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Alumni Event - Founder's Day Dinner 2018Founders Day Dinner 2018 Marks the Sesquicentennial Anniversary of Pi Kappa Alpha

On Saturday, March 24, 2018, the Beta Pi Founders Day celebration was held at the Inn at Penn on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. This gathering had special importance this year as 2018 is the Sesquicentennial anniversary of Pi Kappa Alpha. On March 1, 1868, Pi Kappa Alpha was founded at the University of Virginia. A large group of alumni and undergraduate members of Beta Pi enjoyed fine food, spoke of the success and accomplishments of PiKA International and Beta Pi in the past year, and sang traditional PiKA songs.

Following a cocktail hour outside the banquet room, the formal agenda began with a welcoming speech by the Beta Pi Alumni Association President, Ross Weiner ’80. George Costidis ‘17, President of the active undergraduate members of Beta Pi, gave a chapter update. The undergraduates are doing quite well. The chapter is thriving, the Chapter House is full, finances are in order, and the entire chapter is thrilled with the new initiates. A buffet dinner was then enjoyed by everyone in attendance.

After the meal, Bruce Wolfson ’71 gave an update of the International Fraternity. In summation, Pi Kappa Alpha has continued to be recognized as one of the best, if not the best, fraternities in the nation. Pi Kappa Alpha, via PIKE University, leads all other fraternities in member education. It also leads the nation in the average number of members per chapter. Pi Kappa Alpha is one of the few fraternities that has been adding chapters each year.

The newly initiated members of Beta Pi, the Alpha Beta Class, were introduced by Nico Deluna ’15, and Seth Goldstein ‘16. The new members represent one of the most diverse classes in recent years. The 18 new initiates hail from Taiwan, Hong Kong, India, and the following states: Illinois, Texas, New York, Washington, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Florida, New Jersey, and North Carolina.

Presentation of the SLAG awards was in the capable hands of Danny Leapman ‘16 and Fran Angulo ‘16, External and Internal VP’s. Michael Plumb ‘15 won the Scholar Award. The Leadership Award was presented to Santosh Vallabhaneni ‘15, the finest Athlete was Ujjwal Tamhankar ‘15, and Humberto Fernandez ‘15 received the Gentleman Award.

The Alumni Relations Chairman, Joseph Churilla ’17, presented the Alumni Appreciation Award to Morty Cohen ’65. Jerry Herman ’72 explained the creation of the Dave Herman Award, named after Jerry’s father, who was the eldest initiate of Beta Pi Chapter. The winner of the $500 award was Dan Maldonado ’15.  

Harvey Mackler ’72 then presented the Scott Mackler True Grit Award, named for his brother and our fraternity brother who fought a valiant battle for many years against ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Scott’s achievements received national attention when he was featured on the “60 Minutes” television show. The winner of the $750 award was Nico Deluna.

Alumni Loyalty Awards were presented by Joel Catania ‘71, Beta Pi Alumni Association treasurer, to Dan Darkes ’68 and Mark Perna ’68 in honor of their 50 years in Pi Kappa Alpha. Tom Niesen ’73 and Paul Newman ’73 received their Alumni Loyalty Awards marking their 45 years in Pi Kappa Alpha.

The newly initiated members of Beta Pi then entertained everyone with delightful renditions of “Down in Old Virginny”, “How’d You Like to be a PiKA”, and “He Rambled”. George Costidis presented his closing remarks and invited all to return to the Chapter House for further conversation and refreshments. 

Click HERE to see pictures from the event.