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Vol. V, Issue 2

New Exec Structure, New Exec Members After what was characterized as a “short” election day for the men of John Carroll (only five hours), a new executive board has been officially elected. At 11 a.m. on December 8, all brothers were in attendance in the Murphy Room to vote on eight positions on the executive board. In the fall, Eta Epsilon decided to change the structure of the executive board. This board sees the old Cabinet system broken up. With each position on the Executive Board now a Vice President, each member will have at least one person to work with them in their committee. Along with the new system, the VP for Brotherhood and the VP for Programming were created, splitting the duties of the old vice president (Kai and major events) into more manageable roles. The ritual and scholarship chairs are now a part of the Kai committee, serving under the VP for Brotherhood alongside two at-large Kai Committee representatives, elected among those initiated for at least one semester.

Eta Epsilon Brings in 13 New Brothers “Beta was the only fraternity I considered because they were the only ones that seemed to fit me. Joining Beta is the best decision I have made at John Carroll.” -Andrew Caito ‘17 In the fall 2013 semester, the Eta Epsilon Chapter of Beta Theta Pi saw a great deal of success in recruitment once again. Under the guidance of Recruitment Chairman Drew Wagner ‘15, the chapter brought in 13 brothers by the close of formal and informal recruitment. Once inducted into the fraternity, the Lambda Class was put under the guidance of Member Educator Steven Henderson ‘15. After a seven week pledge process, highlighted by the pledge retreat to Thornacres, each new member passed his final exam and was prepared to become an initiated brother. When the group traveled to Oxford for initiation this year, there was an additional treat the morning after initiation.

When it came time for elections, there was no shortage of qualified candidates, See NEW EXEC, page 7

INSIDE This Issue

See LAMBDA, page 3

Letter from the President New Member Profiles New Executive Board Advisory Board Update

2 4 6 7

Beta Leads Student Union, IFC Beta Service/Philanthropy Catching Up with J.J. Kuczynski Chris Casey on Winter Wooden

8 9 10 12

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Vol. V, Issue 2

A Letter from the President Tommy Collins ‘15

Cleveland to come to campus and have a Christmas when they would not normally get to do so. Along with this, brothers did yard clean ups to raise money for our trip to Oxford. Over the winter break, two brothers, Steve Henderson ’15 and Connor Hines ‘16, participated on an immersion trip to Nicaragua. As Betas, we constantly strive to be men for others not only on campus, but in our community and around the world as well.

Dear Brothers, Alumni, Family and Friends, It is with great honor that I am addressing you as the new president of the Eta Epsilon Chapter of Beta Theta Pi at John Carroll University. I cannot even begin to put into words what being a Beta at John Carroll means to me. There’s something about this great organization that truly makes good men the best they can be. Through my 3 years of being a student here, I have had the privilege of watching each and every brother grow and am amazed at what we accomplish each day. We continue to be one of the best organizations on John Carroll’s campus and I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of its successes and growth. This past summer, 11 brothers attended the 174th General Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. The brothers had a great time immersing themselves in ritual and brotherhood with Betas from all across the continent. Eta Epsilon came home with many awards including the Outstanding Recruitment Award, North Dakota Award for Chapter Publications, honorable mention for Pledge Education, the Sisson Award, and the Knox Award. The brothers and I are very proud of these accomplishments and awards. We look forward to attending the 175th General Convention in Oxford this upcoming summer.

To conclude, the brothers and I cannot thank you all enough for your continued support. Without each of you, we would not have the chance to be the “Gentlemen, Leaders, and Scholars” we are today. In this New Year, we strive to keep Beta Theta Pi as the best organization on campus while still building the bridge for those to come.

