BETA the beta theta pi magazine
SPRING 2020 brothers for life | kenyon affair reflection | does size matter?
FACE of the
College Campus Is Beta Adapting?
2/25/20 11:10 AM
Find out whatâ€™s happening with some 30 Beta brothers and chapters, including Founding Father Sherwyn Fernandes, Embry-Riddle â€™19, who was recently commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army. Photo: Alexander Giang
2/19/20 12:42 PM
the beta theta pi magazine
brothers for life | kenyon affair reflection | does size matter?
contents inside this issue The
04 | Archives
College06 | The Inbox Campusunfiltered feedback
With Zack Meister’s son, Andrew, desperately in need of a kidney transplant, a mystery donor steps forward to give him a new lease on life.
BETA the beta theta pi magazine
On the Cover SPRING 2020 brothers for life | kenyon affair reflection | does size matter?
FACE of the
College Campus Is Beta Adapting?
In this 65th anniversary year of Bill Lowry’s initiation, 1954 Convention Delegate David Bowes reflects on the decades of shame that have come with his historic vote.
2/19/20 12:41 PM
Five diverse Beta undergraduates come together to represent the changing racial makeup of today’s college campus.
The Beta Theta Pi Magazine The oldest continuously published college fraternity magazine, The Beta Theta Pi was founded on December 15, 1872, by Charles Duy Walker, VMI 1869.
Publication Schedule Issue Winter Spring Summer
Deadline Oct. 15 Jan. 15 April 15
The Changing Face of the College Campus With national data indicating white student enrollment in college has declined from 84% in 1976 to 57% in 2016, the question remains: Is Beta adapting?
Mail Date Dec. 15 March 15 June 15
Who Receives the Beta Magazine? All Beta undergraduates and parents, current and former volunteers, Foundation donors, and anyone who requests to receive it in print. Update your subscription and contact info at my.beta.org, 800.800.BETA or email@example.com.
13 | Cut and Polished
refining men of principle
14 | Alumni News
2/19/20 12:41 PM
Does Size Matter?
40 | Beta Brotherhood Assessment Results
Under the guise of this age-old question, the Fraternity explores whether a chapter can actually become too big or too small to measure up to the ideal Beta experience.
How Does One Get Published? Content submissions and high resolution photos can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org 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 past issues since 1872 can be accessed in Beta’s digital archive: magazine.beta.org.
trends from year two
52 | Chapter Eternal in loving memory
54 | Beta Eponyms worldwide tributes
3 SPRING 2020 | BETA.ORG
Brothers for Life
Kenyon Affair Reflection
Is Beta Adapting?10
The Beta Theta Pi, (USPS 052-000),
official magazine of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity, is owned by the Fraternity, edited and published under the direction and control of its Board of Trustees, published winter, spring and summer for a $30 one-time 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.
2/19/20 2:06 PM
archives historical throwback
Send your old Beta photos to the Beta magazine: email@example.com
"When we come together as members of Beta Theta Pi, all political differences are dropped â€” all our political feelings are fogotten," John Reily Knox said during the Fraternity's first anniversary address. "We are no longer politicians, but friends; no longer candidates, but brothers, and we are ready to give the 'All Hail' of welcome, the open hand of friendship, to all who wear the badge and bear the name of Beta Theta Pi." Knox earned a great reputation as a speaker and was in high demand during the U.S. presidential campaign of William Henry Harrison in 1840. A Whig Party member until formation of the Republican Party, he was elected in 1860 to serve as one of 21 presidential electors in Ohio, and as such cast his official ballot to make Abraham Lincoln the 16th president of the United States.
2/19/20 1:04 PM
ix years ago, the Fraternity's editorial staff became curious about a recurring question no one ever seemed to have an answer for: "Just how diverse is Beta's undergraduate membership?" Resulting in the first measurement of student demographics, our findings weren't particularly surprising, although they did create quite a stir once we published them. Fast forward to last fall when our team decided that five-plus years of data may be enough to justify checking back in on the topic to see if any trends have become evident. Stunned to learn national statistics indicate white college student enrollment has dropped from 84% in 1976 to 57% in 2016, well, we became even more interested in Beta's current makeup and whether it's evolving in like manner.
Martin Cobb, Eastern Kentucky ’96 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah Shepherd email@example.com
Managing Editor | Graphic Designer Mike Roupas, Iowa ’10 firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Media Relations | Senior Writer
Justin Warren, SMU ’10 email@example.com
Director of Digital Media
Jackson Chambers, Utah ’12 firstname.lastname@example.org
Royle Printing Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
Whether it's openness to young men fresh off the farm and the "city boys" they love to rib, or the nerds who become amazingly close to the jocks so unlike themselves simply because they joined the same fraternity, Beta has long believed that an inability to be stereotyped and pigeon-holed into one single "type" of chapter is actually the very source of our strength.
5 SPRING 2020 | BETA.ORG
Editor | Director of Communication
In the end, we aren't social scientists or race experts. We simply wonder about the prospects for our fraternity, which is dependent upon local student makeup for its future.
foreword editor’s note
Approaching conversations about race are, of course, filled with risks, so we are not deaf to the spectrum of opinions that may surface given our decision to tee up the subject. Second-guessing, counter claims and "Yeah, buts" will be plenty. They've even surfaced internally among our team. As such, we ask – humbly – for objectivity when considering our analysis and what today's campus changes may suggest for our Great and Good Fraternity.
"In the end, we aren't social scientists or race experts. We simply wonder about the prospects for our fraternity, which is dependent upon local student makeup for its future."
Race certainly feeds into that line of thinking, especially given its history in Western civilization. So, we come to the table with good intentions, open minds, volumes of data and, just as importantly, the voices of young Betas who are living today's campus dynamics. We hope there's something of meaning here. No, Beta Theta Pi does not live in a vacuum. Quite the opposite. She is an active participant in a vibrant, changing world. Thus, to endure for another 181 years, she must stay relevant in the campus marketplace, with hands outstretched in the name of friendship, brotherhood and all that is good in this life. Sincerely and yours in ___kai___,
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2/21/20 9:48 AM
the inbox unfiltered feedback Share your thoughts with Beta’s editorial team at email@example.com.
magazinefeedback “Beta’s magazine just
THE BETA THETA PI
rocks. Nearly every similar publication I get (WU, WU B school, law school, my magnet HS, other charitable orgs) is a lame combo of fundraising and what I crudely call ‘institutional masturbation.’ Beta magazine isn’t afraid to be inward looking, print critical takes or showcase less obvious/ less traditional bros (love the recent spotlight on Beta successes outside the business and politics world, and openness to showcase brothers of color and gay brothers), while still highlighting the good. The first time I noticed it was a while ago when the magazine was gutsy enough to feature responses after printing the obit for Ken Lay. But especially the last year or so have just been great reading. Keep it up.” — Jeremy Raphael, Washington in St. Louis ’02
“Dang. Beta’s winter
“Yet another ‘high concept’ cover story where one might least expect it. Looks as if your working secret – safe with me – is that fraternity life can be nearly as wide as life itself. -kai-” — David Bowes, Virginia ‘56 Read reactions to “The Silent Issue” feature article from the winter issue on page 8.
magazine looks good. Definitely want to take time to read the stories, but really love the mix of light-hearted and heavy-hitting. The design is impeccable.” — Heather Kirk, Chief Communication Officer, Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity
“Wake up and smell the coffee! And quit the liberal crap!
1) Stuff about Sen. Lugar — totally baloney — He was left-wing and a Washington ‘insider.’ My brother was elected to the county council for several terms. He was part of a group meeting Lugar; after shaking hands he went to the bathroom to wash his hands! 2) ‘Owens for Governor’ — a fag/homo. Why promote this! The Bible says marriage is between a man and woman. Neither qualify. I pray this fag gets beat. ‘Indiana First?’ It should be Indiana last! 3) ‘Men of Principle’ — This is also baloney. It should be Men of Christian Principle!” — Milton Tatter, Ball State ’65
“How are you and your
crew ever going to produce a better magazine than the winter 2020 copy? I’m still out here but slowing down a lot. Keep ‘em coming! In -kai-” — Fred Brower, Miami ’50 Administrative Secretary 1958-65
“I really value the
interfraternity and Greek headlines section of the magazine. We should have the most knowledgeable members of any fraternity. Knowledge and global understanding will facilitate involvement and volunteerism. __kai__” — Zac Haines, Miami ’05, General Fraternity Archivist & Historian
2/19/20 11:58 AM
auburnclosure “Sad news for sure,
but there is no place for hazing in Beta Theta Pi. We must do better!” — Mike Estes, Wright State ’87
at it again.” — Ethan Farley, North Dakota ’22, Chapter President
“The individuals doing
“Hazing is a part of
fraternity life. Sucks people are too weak nowadays.” — Davis Huestis, Mississippi ’19
“So, you’d rather have
this gross behavior swept under the rug? That line of thinking is a root cause of the current perception of Greek life. I applaud Beta for this decision. I’m sure it wasn’t an easy one but it had to be done.” — Nick Niemerg, Eastern Ill. ’12
“Thank you Beta for
sticking to men of principle values! Reason I joined!” — Wilson Powell, High Point ’14
The fraternity dynamic needs to evolve and bring fresh ways of attracting young students with ideas that go beyond the exclusive party club atmosphere that has tainted the brotherhood it was founded on. It’s going to require more investment in oversight and handling from more mature members. While I was at Auburn, we had the benefit of Dr. Taylor still being alive and involving himself in chapter decisions as well as recent grads giving advice and checking on things. This kind of wisdom and oversight is invaluable to making sure that immaturity and poor decisions are kept in check and that younger brothers learn the right way to conduct themselves.” — Lonnie Hale, Auburn ’90 Read more on page 10 about closure of the Delta Zeta Chapter at Auburn University.
wooglin’sdeli “It’s funny, I ate there
throughout my childhood only to learn the significance of Wooglin’s name after joining the Delta Epsilon Chapter over a decade later.” — Dan Tracy, Puget Sound ’13
“Are there any Beta-
inspired sandwich names, like The Shep or The 1839? Does a properly executed secret handshake get you a discount? — Dave Peikin, Pennsylvania ’94
Did you miss the feature on Wooglin’s Deli in the winter Beta magazine? Check it out at beta.org/ wooglinsdeli.
7 SPRING 2020 | BETA.ORG
“Please stop posting
this stuff on social media. I understand the need for transparency, and if a chapter gets shut down, so be it, but this isn’t the image we should be showing the world and likely affirms many of the thoughts about Greeks that the public has.” — Trent Somes, W&J ’21
brother of Delta Zeta Chapter at Auburn and the son of a founding member [Richard Hale ’67, Roll No. 28], I can say this is unacceptable and frankly appalling. As long as ‘Greek life’ is viewed as a party culture, this kind of activity will continue to plague all large social fraternities.
the hazing should be removed from the fraternity altogether. Bad members are cancers.” — Jim Piazza, Father of Tim Piazza ’20
“As a fairly early
“This place is one of
my favorites. I go every time I’m in Colorado Springs.” — Michael McPhee, Furman ’10
“Must eat there next
time I am passing through. Won’t they be surprised when I bust out with ‘Brothers? Who is Pater Knox?!’” — Eric Teater, Oklahoma State ’96
2/19/20 11:58 AM
thesilentissue ”As a former member
8 THE BETA THETA PI
of the Minnesota Senate and member of its Health and Human Services Committee, I know mental health and suicide is a very difficult issue as people don’t know how to discuss it nor do they know what to say. Instead, they simply avoid its discussion and add to a further lack of understanding. Even my personal prayer group of about 40 men from my church so often seem unable to discuss it (mental issues) freely. I grasp that feeling, but also realize how very much our world needs to grow to deal with this health problem. I am very pleased to see Beta provide leadership among fraternities to assist in bringing this very important issue out from the shadows.” — Roy Terwilliger, South Dakota ’59
“Just read the winter
Beta magazine. I strongly suggest everyone read it. Suicide and mental health are a huge issue and we need to do a better job at being there for one another and ending the stigma associated with getting help. Check on your strong friends. Check on your quiet friends. Check on your happy friends. Check on each other. We need to mutually assist and promote one another’s welfare.” — Eric Jacob, WisconsinOshkosh ’10
“Good for you to
address this important issue. I spent 10 years on the board of Crisis Connection, a Minneapolis-based telephone intervention service. Sometimes just knowing that someone cares can prevent a person from making an irreversible bad decision.” — John Whaley, Iowa ’75
“I just finished reading
the winter magazine. Thank you for writing this. It was painful for me to read about the men this year, especially Wes Wilson ’98, who was such a powerful personality while we were in school together. I can only imagine how difficult it was to write that story. Your work brought tears to my eyes, as it likely did for many others. Thank you.” — Ben Brandstetter, Georgia Tech ’00
“The Silent Issue was
extraordinarily well presented and certainly hit home. The very first recipient of the Beta Foundation scholarship endowed by my mother went to Kyle Arnold, CWRU ’09, whose undergraduate career was sterling. I believe he even had a 4.0 GPA all four years. Yet just a few years after graduation he took his life...it was said he could not live up to the expectations he had of himself or what he perceived others to have had of him. How untrue! His loss grieves me greatly. He was so near and yet so far.” — Tom Lipton, Western Reserve ’63
“Your selection of articles in this issue was both shocking and outstanding. While Beta was not responsible, ‘The Silent Issue’ needs to be addressed in the development of our Men of Principle program. After reading and rereading the four stories, it took courage for Beta to speak out on this subject. Wake us up and seek solutions. Following this article was the Harvard 79-year study on ‘secrets to success and happiness’ that ‘the good life ... is built on good relationships.’ My Beta years have been instrumental in my good life. Fraternal relationships can be very helpful in defeating the silent issue – keep looking for the answers. Your editor’s note brought tears to learn of a fifth Beta who took his life.” — Larry Linderer, Ohio Wesleyan ’55
“I enjoyed the mental health write up. I know someone at work battling this right now. He has been getting help but it was good for me to read.” — Joe Kokojan, Oklahoma ’06
2/19/20 11:58 AM
“Our late son Stephen was a Beta
As a suicide researcher, I can share with you that we have a long way to go, but the first step is to be willing to talk openly about suicide.
