THE ALUMNI N EWSLE TTE R OF THE BETA NU CHAPTER OF PI KAPPA PHI
The Beta Nu’s
V O LUME 14 , I SSUE 1 F ALL 2 010
I N S I D E T HI S IS S UE : Cover Story
dose of adversity serves as just the challenge we need to stay interested and continue over-achieving.
Pi Alpha update
Sure enough, by the time Debbie and I had our gear unloaded into our room, the rain had stopped and the pool was full of rambunctious Pi Kapps. Through that first night, we were able to renew our relationships with a few brothers and sisters before hitting the pillows and dreaming of a new day sandwiched between a sunny sky and a cool river, confident that the freak spring thunderstorm had passed safely out of the area. (continued on next page)
Beta Nu circa 1956
Who Was That Old Man At Rose Ball? Rose Ball 2010 By Mike Pryor My wife Debbie is an Alpha Class Beta Nu Rose. As such, I was honored to accompany her to the annual Rose Ball events past May. This is something we both look forward to doing every year for as long as the actives will put up with us. A generous turn-out of brothers and their dates got the three day event started on Sunday night at Brady’s Landing on the ever-picturesque Houston ship channel.
After a nice long night of drinks, dinner, drinks, dancing, and drinks, we regrouped the next day in New Braunfels at our favorite lodge by the Guadalupe River. When Debbie and I pulled up under the car port to check in, the wind was propelling cold heavy rain in a vertical direction. Lesser humans would feel a twinge of disappointment. Is our trip ruined? But seasoned Pi Kapps all know that inclement conditions of any degree – be they mosquitoes or tornados - cannot deter the hardy pursuit of fun we all share. In fact, a healthy
MARRIAGE AND BABY ANOUNCMENTS: Births:
Keith, Amanda, and Gavin Moreno welcome Mia Moreno.
Johnny, Danyelle, and Aubrey Moreno welcome Alec John Moreno.
Rob and Ashley Olvera welcome Ariana Olvera.
Bob and Anna Nettles welcome Sarah Grace Nettles. Marriages:
Matt and Kate Marici Brett and Allison Livingston
Alumni Spotlight: Richard Art Viguerie Pi Kappa Phi Hall of Fame member and Beta Nu Initiate #44
Robert and Deborah Matusek Rob and Ashley Olvera Richard and Kim Min Sun Bentke
Richard Viguerie was honored a few years ago by being inducted into the Pi Kappa Phi Hall of Fame for pioneering the field of political direct mail and excellence in political fundraising. He has authored four books and is a prominent conservative figure in American politics. He is also a 1956 initiate into the Beta Nu chapter of Pi Kappa Phi and I had the opportunity sit down with him and learn a little about his life at the University of Houston, and
how his experiences with Pi Kappa Phi helped make him the successful man he is today. What brought you to the University of Houston? I am a native of Pasadena, TX, and I went to school for three and a half years at Texas A&I in Kingsville, which has since become Texas A&M Kingsville. I wanted to be in politics and most politicians at the time where lawyers so I transferred to the University of
Houston for law school in 1956. I was the president of a local fraternity at A&I and served as president my senior year.
What brought you to Pi Kappa Phi?
Michael Starkey and Lindsay
At some point I was contacted by Pi Kappa Phi in an attempt to incorporate the local fraternity at A&I to a national chapter of Pi Kappa Phi. I do not believe this ever happened but the men at UH did contact me to (continued on next page)
Brandon Wheeler and Krystol
Cody Watts and Anna Quinn Chris Leger and Kathryn Burton Roberts Brockermeyer
Gil Allen and Heidi Novosad *I know that I missed some. Please send any corrections or updates to JCarterAllen10@gmail.com and we will get them in the Spring.