Yours in ___kai___, Tommy Collins ‘15 Eta Epsilon President

Starting off the fall semester, we had a very successful Men of Principle Scholarship awards ceremony as well as recruitment with events such as bowling, a basketball service event raising money for our philanthropy (Milestones Autism Organization), and a pasta dinner with alumni. That Friday we handed out bids and welcomed 13 new members for the semester. After the pledging process the chapter made the trip down to Miami University and initiated these 13 men into our ranks as brothers of Beta Theta Pi. Following recruitment, brothers planned and volunteered at our annual Through the Eyes of a Child service event on December 7. The event allows children from underprivileged areas in

The Bridge Builder

Volume V, Issue 2 Fall 2013/Winter 2014 The Quarterly Newsletter of the Eta Epsilon Chapter of Beta Theta Pi


Immer Chriswell ‘16

This Issue’s Editor

Joel W. Mullner ‘07

Communications Advisor


Sean Calhoun ‘15 Christopher Casey ‘15 Tommy Collins ‘15 Timothy Ficke ‘15 Timothy Johnson ‘15 Timothy Schifferle ‘16

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Vol. V, Issue 2

New Member Reflections “The pledge retreat was a truly life changing experience. I really opened up more and discovered who I was as a person, and also what it meant to be a Beta.” -Brent Gibala-Broxholm ‘17 “Joining Beta has provided a home away from home. The brotherhood is a once in a lifetime experience and it’s the best decision I’ve made so far at John Carroll.” -Will Hudson ‘17 Brother Zac Haines leads the chapter in the discussion of ritual, in concept and in practice.

Lambda Class initiated LAMBDA continued from page 1

Zac Haines, Miami ‘05, Beta’s assistant historian, gave the brothers a detailed tour of the Administrative Office and the Alpha Chapter House. Highlighting the lesson in Beta lore was a discussion with Zac about the importance of our ritual, and where it lands in everyday life for all initiated members. The Lambda Class brings in a talented group of young men, each exemplifying the core values of the Fraternity. Their impact as a class is sure to be significant for years to come.

Brothers John Bannon ‘16, Ken Clar ‘14, and Drew Wagner ‘15 pose with the “baby” of their family, Patrick Hiznay ‘17.

To my Beta Family...

A thank you note from former president Ken Clar ‘14 I'd like to express my sincere gratitude to all those who engage in this great organization of Beta Theta Pi at John Carroll - from brothers and advisors to parents, community supporters, and everyone in between. The past year as president of this chapter has been an incredible journey, and I could not have done it without the unwavering support of all who made it a reality. Throughout the year, our chapter experienced great successes while also facing times of defeat. One of my proudest moments as president was enacting our increase in academic standards, requiring each brother to maintain a GPA equal to, or above the

"all men’s average" GPA at John Carroll. This sets a precedent which will push our brothers to succeed academically, and will therefore influence career and personal growth. While we have areas to improve on as a chapter, I have grown the most in life when I was doubted, failed, or made mistakes. I am confident that this chapter will grow from the roadblocks we have in our way, and will continue to produce top notch Gentlemen, Leaders and Scholars. Thank you once again for this incredible honor. Ken Clar, #60


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Meet our Newest Brothers from the Lambda Class Initiated on November 22, 2013

Andrew Getz ‘17


to the 13 members of the Lambda Class, who hail from Ohio, New York, Michigan, and Alabama, and have a wide variety of interests and involvement on campus.


Bexley, Ohio Bexley HS Marketing Involvement: Carroll Crazies Hobbies: Football, reading, restaurants/food, technology Favorite food: Thurman-Burger Favorite movie: Remember the Titans Career aspirations: Restaurant owner

Dan Mascio ‘16

Will Hudson ‘17

Brunswick, Ohio Brunswick HS Economics

Auburn, Alabama Auburn HS Political Science

Involvement: Arrupe Scholars, Students for Social Justice, Campus Ministry, CSSA Liaison Hobbies: Politics, baseball, bowling, video games, technology Favorite food: Pizza Favorite movie: The Departed Career aspirations: Politics

Involvement: Student Union Hobbies: Politics, racquetball, watching movies Favorite food: Mexican Favorite movie: Goodfellas Career aspirations: Attorney or government

Tony Dempsey ‘17

Brent Gibala-Broxholm ‘17

Homerville, Ohio Black River HS Engineering Physics

Walworth, New York Gananda HS Marketing or Finance

Involvement: Pep band, SUPB, RHA, Pre-Law Society Hobbies: Leather working, reading, hunting, fishing, camping Favorite food: Mom’s home cooking Favorite movie: Windtalkers Career aspirations: Patent lawyer

