February 2012 Omegaphone

Below are excepts from the February 2012 Omegaphone, to read the entire issue, please download the pdf to the right
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Capital Campaign Kicks off the New Year! 

$61,573 and Climbing! The Capital Campaign is Underway! 

After much consideration and due diligence,
we have decided to move forward with our capital campaign. We are very excited about this decision and the future we are certain it will help us ensure for Theta Chi at Penn State.

OUR MISSION is to conduct a capital campaign to renovate the chapter house at 523 S. Allen Street, and to fund an endowment that will enable Omega Chapter of Theta Chi to remain
a viable and leading force at The Pennsylvania State University. Our financial goal is $500,000. Pledges to the campaign will be payable over five years, and can be paid annually, bi-annually or quarterly within each year to help every alumnus make a meaningful gift.

More information will be coming to you via mail and email to explain how you can get involved. We are seeking volunteers to reach out to their class as well as anyone interested in making an early contribution to the effort.

Additionally at this time, gifts over $10,000 are 100% tax deductible. 

Omega alumni at the 30th annual Theta Chi Open in 2011

31st Annual Theta Chi Open 

This year’s Theta Chi Open will be held at an easier-to-play venue, Avalon Golf Course, located at 1510 Route 9 South in Cape May Court House, NJ. From last year’s venue (Shoregate Country Club), it is located about 10 miles South on Route 9. 

Cost is $49 per golfer. The post game banquet will be held at a shore house located in the Avalon, Stone Harbor area (TBD), as always. This year we will be having steaks on the grill provided by Pappy’s Barbecue. Price for the post game banquet is TBD, but figure around $50. Tee times begin at 9:30 AM. 

Stretch and Rock will be providing accommodations for many as they have in past years. Also the Windrift Hotel, located in Avalon, NJ, is a popular place to stay as well. The phone number for the Windrift is 609-368-5175.

Each year there are surprise guests that show up who we haven’t seen in years. From Jerry Kistler ’76 to Jeff Sleigh ’76 to Ken Slaby ’72... who will they be this year? 

Omega Chapter brothers with the Bobby family 

THON - We Dance for AJ 

Brothers Partner with Bobby Family for Second Year in a Row 

Omega Chapter has been paired with AJ Bobby and his family since THON 2011. AJ is a bright 8-year-old kid from Shrewsbury, Pa. In November of 2010, AJ was diagnosed 

with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), based in his spine. Since then, he has had several hospitalizations due to complications from chemotherapy, as well as other ailments of various kinds. Despite all of this, he is one of the bravest, happiest, and most well- adjusted kids ever seen by a brother. He has two twin 10-year-old sisters, Alexis and Annabelle, and they all live with their parents Amanda and Andy. Since THON 2011, the chapter has visited the Bobby family several times, from AJ’s birthday to his chemotherapy rounds at Hershey Medical Center. The chapter has had the family visit State College several times as well, including the THON 5K, THON hoops at the BJC (during which AJ was selected from the crowd as a THON child and was put on national television), and the Four Diamonds Family Carnival.

This year, AJ was on stage twice during THON 2012 for a fashion show and a talent show. During both events, AJ was escorted by Omega brothers. AJ says that one day he is going to attend Penn State and join Theta Chi because he loves his brothers very much. Most recently, brothers drove down to Shrewsbury and stood with AJ as he spoke at a mini- THON for a local high school near his home. AJ is scheduled to receive his last round of chemotherapy in December 2013. Until then, we dance for AJ, for making a difference, and For The Kids! 

Chapter Eternal - Bob Jones ’58 

We are sad to report the passing of Bob Jones ’58, who died September 12, 2011 following a brief acute illness.

Bob was born in Bethlehem, Pa. on February 26, 1936, earned a degree in Electrical Engineering at Penn State and worked as a Patent Agent at the Bethlehem Steel Corporation. He lived in Center Valley, Pa. where he raised his three children. He married his wife Barb in 1979 and moved to San Diego in 1987, a city he had come to love while traveling on business trips. In addition to his home and family, his greatest pleasures were music, piano-playing, Penn State foot- ball, inter-collegiate wrestling, fishing, and investment strategizing.

Bob’s three children and his wife were at his bedside throughout his illness. Bob is also survived by five grandchildren.

For those who may wish to honor Bob’s memory with a gift, the family has selected Friendship Force of San Diego County to be the recipient. Bob was a Board member of this organization which has as its mission the furtherance of friendship, love and peace by developing friendships with people throughout the world. Contributions may be sent to the Robert Jones Memorial Fund, Friendship Force of San Diego, c/o Roy Hattendorf, 5142 Glen View Place, Bonita, CA 91902. Money from this fund will be used to enhance the cultural experiences of Friendship Force members from other places while they are guests in our homes in San Diego.