We still receive the Beta magazine and were so glad to see that the issue of mental health was the cover article. We understand you had no way of knowing of Stephen’s death, as his chapter must not have sent a notice. Stephen was a remarkable person and was adored by his Beta brothers. In fact, his brothers have raised close to $25,000 in his memory for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
to Beta for taking on the most heart-breaking and ignored topic in the brotherhood and among all young American men.
There is hope.”
“Being the Ole Miss Beta
chapter mother proved to be one of the best things I have ever done. But, one does not need to be a collegiate psychiatrist in order to change or save a life. A caring, compassionate adult just needs to make the time and effort to invest in this generation. And, by helping others, you help yourself. Research shows volunteers are healthier and live longer.” — Kathy “Mama K” Hankins, MD; Collegiate Psychiatrist, University of Nebraska-Omaha; Pi Beta Phi
Tragically, suicide numbers are significantly underreported because of the stigma of mental health. We believe the number of Beta brothers lost to suicide was far greater than four in 2018-19, and the number of brothers struggling with mental health is huge. One issue that we had with the article was the term ‘committed suicide.’ These two words create blame and imply that the person wanted to die. The terms ‘died by suicide’ and ‘completed suicide’ are used by the medical community, and it is our goal to inform as many people as possible of this important wording. We watched Stephen battle major depressive disorder for three years. He had every possible support and was adored by his family, girlfriend of eight years and huge circle of friends. Stephen was committed to living and had accepted a job with Grant Thornton in Atlanta.
“Stephen was the kind of guy you wanted to be around even when you wanted to be by yourself. The only thing more noticeable than Stephen’s intellect was his smile; the only thing bigger than his smile was his heart; and the only thing fuller than his heart was his soul. He was, in short, the best of us.” — Epsilon Epsilon Chapter, University of Georgia
9 SPRING 2020 | BETA.ORG
— W. Vaughn McCall MD, MS, Duke ’80; Case Distinguished University Chair; Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior; Exec. Vice Dean, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University
at the University of Georgia. He joined Beta as a freshman in 2013. Tragically, Stephen died by suicide on September 4, 2018. He was in his final semester and graduated posthumously with a degree in accounting with highest honors in May 2019.
Next, we need to demand that suicide prevention, access to treatment, and suicide research receive the same level of attention as cancer in young people.
Thank you for tackling the very difficult subject of mental illness in The Beta Theta Pi magazine. We truly believe articles like this can possibly save lives. If even one family is spared this pain it will be worth it. Please let us know if you need additional photos. We have so many but it is difficult for us to look through them.” — Mary and Jay Norris (Right: Parents Weekend at the Georgia Beta house, November 9, 2013)
2/19/20 11:58 AM
newsworthy fraternity updates Student Hazing Choices Lead to Closure at Auburn
Following a university investigation in which the 164-man chapter was found in violation of the campus anti-hazing policy, the Delta Zeta Chapter at Auburn University was closed November 25, 2019, for a minimum of four years. The activities that led to this result included alcohol, physical abuse and servitude, many or all of which spanned several years and defied multiple interventions from the university, chapter alumni and General Fraternity. The period of suspension was handed down by the Auburn IFC and, after a chapter appeal, reaffirmed by both the body’s Council of Presidents and the school’s senior vice president of student affairs. In coordination with Delta Zeta alumni leaders and consistent with the Fraternity’s position against hazing and unsafe social practices, the Fraternity moved to disband Delta Zeta to protect the health and safety of its members, as well as the long-term future of Beta Theta Pi at Auburn.
Eastern Washington Joins Cornerstone Housing Program; Beta Real Estate Grows to $200 Million
Now in its 10th year since inception, Beta’s Cornerstone Housing Program has added the Eastern Washington house corporation – its 58th member – to the Fraternity’s property insurance pool. Focused on protecting the students and staff who occupy $200 million worth of Beta real estate, Cornerstone continues to improve the safety, academic and brotherhood-centered purposes of Beta homes across North America.
2020-21 Expansion Plan Set
The Fraternity’s growth plan for the coming year has been finalized, which includes Beta’s establishment on two new campuses and three recolonizations: • • • • •
Boise State Kennesaw State Illinois (Sigma Rho Chapter) Missouri-Kansas City (Epsilon Lambda Chapter) Vanderbilt (Beta Lambda Chapter)
Nova Southeastern Chapter Closed for Low Membership
Citing consistent struggles to maintain a healthy membership size, including multiple attempts at both the local and General Fraternity levels to reverse the trend of declining membership, General Secretary Wayne Kay, Virginia Tech ’73, announced closure of the Zeta Mu Chapter at Nova Southeastern University in Florida on December 20.
2/20/20 4:48 PM
greekheadlines Florida Governor Signs Tough New Hazing Statute
Second Judge Denies Harvard’s Motion to Dismiss
— NPC CEO Dani Weatherford and NIC CEO Jud Horras, Iowa State ’97
St. Johns Properties Chairman Edward St. John, Delta Tau Delta, didn’t settle for fruit baskets to thank his employees at the commercial real estate company’s holiday party. Remarking on stage, “Everyone is important in this company,” he divided $10 million among 198 employees based upon their years of service. From custodial staff and administrative assistants to the company’s highest producing agents, the average gift per employee was $50,000.
KA Resigns From NIC
Becoming the sixth fraternity to do so since 2002, Kappa Alpha Order has resigned its NIC membership. No public statement was issued explaining rationale for the decision.
Sigma Chi Pledges $20M to Women’s Cancer Research
During its Grand Chapter last summer, Sigma Chi announced a $20 million pledge to the Huntsman Cancer Foundation, which is dedicated to women’s cancer research and treatment. This follows an $11 million pledge made in 2015 – an interfraternity record.
4 Villanova 25th Anniversary Villanova, Pa. firstname.lastname@example.org 4 New Jersey Installation Ewing, N.J. email@example.com 4 Loyola Chicago Installation Chicago, Ill. firstname.lastname@example.org 16 Naples Alumni Assoc. Lunch Naples, Fla. email@example.com 16-19 Virginia Tech Alumni Weekend Blacksburg, Va. firstname.lastname@example.org 17 Rochester Installation Rochester, N.Y. email@example.com 18 Rockhurst Installation Kansas City, Mo. firstname.lastname@example.org 24-26 Board of Trustees Meeting & MIT Installation Boston, Mass. email@example.com 30 Portland Alumni Assoc. Lunch Portland, Ore. firstname.lastname@example.org
12-14 DePauw 175th Anniversary Greencastle, Ind. depauwbeta.org
6-9 181st General Convention Phoenix, Ariz. beta.org/convention 13-15 Washington State 100th Anniv. Pullman, Wash. email@example.com 20 54th Annual Beta Steakout Canton, Ohio firstname.lastname@example.org 29 Truman State 25th Anniversary Columbia, Mo. email@example.com
11 SPRING 2020 | BETA.ORG
“For a second time, a court has found what is obvious to nearly anyone who’s looked at this case: There is considerable evidence that Harvard’s policies have violated the rights of its students and done unique harm to women’s spaces, in particular.”
Delta Tau Delta CEO Gifts $10 Million to Employees
For the second time in five months, a court has denied Harvard University’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit targeting its policy prohibiting students from joining same-sex organizations. Rejected by a federal judge on August 9, the recent action was taken by a state judge who ruled that “not only is there more than sufficient evidence that Harvard interfered with the constitutionally protected rights of its female students, but the policy has had a disproportionate impact on women.” Beta’s editorial staff will continue to follow and report on this precedent-setting litigation.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Delta Kappa Epsilon, recently signed one of the “most cutting-edge” anti-hazing laws in the country given its immunity approach to Good Samaritans who report hazing in the event medical attention is needed. It also broadens current law to include prosecution of those who helped plan hazing activities but weren’t present in carrying them out.
16-17 Missouri 150th Anniversary Columbia, Mo. firstname.lastname@example.org
Upcoming alumni event? Email specifics to email@example.com!
2/20/20 11:12 PM
ATTENTION BETAS Beta Theta Pi’s longstanding partnership with GEICO has benefitted thousands of young men of principle whenever a Beta brother — alumnus or undergraduate — completes a commitment-free quote for auto insurance. This year, GEICO will gift an additional $10,000 directly benefitting Beta undergraduates if 3,500 brothers complete a quote by May 31. With more than 70% of the goal achieved, the Fraternity is calling on all Betas to consider completing a win-win, commitment free quote today to support your brothers AND see if you could save money with GEICO.
beta.org/GEICO Weird chapter meeting, right? Giant talking gecko ... we’re all old ... Knox has a large “young Knox” floating behind him ...
Brother Knox, should we adopt green as the Fraternity’s official color?
DISCLAIMER | GEICO contracts with various membership entities and other organizations, but these entities do not underwrite the offered insurance products. Some car insurance discounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not available in all states or all GEICO companies. Discount amount varies in some states. One group discount applicable per policy. Coverage is individual. In New York a premium reduction may be available. GEICO may not be involved in a formal relationship with each organization; however, you still may qualify for a special discount based on your membership, employment or affiliation with those organizations. Property insurance is written through non-affiliated insurance companies and is secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency, Inc. GEICO is a registered service mark of Government Employees Insurance Company, One GEICO Plaza, Washington, D.C. 20076; a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary. GEICO Gecko image © 1999-2020.
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cut and polished refining men of principle
LANDING THE JOB It takes more than a crisp, new diploma to be a hot commodity in today’s workforce. Follow these do’s and don’ts to ensure you rise to the top of the talent pool.
Manager v. Manger One should likely only appear if your job experience includes work at a horse stable.
Public v. Pubic Gross.
FAILING TO PREPARE IS PREPARING TO FAIL During an interview, you have a 100% chance of being asked two things: why you want to work for the organization, and if you have any questions for the company. So be prepared. Beforehand, do a deep dive on your future employer and come ready to flatter them with specifics. Do you really need to ask them questions? Uh huh. You want to appear interested and engaged, don’t you? But avoid asking about salary and benefits. Cue ‘dad voice’: It’s neither the time nor the place. For now, focus on company culture, job expectations and the interviewer’s experience as an employee.
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The first test is the handshake. If your hands are wet, sweaty or greasy, you approach with the vigor of an arm-wrestling match, or your hand is limp and lifeless, it’s time to remake that ‘shake. Also, maintaining eye contact with your interviewers throughout your time together conveys trust and security, so best to leave your phone in your pocket until you’ve left the office. It only stands to distract you from making a great first impression. THE PIÈCE DE RÉSISTANCE Here’s a secret: There’s a way to instantly score bonus points after an interview. You might want to sit down for this.
13 SPRING 2020 | BETA.ORG
Principle v. Principal As a Beta, you’ve been practicing this one for years. No excuses!
ROCK YOUR BODY (LANGUAGE) Something like one-third of hiring managers say they know the right candidate within 90 seconds of meeting them. This suggests it’s not only what you say, but how you say it. CUT AND POLISHED
DOT THE I’S, CROSS THE T’S Your resume needs to be perfect. Review it, then review it again. Use spell check, Grammarly or another pair of human eyes. Better yet, use all three! The field is littered with spelling and grammar landmines. Here are just a few you’ll need to dodge or risk being sent to the bottom of the prospect pile:
Write a brief but personal note thanking each individual who interviewed you. It’s surprising how many people don’t do this. Within, thank them for their time, mention something specific you discussed and reemphasize why you’re a good fit for the job. An email can suffice, but we think a hand-written card can really set you apart. Call us old fashioned. And be timely – no more than 24 hours after the interview. Why? Because time is money, and the whole point here is to get – you – paid.
