Moms enjoy their special day
A beautiful early spring afternoon greeted moms as they watched their sons arrive for the annual 100-kilometer cycling ride on April 18, 2015. That event kicked off a day filled with fun for more than 300.
The 16th annual Pi Kapp 100 saw nearly 30 riders and crew arrive at 12:30 p.m. at the fraternity house at 330 N. Grant St. Nearly 100 people lined the street to see the riders bring their mission of helping people with disabilities to campus.
Participants committed to raising money and awareness for the fraternity’s national outreach program, The Ability Experience (formerly known as Push America).
After the ride, guests and members alike ate appetizers including shrimp cocktail, chips & salsa, meatballs, cold meats & crackers along with various fruits.
At 3 p.m., the chapter hosted a reception that had more than 200. One of the day’s favorite events – the annual auction of moms-made or moms-purchased things – started in the Great Hall at 4 p.m. More than 25 items went through the open bidding process and a similar amount remained downstairs for a silent auction.
Items included homemade jewelry, designer purses, a knife set, original artwork and a snack basket to name a few. The last item up for bid – a customized cooler compete with drink cups, t-shirts and sun visors for the beach– brought in the highest bid, $1,201.
In all, the silent and public auctions raised $9,851 for the Ability Experience, a house improvement fund or to cover the day’s expenses.
Then at 6:30 p.m., a record 280 people attended the moms day buffet, in the south ballroom of the Purdue Memorial Union.
Attendees watched a slideshow of the fraternity’s activities during the school year. They also heard from president Andrew Lemna, Ability Experience chairman Jarrod Wagner and Journey of Hope alumnus Luke Millen. The keynote speaker was Tampa native Dr. J. Patrick Figley, a former national president and Mr. Pi Kappa Phi.
Lemna praised his chapter brothers for their accomplishments. He said the chapter was a finalist for the RB Stewart Award as Purdue’s best fraternity for eight straight years, winning six of them. It was one of 15 Founders Award winners this year, the highest honor the national fraternity can bestow for its 200+ chapters. And he said the fraternity rose to No. 3 in grades in the fall with an average of 3.14 GPA. The academic achievement included 62.2 percent at a 3.0 or higher, 33.9 percent on the dean’s list and/or semester honors as well as 4.7 percent with a 4.0.
“We have an unique blend of members here,” Lemna said. “We have guys from all across the country who share common values. We are men dedicated to service and a selfless brotherhood.
“It has been a blessing to be a part of such an amazing group of men and I am truly thankful for what we have here at Pi Kappa Phi-Omega chapter.”
When Wagner spoke, he pointed out the philanthropic efforts within and outside the Ability Experience events.
Wagner spoke of a moment when he worked with a special needs student at Lafayette Jefferson High School.
“After adding 5 plus 5 four times, he recorded his answer,” Wagner said. “He realized he just used multiplication and then the student responded, ‘I didn’t know I could do that’ … it was a very touching and powerful experience for me.”
Wagner focused his closing remarks on how he and his fraternity brothers, can make a difference in society.
“I believe in this world, you are not here for yourself or to help yourself,” he said. “You are with seven billion people and you’re bound to make a difference in someone’s life.”
Millen told parents and audience members about his experience in the Journey of Hope. He focused on one interaction near the end of his 2013 trip.
“One guy, in particular, stands out among the rest – Zack from Pittsburgh,” Millen said.
The interaction was near the end of the summer-long, cross-country trip. Millen estimated he might have been in contact with up to 700 special needs clients during the 47 friendship visits.
Zach, 26, who has the looks and size of a 10-year-old, suffers from Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome. The condition causes lack of muscle control and leads to possible self-mutilation habits.
When Millen tried to interact with Zack, he was greeted with profanity and disdain. Nonetheless, Millen found common ground while the two ate lunch – baseball and sunglasses.
“More than any other person that summer, Zack taught me what it means to be tough,” Millen said. “At 21 years old, I don’t know if I could handle the things that Zack faces daily. I can tell you I know someone who I look up to and emulate in finding beauty and joy in life, no matter what.”
In his keynote speech, Figley praised the chapter for its commitment to service. He cited the fact that the fraternity will have had 44 riders in the Journey of Hope by 2016.
“You are almost like the ideal Ability Experience chapter,” Figley said. “I don’t know of any chapter that has participated as immensely and wholeheartedly as you. I applaud and appreciate that effort.”
He recognized the parents for “teaching them how to be the young men they are today. You are the true reason that the Omega chapter is successful.”
He said the undergraduates in the room learned values at home. He challenged his brothers in the room to use the integrity, honestly and ethical mores from our ritual to turn those values into virtues for life.
“Mothers, dads, you have a right to be proud for these are emerging men of virtue,” Figley said.
“Each of you, men of Omega, will be faced with challenges and you don’t even expect to happen in your life,” he said. “How you will be able to deal with diversity will be influenced in no small extent by how you deal with others along the way. What you get will depend a lot on what you give.
“The fraternity gives you a running start. The men of Omega are indeed the truth behind that statement. Gentlemen of Omega, I am proud to be your brother.”
The evening ended as sons presented their moms with red roses while the fraternity’s sweetheart song was sung.
Photos from the events can be viewed at:
Moms Day 2015 is upon us
Moms Day 2015 might easily be the largest in the chapter’s 93-year history.
Each year in conjunction with Purdue’s Springfest, Pi Kappa Phi hosts the event that showcases many of the chapter accomplishments during 2014-15. Furthermore, we focus our programming for moms and their guests to enjoy a day of activities with their sons and adopted sons.
We anticipate nearly 300 people to participate in this year’s Moms Day.
The day will kick off with the 12:30 p.m. Pi Kapp 100 arrival at the fraternity house, 330 N. Grant St. The ride is a 100-kilometer, fund-raising cycling event that begins in the early morning hours on April 18 from Zionsville. Proceeds from the event benefit the fraternity’s local and national service project, The Ability Experience (www.abilityexperience.org).
That program raises awareness and funds for people with disabilities. One fourth of the money raised throughout the year goes to the chapter’s local outreach program with the special needs classes at Lafayette Jefferson High School. In January, the fraternity presented a check to the Lafayette School board for $3,942, which was 25 percent of the $15,768 raised during 2013-14.
After the team arrival full of hugs and a team photo, parents will be on their own with their sons for lunch, the 1 p.m. Purdue spring football game or other campus events. Springfest, a two-day Purdue program, brings in as many as 25,000 visitors to campus. Activities include a Veterinary Medicine open house, tours of the Envision Center, a science outreach showcase, horticulture shows and entomology’s bug bowl. Events run from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday mostly on the Memorial Mall and Agriculture campus. For more information on Springfest, visit https://ag.purdue.edu/springfest/Pages/default.aspx.
At 4 p.m. Pi Kapps reassemble with their moms (and mom guests) for a reception prior to the very popular auction in the Great Hall and foyer of the house. Grab some snacks in the basement then head upstairs and reserve your seat.
Auction items vary significantly. In the past, that has included professional baseball or lottery tickets, potted plants, sportswear and picnic gear. Photos from last year’s moms day, which includes shots from the auction can be found at:
From 5 to 6:15 p.m., the auction will be conducted at the fraternity house. Proceeds from the event can benefit the chapter in three ways – No. 1 to offset the costs of the day’s events, No. 2 for tax-deductible contributions to the fraternity’s Ability Experience, or No. 3 toward a house improvement project (which has included dining room chairs, library furniture, wood flooring in the upstairs hallways and TVs in the Great Hall).
At 6:30 p.m., we move two blocks away to the South Ballroom of the Purdue Memorial Union for a casual dress moms day banquet. Speakers will let moms know about many of the fraternity’s accomplishments during 2014-15, about the impact of The Ability Experience on our students and how important the fraternity is for our chapter members. Our keynote speaker is Dr. J. Patrick Figley of Tampa, a former national president and Mr. Pi Kappa Phi.
