue their professional passions. Even more so when they span three decades. That’s what happened in Cincinnati, however, as (left to right) Marty Geiger, Miami ’10, Tim Miller, Cincinnati ’83, Ben Beshear, Miami ’01, and Andy Scarpitti, Miami ’02, recently launched a new financial planning and wealth management firm, LiveWell Capital. From the Loving Cup to the town square, Beta’s “grip (still) grows strong.”

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F | Dr. Garas Among First to Use Shock Waves on Artery Plaque

An interventional cardiologist in Jacksonville, Florida, Dr. Samer Garas, Washington in St. Louis ’90, is among the first in northeast Florida to employ shock wave technology to break up calcified artery plaque that can lead to heart attack and stroke. Initially used on kidney stones, the medical advance was approved by the FDA in February.

K | South Florida Entrepreneur Takes ‘Ideal Agent’ Nationwide

Founding Father Steve Johnston, South Florida ’94, has always possessed the entrepreneurial spirit. That initiativetaking mindset fueled a new real estate venture, Ideal Agent, which has garnered recognition by Forbes in its “Next 1000 Entrepreneurial Superstars.”

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On July 1, David Coulter, Carnegie Mellon ’70, was named his alma mater’s chairman of the board. Beta vice president as an undergraduate, professionally Coulter rose to chairman and CEO of Bank of America.


Chris Becker, Toronto ’92, recently garnered attention from The New York Times for his launch of Better Rhodes, a new online marketplace in the booming non-alcoholic beverage industry.


G | Elmore Gifts $25 Million

California-based venture capitalist Bill Elmore, Purdue ’75, recently made a $25 million gift to Purdue University, which is being recognized with the naming of the Elmore Family School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.





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alumninews L | 37th Annual Canoe Trip

Canadian ___kai___ brims over in Scott Falconer, Western Ontario ’82, and his brothers from Toronto, Western Ontario and Carleton who ventured out on their 37th annual canoe trip in early October – this year in the Temagami region of Northern Ontario. Yes, “The first mark of a Beta will be his Beta Spirit.”

M | Olympian Feels the Beta Love


Losing her Beta father, David Lazor, Purdue ’82, to COVID-19 in April, swimming world champion Annie Lazor pushed through and earned a spot on the Tokyo Olympic team. Channeling their own grief in the loss of their Beta comrade, Dave’s pledge brothers rallied around Annie throughout the competition and celebrated uniformly as she won a bronze medal for Team USA! (Annie is pictured with her mom and dad at the Pan American Games where she won three gold medals.)



N | 60 Years of Phi Kai Phi



Sixty years flew by since the fall class of 1961 came together at Kansas State, but the brotherhood they developed in the Beta house made this September’s reunion an absolute must. Joined by legendary football coach Bill Snyder (far left) and Beta Executive Director Jeff Rundle, Kansas State ’03, the crew enjoyed lunch at the alumni center, Beta singing, a football game and a visit to the Staley School of Leadership Studies, which bears the name of Beta Sweetheart and class brother, Mary Lynn and Warren Staley ’65.

O | Running for a Cure


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Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 9, John Wilcox, Florida State ’18, has dedicated himself to helping others with it as well. This year Wilcox challenged himself to finish the 125th Boston Marathon and raise funds for research. On October 11, he crossed the finish line and raised $9,022 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

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21 FALL 2021 | BETA.ORG

Stamp of Approval Star athlete. Rhodes Scholar. 17th Prime Minister of Canada. And, yes, a devoted brother of Beta Theta Pi. On June 7, 2021, John Turner, British Columbia ’49, would have turned 92. That same day, given the love for his country and acknowledging his passing last September, Canada released a new postage stamp in his honor. Turner becomes at least the fourth Beta to have been recognized in such unique fashion, alongside the stamps of Baseball Hall of Famer Eddie Collins, Columbia 1907, U.S. presidential candidate Wendell L. Willkie, Indiana 1916, and actor William W. Talman Jr., Dartmouth ’36, who played District Attorney Hamilton Burger on the “Perry Mason” TV series.

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SacrificE The heroic (and tragic) story of lifesaver Kim McGrady Written by Alec Harvey, Auburn ’84 Designed by Sarah Shepherd

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“Before the day was out, he’d be lauded as a hero. To his wife of 25 years, those words would be the last he ever spoke.”


eigh Anne McGrady talks about April 8 like it was yesterday, the details as vivid and sharp as the day they were etched into her memory. She and her husband, Kim, Auburn ’89, were nearing the end of a week-long trip to Miramar Beach, Florida, with their son, Colton, and his friend, Preston Lin. Rain that Thursday morning left unsettled seas, rough enough for their beach area to fly a red flag, warning of hazardous conditions, and the areas to either side of them be marked with double red flags, meaning the water was closed to the public. At about 4:00 p.m., as Kim and the two boys played Spikeball on the beach, Leigh Anne snapped photos of her husband laughing and sporting his ever-present smile, before everyone sat down to enjoy the final hours of sun.

“All I remember hearing is, ‘Hey, Leigh Anne, someone needs help in the water; I’ll be right back,’” she recalls. It was Kim, of course, selflessly jumping to the aid of people in need. Before the day was out, he’d be lauded as a hero. To his wife of 25 years, those words would be the last he ever spoke.


A chaotic scene soon developed. A dozen or so people were struggling in the water as Kim, followed by Colton and Preston (both competitive swimmers), dove in the ocean to help. Others sprang to action, too, forming a human chain to reach the swimmers.

The surf was loud and the waves high, and Leigh Anne couldn’t hear or see anyone in the ocean.

“Once he went into the water, I just never saw him,” Leigh Anne says. “I just couldn’t see. Preston saw Kim talking to the guy at the end of the chain, but he didn’t join it because the chain didn’t reach the people.”

But Kim could.

Instead, the three swam out further, trying desperately to reach those in trouble. And they did. Kim is credited with saving three of the swimmers, with Colton and Preston bringing in one apiece. (Some reports say they may have saved eight swimmers. Sadly, one of those rescued died that day.)

The Beta Theta Pi | 23 | Selfless Sacrifice

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Even after Colton and Preston had returned, Leigh Anne couldn’t spot Kim in the water. “Somebody on my right said, ‘Does your husband have on a green bathing suit? He’s down here,’” Leigh Anne says. “I ran 30-50 yards, and he was lying on the beach … People were praying and trying to help him, and the next thing I

remember is this very tall man coming over and saying, ‘I’m sorry, we’ve done everything we can.’ I just kept thinking this is not happening.” Leigh Anne’s first call was to Bruce Cameron ’92, a Beta Theta Pi brother of Kim’s and a family friend. “I wasn’t nice at all,” she says. “He started saying, ‘Hey! How are y’all?,’ and I just said, ‘Bruce, listen to me. I need you to get everyone to pray. I need all the people to pray.’” Leigh Anne and Colton soon followed the ambulance to the hospital, where a young woman told Leigh Anne, “Your husband saved one of my friends.” “She told me and Colton, ‘Your husband told him just ride the wave,’ and that’s what he did,” Leigh Anne says.

Not long after, a nurse came out to them and asked if Kim had a tattoo. He did, and when Leigh Anne and Colton were ushered back and saw the small Greek letters “Beta Theta Pi” inked on his ankle, they knew he was gone.

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As news of Kim’s death – and the heroism that led to it – began spreading, members of his beloved fraternity began posting impromptu memorials on the Auburn chapter’s alumni Facebook page. “Great guy,” some said. “Completely joyful and genuine.” “Always smiling.” “A damn good guy, and everybody liked him.” “One of the nicest guys you ever could have known.” By all accounts, these were more than mere platitudes. “I could say something bad about nearly all my friends, and myself, too, but not him,” says Bobby Gregory ’87, Kim’s big brother in the Fraternity. “He gave his life trying to save complete strangers. That’s exactly the kind of human being he was … He walked into a room, had a great smile and always lit it up. He was for sure the kind of guy you wanted wearing your fraternity shirt around campus.” Scott Portis ’88, a pledge brother and roommate for a couple of years, says Kim was an orientation leader and student recruiter, campus jobs that fit him to a T. “When he did that, I was like, ‘Damn, that’s Kim,’” Portis recalls. “He always assumed that role.”

Andy Wren ’93, a freshman when Kim was a senior and who was introduced to his wife by Leigh Anne, didn’t know him well in college. After graduation both would often join other Betas on trips to Orlando and the Atlanta Braves’ spring training. “He was called to do that for a reason,” Wren says of that day on the beach. “That’s who Kim was. He was that guy. There are not many of them around.”


One person who didn’t know Kim McGrady in college was his wife. Kim graduated in 1989, and Leigh Anne, an Alpha Delta Pi, graduated in 1992. They met a few years later after an Auburn football game. Leigh Anne gave Kim her phone number, though she thought nothing would come of it since he lived in Mobile and she lived in Atlanta. But after meeting in the fall, they got engaged the next July, marrying March 23, 1996, at Auburn United Methodist Church. “Our first year was our worst year because he thought he could just work me into his single-life world,” Leigh Anne says with a laugh. “Every year after that it got better and

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better. Our marriage became God, each other, our children and friends and family.” As they began having children – Colton, who will swim for the University of Georgia beginning next year; and Kaleigh, who is a junior and swimming at Columbia University – the McGradys settled in suburban Atlanta, where Kim was a sales representative. They found a loving church home in Buckhead Church, where they were involved as community group leaders and, for 10 years, as counselors for engaged couples. Around 2007, Kim and Leigh Anne, through prayer and a sermon by pastor Andy Stanley, decided Kim needed a change. That led him to Bruce Cameron, a Beta brother he knew in college but became much closer to later in life. Cameron works for Chick-fil-A and urged Kim to apply. For the last 13 years of his life, Kim was a business consultant for the restaurant chain. A Chick-fil-A store operator even started a Go Fund Me that will pay for the McGrady childrens’ college expenses. “He’s one of those friends that is always there for you,” Cameron says. “Kim was that guy who knew your past, the ups and downs, but still was so accepting of all of that.”