2/19/20 11:39 AM
Photo: Sue Ogrocki
alumni news lifelong brotherhood Beta Governor Signs Largest Prison Commutation Bill in U.S. History Authorizes Oklahoma Refugee Resettlement Program 45 Days Later
Characterized by Republican Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, Oklahoma State ’95, as “implementing the will of the people,” on November 1, 2019, he signed into law the largest prison commutation bill in U.S. history allowing for the early release of 527 citizens who had been convicted of “low-level drug” and “non-violent” offenses. A dramatic change of course from political parties’ traditional “tough on crime” platforms, Stitt campaigned on reducing prison population for two primary reasons: government inefficiency and Christian values of “redemption, grace, forgiveness and second chances.” With 814 new applications received the first day the law took effect, 2,000 empty beds are projected by year’s end, totaling $11.9 million in taxpayer savings had the inmates served their full sentences. Before their release, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections held its first “re-entry fair” focusing on counseling, job placement, housing and obtaining IDs and driver’s licenses. In an unrelated move, 45 days later Governor Stitt responded to an executive order by President Donald Trump requiring states to consent in writing to the resettlement of refugees. Citing “the faith community’s strong desire to play an active part in reuniting families and serving as a home for those facing dire political or religious circumstances in their home countries, as well as the economic role they play in the state,” he notified U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Oklahoma would continue its refugee settlement program. More than 3,200 refugees have relocated to Oklahoma in the last 10 years.
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2/19/20 1:37 PM
alumninews A Calling to Serve: Veteran Sobriety and Homelessness
15 SPRING 2020 | BETA.ORG
Mobilizing “alliances that focus on structuring opportunities for homeless individuals,” CSA’s influence since its founding in 2005 has housed and returned to the workforce more than 1,900 men throughout Cleveland.
Becoming the fourth facility owned by Cleveland’s Community Service Alliance, an abandoned but now renovated home on the city’s west side has been named for founding board member and 10-year CSA Chairman Bill Dillingham, Ohio ’66 (below, third from left). In what will house eight homeless U.S. veterans and programs focused on sobriety, reentering the workforce and personal sustainability, the home has been dedicated as “Bill’s House,” given his 15 years of service to those in need.
A businessman, U.S. Army veteran and devoted servant, Bill is also a board member of The Edna House for Women, a Cleveland organization focused on supporting women with alcohol and drug addiction. To date, more than 1,200 women have been a part of the program.
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Teaching History By request of the Cincinnati chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, Zac Haines, Miami ’05, portrays “His Excellency” George Washington. The annual event includes a patriotic essay contest Haines chairs, as well as the presentation of high school scholarships.
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2/19/20 1:37 PM
alumninews D | Ex-Corporate Lawyer Takes on Business Ethics Reform
Retired corporate lawyer Jamie Gamble, Columbia ’88, received critical acclaim by CNBC Anchor Andrew Ross Sorkin for his recent essay critical of laws that “legally obligate corporate executives to act like sociopaths.”
E | Memorializing the Fallen
F | New Assistant Beta Historian
G | Squash Coach Named at GW B
A | Sapp Runs for Open Florida Congressional Seat
Railroad CEO Judson Sapp, Florida State ’99, threw his name in the hat last fall for Florida’s 3rd Congressional District. In what will be vacated by Representative Ted Yoho, who is completing a self-imposed four-term limit, the northern Florida district includes Gainesville, home to the University of Florida and Beta’s Gamma Xi Chapter.
An Eagle Scout and Republican who worked for Congressman John Thrasher, Sigma Phi Epsilon, and Senator Connie Mack, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Sapp lives in Green Cove Springs with his wife and two sons.
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Anderson Good, St. Lawrence ’15, has been named the men’s and women’s head squash coach at George Washington University in D.C.
B | Harmon Elected Illinois State Senate President
H | Allen Authors Textbook
For the first time in 10 years, the Illinois State Senate will have a new leader, Beta brother Don Harmon, Knox ’88. Serving as assistant majority leader since 2003, the Democrat represents the 39th District, which includes Oak Park and O’Hare International Airport.Harmon is married with three children.
17 SPRING 2020 | BETA.ORG
Ryan Westberry, Clemson ’98, has been appointed by General Secretary Wayne Kay, Virginia Tech ’73, as the General Fraternity’s new assistant historian.
Brad Liebrecht, Washington State ’07, was one of 18 U.S. educators selected by the “Memorializing the Fallen” program to rediscover the history of World War I and tour Europe as a part of National History Day. The trip concluded with the group attending the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.
A former director of the Men of Principle initiative and eight-year vice president on Beta’s Board of Trustees, Scott Allen, Minnesota ’95, has co-authored a new textbook, “Discovering Leadership.”
C | McMurtry vs. Incumbent
A former Administrative Secretary, Republican Todd McMurtry, Centre ’84, is challenging northern Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie for the Commonwealth’s 4th Congressional District seat. McMurtry is married with three adult children.
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alumninews I | Brandstetter Named Chair
Appointed by the governor for oversight of the state’s public universities, Lexington-native Ben Brandstetter, Georgia Tech ’00, has been named chairman of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education.
J | Beta Senator Lobbied I
Part of the NIC’s 2019 lobbying for the Collegiate Housing Infrastructure Act and legislation to stop hazing, Senator Doug Jones, Alabama ’76, was visited by Student Body Presidents Chris Blakeley, New Jersey ’19 (left), and Darren Johnson, Bethany ’19 (center), and Beta staffer David Greis, Kentucky ’14 (right).
K | AdobeMax Features Fu
Current medical student at the University of Colorado Vincent Fu, Utah ’17, was recently a featured speaker at AdobeMax, the annual conference by Adobe for computer design and digital creatives.
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L | Top 40 Under 40
Indiana Deputy Secretary of State Brandon Clifton, Wabash ’06, has been named to the Indianapolis Business Journal’s 2020 Top 40 Under 40.
M | Nissan Taps Kershaw
A 30-year company veteran who most recently ran sales and marketing for the southeast, David Kershaw, Ohio ’87, has been named Nissan Motor Company’s head of U.S. sales. M
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N | “Voice of the Wildcats”
With a jersey bearing his name hanging from Rupp Arena’s rafters and the University of Kentucky basketball court named “Cawood’s Court” in his honor, past Chapter President Cawood Ledford, Centre ’49, will be inducted into the 2020 National Sports Media Association Hall of Fame given his 39 years as the “Voice of the Wildcats.”
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19 SPRING 2020 | BETA.ORG
Georgia Lands Coach Monken A starting quarterback during college and former head coach at Southern Mississippi, Todd Monken, Knox â€™89, has been named offensive coordinator by the University of Georgia. Monken has served in offensive coaching roles with the Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Oklahoma State and LSU. Photo: ZUMA Press / Alamy
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BROTHERS FOR LIFE BY ZACK MEISTER, INDIANA ’87 | DESIGNED BY MIKE ROUPAS, IOWA ’10
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Top: Zack Meister and Greg Beck in a 1985-86 Indiana University chapter photo. Bottom: Zack and Greg in 2017.
I enjoyed college, especially my time in the Pi Chapter, although as Iâ€™ve gotten older connecting with my brothers has largely meant perusing life updates and an occasional back-and-forth via social media. In todayâ€™s all-digital age, I suspect that means my Beta story is fairly typical for a man in his early 50s. Well, it was typical. Until 2017. Until my chapter brother, Greg, changed life for my family forever ...
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It all started in 1998 with the birth of my first son, Andrew. My wife, Wendy, and I adopted Andrew in our hometown of Cincinnati. He was born nearly seven weeks premature, and several months later we unexpectedly learned that he had a rare genetic disease known as tuberous sclerosis and polycystic kidney disease. It’s not hard to imagine that these diagnoses were devastating to a young couple who so badly wanted to be parents but struggled with infertility. Occurring in only 1 in 6,000 live births, tuberous sclerosis causes tumors – or
tubers, as they are benign – to develop on many of the major organs and creates significant developmental and health issues. Andrew’s tubers caused infantile seizures, which ultimately caused him to suffer significant developmental delays and receive an additional diagnosis of autism. As if that wasn’t enough, his nephrologist informed us early on that his kidneys were filled with cysts and would shut down in the first year of his life. We were fortunate to exceed that timeline by 17 years. You see, Andrew received tremendous medical care
“WHEN I MET ANDREW, THE CONNECTION WAS INSTANT. HE KNEW THE BOND WE NOW SHARED.” —GREG BECK, INDIANA ’86 thanks to my family’s close proximity to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital – home to one of very few tuberous sclerosis clinics in the United States. His kidneys were evaluated there several times each year until, as a teenager, his kidney function began to deteriorate. By age 17, we were facing the inevitable. Andrew was approaching renal failure. My wife and I immediately tested to determine if we were a transplant match for our son. No dice. The medical team then advised us to reach out to friends, family and colleagues in hopes of finding a kidney donor. Andrew is my son and I was determined to cast the net far and wide, including spreading the word across social media – just in case. In spring 2017 and with Andrew inching ever closer to needing dialysis, our prayers were answered. We had a donor! The news had our family elated, to be sure, but also sad. Because of federal laws, the hospital could not divulge any information about the donor without authorization. Still, I prayed every day for both Andrew and his mysterious hero.
Top: Andrew Meister, 18, receives medical attention at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital prior to his kidney transplant surgery in 2017. Left: Surrounded by his parents, Zach (far right) and Wendy (far left), Andrew meets his father’s Beta brother and his own kidney donor, Greg (center right), for the first time. Right: Following the transplant, Andrew’s health is better than ever; he even experienced dramatic changes in his physical stature — adding some six inches in height and 25-30 pounds in weight.
On April 11, 2017, Andrew endured a grueling, seven-hour surgery to have his kidney replaced. Thankfully, he did well, as did the donor. As I sat in the hospital, I was overcome with emotion and hoped to, if nothing more, one day hug and thank the kind, selfless person who made this extraordinary gesture for my family. The next morning, I received a phone call from a Pi Chapter brother, Greg
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THE FACTS ON ORGAN DONATION
Beck ’86. I had spoken with Greg the previous fall when he read about Andrew’s condition on Facebook. Then, he offered his sympathy and prayers that Andrew would find a donor match. Now, Greg was asking me how the surgery went. I was taken aback by this since I hadn’t yet told others publicly that Andrew had undergone the procedure. “Curious,” I thought before informing him my son had, in fact, received a transplant just the day before. His timing was impeccable. I then learned that Greg was in Cincinnati visiting his aunt. Naturally, I asked if he would be open to meeting for lunch or dinner. He said that he wasn’t feeling up to it just then, but maybe we could meet up before he went back to his home in Michigan. It all seemed too much of a coincidence, so I decided to ask him point blank if he was Andrew’s kidney donor. After a brief pause on the other end of the line, he replied, “Yes.” I swear I nearly passed out. I felt numb, light-headed and teary-eyed. Because of a man I shared a brotherhood with some 20 years before, my son had a new chance in life.
“OUR STORY SPEAKS VOLUMES ABOUT THE BONDS FRATERNITIES AND SORORITIES CAN CREATE. SO GENEROUS, SO SELFLESS.” —WENDY MEISTER, ALPHA CHI OMEGA Almost immediately, I jumped in the car and drove straight to nearby Cincinnati Christ Hospital, where Greg was recovering. I hadn’t even yet told my wife the news of what I had learned, so I called her from the car. My focus was on giving Greg that hug I so badly wanted to give our anonymous donor the day before. As I ran in to his room with arms wide open, he only reminded me to be gentle. Greg wasn’t interested in a lot of fanfare. He didn’t want to be the story. He told me he donated because he hoped someone would do the same for him if the tables were turned. Greg visited Andrew in the hospital before returning home. I’m happy to say they were fast friends.
As it’s said in our Initiation Ceremony, brothers are brothers for life. In my case, those well-known words have taken on an entirely new meaning. Greg Beck is a brother who gave my family life and showed that the mutual aid and assistance we pledge to one another early in our Beta journeys extends far beyond the college campus. Andrew’s medical needs are and will continue to be great, but because of my Beta brother, my son was able to walk across the stage at his high school graduation; able to grow and develop life and job skills; able to experience the world in a vastly happier, healthier condition. Today, Andrew is 21 years old and the eldest of four total Meister children. Our family dynamic is not the norm by any stretch, but we were blessed in different ways. Our relationship with Greg is just one of them. TO BECOME AN ORGAN DONOR OR LEARN MORE ABOUT THE LIVING DONOR PROCESS, VISIT ORGANDONOR.GOV (U.S.) OR CANADA.CA (CANADA).
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Bill Lowry, Kenyon ’56
Nearly a month before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled school segregation unconstitutional in Brown v. Board of Education, 20 months before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, and nearly 10 years before Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, some 50 Betas at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, “initiated a Negro.” In this 65th anniversary year of Lowry’s initiation, 1954 Convention Delegate David Bowes, Virginia ’56, reflects on the decades of shame that have come with his historic vote.
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I’m Ashamed A REFLECTION ON “THE KENYON AFFAIR”
By David B. Bowes, Virginia ’56 | designed by Sarah Shepherd
__ he Kenyon College Affair has been documented in print, recreated on film and maximized through legend since 1954 when the Beta Alpha Chapter of Beta Theta Pi initiated an African-American undergraduate.
