Year in Review
Alpha Rho Brothers,
As our Alpha Rho Alumni Chapter (APAC) completes its first year under the new APAC Constitution and Bylaws (ratified August 15, 2015), I am sharing with you some of the highlights of the past year and giving you a “State of the Chapter” update.
Alpha Rho Undergraduate Chapter
Given what took place with our undergraduate chapter in the months prior to August 2015, there were many reasons to be skeptical of Alpha Rho’s future. For the first time since 1977, we had no presence on the WVU campus and our home was being leased to another fraternity. Many of our Alumni, University officials and Pi Kappa Phi staff members questioned where exactly we were headed. Did we even have a future?
Writing to you today, I am happy to say that without question Alpha Rho is strong and our undergraduate Chapter has a very bright future. This past year will be remembered as erasing any doubt about the APAC’s ability to accomplish what we set out to do; preserve our undergraduate chapter. Nothing the APAC did was overly complicated, but our efforts were essential in building a foundation for Alpha Rho’s success moving forward.
The Second Re-Chartering
Before we started making plans for the re-chartering of our undergraduate chapter, we needed to have a good understanding of the factors that led to the Charter being revoked. A Strategic Planning Committee was formed to evaluate the reasons we lost the Charter and provide recommendations to prevent this from happening again. The Committee found seven (7) specific factors that led to the demise of the Chapter and are currently in the process of completing the Committee’s recommendations. We believe that completing the recommendations will serve as the basis to provide informed advice to our future Brothers.
Alpha Rho Alumni
We were proud to host two very successful events in Morgantown this past year. More than 100 Alumni attended these events; some alumni haven’t been to an Alpha Rho or Pi Kapp event since graduation! We also had several regional events held in areas with a high concentration of Alpha Rho Alumni: 1) The Greater NY City region, 2) the Baltimore/DC/Northern Virginia and Maryland Region, 3) the Pittsburgh Region, and 4) the Charleston WV Region. All these events were attended by many of our members.
We rebranded ourselves and launched a consistent communications strategy designed to keep all of our members up to date about what we’re doing as a Chapter. Our social media presence (Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/wvuapac/ ; Twitter & Instagram @WVUPiKapp) along with email and traditional mail, will allow us to deliver news about our Chapter and Fraternity. Our redesigned website http://www.wvupikapp.org has all the information you need to stay current on events, the business of the APAC Board of Directors, Pi Kappa Phi National Fraternity and the WVU Greek system.
Pi Kappa Phi National Philanthropy
The APAC proudly contributed $1,000 to The Ability Experience (http://www.abilityexperience.org)
and raised more money to provide meals to the Journey of Hope North Team in Pittsburgh PA, as well as the Journey of Hope Trans-America Team that stopped in Charleston WV. One of our core values is that we will always support our national philanthropy through contributions and volunteer work.
Alpha Rho History Project
Another important project we began this year is compiling a complete written history of Alpha Rho. This has turned out to be an undertaking that is larger in scope then any of us thought it would be when we began. But so far, what has been uncovered has been nothing short of amazing. When it’s completed, it will be a source of immeasurable pride for all of us to share.
Comprehensive Capital Campaign
Finally, we were able to successfully launch a comprehensive capital campaign that is designed to support our plans for the next several years. Through the generosity of close to 30 of our members, we were able to raise close to $15,000 this past year. These funds will be used to finance required event participation like Supreme Chapter. We will also use these funds to meet our commitment to support the Ability Experience. In addition to this, we have plans to support our rechartering efforts and will do so at considerable expense. We will be sending our new Chapter Advisor and his Board of Alumni Advisors to train with the National Staff. We will be purchasing all new ritual equipment. And we will be providing support for alumni and staff who will come to WVU to recruit and educate our new associate members.
All of our efforts this year did not go unnoticed. We have received wonderful feedback from the WVU administration, including the new Greek Advisor, Dr. Roy Baker. The University knows we are committed to helping make the Greek system the envy of other campuses. This commitment will help us when we are ready to bring back our Student Chapter.
Our best achievement thus far occurred at the 55th Supreme Chapter in Austin TX this past July, when the APAC was recognized as the Pi Kappa Phi Alumni Chapter of the Year in front of 200 Alumni and Staff members.
Moving Toward the Future
Next year we will build on the successes of this past year. We will surpass the number of Alumni who attended our events last year. We will be aggressive (yet considerate) with our solicitation for financial campaign contributions. Our goal is to be named Alumni Chapter of the Year for a second year in a row during the Summer Alumni Weekend in San Diego 2017.
We do all of this because of our desire to continue the lifetime journey we all began in Morgantown when we took the Oath of Membership. We encourage you to join us this year at one of our many events.
Thank you for allowing me the privilege of leading this Alumni Chapter. It’s an honor to serve all of you in Brotherhood.
Yours in Pi Kappa Phi,
Tom Begley, AP284
President and Chief Executive Officer
Alpha Rho Alumni Chapter