“‘Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends,’” Leigh Anne says, quoting the verse. “And he did it for three strangers.” THE AFTERMATH

A week after Kim’s death, Cameron spoke at his memorial service, talking about Beta and their friendship forged later on. “I ran into him in a gym in Dunwoody,” he said. “From then on, our families have done life together.” Kaleigh and Colton spoke, as did Leigh Anne. “I wanted to make sure people knew how lucky I was, and I was blessed,” she says. “I never knew how many people he touched. The Betas have been amazing. A bunch of Betas have stayed in our lives through the years, and so many Betas came to the memorial.” Beta Scott Reynolds ’92, led an effort to commission a plaque on a bench on Miramar Beach to honor Kim. “In Ever Honored Memory of Kim McGrady,” it reads. “Whom upon this beach selflessly made the ultimate sacrifice to save others. 04.08.21. Husband. Father. Son. Brother. Hero. -kai-”

Though she didn’t have a chance to stop Kim from heading into the water, Leigh Anne knows it wouldn’t have helped. “There was no opportunity to say that, and he would not have listened to me,” she says. “He would want anyone to do that for his family. He only did what he would want done for us.” Six months after Kim’s death, Leigh Anne still often talks about him in the present tense, not even realizing she’s doing it. “He’s going to help whenever he can,” she says. “He’s just that kind of person. He’s a strong man. He never went in thinking he wasn’t going to come back. He just saw a need and did it.” She’ll remember that selflessness, and, like many others, Kim’s smile. His laugh, in fact, is now her ringtone. “He’s just always smiling,” Leigh Anne says. “He’s so friendly and happy all the time. For the most part, he was the fun in our family. He

loved life and loved the Lord, and he loved his family.” For the McGradys, “Some days are better than others,” Leigh Anne says. “I know God’s got it,” she says. “I don’t know how anyone gets through this without faith in the Lord. I’m not sad for Kim. I know where he is. I’m sad for myself.” In May, Kim, Colton and Preston were awarded lifesaving challenge coins by Jeff Moss, a Dunwoody resident and deputy chief of the Morrow, Georgia, Fire Department, on behalf of the South Walton Fire District, where Miramar Beach is located. And in August, the McGradys came up with their own reminder of the heroism exhibited by their husband and father. Leigh Anne, Kaleigh and Colton now have matching tattoos on their right arms – “John 15:13,” in Kim’s handwriting. “’Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends,’” Leigh Anne says, quoting the verse. “And he did it for three strangers.”

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26 | Unmasked! | The Beta Theta Pi

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unmasked! the secret identities of beta’s most iconic catchphrases They’re timeless, symbolic, enduring and capable of stirring brothers’ emotions without fail. They’re the iconic catchphrases of Beta Theta Pi! The Fraternity has amassed countless stories and sentiments in its 182-year history. This lore, passed down through the generations, unites members in the belief that this institution has unique and extraordinary abilities, a strong moral conviction, great courage and a mission to serve. These heroic qualities are captured in the tales of John Hanna Gray, John Holt Duncan and the Toronto Chapter Fund. They’re declared with each rendition of “Marching Along.” They’re taught through fables found in the Ritual. Most commonly, though, they’re reinforced in the everyday words and phrases brothers use with one another – many of which have become backbone entries of the Beta dictionary. Every hero has a backstory. So, too, do these most famous phrases that keep watch over the brotherhood and sustain in the hearts of its members the virtuousness, integrity and decency synonymous with this fraternal order. For the first time in history, The Beta Theta Pi traces the roots of these classic sayings through generations of written archives, unmasking their identities once and for all.

by Justin Warren, SMU ’10 Designed by Mike Roupas, Iowa ’10 Illustrated by Tom Nguyen

Artist for DC and Marvel comics and CBS’s “Big BrotheR”

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Origin Story The song of the Mu Epsilon Chapter at Wesleyan University, written by Ralph W. Keeler 1904, wasn’t first published in The Beta Theta Pi magazine until 1904. The song’s popularity, however, quickly spread across the chapters, with one line in particular being music to the ears of Beta Great Francis W. Shepardson, Denison 1882/ Brown 1883: “In Beta’s broad dominion.” Shepardson first exchanges dominion for domain in print in 1914 as he describes his road trip to visit chapters in the American West as General Fraternity President, though the former remains predominant in the Beta lexicon through the middle of the 20th century. Soon thereafter, he institutes a recurring section in The Beta Theta Pi during his time as editor entitled “In Beta’s Broad Dominion” – akin to today’s “Alumni News” – that becomes a magazine staple continued on across three decades and four editors. So why do members today universally use domain to describe the expansive presence of Beta Theta Pi across North America? While both words originate from the same Latin root of dominus, the meaning of dominion is more closely tied to a third similar word, to dominate, while domain developed separately to denote the land or property of a lord or master. As such, domain concerns territory, while dominion concerns control.

“beta’s broad domain” “While ring thy praises, sweet is our communion; All meet as one in Beta’s broad dominion, Beta our song has been, Beta ever shall we love, We of Mu Epsilon.” — Mu Epsilon Song

The root differences between the words creates stark differences in how Beta perceives itself. Namely, that chapters are empowered to self-govern and all are sprawling outposts of a singular entity with equal standing. The final magazine issue to feature the “In Beta’s Broad Dominion” moniker was in 1955 before Robert T. Howard, DePauw ’37, came to possess the editor’s pen. With help from another Beta Great, Dr. Seth R. Brooks, St. Lawrence 1922, whose prose famously reflected on Beta’s Broad Domain, common usage rapidly shifted and gave birth to the now quintessential expression that has connected Betas and their chapters from coast to coast for some 65 years.

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“Beta Spirit” “Again, the Beta is distinguishable and distinguished from all other kinds of fraternity men whatsoever, by just a little warmer and stronger, just a little tenderer and more enduring fraternity feeling than any of them can attain to. For it was always so. I do not in the least know how it happened nor why it persisted after it happened, but a long time ago there came into Beta Theta Pi a fraternity spirit that was, and is, and apparently will continue to be unique ... The first mark of a Beta will be his Beta Spirit.” — Willis O. Robb, Ohio Wesleyan 1879

Origin Story General Fraternity President Willis O. Robb, Ohio Wesleyan 1879, first added “Beta Spirit” to the historical record during his March 24, 1905, address, “The Beta of the Future,” 15 years after his original ‘fraternity spirit’ remarks during the General Convention of 1890. Spoken at a banquet to honor recently elected New Jersey Governor Edward Stokes, Brown 1883, the words reverberated throughout the Hotel Astor in New York and pervaded the hearts and minds of those 300 brothers in attendance, and in doing so quickly entrenched themselves into the Beta vernacular. Originally intended to celebrate the Fraternity’s volunteerism and singing, “Beta Spirit” has since come to trumpet the undying loyalty, compassion and enthusiasm members feel towards the brotherhood.

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Origin Story

“Once a Beta, Always a Beta, Everywhere a Beta” “‘Once a Beta, Always a Beta, Everywhere a Beta’ should be made the slogan of each man on the roll of the Fraternity.” — Francis W. Shepardson, Denison 1882/Brown 1883

Two-thirds of this significant phrase – “Once a Beta, Always a Beta” – came early into the writings of Beta Theta Pi, first appearing in a chapter letter from Ohio Wesleyan in an 1883 edition of The Beta Theta Pi (though it’s likely the saying dates back even further). It evolves a bit more in 1891, when Editor Charles M. Hepburn, Virginia 1880, uses a variation of the expression in its entirety: “A Beta is a Beta everywhere; and that to be once a Beta is to be always a Beta.” And it was Francis W. Shepardson, Denison 1882/Brown 1883, who advanced the saying into its full modern form in a letter featured in a 1908 edition of the magazine. By the early 20th century, it had become legendary for at once succinctly stating the love a brother has for the Fraternity while also challenging alumni to remain invested after graduation. That little nudge towards continued involvement wasn’t even subtle. “Once a Beta, Always a Beta, Everywhere a Beta” was front and center on every Fraternal Fifties card at the time, which was distributed to Silver Grays upon the 50th anniversary of their initiation. The precursor to other favorites such as “brothers are brothers for life,” or “proud to be a Beta,” it was once described by Shepardson as “our watchword,” and Beta leaders have continued to etch this proclamation into the Fraternity’s history for more than 100 years. More than a slogan, it confirms one’s commitment to lifelong brotherhood and answering the call of duty to help, as a volunteer or otherwise – once, always and everywhere.

30 | Unmasked! | The Beta Theta Pi

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Origin Story In an 1862 letter from Abraham Lincoln to Queen Victoria, the president’s salutation refers to Her Majesty as his “Great and Good Friend.” By the time the “Handbook of Official and Social Etiquette and Public Ceremonials at Washington” is published in 1889, the greeting is standard anytime the American head of state addresses a peer in writing.

“great and good fraternity” “A Great and Good Fraternity must have standards and ideals. It cannot fail in holding our great expectations. In turn it must expect exceptionally high response from its members.” — Dr. Seth R. Brooks, St. Lawrence 1922

Several accounts point to Francis W. Shepardson, Denison 1882/Brown 1883, being the pioneer to use this phrase, traditionally reserved for only the most esteemed of entities, to describe Beta Theta Pi. It is also perhaps at the root of the “Beta Great” moniker, coined by A. J. G. Priest, Idaho 1918, in his book “The Great Ones” to describe those who have made legendary contributions to the Fraternity. Likely inspired by these trailblazers before him, it’s W. F. Loveless, Denison 1925, though, who gets credit for first writing the saying in its entirety in a 1948 issue of the Beta magazine. And it’s Dr. Seth R. Brooks, St. Lawrence 1922, who truly popularized Great and Good Fraternity, initially using it during a 1951 General Convention address, then repeating it frequently in his “Inter Fratres” magazine columns and other speeches. Therein, he uses Great to celebrate the Fraternity’s lofty standards and high achievements, while Good bolsters its moral character. Though the phrase is taken for granted today, Brooks saw, and spent decades helping others see, that Beta Theta Pi is a larger-than-life organization with lofty ideals and virtuous members – a Great and Good Fraternity.

