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Matt Klapper Beta Pi '02 - In Service to AmericaMatt Klapper, Beta Pi ’02, was featured in a full-page article, written by Lisa Lerer, in the May 10, 2020, edition of the New York Times. Referring to brother Klapper, by-line journalist Lerer commented, ”When he’s not putting out fires as Cory Booker’s chief of staff, he’s answering emergency calls.”

New Jersey suffers an extremely high rate of infection from the coronavirus. Accordingly, New Jersey has a dire need for personal protective equipment (PPE) and health care workers to treat those afflicted during this pandemic. As New Jersey Senator Cory Booker’s chief of staff, brother Klapper is presently in constant contact with congressional aides, and through new legislation, trying to secure increased benefits for medical care workers on the front lines in the battle against the coronavirus. In addition, he is attempting to secure the PPE that all health care workers now need, for their own safety and that of others, to prevent the proliferation of the coronavirus, and in their treatment of the sick.

At Penn, brother Klapper was President of his class all four years. Culminating his time at Penn, he was presented the Spoon, the oldest, and most prestigious, of the senior class men’s leadership awards. After graduation, he was a firefighter and crew chief for an ambulance squad in Springfield, New Jersey. The combination of his public service as a fireman, advisor to Senator Cory Booker, and as a lawyer, having graduated from Yale Law School, caught the attention of The Pennsylvania Gazette. The Gazette featured him in a major article in its Jan/Feb 2014 issue.

After the New Jersey governor asked retired and inactive health care workers to return to their previous work to aid in the fight against the coronavirus, brother Klapper volunteered. However, he did not abandon his duties and obligations to Senator Booker. By day, he does his congressional work. By night, he is a medical care professional. Assigned to Union County, New Jersey, an area that has a higher rate of infection than New York City, brother Klapper has found it necessary, due to his daily and immediate exposure to this deadly contagious disease, to isolate himself from his wife, his infant child, and his parents. Accordingly, he has taken up temporary residence at a friend’s pool house.

As an emergency medical technician (EMT), brother Klapper does everything that other EMTs are required to do after transporting coronavirus patients, including disinfecting ambulances and their contents after each trip. Because he continues to perform his duties to Senator Booker during the day, he works the night shift when health care workers are most needed.

To read the entire New York Times article on Matt Klapper, use this link.

All of Pi Kappa Alpha, especially his brothers at Beta Pi, as well as all the people in this country, should feel a sense of pride and comfort in Matt’s accomplishments, and offer thanks to Matt Klapper, and all others on the front lines, for the sacrifices they have made in service to this nation, and its citizens, during this significant and highly contagious health crisis.       

Matt Klapper Beta Pi '02 - In Service to America