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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.

 

Join us in an outpouring of support from DKE brothers, families and friends.

In honor of the Rho Chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon turning 160 next year, we are renovating our beloved DKE House, endowing a scholarship, and endowing a faculty award. We need gift commitments by April 20th to finalize the scope of the renovation. Shovels go in the ground this summer, so the DKE House can reopen in all its glory in August 2015 in time for our 160th that October.

You can find details at http://160years.rhodke.org/

To maximize the impact of your gift or commitment, call today at (610) 330-5034 or fill out this Pledge Form – DKE 160th Anniversary and return it by April 20th.

 

The Spring 2013 edition of the Lafayette Magazine provides coverage of DKE’s leadership initiatives. You can view the online edition of the Lafayette Magazine here or read the article about DKE directly here.

The article includes a quote from Andrew O’Brien ’13 as well as recognizing the contributions of our faculty advisor Richard Shupp ’67, Director of Fraternity Sorority Life Stuart Umberger, and Delta Kappa Epsilon’s leadership advisory team (Mark Fedorov ’91, John Terembula ’94, Peter Carlson ’02, Michael De Lisi ’03, Brent Souders ’11, and Jared Piette ’12).

The print version features the DKE article in between the cover story introducing Alison Byerly as Lafayette College’s next President and coverage of the Lafayette Leadership Institute. Its great to see the College paying attention and spreading the news about the contributions of our students and alumni.

Vive la DKE!

 

Lafayette College’s alumni updates website recently featured Brother Tom Neff ’59:

In February, trustee emeritus Tom Neff ’59 joined San Francisco-based private equity firm Carrick Capital Partners, LLC, as one of four special advisers on its executive team. In this role, he will participate several times a year in discussions on strategy, economics, and regulatory and employment issues. Neff also recently joined the board of Axiom Law, Carrick’s first investment.

Read the details about Brother Neff here.

Have alumni updates? Send them to us here!

 

In August 2012 DKE’s leadership published our thoughts on the  progress towards fulfilling the Board of Trustees directives from their October 2011 meeting. As promised, we’ve updated the dashboard to track the progress since August. With the help of the administration, the Greek community has made significant progress, often already achieving the Board’s end goals for the Greek community, as recognized in the recent update to the community from the chair of Implementation and Assessment Group on Greek Life (IAGGL), VP of Campus Life Annette Diorio, and coverage in the school newspaper article Halfway There: Greek GPA Promising including comments by President Weiss, both of which we discussed here and here.

Board-of-Trustees-Greek-Life-Directives-2011-2012 Updated Winter 2013 Highlight

Highlights of Positive Trends Since August 2012

The dashboard is available in .PPTX and .PDF formats. The speaker’s notes in the PPTX document contains the explanation for why DKE’s leadership scored progress for each item.

There has been progress even on those areas that give us the greatest cause for concern (1. Transition from a punitive conduct model to an educational and student development model and 2. Allowing student demand to drive bringing expansion/contraction of the Greek community), although we’ve also seen a backslide in terms of varsity athletic teams (particularly the women’s teams) forbidding their student athletes from joining a fraternity or sorority. Hopefully the momentum the College is building will help overcome these last few remaining hurdles.

Challenges Remain

Challenges Remain

As always, we welcome questions, comments or concerns, especially if there’s anything we’ve missed. Please send your thoughts to president@rhodke.org.

Powerpoint: Board-of-Trustees-Greek-Life-Directives-2011-2012 Updated Winter 2013

PDF: Board-of-Trustees-Greek-Life-Directives-2011-2012 Updated Winter 2013

 

DKE is hosting our winter Leadership Conference on January 26th in the Simon Auditorium to kickoff the spring semester. The morning sessions include a presentation by student leaders on our progress on the strategic initiatives, goals, and actions plans for this year. The conference’s afternoon sessions will focus on recruitment, public relations, officer transitions and governance.

We look forward to seeing our fraternity brothers start 2013 with a great conference and hearing more about the experiences of Michael Kelley and Zach Lizmi’s experiences at FuturesQuest this winter.

You can read about their experience here and here on the College’s website.

In addition to the conference, Dr. Hannah Stewart-Gambino will meet with DKE students in the coming weeks to hear student leaders present their progress in executing the chapter’s strategic plan. She will also lead a session to help students avoid common pitfalls in implementing strategic planning.

 

 

Lafayette College kicked off a student experience workshop on January 23rd with the help of over 60 participants including students, faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni.  This follows the Board’s approval in October of an initiative proposed by the administration to enhance the student experience at Lafayette College. The kickoff was hosted by the Dean of the College, Dr. Hannah Stewart-Gambino, who is the chair of the Executive Committee.

There are three subcommittees:

  • Learning Beyond the Classroom/Co- and Extra-curricular Learning co-chaired by Paul McLouglin (Dean of Students) and Jamila Bookwala (Psychology)
  • Academic Success & Advising co-chaired by Erica D’Agostino ’95 (Dean of Academic Advising) and Yih-Choung Yu (Electrical & Computer Engineering)
  • Residential Communities co-chaired by Grace Reynolds (Director of Residence Life) and Marcus Dubischar (Foreign Language & Literatures)

Attached is an opening letter from the Executive Committee provided to workshop attendees.

I’m the alumni association representative on the Steering Committee.  In addition to updating the Alumni Council during the next meeting on February 2nd, I also plan to serve as a conduit for other alumni and parents because we are all relevant stakeholders – so if you have thoughts or concerns, please tell me. You can reach me via e-mail at president@rhodke.org along with LinkedIn and Facebook.

Many alumni (Greek and independent) have sent me their thoughts about Lafayette College throughout the years. Please continue to do so.

More information will follow in the coming weeks and months including details about this exciting workshop directly from the College. I don’t want to get too far out in front of this important and ambitious work especially since we still need to brief the Alumni Council, but I did want to share my enthusiasm after Wednesday’s workshop with my fellow Pards.

Part of my charge as a member of the Steering Committee is to communicate to relevant constituents and stakeholders, so hold me accountable for this as time goes on!

– Michael De Lisi ’03

 
Rho DKE Strategic Initiatives-2012

Rho DKE Strategic Initiatives-2012

On December 4th, Lafayette College covered the results of our August strategic planning conference:

The fraternity holds leadership conferences before the fall and spring semesters, each with a different focus. This fall, DKE turned its attention to improving its members’ academic performance and increasing its community involvement. The entire chapter, its alumni leadership board, Shupp, and Stuart Umberger, director of fraternity and sorority life, participated in the conference.

The article also highlights the recent activities of students towards achieving their goals, as well as recognizing the alumni who help guide our students through this process. We suggest you read the article in full.

With the recent undergraduate elections, Andy O’Brien ’13 is passing leadership of the chapter to incoming President Michael Kelley ’14. During our winter leadership conference to kickoff the spring semester, Michael will present a review of the chapter’s progress on each of the strategic initiatives, goals, and action plans outlined at the start of the fall semester.

The winter conference will serve as an opportunity for any adjustments the students deem necessary to achieve the mission and vision agreed upon in August. It will also allow our new brothers to understand the process and framework guiding our chapter forward.

If you’d like to participate in the winter leadership conference, please contact Michael De Lisi ’03 at president@rhodke.org

 
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