To my knowledge, however, no one has yet recounted the losing side of the General Convention vote in Oxford which overwhelmingly affirmed the initial impulse of 50 Betas on the Gambier, Ohio, campus. That controversy, and the teachable moment it represented for me, came unexpectedly to mind when my wife Rosemary and I were clearing out a closet at our faux farm in western Maryland. Memory rushed back in the form of a tarnished bronze medallion from the 115th General Convention. I was the “official” if somewhat accidental delegate to that Convention from Omicron of Virginia. That’s south of the Mason-Dixon Line. I was from north of that line. “Official” is set in quotation marks because the selection process for Convention delegate reflected the relaxed way in which Omicron in those days behaved about nearly everything. An undisputed leader on the Grounds since 1855, the chapter was in frequent difficulty with the mother ship in Oxford. Whereas fraternity life was tantamount to religion in the Midwest and deep South, sundry chapters at UVA often seemed to share as much with the more “secular” eating clubs in the Ivy League. One example should suffice: The tale is told of an initiation ceremony in the Beta house delayed when two senior brothers who were considered central to the event failed to show up on time. Turned out they’d been drinking beer with friends at Delta Kappa Epsilon—and stayed when invited to sit in on a Deke initiation! Word that a black student was on the Convention agenda had not yet reached Charlottesville, as I recall, when the chapter president button-holed me. “Dave,” he said, “You come from Ohio. How about going to this thing up there and tell us what it was and if anything happened?” I was all too ready to be so dispatched. I had close Buckeye Beta friends at Ohio State and Duke. In due course, however, I realized that the vote to be cast on the future of someone named Bill Lowry at Kenyon could make many of my Southern brothers in that era downright unhappy.
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SO SHOULD I VOTE MY CONSCIENCE, DIVERGENT THOUGH IT MAY BE FROM BROTHERS WHO SCARCELY CONSIDERED MY QUANDARY? OR WAS MY PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY TO REPRESENT THE OUTLOOK OF CONSTITUENTS WHOSE SINCERELY-HELD BELIEFS SPRANG FROM GENERATIONS OF COMPLICATED HISTORY?
David Bowes, Virginia ’56, in his college years.
I remember how the Supreme Court’s decision banning “separate but equal” segregation in schools ignited anger and frustration among the conservative ranks at Omicron. So should I vote my conscience, divergent though it may be from brothers who scarcely considered my quandary? Or was my primary responsibility to represent the outlook of constituents whose sincerely-held beliefs sprang from generations of complicated history? When I matriculated at “The University” my northern background — the managerial class in industrial Toledo — seemed truly far away. Fine with me. Without realizing it at first, I was gaining more than a solid education in
Charlottesville; I was quite unofficially studying a colorful and haunted Southern culture on the side. A Beta brother with a wry sense of humor introduced me to “The Mind of the South” by W.J. Cash, a perceptive North Carolina newspaperman who wrote in the early 1940s. Consider this brilliant book, the brother recommended, to be a useful directory of current students I was getting to know! As Cash limned the culture and as I, an English major, embraced it: The mood that lingers in the memory is one … of such sweet and inexorable opiates as the rich odors of hot earth and pinewood and the perfume of the magnolia in bloom … It is a mood, in sum, in which directed thinking is all but impossible, a mood in which the mind yields almost perforce to drift and in which the imagination holds unchecked sway, a mood in which nothing anymore seems improbable save the puny inadequateness of fact, nothing incredible save the bareness of truth.
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Not a word about political science here or anything about voting. Yet Cash’s reference to “the puny inadequateness of fact” captured a condition that intrigued me about sensitive topics thereabouts. Moreover, such romantic relativity played into my thinking about my own role as a sojourner in a region that once tried to become a foreign country. What was the most appropriate way for me to vote in The Kenyon Affair? In the end, I voted as a clear majority of my Virginia brothers would have me do. It sent more than an accurate message. Bill Lowry didn’t need my vote to join Beta’s broad and broadening domain. Eventually, however, I would be ashamed of that vote. It matters little that most members of Congress and state legislatures would vote as I did and shrug it off. It was a long way from a profile in courage. I mentioned early on that the 1954 General Convention proved to be a teachable moment, and so it was. I didn’t learn anything particularly heavy from my esteemed brothers at Omicron. They remained busy exerting leadership in most dimensions of university life. As another Blue Ridge autumn glowed in the foliage, their shotguns and hunting boots lined the front hall of the chapter house. No, it was a chance encounter with Ford Weber Sr. as the Convention was drawing to a close. Weber was a prominent Toledo attorney, a moving force in Beta during those years and a family friend. We were discussing the Convention’s high spots when Weber asked if I was
EVENTUALLY, HOWEVER, I WOULD BE ASHAMED OF THAT VOTE. IT MATTERS LITTLE THAT MOST MEMBERS OF CONGRESS AND STATE LEGISLATURES WOULD VOTE AS I DID AND SHRUG IT OFF. IT WAS A LONG WAY FROM A PROFILE IN COURAGE.
comfortable talking about The Kenyon Affair. I said I was. Weber gently expressed disappointment upon learning of the vote I had cast. Yes, he understood how one could opt to be a faithful reflection of those whom one was representing. “But look at it this way, Dave,” he continued. “This wasn’t an opinion poll. No matter how casually Omicron selected you as Convention delegate, that choice inevitably represented trust in your character and thinking. You were the man on the scene with the credentials to vote in the long-range best interests of the Fraternity as a whole, no matter what the issue.” I thanked Ford Weber for his counsel. I have pondered that wisdom periodically over six decades. Later, in my career, it would clarify my thinking as an editorial writer obliged to make and support hard choices. Discovering an old medallion in our farmhouse has me thinking on it anew. One other thought occurs: I should arrange to meet Bill Lowry for the first time and apologize to him over a Midwestern steak dinner and a decent American wine.
David Bowes Virginia ’56 David B. Bowes was a general assignment reporter for The Toledo Blade, an editorial writer and Washington correspondent for The St. Louis Post-Dispatch and an award-winning urban affairs columnist and editorial page editor for The Cincinnati Post. He is the author of “Trail Mix: A Writing Life Enhanced by Attention Deficit Disorder.”
WATCH THE FRATERNITY’S AWARDWINNING 2016 DOCUMENTARY ON “THE KENYON AFFAIR,” FEATURING BILL’S FIRST-HAND ACCOUNT OF HIS CHAPTER’S HISTORIC DECISION. BETA.ORG/THEKENYONAFFAIR
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FACE of the College Campus Is Beta Adapting?
by L. Martin Cobb, Eastern Kentucky ’96 | designed by Sarah Shepherd
hen Beta Theta Pi was founded at Miami University in 1839, the fledgling little school boasted just seven faculty and 250 students. Often the sons of clergy or more affluent families, these young, white men were typically shipped off to school to become ministers, lawyers and teachers. Fast forward some 135 years later to 1976 and North American college campuses looked eerily similar. Women had entered the educational arena, of course, but despite the Civil Rights Act of the early 1960s the racial make-up of most student bodies remained vastly white.
Interested in the matter, five years ago the Fraternity’s editorial team sought to answer a question that had lingered in Beta circles for years: “Just how diverse is Beta’s undergraduate membership?” Resulting in one of the Fraternity’s most controversial magazines with a stark white cover listing seven words identifying the majority characteristics of Beta students at the time: White, Christian, Conservative, Straight, American, Wealthy, Urban, it grabbed international attention from higher education officials, not to mention the
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Greek community at large. An intense internal debate was also sparked among Betas about the appropriateness of the topic, not to mention the manner in which it was presented. After all, no fraternity had ever attempted to discuss such a sensitive matter – at least not publicly. In that issue’s opening editorial, it was suggested that a “Part II” may be justified down the road to explore the “why” behind some of the numbers and trends, and “how” they may be impacting the brotherhood. Now, with fraternity membership across North America on the downturn, and national data indicating white student enrollment in college has declined from 84% in 1976 to 57% in 2016, it becomes clear revisiting the topic is not only appropriate, but necessary. So, The Beta Theta Pi sat down with current students to explore the changing face of the college campus and answer a critically important question: Is Beta adapting?
Photos: Chris Cone, Denison ’80
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There’s A Scene “With fraternity membership across North America on the downturn, and national data indicating white student enrollment in college has declined from 84% in 1976 to 57% in 2016, it becomes clear revisiting the topic is not only appropriate, but necessary.”
s we sat around the table enjoying lunch, I decided to eat lightly in order to ask questions and listen closely to the responses of our five young Betas. Even though a lot of internal and external data was at our fingertips, we had even more to explore in human terms of what it’s like to belong to a racial minority in today’s Beta chapter. Plus, we had spent all morning in a photo shoot and time was limited.
Looking back, humorously they seemed more concerned about getting enough food to eat than they were worried about the risks associated with talking about race. When it comes to college guys who consume about 4,000 calories a day, some things never change. The mix of men tapped to help explore this topic was certainly intentional. To my left, MIT Chapter President Swochchhanda Shrestha, more affectionately known to his Beta brothers as “Swoosh” given the root of his Nepali last name. Clockwise and to Swoosh’s left sat Filipino and first-generation American Jeff Pioquinto, Iowa State ’21, who is his chapter’s immediate past president.
To Jeff’s left was Denzel Akuffo, Oklahoma ’23, the son of immigrants from Ghana, Africa, who had recently been elected president of his 60man pledge class, and to Denzel’s left was a young Marine and married, Latino father of three, Colony President Nestor Carrera, Embry -Riddle ’21. Rounding out our Fab Five and seated across from Nestor but to my right was blonde hair, blue-eyed Colony President Jacob Schafer, Toledo ’21. Met with brotherly laughs of endearment, he introduced himself as “the white guy.” Foreshadowing for the questions to come, I reminded all five of the national statistics of today’s racial enrollment on college campuses and our interest in how those trends are affecting our fraternity. As a sidebar, while plans were already in motion for this feature given the five-year anniversary mark of collecting demographic data on Beta new members, curiosity
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To Join or Not to Join
The Beta Theta Pi
Looking at Beta’s own data, it’s important to note that six years ago, Beta new members numbered 74.2% white. Today’s data isn’t much different. White new members in 2018-19 totaled 74.3%.
Also a fraternity man, he remarked at one point with a noticeable degree of conviction, “Given enrollment trends, if this fraternity is paying its bills solely on the backs of white males, you may want to look into how long that’s going to be sustainable.” No strangers to basic math, especially as it relates to filling and maintaining chapter houses, funding student programs and risk management, his point landed squarely across the room.
in the topic was furthered during last fall’s Board of Trustees meeting in Kansas City when LSU Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Jeremiah Shin was invited to share his perspective on the state of the college campus.
ur time together started off with a relatively low-risk question regarding apprehensions they may have had about joining a fraternity to begin with. Harder hitting questions would come soon enough. Ever the extrovert, Jeff jumped in first. “It was a scary process, but Beta was the chapter on campus that made me feel comfortable, where I felt this was going to be a future home for me.” And Denzel explained, “With my parents immigrating from Ghana, they weren’t exposed to anything like fraternity and sorority life. At first, I was a little standoffish; maybe I should, maybe I shouldn’t. Once I got into it, though, I knew Beta was the right fit for me.” Not surprisingly, a strong sense of being welcomed and moral alignment drew these men to our fraternity. “It all boiled down to the values Beta stands for,” said Nestor. “I see a lot of parallels between Beta and the Marine Corps. How we stand for integrity, have each other’s back, mutually assisting each other. The values that Beta has align with what I hold true for myself.”
“Did you ever consider joining a multicultural organization instead of a majority ‘white fraternity?’” I asked the group. Jeff was quick, but humble. “I didn’t know much about their existence. Nor was I ever really looking for that. I’ve always felt accepted for who I was. I came from a very diverse high school; I was already exposed to so many different things that I never thought I needed to surround myself with those of similar color.” In low-key fashion, Swoosh shared reservations. “I didn’t consult my parents before I joined, but I did tell them after I accepted my bid. They had a lot of apprehensions.” Interestingly, Jacob was the one who ended up pursuing a multicultural group. “The very first organization I joined on campus was the Latino Student Union. It was kind of weird because I was the only non-Hispanic individual, but we had a lot of fun. We even placed second in the campus soccer league. Of course, I got made fun of lightheartedly because I was the only white person in the group, but it was a great time. I made a lot of great friends that I still have to this day.”
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nce the ice was broken, we dug a little deeper to see if they have experienced difficulties in Beta because of their race.
I can say confidently that the fraternities on our campus are truly accepting of every type of guy – no matter his race, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, whatever. – Jeff Pioquinto, Iowa State ’21
Swoosh swung the pendulum quickly in a different direction. “Quite the opposite. I’ve found it refreshing to talk with guys who have different backgrounds and are able to coexist – and learn how little things in your own upbringing may be different or similar to others.” “Speaking as a freshman, Betas at OU accept and welcome everyone with open arms,” Denzel asserted confidently. “They make it a goal to teach us how to walk around campus with pride, how to be confident in showing our intelligence, how to show what we can do in this world.” “I have not,” shared Jeff. “Betas at Iowa State are very accepting of all races, backgrounds and orientations. Whoever comes through our doors, we will give them a chance. There’s never been a moment where I felt like an outsider due to my racial background.”
