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Omegalite MARCH 2004 Omega of Pi Kappa Phi, Inc. Housing Corporation P.O. Box 2700 West Lafayette, IN 47996-2700 Chapter web address: (includes alumni info) Corporation Officers JAY SEEGER PRESIDENT 3817 Old Farm Road Lafayette, IN 47905 765/742-4529, work 765/474-1986, home

BRANDT HERSHMAN VICE PRESIDENT 7429 North 200 East Wheatfield, IN 46392 219/843-2000, home 219/583-9819, work 801/791-5779, fax b.hershman@insightbb. com STEVE BOHNER TREASURER 194 Twin Springs Ct. Carmel, IN 46234 317/846-3008, home 317/844-2250, work 317/844-2296, fax steve@langdonan PAT KUHNLE SECRETARY 720 Chelsea Road W. Lafayette, IN 47906 765/743-1111 ext. 205, work 765/743-6087, fax 765/743-1256, home pkuhnle@purdue


Alumni transcent continents Living overseas might not be for everyone, but some Omega Pi Kapps are finding it to be home. Being outside the United States is nothing new for Roy Kirkdorffer (Omega No. 539). He first moved to Scotland in 1957 while serving in the U.S. Air Force. “My experience living abroad has been great although after 47 years living in Europe, I no longer feel that I am living abroad,” he said in an email. “I like the social systems that allow countries with less wealth than the U.S. to maintain more of their citizens above poverty level. The diverse cultures are still a fascination.” After Scotland, Brother Kirkdorffer called London home from 1960 to 1975, More recently he has lived in France since 1975. Two of his children live in the states (David in Boston and Daniel in Seattle) and one daughter remains in France. “I would encourage anyone who does not believe in the ‘manifest destiny’ or hegemony of the U.S. with its naïve and simplistic view of the world to go abroad,” he said. In the last year or so, Kirkdorffer has made contacts with his Omega brothers including Leo

Omega alumnus Dennis Tang poses for a photo in Beijing. Tang has lived in China since 1999. Powers (Omega 521), David Griffiths (552), Dale Dremann (518) and Chris Ziogas (531). He visited the Omega chapter in 2002 when he accompanied the Russian National Basketball Team to Purdue to train from the World Championships. He sees Ziogas “a couple times a year” in Ziogas native Athens, Greece or in Kirkdorffer’s southern portion of France. Most other Omega alumni have not had the foreign tenure of Kirkdorffer. Brian Johnson (Omega 1361) spent his first three years after graduating from Purdue in 1994 in New York City. Then it was two years in Australia,

three in Singapore and the last two years in England. In New York, Brother Johnson worked as an acoustical engineer, where he was in charge of overseas jobs. “The overseas job responsibility eventually put me in contact with an Australian-based noise and vibration firm,” Johnson said. He traveled the Australian continent for a Singapore-based engineering firm starting in 1997. “This posting had the distinct advantage of providing me with first-hand work experience in some very bizarre locations and I traveled widely both in Continued on Page 2


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Overseas alumni maintain communication Continued from Page 1 the region and around the world because of it,” he said. Johnson’s overseas experience isolated him from Americans, but it didn’t keep him from reminiscing about his chapter experience. “I could think of nothing that would make living overseas more content or satisfying than to look over a fence and see Nate Haddock flapping his tongue or Brad Rollo moaning about this or that or Erik Erdell listening to his horrible music or even Bill Birthright cleaning his pop cans with a Hoover,” Johnson said. He kept in touch with his Omega brothers despite the 16 hours difference in time from his Australia days. He wrote about his trials in periodic journals. “Little did I know that my mail out list would soon reach more than 100 people with most of them being fraternity brothers who had received forwarded journals and would e-mail me back,” he said. “And suddenly I was the one who was closer to a lot of brothers than even others who lived in the same state.” Johnson has enjoyed his time away from the states.

“I cannot imagine anyone who has lived or worked overseas ever discouraging someone else doing likewise. No one. Nil. Zippo.” The most prolific of the overseas journal writers seems to be Tom Kodiak (Omega 1511). Kodiak, who likened himself as a cowboy after working on a Colorado ranch during summer breaks, is learning bonsai. Bonsai is the art of sculpting trees and shrubs grown in pots. He sends e-mails about his exploits regularly. Some of his experiences were republished in the January-February 2004 edition of The Purdue Alumnus, the alumni magazine for the University. He originally moved to Japan to teach English to Japanese middle and high school students. He has not started a family, but he does enjoy the culture. “Japanese girls are great and love American men,” he said. He keeps in touch with several of his chapter brothers and flew back to the States to attend two weddings. “I had the chance of returning home to attend weddings,” he said. “Now that is what I call alumni bonds – flying halfway around the globe to attend your pledge buddies’