For more information about the day’s events, contact historian Henry Papineau, email@example.com, 219/210-9970.
Fraternity crowns queen
The crowning of a new Rose Queen culminated a week’s worth of opening the eyes of Purdue Greeks to the plight of people with disabilities.
Sigma Kappa’s Jessica Cieslak earned the queen’s crown for 2015. The announcement came at the conclusion of a two-hour talent competition for Pi Kappa Phi’s War of Roses, a weeklong competition among 13 campus sororities.
The War of Roses is one of various fraternity programming and fund-raising events throughout the year for conjunction with The Ability Experience its national outreach program.
“The most powerful thing about the week for me was when people came up to me after the show and said, ‘This is a really great thing you guys are doing here,’” said Jarrod Wagner, the chapter’s Ability Experience Chairman. “It’s a very simple comment, but it’s great to hear what others think of our efforts.”
Cieslak was one of many contestants who participated in all the events during the last week. Those included being part of an empathy dinner where those assembled acted out a pre-assigned disability. She also competed in the disability races whereby participants would take on various disabilities and try to do various timed activities, such as button a shirt with hands covered by socks. Furthermore, the new Rose Queen assisted fraternity members in their daily visits to special needs classes at Lafayette Jefferson High School.
At the talent competition on April 1, contestants were asked two questions – to respond to a funny query about themselves and a second about what they learned during the week about people with disabilities. Then the sororities performed acts that included singing, choreographed dancing or gymnastics. The show in Loeb Playhouse, which saw more than 600 in the audience, also featured a local agency’s song and dance performance with clients with disabilities, Spirit! Theatre of Lafayette.
The runners-up in the overall War of Roses event were Lauren Kelly, Alpha Xi Delta, and Oliva Pesce of Delta Zeta.
Individual competition winners include:
• Reading backwards (word letters reversed): Alpha Xi Delta
• Obstacle course, hand-impaired: Delta Gamma
• Reading colors (words that used color were printed in another color): Zeta Tau Alpha
• Belted stair hopping: Alpha Xi Delta
• Sheet sign: Sigma Kappa
• Skip a Meal at Hot Box Pizza: Delta Zeta
• Ticket sales: Alpha Chi Omega
The other participating sororities included:
Alpha Gamma Delta, Gamma Phi Beta, Alpha Omicron Pi, Delta Delta Delta, Phi Mu and Phi Sigma Rho.
“I think the audience members (at the talent show) – sorority sisters in particular – were able to walk away with a better understanding of people with disabilities and how to best treat them in society.”
The fraternity raised nearly $4,000, which will be used locally and nationally to assist those with disabilities.
Photos from the talent show can be viewed at:
War continues with disability races
Disability races featuring 12 sorority teams highlighted the March 31, 2015 activities in the annual War of Roses competition.
Pi Kappa Phi hosted the various teams in six competition categories simulating various disabilities for more than an hour at the Purdue fraternity house. Each sorority is putting up a candidate to earn the title of the Rose of Pi Kappa Phi over nearly a week of events.
The War of Roses is one of many events Purdue’s Pi Kappa Phi’s chapter conducts to raise funds and awareness for people with disabilities.
The six events included: Charades, color game, reading backwards, obstacle course, one-handed activities, pin the tail on the donkey and stair hopping. Except for the charades, which used Disney movie characters as the guessing object, the rest of the games mimicked various disabilities.
The other games provided contestants various challenges. For example, participants had to read the names of various colors on a sheet. The twist was the name of the color did not match the color used in the letters of the word. Reading backwards involved words spelled from last letter to the first. One handed activities meant that those involved used one hand to stack cups, untie then retie those same shoes. The pin the tail game was done blindfolded and stair hopping involved feet being tied together to go up and down stairs.
The various activities were being timed.
The week’s events will be capped off by a talent show in Loeb Playhouse on April
Participating sororities include:
Delta Zeta, Alpha Gamma Delta, Gamma Phi Beta, Delta Gamma, Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Omicron Pi, Alpha Xi Delta, Delta Delta Delta, Zeta Tau Alpha, Sigma Kappa, Phi Mu and Phi Sigma Rho.
Pi Kappa Phi and The Ability Experience thank the sponsoring organizations.
Photos from the disability races can be seen at:
A War of Roses queen contestant tapes the fingers of Justin Cook to help him mimic a disability during the March 30, 2015, empathy dinner at Pi Kappa Phi
War of Roses competition continues
Sorority participants took turns visiting special needs classes and took part in an empathy dinner during the annual War of Roses competition.
The Pi Kappa Phi event emphasizes empathy training and interaction with people with disabilities. The program is part of the chapter’s efforts to support The Ability Experience (www.abilityexperience.org), the national fraternity’s outreach endeavor.
The Purdue fraternity hosts multiple events during the year, but the War of Roses produces the most direct interaction among outsiders and those with disabilities.
On March 30, the first of up to 13 contestants vying for the Rose Queen title, worked in a special needs classroom. That way the she saw first hand what it’s like in the fraternity’s daily outreach program.
Also on March 30, the fraternity hosted a disability dinner for contestants and fraternity members. During the meal, those dining mimicked various disabilities. Those included: Not being able to speak, limit the vocabulary to words beginning with the same letter, only being allowed to speak with three- or five-letter words, not allowed to eat with dominant hand, taping thumb and fingers together as well as eating with one or both eyes closed.
“It was exciting to see the in-person side of the competition for the first time on Monday,” said Jarrod Wagner, chapter Ability Experience chairman. “Before Monday night, the sororities had been doing a great job in the various events.”
Earlier or ongoing included: Sheet sign competition, skip-a-meal at Hot Box Pizza and coin wars.
“The first contestant went to the Lafayette Jefferson partnership on Monday and it went very well,” Wagner said. “It is important that we all understand challenges for people with disabilities and how to interact with them.”
Tuesday’s events include disability races at the fraternity house and continued interaction with the special needs classes.
Photos from Monday’s empathy dinner can be viewed at:
Photos from the Monday classroom visit:
Photos from Tuesday’s classroom interaction can be seen at:
Sorority sheet signs can be viewed at:
For more information about the War of Roses or for ticket information, contact Ability Experience Chairman Jarrod Wagner, Jarrod Wagner, firstname.lastname@example.org, 708/917-0066.
War of Roses Week begins
Pi Kappa Phi’s spring event – War of Roses – will help spread knowledge about people with disabilities while having lots of fun along the way.
The fraternity begins with a Skip a Meal dinner at Hot Box Pizza in the Chauncey Hill Mall, 135 S. Chauncey Ave. on Friday, March 27. A portion of pizza sales benefits The Ability Experience (www.abilityexperience.org), the national outreach program of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity. The program assists people with disabilities both nationally and locally.
Various campus sororities will participate in the War of Roses including a talent show at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 1 in Loeb Playhouse in Stewart Center on the Purdue campus.
Sorority members will be asked to send representatives to the 6 p.m., Monday March 30 empathy dinner at Pi Kappa Phi. During this meal with fraternity men, those in attendance will be asked to mimic some disability. This will enable the participants to experience the challenges and abilities of those we serve. Some diners will have taped fingers, be blindfolded and only be able speak in single syllable words, for example.
Then at 6 p.m., Tuesday, March 31, sorority team members will compete in a variety of disability races at Pi Kappa Phi, 330 N. Grant St.
During the days leading up to the talent event in Loeb on Wednesday, sheet signs, penny wars and friendship visits will occur.
