From the yearly archives: 2014

In case you just crawled out from under a rock, the 150th meeting of The Rivalry between Lafayette & Lehigh will take place this Saturday, November 22, at Yankee Stadium (game time 3:30PM). You can spot Rho Dekes around NYC at the following events:

Friday

3pm @ McSorleys, 15 East 7th Street: Informal gathering led by the 80’s-90’s Rho Dekes.

6-11pm @ American Museum of Natural History, Campaign Kickoff Celebration (By Invitation), Central Park West & 79th Street: Rho Dekes supporting the public launch of the College’s comprehensive campaign announcing the exciting vision for the future of Lafayette!

6-9pm @ Refinery Rooftop, 63 W 38th Street: Lafayette event that requires no RSVP, so a lot of people are meeting there as a starting point. One idea is to move on to Brewery Authority, right next to the Port Authority Bus Terminal at 300 W 40th Street, about a 10 minute walk. They have 90 taps, so plenty to choose from. http://www.beerauthoritynyc.com/home

Saturday

    Noon – 2:30pm @ Yankee Tavern, 72 E 161st St, Bronx, NY 10451: Steps from Yankee Stadium, we have a room reserved for a DKE “tailgate” before the game. $60 per person includes beers on tap (Yeungling, PBR, Bud and Bud Light); Buffet of garden salad with chicken, penne vodka, sliders and hot dogs.

    3:30pm The Game:

    Section 116 – 60 Young Alumni Rho Deke tickets

    Section 219 – Delta Sky Suite

    1 Section of the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar

    Lafayette College has a lot of information about events, transportation, game information, history of the rivalry, etc. available at http://www.lafayette.edu/lafayette-in-nyc/

 

Allentown, Pennsylvania was once a thriving economic hub for retail in the 1970s but fell victim to decades of economic decline. Businesses and people fled the downtown area for the suburbs and the results were predictably poor.

Those tough times are finally over. Allentown is a revitalized city home to flourishing new businesses and is currently the fastest growing city in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

DKE Brother J.B. Reilly ’83 is a driving force behind that revitalization. Reilly was featured in a recent article titled ‘Allentown bets big to shed its former image’ by Tommy Andres on Marketplace.org.

Reilly and his company, The City Center Management Company, are building the new arena for the Philadelphia Flyers’ minor league team, the Phantoms. The PPL Center also features a membership gym and a new Marriot Renaissance hotel.

Photo courtesy of The Morning Call

Photo courtesy of The Morning Call

“Not only did we see a financial opportunity,” Reilly said, “We saw a community development opportunity.”

“There will be 3,000 more people working here [in September] than there were a year ago. And for a city like Allentown, that’s just extraordinary.”

Brother Reilly is a shining example of the true impact Rho Dekes can make in the community. We are proud of the leadership he displays both as a Trustee for the College and as a key figure in the turnaround of Allentown.

 

We are happy to announce that we placed second in the Lion Trophy Competition from DKE International.

An application based process, the award is the highest honor given to the chapter with best overall performance from the previous year. Rho came in second place overall behind the Alpha Phi chapter from the University of Toronto.

Brothers Rob Pollastro ’16 and Henry Boozan ’16 accepted the prestigious award at the 2014 DKE convention at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. The announcement was made following a banquet held at the Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs. Former astronaut Brother Alan Bean was on hand as the keynote speaker at the event.

Broken up into four sections, Chapter Operations, Philanthropy and Service, Scholarship, and Leadership, individual awards are also given to the chapters who shined in those areas. As well as winning first runner-up overall, Rho won third place for the individual Chapter Operations section.

The brothers of Rho are extremely proud to accept this award and look forward to continuing the tradition of excellence at Lafayette College and in DKE International.

 

Check out photos of the demolition progress in the DKE House this summer. Click each image to view full size versions, especially the first one, which is a panoramic view.