Brian Johnson poses at Mt. Fairfield’s Summit. Johnson has lived in New York City, Australia and England since 1997.

weddings.” Kodiak lives about 20 minutes from Tokyo and studies the culture religiously. “Studying under a bonsai master is one of the most unique jobs in the world,” he said. “I work 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day with two holidays a year, but I still find time to go out with friends. I live with my master and serve him in a job that has not changed much in 300 years.” Kodiak, a 2000 agriculture graduate, maintains 700 outdoor plants. “Japan is helping me grow and change in amazing ways,” he said. “I never thought four years ago when I gave my last speech in the house that I would still be in Japan today, but I find that every day gives me a new challenge.” Dennis Tang (Omega 1296) finds pleasure living in Beijing, China since July 1999. He works for Rockwell Automation with his wife, Vicky (married October 2000). “It’s a great learning experience not only from a business perspective, but also from a personal one,” he said. “My goal since the days at Omega sitting in the library studying Chinese was to eventually attain an overseas work assignment in Asia.” Tang has also had a chance to meet relatives he’s never known existed and experience a country in the forefront of the world market. “The changes that take place and the speed which they happen are absolutely amazing,” he said. “We can leave the city for a week or two and literally find buildings missing or a new structure in place of an old one. Yet, on the other hand, there are still many outdated and backwards thinking and practices resulting from the decades of Communist rule. Tang said he keeps in regular contact with many of his Omega brothers. They include his pledge pop, Mel Wong (Omega 1237), Continued on Page 3


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Continued from Page 2 Mike Porter (1286), Scott Micus (1313) and Sean Keegan (1295). He periodically communicates with Todd Spaulding (1272), Pat Lyons (1277), Rick Harvey (1300) and Aaron Bair (1346). Porter lives overseas as well. He moved with Microsoft from Florida to Singapore two years ago. He is the director of enterprise sales for Asia Pacific and Greater China regions. He was able to celebrate his second wedding anniversary (married Amy on Sept. 8, 2001) and the first birthday of his daughter, Jocelyn, overseas. “I’m loving it so far,” Porter said. “The only downside is not being able to see Purdue football games and for my wife her beloved Nittany Lions.” He said he continues to commu-

Mike Porter and his wife Amy, pose with their daughter, Jocelyn, overlooking Shanghai, China. nicate with more than 20 Omega brothers at least quarterly via email. Porter’s relocation to Asia has been educational. “I have a new level of respect for the diversity of people, places, foods, religions, governments, geog-

Tom Kodiak shows off his bonsai pruning skills in Edogawa, Japan.

Almanac Employment: 1258 Timothy W. Smith Elected as partner, Winston & Strawn, LLP. Chicago office Births: 1241 Harrison Stewart Smith Aug. 6, 2003


raphy, history and much, much more,” he said. “Conducting business is a whole other experience and something that will put me into an elite group of executives in just about any U.S.-based company when it comes to having experience in international markets and business customs. “And like my Purdue degree and Pi Kappa Phi fraternal experience, it’s something that can never be taken away from me. It’s a life experience.” Many other Omega Pi Kapps either live or have lived overseas. This includes Seth Walins (1102) in Thailand, Darron Damasius (1418) in Germany, Jeff Tang (1366), Lance Rodenfels (1364), Harold “Cap” Johnson (159) in China and Rolund DeHoog (263) in various continents.

Overseas contract information To Chuck & Lora Smith 1244 Matthew Bennet Peach Jan. 17, 2004 To Larry & Kristina Peach 1405 Evelyn Grace Taller Feb. 25, 2004 To Jim & Jen Taller

Have you lost touch with alumni living overseas? Here are their e-mail addresses: Tom Kodiak Roy Kirkdorffer Chris Ziogas Brian Johnson Dennis Tang Mike Porter Jeff Tang


2003 Donors Alumni donations for 2003 accounted for $9,704.55. A total of 115 donations were made during the year – 51 of which helped fund the publication of the Omegalite. During 2003, alumni communication cost $2,753.52 ($570.61 for postage and $2,182.91 for printing costs). Homecoming food and drinks cost $629.56. The vast majority of the gifts during 2003 were payment for commitments made in the “Honoring the past, preparing for the future” campaign associated with the chapter’s 80th anniversary. Alumni donated in three areas during 2003 to that campaign: Chapter improvements ($865 – donations helped fund replacing wooden stairs from the first floor to the basement, all of which survived the 1987 fire, but were waterlogged and covered with carpeting until last summer), mortgage reduction ($1,935) or unrestricted ($1,100 – money that helped fund the $3,950 oak stairs replacement project). There were other specific project funds that alumni supported. An advisor roast accounted for net proceeds of $3,216.55 toward a future improvement project (potentially air conditioning and ventilation for two areas: The cold-air dorm sleeping rooms as well as the first and second floor public areas). A small group of alumni contacted by David Lane

