Daily Collegian - Homecoming halftime acknowledges alumni and court

Theta Chi fraternity and the Society of Women Engineers emerged as the Overall Homecoming Winner at the halftime show of Saturday’s football game, capping off a week of victories for the Homecoming 2011 pair.

They also took first place in the Homecoming Parade and second at the For The Glory Talent Show, and were recognized for their achievements in a show featuring Penn State fans both young and old.

More than 650 Penn State Blue Band members took to the field, in both the current Blue Band and in the Alumni Band, full of past graduates ready to show off their still-fresh musical abilities.

Past feature twirlers and cheerleaders also made themselves a part of the show, waving their hands and smiling enthusiastically after being back on the field where they once started.

The current Blue Band kicked off the show, moving and weaving into a series of formations while playing Gloria Gaynor’s classic, “I Will Survive.” Before long, the Alumni Band raced onto the field, also using the diverse crowd to play Aretha Franklin favorite, “Respect.”

The bands then conjoined to finish with traditional finale piece, “The Nittany Lion,” as the stadium slowly raised their voices in unison to the familiar tune and words.

Amanda Smith said having the Alumni Band come back was really cool. She also liked this weekend’s S-Zone, which was pink and black in honor of Penn State’s original colors.

“If we win today, it’ll be a good way to end my college career,” Smith (senior-broadcast journalism) said.

Saturday’s halftime show also recognized the 2011 Homecoming King and Queen, Rene Garcia and Paige Rothaus, as well as the entire Homecoming Court and Homecoming Executive Committee.

The court danced their way onto the field, with Garcia (senior-forensic chemistry) and Rothaus (senior-advertising) sporting their sashes and crowns.

“That was the first time it really hit me, that this was real,” Garcia said, of the on-field experience. “Plus, as cheerleaders, you’re not allowed to just walk on the grass whenever you want, so that was pretty strange, too.”

The Homecoming Court also got to share the experience with their families, many of who had never experienced a Penn State football game before.

Garcia’s parents watched the game from the west side of the stadium, snapping pictures and watching their son enjoy his final year at Penn State.

“It’s just unreal,” he said. “Standing on the field with the entire Homecoming Court, the camera zoomed in on your face, it’s pretty incredible.”

And for the Homecoming Executive Committee, Saturday marked the end of a long year filled with phone calls, emails and plans, said Alumni Relations Director Ariana Seidel.

“Whether it’s just coming a Penn State football game or your very first game with your parents or members of the court being recognized, it’s a really cool experience,” Seidel (senior-political science and English said. “To look around at 110,000 people and know that we're a part of something so great, it’s absolutely incredible.”

CDT Story - Penn State Greek Organizations Treat Seniors to Prom

CR: Abby Brey/CDT

Penn State senior Griffin Weiler talks with residents William and Dorothy Babcock on Thursday during the "senior prom"  The Village at Penn State's Atrium Health Care Center. The event was organized by the Penn State chapters of GammaPhi Beta sorority and Theta Chi fraternity.

Penn Stater Nov/Dec 2010 - A Trip Back to “Lincoln Hall”

Like many freshman, Perry Smith arrived his freshman year at Penn State in 1944 without a place to stay. He was given a list of options - but as a black man, he had fewer than most. Penn State's dorms weren't integrated until 1950, and in the mid-1940s there were crammed full of miltary trainees. So it was no surpise he ended up at the first house on the list - 119 Barnard Street.

The house, owned by a black couple named Giffordho cooked for local fraternitities, was home to about half of the black students on campus. They paid $6 a week to live there and called it "Lincoln Hall," in Abraham.

Smith ’48 Eng visited his college home during the Black Alumni Reunion Sept. 10–12, and he recounted his memories to Darryl Daisey ’83 Bus, the organizer of the African American Chronicles website, which is preserving the history of African-Americans at Penn State. To learn more or share your own story,go to blackhistory.psu.edu.


CDT Story - State College boarding house has place in Penn State's black history

On the evening of Sept. 10, Perry Smith, a 1948 Penn State graduate, was driven to a house he had not seen in more than 60 years.

