GA M M A CELEBRATES 100 YEARS SEVEN DECADES OF GAMMA chapter brothers came together in April for the Centennial Celebration of Phi Kappa Tau at The Ohio State University. Remembering the past and celebrating the future was especially poignant for the men as the then-colony was gearing up to re-charter just a few weeks later. “The fact that [the Centennial] was occurring while the re-colonization process was taking place gave us renewed commitment to make [Centennial] great,” said Centennial Chairman Bob Mintz, Ohio State ’71. “These guys were killing themselves trying to make a [chapter], so this for many of them was their first taste of what fraternity life could be and they were, I think, really amazed.” The celebration consisted of five events at different venues: the Friday night kickoff, Saturday morning open house at the chapter house followed by the Ohio State football spring game, formal Saturday evening Centennial event, and Sunday morning brunch. More than 400 guests attended the events, and the chapter had representatives from all coasts, plus one brother who traveled from Germany. “It was like a giant homecoming,” said Foundation Board of Trustees Secretary Jim Hamilton, Ohio State ’63. “I graduated in 1965 and haven’t seen some of these brothers since, so it was a moving experience and a joy to my heart to have the chance to go through this Centennial experience with them.” Planning started almost a year before the big event when Phil Robertson, Ohio State ’54, reminded area alumni about the importance of the year 2012 and Jeff Cabot, Ohio State ’67, subsequently recruited a Centennial committee. The nine-person committee, which even included a Phi Tau alumnus from another chapter, created a website, secured hotels and event locations, created an itinerary for the weekend, and communicated frequently with members, among many other things. The committee decided to do things a little LEARNING. LEADING. SERVING.
“...IT WAS A MOVING EXPERIENCE AND A JOY TO MY HEART TO HAVE THE CHANCE TO GO THROUGH THIS CENTENNIAL EXPERIENCE WITH THEM.” —JIM HAMILTON, OHIO STATE ‘63
differently from the start, including not hosting a formal banquet. “We all agreed that we didn’t want [the Centennial] filled with chicken and hours of speeches,” Mintz said. “We just wanted to create a weekend with different types of events where people could just hang out together with the people they wanted to hang out with and tell stories and bring back memories. The third Ohio State greek organization to turn 100, Mintz also mentioned that the celebration was “much deeper than a party.” “We tend to think about our [fraternity] experience based on the years that we are there and the close friendships we had at the time,” he said. “The result of all this made me appreciate those 100 years in a way that I hadn’t before. You realize that for 100 years, each year, someone had to raise the money, make budget, pay bills and keep it going. You realize over 2,000 guys had some hand in creating something that you are just kind of a steward of for the future and to make sure you perpetuate something that all of those guys would be proud of. When you watched guys from pledge classes from the ’40s engage with each other and the tears and the hugs, it’s mind blowing. Absolutely mind blowing to look at each generation and see that connection.” Then-Colony President Sean Hicks, Ohio State ’12, said the event helped the associate members put everything in perspective. “It’s a great experience to be a part of a chapter with such a long history,” he said. “It gives you a strong sense of pride in the chapter, and in the Fraternity as a whole, which is very motivating. It was special to re-charter soon after the Centennial, namely because we had so many alumni who were dedicated to making sure the Centennial was a success, and this gave us an opportunity to say thank you.” Mintz said he learned many things from the event, but the biggest? “Don’t wait another 100 years to do it again!” THE LAUREL | www.phikappatau.org
Published on Dec 18, 2012