President of the Alumni Association, Jim Kelsh ’74, kicked off this year’s event to a crowd of 85 brothers with a history lesson about the Kovner legacy, a fitting reminder of why we have been hosting this event for 72 years. Jim’s stage presence and oratory skills were reason enough for the surprising lack of heckling. Said Kelsh, “This is my job. I work with knuckleheads every day.”
The Invocation – And you thought Bolero was long
From the moment Alan Teplitsky ’61 reached into his jacket pocket and pulled forth his speech with great effort, a heavy tome which landed upon the podium with a thud, we knew we were in for a long night.
It became clear that this “invocation” was a frustrated author’s autobiographical manifesto about God, introspection, self-doubt, drug-induced hallucinations, and possibly (I’m not sure as I passed out) Pi Lam… as minutes became hours, and hours became days, brothers squirmed in their seats, and event organizers looked to each other helplessly, powerless to play him off with orchestra music.
During the lengthy ordeal:
- A handful of brothers were observed leaving their seats, whispering ominous messages to themselves in dark corners of the hotel.
- A group from the 90s began tying napkins around the heads of undergrads, saying, “arms up, whaleshit, it never ends!”
- Atheists prayed for the end of the speech; the more pious reportedly renounced Judaism.
Finally, the speech ended only hours after it had begun and the event progressed as expected. There was much rejoicing.
Inspirational “Good and Welfare” Quotes
“I found family and brotherhood at Pi Lambda Phi. I found ‘not four years, but a lifetime’ at Pi Lambda Phi.”
~ Ray Ray Lerro ’97
“My name is Greg Young, and I’m an alcoholic… sorry, wrong meeting.”
~ Greg Young ’94
“My dad was in a band that played Pi Lam parties. He said, ‘I think you should pledge there…’ the next thing you know, I’m drinking a lot of beer and pumpkins are being thrown at me.”
~ Alan Avayou ’94 (-ish)
“Thank you so much to the people who got kicked out in the first place. Without you, we would have never been able to re-charter.”
~ Donny Hoegg ’13
“I look forward to raging with Cataldi later.”
~ Jake Epstein ’18
Call for songs?
Congratulations to the undergraduate award recipients:
- Athletic Achievement Award – Ian Vogt
- Shawn J. Battle Purple and Gold Spirit Award – Colton Jones
- Jerome R. Balka Award – JP Fleming
- Alfred L. Kovner Memorial Award – James “JP” Fleming
Kovner 2020 — keep the tradition alive
If you have any suggestions for next year’s event, or would like to participate in the planning of the 2020 Kovner Banquet, please contact us.
If you missed it this year, plan to attend in 2020 with a bunch of your classmates! Every year missed is a lost opportunity to catch up with old friends, and remind the active brotherhood of how great you thought you were.