During the visits, Rose Queen candidates – one member per participating chapter – will spend time with special needs classes at Lafayette Jefferson High School alongside fraternity men. Each school day throughout the academic year, Pi Kapps assist the classes with life skills such as making change, grocery shopping, planning meals or doing various classroom activities. So Rose Queen candidates will get to be part of that local outreach effort.
At the Wednesday talent show, each sorority will perform individual or group acts in front of an audience of more than 800 people in Loeb Playhouse. In recent years, performances have included a comedienne, singers, dancers and magic acts. A contestant from each group will answer questions from Pi Kapp emcees, too.
Points can be earned from sheet signs, t-shirt sales, skip a meal proceeds by chapter, penny wars and talent show competition. Then one sorority woman will earn the title of Rose Queen and her picture will accompany the fraternity’s 2015-16 composite based on points earned throughout the programming and talent show.
For more information about the War of Roses or for ticket information, contact Ability Experience Chairman Jarrod Wagner, Jarrod Wagner, email@example.com, 708/917-0066.
This website will include photos and story updates for events through April 1.
Photos from sororities participating in the 2015 War of Roses events can be viewed at:
Chapter places in BMOC competition
Pi Kappa Phi’s entry in a Greekwide talent competition garnered it a Top 10 finish.
Johnny Fullerton was joined by Kyle Marpe, Bon Sommer, Pat Rivelli and Kyle Boland during the March 6 show in Purdue’s Elliott Hall of Music. Pi Kappa Phi performed a Justin Timberlake medley, “JT Through the Years” in front of nearly 4,000 audience members.
Pi Kappa Phi was among the 32 fraternities that participated in the event.
“The experience was an incredible one,” said Fullerton, who sang solo and danced alongside his fraternity brothers. “Months and months of hard work and preparation led up to one night of fantastic performances.”
The event raised more than $124,000 for breast cancer research for Zeta Tau Alpha’s BMOC (Big Man on Campus).
“I met women and families of survivors over six months while we were involved in BMOC who inspired me to take life one minute at a time because you never really know what’s in store for you,” Fullerton said.
“I participated in BMOC for all the families and individuals affected by the disease, and in particular for my girlfriend’s grandmother, Idelma Pescara, who will celebrate her fifth year cancer free this June. She’s a fighter, a wonderful wife, mother and grandmother.”
Photos from the performance can be viewed at:
Photos from practice the night before can be viewed at:
Three of the 15 new members work in a small group during the spring 2015 off-campus retreat.
Spring group starts its journey
Fifteen new members began their Pi Kappa Phi journey following the spring recruitment period.
The group hails from five states – Indiana, Illinois, Florida, Texas and Michigan – and a wide variety of academic disciplines. Five of the new members major in management, four in engineering, two in pre-pharmacy, two in science and one in technology.
The group’s average GPA last semester was 3.53, which includes two 4.0s.
Pi Kappa Phi aggressively recruits men who hold leadership positions prior to coming to us.
Included in the spring class are five guys who have been captains of their athletic teams in high school and one who participated in seven different varsity sports. Of the men who were their high school valedictorians, one was captain of two sports different teams and was on student council for three years.
One new member is in ROTC at Purdue.
Five of the 15 new members come from the Greater Indianapolis area and four are from outside Indiana.
The elite new class was selected from nearly 100 men who expressed an interest in joining Pi Kappa Phi during the spring recruitment process.
Pi Kappa Phi sets Purdue standard
Pi Kappa Phi is one of the highest achieving among Purdue’s 40 fraternities and has the statistics to back up that claim.
While the Fall 2014 fraternity grade rankings have not yet released by the university, Pi Kappa Phi will easily be within the Top 5. Preliminary grades indicate the chapter received an average 3.14 GPA, which is well above the anticipated all-fraternity and all-men’s average. (In the spring semester 2014, for example, the all fraternity average was 2.96 and all-men’s average was 2.83.)
An analysis of the individual grades are telling, too. Consider the following statistics:
• 62.2 percent of the chapter members earned a 3.0 or higher in the Fall 2014.
• 33.9 percent of the chapter members were on the dean’s list and/or received semester honors.
• 4.7 percent of the chapter members had a perfect 4.0.
The grades are only part of the success of the chapter. In fact, in January the national fraternity honored the Purdue chapter with three major awards. They include:
• Founders Award, the highest recognition a chapter can receive nationally. One of only 15 (out of 200+ chapters and colonies) to receive such an honor. This was the third time in six years the chapter earned this recognition.
• Champion Master Chapter, meaning it received the highest ranking in the Seven Objectives of Chapter Excellence set by the national fraternity.
• Alumni Newsletter of the Year, The Omegalite.
The fraternity competes at the highest levels on the Purdue campus in terms of awards, too. Pi Kappa Phi was named the RB Stewart Award winner as the top fraternity at Purdue in six of the last seven years.
During 2013-14 (most recently available statistics), Pi Kappa Phi voluntarily performed 2,007 service hours and raised $15,768 for the Ability Experience (formerly known as Push America), the national fraternity’s national outreach program assisting people with disabilities. The Purdue chapter has raised $189,392 for the Ability Experience since 1980.
Pi Kappa Phi conducts numerous events during the school year to raise funds and awareness for people with disabilities. Members participated in seven separate outreach efforts during 2013-14. Furthermore, it participated in 16 other Purdue Greek philanthropic efforts.
On Sunday, Jan. 25, Pi Kappa enters its third and final week of new member recruitment. On Thursday, Jan. 29, it will conduct a bid dinner recognizing its newest members.
Photos from the chapter’s most recent new member recruitment function, which highlighted achievements in service, can be seen at: https://purduepikapps.celect.org/site/albums/40966
For more information about the Pi Kappa Phi recruitment period, contact Mark Fanelli at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 317/519-9118.
Welcome to the best … welcome to Pi Kappa Phi!
Pi Kappa Phi conducts two campus cycling events as part of its Ability Experience programming. The fraternity participates in nine of its own philanthropic events along with many other Greek-sponsored ones each school year.
Member Recruitment Week 2
The second week of the new member recruitment period will begin an informal fun night and then get down to business.
The Jan. 20 event will be held in the Purdue Memorial Union’s bowling and billiards area. That is located on the southeast corner of the Union, below Pappy’s. The entrance to the area is located near the subwalk on the east side of the building. (This function substitutes to the previously announced event at the Recreational Sports Center.)
On Jan. 22, we will focus on one area that makes Pi Kappa Phi unique on this campus and as a national fraternity – The Ability Experience (formerly known as Push America). It is our national outreach program to assist people with disabilities locally and across the nation.
Prospective new members will hear from Pi Kappa Phi chapter members who participate in various service projects within and outside The Ability Experience (www.bilityexperience.org).
Among the events highlighted at Thursday’s recruitment event includes:
• David Feltner 72-Hour Memorial Bike a Thon. For three days each fall, fraternity and sorority members don one of three bicycles to raise money and awareness. Photos from Fall 2014: https://purduepikapps.celect.org/site/albums/40276
• Arctoberfest. The fraternity hosts a Halloween-themed costume party for the Arc of Tippecanoe, a local branch of a national organization that assists people with disabilities in the county. Photos from Fall 2014: https://purduepikapps.celect.org/site/albums/40508
• PUDM Participation. Learn how many chapter members participate and serve leadership roles in the annual Purdue University Dance Marathon. Photos from Fall 2014: https://purduepikapps.celect.org/site/albums/40508
• Special Needs Classroom Volunteering. Each school day chapter members assist Lafayette Jefferson High School classes. Photos from Fall 2013: https://purduepikapps.celect.org/site/albums/38265
• Abilities Camp. A regional effort to help maintain/improve facilities for disabled.