Smith was in State College attending the 2010 Penn State Black Alumni Reunion. When he arrived at 119 N. Barnard St., he hardly recognized the place that, when he lived there, was called Lincoln Hall.

Lincoln Hall

Lincoln Hall

Lincoln Hall was actually a boarding home for black male Penn State students from the late 1930s to the early 1950s. It served as an unofficial black dormitory and early sanctuary for its residents. Lincoln Hall could house about six to eight students at a time (which was up to half of the black students on campus during that time), and became the center of black life at Penn State.

While the very few black female students could stay in the dorms during this period (the first black coed arrived in 1929), the men were not allowed to stay on campus and were referred either to Lincoln Hall, or to the homes of a few white families who rented to black students.

Smith, a retired electrical engineer who lives near Boston, recalls that there was actually a small “Lincoln Hall” sign that hung on the porch.

The home was operated by Harry and Rosa Gifford, their children, Emanuel and Bessie, and Emanuel’s wife. The family was employed as cooks at local white fraternity houses, including Phi Gamma Delta and Theta Chi. The Giffords, and other black cooks, assisted many early black students through employment, meals, sometimes even by lending them money.

In addition to Smith, some of the alumni from Lincoln Hall include:

  • Barney Ewell, Penn State track star and Olympic gold medalist (three total medals, still the most of any Penn Stater)
  • Wally Triplett, Penn State’s first black varsity football player, and a former NFL player
  • Roger K. Williams, vice president for academic affairs at Morgan State University.
  • Harold Dixon, a Howard University physician. •Ernest Lowe, a Boston University physician.
  • Rufus Williams, student activist and father of Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams.
  • James H. Robinson, former associate dean and director of student affairs at Jefferson Medical College.
  • Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity founders (Penn State Chapter). At least three of the charter members of Alpha Phi Alpha lived at Lincoln Hall during the formation of the chapter.
  • Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity founders (Penn State Chapter). At least three of the charter members of Kappa Alpha Psi lived at Lincoln Hall during the formation of the chapter.

The Penn State Black History Project is still working to verify other students of note who lived in Lincoln Hall. We are also excited about receiving the assistance of State College Mayor Elizabeth Goreham, in exploring the possibilities of erecting a historical marker at the location. If ultimately approved, this may be the first historical marker associated with black Penn Staters in State College. It’s almost certain that none of the people who walk by the house, or even live there, know the significance of the building. A historical marker could help change that.

The building has been owned by the SC Sun Corp. since the early 1970s, and is still being used for student housing.

For more information on Lincoln Hall, its residents, and the black history of Penn State, go to www.blackhistory.psu.edu. Darryl B. Daisey, a 1983 Penn State graduate, compiled “Penn State University African American Chronicles,” the first comprehensive account of the black experience at Penn State. 

Daily Collegian Story - Br. Daniel Cartwright Homecoming Court

as published by the Daily Collegian, October 6, 2010 - story by Kathleen Loughran

Nominees remember royalty

For Dan Cartwright and Katherine Larimer, Homecoming court is not their first taste of royalty.

Hailing from England, Cartwright (senior-energy, business and finance) was Prince Eric for his fraternity's "Little Mermaid"-themed float during his sophomore year at Penn State.

And Larimer (senior-supply chain and information systems), donned a royal sash when she was on her school's Homecoming court.

Dan Cartwright (senior-business and finance) and Katherine Larimer (senior-supply chain and information systems) pose for a picture on Oct. 4. Kelley King/CollegianLarimer's fellow sorority member Jessica Hanth said her selection is a testament to how much she deserves the position.

"Honestly, I did expect [that Larimer would be selected]," Hanth (senior-actuarial science) said. "I think she deserves it because she's been involved in so many things on campus — it shows that she really, really cares about Penn State and the student body, and she does everything for the right reasons."

Geoff Rolstone — Cartwright's fellow Theta Chi fraternity member — said the same Penn State spirit can be found in Cartwright.

"I think he really represents what a senior at Penn State should be — well rounded, smart and really has a sense of pride for the university," Rolstone (junior-energy, business and finance) said.

