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Alumni News

USC Alumni Reunite at Eta Delta to Celebrate 50 Years

By | Alumni News | No Comments

Brothers from the New Member Classes of 1965-1967 returned to Los Angeles this November to celebrate 50 years of Brotherhood, and, of course, to cheer on their beloved Trojans. Homecoming weekend saw them face off with the University of California, home of our Lambda Chapter, but the weekend was really all about Eta Delta.

Steve Felice, Eta Delta 1970, was instrumental in organizing the weekend and was gracious enough to open his home to Brothers that Sunday for a backyard picnic. Some Brothers in attendance had not seen each other for nearly 50 years!

The occasion was a huge draw for Brothers from all over the country, including Mickey Koleszar, Eta Delta 1970, who made the trip to Los Angeles from his home in Connecticut; “We were able to catch up on each other’s lives and to tell countless stories about the great times we all had at Chi Phi during the late 60’s. A good time was had by all and we have decided to make this an annual event!”

Do you know Brothers making an impact on their community, profession, or Chapter? Submit your stories by emailing Director of Member Engagement Dan Coutcher so the Fraternity can continue to recognize our members for their outstanding efforts.




  • Auburn Alum’s Architecture Designs Honored

    By | Alumni News | No Comments

    Calvin Durham, AIA, NCARB, Mu Delta 1988, was once again recognized for his work by the North Alabama Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), this time for his design of a museum in Florence, Alabama.

    The Florence Indian Mound Museum is dedicated to the interpretation of the prehistory of the Shoals area, which stretches back more than 10,000 years. The Florence Indian Mound itself is roughly 2,000 years old. With many prehistoric American mounds no longer standing due to encroaching farms, industry, or extensive excavation, the museum has committed itself to a dialogue on environmental stewardship and preservation.

    Brother Durham’s design for the 3,400 square foot building keeps the mound as its focus and even draws on its shape. The exterior of the building includes native cypress wood and the cast stone includes an explorer’s map of the Tennessee River, mound, and surrounding area. Also carved into the exterior stones are petroglyphs of the local Woodland Indians, serving both as a design element and as an educational tool.

    The mound itself also presented a challenge for Brother Durham’s project, as the narrow space allocated for the museum posed difficulties for the heavy construction equipment, increasing the risk of damaging the ancient earthwork. Careful consideration was taken with every step, however, and the museum was erected according to plan and without any incident.

    Brother Durham and his firm were presented the North Alabama Chapter Honor Award for Design Excellence for their work, the highest honor offered by the organization. The award was given based on recommendation from a panel of architects who considered on the museum’s design challenges and appreciated the unobstructed view of the mound from almost every corner of the building.

    Above: Calvin Durham, AIA, NCARB, Mu Delta 1988

    Below: Brother Durham’s award-winning Florence Indian Mound Museum in Florence, Alabama




  • Chi Phi Kicks Off Alumni Directory Project

    By | Alumni News, Media Statements, National News | 2 Comments

    The Fraternity is pleased to be revising our Alumni Directory – last published in 2013 – which is a critical part of our national operation. Maintaining accurate contact information for more than 40,000 members is no small task, and we ask that you take a few minutes to respond to inquiries about your current information.

    We have contracted with Publishing Concepts (PCI), a Dallas-based company who we have worked with for more than a decade. You will be contacted by PCI, using Chi Phi’s name and trademark, via email and postcard in the coming weeks (if not already). Please know that these messages are not spam and have been approved by the Fraternity.

    You will be offered the opportunity to purchase a completed Directory; however, you are under no obligation to do so. Should you choose to make a purchase through PCI, a portion of it will directly benefit the Fraternity.

    Should you have any questions or concerns about this project, please feel free to reach out to Dan Coutcher, Director of Member Engagement, at coutcher@chiphi.org or by calling 404-231-1824.




  • Three Brothers Achieve Goliard Status

    By | Alumni News, Chapter News, National News | No Comments

    The Regional Ritual Retreats of 2018 provided nearly 100 members with an opportunity to invest themselves in our heritage and Ritual and walk away as a resource for our Brothers across the country. The Goliard Program has significant ties to RRR, as many of the Alumni facilitators are themselves Goliards and certified experts in our Ritual. The Goliard status, coveted among many, was conferred upon three Brothers at RRR this year.

    Eric Weiss, Kappa Delta 2019, gained recognition as a Goliard during the Northeast RRR at Lehigh University, where he completed a proficiency exam and performed essential Ritual duties without written aid. Brother Weiss, the Chapter’s Delta and former Epsilon, has been deeply affected by learning more about Chi Phi’s heritage and Ritual and reflected on the experience after RRR:

    Brothers Weiss, Scheller, and Davis.