• BMOC. Each spring we have an entry in the Big Man On Campus. Photos from Spring 2014: https://purduepikapps.celect.org/site/albums/39154
• War of Roses. In the spring semester, we have weeklong events including sorority sheet signs, disability races, empathy training, special needs classes participation and a talent show. Photos from Spring 2014: https://purduepikapps.celect.org/site/albums/39345
• Moms Day/Pi Kapp 100. Fraternity members and alumni participate in an 100-kilometer cycling trip from Zionsville to campus in conjunction with our annual Moms Day celebration in April. Photos from Spring 2014: https://purduepikapps.celect.org/site/albums/39356
• Journey of Hope. Nearly 40 chapter members have traveled cross-country on bicycles in conjunction with guys from other chapters raising money and awareness for people with disabilities during the summer. Photos from Summer 2014: https://purduepikapps.celect.org/site/albums/39935
For more information about the Pi Kappa Phi recruitment period, contact Mark Fanelli at:
Welcome to the best … welcome to Pi Kappa Phi.
A prospective new member talks with fraternity members during the Jan. 15, 2015, Meet the Greeks in the Purdue Memorial Union. Pi Kappa Phi hosts recruitment events on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m. through the end of the month. Additional photos from the event can be seen at: https://purduepikapps.celect.org/site/albums/40886
New member recruitment begins
Pi Kappa Phi begins its spring recruitment period on Tuesday, Jan. 13 while seeking members who excel in the classroom and beyond with character and leadership.
The fraternity located at 330 N. Grant St. sets the standard for chapters at Purdue. In fact, Pi Kappa Phi has been named Purdue’s best fraternity in six of the last seven years. Just last weekend, the chapter won the national Pi Kappa Phi Founders Award, recognizing it as one of the top 15 chapters out of 177 nationally.
Pi Kappa Phi seeks men who excel in scholarship, character, involvement, service and athletics. Those characteristics are reflected among our 140 members on campus.
We lead in various areas including: Top philanthropic chapter (in terms of fund-raising and volunteer hours), service to the campus and community, academics as well as leadership. Accordingly, we seek men who understand servant leadership, are or have been involved in campus or high school activities (including sports, honoraries and service organizations, particularly if they have held a leadership position) and exude character.
Pi Kappa Phi’s recruitment (aka rush) events will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays through Jan. 29. There will be at least one Sunday event – Jan. 25. All the open-house type events will be held at the fraternity house, except Jan. 20, which will be held at the Recreational Sports Center’s gold and black gyms.
Pi Kappa Phi will also maintain a booth at the Jan. 15 Meet the Greeks held in the Purdue Memorial Union’s South Ballroom.
You can learn more about Purdue’s top fraternity (in terms of membership numbers, fund-raising, community service and unparalleled recognition) by reading various stories on this website or on Twitter (Purdue Pi Kapps).
For more information about the Pi Kappa Phi recruitment period, contact Mark Fanelli at:
Welcome to the best … welcome to Pi Kappa Phi.
Fraternity members pose with Lafayette School Board members and administrators after presenting a check for $3,942 on Jan. 12, 2015, to assist the special needs classes at Jefferson High School.
Fraternity Celebrates Service
Pi Kappa Phi was recognized for its service to students with disabilities at a local school board meeting on Jan. 12, 2015.
The fraternity in conjunction with its national outreach program, the Ability Experience, presented a check for $3,942 to assist special needs classes at Lafayette Jefferson High School. Chapter leaders and the special needs teacher addressed the board during the Lafayette School Board’s January meeting. A total of 15 fraternity members attended the presentation, too.
“Tonight we stand before you with a check to help show our appreciation for the special education students as well as the teachers and administrators who support them,” said Andrew Lemna, fraternity president.
The donation represents one-fourth of the fraternity’s 2013-14 fund-raising for the Ability Experience. Chapter members conduct a variety of events that raise awareness and funds for people with disabilities. They include the 72-Hour David Feltner Memorial Bike-A-Thon, the War of Roses and the Pi Kapp 100 among others.
Over the last six years, the chapter has donated $22,689 to Jefferson High School’s special needs classes. Since it first started raising funds in 1980 for the Ability Experience (formerly known as Push America) the chapter has raised $189,392, including $15,768 last school year.
The fraternity’s donations are used for various outings and supplies – including tickets to an Indianapolis Indians game, an iPad used for nonverbal students, luncheon outings as well as field trips to a local candy store and ice cream shops.
Furthermore, fraternity members volunteer almost every school day in the classroom and during the students’ outings. That relationship started in 2008.
“The impact of the fraternity’s donation truly makes a difference in our community, the school and most of all for my special needs students,” said Alyssa Montgomery, special needs teacher. “Oh behalf of myself, my colleagues and my students at Jefferson High School we would like to say, ‘Thank you, Purdue guys’ from the bottom of our hearts.
“Thank you again for your sincere kindness and overwhelming generosity.”
Jarrod Wagner, Ability Experience chairman, said that the fraternity’s programming during 2013-14, touched nearly 2,500 people. That total included more than 1,000 during the chapter’s spring War of Roses, which features empathy events along with a large campus Greek-wide talent competition.
“Through these outreach efforts, we were able to communicate the abilities – not disabilities – of those we serve,” Wagner said.
He also told the board that the fraternity members receive more in return than the servant leadership they display.
“While we may help the students with life skills and academics, the lessons we have learned about friendship, happiness and the value of thankfulness are truly immeasurable,” he said.
Photos from the check presentation can be found at:
Many of the Pi Kappa Phi participants pose during the 2014 Purdue University Dance Marathon.
Fraternity members impact PUDM
Being involved in high profile positions is an expectation of being a Pi Kappa Phi at Purdue. And a foursome of fraternity members were at the forefront of the 2014 edition of the Purdue University Dance Marathon (PUDM).
Kyle Marpe, Pat Rivelli, Tripper Carter and Josh Nahley are four key fraternity members who have participated in the 18-hour dance-a-thon raising money and awareness for Indianapolis-based Riley Hospital for Children. Dance marathons are held at various campuses as part of the Miracle Children’s Network. Established in 1983, the network provides support for 170 research and treatment hospitals nationwide.
PUDM began in 2005 and started with 100 dancers and has grown to more than 2,000. What started as $1,500 in fund-raising has achieved more than $1 million in each of the last two years.
The Nov. 22-23 event was the third year for the four brothers. They were among 24 Pi Kappa Phi men involved in the extravaganza.
For Marpe, the fraternity’s emphasis on service is what brought him to PUDM. It was PUDM’s reach that kept him coming back in each of the last three years.
“Not only is it incredible to have brothers participating in something that you are so passionate about, but the whole reason I started participating in PUDM was because Pi Kapps encouraged me,” he said.
In 2012, Marpe, a civil engineering major from New Jersey, was a dancer and morale committee member. Then he served on the executive committee for student organization outreach. This year, he was vice president of external relations.
As an executive with PUDM, he got to know the kids who benefitted directly from the fund-raising.
“Looking back on this past marathon, I knew almost each Riley Kids name and story and it truly felt like we were friends,” he said. “And when that begins to happen, you begin raising money to help other kids like your new friends because you don't think any other child should have to go through what they went through.”
Many of the Riley children are brought on stage and their emotional stories told to the assembled dancers.
Like Marpe, this is the third time around for Rivelli. He moved from being a dancer-participant to member of the mini marathons committee to this year being on the operations committee.
He, too, has been impacted on the kids who benefit from PUDM’s efforts.
“The obstacles that they face are difficult and I am deeply motivated by their stories and courage to fight,” he said. “I want to make a difference and give hope and support to those that need it the most.”
Rivelli, a health and human sciences major from Indianapolis, sees PUDM’s mission in a similar fashion to Pi Kappa Phi’s The Ability Experience.