MARCH 2004 also committed to raise $950 for ritual equipment. We hope to fund two special projects during 2004. They include: 1. Continued fund raising for air conditioning and ventilation needs (believed to be in excess of $20,000) and replacing the chapter bell (expected to be $800). Alumni will note in the enclosed donation slip that alumni may give to specific projects or provide general support for the printing of the Omegalite. Also, the slip will allow alumni to order Oct. 16 homecoming football tickets. 2003 Omega Alumni Donations

130 159 224 335 490 534 727 752 810 995 1272 1461 1488

Up to $25 Edwin Sherwood Harold R. Johnson Charles Hofmann J.A. Holman David Peggs Phillip McArthy David R. Davis Ronald Seymour John Hruskoci Ronald Akens Todd Spaulding Kevin Johnson Brent Wunderlich

253 317 373 385 429 445 479 509 520 521 528 571 596 613 707 720 724 838

$25-49 Thomas Miller E. M. Swarts Ralph Myerholtz R. William Macbeth Ken Wark Ralph Ormsby W. Ramsay Brown Duane M. Davis Al Kirchner Leo Powers Larry Hines John Weaver Jerry Davee Donald Katter James Cridge Warren Cline Mike Ohaver Mark Laurent


857 858 956 994 1090 1197

Mark Wilson Bernard Platt Larry Metzler William McNichols Jeff Egilsrud Pat Kuhnle

89 282 449 585 740 853 919 985 1135 1251

$50-99 Herman “Gus” Riggs Edward Masline Jack Powers Robert Bartels John E. McDonald Mike Tyrrell William D. Peace Bob Bohner Laz Hertelendy Dan Coppersmith

$100+ 355 Donald Swager 464 Robert Rust 722 Jack Berlien 827 Philip Newhouse 51 Total Omegalite donations $1,638 80th Anniversary gifts during 2003 Chapter Improvements 355 Donald Swager 399 Eldon Knuth 464 Donald Rust 552 David Griffiths 919 William D. Peace 1090 Jeff Egilsrud 1267 Rob Jacobson 1272 Todd Spaulding 1457 Peter Todd 1459 Nate Damasius 1461 Kevin Johnson 1543 Matt Maczka $865 Mortgage Reduction 436 Richard Lowe 490 David Peggs Edward Partridge 500 Al Kirchner 520 Halbert Smith 537 541 Edwin Henry Bernard Graser 869 Bob Bohner 985 Chuck Smith 1241 1267 Rob Jacobson 1340 Eric Nachtrab $1,935 * In addition to the $1,935, there were $1,250 gifts during 2002 to allow us to reduce our mortgage by $3,185 from the 80th anniversary campaign. As of

2/25/04, the mortgage balance due was $295,500. 571 580 585 1047 1290

Unrestricted John Weaver Larry Reed Robert Bartels Casey Call Peter Scala $1,100

Total 80th anniversary gifts during 2003: $3,900 Advisor Roast Money 835 David Lane 1169 Steve Beeler Steve Bohner 1077 Donald Brown 1170 1179 Carl Gerlach 1180 Don Porth 1181 John J. Hess 1183 Jeff Benesh 1187 Jeff Vogt 1196 Brandt Hershman 1197 Pat Kuhnle 1201 Russ Dagon 1206 Ken Johnson 1227 Ed Aleman 1262 Mark Nigh 1268 Bryan Williams 1274 Keith Fessler 1281 John Bowling 1354 Scott Patton 1384 Ryan Davis 1418 Darron Damasius 1422 Kaz Vogelgesang 1423 John Reidelbach 1446 Brian Quandt 1480 Brian Huseman 1488 Brent Wunderlich 1497 Travis Conely 1503 Ramey Miller 1506 Phil Leslie 1517 Brad Eckerle Net proceeds after expenses: $3,216.55 Ritual equipment gifts 722 Jack Berlien Mike Ohaver 724 Jack Strang 744 Terry Zaccarino 824 835 David Lane $950 * Not all the $950 has been collected. If you wish to contribute to this cause contact David Lane ( Total alumni gifts during 2003: $9,704.55