“If not in Beta, what about difficulties in the larger Greek community on campus?” I posed to the group. “With 30 chapters competing for the same guys, every chapter on campus may not check every single demographic box, but I can say confidently that the fraternities on our campus are truly accepting of every type of guy – no matter his race, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, whatever,” Jeff explained. The group seemed to agree. Of course, one can’t enter a conversation about race without talking about the reality of prejudice. So, I pushed further. “If you haven’t experienced it overtly, have you ever picked up on unspoken racism?” “Oh, I would say yes, for sure,” Denzel shared. “If not in the Greek community, it’s on campus. But Beta is doing a good job. We talk about diversity in my house in order to expand the views and opinions that we deeply care about. That only happens because we choose to do something about something that needs attention.” Beyond Denzel’s reaction, however, the guys seemed to struggle to identify acts of racism that involved themselves personally. I found that encouraging, although a few would later admit they do face certain pressures because of their complexion. It was around this point in the interview where some personal observations over 22 years working for Beta started to be verified: There may be more to the racial data divide than fraternity skeptics would like to think.
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Six years ago, Beta new members numbered 74.2% white. Today’s data isn’t much different: 74.3%.
More Than Meets the Eye
urious as to how our undergraduates would explain the phenomenon, I asked, “Why then, if Beta is so inclusive as you suggest, is the national data so strikingly different? Why is it that campuses are on average 45% minority (and growing), yet Beta is just 25%?” “Minority kids are no different than anyone else,” Swoosh was quick to point out. They’re looking for a sense of familiarity, too – what they’re used to and have grown up around. If they’re used to having friends of the same racial background, and they see a fraternity that has the reputation of being more inclined to welcome their race, without considering anything else they’re more inclined to join that fraternity. If they don’t see any fraternities that exemplify at least some men like themselves, they’re probably less inclined to think they’d be welcome.”
Minority kids are no different than anyone else. If they don’t see any fraternities that exemplify at least some men like themselves, they’re probably less inclined to think they’d be welcome. – Swochchhanda “Swoosh” Shrestha, MIT ’21
Nestor was patient on the topic. “It takes time for the numbers to catch up,” he said. “Primarily, college was for Caucasians, so the Fraternity was all Caucasian. It’s going to take time for cultures new to the fraternity world to get comfortable with the experience. It’s a multicultural thing.”
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His point was well taken. Fourteen of the 16 fraternities and sororities of the National Association for Latino Fraternal Organizations were founded since 1980, and 16 of the 18 national Asian and Pacific Islander fraternities and sororities were founded since 1990. As a reminder, the first fraternity, Phi Beta Kappa, was founded in 1776 and Beta turned 141 in 1980. Familiarity with Greek life could very well be at least one contributing factor to current levels of participation by minority students compared to their white peers. Certainly, no logical rationale or data has been identified to suggest young men of color don’t want or value strong bonds of brotherhood and fun social experiences like their white counterparts. In fact, a strong case can probably be made that the familial and values-driven nature of the fraternity experience lends itself quite well to races known for deep and vibrant family experiences that center around the home.
Actual and Projected U.S. College Enrollment by Race
A relatively young family man with weighty responsibilities as provider, Nestor went further. “It’s also a financial thing,” he said. “Many people of multicultural descent are first-generation college students and have difficulties with financial stability. So, the financial commitment
Fall 2001 - 2026 Enrollment (in millions) 15
might not be possible for those families. It may have nothing to do with their interest or the Fraternity’s openness to involving them, it’s simply an economic issue.” With growing levels of student debt and more students working during school, it’s not hard to understand how money and time continue to pressure the fraternity experience. Per U.S. Department of Education data, in 2017 43% of students worked during college, with 35% of them working more than 10 hours per week on top of their full-time course load. Some 27% worked more than 20 hours per week. Beta’s own internal data is consistent. Swoosh endorsed the notion of family influence. “Minority parents are also stricter, so ‘fraternity’ is a little hard to define in terms of the benefits to your parents. At least as compared to a scholastic honorary. If your parents aren’t on board with it, it’s hard for a lot of kids to want to join.” “I agree with that,” said Jeff. “What was the first thing my mom did when I told her I wanted to join Beta? She went straight to the internet. And that was right when Beta was enduring the tragedy at Penn State with Tim Piazza. First-generation college students and first-generation Americans are especially close to their parents. Parent opinions weigh so heavily on our decisions. If parents aren’t on board, it’s hard to continue on that path with so much resistance coming your way.”
5 American Indian/ Alaska Native Two or more races 0 2001
2011 School Year
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To Be Fair
t least three additional points seem to contribute to the disparity in college enrollment race dynamics and fraternity membership. For one, the mere existence of racespecific fraternities can make it hard for a fraternity like Beta Theta Pi to compete for men of color, especially when their founding purposes are rooted in culturally concentrated memberships. Look no further than the traditionally Black, Latino and Asian fraternities to understand they, too, suffer from a lack of diversity. Second, the trend of varsity athletes being prohibited by their coaches from joining a fraternity has altered a tradition of decades past and, thus, reduced access to a population of men who by all accounts tend to be more diverse and active in campus activities than the larger campus population. Finally, while college enrollment data may average 45% minority, not all regions and schools are created equal or possess the same racial profile. With the Hispanic/Latino population heaviest in Florida and the Southwest through Pacific Northwest stretching from Texas to Washington, Florida International University’s student body is 64% Hispanic/Latino, yet it’s just shy of 4% at North Dakota. UCLA is 26% Asian but Nebraska is 11%. Further, according to Census data, the greatest concentration of Black populations are in the South, Southeast and Northeast. That may help explain why, counter to stereotypical assumption, the south and southeast are the only regions where every Beta chapter but one has pledged a Black student in the last six years, yet the other 24 chapters that have not were evenly distributed across the continent. Despite the simplicity and ease of looking at national averages, there are spectrums of racial enrollment differences on each campus that deserve consideration. The Beta Theta Pi
Beta Theta Pi Undergraduate Racial Makeup vs. National Campus Trend 2013-14* Beta New Member Make-up
2018-19 Beta New Member Make-up
1976 NCES^ College Enrollment Data
2016 NCES College Enrollment Data
2028 NCES College Enrollment Projection
* 2013-14 was the first academic year racial data was collected on Beta’s new members. ^ The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is the Congressionally mandated agency within the U.S. Department of Education responsible for collecting, collating, analyzing and reporting complete statistics on the condition of American education.
“Such a Sellout”
ecognizing the external pressures that may be influencing Greek life participation by minority races, it was equally important to explore pressures young men of color feel from within their own racial community – especially if they associate regularly with members of a different race. While it wasn’t an experience most had endured, Denzel shared it was something he faces often. “Oh, yeah. In a joking way obviously, but especially when you’re younger, it gets to you. ‘Sellout’ is a term that just needs to go away. The way I act is how my parents raised me. Others can say, ‘Oh, he’s acting too white.’ Or, ‘Hey, he’s not even black.’ I’m still the color of my skin. They can
say whatever they want; I still know who I am.” Disappointment surfaced in him, and in turn the vibe of the group, but he quickly redirected toward the positive – a common pattern. “But you know, my favorite episode of ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ includes Carlton going to an all-black fraternity and they call him a sellout. He stands up and tells them, ‘Black is not who I’m trying to be, black is who I am.’ That speaks to me.” Being comfortable in his own skin exudes Denzel. And the optimistic attitude that comes with it appeared to be a pretty common trait among the other four Beta undergraduates we interviewed. Although they do endure added pressure.
Others can say, ‘Oh, he’s acting too white.’ Or, ‘Hey, he’s not even black.’ I’m still the color of my skin. They can say whatever they want; I still know who I am. – Denzel Akuffo, Oklahoma ’23
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Like it or not, you do stand out and always feel as if you have to be perfect in everything you do. I plan on going far leadership-wise; whether color has a say or not, I will always feel that pressure. But it’s a blessing in disguise. It pushes me the right way.”
I’ve never felt that way. Especially being in the Marine Corps, we don’t see race. A Marine is a Marine. We’re all the same green. It’s the same in Beta. I just don’t see that type of racial divide.” – Nestor Carrera, Embry-Riddle ’21
Have any of you had to fight harder for a position – an actual office in the chapter or an intellectual point when debating with your brothers – solely because of your race?” I asked. “There is definitely more pressure,” Jeff acknowledged. “You’re essentially carrying a whole race on your shoulders. I’ve been told I’m the first minority to be president of my chapter in its 115-year history. I always feel like people, inside or outside the chapter, have higher expectations for me because they say, ‘Here’s someone different, so he better be good. If he’s not like us, he better be performing well.’” In what became obvious similarities for the two men hailing from the heartland, Denzel backed Jeff. “There is more pressure on you as an individual because you know there’s a target on your back.
36 The Changing Face of the College Campus
Swoosh drew on the experience of a Latino chapter brother. “I’ve never felt it personally, but one of our past presidents is Hispanic and from northern Florida. He has a heavy southern accent and a lisp, so he feels in some subtle ways he has to prove himself by being more well-spoken and mindful of how he speaks. If someone has that accent, others might think he is of lower intelligence.” “I’ve never felt that way,” Nestor said. “Especially being in the Marine Corps, we don’t see race. A Marine is a Marine. We’re all the same green. It’s the same in Beta. I just don’t see that type of racial divide.” As I attempted to move on to the next question, having already heard from the four students of color, Jacob interrupted: “Believe it or not, I actually feel that pressure because of my race.” “Oh, really?” I countered startlingly. “Yes, as a white male leading an organization of majority white individuals, you don’t want to be that stereotypical white guy. And everyone has that stigma of fraternities, with plenty of media that has helped shape the perception. As part of an organization that is trying to change the stigma, there is extra pressure because people can say, ‘Well, he’s white, we already know – and don’t really care – what he thinks.’”
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The Tokenism Trap
n addition to exploring racism, the pressures not to “sellout” one’s race and other factors affecting racial minorities’ participation in Greek life, it seems a fourth leg of this race conversation stool is tokenism. Sometimes a genuine concern, but also used as a defense against any effort to improve inclusivity, it is appropriate to revisit Beta’s Initiation Ceremony, which weighs in on the matter quite specifically: “In our Fraternity, brothers are brothers for life, and all stand on the same fraternal level. We have no ranks, no degrees, no official privileges.” Thus, Betas have a high regard for rejecting favoritism that is inauthentic. But, in a separate interview, Zach Allen, Oklahoma ’85, house corporation president of the Gamma Phi Chapter, makes the case that honest efforts to improve the Fraternity’s racial diversity are anything but rooted in suspicious motives. “We’ve been welcoming men of color for decades. But, while we lucked into diverse members periodically, we knew we could do better. It shouldn’t be left so much to chance,” he shared. “In my first meeting each year with the summer rush team, I am clear on behalf of our alumni: ‘For every pledge class, we are going to seek racial diversity.’ It takes intentional effort since the
The Beta Theta Pi
percentage of black students at OU is pretty low. So, we have to compete hard – but it’s a priority. And in Beta at OU, we go after our priorities.” Wondering how receptive his undergraduates are to such direct and influential sentiments, I pressed him, “Do you get any pushback regarding tokenism?” He accepted the challenge without delay. “To be clear, on the matter of tokenism, our recruitment criteria still stand. We don’t throw those out and let race be the controlling factor. Every man pledged to the Fraternity has to stand on his own merits. However, everyone – you and me included – probably had one thing that likely tipped the bid in their favor. A legacy. A great athlete. A leader. An academic. Concerns about tokenism play out in multiple ways; it doesn’t just relate to race. The way we see it, everybody brings a little something different to the table. If one brings racial diversity, that’s serving the interests of our chapter very well.” Understanding the emphasis on recruitment, I explored further what those interests were that he and OU Betas seem so passionate about. “Look, this is not just for optics,” he said. “A racially diverse chapter is going to be better, more sensitive and more intelligent. It’s also what the college experience is about: transitioning into the real world. And the real world is a diverse world. Shouldn’t we be a racially diverse fraternity? We want the best Beta experience possible. A pledge class of all white guys from the upper class is not as rich of an experience. Racial and ethnic diversity makes Beta strong. It makes us a better fraternity.” Curious as to just how good of a job Denzel and his brothers are doing given the directive provided by the chapter’s alumni, I dove into Oklahoma’s data once I got back
to Oxford. Sure enough, his and Zach’s characterization appears spot on. Since the Fraternity started collecting racial data in fall 2013, the Gamma Phi Chapter has pledged 53 men of color, averaging approximately nine men per year – or 36 active in the chapter at any one time. So, I asked our guys if and when any of them have ever been tokenized. Jacob remarked, “Today,” to the roar of laughs by the other four. It seems brothers love self-deprecating humor that, in no uncertain terms, levels the playing field. On a serious note, Jeff added, “Oddly enough, I have. One way my chapter presents its morals and policy of being accepting is by showing it off. So, they use me as a poster child. I like to think it’s because I’m good looking, but I’m in literally every chapter picture. It’s of course fun, but I know they are genuine in their love for me and they’re just trying to communicate to the rest of the world that Beta is inviting and welcoming of others. It’s all good.” Part of a highly diverse campus in Boston, Swoosh shared in his understated and modest manner, “We’re at a point diversity-wise that I don’t think we have to tokenize anyone.”