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Alumni Spotlight: Richard Viguerie join their chapter on account of my previous leadership roles at A&I. There is a picture of myself with Lyn Davis (Archon of Beta Nu) that was taken and used in a Star and Lamp around this time. It was Lyn and I shaking hands on the steps of the Pi Kappa Phi house. Tell me about your experience as a brother of the Beta Nu chapter? I have very fond memories of Frontier Fiesta. I was a painfully shy young man before I got involved in fraternities and taking leadership roles changed my life. One particular Frontier Fiesta that I recall, there was a saloon themed show. I helped build a big front, we dug telephone poles into the ground to hold up this thing. I didn’t act in the play but I did have an extra role as a cowboy. My father had a revolver which I borrowed and wore the entire weekend. A real pistol! I don’t think you can get away with that nowadays. Well, to get back to
my story, and remember I was painfully shy, here I was, in my early twenties, sitting on the stage as an extra and a young can-can girl came right up to me and sat in my lap! Well, after that night she became my girlfriend for some time. How did your fraternity experience prepare you for the jobs that you have had in the past as well as now in your current role as chairman of ConservativeHQ.com? All these experiences helped pull me out of my shell and give me the tools to find success in my life. In 1961 I was a campaign manager for John Tower. We lost to LBJ but the skills it takes to run a fraternity translate to running a campaign. This can also be said for running ConservativeHQ.com.
Tell me about being inducted into the Pi Kappa Phi Hall of Fame? I was inducted into the Hall of Fame because I pioneered political ideological direct mail. In 1961 I became the executive secretary of Young Americans For Freedom in New York City. I was introduced to direct mail because that is how they did all their fundraising and I fell in love with it. I started my company and proceeded to have no competition for 15 years. I helped build the conservative movement because the liberals had a monopoly on the microphones, we used direct mail and grass roots to involve more people in politics than ever before. At some point I was approached by Durward Owen and I helped coach him in getting started using direct mail to fundraise for Pi Kappa Phi. What advice do you have for future brothers of the chapter? Take leadership roles and push yourself out of your comfort zone. That is the only time you truly grow as a person.
The old man at the river... Tuesday morning however greeted us with a river swollen by days of heavy rain upstream. The lake was full, the dam gates were open, and the river was flooded with rapidly moving mocha-colored water. It looked like fun to us, but the river bosses thought otherwise and pronounced the river closed – even to rafts. Apparently an unfortunate guy, God rest his soul, had perished in an attempt to swim across the torrent a few days earlier. Quick Pi Kapp minds set to work against the new challenge and the consensus was reached to take our party to the shores of Canyon Lake. We established a beachhead and fortified our encampment with ice chests and folding chairs. Some rented a ski boat and spent a few hours on the lake while the rest of us did what we always do at the river: drank, swapped lies, laughed, and
enjoyed lovely women in swim suits. We even put our empty cans in those little red mesh potato sacks. When we had consumed adequately of the sun and suds, we simply packed up and rode away. No staggering up the muddy river bank. Don’t get me wrong - I’m sure I speak for many that floating was missed and will be anxiously anticipated for a subsequent trip. But, like I said, we’re a resourceful group and are skilled at carving a good time out of even the crudest stump. From then on, the trip followed it’s normal path of tradition. Oh-Dub and I shared a table over the river at The Grist Mill with SMO, Courtney, Korky, Jordan, and Sarah.
Rose Ball 2006 After a quick stop at Gruene Hall it was back at the lodge, where we gathered under the trees to spend time in heartwarming fellowship. Deb practiced her refined fire building skills and I storied some JI’s with lore from the good old days of Beta Nu. At some point I found myself sitting directly across from BN #200. It was hard to realize that over... (Continued on next page.)
T HE B ET A N U ’ S
P AGE 3
Cougar Corner with Cody Watts It is an exciting time to be a student and alum at the University of Houston. Several things are being done to make the University become a Tier One University.
Cougar Football 4-Sept
vs. Texas State
10-Sept vs. UTEP
18-Sept @ UCLA
25-Sept vs. Tulane
vs. Mississippi St. 7:00 p.m.
13-Nov vs. Tulsa
20-Nov @ Southern Miss
27-Nov @ Texas Tech
The athletic program is in the best position it has been in a long time. With a nationally ranked football team, a March madness birth, and an always a nationally known baseball team, the program is in position to make a lot of good things happen for the school. Conference ReAlignment has been the big topic of this offseason. Even though UH is staying put in C-USA, the possibility of having 4 super-conferences in the near future is very exciting for a potential move. If the Coogs continue to win, other conferences will have to come calling. Case Keenum is back for his senior year and the Coogs have the ability to win every game on their schedule. The unveiling of the new Football stadium and basketball arena has UH fans on the edge of their seats in anticipation of the future. These new facilities will also do a lot for UH and their chances to move into a BCS conference. Many Beta Nu alumni have been very active in putting UH athletics on the map. Alums Robert Wiley, Chris Salley, and Jay Jacoby worked with the athletic organization on Season Ticket sales. - Watts BN
Beta Nu welcomes two to Pi Alpha family Two brothers dedicated their summer to serving people with disabilities. Zak Shakhshir and Cass Moore have completed their summer events and have been welcomed home as Pi Alpha’s. Zak completed a 4,000+ mile trek on the Journey of Hope North Route last weekend on the steps of the capitol. Cass finished the 6 week building marathon known as Build America earlier this month and arrived at Supreme Chapter with all toes and fingers accounted for. Both men want to thank those that supported them in their incredible journey spreading awareness for people with disabilities, as well as touching the lives of so many in the process.