“The roots of our national philanthropy supporting people with disabilities allows me to further understand why ‘I stand for those who can't.’ ”
Likewise, Carter, a hospitality and tourism management major from Illiois, is on his third stint with PUDM having served on the morale committee each time.
As such a committee member, he participated in costume themes that changed during the 18-hour dance to choreographed dance routines. He also was somewhat of a cheerleader and helped keep energy and spirits high.
He does such for the kids.
“Children who, in almost all cases, are way too young to even understand the severity of their medical problems are able to show bravery and find joy in a capacity that I have yet to find anywhere else,” he said. “Those kids are my heroes.”
Also inspiring Carter is the large contingent of fraternity brothers at the event.
“It is so incredible that we were able to have so many brothers participating in this year's dance marathon,” he said. “We had 25 registered dancers, six members serving on committees, and one member serving as a vice president. From those brothers alone, we were able to raise $12,584.17 – having three Pi Kapps who raised more than $1,000 each.”
The fraternity has a special connection with PUDM, too. David R. Feltner, a fraternity brother who died of a childhood cancer in 2011, was a Riley patient himself. In each of the last four years, the initials DRF are on participants’ t-shirts and the banner behind the main stage contains his name.
“To see active Pi Kapp members support the legacy of a Pi Kapp who passed away is also incredible,” Marpe said. “David Feltner was a huge part of the chapter and to see members that never had the pleasure of meeting Feltner, still carry on his legacy, that is what brotherhood is all about.”
Photos from Pi Kapps at the 2014 PUDM can be found at:
Costumed fraternity members assist an Arc of Tippecanoe client during the Fourth Annual Arctoberfest hosted by Pi Kappa Phi.
Fraternity hosts Arctoberfest IV
Cool temperatures did nothing to dampen the spirits of nearly 200 people as they got an early start on celebrating Halloween courtesy of Pi Kappa Phi.
On Oct. 29, 2014, the fraternity hosted its Fourth Annual Arctoberfest, a costume-themed Halloween party for local disabled. The event is held in conjunction with the Arc of Tippecanoe, a local agency assisting disabled adults, and Best Buddies of Purdue.
Carnival games and dancing were the theme of the two and one-half hour event, held in the parking lot of Purdue’s Bailey Hall just north of the fraternity. Partygoers also had the opportunity to have their faces painted.
While temperatures dipped into the upper 40s, the calm, clear night saw the parking lot rock with DJ music.
“I thought the event went great,” said Jarrod Wagner, Pi Kappa Phi’s Ability Experience chairman. “Talking to the guests and brothers during the event, everyone seemed to be having a blast.
“It was rewarding to hear from the many guests how they very much look forward to this event every year.”
Four awards were given out near the conclusion complete with plastic pumpkins filled with treats. Those awards included:
• Best Overall Costume: Shane for his rendition of Purdue Pete.
• Scariest Costume: Jason with his scary wolf mask.
• Best Dance Moves/Most Enthusiastic: Brittany in the angel costume.
• Most Detailed Costume: Andrew who dressed as Indiana Jones.
There were plenty of snacks for the crowd that included Arc clients, family members, board members, chaperones as well as the hosting fraternity guys.
The fraternity does many things to support disabled youth and young adults in the area. Consistent with the national fraternity’s philanthropy, The Ability Experience, the chapter assists in local special needs classroom each school day and does other outreach programs including the annual Arctoberfest.
Pi Kappa Phi would like to thank our neighbors at Bailey Hall for allowing us to use the parking lot and first floor of the building to warm up and use the restrooms.
Photos from the event can be viewed at:
Record-setting biking event ends
A record number of participants helped fuel the most successful David R. Feltner 72-Hour Memorial Bike-A-Thon, which ended in a sun-soaked evening on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014.
More than 200 participants rode stationary bikes for 164 hours at the fraternity during kickoff events during the three-day event. The fourth annual ride raised money and awareness the disabled through The Ability Experience, Pi Kappa Phi’s national outreach program.
The ride, held in memory of chapter undergraduate Feltner who died of cancer in 2011, raised $2,600.
Riders were asked to raise at least $10 per hour ridden. T-shirt sales, on-site cash donations and sorority competition made up the remaining money.
Zeta Tau Alpha was the winning sorority having pedaled the most distance in 15 minutes during the kickoff events at the seven sororities on Wednesday. Sigma Kappa was a close second. Other participants included Delta Delta Delta, Alpha Omicron Pi, Chi Omega, Gamma Phi Beta and Alpha Xi Delta.
Steve and Candy Feltner rode the final five minutes of the 72-hour event – something they did to honor their son’s memory and to support the chapter’s efforts in each of the last four years.
This year’s rendition had the best weather for the event as previously it has been cold and wet. Once riders were pelted with snow and freezing rain.
A crowd of nearly 70 celebrated the end of the event by watching a slideshow of all the previous bike-a-thons. Interspersed between the years were significant events in David Feltner’s fraternity experience, which included being part of the initial group that established a volunteer relationship with special needs classes at a local high school in 2008.
The audience also got see a slideshow of the 2014 ride selected from nearly 750 photos taken.
Photos from the last 24 hours of the event can be viewed at:
Photos from the previous days can be seen at:
Those who want more information as to how to support the cause, can contact Jarrod Wagner, The Ability Experience chairman, at:
Mike McBride and James Wooldridge cycle during the Fourth Annual David R. Feltner 72-Hour Bike-A-Thon on Sept. 26 afternoon (above). President Andrew Lemna encourages Brandon Cutler, Purdue assistant dean of students, during his ride that helped conclude the second 24 hours of the three-day event.
Pi Kapps enter cycling event’s final 24 hours
Pi Kappa Phi members and guests entered the final 24 hours of the bike-a-thon with enthusiasm amid near-perfect weather conditions on Friday, Sept. 26 evening.
The fraternity is nearing the completion of the Fourth Annual David R. Feltner 72-Hour Bike-A-Thon, which began Wednesday at 6 p.m. The three-day ride raises money for The Ability Experience, the national outreach project benefitting disabled locally and nationally.
The ride is named for Feltner, who died in 2011 from a childhood cancer. He was an instrumental member for the chapter as he volunteered to support the disabled. Feltner was part of the inaugural group of Pi Kapps who volunteered at Lafayette Jefferson High School special needs classes. He also hoped to ride in the 2012 Journey of Hope, a cross-country national fraternity cycling effort. Unfortunately, he died prior to that opportunity.
Every year since his death, the chapter has conducted a bike-a-thon in his memory. His parents will ride the last five minutes of the event at 5:55 p.m. Saturday. They have done such in each the event’s prior years.
Temperatures hovered in the upper 70s amid bright sunshine during Friday’s efforts. For most of the day three stationary bikes were in full motion and during the late night hours two bikes were active.
Brandon Cutler, Purdue’s assistant dean of students for fraternity, sorority and cooperative life, rode one of three bicycles as the first 48 hours of the ride ended on Friday evening. It was his first time participating in the ride. He also contributed $20 toward the cause.
By 6 p.m. Saturday, the fraternity anticipates raising more than $2,000 for The Ability Experience. The Purdue group was named the top Ability Experience chapter in the nation for 2013-14, for its overall programming and fund-raising.
Last year, the chapter raised more than $16,000 with a quarter of that money going to assist the local high school special needs classes. In addition to volunteering each school day, the fraternity also hosts multiple events year-round. In 2013-14 for example, the chapter touched nearly 2,500 people with its programming.
For photos from Friday’s events:
Thursday’s photos can be seen at:
Wednesday’s kickoff and ride can be seen at:
Those who want more information as to how to support the cause, can contact Jarrod Wagner, The Ability Experience chairman, at:
Riders wave to a supportive passerby on Thursday, Sept. 25 during the Fourth Annual David R. Feltner Bike-A-Thon on the Pi Kappa Phi front lawn.
