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Spring 2014

From the Rex’s Desk currently a Communication Arts major while also pursuing certificates in Business and Educational Policy Studies. I joined Pilam in the fall of 2012 as part of the Gamma Theta pledge class. After spending back-to-back semesters as our chapter’s Rush Chair, I am proud to be completing my first semester as Rex. Speaking of Rush, I am also very proud to recognize our chapter’s newest members. This spring we initiated Brother Cody Roekle and Brother Gee Gu as part of Austin Piehler our Gamma Lambda pledge class. The two were an absoMy Brethren, lute joy to work with throughout the education process. s the 2013-2014 school We as a chapter, and espeyear comes to a close, all of our active brothers are breath- cially our Marshal Joe Rosenbecker, were delighted at the ing sighs of relief at the end of clear affinity and dedication exam season. With summer shown towards the group approaching, this is also always a nice time of year to look by these two from day one. back and take stock of what our With Cody and Gee rising to the positions of Scribe and group has accomplished this Philanthropy chair, respecpast year. Before that though, tively, Gamma Lambda looks let me take a moment to into factor prominently into the troduce myself. My name is chapter’s future. Austin, and I am a sophomore While we are always from Racine, Wisconsin. I am


able to look back on any year and think of the many ways we can improve our chapter, I cannot help but feeling an overwhelming sense of accomplishment when I look at our group. I would guess nearly any committee or chapter operation can be looked at from this past year and have some aspect that we can say we have improved or added to the year before. A case and point would be the exciting things that we have going on with our Philanthropy committee and our mission to Eliminate Prejudice here on campus. For over a year now, our chapter has been developing a relationship with former Dean of Students Mary Rouse, as well as Professor Michael Maguire of the Human Ecology department. Through the unbelievable work of our former Philanthropy Chairman Alex Gemeinhardt, a plan was developed to bring an event to campus that will have a tangible and notable impact on those who participate. The end game of this involves the brotherhood

The Creed of PI Lambda Phi overseeing and supporting the implementation of a community action plan proposed by a UW student through the School of Human Ecology. Basically, a plan will be selected from several submissions based on feasibility and on relation to the EOP message. Once the plan has been implemented and an event thrown on campus, the student who generated the idea and oversaw the event will be awarded a scholarship from the brotherhood. Though the plan is still young, we hope to award the first of many annual “EOP Scholarships” this coming spring. We also had a unique idea on a self-sustaining way to fund this scholarship. This plan came from the brilliant and diabolical mind of Brother RJ Koch. Tweaking the traditional “spring formal” concept, for the better part of a year RJ spearheaded a fundraising effort to allow us to rent out the reception hall in the Children’s Museum. Once this funding was secure, we sold tickets to the event and opened it up to any student on campus. With the help of many generous donations, including the greatly appreciat-

ed efforts of several alumni, as well as our sponsor partner “Get Some Burrito,” ticket sales for the event were able to go towards funding our EOP scholarship. I am proud of RJ and Alex for all of the work that they have done, which no doubt will have a lasting impact on the group. Finally, I would like to take this moment to say farewell to our graduating brothers: John Altenhofen, Kyle Benz, Jim Conlin, Dan Handel, Brett McGannon, Nick Stefani, Dave Zaborsky, and James Zhang. You were all outstanding members of our fraternity during a

time when our chapter enjoyed great success not seen for some time. We thank you every day, and look forward to seeing the relationship you will build to the group as alumni. I hope everyone has an outstanding summer, and remember: we are always available to contact. Hope to see and talk to you all soon. Fraternally, Rex Austin Piehler Gamma Theta

Brotherhood Events

Visiting Gregg May in Ann Arbor

Opportunities and Priveliges of Freedom

Snow Football

Brewers Trip

Formal For this year’s Spring Formal we took a new approach. We decided to mix our spring formal with our Philanthropy, a scholarship that we give to a UW-Madison student each fall. We lacked any kind of budget or direction for this event so we sought the intelligence and determination of Brother RJ. His compassion for the brotherhood and networking skills allowed us to have such a successful event. By connecting our Spring Formal with our Philanthropy we were able to seek out sponsors for the event, such as Get Some Burrito. Get Some Burrito is a new So-Cal burrito restaurant that set up shop on State Street. By exchanging some RJ Koch

marketing for sponsorship they helped fund the event. Other sponsorship came from kind hearted Alumnus such as you reading this right now. In total we raised $1,146. We then sold tickets to cover the final costs. The dance was held at the Children’s Museum in Madison and it was magnificent. In the end we raised a total of $10 for the scholarship. This may seem like a small amount, but this is the first time we have ever held an event of this magnitude and we did not spend a dime of the fraternity’s budget. This was a grandiose success all around. We hope to make this event bigger each year and raise more money for the Scholarship.

