Howard R. Alter Jr. '41It is with great sadness that Theta Chi Fraternity announces the death of Brother Howard R. Alter, Jr. May 9, 2009 at his home in Plum Borough, Pennsylvania.
Brother Alter was a 1941 graduate of Pennsylvania State University, where he became a member of the Omega Chapter of Theta Chi Fraternity and served as chapter treasurer and president.
Howard was appointed a Regional Counselor in 1955 and served in that capacity until his election to the Grand Chapter in 1960. He was twice elected as National President (1962-1966). Following his service on the Grand Chapter, he was appointed as Executive Director of Theta Chi Fraternity January 1, 1968. Brother Alter retired in June of 1984, and was appointed Executive Director Emeritus.
The Howard R. Alter, Jr. Award for Chapter Excellence was created by past Field Representatives to commemorate Brother Alter’s retirement as Executive Director. The award is the highest honor bestowed on a chapter of Theta Chi Fraternity. The Alter Award was first presented in 1985.
Following his retirement Brother Alter continued his service to the Fraternity by serving on the National Board of Trustees from 1984 to 1994. He also served on the boards of both foundations in our Fraternity -- the Foundation Chapter and Theta Chi Funds for Leadership and Education, Inc.
Brother Alter has been honored with every award in Theta Chi Fraternity, including the Distinguished Service Award, the Fraternity’s highest honor, and the “Theta Chi for Life” Award. In 1993, the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) bestowed upon Brother Alter the NIC Gold Medal, the highest honor in the fraternity world, for his interfraternal service. That service included serving on the NIC Board of Directors from 1985 to 1993, and serving as president for the Fraternity Executives Association (1978-1979).
His lifelong and selfless work on behalf of Theta Chi Fraternity and the interfraternity world serves now, and will continue to serve, as an example for all to follow.