Hobbies: Following Cleveland sports, exercising, guitar, watching TV or movies Favorite food: Chinese Favorite movie: King Arthur Career aspirations: Professional sports business operation

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Vol. V, Issue 2 Aaron Crow ‘16

Andrew Caito ‘17

Perry, Ohio Perry HS Accounting

Rochester, New York McQuaid Jesuit HS Finance and Spanish

Involvement: Rhapsody Blue, Rugby, Student Union Hobbies: Weightlifting, thrifting Favorite food: Any and all protein Favorite movie: Remember the Titans Career aspirations: Fitness corporation executive

Involvement: Rainbow Hospital volunteer, Italian Club Hobbies: Golf, basketball, Netflix Favorite food: Filet Mignon Favorite movie: Happy Gilmore Career aspirations: Attend Columbia MBA and work on Wall Street

Patrick Hiznay ‘17

Ryan O’Connor ‘17

Poland, Ohio Poland Seminary HS Business Undecided

North Royalton, Ohio Lutheran HS West Finance

Involvement: Leadership Scholars Program Hobbies: Sports, movies, working out Favorite food: Steak Favorite movie: Memento Career aspirations: Financial planner

Hobbies: Weightlifting and cars Favorite food: Corned beef Favorite movie: Drive Career aspirations: To make money

Deane Stillwagon ‘17

Peter Hopkins ‘17

Canfield, Ohio Canfield HS Finance

Grosse Pointe, Michigan University Liggett School Finance/Economics

Involvement: Student Union Hobbies: Golfing Favorite food: Pizza Favorite movie: Anchorman Career aspirations: Corporate law

Hobbies: Soccer, movies, working out Favorite food: Mexican Favorite movie: Goodfellas Career aspirations: Film industry

Derek Sullivan ‘17

David Shoffstall ‘17

Mentor, Ohio St. Ignatius HS Marketing

Poland, Ohio Poland Seminary HS Finance/Economics

Involvement: Theater, Pro-Life, Allies, AAA, LASA Hobbies: Basketball, movies, video games Favorite food: Shepard’s Pie Favorite movie: Michael Collins Career aspirations: Automotive innovations

Hobbies: Guitar/musical creations Favorite food: Chicken Parmesan Favorite movie: School of Rock Career aspirations: To own my own brewery


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Vol. V, Issue 2

Meet the Chapter’s new Executive Board

The men elected to lead Eta Epsilon in 2014 in the new organizational structure share their goals for the year ahead.

Tommy Collins ‘15

Adam Tome ‘15


VP for Brotherhood Goals: 1) To reinforce the bonds of brotherhood as the pillar which upholds our fraternal values and commitments. 2) To grow an appreciation for the history behind our ritual and help our chapter to earn the highest GPA on campus.

Goals: 1) To continue the tradition of excellence and hold all Betas to the highest standard. 2) To successfully oversee the new executive board with the new structure in place.

John Bannon ‘16

Immer Chriswell ‘16

VP for Programming

VP for Member Education Goals: 1) To make sure new members have a full appreciation for Beta’s five core values. 2) To properly integrate brothers into Beta so they are ready and passionate to lead once initiated.

Goals: 1) To restructure Mothers’ Tea and Father/Son Outing, and implement a family BBQ. 2) To have a more consistent schedule for all events, and look at combining events to maximize engagement.

Dan Mascio ‘16

Matt Ansec ‘15

Goals: 1) To increase a sense of responsibility for each other’s actions. 2) To educate the chapter on the importance of conduct in everyday life.

Goals: 1) To recruit the most outstanding gentlemen, leaders and scholars at JCU. 2) To increase chapter awareness of the importance of recruiting to maintain the chapter’s presence and longevity.

VP for Risk Management

Dom Interlicchia ‘15 VP for Finance

Goals: 1) To keep everyone on budget and our chapter in good financial standing. 2) To provide timely reimbursements, budget updates, and notifications about dues.


VP for Recruitment

Andrew Getz ‘17

VP for Communication Goals: 1) To provide up to date information to engage alumni, JCU students and staff, and the surrounding community. 2) To represent the younger brothers with a clear voice, and lead by example.