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Origin Story The power packed into the four simple words “of ever honored memory” cannot be overstated. When presented, a brother is at once praising those eight earnest young men who first gathered in the upper room of Old Main, reciting from what some consider the greatest document in the association’s history and recalling the moment Beta Theta Pi was born.

“of ever honored memory” “For the better accomplishment of the objects and designs of the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity, established by John Reily Knox, S. T. Marshall, David Linton, James G. Smith, Charles H. Hardin, John H. Duncan, M. C. Ryan, and Thomas B. Gordon, of ever honored memory …” — Fourth Constitution of Beta Theta Pi

They are introduced to a new member when he learns the Founders’ Paragraph, a brief retelling of the Fraternity’s conception as written by Dr. G. Herbert Smith, DePauw 1927, on occasion of Beta’s centennial in the first edition of “Son of the Stars.” Most aren’t aware, however, that the phrase predates the 1939 publication by 60 years. Principally conceptualized and proposed by “the first great power” of Beta Theta Pi, Wyllys C. Ransom, Michigan 1848, “of ever honored memory” first appeared in the fourth constitution of this society, more commonly known as the Open Constitution. Adopted by the General Convention in 1879, this document not only established the current form of governance but concluded the 40 years Beta spent operating sub rosa and ushered in its public persona via the introduction of the Objects of Beta Theta Pi, which remain in the constitution still today.

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Origin Story It’s said that Francis W. Shepardson, Denison 1882/Brown 1883, frequently closed speeches to bands of Betas by quoting verses from “The Bridge Builder,” the earliest noted instance being in 1921 at the 82nd General Convention in Estes Park, Colorado. Thereafter, the poem’s themes of perseverance, confidence and service began spreading throughout Beta Theta Pi (and other fraternal peers) as the de facto illustration of the heroism members are expected to exhibit to one another and those in need. It became so important to Beta’s character that it was added to the original Pledge Ceremony in 1939. Thus, nearly every brother alive today learned about building bridges in his earliest interaction with the Fraternity. But which famed Beta writer or orator brought this concept to Shepardson’s attention? Actually, none. The poem originated around 1900 from Miss Will Allen Dromgoole, whose works depicted the lives of people in the Cumberlands of Tennessee. Specifically, it’s a poem dedicated to her father, whom she recalled in a story as a 90-year-old man who cleared a path for her through untidy woods at their summer cabin. “My heart hurt me,” she said. “He had taken all that trouble to make a path he would probably never walk again.”

“the bridge builder” “Good friend, I am building this bridge for him.” — Miss Will Allen Dromgoole

Though not a brother’s original work, the sentiments within “The Bridge Builder” are foundational to the Beta experience and once again remind members of the significant female influence on Beta Theta Pi’s culture. The story is never-ending, with each new member inheriting the knowledge, expectations and duties of the generations before him.

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Origin Story This one is tricky as using sweetheart as a term of endearment dates back centuries. King Henry VIII even used it in love letters when expressing affection towards his ill-fated wife, Anne Boleyn. That’s to say, the combination of Beta and sweetheart likely – even if only by happenstance – entered the Fraternity’s vocabulary in its earliest days. Yet any Beta hailing from a singing chapter today is likely intimately familiar with the truest crux of the phrase, which is the 1914 classic song “Beta Sweetheart” by Frederick Warner, Beloit 1912. It wasn’t the first of the Fraternity’s “sweetheart songs” (that honor is reserved for 1872’s “Serenade Song”), but its quick tempo, simple lyrics and relative brevity made it an instant favorite among brothers and spawned several additional tunes that hinged on the famous saying.

“beta sweetheart” “How would you like to be a Beta Sweetheart? How would you like to wear a Beta pin?” — “Beta Sweetheart”

The song became so popular, in fact, that in a 1920 survey it edged out both “There’s a Scene” and “Beta Doxology” as most frequently sung by chapters, and quickly drew additional verses from chapters far and wide, including a special response from a “Beta Girl” in Kansas: “How’d I like to be a Beta Sweetheart? To wear the colors dear, just pink and blue? How’d I like to have a Beta pin, dear? I’d like it, if the pin belonged to you.” Many Beta cliches pay homage to the Fraternity’s founders, affirm its principles, values and brotherhood, or celebrate its nearly two centuries of achievements. Beta Sweetheart, though, is different. It boasts not Beta Theta Pi itself, but the timeless adoration and love its members have for the friends, family and romantic partners whose faithfulness and devotion deserve such tribute.

34 | Unmasked! | The Beta Theta Pi

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“men oF principle” “The man of principle and integrity who has developed character and selfdiscipline is the man humanity must always turn to for its salvation.” — Dr. Seth R. Brooks, St. Lawrence 1922

Origin Story By far the newest mainstay of the Beta lexicon is men of principle, and though this nearly 25-year-old phrase has arguably already usurped the throne of most used adage, it is now entirely plausible that today’s youngest brothers are unfamiliar with its roots. The year was 1998, and Beta Theta Pi was preparing to embark upon one of the most pivotal moments and periods in its history. Inspired by a “letter to the editor” submitted by E.B. Wilson, St. Lawrence ’53, wherein he challenged the Fraternity’s leadership to work aggressively towards implementing policies and programs grounded in Beta’s true mission and vision, a transformational, culture-reversing initiative was largely in place. But what would it be called? The goals of the initiative emphasized academic performance, responsible conduct, leadership and service, engaged global citizenship, and – importantly in this context – contemporary language. For the steering committee, the development of men of principle succinctly captured the program’s objectives. Upon a request by the Fraternity’s first Men of Principle staff director, Martin Cobb, Eastern Kentucky ’96, for historical language to lend credible underpinning to the initiative’s new title, it was Assistant Archivist Bill Berry, Vanderbilt ’68, (originator of the also-famed “earn your badge every day”) who connected this expression to a 1965 Convention address at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island by Dr. Seth R. Brooks, St. Lawrence 1922. In doing so, it reminded the brotherhood that while men of principle would signal the dawn of a new era within Beta Theta Pi, it was grounded in the values and ideals Betas have shared across generations.

Behind the mask of any hero is one who desires to do good in the world around them. Likewise, beneath the surface of these catchphrases is a team of like-minded men and their greatest sidekicks who, together, have inspired and protected the passion and unwavering commitment more than 215,000 members have had to the values of Beta Theta Pi since 1839. Unmasked! | fall 2021 | 35

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campus life student highlights Generation 9/11

In a recent PBS documentary, John (Luke) Taylor, TCU '24, reflected on his life in the 20 years since September 11, 2001. His father, Lt. Col. Kip Taylor, was working in the Pentagon near the point of impact of Flight 77. Unfortunately, he never met him; Taylor was born about six weeks later. When he was two, his mother (left) lost her fight with breast cancer. "There wasn't a time where they sat us down and said, 'OK, we're going to tell you about your backstory. You're old enough to know now,'" Taylor said. "It wasn't really like that." His paternal uncle and aunt soon became the parents he knew, adopting him and his older brother; they were open and honest to answer any questions he had while growing up. Taylor has considered continuing the military legacy of his family, now involved with the campus ROTC. Both his biological and adoptive fathers were commissioned into the Army by their father. Learn more about Luke's story at

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fraternitybusiness State of the Fraternity

It was an academic year like no other in 2020-21. In spite of the pandemic, Beta emerged as strong as ever. • 139 campuses across North America were home to a Beta chapter. However, three chapters – Houston, Willamette and Southern Illinois – faced an inability to recruit and retain members and closed their doors by the end of the year.

• 2,635 men joined Beta, a decline of 28%, to total 9,254 undergraduate members and a 68-man average chapter size. While below normal, some chapters like Alabama and Tennessee saw their largest recruitment classes in years.



A | Big Name on the Pitch

Keep the accolades coming! Not only was Lucas Meek, Washington ’21, the first Pac-12 Player of the Week, College Soccer News named him the National Player of the Week on September 7. Brother Meek was also named to the National Team of the Week by both College Soccer News and TopDrawerSoccer. In the opening three fixtures, he notched three goals and three assists, leading or scoring the game-winning goal in each brace. The Huskies remain a consensus top-five team in the country, undefeated through the first half of the season.

B | Everywhere a Beta

Across the world, Beta brothers always seem to catch up with one another. Chapter President Brad Rosenston, LSU ’22, (left) ran into Brother Brad Gallop, Cincinnati ’23, (right) and Jordan Pescovitz, Ohio State ’23, (middle) on a premed trip to Israel.

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C | Leading Denver

Beta is known for its campus leaders; this especially rings true at the University of Denver. Keanan Anderson ’22, was recently elected president of Undergraduate Student Government and follows in the footsteps of Beta brother Ryan Hyde ’21, who served campus a year ago.

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Installations Complete

Receiving unanimous votes in favor of chartering during the virtual legislative session in January 2021, the Delta Mu Chapter was reinstalled at Texas Tech on September 10, and the Alpha Psi Chapter was reinstalled at Butler University on September 18. General Secretary Wayne Kay, Virginia Tech ’73, served as installing officer for Delta Mu, originally founded in 1970, and General Fraternity President Tom Cassady, Cincinnati ’76, installed Alpha Psi, which was originally founded in 1878 but existed for just two years. Finally, it was a long wait for the newly established Theta Alpha Chapter at Delaware, who gained approval for their charter at the 180th Convention in 2019. Former Vice President Ken Grispin, Rutgers ’70, presided over the Installation on November 6.


Photo: Washington Athletics / Red Box Photos


• 3.459 all-chapter GPA in 2020, an increase of 0.207 from 2019 and an alltime Beta record for the second straight year. Pennsylvania recorded the highest chapter GPA with a 3.86.

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campuslife D | Recruitment Success

Many chapters had phenomenal success this fall when it came to recruitment, including several chapter records. Here, Alpha Alpha Chapter at Columbia recruited 18 young men, the largest recruitment class in recent history.

E | Mix Giant


Beta may be known as the Singing Fraternity, but this brother is musically versed a little differently. Noah Glassman, Loyola Marymount ’22, has been making his name known mixing music in Los Angeles. Lately, he helped mix select songs in Doja Cat’s latest album “Planet Her,” including the first song “Woman,” which has over 218 million streams on Spotify. He also helped mix "Naked," "Ride" and "Up and Down."