While we lucked into diverse members periodically, we knew we could do better. It shouldn’t be left so much to chance. In my first meeting each year with the summer rush team, I am clear on behalf of our alumni: ‘For every pledge class, we are going to seek racial diversity.’ – Zach Allen, Oklahoma ’85, House Corp President
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So, What Can a Chapter Do?
Put yourself in a different situation where you might not feel the most comfortable because people don’t look like you. That would be the point of it. How do you think other people feel? Walk a mile in somebody else’s shoes. – Jacob Schafer, Toledo ’20
38 The Changing Face of the College Campus
t the end of our time together, I knew we needed to leave the conversation exploring concrete steps all Beta chapters could take to reach untapped markets of men from diverse racial backgrounds – men who could enrich the brotherhood and our chapters’ intellectual depth. One overriding theme seemed to surface: determined intentionality. “I was on the cheerleading team for the university, and after tryouts last fall I looked around and realized the entire room was white,” Jacob asserted. “It immediately made me feel uncomfortable. When there’s only one demographic represented, it makes you ask, ‘What’s going on here?’ And I can’t just ask, ‘Why isn’t there more diversity?’ because that would be too simple.”
In a solution-oriented manner, he went further. “I’d recommend going to the Latino Student Union meeting, the Black Student Union meeting, the Muslim Student Union meeting. Make a couple friends. Put yourself in a different situation where you might not feel the most comfortable because people don’t look like you. That would be the point of it. How do you think other people feel? Walk a mile in somebody else’s shoes. Ask questions. People are a lot more friendly than you think they are.” Denzel referenced his own experience, “The summer rush team at Beta was full of amazing men who said, ‘You come to this house, you’ll make history.’ You could tell they went out of their comfort zone and made sure, ‘We’re going to get this kid.’ Just their understanding, and them looking me in the eye, ‘Hey, Spring 2020 | beta.org
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o, when it comes to race and the changing face of the college campus, is Beta adapting?
we want you.’ You just don’t miss out on that opportunity. You could see the trust in their eyes, the sense of camaraderie, they wanted me. It was clear.” In sum, Jeff’s story built on Jacob’s and Denzel’s perspectives and made the case in point. “A desire for more diversity in the chapter is on the minds of our brothers of color – a lot more than it is on the minds of the white guys. But you aren’t solving a problem by ignoring it or shying away from it. You need to have conversations on it at chapter. You need to discuss it when looking at rush week. You need to be cognizant of those who aren’t joining. We had a conversation in a recent chapter meeting where someone asked, ‘Why aren’t we more diverse?’ So, I responded, ‘Well, what are we doing to be more diverse?’ The room fell silent.”
The Beta Theta Pi
Yes. (And no.) A whole host of factors much less villainous than racism seem to contribute to our understanding of why Beta chapters, and likely the fraternity system at large, lag on the racial front. Compared to April 1954 when Kenyon College Betas joined arm and arm to ensure Bill Lowry ’56, was initiated uninterrupted, becoming the first Black man in America to join a “white fraternity,” the fact that Beta now stands with more than 1 in 5 undergraduates being men of color is encouraging.
Our Fraternity doesn’t strive for racial diversity to be politically correct. Nor should it resist it out of fear, pride or ego. We do it because Beta Theta Pi was the first to break the fraternal color barrier in 1954 – and revealed the true depth of its heart and character in the process.
Yet, it would be disingenuous to ignore racial history or dismiss the temptations of tribalism that are as old as man itself. Related sentiments likely exist to some degree in some Beta chapters across the land. After all, among the thousands of men enrolled on Beta campuses over the last six years, 25 chapters couldn’t even luck into one Black student to worthily wear the Beta badge? It appears there are two truths: Chapters feel they are diverse and welcoming of all races, yet the perception from the outside is they are anything but. Therein lies the dilemma – and tremendous opportunity. In the end, our Fraternity doesn’t strive for racial diversity to be politically correct. Nor should it resist it out of fear, pride or ego. We do it because Beta Theta Pi – a fraternity void of restrictive white clauses that plagued so many of its peers – was the first to break the fraternal color barrier in 1954 and revealed the true depth of its heart and character in the process. Simply put, believing in humility, approachability and intentionality, we must continue to say to young men with varying shades of melanin: “Just as iron sharpens iron, so too does one man sharpen another.” No matter your color or stripes, you are welcome in Beta Theta Pi. The Changing Face of the College Campus 39
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RESULTS AND TRENDS FROM (YEAR 2 OF) THE
BETA BROTHERHOOD ASSESSMENT Last fall, the Fraternity undertook its second year of the Beta Brotherhood Assessment (BBA), a survey designed to assess how members feel about their undergraduate experience and whether their chapter is building deep brotherhood in healthy ways. The BBA is confidential and developed and administered online by Dyad Strategies, a professional research firm specializing in student assessment and fraternal belonging. The survey includes several dozen questions and takes about 30 minutes to complete.
A custom report with chapter-specific results was sent to officers, advisors, house corporation volunteers and General Fraternity Officers. At this year’s Chapter Presidents Leadership Academy and Keystone Leadership Conferences, officers and volunteers were trained on how to interpret and act on their results. To view a sample Beta Brotherhood Assessment chapter report, visit beta.org/bba-sample.
WHAT ARE WE LEARNING?
With only two years of data, extensive insight is limited. However, across the Fraternity positive movement was observed in the following areas surveyed by our partners at Dyad: A decrease in Solidarity. When solidarity is high, members are loyal to each other to a fault, and may “protect” the chapter through secrets. Beta’s score is moving toward a healthier level, where members feel connected to each other and the chapter in positive, productive ways.
40 THE BETA THETA PI
of all undergraduates completed the assessment.
A decrease in Shared Social Experiences. This type of brotherhood revolves around friendship. Some men emphasize the social side of Beta to the exclusion of other aspects, so a slight decrease in last year’s high all-fraternity score moves us closer to a healthy range, where members report having strong, deep brotherhood built around having fun together.
In addition to being statistically meaningful, this means our results reflect the attitudes and beliefs of the vast majority of our members.
Belonging remains high. Belonging transcends casual friendships and social interactions. Men who think of brotherhood this way feel deeply connected to Beta and describe it as “a home away from home.” High belonging is a driver for many other healthy aspects of fraternity life, including member satisfaction and responsibility. A decrease in Social Status Importance. This measurement indicates how much members care about their position relative to other chapters in the campus social hierarchy. A high score means that chapter leaders care more about what other fraternities and sororities think and might be making decisions based on those perceptions, not what’s in the best interest of the chapter or members. Decreasing this score puts the Fraternity in a healthy range – we care what others in our community think but not at the expense of living out our own mission and values.
BENCHMARKING BETA’S INTERFRATERNAL PEERS
Beta is one of seven fraternities partnering on this brotherhood research so, as we collect more longitudinal data, the Fraternity can compare its performance against peers. Here’s one important insight so far: Two of the fraternities that have adopted alcohol-free housing for many years have higher member satisfaction scores than other fraternities, Beta included. This dispels the myth that removing alcohol from chapter homes inhibits the ability to build strong brotherhood. As Beta moves toward the final August 2020 transition for implementation of substance-free housing, we’ll monitor and compare our own member satisfaction scores.
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BROTHERHOOD IN BETA THETA PI
BETA YEAR ONE BETA YEAR TWO IDEAL
3.4 3.2 3.0 Solidarity
Pay Dues on Their Own About a third of our members pay fraternity dues on their own, with no assistance from family or other sources.
Members Who Work Slightly less than half of our current undergraduates work during the academic year.
First-Generation Students More than 10% of Beta undergraduates identify as first-generation students. This means they are the first in their family to attend a college or university.
Ability to Cope As a whole, Beta undergraduates expressed confidence in their ability to adjust their mental and behavioral coping strategies in response to stress. Chapter officers reported more confidence in their ability to cope themselves and offer support to brothers.
Support An overwhelming majority of Beta chapters (81%) report their members have healthy attitudes toward supporting survivors of sexual assault.
38% Drank More Than Intended 38% of students answered “yes” to this question, which is taken from a standard set of public health questions about adult alcohol use: “In the past year, have you drank a larger amount of alcohol than you intended?”
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41 SPRING 202O | BETA.ORG
The Beta Brotherhood Assessment collects demographic information about Beta undergraduates, which provides senior leaders and local volunteers insight on how best to support them and create an engaged member experience.
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IT’S A QUESTION THAT HAS PERVADED THE MINDS OF MEN FOR CENTURIES: DOES SIZE MATTER? Of course, this article concerns fraternity men and the size of their local chapters. What did you think this was going to be about? The question of ideal chapter size has been debated since the Fraternity’s beginnings. In the original constitution, the founders called for a minimum of three and a maximum of nine members in a chapter, likely thinking greater than nine men precluded the formation of intimate friendships. Later, the General Convention of 1920 established the “rule of 39,” although limiting a chapter size to 39 was also eventually abandoned. No longer under any formal restriction, the Fraternity’s numbers have continued to grow. There are 76 men in an average Beta chapter today, the range varying greatly from as small as five men to as large as 211. Those on the leaner end argue their strength lies in the bonds of their brotherhood – that it’s easier to know and connect with 20 men instead of 100 — while those with beefier memberships assert dominance by flexing their big budgets and expansive alumni networks.
Fraternity recruitment tactics have long stressed the importance of quality over quantity. But when push comes to shove, does the size of your brotherhood matter, or is it all in how you use it?
CHAPTERS AS COMPANIES
Euphemisms aside, a helpful way to consider this age-old question is to compare chapters to companies. After all, whether first started in a garage in Los Altos, California, or an upper room in the old college building known as “Old Main,” entities all begin as startups. Some go on to become Fortune 500 companies, others small-town staples of the American heartland, each serving an integral purpose yet encountering vastly different efficiencies and obstacles along the way.
BUREAUCRACY VS. BURNOUT
Brothers are the backbone of Beta Theta Pi – their work greatly influencing the organization’s success on each campus. The larger a chapter becomes, the more bureaucratic that work may seem. Small chapters, on the other hand, often have less complexity, resulting in fewer hoops to jump through and a simpler organizational maze to navigate.
Employees of small businesses, like those in smaller chapters, also have wider exposure to job functions. One may be expected to wear multiple hats, from budgeting to project management, hiring, business development, the list never ends. For Betas who find themselves in this situation, the opportunities for involvement are limitless, but burnout can be high. The average tenure of an employee at a startup is under 11 months (versus nearly 18 months at an established company). Yes, one brother can spearhead recruitment, homecoming and parents weekend. For the long-term health of the organization and its members, though, that doesn’t mean he should. Where members from these smaller groups may be jacks of all trades but masters of none, large brotherhoods may enjoy greater specialization and the
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chance to more fully develop a specific expertise or skill. That is, at least in part, because large chapters find truth in the old saying “many hands make light work.” That presumes members from large chapters choose to step up and run the organization and resist the urge to hide behind the masses thinking “someone else will handle it.” If they do, though, the diffusion of responsibilities provides a clearer, more traditional structure for moving up the ladder. A new member doesn’t have to jump into a major role within his first year, and can instead move from pledgeship to a committee role and ultimately to an executive position without an abundance of pressure.
Change is never easy, but it’s almost certainly easier in a smaller organization where processes aren’t as concrete and rigid. Operations in a small chapter, like those in a small business, can change on a dime. That versatility is paramount for a group that may need to quickly or more frequently course correct.
“FRIENDSHIP AND BROTHERHOOD FLOURISH FULLY ONLY WHERE MEN IN COMMON UNION WORK TOGETHER TOWARD THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF AIMS AND GOALS OF HIGH PURPOSE.” — DR. PAUL VAN RIPER, DEPAUW ’37
Large groups, on the other hand, may find themselves steeped in tradition, and tradition is hard to break. Exacting change becomes more difficult as the number of those you must “win over” increases. That’s not to mention the growing diversity of constituencies one may need to satisfy. Change, then, doesn’t only require support from an already large undergraduate body, but also an ever-growing number of alumni, advisors and maybe a house corporation. Change is arguably less messy for those chapters still forming their legacies.
A NUMBERS GAME
Working for a small company often means employees enjoy close, personal relationships with everyone from the receptionist to the boss. This, too, is frequently the case in a small chapter.