When Cartwright moved to the United States, he heard about Penn State — but he didn't realize how much he wanted to attend the university until his junior year in high school.

"I visited the University of Pittsburgh and saw a T-shirt making fun of [Penn State] and was really offended by it," he said. "At that point I was only a junior in high school, so I knew I needed to come to Penn State."

And Cartwright's Penn State pride is contagious. His sister, Emma Cartwright, currently a freshman, said one of the reasons she decided to attend the university was because she saw how much her brother loved it.

Dan Cartwright is the current Interfraternity Council vice president of communications and is a member of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Committee among other activities.

Larimer has also been an active member of greek life — having served as an Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Dance Marathon chairwoman for her sorority, Alpha Sigma Alpha. She was a king and queen captain for Homecoming 2009, and she also works as the student chairwoman for the Centre County Out of the Darkness 5K Walk.

As community co-chairwoman of the Out of the Darkness Walk, Susan Kennedy said she has had the pleasure of working with Larimer for nearly three years.

"My experience with her has just been outstanding," Kennedy said. "Not only is she a good representation of Penn State, but on the committee we work on, she leads a group of other students who are the chairs of other committees."

When Larimer's father suggested they tour colleges during her junior year of high school, she didn't want to: She already knew she wanted to attend Penn State.

Richard Larimer, Class of 1974, said he's glad his daughter chose to attend his alma mater.

"I can't think of anything better really," he said. "I love the place. It's become a family affair."

Daily Collegian Story - IFC rewards fraternities

By Jourdan Cole - Collegian Columnist

IFC rewards fraternities

The top five Interfraternity Council (IFC) Chapters of Excellence are now allowed to hold Wednesday night socials -- activities banned under the updated party regulations put into place at the beginning of the spring semester.

While Wednesday socials during the 2010-2011 academic year have been reinstated for these five fraternities, IFC officials said Tuesday night that other fraternities will not be allowed the same privileges.

Though top-performing IFC chapters have received a plaque in the past, the council built several rewards into its bylaws this semester, one of which allowed the socials.

While there are five Chapters of Excellence, the number of fraternities who are recognized can vary each year, IFC Vice President for Communications Dan Cartwright said. The five Chapters of Excellence this year are Sigma Nu, Tau Phi Delta, Theta Chi, Theta Delta Chi and Tau Kappa Epsilon.

Chapters of Excellence awards are attainable by all four greek councils, but the IFC is the only council giving its honorees rewards for achieving the honor, IFC President Max Wendkos (senior-marketing and psychology) said.

Besides Wednesday night socials, other rewards include name recognition, a 30 percent discount on IFC dues and a customized letter sent to the fraternities' national and international headquarters.

"There are limitless benefits for improving relations with alumni and nationals. All chapters benefit by saving money on dues and a large majority of our chapters do care about their social privileges, so extending them as a reward for impressive performance in other areas was a logical incentive," Wendkos said.

Cartwright (junior-energy, business and finance) said he hopes these rewards will entice more fraternities to strive for excellence.

"They've proved themselves as quality chapters in the fraternity community and we thought it was an adequate reward," Cartwright said.

Among the recipients was Tau Phi Delta, whose president, Corbin Rinehart, said the fraternity members always strive for excellence because they take pride in their house, though many of the members have yet to even learn of the rewards.

"Occasionally we would have Wednesday socials, but they were few and far between," Rinehart (junior-wood products business and marketing) said.

Wendkos said the IFC is recognizing chapters that are a good representation of their fraternities' values. The fraternities are judged on many things, he added --including alumni relations, educational programming and community service.

Wendkos said that all of greek life at Penn State submits applications and those who exceed 270 out of 300 total points receive recognition as a Chapter of Excellence.

"We wanted to create a system that would encourage all of our chapters to work hard and improve themselves," he said.

Rinehart said his fraternity does a great deal of community service work within State College and Penn State.

"I'm very proud to be a brother at Tau Phi Delta and be in charge of an organization with guys that pride themselves on not only themselves, but the fraternity as a whole," Rinehart said.

