President's Report - When You Join Theta Chi, You Join For Life
A few weekends back, I was able to spend the final days of the spring semester at Penn State watching my sister graduate with her degree in Accounting and a bright future ahead of her. While at her graduation ceremony, I was also able to witness a number of
brothers cross the stage to become alumni of both Penn State and Theta Chi.
When you first pledge Theta Chi, nobody warns you that the house won’t remain as you first saw it forever. Brothers graduate, new brothers join, and the chapter is in a constant state of change. At the same time, the Theta Chi that we all experienced still lives on in the memories and friendships that formed over the years. This has been the cornerstone of my Theta Chi experience, forming lifelong bonds with some of my closest friends to this day, and connecting with alumni from every decade over dinner or a few beers.
Since coming on as President of the Alumni Board, I’ve been able to talk with a number of brothers about the alumni association and its place within Omega Chapter. The common theme that resonates throughout is a desire to make the group more than just a few newsletters a year, or a phone call asking for donations. Events like the Annual Golf Outing exemplify what I would like to see happen more often, whether it is catching an away game with alumni in your area, a ski day in the Poconos, or just a few brothers getting together for drinks and reminiscing about some shenanigans from the old days. When you join Theta Chi, you join for life. I’d like to see us bring back that involvement with all brothers, so that your time in the fraternity doesn’t feel like it ends when you walk across the stage.
We as a board will be working to make these events happen more frequently, and could use your help. If you have ideas for an event, or would like help organize a gathering in your area, please feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com.
I hope this message finds all of you in great health and better spirits. I wanted to take some time to thank you for electing me as one of the new Alumni Board members this past Fall; I am excited to be an integral part of the governing body of our chapter, and can only hope to give back to the chapter at least a fraction of what it has given to me over the past several years. First, I would like to congratulate the eleven recently graduated brothers and to wish you the best in the next step of your lives, be it furthering your education or entrance into the work force, or something entirely different. It has been another productive spring for our undergraduate brothers, pledging in 7 new members, holding a successful GI for Theta Chi philanthropic event, boasting $33,813.60 dollars for THON with partners Tapestry, earning 6th place for Greek Sing, sweating to another successful Alumni Work Weekend, and crushing the all men’s average GPA with a chapter average of 3.31 (good for top 5 among Fraternities). I look forward to hearing of your continued involvement with the University and the State College community after the summer break.
As many of you are aware, our struggles with recruitment and residency within the chapter house continue (we’ve struggled with this since before I became a brother), but after conversing with a number of undergraduates and alumni I have faith that we are all striving to create better success for our brotherhood;
I believe in Theta Chi. I believe that the continued and growing presence of the Alumni at the chapter house is crucial to helping prop up our undergraduate brothers in letting them know that we as an organization are there to support them, and that their efforts for growth and betterment do not go unnoticed. I truly thank each and every alumnus brother who continues to return to the chapter house to lend a helping hand; be it through career advice, stories from “back in my day,” or even blunt criticism. A strong alumni presence is a significant part of what makes a healthy fraternity function and I truly believe that we are making strides in that direction.
I was able to make the 7 hour trek to State College for Blue & White weekend and was ecstatic to see such a large number of recent alumni who had returned to the house to help continue rebuilding the bridge between our active undergraduates and alumni. I believe I speak for more than myself when I say I look forward to returning in the fall for football weekends to reconnect with my home in State College, and with the brotherhood that has played a significant part in building the man I am today.
I would like to end my message with something to reflect on: Remember that this chapter is only as strong as the men who lead it, and those who take the initiative to keep our brotherhood alive and well; that even small actions like stopping by the house just to say hello, or submitting an update to the website about your life events can have a lasting effect or incite another to do the same. Remember that Theta Chi is for life, and your support is needed and appreciated in this chapter no matter how long it has been since you attended a class at PSU. Just like any intrapersonal relationship, this brotherhood takes work to maintain. I look forward to seeing/hearing from all of you soon.
Love and Respect,
Br. Aaron Speagle - Class of 2012
Best Friend's Story - No One Should Have As Much Fun As I Do!
Theta Chi was a great chapter in my life. I Just turned 96, and I am still teaching school and still biking. My daughter is a Navy Admiral. No one my age should have as much fun as I do.
It’s good to hear from Theta Chi. I think that I am the last one alive from my pledge class. Now I am living the good life still teaching school, biking and doing a lot of reading. Brother Fred Grun ’47 is still my best friend .
My brother Fred is my blood brother. We met on March 31, 1923, the day he was born. Because of the war we graduated together without gowns. They got lost somewhere. We did all kinds of things together in our childhood and he is still my best friend. We do not see each other often but we talk on the phone. We were the house managers together in 1946 and we managed to freeze the brothers because of the soft, cantankerous coal.
William Grun ’47
Alumni Spotlight - Check Out What Your Brothers Have Been Up To!
Joe Simonetta ’66 - Here’s a little bit on what I’ve been up to since I graduated from Penn State in 1966. At PSU from ’61 to ’66, I was a former Theta Chi president. I played two varsity sports, soccer and tennis, and was member of the hat societies Druids and Parmi Nous. I won the intramural racquetball championship twice. A very mediocre student, I went on, at different times in my life, to earn master degrees from the University of Colorado (architecture) and Harvard (world religions...relative to my interest in the state of our world).
The photo attached is of my family. I am with my wife, Susana, and our two children. Russell just turned three in April 2016. Our daughter, Fiorella, born in October 2015 is a little over six months old.
My last project was a real estate development, Hacienda San Joaquin, that I did in Vilcabamba, Ecuador. I was there from 2005 to 2014 when we returned to the U.S.
The project I did in Ecuador, Hacienda San Joaquin, which I sold, is shown at www.HaciendaSanJoaquin.com. The new owners still have me on the home page as the “Developer.” That links to my brief bio.
I have another web site as well: www.ONEitistime.com.
Keith Vansant ’58 - “Not too much new with me, I turned 80 years old in February. I don’t feel 80 and I don’t act 80, but everybody tells me that I look 97!”
David Noll ’86 and Joe Kidda ’86 - “We were pledge brothers, roommates at the OX House, living in same town 30 years later! Time has zipped by,” says brother 1000. “Joe and I crossed paths during lunch in the late 90’s, and we picked up where we left off” .
Greg Allan ’89 - My wife Leslie and I are enjoying life in the Pacific Northwest. I am in my 16th year with AT&T and took a promotion last year for a Strategic Account Lead position. We are excited for this summer as we have bought a boat and plan to spend weekends aboard and cruising around this beautiful area with our 2 labs, Brooke and Bailey. Hoping to catch a Mariners game or two this season. Would love to host anyone whose travels bring them out to the Seattle area.
Rich Maltz ’90 - “I recently just celebrated 22 years at Entertainment Weekly magazine, most recently as the Deputy Photography Director, West Coast. For the last 6 years I have been living in Santa Monica, CA after living in NYC.”
John Broderick ’06 - “I was a part of the class of 2006. I recently moved to Germany with my wife of 2 years, Amy, and we are expecting our first son (Timothy) in just a couple months. I am currently on a research fellowship for NERA Economic Consulting.
Photo Archives - Oh! What a Feeling!
It’s been awhile since we’ve published the Omegaphone! We’ve been digging through the archives, basking in the nostalgia and we just can’t keep it to ourselves!