    “Last year, I attended RLA where Grand Epsilon Matt Scheller, Psi 2007, gave a talk on Ritual. I was shocked to discover that our Fraternity has many of the classic secrets that my Chapter had never taught: Passwords, Unwritten Law, and even a secret handshake. My Pledge of secrecy and the entire New Member process suddenly made more sense as I finally got a glimpse of the secrets that I am bound to protect. I learned the full challenge that year at Congress after getting denied entry twice. Shortly before RRR, my fellow Congressional Delegate and I decided to join the Goliard Program. We believed that this would be an excellent opportunity to learn about all of the Ritual and history of our nearly 200 year old fraternity, and that it was crucial to incorporate Fraternity traditions into our struggling Chapter.

    Now having gone through the program, I have a strong foundation in Chi Phi ritual and history, and am excited to bring what I have learned to chapters wishing to learn more. That said, I still have much to learn, and am looking forward to working with fraternity leadership as well as other goliards to continue my studies and to strengthen ritual on a national level.

    Chapters of the Chi Phi Fraternity, I strongly encourage sending a couple of Brothers to RRR, especially those who might be interested in the Goliard Program. Our Ritual is what binds us together and teaches us the Values we hold so dear. RRR not only teaches Ritual, but explains its continual relevance and importance, and leaves Brothers enthusiastic about our history and traditions. If we live by our Values and live our Ritual, we can show universities, the media, and the broader community that our Fraternity is a positive force built on Truth, Honor, and Personal Integrity.

    Two Alumni Brothers also attained Goliard status this summer; Grand Epsilon Matt Scheller, Psi 2007, and Michael Davis, Alpha-Pi 2016, have worked diligently on preserving Chi Phi’s heritage through the archives and Greek Life Museum while also forming the Regional Ritual Retreats into one of the Fraternity’s premier and most loved educational programs.

    The Fraternity is privileged to have so many men like Brothers Weiss, Scheller, and Davis who have helped Build Better Men at every opportunity. Congratulations to them on a well-earned distinction!

    The Goliard Program is an educational program designed to encourage in-depth learning into the Heritage and History of our Fraternity. Those wishing to enter the program will advance through several stages, known as Chambers, with an eventual certification upon completion. These certified “Goliards” will be the experts on the History, Ceremonies, and Traditions of Chi Phi, and will be called upon to assist other Brothers and Chapters throughout the country when help, advice, or guidance is needed.

    The program is designed to train those who could assist the Fraternity in educating other Brothers on a Chapter by Chapter basis or at potential future Ritual Educational Programs. Therefore, it is important to note that those looking to complete the Goliard Program should have at least a very basic understanding of the Chi Phi Fraternity’s Ritual and History.

    You can download the full Goliard Program and application packet on Chi Phi Connect. Email Heritage & Traditions Counselor Clark Kjorlaug at kjorlaug@chiphi.org with any questions about the program.




  • Celebrating our 2018 Award Recipients

    By | Alumni News, Chapter News, National News | One Comment

    Congratulations to our 2018 award recipients! We are honored to recognize you for your outstanding work this past year and look forward to seeing our Brothers continue Building Better Men through Fraternity and Community.

    The Fraternity was honored to recognize 15 outstanding Chapters, Colonies, and Associations, and 14 hard working individuals during the 153rd Congressional Banquet on the evening of June 23.

    Among the many accolades given, Benjamin Bloom received the first George M. MacDonald Risk Manager Award, adopted at the 152nd Congress in honor of our past Grand Eta. It is worth noting that the Fraternity broke tradition in recognizing not one, but two outstanding Brothers with the William M. Byrd Alumnus of the Year Award. Brothers Blakeslee and Wolfgang have dedicated much of their time and energy over many years to the Fraternity and their Chapters, rendering it impossible to choose between them. This was one tradition worth breaking for them.

    Please join us in congratulating our Brothers and Chapters on all they have done!

    Thomas A. Gehring Award for Chapter Excellence

    Theta
    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

    Xi Delta
    Florida Institute of Technology

    Delta Pi
    Georgia Southwestern State University

    Thomas A Gehring Award for Chapter Excellence: Most Improved

    Mu
    Stevens Institute of Technology

    Bates Block Campus Involvement Award

    Rho Delta
    Oglethorpe University

    Delta Pi
    Georgia Southwestern State University

    Highest GPA

    Delta Xi Colony
    West Virginia Wesleyan College

    Philanthropic Achievement Award

    Pi Theta
    University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

    Outstanding Total Member Education Program

    Alpha-Pi
    Iowa State University

    Rho Delta
    Oglethorpe University

    Outstanding Risk Management Practices

    Delta Pi
    Georgia Southwestern State University

    Delta Theta
    Clemson University

    Outstanding Service to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America