F | Breaking Records



Could he be the strongest man on campus? It's quite possible; Brother Jasper Chen, British Columbia ’24, recently broke three Canadian weightlifting records for his age and weight class. His bests for the day included a 240-kilogram squat, a 275-kilogram deadlift and 672.5 total kilograms lifted at the WPC Canada Powerlifting Equipped Nationals.

G | Betas on the Hill


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From managing office communications to policy research and voting recommendations, Jack Furla, Mississippi ’22, spent his summer in Washington, D.C., working with Beta brother Senator Roger Marshall, Kansas State ’84. Marshall has been a notable congressman in the House and Senate since 2017. "That was a very fulfilling, real hands-on experience that I will take into my future," Furla said.

10/19/21 10:27 PM

Flag Surfin' One of the most unique Flag Fridays yet, Braden Haas, Iowa ’24, showed off his Beta Spirit while lake surfing. Watch how it's done at It's all in the precision!


39 FALL 2021 | BETA.ORG

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Stay Thrifty


Victor Netland, Northeastern ’23, has an eye for thrifting. His style soon became popular with his friends, who wanted to purchase them. So, Netland launched his own buy-selltrade page: Vito’s Vintage. "I hope to someday own a clothing company using the knowledge I have gained about vintage clothing and entrepreneurial business."

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campuslife H | Gift of Life



At a chapter event in 2019, a simple cheek swab connected Nick Dougher, Miami ’22, to the Gift of Life Registry, which facilitates bone marrow and stem cell transplants. Two years later, Dougher donated stem cells to save the life of a blood cancer patient. He now works as a campus ambassador for the organization.

I | Model Status

J | All in on Analytics


K | Mutual Assistance

Several chapter brothers at South Florida are helping Feeding Tampa Bay combat hunger in their community and end food insecurities by 2025. They packed, organized and handed out food boxes to local residents.

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Brendan Nyberg, Quinnipiac ’23, wanted to help his peers understand the importance of business analytics. To do that, he started the Business Analytics & Excel Association on campus.


James Kinglsey, High Point ’23, is putting in the work with Model + Talent Management. Recently signing his contract, he's pursuing work with clients like Calvin Klein, Nike, Disney, L’ORÉAL and more.

L | So Fresh, So Clean

With UCPD working hard to keep campus safe, Beta Nu Chapter brothers at Cincinnati took time out of their summer to give the cruisers a needed wash. It was also a great chance to get to know and thank the officers for all they do to keep the campus safe. L

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10/24/21 10:06 AM

cut and polished refining men of principle protecting your package Every November for nearly 20 years, countless Betas and men across the globe have shown off their sweetest ‘staches in support of the Movember Foundation. The charity leverages this month-long follicle foray to raise funds and awareness for men’s health in the areas of mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer. CUT AND POLISHED

Because the chance of a man developing testicular cancer in his lifetime is about one in 270 (not to mention that it’s the most common cancer in young men ages 2039), this issue’s “Cut and Polished” is going south of the border to teach you how to test your testes. 1 | GET STEAMY A hot shower relaxes both the mind and the, uh, body.


2 | READY TO ROLL Cup one testicle using both hands and give it a roll. 3 | INSPECT FOR IRREGULARITIES Using slight pressure, check for lumps, bumps or anything painful. Anomalies may be as small as a grain of rice or a pea. 4 | NO CAUSE FOR ALARM In the back, you should feel the epididymis, a tube that carries sperm. That’s normal. For more information on Movember and resources related to male health issues, visit Illustration: Alexa Chmura

5 | REPEAT Don’t leave the other guy hanging. 6 | MAKE A DATE Set a reminder to self-exam each month to monitor for changes. If something doesn’t feel right, consult your doctor. With a 95% survival rate, testicular cancer is almost always curable if caught and treated early. A refined man of principle knows the importance of caring for himself both inside and out, so take this as permission to get a little touchy-feely with your testicles. It’s for your own health!

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Photos: IIRR U.S. Office

43 FALL 2021 | BETA.ORG

beta eponyms worldwide tributes Shortly after graduation, Beta’s own Yu-Chuen “Jimmy” Yen, Yale 1918, joined the International YMCA and traveled to France to support the Allies and Chinese Labor Corp with literacy aid during World War I. Helping the Chinese read and write letters, he recalled, “I found for the first time in my ignorant intellectual life the value of the common people of my own country. What they lacked was education.” This led Yen to found the 1923 Chinese Mass Education Movement and 1960 International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR), which focused on the education of 60 million rural, poor Chinese and tackled root causes of hunger and poverty in Third World countries throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America. Thanks to Beta brothers he pursued aggressively to draft bylaws, fundraise and serve on the board of the IIRR – brothers like Kmart Chairman Stanley S. Kresge, Michigan 1924, Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, Whitman 1920, and chapter brother, son of U.S. President Taft and Cincinnati Mayor Charles P. Taft, Yale 1918, in 1987 President Reagan awarded Yen the Eisenhower Medallion, recognizing his efforts toward world peace. Named in his honor, the Yen Center in the Philippines is headquarters to the IIRR, which also contains a conference center, museum and memorial garden where Yen’s remains are interred with those of his Beta Sweetheart, Alice Huie.

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Leading to the education of 60 million rural, poor Chinese, a body of scholars listed Yen along with Einstein, Ford, Wright and Edison as ‘the ten greatest revolutionaries of our time.’

10/24/21 10:11 AM


182ND GENERAL CONVENTION - OXFORD, OHIO - AUGUST 5-8, 2021 The Beta Spirit flowed through the hollows of Miami University – home of the beloved Alpha Chapter – during the 182nd General Convention. While the in-person 181st was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was a joyful reunion in August as more than 300 Betas and Friends of Beta gathered once again in the name of brotherhood. Those in attendance seized the opportunity to reaffirm themselves to the values of the Fraternity and in the words of Beta Great Dr. Seth R. Brooks, St. Lawrence 1922, spoken at the 125th Convention in Oxford: “We reaffirm that, as we are grateful for our past, we will ever keep our eyes to the future and strive for progress.” Beta’s historic home at Miami was an inspiring backdrop for the event’s most cherished traditions. Likewise, insightful education for collegians and volunteers alike, as well as the annual business of the Fraternity, prepared all attendees for a successful return to campus life.

W.H. (Bert) Bates, Missouri ’49 (above), received the 28th Francis W. Shepardson Award, the sixth in Beta history to be honored with both of the Fraternity’s top alumni awards: the Shepardson Award and the Oxford Cup.

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10/24/21 10:07 AM

FOCUSED EDUCATION Undergraduate delegates and Beta volunteers took the opportunity to critically prepare for the upcoming academic year. Education sessions on recruitment and restoring chapter operations, including a keynote from Jordan Fischette, Alpha Tau Omega, on the effects of hazing, resonated with all attendees. Results from the latest Beta Brotherhood Assessment were also analyzed during regional breakouts to help members identify areas of focus unique to each chapter.

EXPLORING OUR HERITAGE At the heart of Beta Theta Pi is its history. Thus, with Convention held in its birthplace, reconnecting with the Fraternity’s heritage was a must-do on the agenda. Attendees basked in the very spot the Founders first met 182 years ago in “Old Main” (Harrison Hall), and the four bells of the Beta Campanile – fittingly lit in a delicate shade of pink – rang loud across the Mother of Fraternities. The historic museums of the Alpha chapter house and Administrative Office inspired young and old men alike.

BUSINESS WITH EFFICIENCY In the Legislation Hall, Convention delegates moved efficiently through the day’s slate. In addition to the passage of seven proposals to The Code (see reverse) and unanimous approval of a trio of new Trustees, three new chapters were granted charters. Congratulations to James Madison (Theta Gamma) and Florida Gulf Coast (Theta Eta), and welcome back Colorado (Beta Tau)!

MARCHING ALONG With “Marching Along” keeping the pace, the annual Marching Line led brothers from the Beta Campanile to Saturday night’s Celebration Banquet. In addition to Bert Bates, Missouri ’49, being driven some 600 miles by his Beta grandson, Tucker Bates, Kansas ’20, to receive the Shepardson Award, the NIC presented two Awards of Distinction to undergraduate Ian Ross, Michigan ’21, and Texas’ Chapter Counselor Jen Zamora, Delta Zeta. An astonishing 21 chapters received the prestigious Knox Award for 2019-20, 2020-21 or both.


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Advisory Team of the Year Iowa State Excellence in Risk Management Award MIT, Washington State, WPI John Reily Knox Award Nebraska (18), Kansas State (13), Truman State (13), San Diego (12), Kettering B (10), Miami (9), Centre (8), Georgia Tech (8), Denver (4), Creighton (4), Delaware (3), New Jersey (3), Pennsylvania (2), Pittsburgh (2), UC San Diego (2), Villanova (2), Drexel, Elon, Iowa State, MIT, Texas. Francis H. Sisson Award Georgia Tech (34), Kansas State (30), Nebraska (24), Minnesota (20), Truman State (20), Cornell (16), Pennsylvania (16), Miami (15), Texas A&M (15), Centre (14), San Diego (14), Case Western Reserve (13), Utah (12), Kettering B (11), MIT (10), Iowa State (7), TCU (7), Texas Tech (7), Villanova (7), Denver (6), Texas (6), Creighton (5), Kettering A (5), Pittsburgh (4), UC San Diego (4), Delaware (3), New Jersey (3), Drexel, Elon H.H. Stephenson Jr. Award for Excellence in Historical Preservation UC San Diego John Holt Duncan Community Service Award Iowa State (Annual), San Diego (Ongoing) Most Improved Chapter Award Drexel North Dakota Award for Excellence in Chapter Publications Kettering B, Miami, MIT, WPI New Song Writing Competition UC San Diego Outstanding Alumni Relations Award Miami, Washington State, WPI Outstanding Campus Involvement Award Case Western Reserve, Centre, Georgia Tech, Kansas State, Pacifi Outstanding New Member Education Award Creighton Outstanding Recruitment Award San Diego, Texas Sons of the Dragon Club Award Arkansas, Cornell, Denver, Kettering B, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pacific, Rocheste Virginia Tech Award for Excellence in Academics American, Colorado, Cornell, Drexel, Florida State, Iowa State, Kentucky, Kettering B, Oklahoma State, Pittsburgh, UC San Diego Highest: Pennsylvania (3.86 GPA) Most Improved: Drexel (2.87 to 3.56 GPA) Whitman Choral Cup MIT


