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WOW....What a great reunion had by all.

The chapter house was open for its first all active and alumni reunion event since our Fall 2017-Spring 2018 school year closure.  Feedback has been resoundingly positive from our guests that had the opportunity to attend.  We had over 150 attendees including all actives brothers, 23 potential new members, alumni, their wives, and our guests from TKE HQ and PSU.  The renovated public areas of the house on display showed off our new dining room tables, light fixtures on first floor, a freshly painted common-area throughout the 18,000 square foot house, updated carpeting, a tiled brother’s kitchen service area, refinished wood floors, and landscape refurbishments.  Also, our current potential new member’s newly built seating bench captured everyone's attention in the rear patio.  Our actives did a fantastic job in preparing the house for the alumni guests.   We would like to give a special thanks to our house Chef, Mike, for the wonderful meal and Pi Chapter Alumni Association President, Andrew Tomaskevitch, for donating $600 toward food and refreshment costs for the event.

TKE cake on display in the renovated and newly named Bower Dining Room prior to being devoured.


Around 3:00 PM, all gathered to hear from our guest speakers.  First to talk was Pete Dawson, TKE Regional and Alumni director who explained TKE national's newly enacted prohibition on hard alcohol in all TKE chapter properties as of January 1, 2019.  Beer and wine of 8% or less is allowed on premises.  He explained how all the other fraternities who are in the national fraternity association are imposing this same ruling on their member chapter houses beginning Fall of 2019.  He also informed those present of the recent elimination of over 40 TKE chapter houses for numerous violation of TKE standards, requirements, ethics, and financial obligations.  


Shane McClure, Pete's Assistant Director gave an award to Pi Chapter known as a "TKE Certificate of Merit" for all of the chapter's effort and courage to close the house for one year; it demonstrates the challenges to remain active during the closure, and its rejuvenated programs that help focus around the host of changes needed to move fraternity into the future. Congratulations were in order and well-deserved.


Vice President of Student Affairs at Penn State, Damon Sims, followed Pete with a recap of all the events leading to the major changes in regulations governing Greek organizations.  Vice President Sims commended Pi TKE for its decision to close the house and refocus the membership.  He acknowledged that act as one of the most courageous and worthwhile success stories for a Penn State fraternity.  Damon spoke firmly and openly about what needs to be done with the Greek system at Penn State and expressed he and the university's appreciation for the example Pi-TKE has set for all the other Greek organizations.  Damon's visit and tour of our chapter house was his first to the house.   In closing Damon delivered a wonderfully, truthful, and light-hearted side comment: "TKE is one house I can visit and not feel like I need a shower after leaving it".  


Christopher Humza '20, past Prytanis, Harvey Smith '21, current Prytanis, and Jeff Bower '69, board member, were then called upon to talk collectively about how the chapter has survived and changed with all the new rules and extensive administrative regulations.  No one got up through all the presentations to leave.  Each speaker was well received for their insightful dialogue.


Jim Rummell '76 was asked to come forward by event moderator Tom Becker '69 to present his comments and history of the ups and downs of our chapter.  He acknowledged the current members on being only the second group to successfully occupy the house with no one ever previously living in the house.  The first group was brought in at the construction of the present house back in the 1920s.  Jim weaved his talk into the planned surprise presentation honouring Jeff Bower '69 with a bronze plaque designating the dining room, the “Jeffrey M. Bower Dining Room” for being a "Dedicated Leader and Advisor".  We truly surprised Jeff; he had no idea of the board's decision to honour him.  All present were told of Jeff's many professional, civic, personal, and TKE accomplishments resulting in a well-deserved round of applause and congratulations.


The event was a huge success with everyone enjoying the day. It was a great memory to hold being greeted by the actives, touring the house, getting the latest information on the fraternity system, honouring Jeff Bower, and thoroughly enjoying each other’s company.   If you were not there, you missed a "TOP TKE" event.  

Scott Ulrich '74, Lancaster, PA;  Alan Bittinger '75, Hanover, PA;  and Scott's wife, Louise look at Orchid Ball photos from the 70's in the Larry Foster '48 Library.



Dave Goss '69, Pittsburgh, PA, and John Denman '70, Wheaton, IL.  Dave and John catching up on the past at the March 30 reunion.  They are standing at the base of the main stair in the foyer.  Dave repaired and replaced the strain glass windows and doors in the dining room during the earlier house major renovations of 2012-2013. 

Ryan Hayes '22 and John Hayes '89 of McDonald, PA, father and son, take the opportunity for a photo in front of the new TKE-PSU backdrop at the March 30 reunion.

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