AJ Bobby preforms Ingrid Michelson’s “Afterlife" at the 2016 THON Talent Show with his sisters, Alexis and Annabelle, and Theta Chi brothers Kevin DiGuiseppe, Andrew Sie, Neel Parikh and Patrick O'Brien and Tapestry.
THON 2015 - Omega Chapter Contributes in Fight Against Pediatric Cancers
Over the years, Theta Chi brothers have built reputations as resilient dancers at the grueling, two-day dance marathon known as THON. And as the annual 46-hour, no-sleeping, no-sitting dance marathon came to a wrap in February, Theta Chi’s Sam Kulp was still standing.
Chosen as Omega Chapter’s dancer, Kulp, along with A.J. Bobby, his sisters and with the support of the rest of the brothers, THON staff and Tapestry Dance Company helped raise $53,284.51 for the Four Diamonds Fund.
In total, nine brothers lent helping hands on THON committees. They were: Ryan Campbell, Rules and Regulations; Sam Shively, Public Relations Captain; Alejandro Buxo, OPPerations LT; Stephen Sanford, OPPerations; Sam Kulp, Communications, Faculty and Staff Outreach; Ryan Gattoni, Rules and Regulations Event Safety; Frank Donato, Rules and Regulations; John Lin, OPPerations Canning Coordinator; and Joe Saylor, Dancer Relations Theme Hour Chair.
Overall, THON was a massive success again as $13,026,653.23 was raised for the Four Diamonds Fund in the ongoing effort to help
Congrats to everyone for all your time, effort and hard work!
Work Weekend - Annual Cleanup Yields Results
There’s something about a fresh pile of mulch that signifies a job well done.
It also makes red bricks pop. Take a drive down South Allen Street and see for yourself. There, Theta Chi’s stately manor got an exterior facelift and interior scrub- down in mid-April thanks to a handful of brothers who picked up shovels and rakes and turned in a weekend’s worth of work to improve the property’s overall aesthetic.
Blessed with good weather – temperatures reached into the 60s and the sun provided plenty of work light – brothers tackled numerous outdoor chores. At 9 a.m., brothers donned their work attire – most wore sweats and hoodies while others opted for the more utilitarian bib overalls – and split into groups. Soon thereafter, the rakes and shovels could be heard scraping and clawing at the earth over the next several hours.
Outside work included a spring cleaning of the planting beds and any remaining leaves and debris from the fall were removed from the side lot. Four yards of mulch was then spread over the planting beds. The side porch was cleaned and organized, sunken paving bricks were repaired and all trash and old bikes were removed.
Inside work was concentrated on the first floor. The living room and library carpets were cleaned. The mail room and coat room were cleaned and re-organized removing all old accumulation of lost coats, unclaimed mail and other miscellaneous clutter. A few other small repairs were completed, including the re-installation of some doorway trim that had fallen off.
Cleanup efforts continued into the week as the actives fully tidied up the first floor in preparation for Parent’s Weekend and Blue-White Weekend.
Thank you to all who participated on Saturday, with a special thank you to Brothers John McElwee ’47, Rich Maltz ’90, James Stuhltrager ’89 and Jeff Damcott ’91 for their donations.
Capital Renovations Update - Work Ongoing at Chapter House With Plenty More to Be Done
By Jeff Damcott '91
The renovations at the chapter house are ongoing as the Board continues to work toward improving the living conditions for the actives.
We anticipate the completion of some of the smaller projects in the architectural review this summer. The first item is the refinishing of the bar floor. Timing logistics prevented us from completing this between semesters, but we will now be able to use the summer house closure to have a commercial floor installed.
The bathroom off of the laundry room in the basement will receive an aesthetic facelift. Estimates are being gathered to repair and repaint the cornice, moldings and trim on the exterior of the house. The exterior painting project could be finished this summer, but there is still much work to be done and your donations will only help.
The following long-term tasks still need to be completed:
- Replace stair landing French door
- Replace and upgrade electrical systems in the basement, first and second floors
- Renovate all second floor bedrooms
- Repair/replace roof structure over kitchen door
- Renovate first floor
- Convert bedroom off the pool room to meet ADA requirements
- Repair and refinish all floors and staircases
- Achieve full ADA compliance
Also this summer, the board will take inventory of the house. Using the results, we will plan to replace some of the equipment inside the house as some of it is aging.