 

President Alison Byerly and DKE brothers Michael De Lisi ’03 and Trustee J.B. Reilly ’83 led a groundbreaking ceremony during Reunion Weekend 2014 to renovate the DKE House. DKE announced that the renovation will include all alternates under consideration including key additions of a solarium and a cupola, thanks to the College keeping their investment in DKE fixed, passing all project cost savings on to DKE, and a recent generous gift putting DKE fundraising over a million dollars to date with $250k more to go to fully fund the renovation.

Scores of Rho Dekes from the ‘50s through 2015 were joined by many friends of DKE including family, fellow alumni, trustees, campus administrators, and a representative from DKE International. This event capped a beautiful reunion weekend.

Check out pictures of the event at the College’s flickr page.

Thank you to all supporters of this project, which marks a watershed moment in DKE and Lafayette College history. If you haven’t lent your support towards this cause, make a gift or multi-year pledge today!

Lafayette College featured this event on their Facebook page, embedded below:

 

During the May 2014 Board of Trustees meeting, the Board approved spending up to a total of $4.3 million in total project cost to renovate the Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) House on March Field. The groundbreaking with President Byerly is scheduled during reunion on Saturday June 7th at 2PM. Brother JB Reilly ’83 will be introducing President Byerly for her remarks.

Over 30 Rho Dekes across all generations already confirmed they will attend this momentous occasion. We expect many walk-ons, so please join us in celebrating this occasion for DKE. Kevin MacDonald from DKE HQ will also be joining us for the groundbreaking.

The renovation calls for donations of $1.2 million from DKE fundraising. The only exclusion at $1.2 million in DKE funds would be the cupola topped by a Rampant Lion weather-vane. We are currently at only $800k funds committed to date, so Board approval of the full $4.3 million and beginning construction now shows significant good faith from the College.

This project reflects the significant commitment of Lafayette College to DKE, and vice versa. Together we are breathing new life into one of the most effective living learning laboratories on Lafayette’s campus – the DKE House.

This project is the centerpiece of the Rho DKE 160th Anniversary Campaign. We are also endowing a scholarship and a faculty award to commemorate our 160th Anniversary. Both gifts are above and beyond the $1.2 million required for the renovation, which the Rho House Association has been prioritizing.

We hope you’ll join us to kickoff this exciting project at the DKE House on June 7th at 2PM. All are invited and welcome!

 

My big fat Greek renovation: DKE fraternity house undergoes major renovations” by Ian Morse ‘17 appears in this week’s edition of The Lafayette. The topic is the planned renovation of the DKE House, which is one part of the plans to commemorate DKE’s 160th Anniversary at Lafayette College along with endowing a scholarship and faculty award.

This project reflects the significant commitment of Lafayette College to DKE, and vice versa. Together we are breathing new life into one of the most effective living learning laboratories on Lafayette’s campus – the DKE House.

“The interior of the 1st thru [sic] 3rd floors will be completely demolished and replaced with all new construction, including finishes, mechanical, electrical, fire protection and plumbing fixtures,” Director of Facilities Planning and Construction Mary Wilford-Hunt wrote in an email.

Renovations will cost over $4 million, according to Wilford-Hunt. The college will pay the base cost of the entire renovation and trust that DKE contribution quotas will be filled, according the Rho DKE 160th Anniversary Campaign’s website.

DKE could not ask for better partners at the College. We’ve worked with all levels of the administration, members of the faculty, trustees, and of course our students. The outpouring of support from folks at the College as well as the brothers, families, and friends of DKE has been tremendous.

In addition to covering the thoughts of Rho Deke alumni, the article also highlights our collegian brothers’ perspective:

“We’ve been working with our alumni advisor and the other alumni, as well as with the undergraduates to help raise money…to fund the project as best as possible,” DKE President Brett Lederer ’15 said. Members of the fraternity have held “phone-athons” whereby they inform alumni since the Class of 1960 of the chapter’s plans.

