2017 – 2018
Year in Review
Alpha Rho Brothers and Associates,
Today we mark the 3rd Anniversary of the restructuring of the Alpha Rho Alumni Chapter in 2015. As is tradition, I am writing you to give a “State of the Chapter” to highlight some of the accomplishments of the past year and to look forward to next year and beyond.
The Student Chapter:
It’s hard to believe where we’ve come from and what we have been able to accomplish in 3 short years. The Spring of 2015 will long be remembered as the darkest day in Alpha Rho’s history. But in retrospect, the decision we made to have our Charter pulled was the best one we could have made. We can be proud that our actions were proactive and truly a model of how Alumni, the National Staff and University Greek Life offices can partner together to force positive change.
This past year we petitioned our National Staff and WVU to recolonize and begin our work towards Rechartering. This journey brought us into contact with National Staff members Brandon Belote, James Maloney, Connor Burk and Parker Begale. These Brothers were eager to assist because of the commitment we showed in wanting our Student Chapter returned to campus. We were also fortunate to have had the timing of a new Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life at WVU. Dr. Matthew Richardson has become an incredible voice of change on campus and recognized our commitment to be an Ideal Chapter. With his help and support, we were able to begin the process of recolonization in the Spring of this year.
The team of Connor Burk and Parker Begale executed a flawless expansion plan that identified and extended bids to over 70 new Associate Members who formed the nucleus of our new Student Chapter. We were stunned by the quality of men that were recruited. We believe that all these men embody the characteristics we form our fraternal bonds as expressed in the Student’s Creed. They share an understanding of who we are, where we came from as a Chapter and have shown a true desire to attain what we already have, in our Ritual of Initiation. We should all be excited about the future of our Student Chapter on campus.
2019 Rechartering/ 40th Anniversary of 1978 Rechartering:
Looking forward, this fall will mark the 40th Anniversary of the 1978 Rechartering of Alpha Rho after our Chapter went dormant at the beginning of World War II. As in years past, we will mark this occasion by coming together in Morgantown to celebrate. Rather than celebrate this during 2018, the Board of Directors decided to delay the weekend until next April when we will jointly celebrate the 1978 Rechartering and the Rechartering of our new Student Chapter.
The current Associate Members have work to do to fulfill the requirements necessary to gain the Charter back, but given the quality of our students and the leadership team they elected, we’re confident this will take place. We are expecting close to 200 members and guests and hope you will join us for this momentous occasion.
Alumni Chapter Operations:
The Board of Directors is comprised of dedicated Brothers who selflessly give their time for the sole purpose of giving all of us the opportunity to continue the Lifetime Journey in Pi Kappa Phi. Each year we set out to achieve some lofty goals that we believe will help us achieve our mission.
Our focus this year was to build on the successes of the prior years and create a foundation for the new Student Chapter by creating, training and staffing the Council of Advisors. We were successful in achieving all of these goals.
We have continued to hold monthly conference calls for the Board of Directors to make sure that we are communicating and performing at our best. These meetings are held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month and are open to any Member who wishes to join us. This past year, our work allowed us to execute our two Morgantown events- Homecoming and Spring Alumni Weekend. Both of these weekends were tremendously successful as evidenced by the numbers of Brothers who came back to Morgantown to be with us. Our Pittsburgh, Charlotte and Charleston Regions also had events during the year and we will continue to bring events in places where we have a concentration of Alumni living.
Financially, we finished the year able to meet our obligations and perform the tasks we set out to. We launched another Contribution Campaign this past year to prepare ourselves for the future. The Brothers who gave were extremely generous and we are thankful for this. However, our campaign fell almost $10,000 short of what we asked for. Less than 5% of our 600+ members participated in the campaign. And while we understand that not everyone is in a position or has the inclination to provide financial assistance, we hope that more of our Alumni will step up in the future. The budget and finances are steadfastly maintained by our CFO Patrick Folio. His efforts are greatly appreciated and allow us to operate with efficiency and transparency.
We have done our best to keep you informed throughout the year. We hope that you have enjoyed the email communications, newsletters and our social media posts. Our goal is to make sure you’re aware of what we’re doing at all times. Our Chief Information and Communications officers, Jason Hyett and John George do a tremendous job with this aspect of our operations. Going forward, we’ll continue to provide consistent information that will allow you to participate in our events when you can.
This past year, we completed the written history of Alpha Rho. This was a monumental undertaking that was the responsibility of our Historian, Patrick Farley. His work is fascinating and provides us with a comprehensive look at our Chapter from the 1920’s through today. This project is an unending task that will be continually updated. Each successive Student Chapter Archon will contribute annually to be sure we’re capturing and preserving the important milestones for future generations. This document can be found on our website and we hope you’ll spend a few minutes reading it.
Our future certainly looks bright. We have positioned ourselves and our new associates to thrive this year and beyond. The Board of Directors will continue our work and help our Housing Corporation, Council of Advisors and Associate/ Student Chapter where we can.
This fall, Alpha Rho’s “Branches” (AC, Housing Corp, Council of Advisors, and Student Chapter) will convene our Strategic Planning Committee to set our broad-based goals over the next five years and map out how each branch will accomplish them. The results of this “Strategic Plan” will be released during the Rechartering/ 40th Rechartering Celebration weekend next April.
We will once again host our Homecoming event this fall and expect a good turnout as usual. Be on the lookout for the details later this week. However, we are focusing most of our event resources on the Rechartering/ 40th Rechartering Celebration in Morgantown next April. As was mentioned above, we’re expecting close to 200 members and guests. This will be our largest and most important event in our history. You will not want to miss this opportunity to look back at over these 40 years while celebrating our return to campus. The facility we’re using to host the event is great and the activities for the weekend will be incredible. I encourage you to do all you can to be there. We will begin to provide you with the details in the coming days. We have negotiated a price break on room prices for early registrations. Please keep your eyes open for the coming communications and please join us.
It has been an honor and privilege to lead our Alumni Chapter this past year and I look forward to the challenges we face this year and beyond. You have a dedicated group of Brothers who sit on your Board of Directors that understand that Pi Kappa Phi wasn’t just a four year “thing” they did in college. I’m grateful for their hard work and sacrifices. Each of them continues to serve Alpha Rho in order to give you the opportunity to continue this lifetime journey in Pi Kappa Phi. We exist so that we can continually strive to become the Ideal Chapter. If there is anything we can do to enhance your experience, we welcome your feedback.
In the Bonds of Brotherhood,
Tom Begley- AP 284
President & CEO
Alpha Rho Alumni Chapter