Regional Chief of the Year Randy Master, Hanover ’82 Rookie District Chief of the Year Michael Lavina, Hanover ’11 District Chief of the Year Robert Alberts, General Fraternity ’20 Malcolm Andrews, Virginia ’89 John Stanton, Centre ’89 Link Strickland, Oklahoma State ’17 Dr. Edward B. Taylor Advisor of the Year Award Andy Iovanna, WPI ’15 (WPI) Jen Zamora, Delta Zeta (Texas) Thea Zunick, Phi Sigma Sigma (New Jersey) House Corporation Volunteer of the Year Al Simmons, Kansas ’82 (Kansas) House Director of the Year Charlie Ruff, TCU ’15 (Indiana) Charles W. Warner Fraternity/Sorority Advisor of the Year Caitlin Roberts, Kappa Delta (Oregon) Abigail Wasserman, Kappa Delta (Pittsburgh) Jonathan J. Brant Interfraternalism Award Lawrence Ross, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Jerry M. Blesch General Secretary Leadership Award Tyler Naughtrip, Iowa State ’22 NIC Awards of Distinction Ian Ross, Michigan ’21 Jen Zamora, Delta Zeta Francis W. Shepardson Award W.H. (Bert) Bates, Missouri ’49


Convention Countdown Tom Lipton, Western Reserve ’63 (51) Beta Countdown W.H. (Bert) Bates, Missouri ’49 (73)


Convention Kickoff Tom Cassady, Cincinnati ’76 State of the Fraternity Jeff Rundle, Kansas State ’03 Wayne Kay, Virginia Tech ’73 Bill Lowry, Kenyon ’56 Ian Ross, Michigan ’21 Recognition Ceremony Ben Swartz, Connecticut ’05 Celebration Banquet Aaron Kozuki, Washington in St. Louis ’05


Partners in Safety Rich Jungman, Phi Sigma Kappa; Holmes Murphy Creating Change Jordan Fischette, Alpha Tau Omega; Real Talk Agency Recruitment in a Changing World Zach Lepperd, Truman State ’16; Director of Fraternity Growth Data on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Gentry McCreary, Alpha Gamma Rho; Dyad Strategies


President Jared Thompson, Centre ’17 Secretary Ryan Reichenbach, Kettering B ’18 Parliamentarian Dr. Eric Buller, Miami ’19 Marshal Remy McClain, Truman State ’19 Committee of the Whole Chairman Jonathan Brant, Miami ’75


Approved Charters Colorado, James Madison, Florida Gulf Coast Proposals Passed Proposal 1: Outstanding Alumni Assoc. Award Proposal 2: Faculty Advisor Award Proposal 3: Alterations to Protect the Baird Fund Proposal 6: Alumni Assoc. Membership Proposal 8: Alumni Assoc. Status and Annual Certification (Amended Proposal 9: Convention Delegate Registration and Eligibility Proposal 10: Trial by Chapter Voting Proposals Failed Proposal 4: Alumni Assoc. Membership Proposal 5: Alumni Assoc. Voting at Convention Proposal 7: Alumni Assoc. Creation and Credentialing (Withdrawn)


Board of Trustees Ken Bryan, MIT ’88; General Treasurer Amar Budarapu, Lawrence ’87; Vice President Aaron Kozuki, Washington in St. Louis ’05; Vice President Foundation Board of Directors Rick Sabol, Ohio ’77 Karl Chiao, Texas A&M ’90 Scott Grotjan, South Dakota ’92 Zac Haines, Miami ’05 Kent Mire, TCU ’07 General Fraternity House Corporation Andrew Zurborg, Arkansas ’15


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chapterineternal loving memory




Steven D. Plowden ’86, May 12

Shane H. Brady ’50, Jan. 25, 2020 c William R. Glossen ’79, Jan. 1 A. K. Kuhn ’47, May 13, 2020 Thomas L. Reiber ’64, July 19 Richard R. Wysong ’56, July 28 c A. J. York ’67, June 11

Donald A. Bailey ’86, Sept. 30 David W. Hinz ’60, Nov. 10, 2020 Taylor E. Roth ’50, Feb. 8, 2020 Peter F. Smith ’58, Oct. 5, 2020 James L. Wahle ’58, April 10 Herbert C. White ’59, April 15 Donald J. Zalud ’51, April 1

Amherst Paul E. Bragdon ’50, Aug. 7 C



Forever Remembered Notices of Beta brothers and Sweethearts who passed within the last two years and were reported to the Administrative Office between April 18 and October 11, 2021, are included in this listing. Report a Beta’s Death Please contact Receptionist Phyllis Bowie at 800.800.BETA or phyllis.bowie@beta. org 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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Auburn Albert M. Archibald Jr. ’66, Aug. 28 Michael A. Cumbie ’05, Jan. 29, 2020 Martin M. Edwards ’80, May 19

Baylor Robert A. Cece ’96, Feb. 2

Bethany L. R. Thompson ’54, Dec. 31, 2020 Charles O. Wilson III ’76, Feb. 1, 2020

Bowdoin Laurence S. Cushing ’50, Aug. 3, 2020 C Robert F. Garrett III ’59, May 28 C

Bowling Green Basil T. Zappola ’64, June 13

Brown Henry C. Adams ’43, Aug. 13 C George E. Hall ’52, April 24 Burton C. Staugaard ’50, June 7, 2020 H. M. Summers Jr. ’58, May 26 Austin B. Thompson Jr. ’44, March 11, 2020 C Robert C. Wachter ’62, Aug. 10 C

Carnegie Mellon Peter R. Fisher ’60, Jan. 20

Case Ronald W. Bell ’66, July 6 Edward J. Metzger Jr. ’57, Sept. 10 Charles L. Wiley ’58, July 10

Centre James E. Kurz Sr. ’56, April 22 Ronald D. Ray ’64, July 6, 2020 c

David Lust Dartmouth ’90 July 23 An accomplished business attorney for over 22 years, David embarked on his political career in 2006 and was elected to the South Dakota State Legislature. David served 11 years, including two terms as majority leader.

Clemson Charles S. Thomason ’17, April 28

Colgate John R. Babeuf ’49, Oct. 11, 2019 c John S. Inglis ’76, Sept. 8 Peter J. Johnson ’60, April 24

Colorado Ronald J. Bush ’87, May 20 William P. Cameron ’56, May 18, 2020 William G. Grigsby ’48, April 20 c

Colorado Mines Ronald D. Koehler ’59, Sept. 1 Robert C. Maich ’52, Dec. 10, 2019 c Stephen I. Suharya ’98, Jan. 17 Douglas R. Waterman Jr. ’52, Aug. 3

Columbia James T. Boosales ’65, Aug. 25 Paul J. Kastin ’65, June 12 Donald C. Miller ’58, May 21 F. B. Quinlan ’50, Jan. 24 Chauncey D. Steele IV ’92, Sept. 1


Denver Eugene U. Crowe ’50, Sept. 1, 2020 c

DePauw Warren E. Beebe ’55, July 23 c John D. Colbrunn ’50, June 21, 2020 c Steven S. Eich ’74, Sept. 6 Charles E. Skeeters ’63, April 2 c Laurence F. Skelton ’60, Sept. 8 Robert M. Thomas MD ’54, April 21 c Charles H. Watson ’59, April 15 c Robert T. Whetzel ’62, Sept. 1

Dickinson Brett C. Wegner ’99, July 4, 2020

Duke William F. Bryant Jr. ’54, Aug. 24 John D. Jones Jr. ’54, Feb. 14 Robert F. Kibler MD ’46, July 27

Emory D. R. Durden ’51, Oct. 16, 2020

Florida Mark C. Huaman ’86, Aug. 20

David E. Lust ’90, July 23 Joseph P. Tillotson ’90, April 22 Joseph R. Vancisin ’44, March 23 c

General Fraternity Roll


Georgia Tech

Sanford P. Stern ’96, Aug. 28

Robert L. Avinger Jr. ’60, June 23 c Robert A. Gourley ’48, Sept. 4 c Richmond W. Rucker ’60, Sept. 12 c

Brue S. Chandler III ’70, Jul 15 c Jewell B. Hudgins Jr. ’53, May 5 c Kenneth E. Hyatt ’62, Oct. 3 Benjamin E. Nash ’59, May 23 Harold A. Terry ’57, Aug. 29

Robert Buchanan Maine ’44 Aug. 11 A loyal Beta Foundation donor, Robert gave generously to numerous charities, including his alma mater, and was honored in May 2002 with the dedication of the Buchanan Alumni House at the University of Maine.

Will Shrauner Oklahoma State ’12 Sept. 2 A cardiology fellow at Boston Medical Center, Will and his wife, Courtney, were killed in a plane crash, leaving behind their 18-month-old son. The couple met at Weill Cornell Medical College where they graduated in 2016.