The administration is presenting this project to the Board of Trustees for their review and approval at the upcoming meeting (May 23-24). Pending that approval, we will host a ground breaking ceremony at the DKE House on June 7th at 2PM with President Byerly. This is during reunion, so register today!

Please post any questions or comments.

 

Last week’s edition of The Lafayette contains an editorial “The Greek Crossroads: Board of Trustees needs to pick a path” by Editor in Chief Michael A. Kowaleski ‘14. Mr. Kowaleski calls for the Board of Trustees to make a decision with regards to the future of fraternities and sororities at Lafayette College.

I consider myself neutral in the Greek life debate. I have friends in Greek life and I’ve seen its advantages (confirmed social scene, connections, etc.), but I understand the problems that can stem from Greek culture (Alabama sororities, fraternity hazing, etc.). Instead of arguing for either side, I’m asking for something simpler: Board of Trustees, just make a decision already.

Although we’re a bit late highlighting this editorial, several alumni commented on the newspaper’s website including Brother Ames.

I heard often from my dad (Temple U. ’41) that the things one learned in college were not always learned in a classroom or library. I learned about budgets and payroll taxes, employee relations and social interactions as a 17-year-old because that was part-and-parcel of being a fraternity member. We had to make the plans and decisions and live with the results of our decisions.

It will certainly be interesting to the results of the upcoming Board of Trustees’ meeting (May 23-24).

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post listed the incorrect title of Mr. Kowaleski’s editorial. It is “The Greek Crossroads: Board of Trustees needs to pick a path” not “IAGGL is landing: Report on Greek life will be released later this month” which is an article written by Amelie Yeager ‘16 earlier this year.

 

Join President Byerly and your brothers in Delta Kappa Epsilon at the DKE House on Saturday June 7th for the ground breaking ceremony of the DKE House renovation, subject to Board approval, to commemorate the 160th Anniversary of the Rho
Chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon
.

Please register today for reunion so we can get an accurate headcount. When you register, select “Delta Kappa Epsilon” as your headquarters for the Campus Crawl. Festivities at the DKE House will continue following the ceremony.

This is your last chance to enjoy the DKE House as it was before the renovation to commemorate the 160th Anniversary of the Rho Chapter.

Add your name to the list of Rho Dekes who will join us at reunion:

1974 Mark Damiano
1979 Gerald Leitz
1983 JB Reilly
1989 Robert Almeida
1991 Mark Fedorov (Maybe)
1993 Jay Mehr
1994 Christopher Pollina
1994 John Terembula
1994 Brian Waerig
1995 David Kiefer
1995 Bayard Smith
1996 Alex Dippel (Maybe)
1996 William Forbes
1998 Praveen Reddy (Maybe)
2002 Peter Carlson
2002 Jason Monico
2002 Scott Reynolds
2002 Brian Schranz
2003 Michael De Lisi
2003 Gabriel Fernandez-Obregon (Maybe)
2003 Michael Gentile
2004 Daniel Carreno
2004 Jonathan Cohn
2004 Stefano Derasmo
2004 Anthony Hawthorne
2004 James Madigan
2004 David Weston
2004 John Troup
2006 Jared Yelen
2008 Dominic Cimorelli
2009 John Crerand
2009 Matthew Zamore
2010 Ryan Simmons

 

The IAGGL Draft Report is out! Let’s cut to the chase. The Board of Trustees called for demonstrated progress towards four objectives for fraternities and sororities. How did we do?

  • IAGGL assessed fraternities and sororities achieved the objectives for academics and discipline.
  • IAGGL found fraternities and sororities met the objectives for demonstrated learning opportunities and benefits to the College as a whole as measured through existing residence life programs.
  • IAGGL found fraternities and sororities demonstrated progress at improving transparency and communication in recruitment including practiced non-discrimination policies. IAGGL concluded open access such as a lottery for membership is not a realistic expectation of values based groups such as fraternities and sororities that select membership according to their groups’ values.