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Vol. V, Issue 2

Collins, exec board elected

NEW EXEC continued from page 1 as apparent by the spirited debate that took place for every position. The new executive board will have the task of continuing the work of the past executive board to improve accountability while bringing in new members who reflect Beta’s values. Each member is extremely enthusiastic for the upcoming year, and will surely see much success.

The New Organizational Structure In the new organizational structure of the Eta Epsilon Chapter, eight individuals make up the executive board (colored in blue in the graphic). Unlike in the previous model when all chairmen reported to the vice president, chairmen (colored in red in the graphic) are now more evenly distributed so that every executive officer has at least one chairman as part of his committee.

Eta Epsilon welcomes four new Advisory Team members “I look forward to working with Matt on recruitment and exploring ways to develop our already strong recruiting process. In addition, I am happy to support the chapter as we work to follow through on the vision of the Eta Epsilon founders.” Scott Allen, Minnesota ‘95 Recruitment Advisor

“I look to develop these gentlemen into true leaders. I am here as a resource for them to pick my brain for information. My approach is very similar to how I manage my direct reports at the bank. I want the guys to self-discover the answer they are looking for. My role is to simply ask the questions to get them there.” Greg Sloat ‘12 Member Education Advisor

“I am very excited to serve as an advisor as I helped bring Beta to JCU several years ago, and believe it is an outstanding organization with outstanding young men. I am looking forward to working with the brothers and advisors to strengthen our chapter’s commitment to service and philanthropy.” Andy Costigan Service/Philanthropy Advisor

“I am looking forward to working more closely with the leadership chair to integrate leadership activities into the chapter, and raise top-ofmind presence regarding how leadership elements are present in most activities. Ergo, leadership is a state of mind.” LTC Kevin Wallace Leadership Development Advisor


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Vol. V, Issue 2

Eta Epsilon continues trend of Student Union leadership Tim Johnson ‘15

Beta Theta Pi prides itself on strong member involvement and contribution, not only within fraternity life but also in the larger university community. In this spirit of contribution to community, this chapter of Beta had numerous members toss their hats in the ring for elected positions within Student Union. In the end, four Betas were elected as Student Senators, including Connor Hines ‘16 and Deane Stillwagon ‘17 elected as their respective Class Presidents. Further, three additional Betas were victorious in their pursuits for executive board positions. Tim Ficke ‘15 won the contest for Student Union President, Tim Johnson ‘15 was elected as Executive Vice President, and Cole Hassay ‘16 was named Vice President for Student Organizations. Beta's dominance in these elections is certainly impressive in its own right. However, Tim Ficke’s election this year marks the second time in three years that a Beta has held the presidency. Claiming such influential roles in the university underscores our deep commitment to giving back as community leaders as well as a resounding dedication to the values upon which Beta Theta Pi was founded. This year in Student Union, with a Beta man leading all the newly-elected representatives, we will hold true to our commitment to leadership as we work toward bettering our community for the immediate and extended future.

Brothers Cole Hassay ‘16, Tim Ficke ‘15, and Tim Johnson ‘15 will all be representing the John Carroll student body in the upcoming Student Union term as members of the executive board.

Cole Hassay ‘16 on being elected: “Beta pushes me to lead, which is a big reason that I ran for Vice President of Student Organizations. I knew during the election that my brothers would be behind me, as they will always be.” Tim Ficke ‘15 on his presidency: “Beta has played a huge role in preparing me for this position. Our mission of building principled men for a principled life is something I try to live everyday, and fuels what I do; by being in the Eta Epsilon chapter I am fortunate to have brothers who push me to do my best always. I am honored to represent the student body as a Beta, and I cannot wait to begin.”

Congratulations to brother Drew Kostiuk, who was elected by all fraternities to serve as the next President of the John Carroll Interfraternity Council (IFC). Drew is the third Beta in four years to serve as IFC president following Nick Skiviat ‘12 and Bence Toth ‘14. On the upcoming semester, Drew said, “It is a great honor to have been voted the IFC president for our Greek Community here at JCU. I look forward to the opportunity of improving relations amongst both the chapters and the student body as a whole.”