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Ohio Wesleyan

John D. Phillips ’79, April 27 c

Joseph H. Casey Jr. ’71, Aug. 13 c Robert G. Golseth ’59, July 14 Charles R. Kinney ’50, Sept. 26, 2020 Philip G. Kuehl ’65, Sept. 3, 2020 Wayne L. Nicely ’61, Sept. 15 Robert C. Smith ’56, March 28, 2020 Miles M. Vance Jr. MD ’52, July 19 Donald A. Visci ’51, Jan. 28, 2020

Edward C. Close ’73, Oct. 4 Robert D. Henry ’51, May 1 William G. Plavcan MD ’55, April 19 c

Hanover Robert M. Aldridge ’51, Aug. 26, 2020 Robert L. Burger ’56, July 22 c

Idaho Steven G. Eikum ’72, May 23 William M. Fisher IV ’56, Sept. 12 Ralph D. Hamilton ’53, Aug. 2 c Eric L. Hove ’65, July 1 Robert R. Martin Jr. ’56, June 6


Indiana Joseph C. Billingsley ’87, May 13 Ray C. Collins ’59, Aug. 13 Richard N. Osborn ’64, Sept. 12, 2020


David G. Owen ’59, March 16

Michigan State Harold D. Zantop ’56, July 9 Andy R. Zickgraf ’06, Jan. 15, 2012

Minnesota James C. Hogan ’54, Jan. 14, 2020 Robert P. Johnson ’49, April 28 c Robert E. Murphy ’69, April 17, 2020 Ben J. Peterson ’02, March 23 Wallace S. Rogers ’51, April 20 c


Lewis D. Drain ’61, Sept. 17

Arthur G. Murphey Jr. ’53, July 3, 2020 c Ray L. Woock ’59, Jan. 10

Iowa State


Alan D. Clipperton ’66, June 14

Robert M. Markus ’52, June 20 c

Kansas Richard C. Arnspiger ’51, Aug. 24 c Phillip D. Brady ’74, Aug. 2 Stephen R. Lane ’75, Aug. 28 Carl S. Nelson ’46, May 31 c Robert M. Thomas Jr. ’62, March 28

Knox Edward A. Loeser ’50, Aug. 28 c

Lawrence William W. Robertson ’51, April 27 c Dar W. Vriesman ’51, Oct. 11, 2019

Lehigh Robert H. Horning Jr. ’52, July 9 c

Louisville James D. Huggins Jr. ’74, May 9


MIT Jewell R. Bowen ’56, June 9, 2019 Arthur A. Wasserman ’51, Nov. 22, 2019 c

Nebraska Stephen C. Flansburg ’50, Oct. 8, 2019 c Robert L. Gangel ’53, April 25 c Richard C. Reische ’31, Dec. 2, 2020 c Joseph W. Sloan III ’76, Jun 28

Northwestern Jeffrey P. Aldridge ’64, Nov. 15, 2019 Robert E. Mundy II ’59, June 22

Ohio Thomas E. Keating Jr. ’62, May 23 Lawrence E. Kunkle Jr. ’62, June 26 Thomas M. Owens ’56, May 1, 2020 David B. Price ’53, Sept. 22 Craig M. Rader ’70, April 16 R. G. Scott ’60, May 9

Robert D. Buchanan DMD ’44, Aug. 11 c

Ohio State


Richard R. Ebert ’79, June 23 George R. Michael ’42, Aug. 20 c

Richard M. Hankins ’03, June 16

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Oklahoma State Gene L. Barnhart ’63, Jan. 31 Larry P. Blake ’60, Jan. 16 c Joseph M. Case ’57, March 8 Curtis P. Cunningham ’68, Feb. 21 James F. Deakins ’56, June 20 c Earl W. Eddins Jr. ’54, July 12, 2020 Sidney A. Ellis ’93, Oct. 19, 2019 Wilbur G. Fiscus ’57, Feb. 13, 2020 Patrick M. Fitter ’54, March 2, 2020 c James B. Gilbert ’69, July 6, 2020 William T. Harrod III ’65, Jan 5 Richard L. Heath ’50, May 29 c Joseph W. Herbay ’59, May 18, 2020 Martin N. Hope ’87, Aug. 30 Brandon R. Robinson ’99, June 30 William R. Shrauner ’12, Sept. 2 Jimmy C. Sutton ’54, June 21 c

Oregon Norman H. Fenton ’53, Aug. 7 c John L. Newell ’51, April 2 c

Penn State James B. Anderson ’57, Jan. 14 Alexander G. Ayers Jr. ’55, March 10, 2020 Joseph M. Brower ’51, Jan. 3 c Daniel Gray ’57, Dec. 6, 2020 George R. Gray ’59, Sept. 19, 2020 Robert G. Jones ’46, Feb. 21 Huber L. Kline ’54, May 3 William D. McCann ’57, June 7 c Gregg S. McDonald ’87, Dec. 1, 2020 Michael L. Schusler ’70, Nov. 2, 2020 Gordon E. Stroup ’54, Dec. 3, 2020

Pennsylvania Harold Guckes ’49, June 4 c Charles H. Hindersman ’47, May 6

Princeton Jasper D. Bynum ’00, July 17, 2020

Jack Cameron Southern California ’51 Aug. 9 Founder and CEO of JCC Enterprises (later JCC Homes) for over 50 years, Jack built 5,000 homes in Southern California and Hawaii. Mike Mullally South Dakota ’61 July 15 The athletic director for Eastern Illinois University, Mike was part of the 1978 national championship football team and 1977 cross country team. He was also part of the 1983 national championship football team at the University of Miami where he worked as the assistant athletic director. Sen. John Warner Washington and Lee ’49 May 25 John volunteered for the U.S. Navy at the age of 17 and served in both World War II and the Korean War. Named U.S. Secretary of the Navy in 1972 and elected in 1978 to an eventual 30-year Senate career representing the Commonwealth of Virginia, he was admired across the political spectrum for his fierce streak of independence and regular bipartisan efforts. Brother Warner was the recipient of a litany of honors, including Beta’s Oxford Cup in 2006 and the USS John Warner, a nuclear-powered attack submarine named for him in 2009.

49 FALL 2021 | BETA.ORG

Johns Hopkins

Richard N. Ellis ’55, June 21 c Robert L. Watkins ’71, Aug. 13 Forrest G. Wright Jr. ’57, June 15 c

Richard C. Day ’56, Aug. 24 c Martin E. Dyer ’49, Jan. 5 Clark Ellison ’63, Aug. 16 Joshua M. Leffler ’09, Dec. 4, 2020 Thomas E. Nix Jr. ’50, July 1 c Charles A. Ozan ’95, March 5 Peter G. Pierce III ’71, May 2 Ronny D. Pyle ’66, Nov. 28, 2020 c


Charles A. Barber IV ’82, Sept. 9 William M. Johnston ’50, July 16 Jerry K. Stanners ’57, June 3 Jeffrey A. Strickland ’76, July 15



Carl Plochman Purdue ’46 Nov. 30, 2019 Former CEO of Plochman’s Mustard, Carl served the company for 40 years and helped develop Plochman’s distinctive yellow plastic barrel packaging.

10/19/21 3:39 PM

“They rest, they sleep the dreamless sleep! While cycles move, But in our hearts eternally we keep Their faith and love.”

— Beta Theta Pi Service for the Dead Purdue


Washington in St. Louis

Terry G. Agler ’70, Oct. 10, 2020 John R. Brown ’50, Aug. 27, 2020 c David J. Lazor ’82, April 25 Carl M. Plochman ’46, Nov. 30, 2019 c

Frederick W. Young ’54, April 22

Bruce L. Brumbaugh ’58, June 14 c Richard T. Roberts ’51, July 7 c Alwyn E. Wolfarth ’59, July 5 c

SMU Ernest C. Dittrich III ’67, Jun 1, 2020 David E. Pickett ’61, Sept. 15 Michael M. Wade ’64, June 13, 2020



South Dakota Mark D. Brtek ’89, June 10 Donald A. Faber ’48, Sept. 7, 2020 Edward M. Mullally ’61, July 15 Marc J. Wolthoff ’96, July 13, 2020

Southern California Jack C. Cameron ’51, Aug. 9 c Charles E. Crockett ’56, Jan. 19 c Robert E. Ivey ’49, Jan. 24, 2020 c Lance K. Stevenson ’81, May 10 James W. Thornburg ’50, April 13 c


St. Lawrence Richard C. Austin MD ’43, Aug. 20 c

Stanford Raymond F. Pentz ’56, July 7 c Frederic E. Supple Jr. ’46, May 9 c

Stevens William W. Clarke III ’50, May 9 Robert T. Greengrove ’53, April 13 Edward J. Kompass ’51, Aug. 31, 2020 Louis M. Sandler ’70, Nov. 18, 2020

Syracuse Robert E. Cook ’55, April 25 c Richard G. Heydet ’59, Feb. 24 c Louis H. Sedaris ’49, May 22 c

Tennessee Tech Mark R. Collins ’02, Oct. 30, 2020

Texas Middleton S. English ’53, May 7 c Robert E. Fisher ’56, June 19 c James W. McCartney ’50, Sept. 18 Anthony K. Robertson ’53, June 11 c

Texas A&M Albert L. Welch ’87, July 29, 2020

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Tulane Francis E. LeJeune Jr. ’50, April 15 c Philip J. Rasch ’60, April 27 Robert D. Reily ’49, Oct. 1 c James A. VanHook Jr. ’64, July 4

UC Berkeley George R. Duncan Jr. ’53, Feb. 3, 2020 Miklos J. Kovacs ’96, Aug. 18, 2020

UCLA James M. Johnson ’57, March 24 Richard B. Keysor ’50, May 20, 2020 c Russell Kyle ’75, Jan. 1 Edmund R. Noonan ’59, Sept. 28 Kenneth J. Stracke ’54, Sept. 20, 2020

Washington State Joseph B. Buchanan Jr. ’53, Sept. 3 c Clement G. Eischen ’51, Dec. 7, 2020 Gene M. Kronlund ’54, Aug. 16 c John H. Leahy ’50, Nov. 11, 2020 c Lee A. Omlid ’69, Aug. 7

Wesleyan Vincent J. Smith DDS ’49, Aug. 31, 2020 c

West Chester Matthew D. Delaney ’07, June 21 c

West Virginia

Ricardo Reyna Jr. ’95, May 24

Cole W. Bertol ’17, July 1 Albert W. Franzheim ’50, May 14 c William T. Homberg III ’63, May 27 c


Western Ontario

Gregg A. Marcusen ’81, April 7

Douglas A. Hammar ’58, Aug. 1 Charles F. Ross ’61, July 21


Vanderbilt Lorin B. Allen Jr. ’60, Aug. 10 Joseph M. Greenlee Jr. ’67, July 3 Granbery Jackson III ’67, Jun 27 c Richard B. Moore ’56, July 12, 2020 c George M. Talley ’57, May 10