Men there tell you they know the names, interests and aspirations of all of their brothers – pledges and initiates alike. For an institution founded in the name of brotherhood, that should be of the utmost importance. Of course, families don’t always live in harmony. Deep divisions may arise when members don’t share an organizational vision. For small chapters, those divisions can be lethal. Large chapters are familial on a slightly smaller scale. They share a common name, to be sure, but divisions between pledge classes, for instance, can be common. Generational divides, they might say, are to be expected, and it’s hard to argue with the perks of stable, sizable membership. There may, indeed, be power in numbers. As a brotherhood grows, so does cash flow. And while money may not buy happiness, it can provide comfort and peace of mind. A short-term view of this is certainly true: more funds equals more chapter functions and, subjectively, maybe even more fun. A bigger budget, combined with fiscal responsibility, may also quicken the pace a chapter can secure housing or other capital assets. So long as risk management concerns don’t derail progress, greater membership stands to help ensure a chapter’s longevity. Small chapters, on the other hand, face great peril if 25% of their men graduate in a single year. A push for higher quantities of members can act like an insurance policy to the ebbs and flows of recruitment success.
SIZE OR SUBSTANCE
Operational cares and concerns differ greatly based on chapter size. Alone, they best serve to explain the potential pitfalls of the Fraternity’s groups on the fringe — those “too small for viability” or “too big to manage.” They don’t, however, necessarily help determine a sweet spot
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where intimacy and sustainability meet for an ideal Beta experience. The truth is, prescribing a “just right” membership size broadly applicable across Beta’s chapters is nearly impossible when Greek communities look so different campus to campus. However, several Beta chapters of achievement may help provide a jumping off point. Since its debut in 1997, only 64 chapters have received the prestigious John Reily Knox Award recognizing the utmost involvement, leadership and success of a chapter. More impressive, though, are those groups that have remained steady contenders for the trophy over the years. Only four chapters – Kansas State, Nebraska, San Diego and Truman State – have claimed the award 10 or more times. As of their most recent win, those chapter sizes ranged from 86 to 108 brothers. Likewise, five Beta chapters have been bestowed with the North American Interfraternity Conference Chapter Award of Distinction since 2011. This top honor, awarded each year to only a handful of chapters across the fraternity world, has gone to Centre, Kentucky, Nebraska, San Diego and Utah, representing a chapter membership range from 62 to 145 men.
Do chapters falling squarely in this range have a leg up in running operationally sound chapters? Not necessarily. While any entity is designed to function at difference scales, success comes down to the effective management of resources that surround that scale of operation. In Beta, those resources are people, and these award-winning brotherhoods would probably say that, despite being relatively large chapters, success comes from making it seem small to its members. Beta is, at its heart, about people and relationships.
SIZE (SORT OF) MATTERS
Does size matter? Yes. Chapters can be both too small or too big. But as Hewlett Packard’s Srini Srinivasan hinted in a discussion with Harvard Business School, it’s not size alone that matters. Success or failure in the long run also hinges on conviction and persevering excellence, having and maintaining a focus, the ability to create a culture of belonging, and a system in which members can share ups and down together. Successful chapters, at their best, not only know where they are going and how to get there, but have a clearly defined culture. The mission, vision and core values of Beta Theta Pi are the ties that bind all chapters, to be sure, but it
KANSAS STATE | 2019
NEBRASKA | 2019
SAN DIEGO | 2019
NIC AWARD OF DISTINCTION
TRUMAN STATE | 2018
MEMBERS WHEN AWARDED
KENTUCKY | 2018
CENTRE | 2017
NEBRASKA | 2017
UTAH | 2014
SAN DIEGO | 2011
“THE GREAT SECRET OF THEIR SUCCESS CONSISTED NOT IN NUMBERS, BUT IN UNION; NOT IN GREAT STRENGTH, BUT IN WELL DIRECTED AND SIMULTANEOUS EXERTIONS. WHAT A FEW MEN UNITED IN OBJECT AND EFFORT WILL TO DO CAN BE DONE . . . ” — JOHN REILY KNOX, MIAMI 1839
rests on those local outposts to keep alignment between values, culture structure and behavior — regardless of size. In this way, the litany of euphemisms seem to add up: It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog. “The great secret of their success consisted not in numbers, but in union; not in great strength, but in well directed and simultaneous exertions.” John Reily Knox said. “What a few men united in object and effort will to do can be done ...” The ideal Beta experience does not come from a number, but rather a chapter’s ability to create a desirable culture of brotherhood, personal growth and a sense of home.
MEMBERS WHEN LAST AWARDED
THE KNOX AWARD (10+)
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Photo: Jared Jernagan, Banner Graphic
campus life student highlights Historic Gridiron Rivalry Settled by Beta Gamebreaker
Few know the deep-seeded loathing of school rivalry better than the students of DePauw and Wabash. Separated by less than 30 miles in the heart of Indiana, the epic feud is commemorated annually as the two campuses collide in a heated gridiron matchup, the Monon Bell Classic. The winning team gains possession of the 300-pound locomotive bell, a symbol of dominance, and of course, bragging rights. The Fraternity is fortunate to have a sideline vantage as each campus is also home to a historic chapter of Beta Theta Pi — the Tau Chapter at Wabash and the Delta Chapter at DePauw. During the 126th meeting between the interstate rivals last fall, it was Brother Gavin Ritter, DePauw ’21, who caught a 62-yard touchdown pass to take the lead over Wabash, clinch the 17-13 victory and ultimately secure DePauw’s possession of this year’s Monon Bell. Historically, Wabash holds a slight edge, leading the all-time series 62-55-9.
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ifcpresidents Thirteen Beta brothers have been elected to serve as IFC president for 2020 and carry forward the spirit of interfraternalism first established by “The Father of Interfraternalism," Beta's own William Raimond Baird, Stevens 1878/Columbia 1882.
1 | Andrew Weiss, Bethany ’21 2 | Tommi Redl, British Columbia ’20 3 | Jose Castellanos, Florida International ’20 4 | Harrison Keith, Kentucky ’21 5 | Ian Ross, Michigan ’21 6 | Nico Salinas, MIT ’21 7 | Charles Chimera, Rochester ’21 8 | Marco Lagana, Sacred Heart ’21 9 | Matthew Schneider, Saint Louis ’21 10 | Dan Schott, TCU ’21 11 | Dave Kelly, Texas ’22 12 | Alex Marshall, Wisconsin-Oshkosh ’22 13 | Nick Weissman, Wittenberg ’21
A | SEC Nation
Thanks to their devoted followers, the brothers of the Beta Beta Chapter at Mississippi bested their Twitter competition, winning an opportunity to appear on "SEC Nation." The men got the chance to mix and mingle with iconic hosts Laura Rutledge, Marcus Spears, Tim Tebow and Paul Finebaum, and the rest of the "SEC Nation" team.
B | Brothers Abroad
Mount Fuji sets the scene for these four brothers from San Jose State who spent their winter break traveling and exploring the beauty of Japan — making sure to pack their Beta Spirit along the way.
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C | Setting Sail
Pierre Casenave-Pere, Columbia '20, competed in the Mini-Transat La Boulangere, a solo sailing race spanning from Europe across the Atlantic. The race consisted of 87 sailors from 15 different nations, competing across two legs for a total of over 4,000 miles. Pierre piloted the Argonaut 857, a 6.5-meter vessel he purchased while in New York. Accomplishing one of his dreams by competing in the race, he finished 37th overall, with a total sail time of 28 days, 2 hours and 48 minutes.
SPRING 2020 | BETA.ORG
Eight of Beta's newly elected IFC leaders united in January for the North American Interfraternity Conference-sponsored event PRIME: The Summit of IFC Presidents, to represent a Great and Good Fraternity and learn alongside other interfraternal leaders.
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campuslife D | For the Dogs
Before the holidays, Virginia Tech brothers hosted the Pi-A-Brother event to raise funds in support of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). For additional inspiration, the men even brought in a few special guests for the event. Great work for a truly great cause!
E | A Day at the Museum
More than 20 brothers from the Alpha Alpha Chapter at Columbia gathered at the Science Museum of Long Island for a day of service and brotherhood. The men worked to clear invasive vine overgrowth on the 36-acre grounds that surrounded the museumâ€™s teaching facilities and limited the ability to make use of the land for science programs.
F | Wax On, Wax Off
THE BETA THETA PI
The Betas at Florida Gulf Coast gave back to the university police department by washing and waxing the entire fleet of vehicles, making sure they were in prime condition for the officers to protect and serve. F
Photo: Alexander Giang
G | Commissioned
Upon receiving his degree, Distinguished Honor Graduate and Founding Father Sherwyn Fernandes, Embry-Riddle '19, was commissioned as an officer into the United States Army. Following graduation in December he relocated to San Antonio for his next wave of military training.
H | Into the Wild
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The brothers of James Madison made time to escape the bustle of campus life and venture into the forest to focus on building brotherhood and relaxing a bit before diving into the term.
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Bid Day Spirit
There are few things more pride-invoking than rallying brothers behind the Beta flag. That is exactly what the men of the Alpha Psi Colony at Butler did in preparation for bid day. These seniors even included "Blue," the university's beloved English Bulldog mascot.
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The Lion King
Brother Robert Koch, Washington & Jefferson '22, walked among the lions while traveling for 17 days throughout Senegal and Gambia, Africa, over the winter term. Traveling between capitals, small towns and villages, the experience left Robert reflecting, "The limited cellphone signal and WiFi allowed me to fully immerse myself into the trip." CAMPUS LIFE
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campuslife I | Research in Botswana
Aras Troy, George Mason ’20, is currently abroad in Botswana, Africa, studying the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS through community health solutions. Brother Troy regularly meets with village elders who discuss ways they can preserve and keep alive their traditional values.
J | Brother of the Year I
The Singing Fraternity extends its reach beyond vocal aptitude as Lawrence’s Liam Traynor ’22 (left), and Ricardo Jimenez ’21 (right), showcased their musical talent during a recent performance with the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra.
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K | Men of Music
Cameron Flinton, Clemson ’20, had the honor of representing the Fraternity, university and United States at the NCAA National Championship Football Game by accompanying President Donald Trump on the field prior to kickoff for the singing of the National Anthem. Cameron was also selected as the Delta Nu Chapter’s Brother of the Year for his consistent, exemplary leadership.
L | The Season of Giving
With the spirit of the season focused on giving to others, Truman State Betas dropped off clothes and presents for more than 20 kids that the Zeta Xi Chapter adopted through the Kirksville Fire Department’s Adopt-a-Child program. The men raised money to buy the gifts through sweatshirt sales and their Buy-a-Beta fundraiser. L
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chapterineternal loving memory
Andrew L. Burke ’12, Oct. 30, 2019 Stephen M. DePaul ’85, Jan. 20 Matthew P. Spivey ’03, Dec. 15, 2019 C
Olney Dekker ’48, Nov. 1, 2019 C Charles T. Fischer ’57, Dec. 25, 2019 C
John P. Raeder ’60, Nov. 7, 2019 C
Thomas T. Carder ’42, Oct. 21, 2019 C Robert L. Heller ’52, Nov. 6, 2019 Glen C. Momsen ’65, Jan. 18 Laurence S. Schreiber ’63, Dec. 9, 2019 C
Paul K. Buff Jr. ’76, Jan. 14
Dickinson Victor C. Diehm Jr. ’65, Dec. 26, 2019
William H. Kimes ’58, Dec. 25, 2018 Joseph F. Lyon ’51, Nov. 12, 2019 C
Bethany Irvin B. Charnock ’41, Dec. 22, 2018 Raymond E. Griffiths ’54, Jan. 11 Maurice N. Lohr ’46, Feb. 27, 2019 Gary A. Pittman ’69, Jan. 4 C
THE BETA THETA PI
Memorial Gifts The Fraternity is often asked how to memorialize a dearly departed Beta. Memorial gifts can be made at beta.org/gift or with Director of Development Laura Lednik at 800.800. BETA. In lieu of flowers, consider naming the Beta Leadership Fund in your own obituary.
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Emory Joe P. Peabody ’65, Jan. 27
Lawrence Douglas W. Torgerson ’47, Dec. 5, 2019
Carnegie Mellon Central Michigan Gregory T. Kacy ’91, Nov. 30, 2019
Cincinnati James W. Martin ’60, Dec. 1, 2019 C Powell McHenry ’49, Nov. 12, 2019 James N. Moore ’49, Sept. 12, 2018 Mark G. Pace ’72, June 9, 2019
Colorado Mines Thomas D. Likes ’70, Jan. 9 Edwin T. Wood ’48, Aug. 24, 2019
Columbia Leon D. Marrano Jr. ’48, Sept. 13, 2019 Fred B. Morrison ’48, Jan. 10, 2017
Cornell Charles D. Bender ’62, March 9, 2017 Craig H. Duncan ’71, June 2, 2019 Edward G. Fisher ’65, Nov. 6, 2018 Brian J. Hillock ’77, Nov. 29, 2018 Roger J. Howley ’49, Dec. 8, 2019 Frederick E. Klutey Jr. ’57, Nov. 30, 2018 Jon C. Mazuy ’59, Oct. 11, 2017 Peter S. Papanou ’47, Jan. 25, 2018 William H. Weigle Jr. ’49, Sept. 12, 2019
Davidson Flags indicate Betas who served in the United States or Canadian armed forces.