Day 2 kicks off for Bike-A-Thon
More than 50 cyclists rode one of three stationary bikes in the first day of the Fourth Annual David R. Feltner 72-Hour Memorial Bike-A-Thon.
The annual three-day affair that ends on Homecoming Saturday is in memory of a Pi Kappa Phi chapter member who died in 2011 from cancer. The Ability Experience, the national philanthropic effort of fraternity serving disabled locally and nationally, benefits from the fund-raising.
Amid nearly picture perfect weather during the day on Thursday, Sept. 25, riders and supporters alike roamed the front lawn in a very festive atmosphere. High temperatures reached the upper 70s and it was sunny throughout the day.
“It was a great atmosphere all day long,” The Ability Experience chairman Jarrod Wagner said, “and I’m sure it will carry through the rest of the event.”
A total of 51 riders participated in the first 24-hour period that ended at 5:59 p.m. Thursday. More than 30 sorority members participated in the kickoff events around campus, too.
“Friday’s cyclists are already exited for their time on one of our three bikes,” Wagner said.
Nearly 200 cyclists are expected to participate, including the parents of the late David Feltner, Candy and Steve from Noblesville, IN. The parents will ride the last five minutes of the 72 hours as they have in the previous three events.
The chapter has a goal of raising $2,000 by 6 p.m. on Saturday, which is immediately after the noon Iowa at Purdue Homecoming football game.
Photos from Day 2 can be found at:
Photos from Day 1 can be found at:
Pi Kappa Phi and seven sororities kicked off the Fourth Annual David R. Feltner 72-Hour Bike-A-Thon on Sept. 22, 2014. On top a fraternity member models the shirts on behalf of the event. In the middle photo Zetas celebrate their performance. On the bottom, chapter members hold the bike during a rider changeover at Delta Delta Delta.
Bike-a-Thon starts 4th year
Seven sororities – with up to as many as five riders – helped kickstart the Fourth Annual David R. Feltner 72-Hour Bike A Thon for Pi Kappa Phi on Sept. 22, 2014.
Over the course of the next three days more than 200 riders will don one of three stationary bike at the fraternity house, 330 N. Grant St., to benefit The Ability Experience (formerly known as Push America). Riders commit to raise at least $10 each for their 60-minute ride.
Riders will include members of the special needs classes at Lafayette Jefferson High School, their parents and/or teachers. The fraternity volunteers each day in the classes throughout the fall and spring semesters.
Purdue and city officials are also expected to ride the bike to benefit The Ability Experience that assists the disabled locally and nationally.
The sororities kickoff event was a 15-minute stationary bike ride by as many sisters as they choose. The total mileage covered in that quarter hour will determine the winner, which will be announced at the closing event at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27. Participants includes Delta Delta Delta, Alpha Omicron Pi, Chi Omega, Gamma Phi Beta, Sigma Kappa, Zeta Tau Alpha and Alpha Xi Delta.
Fraternity members brought a bicycle with a stand and a computer sensor to measure speed and distance. Each sorority brought out sisters to cheer on their cyclists.
The Bike a Thon is named in memory of Pi Kappa Phi brother Feltner, who died in June 2011 due to cancer. Earlier that year, after Feltner lost an eye to cancer, the fraternity did a fund-raiser to help him with a special needs dog since he had lost the sense of balance and smell due to surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation. The chapter raised more than $10,000 to buy the dog, but unfortunately he died before being fully trained with it.
Feltner was one of the original chapter members who worked in the Lafayette Special needs classes in 2008. He was also a major contributor to chapter-based fund-raising and raising awareness for the disabled.
For more information about how to support the cause, contact The Ability Experience chairman, Jarrod Wagner (email@example.com, 708/917-0066).
Updates each day during the 72-hours can be read at: purduepikapps.com.
Photos from the Sept. 22 kickoff and bicycling can be found at:
Chapter members view signs promoting Homecoming Week activities at Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity. They are wearing shirts promoting brother Tripper Carter for homecoming king and overlook the sign promoting the Fourth Annual David Feltner 72-Hour Memorial Bike-a-Thon that starts at 6 p.m., Wednesday and runs through Saturday evening.
Homecoming set for Sept. 27
Purdue and Pi Kappa Phi will be welcoming alumni to the chapter on Saturday, Sept. 27 as the Boilermakers (2-2) host Iowa (3-1).
The deadline has passed for alumni wishing to sit in the Pi Kappa Phi group at the game, but plenty of tickets will be available the day of the game.
The fraternity’s Saturday, Sept. 27 homecoming schedule includes:
• 9 a.m. to noon, open house, 330 N. Grant St. See the summer improvements, which includes replacement of the main boiler system.
• 10:30 to 11:15 a.m., alumni pregame luncheon in the house basement.
• Noon, Purdue vs. Northern Illinois football game in Ross-Ade Stadium.
• 4 to 6 p.m., alumni open house at the chapter.
• 6 p.m., completion of the Fourth Annual David R. Feltner Memorial Bike-a-Thon benefitting The Ability Experience (formerly known as Push America). Chapter members, alumni and sorority members will ride three stationary bikes from 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24 to 6 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 28, to raise money for the cause. Candy and Steve Feltner, parents of David, will once again don the bikes for the last five minutes of the 72-hour event.
Pi Kappa Phi Paintball Brotherhood Event
Pi Kappa Phi ranks among best
During the 2013-14 academic year, Pi Kappa Phi stood among the best fraternities at Purdue. In fact, the chapter has been named Purdue’s best fraternity (out of 40) six of the last seven years.
Here’s where Pi Kappa Phi ranks at Purdue:
• No. 1 in size, 152 members at end of spring semester (average chapter size, 68.1 in spring)
• No. 1 in philanthropic volunteer hours, 2,007
• No. 2 in philanthropic dollars, $16,500
• No. 9 in average GPA, 2.98 semester, 3.03 cumulative
Pi Kappa Phi National Statistics, (out of 184 chapters nationally)
• 2014 Star of Hope Award, most outstanding and comprehensive use of Push America/The Ability Experience programming on their campus.
• No. 4 in chapter size (152)
• No. 3 in all-time initiates (1,949 Pi Kappa Phi initiates at Purdue)
• No. 3 in Push America/The Ability Experience fund-raising
Purdue Pi Kappa Phi members Joe Shane, Hayden Gloyeske, Thomas Fisher and Andrew Lemna stand on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. The fraternity members had just finished the 2014 Journey of Hope cross-country cycling ride raising money and awareness for the disabled.
Chapter showcases service
“Servant leadership” was the theme of the Aug. 28 new member recruitment event at Pi Kappa Phi.
The fraternity prides itself as the top philanthropic chapter at Purdue and, perhaps, in the nation. The Ability Experience, the fraternity’s national service project assisting the disabled, is just one of the ways that Pi Kappa Phi separates itself.
The chapter conducts two major fall and spring fund-raisers alongside its daily commitment to assisting special needs classes at Lafayette Jefferson High School. In the fall, it has the David Feltner 72-Hour Memorial Bike-a-Thon and Arctoberfest. The former has one to three riders on stationary bicycles pedaling for 72 continuous hours leading up to homecoming. Then, the fraternity partners with the Arc of Tippecanoe and Best Buddies – local disability support groups – to host more than 200 for a Halloween-themed costume party.
In the spring, the chapter conducts a two-week War of Roses, which raises awareness through a disability-oriented competition and an empathy dinner. Participating sororities also compete in sheet-sign design and t-shirt sales leading up to a talent show in front of more than 800 people.
During the Spring Fest activities on campus, the fraternity sponsors an 100-kilometer cycling trip from Zionsville to campus raising additional funds for The Ability Experience.
Chapter members may also participate in activities with brothers from other Pi Kappa Phi chapters during spring break at Ability Camps doing service and improvement projects.