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Through the Eyes of a Child once again proves impactful Tim Ficke ‘15

Through the Eyes of a Child was another fantastic success! The Eta Epsilon chapter and its partner, Students for Social Justice (SSJ), along with an incredible show of support from the Greek community, brought 100 local underprivileged elementary students to campus, possibly giving them the only Christmas they had for the year. Nearly all brothers lent a helping hand to make this event a hit. Whether it was running through an obstacle course with their "little buddy" or creating a Christmas card for their family, Through the Eyes is a memorable experience for all involved.

Brothers gathered with Santa after another successful Through the Eyes event.

As the day drew to a close, everyone met in the gym for one final surprise. The "little buddies" were presented with their own Christmas gift selected from a wish list they created. After opening gifts, everyone gathered around for a dance off competition until parents arrived. Thanks to all who participated, as well as to the Center for Service and Social Action and SSJ chairs Madeline Sweeney and Dan Mascio for all of their hard work!

A successful semester of service Tim Schifferle ‘16

This was an outstanding semester for the gentlemen of Beta Theta Pi with regard to service. In total, we completed more than 2,460 hours of service this semester. To hopefully begin a new tradition, we hosted a service mixer event with the lovely ladies of Kappa Alpha Theta. The event was a Halloween party open to the community during the annual RHA-sponsored Trick or Treat across campus. Children of employees as well as those who live in University Heights were able to partake in costume parades, coloring, and an intense game of musical chairs while enjoying some free donuts and cider provided by John Carroll Greek Life. Beta also held numerous events with Milestones Autism Organization this semester. Our soccer game event, in particular, was a blast. We met before the game with the children from Milestones to play some soccer and make signs to support the JCU Soccer team. Even though it started to rain around halftime, the children had an amazing time cheering on the Blue Streaks and having fun with us. With many events already planned with Milestones next semester and a hope of making the Halloween party an annual event, we hope to make an even bigger impact in the community this year through service.

Carroll’s Got Talent took place on Friday, February 7, 2014. It was a great evening of entertainment and we were thrilled to donate proceeds from the event to our philanthropy, the Milestones Autism Organization. This was the sixth year for Beta Theta Pi’s signature campus event. Look for additional information in the next issue of The Bridge Builder.


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Catching Up With J.J. Kuczynski ‘10 J.J. Kuczynski ‘10 was one of the first to buy in to the new idea of Beta Theta Pi at John Carroll as a member of the Alpha Class in the spring of 2008. During his undergraduate years, J.J. served as the second president of Eta Epsilon, and played an instrumental part in the chapter’s chartering. In addition, J.J. left a lasting mark on John Carroll as the Millor Orator for his graduating class. The Bridge Builder recently had an opportunity to catch up with J.J. and see what he’s been up to since his graduation—and no surprise, he’s off and doing amazing things.

celebrate victories and successes, mourn losses and failures, and share in the chaotic journey we call life.

BB: What have you been up to since graduating from John Carroll? JJ: After graduating from John Carroll, I attended Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio where I graduated with my Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Immediately following graduation in April 2013, I accepted a job offer from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center where I am currently working in the Sports Medicine Division. However, the most exciting, meaningful, and memorable event since John Carroll happened on October 5, 2013, when I married my beautiful and amazing wife, Katie. BB: What made you want to become a part of Beta Theta Pi? JJ: I joined Beta Theta Pi because I recognized early on that this group stood for all of the values I had hoped to live by as I entered adulthood. It was by surrounding myself with like-minded men of integrity that I understood the importance of helping others and being helped by others to bring those values to life in order to offer your best self in service to the world around you. BB: What is your most memorable Beta moment? JJ: My most memorable moment was when we officially became a chapter of Beta. We worked very hard as a group to not only fulfill all of the necessary requirements for chartering, but we consistently went above and beyond the call of duty to serve others and be a leading force on John Carroll’s campus. As I look back to the celebration that occurred at Convention after receiving


our charter, I am reminded of how hard all of the guys worked around campus and in the community those preceding years and I am extremely proud of every individual that was involved. BB: How did Beta prepare you for the future? JJ: Beta prepared me for the future by teaching me to offer my time and abilities for the benefit of others. It is amazing to me to see how that simple lesson translates to situations in everyday life. Being a good husband, son, brother, friend, co-worker, and so on are ideals I hope to live out through the actions of my daily life. Though life certainly is not always easy and it is likely that I will make mistakes in trying to reach those ideals, I know I have set a good foundation for the future and I have great friends from Beta with whom I can