That All Men Are Created Free and Equal

Athletics Football

In Camp Randall pictured from left to right: (B) Wesley Kohls, John Altenhofen, Jon Renk, Nick Stefani, Austin Piehler, Sam Marquardt, (T) Stephen William, Jake Bjornson, and Mike Muckerhe-

As a kid growing up in Wisconsin, playing football on the Camp Randall turf has always been a dream of mine. My high school team never made it to the state championship game, so I thought it was a dream that would never become a reality. That all changed the weekend of the UW spring game when Gary Anderson and the football program decided to put on a Greek football tournament, with the championship being played at halftime of the spring game. We were able to secure a spot to become one of the eight teams that would be allowed to participate in this great new tradition. The fraternity assembled a team hungry for victory, and we began our training with multiple practice sessions. The team looked good, and we were ready

for game day. The tournament began with a tough matchup against Chi Psi. It was a back and forth game that would come down to the very last play. They scored a go ahead touchdown with mere seconds remaining. We lined up for a last second Hail Mary only to see it get knocked down at the last second. As it turned out, Chi Psi made it to the championship game, so the defeat was nothing to hang our heads on. Our constellation also came down to the wire. I made the decision to go for a two point conversion for the win, but we were unable to execute. Overall, this was one of my favorite experiences in college and with the fraternity. Hopefully this is an event that we can continue to participate in and build off of our first experience. -John Altenhofen

Broomball This past spring, the athletes of Pi Lambda Phi expressed their dominance (or lack of dominance therefore) in this year’s broomball league. The Woodbines played weekly every Thursday night at UW-Madison’s Shell, and the athletes on the roster included: Jake Bjornson, John Altenhofen, Stephen Waltz, Wesley Kohls, Jon Renk, Cris Maher, Zach Prober, and Nick Stefani. Through determination and a strong sense of team work, the Woodbines were able to clinch a position in the playoffs. In the playoffs, the Woodbines season unfortunately came to an end, but they are planning on going out and having fun on the ice next semester. -Stephen Williams


Relay For Life What were you doing Friday April 11th from 6pm to 6am? Well, your fellow Pi Lams were participating in the 10th annual Relay for Life for American Cancer society. The team of 18 brothers raised $1,335 towards the goal of eliminating cancer and walked all night to fight back, celebrate and remember all those who have battled cancer. This year was definitely a great success, and we hope to raise more money, and have higher brotherhood participation next year. Pictured left we have Jon Renk (right) and Cris Maher (left) in Relay Jail after brothers donated money to keep them there for a combined total of 1.5 hours.

Freedom Implies The Elimination of Prejudice

Meet A Newly Initiated Brother nice and cool guys. When I first visited the house everyone introduced themselves and made me feel welcome. They invited me to some of their other events that they were having, such as broomball out on the lake. I could tell that these guys were all laid back and unique compared to other fraternities. I knew that I wanted to be a part of it. So I went through the pledge process and here I am, a brother. As a brother, I am able to take advantage of what Pilam has to offer. All of the brothers take part in community service events, study nights, and so-

Cody Roekle - Gamma Lambda

cial events. There are also many opportunities to be

I consider joining Pilam one of the best deci-

in a leadership position. I am grateful to already be

sions I have made so far at UW-Madison. It

elected to the position of Scribe for next year. I know

has definitely been an interesting journey to

that the brothers will always be there to support me

becoming a brother. The journey was stress-

with anything they are able to. I am looking forward to

ful at times, but it was all worth it in the end.

spending the rest of my time at college with Pilam.

I enjoyed many of the events the brothers set up for the pledges. I have also made a lot of new friends along the way. Gamma Lambda, only having Gee and me, is a smaller pledge class compared to other pledge classes. This gave us the advantage of becoming closer friends. We worked together when we participated in fun events like the scavenger hunt and volunteering at the River Food Pantry. When I look back at rushing, the brothers have always been very


For All Men Of All Creeds

A Tribute to New Alumni Nick Stefani, 22, graduated with a B.S. in geological engineering and geology. He plans to continue his education in pursuit of master’s degree at UW studying coastal engeinnering. How has Pilam shaped you as an individual? “I think the biggest difference in my personal life is how much more outgoing I am since joining Pi Lam. In high school, I had a really good group of friends but it was hard for me to reach out outside of that group and now I can be put in a room with five strangers and find some common ground no matter what it is to get us working together.” So what is it really about rocks? “To me, I love working and being outside. In high school, I loved science, math, engineering, and I knew I would be an unsuccessful office worker so the GLE (Geological Engineering) program was perfect for my love of topics like sustainability and energy.” Nick will be staying in Madison until completeing his Masters. Best of luck to you! John Altenhofen, 21, graduated with a B.A. in psychology. He plans to find a job working with adolescents for a year or two before pursuing a graduate degree in adolescent psychology. How has Pilam shaped you as an individual? “When I first joined the group, I was a pretty quiet kid, and when I was rushing a lot of people didn’t think I was going to stick around…I’ve grown through that and since then have developed a lot of social experiences, and the group has helped me grow individually. It helped me develop self-confidence and realize my leadership potential.” You’re a huge Packer fan as I hear, so what’s your hope for us next season? “Definitely gonna beat the bears twice. I’m predicting Division Title and 13 – 3 record.” We’re going to hold you to it! John hopes to get to at least one game this year. Congrats again.