Western Reserve

Virginia Tech


Robert E. Garrison ’75, June 20, 2020 Richard J. Kidwell ’85, June 2 Richard A. Mullikin ’81, May 31

James R. Knowles ’64, July 14 c Edmund A. Wells ’63, Sept. 5


Wells C. Hamilton ’71, Aug. 28

James L. Roeder ’66, Aug. 31

Washington Gilbert W. Anderson ’52, Aug. 15 c Nathaniel B. Bender Jr. ’50, May 19, 2020 c Scott C. Stevens ’73, June 1

Washington & Jefferson Larry R. Smith ’60, Oct. 7, 2020 c

Washington and Lee H. G. Cummings Jr. ’57, April 25 c Peter K. Kintz ’66, May 1 c John P. Roy ’64, May 24 c John W. Warner Jr. ’49, May 25 c

Donald V. Kellermeyer ’61, Nov. 3, 2020 c Frederick D. Reading ’60, Aug. 18, 2020 W. J. Tims ’64, May 12 c Frank J. Zeleznik Jr. ’57, July 20

Wichita State Williams A. S. Johnson III ’63, May 23, 2020 Oliver A. Murphy ’50, Aug. 3

Wisconsin William A. Schneider ’55, March 31 c

Wittenberg Trevor K. Buehler ’70, July 30 Robert W. Duhl ’50, May 18 c Ronald C. Pfeiffer ’70, May 10

Yale John L. Preston ’58, Aug. 27 Joseph H. Staley Jr. ’59, Sept. 1

Joseph Buchanan Washington State ’53 Sept. 3 A loyal Beta volunteer for nearly two decades, Joe was instrumental in the refounding of his chapter at Washington State in 2001, beginning a 14-year run on the Gamma Theta Chapter’s advisory board. He began his influence across Beta’s Broad Domain in 2005 as assistant district chief and was quickly promoted to the chief of District 31 (British Columbia, Puget Sound and Washington) a year later. After serving in that capacity for nine years, Joe was appointed as regional chief for the northwest. For his dedicated service to the General Fraternity, he became the 27th recipient of the Francis W. Shepardson Award in May 2020. Charles Ross Western Ontario ’61 July 21 Charlie was proud of being part of the Royal Canadian Air Cadet program, becoming a pilot. An active member of the Liberal Party from the time he was a teenager, Charlie believed strongly in the importance of government policy and improving the lives of Londoners, especially new Canadians. He was politically elected and served in many roles as deputy mayor, chairman of the Board of Control, chairman of the Public Utilities Commission, and chairman of the London Board of Education.

10/19/21 3:39 PM













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“Welcome” Beta Brothers and Friends, In a year of unparalleled volatility, supporters like you have rallied like never before. This past year, the Beta Foundation set its sights on raising $1,000,000 for the Beta Leadership Fund (BLF). I’m proud to say that, thanks to the generosity of a record-breaking 5,531 donors, we exceeded that goal with $1,409,495 in total gifts by the end of our fiscal year.

Cover: Donning lots of pink and blue, Beta brothers at Iowa State celebrate following their fall 2021 serenade of sororities across campus.

Fifty years ago, General Fraternity President Peter F. Greiner, Minnesota ’51, penned the first BLF appeal letter seeking financial support from alumni across Beta’s Broad Domain. Some 2,800 loyal Betas responded to that first appeal and raised $29,000 for the newly formed Beta Leadership Fund. Look how far we’ve come! In the last half century, thousands of Betas, parents and friends have supported our Fraternity through annual giving. The BLF has raised more than $26 million since that first appeal in 1971 and for the past two decades has driven the work that has allowed the success of the Men of Principle initiative to be fully realized. This year we celebrate those whose gifts have helped the BLF thrive, while looking ahead at the next 50 years of growth and impact benefiting our young Betas. Sincerely and yours in ___kai___,


Foundation Chairman


Mike Feinstein, MIT ’82




Beta Theta Pi launches first-ever Beta Leadership Fund (BLF). In response to the first appeal sent by Fraternity President Peter Greiner, more than 2,800 alumni made gifts totaling $29,000.


Beta Leadership Fund surpasses $100,000 in annual donations for the first time in the Fund’s history.






Beta Theta Pi Foundation is established as a not-forprofit public foundation. Formerly known as the Founders’ Fund, the Foundation is officially established to “receive contributions for needs and priorities established by the Board of Trustees and prescribed by donors.”


Foundation Board of Directors is formed. Board members monitor BLF performance and promote giving participation among alumni and friends.



Men of Principle Initiative is launched. As an educational initiative, BLF funds are granted to support the award-winning leadership programs and activities established through the Men of Principle initiative.


More than

$26 million raised

More than Beta brothers from the University of Colorado, 2020


Leadership Program Graduates “As we look ahead, we must strive to maintain the excellence achieved by those who have preceded us through the fleeting decades since our humble beginning. We are prospering today, but there are those who would challenge our prestigious position, should we, by our actions, display any intent to rest on our laurels. — Col. Richard R. (Misty) Shoop, Denison ’41, (The Beta Theta Pi, Nov. 1973, pg. 147) General Secretary 1971-74


The Beta Foundation launches the Sons of the Dragon Club for undergraduate giving. 1,031 undergraduates joined the club in its inaugural year, and all gifts supported the Beta Leadership Fund.


The BLF surpasses $1 million for the first time. Unrestricted BLF gifts totaled $1,006,468, all in response to providing Men of Principle resources to every chapter.


The BLF launches the Auto-Kai Club, the Fraternity’s first recurring gift program. In its inaugural year, more than 130 supporters utilized the Auto-Kai platform to establish recurring gifts to the BLF.


The Fraternity hosts its first Giving Day Challenge. $285,000 was raised from 1,966 donors benefitting the BLF. Miami won the competition for most dollars raised, and Arkansas was recognized for most participants.


Total Volunteers Recruited

6,442 1971:

102 chapters

6,208 students 2021:

140 chapters

9,216 students


BLF celebrates 50 years of developing men of principle for a principled life! Despite challenges from a global pandemic, with more than 5,500 donors, the BLF set an all-time record for gifts received at $1,409,495.



Top: John Gatz, Florida ’54, with delegate Antonio Varela, WPI ‘24 Left: Seniors at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky


pg. 6

Our Supporters

pg. 8

Beta Walkway

pg. 11

Sons of the Dragon Club

pg. 13

DEA Grant Program

pg. 15

Named Endowment Funds

pg. 17

Merit Scholarship Program

pg. 19

Giving Day Challenge

pg. 23

Bridge Builder Society

pg. 25

John Reily Knox Club

pg. 27

“My support network has grown exponentially as a member of the Alpha Beta Chapter. From engaging with mentors to collaborating with brothers in the chapter house, my growth as a man has undoubtedly come from the many Beta conversations I have had over the years.” — Brian Stromberg, Iowa ’21



ANNUAL REPORT | JUNE 1, 2020 – MAY 31, 2021


To advance the educational mission and goals of Beta Theta Pi toward the vision of the Fraternity.

“I donate to the Beta Leadership Fund because I’ve volunteered for the Fraternity over the past six years and I’ve seen firsthand the ways leadership programs directly benefit not only Beta brothers, but Friends of Beta like me!”


Cultivate lifelong friendships; solicit Betas and friends; provide gift stewardship; fund leadership and educational grants; empower Foundation volunteers; oversee investment strategies; recognize Betas, parents and Friends of Beta.

— Jen Zamora, Delta Zeta Chapter Counselor at the University of Texas


Michael G. Feinstein, MIT ’82, Foundation Chairman Randall D. Groves, Kansas State ’78, Foundation Treasurer R. Thomas Reeves, Eastern Kentucky ’99, Foundation Secretary Stavan R. Bhatt, Louisville ’98 Michael A. Bickford, Oklahoma ’80 Arthur C. Carmichael Jr., Oregon ’62 Peter N. Darrow, Miami (Fla.) ’09 Jeffrey M. Flanagan, Rhode Island ’93 Kent R. Mire, TCU ‘07 Thomas C. Olver, Central Michigan ’98 Frederick W. Pierce IV, San Diego State ’84 P. Thomas Purinton, Kansas State ’63 John R. Rothwell, Southern California ’78 Richard A. Sabol, Ohio ‘77


American’s graduates, Dominic Gatt ’21 and Ryan Hioki ’21

Philip S. Fernandez, Miami ’06, Chief Foundation Officer Laura Lednik, Director of Development Jeffrey N. Newton, Miami ’77, Director of Advancement Zane David Carlson, Knox ’16, Associate Director of Advancement Jackson R. Chambers, Utah ’12, Associate Director of Advancement OUR PURPOSE | PG. 5 | BETA.ORG










Sigma Chi


Kappa Kappa Gamma


Phi Delta Theta


Chi Omega


Beta Theta Pi


Kappa Delta


Sigma Phi Epsilon


Kappa Alpha Theta


*Based on data collected from 2019-2020 IRS 990 filings

GIFTS RECEIVED  Beta Leadership Fund: $1,409,495  Leadership, Scholarship and Programmatic Funds: $342,193  Operating Funds: $500,000  Designated Educational Area Funds: $2,019,628  Founders’ Fund Endowment: $127,563

32% 8%



BLF DOLLARS RAISED 2016-2021 and number of donors

$ 5,5 1,40 30 9,4 95



52 $1 3,5 ,08 17 2,3 72




Supporting Fraternity Initiatives including…

$ 1,6 683 79 ,09 2

$1,050,000 $900,000


$ 3,9 875 63 ,72 9 $8 7 3,6 4 19 ,126 $ 3,7 1,01 25 2,1


• $491,723 in student scholarships • $379,279 in virtual leadership programs and officer/volunteer training


• $219,867 for the Beta Brotherhood Assessment and Son of the Stars Member Orientation Program

$450,000 $300,000

• $123,577 to support chapter recruitment efforts • $1.65 million for Designated Educational Area Grants (housing)

$150,000 $0








ANNUAL REPORT | JUNE 1, 2020 – MAY 31, 2021


| 500

| 1,000

| 1,500

| 2,000

| 2,500

| 3,000

| 3,500

| 4,000

Overall Donor Participation Growth: BLF donor participation increased by 57% year over year! First Time Donors: 787 Alumni and 559 Parents/Friends of Beta became first time donors in 2020-21



• More than 2,300 learning hours logged by students and volunteers on Beta’s online learning/training platform • 3,200 virtual meetings led by chapter services staff members • 1,499 undergraduates participated in virtual leadership programs

63.5% of Beta undergraduates report paying some or all of their Fraternity expenses out of pocket. Thanks to you and your support, more than 600 Betas received COVID-19 relief scholarships in 2020-21: • $214,545 in tuition scholarships • $65,500 in Men of Principle scholarships (MPS) • $211,677 in COVID-19 relief scholarships




“I come from a single family income. My mother helps me out with almost all my expenses right now. Due to Beta’s scholarship program, some of her financial burden has alleviated.”