The chair of the Implementation and Assessment Group on Greek Life (IAGGL) posted the draft report today for the entire Lafayette community to review and comment:

To facilitate community feedback, two open forums will be held to discuss the draft and to answer questions regarding the data or recommendations:

  • Monday, April 21, 7:30 p.m. in Colton Chapel – students
  • Tuesday April 22, 4:15 p.m. in Hugel 103 – faculty, staff, and other interested members of the community

You should read the full announcement.

The IAGGL draft report makes several recommendations. Here is my personal take for DKE, which applies to my perspective on fraternities and sororities as a whole:

  • Revamped accreditation program is good. Accreditation itself is not new; only the multimedia format is new, which should help students showcase the benefits of fraternity and sorority affiliation. I look forward to working with the College to strengthen the accreditation program. We can, should and must be held accountable to our shared values with the College. The College already knows from STEPS and COMPASS that accreditation programs successfully predict struggling chapters. It is good to see a recommendation to use an accreditation program to justify expansion as well.
  • Tracking men’s recruitment via ICS solves an issue DKE has pushed for over the past several years. This scalable process will help cut through red tape that Scott Harris ’95 and Dr. Asela Gunawardana ’95 have been fighting to obtain accurate academic profiles of potential new members BEFORE the start of the fall semester (this is difficult due to FERPA requirements protecting privacy of students). Implementing this change will also help rising sophomores, juniors and seniors express interest in joining any fraternity. An additional on-ramp into the fraternal experience is helpful.
  • Waiting on expansion is right, but also wrong. It is right because there are no applications for recognition available to be acted upon due to the moratorium. Any decisions the College makes regarding expansion should take into account the existing community of recognized fraternities and sororities as well as the direction of the College, as the draft report suggests. However, the recommendation as written is wrong because it stops short of recommending the lifting of the temporary moratorium on recognition of new chapters, which was supposed to be in place until IAGGL’s conclusion. The moratorium should be lifted immediately with the conclusion of IAGGL so that groups may begin preparing their applications with the knowledge gained through the IAGGL process. No applications for recognition should be acted upon without considering the critical issues of 1) Context of the application with currently recognized chapters and 2) Fit with the overall direction of the College, including sustained demand among students for new chapters.

DKE believes there is significant demand among students today to join fraternities beyond the capacity of the four currently recognized fraternities (DKE, DU, Phi Kappa Psi and Zeta Psi). We want additional chapters, but we only want successful chapters.

The Lafayette covers the IAGGL draft in an article today “Back to Square One: IAGGL report draft provides no clear answers regarding Greek Life’s future” by Michael A. Kowaleski ‘14:

President Alison Byerly, who inherited the program from Weiss, said that there is no timetable for a final ruling.

“I expect the administration and the Board will respond formally to the report, saying ‘thank you’ for the report, we anticipate doing X, Y and Z,’” she said. “When that would happen, I don’t know.”

There are still two open forums that will be conducted before a final report is filed to the Board of Trustees in May.

In the meantime, it would appear that those in the Lafayette community looking for a conclusion to the “Greek discussion” will have to wait for the Board of Trustees to decide the future of Greek life on campus. IAGGL didn’t provide a smoking gun condemning Greeks, but there was no ringing endorsement.

The article also reports on student reactions.

The Alumni Interfraternity Sorority Board (AISB) had a productive conversation with Dr. Annette Diorio, VP of Campus Life and Senior Diversity Officer (and IAGGL Chair) after receiving the draft report. We are also actively engaged with the Alumni Association and the relevant committees on the Board of Trustees.

You can always provide me input at president@rhodke.org, by leaving a comment below, or contacting your chapter’s AISB representative.

As Annette pointed out in her announcement, there is a tremendous amount of common ground among all stakeholders at Lafayette College, including students and alumni in fraternities and sororities. We will continue to lay out a vision of how fraternities and sororities can help fuel the College’s success if we build on that common ground, and highlight immediate steps the College can take towards that vision.

 
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