Founders Day and New DU Brothers- A Wonderful Time For All

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Founders Day and New DU Brothers- A Wonderful Time For AllIn accordance with our By-Laws, our annual meeting of the members of the Alumni Association is held during the weekend of the PSU Blue/White football inter-squad scrimmage.  On Saturday, April 22, our meeting (Act I) was called to order at 9:38 AM at the Chapter house, which was immediately prior to our Founders Day celebration.  In addition to the customary corporate housekeeping, most of our meeting revolved around electing four directors to the expiring positions on our Board. A Brochure showing the events of the day can be found HERE

Several candidates were interested and duly nominated.  There was spirited debate prior to the vote.  After a close tally, the following brothers were elected to the board with terms to expire in 2020:  Brothers Gerrit van Burk ’91,
Dave Merenda ’77,
Ray Dinsmore ’78 and Vin Tedesco ’64.  We have this meeting every year, and your attendance and participation in 2018 is encouraged.

Founders Day 2017 Report                                                     

I’m happy to report that our Founders Day celebration on Saturday, April 22, was a success.  We commenced the festivities immediately following the annual meeting of our Alumni Membership.  This was Act II of our three-Act festivities.  In preparation the week before, we had the first floor of our Chapter house professionally cleaned, including the party room and kitchen.  The place looked great.  Our fabulous caterer (FratFix) rented tables, chairs, linens, plates, etc., which were attractively set up in the party room and dining room.  In attendance were 21 Alums, the undergraduate Brothers, 14 pledge initiates, their families and other guests.  We had a great menu, including carving stations, steamer tables and all the fixins’.  It went over really well.

We were honored to recognize with our Founders Day Award three Brothers from DU Class of ’96, namely:  Brother Jason Cartwright, Brother Bryan Brockson and Brother Tom Arnold.  These DUs are now partners in the highly anticipated Locust Lane Craft Brewery, Malvern, PA.  Check out their web site at www.locustlanecraftbrewery.com.  Better yet, stop in for a tasting.  Brother Tom represented the trio and gave wonderful commentary on how their days at DU molded their life-long friendship and fostered their shared dreams to craft a great brew.  His remarks were current, lively and insightful, with a nod to his formative years at Penn State DU.  Our guests and families were impressed.  Thank you, Brothers.

Tom Arnold
Bryan Brockson
Jason Cartwright

Initiation of New DUs

Act III of our program was the Initiation of fourteen candidates as new DU Brothers.  The timing for this pledge class (now called Associate Members) afforded them a perhaps unique memory.  The party room was packed.  There were 14 Directors, 8 additional Alums, 40+ active UGs, 8-10 sets of parents and siblings of initiates and other guests.  We explained our open, non-secret Ceremony.  Our beloved DU songs were rendered loudly with enthusiasm and mostly in key.  Solemnity was observed.  Upon conclusion of the Ceremony, boisterous applause and cheering welcomed our new Brothers.  A reception line was formed, with DU Brothers proceeding first.  “Congratulation, my Brother.  Welcome. … Congratulation, my Brother.  Welcome…”  Over and over.  Then?  It was time to open the buffet.  Parents & siblings first.  Boy, the chow was grand!  These 14 DUs have a great memory to embellish to their/our Brothers that follow.  “When I was brotherized, there were a hundred people there.  And an upscale reception for us including a carving station manned by a chef in a high hat!”  The stories they will tell!

They should also say it was a “dry” event.  No booze, neither inside nor out.  And guess what?  Everybody had a blast.  It can be done.

Welcome to the DU Brothers initiated April 22, 2017

 

Pin #                      DU Brother

 

1805                       Louie Ayash

1806                       Drew Menninger

1807                       Paul Cakolli

1808                       Brian Govlick

1809                       Frankie Nardo

1810                       Danny Hondal

1811                       Ben Ames

1812                       Matt Hemsley

1813                       Chris Donnelly

1814                       Bryan Kavanagh

1815                       Max Kesner

1816                       Danny Matulula

1817                       Shubhy Patel

1818                       Nic Lozano

 

Conclusion

For various reasons—including the unavailability of any banquet rooms in the State College area welcoming fraternities—we held Founders Day at the Chapter house.  There were pros and cons.  But, I’m confident that the premises were ready and the content of our combined three-Act program was favorably perceived.  Due to the fallout from unfortunate events not involving DU, there are cultural changes affecting all Greek organizations.  We couldn’t get a banquet hall.  Public perception is not favorable.  DU is blessed with a large party room.  Some might say cursed?  Tides are changing.  We must adapt to the ebb and flow.

Speaking personally, our Board of Directors debated long & hard about this past annual meeting/Founders Day/Initiation event.  It was easy to say, “Just go dry.”  We worried about UG oversight, the disappointment of Alums, how to control legitimate adult consumption, whether anyone would attend, University/Borough/IFC/International expectations or investigations stemming therefrom.  Times being what they are, your Board made logistical decisions.

I’m not prone to sports analogies, but we called the play and executed.  We went “dry” for the event.  We posted laminated flyers to alums & guests around the house to that effect.  Our UGs cooperated fully.  There were definitely more vehicles parked on our lawn for the Blue/White game than Alumni in attendance at our events.  Who knows why?  It was an open, no fee invitation including recognitions, ceremony, chow and fun.

Bottom line for the April event?  It was totally “dry.”  If it mattered, I didn’t notice.  Everyone had a blast.  It can be done.

Your Board of Directors will hold a special meeting this Summer to “pow wow” the important issues we face immediately and for the long haul.  This is on the forefront due to the University responses to the dark assessments of Greek life, including the tragedy at the Beta house.  Cultural changes are in the wind.  We hope and intend to implement those changes as will be best suited to DUs viability and continuing presence at Penn State.  We will keep you posted.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve.

Fraternally,

Tim Finn, Alumni President

Class of ’75 (and proud of it!)

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