BB: As a former president, you were able to attend many different leadership opportunities through Beta. How would you describe the impact that they had? JJ: I highly recommend taking advantage of the leadership opportunities offered through Beta to any brother who hopes to become a good employee/employer and coworker. I say this for several reasons. First, if you do possess leadership abilities or specific skills that would benefit an organization, use those skills. Second, if you have not yet realized your leadership abilities or are unsure of the specific talents that you possess, then spend good time with those in the group who have. You will be amazed at what you will learn about yourself as well as how challenging yet rewarding it can be to serve as a leader in an organization. This translates to work life because you realize how you can be a productive employee for your particular organization and it also teaches you to respect those in leadership positions. There may be times when you are tempted to question leadership or the decisions made on behalf of a group, but if there is anything to be learned from the organizational structure of Beta, it is that a man of true integrity respects leadership because he understands that good leading is very difficult.

Continued next page

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Continued from previous page BB: What advice do you have for the current undergraduates to keep in mind as they go forward? JJ: If there is anything that I can recommend to the active members it is to form good habits now. This applies to communication, health, finances, relationship-building, studying, working, and time management because the habits you develop in school will, for most, carry over directly into your lives after school. I won’t be the first to tell you that life out of college is dramatically different from what you are experiencing now. With that being said, do yourself a favor and begin laying the foundation for your future by developing good, healthy habits because it will make your transition into post-college life easier.

Personal Note In closing, I would like to leave you with a scripture I wish I had read more often when I was in school: “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17). The truth is we will all let each other down every now and again. We are humans. Instead of holding onto grudges out of pride or feeling entitled to an apology every time you feel wronged, love each other through eyes of grace. You are not perfect and neither is the man sitting next to you, so build each other up and be prepared to experience how far that will take you.

BB: Do you have any "bucket list" items that you'd like to do in the next few years? JJ: My wife and I recently just discussed this question in the past couple weeks and we came up with the idea of taking an incredible vacation before we hope to begin growing our family. We haven’t quite agreed upon a location yet, but I’m casting my vote for the Holy Land of Jerusalem. I hope some of you reading this think the idea is as cool as I think it is. Whatever the location may be, I will just be excited to take a trip with Katie and see some awe-inspiring sites. J.J. on his wedding day in October alongside Beta brother and best man Andrew Kolupski ‘10

Family Tree Update: The Wooters Family

A Message from your Alumni Relations Chair Dear Alumni, I am happy to announce that I have been appointed as the alumni relations chairman for the 2014 calendar year! I am very excited to hold this position and to work with all of you. I have set some goals for the position while in my term, one being to compile an updated alumni roster for the chapter. This will allow us to keep you informed and up to date on the Eta Epsilon chapter at JCU. Lastly, keep an eye on our social media pages and website (especially the alumni page on Facebook) for upcoming plans and events! If you have any questions, concerns, or comments about the chapter, please feel free to contact me at Yours in ___kai___, Sean Calhoun ‘15

Currently the largest family of active members in the chapter, the family grew by three this year with the addition of Aaron Crow (Immer Chriswell’s little), Andrew Caito (Bobby Traver’s little), and Derek Sullivan (Paul Mullin’s little).

           

#4 Matt Wooters ‘09 #46 Dan Imfeld ‘13 #67 Joel Baker ‘14 #71 Paul Mullin ‘15 #83 Greg Petsche ‘13 #91 Immer Chriswell ‘16 #92 Adam Tome ‘15 #100 Bobby Traver ‘16 #107 Brad Beattie ‘16 #113 Aaron Crow ‘16 #114 Andrew Caito ‘17 #119 Derek Sullivan ‘17