Omega Chapter has invested close to $100,000 in just the past three years. We are continuing to work on a plan to make these needed repairs in a cost-efficient manner. The scope of a few of the items and the code requirements make this a challenge. Your continued support is greatly appreciated and crucial to our longevity at Penn State.
Greek Week - Omega Chapter Rises to the Top
The quad of Theta Chi, Sigma Kappa, Alpha Tau Omega and Delta Lambda Phi came in first place in the 2015 Greek Week competition. They received a $500 donation to GI Theta Chi program for their efforts.
Brother Sean Curry competed in the Greek Pageant as one of the five selected Fraternity representatives.
The chapter came in second place in the Greek Week Volleyball tournament and also participated in the kickball tournament.
Congrats to the brothers on their hard work!
Richard L. Hill ’59 - I am going on a cruise of the Hawaiian Islands in August.
Richard R. Jones ’60 - I am back working for the state of Connecticut in environmental protection-boating education. I arrange classes and instructors teaching boating safety. I am waiting for warm weather to captain launches for the Mystic Seaport Museum. I am an active Lions Club president, Power Squadron treasurer and my weekends are spent driving to duck decoy shows along the East Coast and meeting up with Brothers Larry Reader ’57 and John Coleman ’61. Other than that, I am just taking it easy.
Thomas W. Hankey ’65 - I got married in March to Linda Young. We reside at my house in Chester, Va. I am a 1965 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and will be attending the 50th anniversary in June.
Gregory L. Schlegel ’73 - Still going strong!
I’m a principal with a computer software company doing complex modeling and the founder of The Supply Chain Risk Management Consortium providing services to mitigate and manage risk.
I also teach risk management in two MBA university programs at Lehigh and Villanova. I still do a lot of global travel. I’m actually still utilizing many of the methodologies acquired in QBA and Comp Sci. (now called Supply Chain) at State! I just published my first book: Supply Chain Risk Management: An Emerging Discipline and have been happily married for 35 years to Philly sweetheart, Mariann.
Paul D. Faircloth ’81 - As I get older, the milestones keep flying by. My lovely wife Keri and I will celebrate our 29th wedding anniversary in April. I still marvel that she’s put up with me all this time! We are coming up with ideas for our next “just the two of us” excursion.
The clan is all doing well. Nick is 24 and in Staunton, Va., for the time being growing an organic garden for the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind. The work is the second part of a two-year fellowship with the Allegheny Mountain Institute.
Chris is in his junior year at the University of Delaware working on a mechanical engineering degree and is a section leader in the Blue Hen Marching Band. I sheepishly admit that I haven’t seen the Blue Band for a number of years but my brother-in-law has seen both and gives great props to the Blue Hens. Their show this fall was the music from “Tommy”.
Hannah is a high school junior beginning to look seriously at colleges. She’s heavily involved with the theater program at Cape Henlopen High School. She’s also been very involved with the Conference Council on Youth Ministries, planning and participating in a three-day program for UM Youth that attracts 4,000 students each year.
Michael Crawford ’07 - I’m employed at Clansburg Medical Associates.
David G. Hartwich ’09 - I got married to Jesse, my high school sweetheart in November. We live in Bridgeville, Pa. Jesse works for Dick’s Sporting Goods as a copywriter in the product development department. I am working as a research engineer at Harbison Walker International.
John T. Boston ’14 - I will be taking on a greater role as a sales representative for Dow AgroSciences and I am moving from South Dakota to Rochester, N.Y. to take over an open sales territory.
What have you been up to lately? Update brothers on your status or spread some news by sending your updates to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
2015 Spring Initiates
We are proud to announce the following young men have been initiated into the brotherhood of Theta Chi. Congratulations to:
- Matt Birkbeck
- Tim Gregory
- Steve Hatten
- Neel Parikh
- Oduwa Pat-Osagie
- Milton Rahman
- Giovanni Rindone
- Chris Silverwood
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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).