Rose Ball 2010
100 guys have been added to our chapter since I walked the rough and rocky road with Alpha Class. The next afternoon, enjoying the quiet drive home with Oh-Dub, our bellies full of Rudy’s barbeque, I reflected that even after 100 initiations and eight years little had changed in my kinship to Beta Nu. In the darkness by the river the night before we laughed and listened to stories and kidded just like we’ve done so many times with so many Pi Kapps. I renewed my love of Beta
Nu people and promised myself that I’d go to some meetings in the fall and get to know these newest guys better. I enjoyed the knowledge that the heritage of Beta Nu thrives as if genetic. A certain prevalent respectability and niceness of the guys that are chosen to wear the shield has been passed down from year to year through overlapping stewardship sharing a common ideal of brotherhood and of character definition. These young men are different in their ways but essentially the same as our re-founding fathers. The kinship
they feel for each other is confidently understated but obvious. I returned to the routine back home satisfied with the knowledge that Beta Nu will move on and grow and the faces will change, but the heart will stay the same. It cannot diminish. The path is set, the same candle lights the way from year to year. The same book provides the guidance of longestablished tradition. The same bell summons friendship and honor. -Mike Pryor BN100
Beta Nu circa 1956
This is one of the few pictures on file from the original founders of the Beta Nu chapter. On the right is Beta Nu initiate 3, Lyn Davis shaking hands with Beta Nu initiate 44, Richard Viguerie. Mr. Viguerie has gone on to become Beta Nu’s only member of the Pi Kappa Phi Hall of Fame, which was awarded to Mr. Viguerie in 2008 for his outstanding accomplishments in pioneering the field of political campaigning.
Upcoming Event: Pryor’s Pool Party 9th Annual backyard party hosted by Mike and Debbie Pryor at their home in Clear Lake City on the Saturday before fall semester classes start. This year it’s August 21. Beta Nu alumni and actives are invited to bring their wives and girlfriends (that doesn’t read right, but you know what I mean.) …to our home for a night of food, drink, washers, and water sports. This has become another Beta Nu tradition, but it started as a personal wake. A few years ago, after the memorial services of a friend or kin, we survivors where all eating from the covered dishes in some small town Texas church hall telling “remember when's” about our fallen comrade And now it’s someone else’s turn to be honored by a party thrown in his honor and he’s not here to enjoy the fun. How sad that we usually don’t celebrate life until it’s gone!, I thought. Selfish SOB that I am, I devised a way of taking advantage on my own future wake. Let no party go un-crashed! I simply crafted an obituary for myself but replaced the standard eulogistic jargon with very obviously encrypted party details. Even so, a few people were compelled to call the house with their condolences. They didn’t even question why I was the one who answered the phone before they asked to speak with Debbie or Nate or Jacques. Over 100 friends and family responded kindly that year with their attendance to my first Death day Party. It was so much fun that we gather to celebrate year-after-year our mutual tenacity to hang onto life. And, in that spirit, I must stress a few easy, basic rules to which I am compelled by responsibility to enforce: Drink to your health’s capacity. Just don’t drive yourself home if you’re over the legal limit. And don’t plan on drinking alcohol here if you’re under 21. We’re all going to end up barefooted on concrete on our way from the pool or hot tub to a bathroom. So if you don’t like Miller Lite or Bud Light, don’t bring your drink in a glass container. I’ve got the scar on the bottom of my right foot to make me compassionate for all your tender soles. Bring your own swimsuit and towel. I have a collection of lost and found, but there won’t be near enough to go around. Come hungry and thirsty. We’ll start serving some kind of good food at around 7 until it’s gone.