2009 Chapter News
March 24, 2009
Recognition and renewal were the prevailing messages of the 2008 Kovner Memorial Banquet, held on November 2. Without an active chapter to share this year’s celebration, the event would focus heavily on the reestablishment of the chapter.
In a 1943 letter to Is Wachs (chapter advisor), Alfred Kovner stated, “I have heard that you have been kept very busy with Alpha Delta in their closing stage. Too bad the House had to close at this stage of the game — just when they appeared to be getting all-powerful… Well, we grads will open the House right after the war and it'll be bigger and better than ever.”
Sentiments like this remind us of the resiliency of the Alpha Delta chapter, and the reasons why we honor the memory of “Koko” Kovner every year.
Mike on the mike
A svelte, moderately inebriated Mike Naegele, President of the Alumni Association, took to the podium to welcome all attendees and raise his glass to call for a "social."
While attendance was less than anticipated, Mike thanked banquet regulars, Irv Koffler ’62, David McDonnell ‘89, Paul Lucas ‘93, Fred Brehm ‘86, Chris Isacsson ’85, and Rick Hahn ’94, for their enduring and unconditional support over the years.
Brothers who traveled from as far away as North Carolina, Joe Costy ‘78; Kentucky, David Silver ‘64; and California, Andy Lackman ‘93, punctuated the fact that Kovner is still an event not to miss.
In a gesture of support, ten members of the Pi Lambda Phi International Executive Council (IEC) and Educational Foundation made arrangements to attend the 2008 banquet. Mike thanked them for their encouragement stating, “the Alpha Delta chapter has always been an independent, confident — yes, you could say cocky — group, but we are not too proud to know when we need help. The events over the past few years have been particularly trying, and we are fortunate to have the full support of the IHQ as we move forward.”
Incumbents win landslide victories
Officer elections were an uncomplicated affair, as all but one of the current executive board officers ran for re-election unopposed. Bob Arthur threw his hat into the ring for the vacant office of Treasurer and was voted in unanimously. As a symbol of his willingness to serve, Bob immediately threw himself to the floor into push-up position.
2009-2010 PA Alpha Delta Alumni Association Officers:
Thank you to the brothers who took the time to send in their write-in votes for Heywood Jablowme and Phil McCracken.
State of the Chapter – Pi Lam shall return
Jim Kelsh ’75, Vice President of the Alumni Association, took the podium to provide a brief chapter report. Jim said that the alumni association leadership has and always will put the welfare of the chapter first, and make decisions based on the best interests of the PA Alpha Delta chapter.
Jim explained that over the past two years we have taken a clearheaded, unbiased view as to what it would take to reestablish the chapter. To do so in a way that was acceptable to the brothers, the IHQ, and the University was not always easy.
Despite the best efforts of the alumni association, we were unable to do two of the things that we initially thought possible: reorganize the chapter with the remaining brotherhood, and repair and re-occupy the house. This may be the reason for the frustration that some brothers have expressed and the absence of the more recent classes from Kovner.
Jim shared the best news of the evening, “Pi Lam will be back on Temple’s campus in 2010!” The IHQ and the alumni association came to an agreement with the university allowing us to begin recruiting this fall and re-charter in spring 2010.
Acknowledging the pledged support of the IHQ, Jim said, “Now, the task of rebuilding is ahead of us.” We have the unique opportunity to continue our great traditions and instill them in a new generation of brothers.
Blitz Kreig – Ezra talks Foundation
Sometimes it helps to be reminded that an event like the Kovner Banquet is unique to our chapter. Even Ezra Krieg, President of the Educational Foundation admitted, “I’ve always wanted to attend a Kovner Banquet.” He went on to applaud the longevity of the Kovner Banquet and the character of the PA Alpha Delta chapter.
Ezra spoke of the mission of the Foundation, its educational and leadership goals, and personally thanked Eli Hoffman for his many contributions to the Foundation over the years.
Dan Scott and the IHQ Stimulus Package
President of the IEC, Dan Scott spoke of other chapters who have gone through struggles like ours, and cited examples of recent successes including Baldwin-Wallace and Florida. He was confident that the history of our chapter and strong alumni support would be key in reestablishing the undergraduate chapter on campus and pledged the full support of the IHQ as we moved forward.
Dan recognized the importance of alumni contributions as the backbone of our fraternity, saying, “every year alumni graciously give their time and efforts to make our Fraternity better. The tremendous contributions of our volunteers is a source of growth and strength."
Finally, Dan congratulated the following PA Alpha Delta brothers who were recognized with Certificates of Merit in 2008: Robert Arthur '96, Fred Brehm '82, Timothy Bryan '86, James Kelsh '75, David McDonnell '89, Michael Naegele '88, and Ron Savarese '91.
Mahoney keyed up
The Council Key is one of the highest awards given in Pi Lambda Phi for continued exemplary service to a chapter or the International Fraternity.
Representing the IEC, council key recipient and five-time winner of “Best Pi Lam moustache,” Andy Golbert, presented the Council Key to Shawn Mahoney ’92. The members of the IEC formed a line to individually congratulate Shawn, who was relieved it was not a paddling ceremony.
Andy pointed out that in addition to his familiar role as chapter advisor from 1992 – 1999 and his current position in the alumni association, Shawn also made valuable contributions to the International Fraternity. For a number of years, Shawn designed Pi Lam IHQ periodicals, and in cooperation with IHQ staff, he designed and edited the New Member Manual currently used by all Pi Lam chapters.
Shawn said, “Pi Lam has been truly influential in making me the person that I am. It’s a real honor to be recognized for giving something back to a group that has meant so much to me.”
Shawn closed with a plea to brothers to find time to get involved by serving the fraternity in some capacity. While he continues to find his contributions very rewarding, he contended, “I would like to have more time to focus on my other interests, like surfing Internet porn.”
Big Pi for Eli
The Big Pi is awarded to alumni brothers who are held in high esteem by virtue of outstanding accomplishment, which brings honor to the brother and Pi Lambda Phi.
Jeff Buhler, Vice President of the IEC, presented the coveted Big Pi award to Eli Hoffman ‘59. Jeff described Eli as both a generous benefactor and tireless advocate of the Pi Lambda Phi for many years.
Eli is chairman of the board of the Jaqua Foundation. The Jaqua Foundation’s mission is to fund collegiate education, performing arts, and animal welfare programs. Thanks to Eli, hundreds of scholarships have been awarded to students, including many PA Alpha Delta brothers. In addition the Jaqua foundation has provided annual support to the Pi Lambda Phi Educational Foundation’s Leadership School.
Eli gratefully accepted the Big Pi noting, “I am very pleased and proud to be recognized with this award, the highest honor that Pi Lam can bestow on a brother.” He reflected fondly on his days on campus, saying, “It was a wonderful part of my life and epitomizes our slogan ‘not four years, but a lifetime.’ Although it’s been more than 50 years, I still remember the good old days of being a Pi Lam brother. It’s a great experience for a young person.”
Eli was delighted to be in the company of classmates Melvin Weiss ’61 and Richard Levy '61 as he joined an esteemed group of PA Alpha Delta Big Pi recipients including: Abby Mann, Irv Gross, Steve Levy, and Dan Lynch.
Realizing Kovner’s Vision
After closing in 1943, the Alpha Delta chapter reopened in 1945. Kovner’s vision of a “bigger and better” chapter was realized due to the hard work of the brothers he left behind.
The resounding message of the 2008 Kovner Banquet was that with the support of the International Headquarters and our strong alumni, this storied Alpha Delta chapter can and will succeed in a similar fashion.