“Beta has provided me the sort of mentorship and guidance I need in my life. Its focus on building bridges has also taught me the value of paying it forward. I hope to help a Beta brother in the future who needed assistance like I did.”

“When work and conditions changed for me and my family in light of COVID-19, the relief scholarship offered support and helped me remain involved in jobs and leadership positions on campus, as well as on a path to graduate early with a high GPA.”






Beta brothers from the University of Pennsylvania


The following list contains all donors (grouped alphabetically by school) who made gifts to the Beta Foundation between June 1, 2020, through May 31, 2021. Lifetime Giving Societies, total years giving and Auto-Kai Club members are highlighted using various symbols and colors defined in the legend. General Fraternity initiates, Friends of Beta (including parents) and Beta organizations can be found on pages 29-31.


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The Beta Walkway includes



personalized bricks.


With a gift of $500 or more, you, too, can add your name among the Beta Greats along the beautiful Beta Walkway on the grounds of the Administrative Office in Oxford, Ohio. Visit today!


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The Sons of the Dragon Club is the annual giving club for undergraduates designed to highlight the purpose of the Beta Foundation and begin young Betas on their path of annual giving to the Beta Leadership Fund. This year, students joined with a gift of $18.39 and received one of two Beta neckties.

2021 INCENTIVES SONS OF THE DRAGON CLUB Learn more and view the full list of Betas who joined this year at


The following chapters reached 100% PARTICIPATION OR 63+ CLUB MEMBERS











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The Designated Educational Area (DEA) Grant Program allows alumni to make charitable gifts earmarked for educational projects in our chapter houses, such as libraries, study rooms, and internet access and space. For more information, contact John Reineke at 800.800. BETA (2382) or visit

“With a need for updated and supportive study spaces for both groups and individuals, the DEA Grant Program has positively impacted our chapter’s fundraising efforts by giving alumni and friends the opportunity to show their love and support for the Delta Gamma Chapter and its members.” — Lane Smith, Wichita State ’19 House Corporation Vice President  Foundation Gifts to DEA Funds  DEA Grants to Chapters $4.0M

$2,247,791 $3,646,113

$3.5M $3.0M $2.5M

$1,884,573 $1,632,048


$2,019,628 $1,652,130

$1.5M $1.0M $0 FY19




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Named Endowment Funds allow the Foundation to impact Beta generations of today and tomorrow.


Gifts or pledges of $10,000 or more can establish a named endowment fund in your name or in memory/honor of another brother or Friend of Beta. Contact a member of the Beta Foundation staff for additional information at 800.800.BETA (2382).

“The Adam S. Burford Memorial Scholarship award I received pushes me to continue working towards my childhood goal of becoming a physician, no matter how difficult it may be. I am truly honored to have received this gift and am so very grateful for your impact on my education!” — Joshua Fernandes, Creighton ‘23 A full list of named endowment funds can be found at

FY21 Impact of Named Endowment Funds ...


students sponsored to Beta Leadership Programs


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MERIT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM EXEMPLIFYING BETA’S DEVOTION TO THE CULTIVATION OF THE INTELLECT This year 96 scholarships totaling $116,000 were awarded to Betas and children of Betas pursuing their undergraduate or graduate degrees.


FOUNDERS SCHOLARSHIPS Each of the Founders Memorial Scholarship recipients received $2,300. These scholarships were endowed by an estate gift of Robert C. Lafferty, Ohio Wesleyan ’28.

JOHN REILY KNOX Christopher M. Nakon, Denison ’20

SAMUEL TAYLOR MARSHALL Tyler I. Jacobs, American ’22

DAVID LINTON Benjamin T. Nguyen, Pacific ’23

JAMES GEORGE SMITH Trent J. Barber, Texas at Arlington ’99

CHARLES HENRY HARDIN Carter G. Williams, Oklahoma ’22

JOHN HOLT DUNCAN George J. Avdellas, Pennsylvania ’19

MICHAEL CLARKSON RYAN Carter J. Robertson, Oklahoma State ’23

THOMAS BOSTON GORDON Cyrus G. Dutton, Centre ’19

The full list of Beta scholarship winners is available at


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ENGE 1, 2












Beta Theta Pi’s second annual Giving Day Challenge raised more than $400,000 from 2,400 individual donors … the largest single fundraising day in the history of the Beta Leadership Fund! In the spirit of friendly competition, chapters not only competed for bragging rights, but for recognition – their name engraved on a plaque and their school flag flown over Beta’s Administrative Office.

TOP FIVE CHAPTERS BY DONORS Oklahoma 167 Arkansas 158 Miami 134 Denver 107 MIT 69

2,416 Total Donors

TOP FIVE CHAPTERS BY DOLLARS Miami $30,139 Bethany $13,026 Virginia Tech $9,318 MIT $8,876 Kansas State $7,213 THANKS TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED!

$409,349 Total Raised

For more information and a complete list of donors visit



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The Bridge Builder Society recognizes those who have chosen to leave a legacy for Beta Theta Pi through their will or estate plans. A full list of the 258 Betas and friends currently in the Bridge Builder Society can be viewed at


TOP WAYS TO JOIN THE BRIDGE BUILDER SOCIETY Give a charitable bequest in your will or living trust to the Beta Foundation. Name the Beta Foundation as a beneficiary in your 401k or other retirement plans. Open a life insurance policy with the Beta Foundation as the policy owner and make annual premiums to the BLF.

SHERMAN AND LADY SMITH’S LEGACY TO BETA THETA PI Sherm Smith, Utah ’36, was Beta’s oldest living alumnus when he passed this year at the age of 105. A shining example of lifelong commitment to Beta Theta Pi, Sherm and his Beta sweetheart of 80 years, Lady, established a planned gift for the Beta Foundation in 1997, which will benefit countless Beta undergraduates for generations to come.


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JOHN REILY KNOX CLUB The John Reily Knox Club is the premier annual giving club of the Beta Foundation, recognizing gifts of $1,839 or more in a single year. Betas within 10 years of graduation can join the club by making a gift of $500 or more to the BLF. For the first time, 34 young alumni brothers (within 10 years of their graduation date) were recognized in the John Reily Knox Club for making gifts of $500 or more.

“Joining Beta Theta Pi was a powerful inflection point in my life that sent me on the path to where I am today. It gave me some of my best friends, grounded me in good values, taught me to lead with integrity, and helped me land my first job. None of that would have been possible without the bridges that Beta Theta Pi built for me, so I’m motivated to help create a meaningful experience for those who will follow.” — Evan Jobin, Minnesota ’18 (JRK Club Young Alumnus Member)


For a full list of all Donors in JRK Club members, 2020-21 visit

Club Members Donated

$722,650 to the BLF last year


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JUNE 1, 2020 – MAY 31, 2021


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HONORARY PARENT CHAIRS Robyn and Robert Castleberry, parents of Colton Castleberry, Oklahoma ‘22 HONORARY FRIEND OF BETA CHAIR Crystal Sutton, Chapter Counselor at Ohio State



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Many Betas and friends have a personalized brick in the Beta Walkway at the Administrative Office. With a gift of $500 or more you, too, can secure a place in history next to more than 9,000 Betas and friends!


Choose a charitable gift of stock, bonds or mutual funds. And, if you were born before 1951, you may also realize a significant tax savings by making a qualified charitable distribution directly from your individual retirement account (IRA “rollover”).


Many employers offer a gift matching program to incentivize charitable giving. Your contribution to the Beta Foundation may be doubled or even tripled, so ask your employer if they participate or visit match for a list of known companies affiliated with the Beta Foundation.


Establish a special Named Endowment Fund to make an impact in perpetuity. A pledge of $10,000 or more is required, and the Beta Foundation will work with you to ensure your named gift meets your intentions.



Many Betas and friends make their gifts through the Auto-Kai Club by setting up a recurring gift online, the esteemed John Reily Knox Club with a gift of $1,839 or more, or the Sons of the Dragon Club for undergraduates with a gift of $18.39 or more.

JOIN TODAY Join the 2021-2022 Beta Leadership Fund by making your gift at



JOIN THE AUTO-KAI CLUB NOW! Saves Time | Minimizes Solicitations | Manageable Amounts | Year-Round Impact | BETA.ORG/AUTOKAI

THANK YOU to all Betas, Friends of Beta and family members who support our Great and Good Fraternity!


Available at until December 1!


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pair of investment traders were preparing for the day’s work in the North Tower. Three floors separated a mechanical engineer and a rising company executive in the South Tower. There was a budget analyst working for the Department of Defense at the Pentagon. They were all Betas. Five brothers were among the 2,977 who perished in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. We celebrate their lives and the legacies they left behind. Once a Beta, Always a Beta. Never forgotten. See page 36 for the story of Luke Taylor, TCU ’24, who was still in the womb when he lost his father that harrowing day.

Ryan A. Kohart, North Carolina ’98 Jon A. Perconti, Rutgers ’92 Frederick Kuo Jr., Carnegie Mellon ’69 Todd C. Weaver, Miami ’93 Lt. Col. Karl W. Teepe, Illinois ’66

104th Floor, 1WTC 104th Floor, 1WTC 91st Floor, 2WTC 94th Floor, 2WTC Pentagon

"Of Ever Honored Memory"

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