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Annual EventFounders Day 2019

On Saturday, March 30, 2019, 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 2019 is the 50th Anniversary of the opening of the Chapter House at 3916-18 Spruce Street. Prior to 1969, Beta Pi’s Chapter House was located at 3900 Locust Street.

At the celebration, a large group of alumni and undergraduate members of Beta Pi enjoyed fine food, spoke of the success of Pi Kappa Alpha International and Beta Pi Chapter in the past year, and sang PiKA songs.

Following a cocktail hour outside the banquet room, the formal agenda began with a welcoming speech by Beta Pi Alumni Association President Ross Weiner ’80. Ernesto Alcantar ’17, President of the active undergraduate members of Beta Pi, gave a chapter update. The undergraduates are doing quite well. The Chapter House is full, finances are in order, the chapter has raised its GPA from 3.2 to 3.4, and Pikes hold several important positions on campus, including Senior Class President, student assembly members, and Chief Sports Editor of the Daily Pennsylvanian.Annual Event

Nick DeLuna ’15 spoke of the importance of the Alumni Advisory Board working closely with the undergraduate members. The buffet dinner was then enjoyed by everyone in attendance.

After the meal, the Beta Pi AA Vice President, Bruce Wolfson ‘71, gave the PiKA Int’l update. Pi Kappa Alpha once again is at near record levels in membership. The educational program, in particular PIKE University, is recognized as the premier educational program of all fraternities and sororities. He also spoke of the “Say No to Harvard” movement that is supported by Pi Kappa Alpha despite there being no Pike chapter at Harvard. The Administration at Harvard University has declared that any Harvard students who join an off-campus, single-sex organization will be restricted from occupying any leadership position of any activity or group associated with Harvard University. Harvard is currently defending its position in separate law suits filed in federal and state courts.                           

Ben Judd ‘16 and Luis Lopez ‘17 introduced the newly initiated members of the Alpha Gamma class. Once again, the ten new initiates are an example of the diversity on Penn’s campus. They hail from Hong Kong, Mexico City, Pennsylvania (2), Florida, New York, California, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Texas. Presently, Beta Pi is seeking new members for a Fall rush.

SLAG Awards were presented by Viruj Menon ’17 and Jason Pak ’17 as follows:

Scholarship: Ben Judd ‘16

Leader: Fran Angulo ‘16

Athlete: Noah Levine ‘16

Gentleman: Anish Jain ‘16

Annual EventThe Dave Herman Award of $500 was given to Seth Goldstein ’16 by Bruce Wolfson in honor of Jerry Herman’s father who was the oldest initiate into Beta Pi. Jerry Herman ’72 was unable to appear as he was in Europe.

In honor of his brother and fraternity brother, Harvey Mackler presented the Scott Mackler True Grit Award, who fought a valiant battle for many years against ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The winner of the $750 award was Will Sauser ’17.

This year, PiKA Int’l awarded the Scott A. Mackler, MD, PhD, Medical School Memorial Scholarship of $3000 to Alex Satoski, Lambda Chi ’13, of Virginia Commonwealth University.

Tyler Moorehead ’18 presented the Alumni Association Award to Harvey Mackler ’72. Harvey was particularly deserving of this award for his continued alliance with the ALS Association of Philadelphia in his fight against the debilitating disease that struck his brother. This year is the 20th Anniversary of his creation of the Scott Mackler 5K walk/run that has raised over $2,000,000 in donations to ALS of Philadelphia.

Alumni Loyalty Awards were presented by Beta Pi AA Treasurer Joel Catania to six members initiated in 1969 for fifty years in Pi Kappa Alpha: Paul Zaentz, Ken Widelitz, Rich Myers, Mark Mancini, Bill Kenney, and Don Horowitz. This is a record number of alumni to attend Founders Day on their 50th year as Pikes.

The newly initiated members entertained everyone with rousing renditions of “Down in Old Virginny”, “How’d You Like to be a PiKA”, and “He Rambled”.  Ernesto Alcantar provided the closing remarks and invited all to return to the Chapter House for further conversation and refreshments.