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Vol. V, Issue 2

Reflecting on the first ever Winter Wooden

Chris Casey ‘15 recently attended the John and Nellie Wooden Institute for Men of Principle. He shared his experience with us. BB: What were your feelings going into Wooden? Chris: I had mixed feelings going into Wooden. I was excited to share the same experience as some of my brothers and also meet new people. But I also was dreading the monotony of Beta and how sometimes we can drone on about the same topic until I feel like I lost the value of it. Nevertheless, I was energized by Megan Vadnais and brothers from other chapters. BB: How do you feel your leadership abilities were pushed or challenged? Chris: I think the analysis and challenge of my leadership abilities was most effectively pushed by first identifying my strengths and weaknesses, and also what type of leader I was. This was based on a 30pt questionnaire. I learned that I was a leader who leads by “Encouraging the Heart.” Leaders with this trait have aspects of wisdom through simplicity and the celebration of accomplishments. I really connected on a point that my style of leadership was known to express a lot of pride for the fraternity. I couldn’t agree more. My weaknesses were two categories of leadership. I scored low in “Modeling the Way” and “Enabling Others to Act.” It is humbling to be weak in two categories, but I also feel that now that I know where I am weak, I can push myself to work harder to be a well-rounded leader. One way I wish to overcome both of these categories is by what I like to call, “Mapping the Path to the Bridge.” I wrote in my Wooden binder that I can encourage others to become better Betas by living life more concerned about their character than their reputation, to paraphrase John Wooden. BB: What was something new that you were introduced to, or something you were able to look at differently, regarding leadership within Beta? Chris: One of the five temptations of a leader is choosing certainty over clarity. I was first confused by this idea, expressing my views that I would rather be certain of aspects of a situation rather than clear on what the situation was about. I looked to one of the facilitators who explained with this metaphor I call the “Windshield Theory:” Since it was a very snowy day in Oxford, OH, all the cars were covered in snow. We had to get from the hotel to the Administrative Office, so obviously we had to first brush off the snow in order to see where we were going. Now, nobody cleared 100% of the snow and ice off their windshield, so nobody was 100% certain that there was no snow blocking their vision. They brushed off enough snow to make sure they could see where they were going. It would take too long to be 100% sure there was no more snow on the windshield, especially because it was still snowing.

This relates back to Beta and how we make decisions. Sometimes we spend too much time making sure an event is perfectly planned or that the constitution is without any error. Obviously we need to make sure the spelling and grammar are correct and that there are no contradictions, but if we miss a little formatting or accidentally leave out a minor detail, we can fix it. The problem arises when nobody can come to a consensus because we aren’t 100% certain that the writing is perfect. BB: What was your favorite part of the experience? Chris: My favorite and what I believed to be the most important part of the experience was the ritual review after we talked about the inconsistencies of the fraternity as a whole. Only initiated brothers met in the Hall of Chapters and everyone had the ability to read the Ritual Book. We then discussed what the sections meant to us and how they applied to everyday life. BB: Being someone who has now been to Keystone, Convention, and Wooden, how can you say these leadership experiences have made an impact on you? Chris: One thing that I would say to anyone who wants to learn more about Beta or if they have any questions is to meet Zac Haines. He inspired me to learn more about the history of Beta and how “big” of an impact it has had on history. One thing I take with me every day is the lesson of vulnerability. Joseph P. Allen IV, DePauw ’59, was the first and only Beta to go into space. I listened to one of his seminars at the 174th Convention in Charlotte, NC. He never said anything about how he was proud to be an astronaut. He took his pin up with him and told us that he was scared to death. It’s not everyday we hear a man with the ability to boast about how he was the only Beta to go into space but instead he expressed his personal feelings. That is what made the difference in value to me. At the end of Wooden, everyone in my group went around and said what aspect they felt the others brought to the group. The majority of feedback I got was that I stuck to my guns and said what needed to be said, even if it wasn’t the most popular opinion. I will continue to live without emotional walls separating me from my brothers and Beta Theta Pi has only strengthened me to be a better Gentleman, Leader, and Scholar.

Want to go Beta? Know someone who does? Visit for information on joining our ranks!

The Bridge Builder, Fall 2013/Winter 2014  
The Bridge Builder, Fall 2013/Winter 2014  

The Award-Winning Quarterly Newsletter Publication of the Eta Epsilon Chapter of Beta Theta Pi at John Carroll University. Inside this issue...