Also each summer several chapter members participate in the national Journey of Hope cycling ride from the West Coast to Washington, DC. In 2014, the Purdue chapter of Pi Kappa Phi had four riders. In the two summers preceding last year, the chapter had five in each ride. In 2015, the chapter will have seven more bringing the grand total to 40 riders and three crew since 1980.
In 2013-14, the local Pi Kappa Phi chapter raised $16,870 for The Ability Experience and $190,494 since 1980. One-quarter of the annual fund-raising is targeted back to assisting the special needs classes at Lafayette Jeff.
And finally, the chapter participates in nearly all the Purdue Greek-sponsored philanthropies on campus.
Pi Kappa Phi has led the fraternity system at Purdue in philanthropic fund-raising in 12 out of the last 14 years. For its efforts, the chapter has been recognized the top Pi Kappa Phi chapter nationally (out of 184 chapters) in terms of overall programming.
New member recruitment will continue through early September. Functions will be held each Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday through Sept. 11, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the fraternity house, 330 N. Grant St. One exception to that will be on Sept. 2, when the recruitment event will be held at the Intramural Fields.
For those interested in the new member process, feel free to contact Ryan Schmierer, recruitment chairman, at firstname.lastname@example.org, 765/ 490-6821.
Pi Kappa Phi members greet prospective new members at the first event of the fall on Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014.
New member recruitment begins
The fall recruitment period kicked off in a hot and humid fashion on Sunday, Aug. 24 as dozens of prospective members visited Pi Kappa Phi.
The first event was a “meet and greet” that is informal in nature and allows chapter members to expose interested men in the fraternity. It was the first of nine new member recruitment events for the fraternity located at 330 N. Grant St., West Lafayette.
Recruitment events will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday for the first three weeks of Purdue’s fall semester. Prospective new member can choose among 40 campus fraternities. The process can be challenging particularly for men who have no clue the differences in chapters.
The Purdue fraternity system has specialized chapters – from agriculture and engineering and from those associated with religious groups. Pi Kappa Phi is a general interest fraternity founded on Judeo-Christian values, but not a specific religion or area of study.
Pi Kappa Phi was the largest chapter at Purdue at the conclusion of the spring semester with 152 brothers. It also raised the most money of any fraternity for philanthropic purposes.
The fraternity is hosting three events during the first week of school. The first two – on Sunday and Tuesday – are very informal. Thursday’s event will focus on what the chapter does to assist others through both on-campus philanthropic efforts to those for The Ability Experience/Push America.
Pi Kappa Phi is easily the most involved fraternity in the area of service. Each school day in the fall and spring, chapter members volunteer in special needs classes at Lafayette Jefferson High School. Furthermore, it holds large fall and spring events that involve alumni, fellow Greeks and families. Last school year, for example Pi Kappa Phi touched nearly 2,000 people with its The Ability Experience/Push America events.
Prospective members are encouraged to get to know as many of the chapter members as possible. After meeting multiple brothers, the chapter members may offer a “bid,” which is an invitation to become an associate member. Pi Kappa Phi is likely to have more than 200 men interested in one of 30 or so bids for the fall semester.
Those who want to learn more about the chapter and about the new member recruitment process, should contact Ryan Schmierer at email@example.com, or at 765/490-6821.
Photos from the first new member recruitment event can be found at:
Fraternity president Andrew Lemna greets a disabled client during his ride on the 2014 Journey of Hope South team.
Cycling trip impacts chapter foursome
Descriptions such as “incredible, challenging and rewarding” are terms used by fraternity members as they describe what it’s like to be on the 2014 Journey of Hope team.
Four Pi Kappa Phi members on three different routes are traveling from the West Coast to Washington, DC, during 2014 with a purpose. Thirty six members of the chapter have participated in the nearly 4,000-mile cycling trek since 1991. They raise money and awareness for the disabled across the country during a three-month period that ends on Aug. 2 in DC.
“The Journey of Hope has been the most difficult, yet most rewarding experience I have ever had,” said Joe Shane, a rider on the Trans America team. “Every day pushing through the miles and remembering who we are riding for really makes it worth while. This has been the best summer of my life.”
Chapter brother Hayden Gloyekse, of Lafayette, IN, accompanies Shane, of Jackson, NJ, on the Trans team. The two spent a rare night off in the Indianapolis during July. Nearly 20 of their Purdue chapter brothers joined them for a dinner on July 19 in Zionsville.
While crossing the country, team members visit groups of people who are disabled as well as those who serve them. The disabled clients are thrilled to see the riders at various camps and service organizations.
However, the impact on the riders and crew sometimes is even more significant than the support the riders give the disabled.
For Gloyeske, a July 10 visit to Olathe, KS was one such event. There he met a quadriplegic who showed the Trans team what it’s like to live each day with a disability.
“Listening to him talk about his life really open my eyes … and really pushed me more to keep going on this trip,” Gloyeske wrote in his daily blog about the trip. “I have never seen someone who had been dealt such poor cards have such a great attitude on life.”
One of the things that left a lasting impression on Gloyeske was a quote he found on the guy’s wall – “Always move into the future with courage, clarity, humor and hope.”
Two other chapter members – Andrew Lemna (south team) and Thomas Fisher (north) have had similar experiences along the way.
“The Journey of Hope has been a life-changing experience,” Lemna, of Noblesville, IN, said. “I've gotten to meet so many incredible people using their talents and hard work to make a difference in the world every day.”
Fisher, of West Lafayette, IN, said the trip changed his perspective, too.
“I would say I have been most affected by the Journey of Hope through being able to see all of the incredible abilities that people we usually label as disabled have,” he said. “I have learned that we all have disabilities, but that even more importantly everyone has been blessed with certain abilities that we can call our own.
“This trip has allowed me to celebrate these abilities with people whose abilities are usually underestimated by society.”
Photos from the July 19 Zionsville visit from the Trans America team as well as photos of chapter riders on the north and south teams can be found at:
A choreographer directs the six-member special needs SPIRIT! troupe as it performs at the April 9, 2014, talent show portion of Pi Kappa Phi's "War of Roses" in a packed Loeb Playhouse on the Purdue campus.
Thank you note touches fraternity
What might become lost in the chapter’s service successes in 2013-14, is the personal touch. A local choreographer’s recent thank you note to the national fraternity staff changed that.
On June 26, 2014, the founder and president of SPIRIT! Theatre of Lafayette sent an email to the Push America and the national fraternity’s CEOs expressing her gratitude. She lauded the local Pi Kappa Phi chapter’s support and specifically noted the efforts of chapter Push America chairman, Thomas Fisher.
SPIRIT! Theatre is in its second year of offering “meaningful opportunities for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.” Because the fraternity supports the needs of disabled through its multifaceted academic year programming, Fisher offered the troupe a stage.
During the spring semester, Pi Kappa Phi hosts a two-week “War of Roses.” The annual event includes empathy training, competition mimicking various disabilities and other activities leading up to a two-hour talent show. On April 9, the talent competition featured 15 sorority teams – coached by Pi Kappa Phi members – performing in front of nearly 600 people in Loeb Playhouse on the Purdue campus.
Between various event categories – such as humorous Q&A’s with one representative from a given sorority or the talent portion that featured individuals or teams doing routines – the fraternity explained the value of serving those with disabilities. During one of those breaks, the SPIRIT! Group performed excerpts of an upcoming production, “Dreams of Broadway.”
Six special needs performers did a song and dance routine on the stage to help prepare them for an upcoming event. The crowd gave the group a standing ovation.
In her six-paragraph thank you note to the national fraternity representatives, Barb Osborn praised the Fisher and the chapter.
