2016 – 2017
Year in Review
As we conclude the second year of operation since officially reorganizing in 2015, I’m pleased to report to the State of the Chapter is healthy and we have reason to be very optimistic for our future.
The Alumni Chapter has continued to operate with great effectiveness. Monthly Board of Directors meetings are held to conduct Chapter Business. We held one in-person Alumni Chapter meeting in Morgantown during the Spring Alumni Weekend this past April. Our revenue for the year exceeded $7,000 and expenses were roughly $10,000. Each monthly conference call meeting is recorded and posted to our website along with the written minutes so that our members have access to all of our proceedings. All meetings are held in accordance with the Alpha Rho Alumni Chapter Constitution and Bylaws. We are a fully recognized Alumni Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi and operate in full compliance with Supreme Law.
2016-17 was a year of which we can all be proud. After being recognized as the Alumni Chapter of the year for 2015-16, we had an ambitious plan to improve on our accomplishments. We set several specific objectives and challenging projects. The first was to provide more opportunities to gather as Brothers in Morgantown as well as in the communities where we have large concentrations of members. To that end, we set out to really enhance the events we held in Morgantown. Our fall event, Homecoming Weekend 2016, saw a dramatic increase in attendance from the prior year. We held several gatherings over two days and the feedback we received was very positive. Our April 2017 Spring Alumni Weekend was also very well attended. It included several shared meals, our annual Chapter meeting, and an Ability Experience fundraising event. We also had several events held in the various Regions we have concentrations of members. Pittsburgh, Baltimore/DC, Greater New York/New Jersey, Charleston, WV and our newest Region in Charlotte, NC. Some of these Regions were also instrumental in providing support to the Journey of Hope teams traveling through on their way to Washington, DC. Anyone who had interaction with these Journey of Hope Brothers were reminded of the true meaning of Brotherhood.
We also completed and released the final recommendations of the Strategic Planning Committee. In 2015 we formed this committee and gave it the dual tasks of finding the reasons we lost our Undergraduate Chapter Charter followed by providing recommendations that we could implement to reduce the chances of ever having a loss of our Charter occur again. In 2016 we released seven factors instrumental to the demise of our Student Chapter. This past April 2017, the committee released the organizational recommendations to the Alumni Chapter. We are very proud of this accomplishment and have been commended by the National Fraternity for the scope and quality of the Strategic Planning Committee. We now have the framework to implement processes into the greater organization that will have a lasting impact.
The next project on which we worked is getting the written history of Alpha Rho compiled and written, a project now known as the Alpha Rho Living History Document This is something that has never been accomplished for our Chapter. This work was undertaken by our Historian, and lowest living AP number, Patrick Farley AP67. What he was able to uncover and document is staggering. His work was released during Spring Alumni Weekend where he recounted some of the previously unknown facts from the 1920’s and 30’s. Those that were present were treated to a night of fascinating stories. Along with the written history, the project has also focused on listing Executive Council members from each year, significant awards won by Alpha Rho and milestones reached through the years. This is a living document and the project will be ongoing. Under our new Constitution and Bylaws, every five years a committee made up of each of the most recent Student Chapter Archons will gather to memorialize in writing the work of the Chapter as they add information to our Living History Document. This will ensure that no period of our history will be forgotten. We’re very proud of the work that Brother Farley is performing for us on this ambitious project.
Beyond these achievements we are satisfied that we accomplished our mission to provide an opportunity for our members to continue the lifetime journey that began in our Ritual of Initiation. We also continue to lay the foundation for the return of our Student Chapter. The strong commitment that has been made by the Board of Directors, our financially contributing members, and by every Member in good standing has put Alpha Rho at West Virginia University back on solid footing, poised for even greater success.
For our accomplishments in 2016-17, we were awarded the Alumni Chapter Excellence in Engagement Award. This award recognizes the Alumni Chapter who regularly exceeds or excels beyond the expectations of a group of volunteers. In addition to the fundamentals of alumni engagement, this Alumni Chapter provides both an active, enriching experience for its alumni as well as support for their student chapter and/or their community. We are honored to be recognized for our work.
We will continue to work towards the goals of engaging you, our members, in hopes of seeing even greater participation in our events. We are also moving forward with plans to reorganize the Student Chapter in the not-too-distant future. Our base of volunteers is growing and the division of labor allows for us to do great things.
We have seen an increase in members who have committed to helping us financially at the highest levels. We added two members this past year to the Black Diamond Society which is comprised of members who donated $1,500 or more. We have an operational budget in the next two years that exceeds $25,000. Income for this budget requires support from a greater number of our members. We will be calling on everyone to help us achieve our goals.
The events we have scheduled in Morgantown and in our Regions will be bigger and better than in years past. Our Homecoming Event 2017 will provide fun and exciting events on Friday evening and feature a professionally catered tailgate on Saturday to provide our members the best pre- and post-game experience possible. Our Spring Alumni Weekend 2018 will also build on the successful events of the past two years. Additionally, we will be providing several opportunities for our members and their families to participate in volunteer events with The Ability Experience (Formerly known as Project Push and also as Push America) in Morgantown and in our Regions.
We have done everything we know how to make it easy for our members to participate in one or more of our events. Even if it has been years since you have seen any of your Brothers or participated in something with Alpha Rho or Pi Kappa Phi, we welcome you to be a part of the excitement.
On behalf of the Alpha Rho Alumni Chapter Board of Directors, I pledge to you that we will continue to work hard to become The Ideal Chapter and make you even more Proud to Be a Pi Kapp!
In the Bonds of Brotherhood,
Tom Begley, AP284
President and CEO