A Better Understanding ‘twixt Men

Kyle Benz, 22, graduated with a B.A. in economics and a certificate in entrepreneurship. He plans to find a job in either banking or consulting out West in California, eventually pursuing an MBA or CFA. Kyle hopes to be able to optimize how businesses run to make sure they reach their maximum potential while also learning new skills along the way. How has Pilam shaped you as an individual? “I was always raised by my dad to only judge people based on their character and Pi Lam reaffirmed those beliefs coming in – I don’t think there’s a better group of guys on campus.” Favorite Wisconsin Experience? “Two years ago we had just recently started with EOP and didn’t yet know how we could make a meaningful impact on campus with it. We held a discussion with multiple orgs on campus which helped us figure out where we wanna go, and since then we have formed an annual scholarship and the Wall of prejudice. It’s been amazing to see its incredible growth as a philanthropy over the years.” Kyle’s favorite gameday song is Sweet Caroline. Here’s to hoping you’re able to make it back for more games!

Dan Handel, 21, graduated with a B.S. in geography and a certificate in environmental studies. He has applied to urban and regional master’s program at UW, hoping to get into research and adaptation and mitigation strategies that cities can use to address the issues of climate change. He wants to be a contributor to the future of cities’ planning and structure to be energy-efficient and sustainable. How has Pilam shaped you as an individual? “Pi lam provided me with a group of brothers that I never had. I have an awesome sister, but these guys have filled a void that a sister can’t and I’ve made some great lifelong friendships through it! I’ve also gained a lot of experience with working in committees and the general functions of an organization.” What advice can you offer to younger brothers? “My advice for younger brothers is to take advantage of the many opportunities that this university has to offer, as much as possible. We have a lot of fantastic professors here, don’t be afraid to reach out to them for academic/career/job advice or just ways to get involved... You’re here to learn and get an education, don’t be afraid to show your interests and seek advice! That all being said, there are also a ton of fun things to do in Madison on the weekends, house parties and bars aren’t the only option (comedy club, zoos, malls, concerts, farmers’ markets, museums, etc).” We hope you get accepted! Thanks for all that you’ve contributed.

James Zhang, 23, graduated with a major in legal studies and will be matriculating at University of San Diego in pursuit of a Juris Doctorate. He applied exclusively to schools in California because he hopes to work there in the future. How has Pilam shaped you as an individual? “Most of all the path I think I may be on may not be necessarily where I end up” “I started off thinking I would only be working in community service but opportunities opened up and I saw that I could give the group something they needed, and I needed as well.” What was your favorite leadership position in Pi Lam and why? “Definitley Marshal because you’re taking kids from such diverse backgrounds that didn’t know each other and didn’t know what Pi Lam was about and through this process, I am able to help them come together as a pledge class and hopefully become motivated and useful members of Pi Lam. Kids I’ve had are now rex, and holding all these high positions and I like to think that I helped in their growth as Pi Lam members.” Best of luck in law school!

Devotion to the Highest Standards of Honesty And Justice Jim Conlin, 21, gradutated with majors in history and polictical science and will be attending law school at the College of William and Mary. How has Pilam shaped you as an individual? “Pi Lam has taught me that if I put my mind to something and put forth the necessary effort to achieve that goal, a lot is possible, which is a lesson that I had not earned yet coming in. It also has made me a better public speaker in a more practical sense.” Favorite Wisconsin Experience? “Mifflin 2012. As you put it: I can’t think about freshman year without fondly remembering that day.” Thanks for your all of work and good luck at law school!

Brett McGannon, 21, graduated with a major in philosophy. How has Pilam shaped you as an individual? “I learned the skill of time mangament from Pi Lam. With all of the activities that go within the fraternity you have to learn how to balance school along with the other extracuriculars.” Favorite Wisconsin Experience? “Moving into the Pi Lam house my junior year was a blast! I had a lot of fun living in the house and enjoying many of the planned and spontaneous events that occured in the house.” Thanks for all that you’ve contributed.

Not Four Years

But A Lifetime

Pi Lambda Phi - Omega Chapter 621 N. Frances St. Madison, WI 53703

The Omega Society On behalf of the entire undergraduate brotherhood, we would like to thank the alumni brothers for sponsoring this newsletter. The brothers of WI-Omega look forward to hearing from alumni and if you have any questions or comments or just want to talk please contact: Rex Austin Piehler at or at (262)-565-8181 Archon Joe Fassbender at or at (262)-527-6703 K.O.E. Wes Kohls at or at (612)-889-8467 If you are interested in supporting the Omega Society, we currently have two fundraisng goals. 1) We would like to send 3 delegates to Convention over the summer. Nationals will pay the expenses for one delegate but to send the other two it will cost about $800. 2) We want to pay for next year’s composite which is about $800. If you would like to help us with either of these two costs we would greatly appreciate it. As always if you would prefer your donation to go towards something else please just let us know. Name:


Address: ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ Email:


Specific Instructions or wishes: __________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________

Omegan Spring 2014  
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