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 email@example.com, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
Stephanie DeMarco is all smiles as she was named the 2014 Rose Queen after Zeta Tau Alpha earned the War of Roses competition.
Zetas earn War of Roses crown
Zeta Tau Alpha’s Stephanie DeMarco won the title of Rose Queen at the culmination event of the weeklong War of Roses.
More than 600 people attended the April 9, 2014 talent show that ended a week of empathy training, volunteering and various competitions for Pi Kappa Phi and 15 sororities. Push America, the national philanthropic effort of Pi Kappa Phi, benefits from the fund-raising and disability awareness.
The 2014 competition grossed $5,112 as more than 600 people packed the lower ring of Loeb Playhouse on the Purdue campus during the talent competition.
Winners of the weeklong War of Roses included:
• Alpha Gamma Delta, disability race.
• Zeta Tau Alpha, penny wars.
• Kappa Alpha Theta, ticket sales.
• Alpha Gamma Delta, talent show.
• Zeta Tau Alpha, overall winner.
• Phi Mu, overall runner up
• Kappa Alpha Theta, second runner up.
Pi Kappa Phi wishes to thank all participating sororities and our skip-a-meal sponsor, Hot Box, for assisting those with disabilities both locally and nationally.
Participating sororities include:
Zeta Tau Alpha, Phi Mu, Delta Zeta, Delta Gamma, Sigma Delta Tau, Delta Delta Delta, Alpha Xi Delta, Alpha Gamma Delta, Sigma Kappa, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Alpha Omicron Pi, Gamma Phi Beta, Kappa Alpha Theta, Alpha Chi Omega, and Alpha Phi. Thank you!
Photos from the event can be found at:
A sorority members looks bewildered as she is forced to eat with her thumb and pinkie taped together during the April 8 empathy dinner at Pi Kappa Phi.
Fraternity dines with disabilities
Nearly 50 fraternity and participating sorority members mimicked various disabilities during the 2014 War of Roses competition at Pi Kappa Phi on April 8, 2014.
Events included eating while hearing impaired, mute, blind, speaking with words with only three letters, words that only start with the letter “k,” eating with your non-dominant hand and with three fingers. The intent was for participants to learn what it was like to have a disability.
The empathy dinner followed an afternoon whereby representatives from as many as 15 sorority volunteered alongside fraternity members in the special needs classes at Lafayette Jefferson High School.
The week-long War of Roses will conclude on April 9, when 1,000 people are expected to attend a talent show in Loeb Playhouse on the Purdue University campus.
Photos from the empathy dinner can be found at:
A sorority member stacks cups with one hand during the April 7, 2014 War of Roses competition at Pi Kappa Phi.
War of Roses competition begins
Flying Solo cups along with blindfolded and hand-impaired sorority members kicked off the competition portion of the 2014 Pi Kappa Phi War of Roses on April 7, 2014.
Thirteen of the 15 War of Roses sororities were represented in the April 7 competitions at the fraternity house. On April 8, the chapter will host an empathy dinner whereby sorority members must mimic some disability. Furthermore, at least one participant from each competing sorority will accompany fraternity brothers as they visit the special needs classes at Lafayette Jefferson High School.
Then on April 9, as many as 1,000 audience members will cram into Loeb Playhouse on the Purdue University campus to see a talent show among the 15 sororities.
However, on April 7, the focus was on representatives from the chapters doing various impaired competitions. The tasks included: Tying their shoes and stacking cups with one hand, hopping up and down stairs with one leg and various other things such as buttoning a jacket with socks over participants’ hands.
Sororities sent dozens of their sisters to support each other and play the various games. Points are assigned to winners and will factor into the week’s champion. Additional points will come from a sheet sign competition, t-shirt sales, penny wars and talent show ticket sales.
The winning sorority will have a representative become the Rose Queen for the fraternity and her photo will accompany the brothers on next year’s composite.
Photos from Day 1’s events can be found at:
A fraternity auctioneer holds up baked goods during the 2013 Moms Day event in front of a crowd of nearly 200 in the fraternity's Great Hall and foyer.
It’s time for Moms Day 2014!
The most popular Pi Kappa Phi family event is nearly upon us – the annual Pi Kapp 100/Moms Day event scheduled for April 12, 2014.
Arguably the largest moms day event in the Purdue Greek system, we expect nearly 300 to participate.
The first event will begin shortly after noon at Debbie’s Catering at the Lafayette Shrine Club, 3024 Old State Road 25. You can meet us there or park at the fraternity house, 330 N. Grant St., West Lafayette, and take one of chartered busses to the luncheon location.
We anticipate the Pi Kapp 100 team – a group of chapter cyclists who will have traveled 100 kilometers to the site that day – to arrive by roughly 12:30 p.m. After a short gathering outside, including a team photo, we will assemble inside the Shrine Club for a buffet luncheon. During the end of the meal, parents will be treated to a slideshow of events during the school year and a series of speakers. Our president, historian, Push America chairman, chapter advisor and academic advisor will reflect upon the accomplishments of the chapter during the 2013-14 school year.
Our keynote speakers will be fraternity alumni Kevin Ohaver from Charlotte, NC and Andy Parker from Atlanta, GA. It was the vision of those two who first established the Pi Kapp 100 in 1999.
We hope to complete the luncheon festivities by 2:15 p.m. Then moms (and their sons and guests) have some free time until a 4 p.m. reception at the fraternity house. Appetizers will be available from 4 to 6:30 p.m. in the chapter house basement. At 5 p.m., we will commence our annual auction with proceeds going to a house improvement project or the chapter’s Push America annual fund-raising efforts – donor’s choice.
Auction items, which parents bring and for which they bid against each other, have included: filled picnic baskets, lottery tickets, Cubs or Sox baseball tickets, old beer signs, cookies for a year (yes, one local mom will bake a dozen cookies for a year for a fraternity member), Purdue and Pi Kappa Phi sportswear, neon fraternity signs and even original paintings of the fraternity house. Use your imagination and then up the bids!
By 6:30 p.m., the auction will be over and you will have a chance to fill up on appetizers or take your son out to dinner. For those brave enough, there will be a 9 p.m. social event with fraternity mom/sons.
If you have not yet done so, please RSVP to Brenden Hulett, chapter historian ASAP. Brenden is also your contact person should you have questions about the event.
He can be reached at:
You can register your auction item with Brenden and indicate whether you wish it to go through the public or silent auctions. The silent auction will conclude at 5 p.m. when the public auction begins.
Photos from the 2013 Moms Day/Pi Kapp 100 can be found at:
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.