“They were all a little nervous before the production because they would be performing in front of a large audience at the biggest venue yet,” Osborn wrote in the email. “I think that they amazed themselves and were all in awe of the rounds of applause coupled with standing ovation at the end of their portion of the entertainment. Their individual and collective self esteem grew, they now have a broader vision of what their lives can involve and are imagining other opportunities coming the way of the Company.
“Thomas Fisher was instrumental in providing the cast this opportunity,” Osborn continued. “Throughout coordinating arrangements, Thomas was professional, very timely and reliable with his communication and enthusiastic about including SPIRIT!
“I just thought that you should know what a great chapter, and in particular an incredible brother, you have in Thomas Fisher. Thanks for all you do to support and bring increased respect for the developmentally disabled.”
Chad Coltrane, Push America CEO, responded to Osborn’s email.
“Thank you so much for taking the time to send us the fantastic note about Thomas and the Pi Kappa Phi men at Purdue,” Coltrane wrote in an email response. “They are a great group of men and we are very proud of their efforts.”
Mark Timmes, national fraternity CEO, echoed the sentiment.
“Let me add my thanks,” Timmes wrote. “We are very proud of the chapter and how it positively impacts our members and enriches the lives of those around us, too.”
The Osborn-Coltrane-Timmes communication was shared with the chapter.
“We are humbled and appreciative of your thoughtful correspondence,” chapter advisor Pat Kuhnle wrote. “The local chapter does so many programming things to lift up the disabled that they are probably too numerous to list here. But, it’s no accident that the chapter that has raised more than $15,000 last school year for disabled nationally and locally, does community outreach, too.”
During the 2013-14 school year, the Purdue fraternity touched nearly 2,000 people on campus and in the community through its work with the disabled.
Many of the 20 May 2014 Pi Kappa Phi graduates pose on the fraternity's front lawn.
Chapter graduates 20 members
Twenty fraternity seniors took part of the May 2014 graduation ceremonies at Purdue University.
Graduates are moving into a wide variety of professional careers. Here’s a capsule of what the pictured Pi Kappa Phi graduates are doing:
• Colin Aker, of Seymour, IN will be starting in the rotational development program at Honeywell in Richmond, VA.
• Keagan Dunville, of Evansville, IN, will move to Dublin, Ireland to pursue a Master’s Degree in Neuroscience.
• Cory Hensley of West Lafayette, IN, will be staying in town while applying to graduate schools.
• Marshall Drew, of Catawba Island, OH, will be moving to Chicago, IL to work for Aramark.
• Brian Allemeier, of Westfield, IN, will be working as a field engineer for Schlumberger in Al-Khaber, Saudi Arabia.
• Caleb Shoup, of Bonduel, WI, will be a production supervisor at Dawn Food Products in Louisville, KY.
• Alex Faulkner, of Zionsville, IN, will be project engineer for Suncoke Energy in Chicago, IL.
• Kaleb Stephens, of Butler, IN, will be a supply chain analyst for PepsiCo in Chicago, IL.
• TJ Wilson, of Wheaton, IL, is pursuing jobs in Chicago, IL.
• Sam Newblom, of Westfield, IN, is pursing jobs in Indianapolis, IN.
• Michael Schmierer, of West Lafayette, IN, will be a legislative assistant for the Indiana House of Representatives in Indianapolis, IN.
• Brett Poncsak, of Hebron, IN, will move to Indianapolis, IN to be in the catapult rotational program for Exact Target.
President Kaleb Stephens presents a Pi Alpha recognition trophy to the chapter honoring the 38 members who have/or will have ridden in the national cross-county cycling trip. He if flanked by chapter members who are part of that elite group.
Chapter members who participated in the April 12, 2014 Pi Kapp 100 are surrounded by fraternity brothers and their families following the ride from Zionsville to Lafayette.
Moms Day/Pi Kapp 100 sets records
A fun-filled, bright, warm spring day kept fraternity family members busy during the record-breaking Moms Day/Pi Kapp 100 on April 12, 2014.
A crowd of nearly 280 people greeted the 24 Pi Kapp 100 riders and crew as they completed their Zionsville-to-Lafayette 100-kilometer bike ride that day. Riders were required to raise at least $150 and crew $75 toward the chapter’s annual fund-raising for Push America, the national philanthropic effort benefitting the disabled.
Then, the lunch crowd of 280, helped celebrate the accomplishments of the Purdue fraternity during 2013-14, with a series of speakers.
The audience heard from Brenden Hulett, chapter historian, about the day’s events. The activities included a mom’s day reception with appetizers, an auction that raised funds for either Push or an house improvement project, and a social gathering late into the evening. Fraternity and family members also learned about the various ways the fraternity reaches out to the disabled from Thomas Fisher, Push America chairman.
Push events during the 2013-14 school year included: the third annual 72-hour David R. Feltner Bike-a-Thon, seventh Annual War of Roses and 15th annual Pi Kapp 100 – all raising funds and awareness for Push. Furthermore, the chapter sends members each school day to the Lafayette Jefferson High School special needs classes and hosts the Arctoberfest, a Halloween costume party for clients of the Arc of Tippecanoe.
Academic chairman Rita Baker and chapter advisor Pat Kuhnle recognized the 75 chapter members who had a 3.0 or higher last semester. Also, the 35 men with a 3.5 or higher and the seven 4.0 GPAs were honored.
Fraternity alumni Kevin Ohaver and Andy Parker, founders of the Pi Kapp 100, a 100-kilometer cycling trip each spring established in 1999, reminisced about how the event got started. They lauded the chapter for making it grow over the years and were amazed by the immensity of the Pi Kapp 100/Moms Day Saturday that drew nearly 350 people.
The evening auction raised $9,775. Of that, donors targeted Push America with $3,140 of the total amount raised. Another of $3,000 was raised through the Pi Kapp 100 part, meaning the day brought in more than $6,000 for Push on Saturday.
That amount, combined with the proceeds of the War of Roses earlier in the week, which pitted 15 sororities competing in various activities including an empathy dinner, a disability race and a talent show, raised $5,112. Thus, the week of April 9 grossed an excess of $11,000 for the chapter’s national outreach program.
The luncheon portion of the day ended when president Kaleb Stephens surprised everyone by presenting a Pi Alpha trophy. The hardware recognized the 38 Purdue chapter members who had/will have ridden in the annual summer Journey of Hope, a summer Push America national fraternity cross-county cycling trip raising awareness and funds for the disabled.
Here’s a brief description of the events that help set Pi Kappa Phi apart from other fraternities.
• Feltner Bike-a-Thon. For 72 hours at least two stationary bikes are ridden to raise funds and awareness leading up to Homecoming each fall.
• Arctoberfest. The fraternity hosts clients of the Arc of Tippecanoe, a local agency assisting disabled, for a costume party/carnival near Thanksgiving.
• War of Roses. This two-week empathy training, outreach, talent extravaganza involves more than 1,000 people. In 2013, for example, 16 sororities competed to earn the War of Roses crown.
• Pi Kapp 100. The chapter hosts a 100-kilometer cycling trip from the Indianapolis area to the Purdue campus each spring. As many as 40 riders arrive on the steps of the fraternity house during the annual Moms Day each spring.
• Lafayette Jefferson High School Volunteer Relationship. Each school day during the fall and spring semesters, fraternity members assist in two special needs classes at a local high school.
Photos from the Jan. 23 new member recruitment event can be found at:
Chapter members work with students with a wide variety of disabilities from cognitive to physical.
Pi Kappa Phi completes its fall recruitment period the week of Sept.15. For more information about the process, contact Ryan Schmierer at:
or at 765-490-6821
Pi Kappa Phi has won six R.B. Stewart Awards in the past seven years, signifying it as Purdue’s best fraternity. It’s commitment to Push America (pushamerica.org) is one of those reasons.