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Following the cocktail hour a number of speakers addressed the assemblage between dinner courses. Chapter President Stephen Purcell welcomed everyone and provided an update on the progress made over the past year. This included being runner up for the Newell Award for the most improved chapter in the Fraternity at the last National Convention. Having been inspired by the installation of a brand new display case in the chapter house's lobby containing the eight Smythe Awards previously won by the chapter, Stephen stated that the goal was to add another trophy to the collection.

Alumni Advisory Board member, Alex Brodsky '03, then provided some insight on the progress the chapter has made and the goals it is setting for the future. He cited the addition of several new alumni members to the board who will work with the chapter towards its goal of attaining Smythe level success.

Next, new member educators Jim McCaney and Gianpaolo Carpinito introduced the new Phi pledge class. For the second year in a row, the class size was outstanding at twenty-four new members, putting PKA in the top three largest pledge classes among all Penn fraternities.

Vice Presidents Alex Baquero and Matt Parmett presented the annual undergraduate SLAG award winners. The winners of the Scholar, Leader, Athlete and Gentleman Awards were respectively, Anders Miltner, Parker Schabel, Jim McCaney and Frank Wang.

Chapter VP and Alumni Relations chairman, Matt Parmett, followed with presentation of the Alumni Appreciation Award. This year's recipient was Paul Zaentz, who was thanked for his willingness to connect with the undergraduates as well as his outstanding generosity that made it possible to install the new trophy case and purchase new chapter room furniture and a new pool table.

Bruce Wolfson '71 provided some remarks from the perspective of the International Fraternity. Bruce, who has recently been installed as President of the PKA Educational Foundation, described the "Campaign for Pike University"- an effort to add ten million dollars to the Fraternity's educational program endowment. Still in its infancy stages, the campaign has already raised over six million dollars.

Alumni Association President, Joel Catania '71, complimented the undergraduates on their recent success and then went on to show how the alumni are behind them in their quest for national recognition and excellence within the fraternity. Beta Pi is serving as a pilot program within the "Campaign for Pike University." The program is being driven by Bruce Wolfson, Jerry Herman '72, and Gregg Ormond '74. Joel stated that while Beta Pi was already among the top three largest endowed chapters before the campaign, they will now be on top after eleven brothers, including ten in attendance, had pledged over $260,000 to the campaign, with over $180,000 directed specifically to Beta Pi. The goal is to reach an endowment of $500,000 so it will be able to sustain the costs of sending our undergraduate brothers to leadership and educational academies into the future indefinitely. With the current pledges, we are over halfway to that goal.

Joel then recognized alumni in attendance who were celebrating five year anniversaries of their initiation years. These were presented to Yasha Shahidi '08, Alex Brodsky '03, Dave Edman '73, Dan Darkes '68 and Mark Perna '68.

Jerry Herman '72 then presented the annual Dave Herman Memorial Scholarship, which recognizes an outstanding undergraduate who made the greatest contribution to the chapter and who excelled in the areas of leadership, character, academics and extracurricular activities. This year's award was presented to Ethan Aaron.

External VP Alex Baquero then hosted the "Pike Traditions" segment of the program. The Phi pledge class assembled to sing "Down In Old Virginny," "How'd You Like To Be A PiKA," and
"He Rambled."

Chapter President Stephen Purcell closed the evening's program by inviting everyone back to the chapter house. Many alumni did return to the house to continue to renew acquaintances and mingle with the young brothers and pledges. Brothers Joel Catania '71, Mort Cohen '65, Rich Myers '69 and Paul Zaentz '69 once again reunited for the annual pinochle game. Chapter President Stephen Purcell, an accomplished player, stepped in for Rich when the latter had to leave early. But the memorable moment of the game came when Mort Cohen made his first ever "fifty" bid by scoring fifty points on his own with only two points added by his partner Paul. "No Meld Cohen," as Mort has been affectionately nicknamed, is still smiling!

Founders' Day 2013 was a rousing success and we look forward to another reunion of brothers and more good news from the chapter next March.

Click here to view many more photos from Founders' Day 2013.