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President’s Letter

My fellow Brothers,

I hope this letter finds you all doing well and anticipating the arrival of Spring and warmer weather.  I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself, I graduated in 1991 with a degree in Hotel Restaurant Management.  I was very involved in our chapter as an undergraduate holding positions of house manager, and social chairman, and many others.  I have been part of our Alumni Board for the past 7 years, and I have come to realize how much Delta Upsilon prepared me for the challenges I have faced in life, and the wisdom gained along the way.

Fraternities at Penn State are currently at a crossroads between what was, and what needs to be.  There is a new path being forged, one that is focused on the ideals of brotherhood and service. While those may be new traits for other chapters, they are cornerstones of ours.  Greek life at Penn State has been challenged through events over the past year that I am sure we all have seen on television. Despite this there is an appetite and desire by the students to be part of this change in the fraternities, so much so that over 800 undergraduates signed up to rush a fraternity this spring, and over 400 attended events at Delta Upsilon this past week !!

The undergraduate brothers have weathered a tough 13 months. In November 2017 Penn State decided to not recognize Delta Upsilon based on some poor choices by a small percentage of the brotherhood.  The Chapter House was shuttered for the Spring and the Alumni Board worked to sign on boarders to stay in the house on short notice, to help lessen the impact financially (more on this shortly).  The brothers persisted in their desire to remain part of the Delta Upsilon organization and successfully completed a re-organization process that has been approved by Delta Upsilon HQ as well as Penn State, and so beginning this Spring we will have 7 brothers moving back into the house, and plan to have 25 living in the house in Fall 2019

Having the chapter closed severely cut into our financial reserves, and as we all know the house and it’s physical upkeep are a constant battle.  Most recently we learned that the boiler will need to be replaced to the tune of $35,000 but one that we cannot scrimp on given the severe weather conditions we have seen.  So as part of our upcoming year there will be a campaign put into place to raise money for not only the boiler, but the other repairs that we anticipate coming due as we move through the years. I hope you all will consider donating to this cause as it will be imperative to preserving the viability of the physical house for years to come.

I have a very strong Board of Directors, one that is tenured and filled with wisdom and experience. I believe through our combined efforts we can continue to move our chapter in a direction that will be well respected at Penn State, and provide the environment where men of strong character and leaders are formed.  However, our board cannot do all the lifting themselves.  I am hoping that many of you will find the time to volunteer or participate in the events we have scheduled for the upcoming year. My goal is that we continue to be engaged with our alumni and our undergraduates through events during and outside the school year.  I plan to set up viewing parties for football games this fall, a work weekend at the house over the summer, and most importantly a Delta Upsilon Weekend this Spring providing the opportunity to reconnect with fellow brothers both new and from past years May 17-19th.  These will all require support, and I look forward to working with those that are so moved to volunteer.

In closing the Chapter is regaining its footing at Penn State, and building a foundation for the future. I hope I can count on the generosity and wisdom of our Alumni to help see this to fruition.

Fraternally,

Gerrit van Burk ‘91

 

 

 

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