    Theta
    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

    Outstanding Alumni Newsletter

    Alpha-Chi
    Ohio Wesleyan University

    Xi Delta
    Florida Institute of Technology

    Psi Zeta
    University of Texas at Dallas

    Outstanding Chapter Alumni Event

    Alpha Theta Chi
    University of Nebraska-Lincoln

    Alpha Zeta
    University of West Georgia

    Outstanding Community Service

    Theta
    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

    Delta Pi
    Georgia Southwestern State University

    Outstanding Communication/Public Relations

    Alpha-Pi
    Iowa State University

    Delta Theta
    Clemson University

    Alumni Association of the Year

    Xi Delta
    Florida Institute of Technology

    Chi Phi Club of the Year

    New York City

    William M. Byrd Alumnus of the Year

    Jerome A. “Jerry” Blakeslee, Rho 1970

    Gerald L. “Jerry” Wolfgang, Delta Xi 1974

    Carl J. Gladfelter Leadership Award

    John Kelly, Mu 2018

    Campus Administrator of the Year

    Cat Nanney
    Florida Institute of Technology

    Chapter Advisor of the Year

    Jonathan “CD” Rawls, Rho Delta 1985, Delta Theta 2017
    Clemson University

    William D. Parr Chapter Zeta Award

    Benjamin Trudeau, Pi Theta 2019

    Athletic Excellence Award

    Yusuf Abdullah, Rho Delta 2019

    George MacDonald Risk Manager of the Year

    Benjamin Bloom, Delta Theta 2020

    Distinguished Service Awards

    Scott A. Benton, Eta Delta 1989

    Matt D. Scheller, Psi 2007

    Jonathan H. Scott, Delta Pi 2003

    Stuart E. Jones, Lambda 1979




  • Beloved Brother, Scientific Authority, and Grand Officer Enters Chapter Eternal

    By | Alumni News, National News | No Comments

    We are saddened to share the news that Dr. Jonathan Y. Richmond, Zeta 1962, Zeta Delta 1962, entered Chapter Eternal this morning. Brother Richmond was a noted scholar on Biosafety and previously worked for the Centers for Disease Control as the Director of the Office of Health and Safety.

    Brother Richmond was educated at the University of Connecticut, where he completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees before earning a PhD in Genetics from Hahnemann University. Brother Richmond spoke for many years on HIV/AIDS and helped draft the CDC’s policy on the topic. He often invoked his expertise during many years of Chi Phi’s College of Excellence, where he served as a keynote speaker advocating for healthy sexual practices and men’s health with his presentation “45 Minutes That Could Save Your Life.”

    Always the advocate for his Fraternity, and especially our undergraduate members, he served for many years on Grand Council as both Scholastic Counselor and as Grand Gamma on the Councils of Grand Alphas Jeff Velis, Steve Runkel, Ron Frank, Rich Lane, and Rocco Henry Carnevale. Apparently unsatisfied with his already superhuman involvement, Brother Richmond also took on the role of Chapter Advisor to our Gamma Zeta Chapter at UNC Wilmington.

    In 2013 the Fraternity honored Brother Richmond with the Walter L. Cronkite Jr. Award during the 148th Congress in Baltimore. This elite award is reserved for Brothers who have made outstanding contributions to society through lifelong service; a distinction well-fitting of Brother Richmond.

    His friend and Brother Tommy Harrelson, Gamma Zeta 1964, wishes for Brother Richmond to be remembered as “generous in every way,” but especially with his time and commitment. Brother Richmond was active in St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Southport, North Carolina, for many years as a reader, visitor, and organizer of weekly community lunches. He and his family supported the arts, particularly community theater, and he was heavily involved for many years in the Boy Scouts of America.

    Our deepest condolences go out to Brother Richmond’s family during this difficult time. He was a True Gentleman and will be greatly missed.




  • July Chi Phi Club Events

    By | Alumni News | No Comments

    Join Brothers from across the country for a Club event near you!

    Join Brothers from all Chapters at these upcoming Chi Phi Club events:

    • Friday, July 14: The Boston Chi Phi Club is hosting their summer Bowling Bonanza at Kings Dining & Entertaining – Dedham. The event is from 1:30-3:30pm. Follow their Facebook Page for more information and updates on other events.
    • Thursday, July 19: The Philadelphia Chi Phi Club will be gathering at Roy-Pitz Barrel House (990 Spring Garden St., Philadelphia, PA 19123) from 6-9pm. Follow their Facebook page for more information and updates on other events.