Daily Collegian Story - F.L.I.C.K.S. 2010

as it appeared in the March 22, 2010 Daily Collegian 

Students enjoy sunshine and philanthropy in frisbee tournament

Brightly colored Frisbees flew across the HUB-Robeson Center lawn Saturday afternoon as part of the FLICKS Frisbee Tournament.

The tournament was organized by the Theta Chi Fraternity to benefit the Pennsylvania Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), which helps abused and neglected children find foster homes that are right for them.

The tournament began last year, with Theta Chi's pledge class running the event. That tournament raised more than $800 for CASA.

Kent Bare, a member of Theta Chi who helped organize the event, said the idea came to them when a brother mentioned his mother worked for the organization.

"Ultimate Frisbee was a pretty easy choice. I mean, college kids everywhere love it," Bare (sophomore-kinesiology) said.

Eleven co-ed teams competed, at a cost of $50 per team with names like "Team Awesome" and the "State High Mathletes." The winners of the 5-on-5 tournament were "Cheat to Win," though the top three teams all received T-shirts as prizes.

Teams consisted of other fraternity members, and even high school students from the area.
Judging from the popularity of this year's tournament, students can expect another opportunity to play next year.

"A couple of teammates played last year and really enjoyed it, and I like playing Ultimate Frisbee, so the decision was pretty easy," said Nathan Roe (freshman-division of undergraduate studies), a member of "Team Ornage."

"You always feel good giving to charity," agreed Jeff Motter (freshman-psychology), one of Roe's teammates who participated last year. "I definitely want to do it again next year."

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Howard Alter Jr. Obit

Howard R. Alter Jr. '41

Howard R. Alter Jr. '41

the following obitutries was printed in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette on May 2009

Howard R. Alter Jr.Howard R. Alter, Jr., 90, of Plum, died Saturday, May 9, 2009, at home. Mr. Alter was Executive Director Emeritus of Theta Chi Fraternity. He was a 1936 graduate of New Kensington High School and was a member of the class reunion committee from its inception until his death. He was a 1941 graduate of Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Architectural Engineering and joined the Omega Chapter of Theta Chi in 1938. He served his chapter as treasurer and president. Upon graduation, he was employed by American Bridge Company in Ambridge. A veteran of World War II, Mr. Alter served with the "Seabees" in New Guinea. He is a retired Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve. Following his service, he managed the family business, the Hamilton-Alter Feed Store in Parnassus. From 1962-1966, he served as National President of Theta Chi. In 1968, he was chosen to be the executive director of Theta Chi Fraternity, a position he held for 16½ years. During his tenure, he served as president of the Fraternity Executives Association and several terms as a member of the National Inter-Fraternity Conference Board of Directors. He was awarded the NIC Gold Medal, the highest inter-fraternity award, and numerous awards from inter-fraternity groups, Tau Kappa Epsilon, Zeta Beta Tau, Kappa Delta Rho, Alpha Kappa Lambda, Phi Kappa Psi, Alpha Chi Rho, Sigma Nu and Lambda Chi Alpha. During his time, Mr. Alter served for 27 years on the Board of Trustees of the Presbyterian Church of Plum Creek and for 25 years as the president of the Plum Creek Cemetery Corporation. Friends will be received at the family residence, the Booth-Alter Farm, at 7151 Leechburg Road in Plum, after 10 AM on Thursday and Friday. Funeral services will be from the Plum Creek Presbyterian Church, 550 Center-New Texas Rd., Pittsburgh, PA 15239 at 12:30 PM on Saturday, May 16. Anyone attending the service should go directly to the church. Memorial contributions may be made either to the Presbyterian Church of Plum Creek or Theta Chi Fraternity, Howard R. Alter, Jr. Memorial Fund, 3330 Founders Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46268 Burial will follow in Plum Creek Cemetery.

Daily Collegian Story - F.L.I.C.K.S. 2009

Ultimate Frisbee games draw crowds, benefit charity

April 6, 2009 - reprinted from the Daily Collegian

Diving for Frisbees while dancing to music, about 200 students took advantage of the sunny weather Sunday by participating in the inaugural Theta Chi FLICKS Ultimate Frisbee Tournament.