MARCH 2004


Alumni can support annual Pi Kapp 100 The fifth annual Pi Kapp 100 promises to be the biggest and best ever. On April 17, Omega undergraduates will continue a tradition started in 1999 to ride 100 kilometers from Zionsville, Ind. (near Indianapolis) to campus. The ride is a mini version of Push America’s Gear Up Florida or Journey of Hope. Undergraduate riders commit to raising $150 through pledges to Push America, our national philantrophy serving those with disabilities. Crew members are responsible for raising $75 each. Through February, the chapter has $4,500 committed. In recent years, alumni have been strong supporters of the ride. Travis Conley (Omega 1497), a graduate student at Ball State, is the first

alumnus to commit to the ride. With this year’s ride, he will become the only Pi Kapp to participate in each year of the ride’s existence. Alumni riders must raise $300 or more to the cause. We are hopeful that more alumni will want to be a rider or a sponsor. For more information contact chapter Push America chairman Phil Hartz (1602), or at 765/743-1599 ext. 202. Chapter advisor Pat Kuhnle is another contact, he can be reached at or at 765/743-1111 ext. 205. The chapter raised more than $5,000 in 2003 making it the chapter’s largest single-day fund raiser in its history. Raising $10,000 is a possibility with additional alumni support.

In 2003, the following alumni sponsored undergraduate riders and/or made contributions on behalf of the Pi Kapp 100: TJ Aubin, Nate Damasius, Mike DeCorte, Bill Vernon, Rob Perschon, Matt Bouma, Pat Kuhnle, Brian Carlson, Jae Sparks, Darron Damsius, Kevin Johnson, Matt Stuve, Doug Davis, Dennis Tang, Jason Morin, Kevin Ohaver, Kurt Schulenberg, Manish Gandhi, Rod Morros, Dan Coppersmith, Kaz Vogelgesang and John Hess. The post-ride reception keynote speaker is former national president Phil Summers. Summers is president-emeritus of Vincennes University and now teaches part time at Indiana University.

Homecoming ‘04 set for Oct. 16 against Wisconsin

assists in last-minute change of plans. If you cannot make it, we’ll try to sell your tickets as we have done in the past. Checks for football tickets should be made payable to “Omega of Pi Kappa Phi;” P.O. Box 2700; West Lafayette, IN 47996-2700. Make sure you make payment by Aug. 15 to be included in the group and be eligible for lower group pricing. Hotel arrangements should be made on your own. The LafayetteWest Lafayette Chamber of Commerce maintains a master list of hotel availability (it is updated each week – even the week of homecoming). The Chamber can be reached at 800/609-0098. or 765/743-1111 ext, 205) with your e-mail address. We started offering this option to overseas readers with the last edition and there have been no known problems. Generally speaking, we publish two or three editions per year (more in five-year anniversary periods promoting special events). The winter edition comes out after the first of the year (between January and early March). A second edition comes during the late summer months (July or August) and gives reminders of the homecoming schedule as well as announcing any awards the chapter won during national conferences. Also, alumni contact information is available upon request from the Omegalite editor. We protect our membership from general distribution with the exception being our alumni directory published on every five-year anniversary of the chapter’s founding.

It is time to start planning for the 2004 football homecoming weekend. The game will be held on Oct. 16 vs. Wisconsin. Time of the game will be announced at a later time as television has the option to change kickoff until the week of the game. As in the past, the housing corporation will take requests for singlegame tickets through Aug. 15. Ticket price is $37 per ticket. And as in years past, if we get enough orders to surpass 25, we will be eligible for group ticket pricing that lowers the per ticket price to $27 each. Tickets – as well as any refunds for group ticket discount pricing – will be distributed at the house the day of the game. We do not receive the tickets until about two weeks before the game and having us hold them at the house,

Omegalite available electronically The Omegalite is now available via e-mail. Should you prefer to receive your “copy” of the Omegalite as a .pdf file that is e-mailed to you, respond to editor Pat Kuhnle (pkuhnle@pur-


Late ‘80s alumni meet for projects, social gathering An alumni group from the late 1980s gathered last July 27 to reconnect, work on various house projects and share some funny stories. A total of 15 alumni from the early post-fire group as well as some more recent alumni worked alongside a handful of undergraduate members. The group painted the foyer’s ceiling, powerwashed stairwells and bathrooms, removed old shrubs and refinished several interior doors. The group was organized by Carl Gerlach (Omega No. 1179) also conducted a roast of chapter advisor Pat Kuhnle in the name of raising funds for a possible future air conditioning project. Roasters included Gerlach, Brandt Hershman (1196), Jeff Vogt (1187) and Travis Conley (1497). Alumni raised $3,216.55 as seed money for chapter improvements. National president David Lane did not attend the event, but offered his own jabs at Kuhnle during the event. Ten undergraduates joined alumni at the roast. The day-long event was capped with a visit to Harry’s Chocolate Shop. Some alumni stayed in the Union Club Hotel while others relived their college days by staying in the house. Since it was so much fun last year, plans are underway for another event this summer. Those interested in joining the late ‘80s group for some a fix-up project and socializing, contact Gerlach at We anticipate initial communication about the project to commence during March with the weekend event being during June or July.

MARCH 2004

Archon Report