Lincoln Hall, 1940's

State College/Penn State Alumni Association Historical marker dedication for Giffy’s “Lincoln Hall”  

The circa 1910 structure was a rooming house for male African-American students at the Pennsylvania State College from the late 1930s to the early l950s. Known as Lincoln Hall, the boarding house could accommodate 6-8 students and was operated by Harry and Rosa Gifford, their children Bessie and Emanuel, and the latter’s wife, Agnes. The family had moved north from the Mississippi to become fraternity house cooks at Theta Chi, Phi Gamma Delta and Zeta Beta Tau. 

Due to an unofficial campus housing policy at the college from about 1930 until 1946, Black males could only choose to room at Lincoln Hall or at a few private homes. The very few Black female students could reside in the dorms. At times Lincoln Hall residents made up half the African- American student enrollment, making it the center of Black life at Penn State. 

1949 – Agnes and Emanuel Gifford (seated) along with half of the Black students at Penn State College. 

The Giffords and other Black cooks assisted students by employing them to work for rent and meals. This network, though born out of segregation, is credited for nurturing, supporting and encouraging an early generation of African American students.

Some early Lincoln Hall roomers of note include: Wallace Triplett III ’49, the first Black varsity football player and former NFL player; Henry “Barney” Ewell ’47, Olympic gold medalist; Roger K. Williams ’46, vice president of academic affairs at Morgan State College; and James H. Robinson ’49, associate dean and director at Jefferson Medical School. Other known residents of Lincoln Hall were Ernest Lowe ’49, Perry Smith ’48, Mitchell Williams ’49, Rufus O. Williams ’48, Charles Murray ’50, Clayton Wilson ’49, Hope Winborne ’50, Bert Lancaster ’50 and Rushu Karnge. A later resident, Barton A. Fields ’53, became Secretary of the Commonwealth (PA). This group included several founding members of the Penn State chapters of Alpha Phi Alpha and Kappa Alpha Psi fraternities. 

Wallace “Wally” Triplett 

Dr. Roger K. Williams 

Henry “Barney” Ewell 

Alumni Updates

Joseph Jackson ’50 - It doesn’t take long for a body to get to age 85! Fortunately, in my case, the mind doesn’t always follow suit. We (Phyllis, Iowa State) have enjoyed 22 years together in Bloomington, Ill., marrying after both our spouses died. Retirement began in 1994 after 38 good years with State Farm Insurance Co. Combined, we are proud of five sons and one daughter, 10 grandchildren and six great grandkids. We have resided in a retirement village for almost five years, and keep active by staying involved in many village and community activities. After military service in the US Army Air Corps, I entered the hallowed halls of the Penn State campus and the Omega chapter of Theta Chi after spending my first year at Millersville State Teachers College. The assigning of students to various state teachers’ colleges in Pennsylvania was how the college was able to accept the thousands of WWll veterans wanting to matriculate at Penn State. My GI Bill veterans benefit afforded me funds for 3 1/2 years. During that time, I managed to acquire enough credit hours and graduated in February 1950. I thank my Theta Chi brothers who were my role models, confidants and friends who encouraged me in all fraternity and campus endeavors. It was a privilege to serve as fraternity secretary and publisher of the Omegaphone. I also want to thank the current and past brothers who have, in recent years, honored Omega and Theta Chi by their acclaimed academic and campus achievements.

Bob Wendel ’54 - When asked about his memory of JoePa... JoePa was a lonely assistant coach back when I was in school. He came the same year I started at Penn State. Beaver Field was next to Rec Hall and seated about 25,000 people then.

Gary Riser ’64 - I chose Theta Chi at Penn State for a few reasons. My freshman year I attended Norwich University. We marched to breakfast, lunch and dinner (and chapel on Sundays). Norwich had a ski slope and good basic classes. I was a member of the mountain and cold weather club and the drill team. I had good friends and overall had a good time. While at Norwich, some of my classmates told me stories they got from older brothers and uncles about how life was before Norwich outlawed fraternities. I decided to try to transfer. When I got accepted to PSU and went through rush, I found that PSU had a Theta Chi chapter. So, to go from Norwich to PSU, Alpha to Omega...This was not the only reason I joined Theta Chi, but it was a factor.

Steve Pattee ’95 - I recently moved to Austin, TX, where I am employed by Lonquist & Company, LLC, a petroleum engineering consulting firm specializing in reservoir evaluations and underground storage of hydrocarbons. I am currently pursuing a Master’s in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M University. I am married with two kids, Sophia (6) and Aidan (4). 

Thank you to all those brothers that shared their news.

Checkout past issues of the Omegaphone by clicking here.

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