The tournament gave 20 teams the opportunity to compete against one another throughout the day in double-elimination bracket rounds.

Jason Chottiner (senior-energy, business and finance management), who helped organize the event, said it raised more than $800 for the Pennsylvania Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA).

"It's kind of like a big brother program which gives foster children a voice in court," he said. Chottiner said Theta Chi's pledge class ran the event.

"We have a soccer tournament in the fall called KICKS, so this was just named FLICKS as an easier thing to remember," he said. "This is our new member class's --pledge class if you will -- project for the semester, so they are running this."

Teams competed on six available intramural fields behind Park Avenue, with two 12-minute halves between each game.

The tournament was open to all student organizations, with participants ranging from fraternities and student clubs to high school students.

Several teams consisted of both men and women, with a total of eight players allowed per team, but only five playing on the field.

Jeff Motter, a senior at State College Area High School, said he heard about the event through a friend and gathered a group of his friends to play.

"We like to play pick-up games here and there and this came up," he said. "It's a very friendly atmosphere, well-spirited along with some friendly competition, and it's all for a good cause.

Jessica Serra (senior-material sciences and engineering) said her team was out to participate and enjoy the weather.

"It's a gorgeous day and I'm ready to go outside and run around. I think it's a great turnout, with 20 teams showing up," she said.

Theta Chi fraternity members provided a range of different music for the participants to enjoy along with food donated by various sponsors.

Other members showed their support by participating in the tournament.

"I came out to support the new members, this is their philanthropy, and also I love playing ultimate Frisbee," said Theta Chi member Mike Cronin (junior-geographical science and civil engineering). "With the 20 teams here, I think it's a superb outing."

Daily Collegian Story - Groups search for clues in hunt

By Alison Hoachlander - Collegian Staff Writer as Printed in the Daily Collegian on October 16, 2008

Groups search for clues in hunt

James Patterson was prepared to travel wherever necessary, even "under the sea," for the Nittany Pursit scavenger hunt Wednesday night.

He and his team of five were just one of the 43 groups that participated in the campus-wide scavenger hunt.

Patterson (senior-energy, business and finance), part of the Theta Chi fraternity and Omega Phi Alpha sorority team, dressed in all red in an effort to resemble Sebastian from The Little Mermaid while his female counterparts wore sports bras and green spandex to imitate Ariel.

Zach Binder (senior-mechanical engineering) and Jared Case (junior-public relations) dressed like sailors as their part in the group's theme.

Dressing in costumes that corresponded to their Homecoming theme earned group members extra spirit points for their organizations, Patterson said.

Though his team may have looked free-spirited in dress, they took the competition very seriously, he said.

"Our strategy is to keep a solid pace, encourage each other and run fast," Patterson said while he, Binder and Case stretched before their scheduled race.

Participating groups were each given a timeslot, which were in three-minute increments, said Special Events Overall Chairman Fran Roach. There were six stops along the way with activities at each stop, he said.

"Groups are given points based on how well they do at the activities and that gets put into their overall score," Roach said.

Though teams were given either a blue or white route to follow, each set of clues led participants to the same six locations: Osmond Lab, Rec Hall, Henderson Building, Pattee and Paterno libraries, the Berkey Creamery, and the Pollock quad.

Activities included a balloon toss, Homecoming king and queen trivia, an obstacle course and "no alcohol involved" dizzy bat, said Nittany Pursuit Captain Lindsay Jenkins.

There was also "Soak it up," an activity modeled after a game from Nickelodeon's Double Dare, she said.

Most of the 43 groups involved were pairs, so roughly 80 organizations were involved in the scavenger hunt, Roach said.

"A lot of people think that homecoming is just for the greeks, but it's Penn State Homecoming, not 'IFC Homecoming,' " he said. "Any organization could participate."

Scores for Nittany Pursuit were based on both times and total points earned during the event, Roach said.

Club cross country was declared the winner with the quickest time of 26 minutes.

Four teams were disqualified for taking the bus, Roach said.