  • Alumnus Highlight: Paul DePace

    By | Alumni News | No Comments

    Paul DePace, Rho Iota Kappa 1966, received the Paralympic Order, the highest accolade from the Paralympic Movement, during the 2017 Paralympic Sport and Media Awards in September. He received the Order alongside Denmark’s Karl Vilhelm Nielsen and France’s Gerard Masson. The Orders were presented by Sir Philip Craven, then the President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

    Brother DePace, the President of the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) received the Order in recognition for the nearly 50 years of work he has put into the Paralympic Movement. During this time, he has been an athlete, coach, United States’ Chef de Mission, and Board Director for the Atlanta 1996 Paralympic Games Organizing Committee. His roles have also included Vice-President of the International Stoke Mandeville Wheelchair Sports Federation (ISMWSF) and IPC Executive Committee. As IWAS President since 2001, he did much to promote Paralympic sport internationally from the grassroots to high-performance levels.

    See this article in the Spring 2018 Chakett News

    Photo courtesy of The University of Rhode Island, Nora Lewis.

    Article adapted from original by Daniel Etchells, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.




  • Phi Lambda Theta Alumnus Elected Chair of Bucknell’s Board of Trustees

    By | Alumni News | No Comments

    The Bucknell University Board of Trustees unanimously voted to elect trustee Chris O’Brien , Phi Lambda Theta 1980, as its next chair, Bucknell University President President John Bravman announced May 3.

    “Since joining the board in 2012, Chris has displayed a special combination of leadership, dedication and enthusiasm from which Bucknell has already greatly benefited,” said Bravman. “His insight and guidance have been invaluable, and I am excited to work with him in this new capacity as we continue to build upon Bucknell’s institutional strengths and distinctiveness.”

    Brother O’Brien brings to the position a broad perspective on the University. A 1976 graduate of the Christian Brothers Academy in Lincroft, New Jersey, he enrolled at Bucknell to major in business administration. He was member of the cross country and track & field teams and served as Alpha of the Phi Lambda Theta Chapter. He has since held a number of volunteer roles at the University, including for Reunion, the Career Development Center, and the Alumni Board. More recently, he served as a co-chair for WE DO, The Campaign for Bucknell, contributing to the successful conclusion of the half-billion-dollar campaign in July 2017. In 2013, he and his wife, Liz, established the Christopher & Elizabeth O’Brien Family Scholarship.

    Currently a member of the Board of Trustees’ Executive Committee, Brother O’Brien previously held the position of chair of the Development & External Relations committee and has also served as a member of the Academic Affairs, Campus Life, Finance, Investments, and Nominating & Governance committees.

    “I am truly honored to have the confidence and trust of my fellow board members at what is an incredibly exciting moment in Bucknell’s history,” he said. “Having served as a trustee for the past six years, and being the parent of two current students, I have developed a great appreciation for the exceptional work of our talented faculty and staff, and I look forward to supporting their efforts and continuing our collective work of strengthening the institution in this new capacity.” He will assume the role of chair effective July 1.

    O’Brien is the founder and a partner at Endurance Capital Partners and the founder, president, and CEO of O’Brien Capital Advisors. He has previously held a number of leadership positions at various investment firms, including as president of the United States & Europe for Investcorp International, Inc., a publicly traded alternative asset firm, overseeing $15 billion in assets in offices in Bahrain, London, and New York.

    Chris O’Brien, Phi Lambda Theta 1980. Photo by Gordon Wenzel.

    Original article by Andy Hirsch, Bucknell University. Read it here.




  • Alumnus Highlight: Alexander Olesen

    By | Alumni News | No Comments

    Alpha Alumnus Wins Grant to Grow Startup Company

    Brother Olesen (inset) created the Babylon Micro-Farm, which, among other things, allows customers to grow their own produce well into winter

    Alexander Olesen, Alpha 2017, began formulating his plan for an environmentally friendly and efficient “micro farm” during his Social Entrepreneurship class at UVA back in 2015. Now a fully formed company, his startup – Babylon Micro-Farms – has just been awarded a $10,000 grant from Dominion Energy.

    His hydroponic systems scale down the usually industrial-sized farms to a 5×4 foot table – small enough, Alex remarked, that “we used the house to test some of the prototypes in the early days.” Unlike normal plant growth, hydroponic systems rely on nutrient-rich water instead of soil.

    Outside of the Chi Phi house, his creation is now in use at several restaurants on Charlottesville and even on UVA’s campus. “There were several brothers involved and we still have brothers regularly interning for us,” according to Brother Olesen, who has kept the project close to home. Now with his additional funding secured, he hopes to expand and make his Micro-Farms available to a wider audience.