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FOUNDERS DAY 2022 A SUCCESSAfter a three-year hiatus, the Beta Pi Founders Day celebration was held on Saturday, March 26, 2022, at the University City Sheraton Hotel on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. The 2020 and 2021 events unfortunately had to be canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This was particularly disappointing as the 2020 dinner was slated to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the founding of the Beta Pi chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha at the University of Pennsylvania.

With new banners and favors marking the long-awaited centennial celebration, approximately 65 alumni and undergraduates gathered to celebrate the gala occasion, enjoy fine food and beverages, and exchange news and personal updates that have accumulated during the last three years.

Following a cocktail hour in a large and comfortable room adjacent to the banquet room, the formal program began with a welcoming speech by the Beta Pi Alumni Association President, Ross Weiner ’80.

Protik Nandy ’20, President of the active undergraduate members of Beta Pi, gave a chapter update. During a particularly difficult time for fraternities to be successful, he opened his remarks by mentioning that when he went through Rush as a prospective new member, he was seeking a friendly and caring fraternity. He found it at Pi Kappa Alpha.

He explained the difficulties of the past year in dealing with the Penn administration. These difficulties brought the brotherhood together to overcome the effects of Penn Rules and Regulations that were harmful to fraternities.

There was a successful fall rush, under the leadership of James Champion ’20 and Andrew Lee ’21, that brought in six new members. The success of this fall rush has convinced the chapter to continue recruiting in the fall even though, by Penn rules, it can only target upperclassmen.

An attempt to establish better relations and schedule social activities with sororities was also successful through the efforts of Lucas Losh ’21.

Public service was a priority. Beta Pi members cleaned parks, helped the American Cancer Society, and intend to have a second Pikapalooza. The first Pikapalooza, that was staged shortly before the pandemic, resulted in a donation greater than $2000 to the ALS Association of Philadelphia.

Further evidence that Beta Pi is recovering from the effects of the pandemic is that this year the chapter has taken in more members than are graduating.

The buffet dinner, featuring a variety of salads, entrees, vegetables, and desserts, was then enjoyed by a hungry group of alumni and undergraduates. The Sheraton kept the buffet available through the rest of the evening.


After the meal, Arjun Shukla ’21 presented the Alumni Appreciation Award to Don Schreiber ‘47. Joel Catania ’71 then bestowed special recognition to Don Schreiber ’47, who has been a long-time supporter and proponent of the virtues of Pi Kappa Alpha. Don was given his 75-year alumni loyalty certificate beautifully displayed in a custom-made Pi Kappa Alpha frame. After receiving his certificate, brother Schreiber regaled his admirers with an impromptu speech. He related a history of Beta Pi during an era when college life was different in many respects from campus life today. He also described the significant influence that Beta Pi has meant to him throughout his life and professed the hope that being a Pike will do the same for his young undergraduate brethren.

The new members of the Alpha Epsilon class from the fall and the Alpha Zeta class from spring rush were introduced by Obed Antoine ’19 and Jacob Yacuboski ’21. Beta Pi has welcomed 21 new members during this academic year. A diverse group, they hail from India, Syria, Pennsylvania (6), New York (3), California (2), Rhode Island (2), Florida, Illinois, Texas, Oklahoma, Maryland, and New Jersey.

Presentation of the SLAG awards was in the capable hands of Lucas Losh ’21 and Humberto Caballero ’21. Adam Zheleznyak ’19 won the Scholar Award. The Leadership Award was presented to Kaden Stenger ’19. The finest Athlete was Obed Antoine ’19. Leo Chambers ’19 received the Gentleman Award.

In place of Jerry Herman ’72, Bruce Wolfson ’71 presented the Dave Herman Award. He explained who Jerry and Dave Herman were and the qualities, among which was being “a man of faith and living that faith” that can be found in this year’s winner of the $500 award, Kaden Stenger ’19.

Harvey Mackler ’72 then presented the Scott Mackler True Grit Award, named for his brother and our fraternity brother who fought a valiant battle 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 this $500 award was Obed Antoine ’19.

In addition to Don Schreiber, Alumni Loyalty Awards were presented by Joel Catania ’71, Beta Pi Alumni Association Treasurer, to Ross Weiner ’80, Todd Wieseneck ’72, Morty Cohen ’65, Harvey Mackler ’72, Parker Weil ’85, Bruce Wolfson ’71, Mitch Goldsmith ’72, Larry Gordon ’72, Nick Chimicles ’67, Fred Bailey ’70, and to himself, Joel Catania ’71.  

Protik Nandy ’20 provided the closing remarks and invited all to return to the Chapter House for further conversation, refreshments, and games.