Louis G. Bove ’48, Aug. 22, 2019
Michael J. Fraser ’58, Oct. 8, 2019
Richard H. Gravett ‘48, Jan. 15 C Van L. Julian ’56, Nov. 8, 2019 C William A. Julian, Nov. 8, 2019 C Robert F. Larew ’48, Sept. 20, 2018 James D. Pike Jr. ’46, June 10, 2018 William T. Simpson ’47, Feb. 6, 2017 Ralph W. Smith Jr. ’47, Dec. 7, 2019
W. D. Henrichs MD ’61, Oct. 30, 2019 C G. H. Wagner MD ’58, Jan. 4 C
Stanley B. Kirsch ’90, Jan. 11 Robert W. Sugg ’49, Oct. 29, 2019 C
William E. Glasgow Jr. ’78, July 3, 2019 Roland M. Lee ’48, Sept. 11, 2019
H R. Sharbaugh ’48, Jan. 5, 2017
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.
Johns Hopkins Henry M. Lummis III ’49, May 4, 2018 Carl W. Schwenzfeier ’66, Nov. 11, 2019
John G. Leissner ’83, Nov. 3, 2019
Report a Beta’s Death Please contact Receptionist Phyllis Bowie at 800.800. BETA or phyllis.bowie@ beta.org to report a death.
Denison Earl T. Herzog Jr. ’59, Jan. 19
Forever Remembered Notices of Beta brothers and Beta Sweethearts who passed were reported to the Administrative Office between November 4, 2019 and January 31, 2020.
Jerome D. Goodrich Jr. ’63, Jan. 14 Donald C. Tettelbach ’56, July 13, 2019 Lawrence D. Young ’76, Jan. 20
Hanover Dan D. Oury ’59, Dec. 13, 2019 Richard W. Roehm ’57, Nov. 18, 2019 Lynn L. Smith ’60, Nov. 4, 2019 C Richard H. Woodworth ’61, Aug. 16, 2017
Idaho Earl R. Pharris ’50, Dec. 12, 2019
William H. Boyd ’61, Aug. 23, 2019 C
F C. Coddington Jr. ’54, Nov. 16, 2019 C John W. Lane Jr. ’56, Jan. 10 C William R. Lawry ’45, Nov. 1, 2017
Miami James F. Brehm ’48, April 1, 2019 James P. Daniels ’60, Nov. 1, 2019 C Boyd B. Loveless Jr. ’66, Nov. 19, 2019 C Robert R. Smith ’50, Aug. 24, 2019 Donald A. Turner ’50, Nov. 29, 2019 Michigan Samuel R. MacArthur ’63, Dec. 21, 2019
Michigan State Adam D. Dikeman ’98, Nov. 27, 2019 Robert C. Klein ’51, Nov. 3, 2019 C
James D. Fitzpatrick ’49, Jan. 4 C
Dana R. Schmid ’54, Oct. 10, 2019 William G. Westerdahl ’59, Nov. 19, 2019
Needham S. Hurst ’55, Jan. 1 C Robert F. Prox Jr. ’49, Oct. 21, 2019 C
Iowa Jack R. Gray ’49, Aug. 24, 2017 Robert C. Griffin ’76, Dec. 3, 2019 Stephen T. Potter ’82, Aug. 2, 2019
Gloria Holden Kappa Kappa Gamma December 24
Beta Sweetheart to former Ambassador to Jamaica Glen Holden, Oregon ’51, Gloria maintained a deep dedication to education and youth-oriented initiatives. She is survived by her husband, their three children, nine grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren.
Missouri David B. Kelley ’61, Dec. 28, 2019 C Charles R. Wooten ’60, Dec. 6, 2019
Stanley B. Kirsch Duke ’90 January 11
An actor and acting coach, Stan’s most memorable roles include the Immortal Richie Ryan in “Highlander: The Series,” as well as an appearance on “Friends” as Monica’s underage boyfriend, Ethan. He died by suicide at the age of 51.
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Nebraska Daniel R. Bomhoff ’61, Dec. 16, 2019 C George A. Townsend ’45, Aug. 12, 2019 North Carolina Arthur H. Toothman Jr. ’46, Nov. 19, 2017
North Dakota Charles F. Whipple ’55, July 14, 2019 C
Northwestern William C. Butler ’48, Dec. 28, 2019 Raymond C. Holland ’49, Feb. 26, 2018 Raymond E. Miller ’48, Dec. 2, 2018 Ohio Richard W. DiBartolo ’50, Jan. 5 C
Ohio State Jack W. Gottschalk DDS ’50, Nov. 19, 2019 C Russell R. Mann II ’60, Nov. 13, 2019 C Thomas W. Trout ’46, April 4, 2019 C
Otis F. Burris MD ’52, Oct. 25, 2019 C Michael J. Cole ’73, Nov. 21, 2019 John L. Culbertson ’55, Dec. 9, 2019 C John H. Haynes ’56, Jan. 11 C Layton J. Hill III ’75, Dec. 19, 2019 John H. Roff, Jr. ’53, Oct. 23, 2019 C
Carl M. Plochman ’46, Nov. 30, 2019 Cory A. Sanderson ’94, Dec. 10, 2019 Dean E. Shoupp ’56, Jan. 12
Rutgers George J. Bache ’48, March 4, 2019
Sewanee Paul H. Adair ’67, Nov. 6, 2019 James H. Finney ’56, Dec. 29, 2019 C SMU Randolph F. Allen ’84, Nov. 30, 2019 John A. Hargis ’60, Dec. 9, 2019
South Dakota Ray B. Bahde ’58, Dec. 22, 2019 C Gary P. Fleishacker ’69, July 11, 2019 Buron O. Lindbloom MD ’53, Dec. 4, 2018 Gary D. McDowell ’61, Jan. 9 C
Southern California J. L. Stone ’54, Jan. 1 John R. VonAspen ’57, April 29, 2019 C
St. Lawrence Charles A. Luyster ’62, July 21, 2019
Wabash Lee W. Cline ’66, Nov. 15, 2019 William R. Wagner ’58, July 23, 2019 Washington James W. Cowan ’49, June 4, 2017 Norman L. Erickson ’55, Nov. 3, 2019 C Robert D. Ernst ’73, Sept. 18, 2019 Bruce A. Gellatly ’51, Oct. 13, 2019 C Robert M. Lee ’48, Sept. 22, 2019 Donald L. Lewison ’68, Dec. 7, 2019 C Kirke P. Sievers ’67, Dec. 25, 2019 C Washington & Jefferson C. F. Heberling ’49, Dec. 9, 2019 C Jack Rea Jr. ’91, Dec. 27, 2019 C
Washington and Lee Charles H. McCain Jr. ’52, Dec. 9, 2019
Washington in St. Louis Newell A. Baker ’50, Nov. 10, 2019 C William F. Schierholz Jr. ’43, June 28, 2019
Washington State James K. Johnson ’50, Oct. 31, 2019 C
Wesleyan William Saxton ’50, June 27, 2019
Robert H. Morrell MD ’58, Nov. 3, 2019 C
Jack P. Jevne ’53, Nov. 20, 2019
Octavian Bertea ’48, July 23, 2019
Jon H. Scott ’61, Nov. 2, 2019
Mark W. Monson ’78, Dec. 1, 2019 Robert D. Olson ’60, Dec. 24, 2019 C
Bernard A. Bridgewater Jr. ’55, Oct. 31, 2019 C
Penn State Karl K. Schier ’56, Sept. 1, 2019
Pennsylvania Mark M. Brzozowski ’80, Nov. 9, 2019 C Leo J. Powelstock ’51, Nov. 16, 2019 C
Lawrence D. Young Georgia Tech ’76 January 20
Larry’s commitment to Gamma Eta’s fiscal health began as a student, long before his service as an advisor and house corporation volunteer. “When Larry was treasurer and I was house manager, I had to present a life cycle cost analysis just to get approval to buy parts to keep the toilets flushing!” Rick Wood ’77, remembers.
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James A. Mazza Jr. ’73, Jan. 30, 2019 Rodney F. Pawich ’74, April 21, 2019
Whitman Robert N. Hackett Jr. ’64, Nov. 21, 2019 C
Michael J. Suty ’77, Dec. 31, 2018
Wichita State Joseph L. Rochford ’93, Jan. 14 C
Robert R. Humphris ’52, Nov. 20, 2019 C David Maybank Jr. ’54, Jan. 25 John B. McKinney ’54, Dec. 27, 2019 C
John “Hugh” Roff Jr. Oklahoma ’53 October 23
Philanthropist and businessman Hugh Roff began giving to the Beta Foundation in 1975 and continued supporting the Fraternity’s efforts virtually every year until his death. A U.S. Army veteran, he joined the Chapter Eternal just days shy of his 78th birthday.
Wisconsin Richmond T. Bell II ’64, Sept. 2, 2018 Terence J. Gautsch ’55, Jan. 28
Cory A. Sanderson Purdue ’94 December 10
A former Beta Mu advisor and one of four Sanderson-family Betas, Cory passed following a five-year battle with ALS. He rekindled bonds with fraternity brothers in his final years, who are said to have brought great joy and happiness as he faced his disease.
Remembered as a three-time letterman in football and baseball, U.S. Navy fighter pilot during WWII, and NFL official who worked three Super Bowls, Charles “Ace” Heberling’s most lasting impact came when he instituted equality between boys and girls athletics as executive director of the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League. At age 94, he died at his home in McCandless, Pennsylvania. Jack Rea Jr. W&J ’91 December 27
A Korean War veteran and 36-year athletic trainer for Washington & Jefferson College, Jack served as a Gamma Chapter advisor for 11 years — including chapter counselor. Known by many for his caring nature, loyalty beyond reproach and beautiful singing voice, the chapter saw fit to initiate him as a brother of Beta Theta Pi in 1991. He is survived by his wife, Dorris Hall, two children, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
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Robert E. Hammack ’70, Nov. 1, 2019
William R. Fitzpatrick Jr. ’70, Oct. 25, 2019 George M. Minot ’56, Dec. 19, 2019 Carl E. Reistle III ’58, Oct. 29, 2019 C
Charles F. Heberling W&J ’49 December 9
James K. Johnson Washington State ’50 October 31
Jim served in the U.S. Navy during WWII before joining Beta. He began volunteering for the Fraternity in 1956, first as district chief to chapters at Idaho, Washington State and Whitman, then as a vice president on the Board of Trustees from 1961-64.
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54 THE BETA THETA PI Photo: Bryant Fiesta, UC Irvine ’16
beta eponyms worldwide tributes
Know of an entity that pays homage to a Beta? Send the story to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Avid theatergoers know there are two world-famous destinations for live theater entertainment: New York’s Broadway and London’s West End. Last year, Stephen Sondheim, Williams ’50, became the only living artist to have a theater named in his honor in both historic districts. Originally opened in 1907 as the Queen’s Theatre, the renamed Sondheim Theatre opened on December 18, 2019 — mere months ahead of the Tony-winning composer-lyricist’s 90th birthday. Near London’s famed Piccadilly Circus, the newly renovated venue hosts the world’s longest-running musical, “Les Misérables.” “I am chuffed, as you say in British English, to a degree I wouldn’t have imagined,” Sondheim said. “Or as we say in American English, it’s awesome.”
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W i l d
H o r s e P
P a s s i
SAVE the Date
August 6-9, 2020 | 181st General Convention
R e s o r t A
Oxford Cup Honoree Rivers Rutherford Mississippi ’89
S p a
Shepardson Award Honoree Bert Bates Missouri ’49
This summer, Betas, Sweethearts and guests from across the globe will converge in the American Southwest to celebrate 181 years of brotherhood in Beta Theta Pi! Convention attendees will enjoy breathtaking views of the Sonoran Desert from a AAA Four Diamond resort and an itinerary packed with opportunities to celebrate the achievements of brothers young and old, participate in educational sessions, rekindle old friendships and discover new ones. Among those VIPs in attendance will be Oxford Cup honoree and Grammy Award-winning songwriter Rivers Rutherford, Mississippi ’89, as well as Shepardson Award recipient and former Foundation Board Director Bert Bates, Missouri ’49. Whether you attend the entire Convention, come for the day or join us for one of the outstanding banquets, mark the dates and reserve your spot by July 1. Registration is open now at beta.org.
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CALLING ALL BETAS On April 2, brothers, parents and friends are coming together to honor Beta’s past, celebrate its present and blaze a path for the 10,000 young undergraduates carrying the Fraternity’s legacy forward in 2020. The first-ever Giving Day Challenge benefits the Beta Foundation as it marches closer toward its $1 million annual goal. So, that only leaves one question ... Are you ready to show your Beta Spirit?
ONE DAY. ONE BROTHERHOOD. beta.org/givingchallenge
Photo: Photo: David P. Myers, Miami ’82
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