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Kovner Banquet 2008

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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.”

Alpha Delta Brothers recognized

On the odd occasion, PA Alpha Delta brothers are recognized by the IHQ for their contributions to the fraternity. Two of our brothers were presented with awards for their accomplishments.

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:

President – Mike Naegele
Vice President – Jim Kelsh
Secretary – Shawn Mahoney
Treasurer – Bob Arthur

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.

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.