Xi Lights 2016

The Xi Chapter of Theta Chi at the University of Virginia continues to thrive. In early February 2016, our Chapter welcomed 18 prospective new members. This is an outstanding result. The Chapter President, Carter Levinson (17) provides details in an article below. Other contributors to this edition are Will Teass (97) and his House sub-Committee, Mark Chinn (91) and his Annual Fund Committee and Billy Duval (08) our Treasurer.The first Reunions Weekend at the University is scheduled for June 2 through 5, 2016 for the classes of 1956, 61, 66, 71, 76 and 81. A second Reunions Weekend will be held the following weekend from June 9 through June 12, 2016 for the classes of 1986, 91, 96, 2001, 06 and 11. We will have a cookout (including adult beverages) from 12:30 until 4pm on Saturday June 4, 2016 and Saturday June 11, 2016 so you can count on Theta Chi for lunch and an afternoon of catching up with your brothers. We urge those of you who graduated in the classes listed above to call your brothers and assure a good turnout. Last year we had over 60 people on the patio during Reunions Weekend. There is no charge for the event. We hope you take advantage of the next two months to make calls and plans. As always feel free to communicate with any of the Board members. Contributions made to the Theta Chi Annual Fund do also count toward any class gift you might be contemplating.

The UVA student held in North Korea is our brother. We hope for the safe return of our brother, Otto Warmbier (17).

Rick Nadeau (76)


We paid off the second mortgage in December 2015 and we have approximately $25,000 in the bank. The rent we receive from the Chapter of $63,000 annually covers interest on our debt, real estate taxes, house maintenance, and insurance. Accordingly, we continue to rely upon the annual giving for both reducing the principal of our debt and for capital improvements to the property. Two such capital improvements that are currently being considered are the renovation of the garage and the replacement of the gutters. If you ever have any questions about the finances of your alumni association corporation please feel free to contact me.

Billy Duval (08)


HOUSE AND GROUNDS SUBCOMMITTEE

As chair of the House and Grounds subcommittee, I wanted to share a few key items in our spring mailer. Overall, maintenance spending at the house in 2015 came to just over $12,000. Unfortunately, this amount was higher than budgeted, primarily due to the some unexpected roof repairs. As you may recall from the Centennial Plan, we elected not to replace the original slate roof on the main house, as it is generally in good shape. However, in December the brotherhood noted several damp areas that were a result of several minor roof leaks. Repairs were quickly made, and finished surfaces in the main house were spared any significant damage.

Our subcommittee comprises Christopher Winter ’07, and Spence Phillips ’85 and myself. We continue work closely with the current Chapter President and House Manager to identify and resolve maintenance issues. Both Chris and Spence live in Charlottesville, and both have been able keep an eye on the condition of the house, as well as assist the brotherhood with more routine repair tasks. We continue to contract with Piedmont Facilities Management for emergency service and more significant items. We also continue with a cleaning service that comes three times per semester, as well as a monthly pest control service.

Members of the subcommittee met in early February to assess the condition of the garage. Our mandate from the board was to determine a preliminary scope of work and construction budget to both improve the quality of the garage accommodations, as well as potentially increase the number of legal bedrooms in the structure. Preliminary estimates put the total costs between $70,000 – $90,000 to fully renovate the structure.

Increasing the number of bedrooms in the garage is part of our larger strategy to amend our Special Use Permit this summer and fall. Current zoning regulations mandate that fraternity and sorority uses are permitted in residential zones only with the issuance of a Special Use Permit, which is granted by the City Council and Planning Boards. Our first Special Use Permit was issued in 1986 when the party room addition was added to the original residential structure. That document stipulated that up to thirteen (13) residents were permitted to live on the property. We attempted to increase that number to eighteen (18) during the Centennial campaign in 2011, but considering the political environment at that time we ultimately reduced the request to fourteen (14) occupants in order to guarantee that our proposed renovation and expansion would be permitted. The nature of the 2016 request is primarily administrative, as no substantial alterations are anticipated. Rather, we would request to increase the number of potential double rooms and contemplate a minor reconfiguration of the garage. We believe it is prudent to request additional occupant capacity so that future generations of brother scan have maximum flexibility to accommodate the desire to live at 600 Preston Place. We will keep you informed of the progress of this initiative and as always we welcome your input.

Our list of deferred projects has not diminished. The estimated cost for projects not undertaken during the Centennial campaign is approximately $25,000. Items include the replacement of the in-line gutters, replacement of certain windows, and improving the ability of our plumbing fixtures to withstand the harsh environment of a Fraternity house. As always, we ask that you keep this in mind as when considering your Annual giving gifts.

Will Teass (97)


 ANNUAL FUND

For the annual fund, we are continuing this campaign with support from our volunteer alumni. Our ability to fund our discretionary initiatives is dependent upon the success of the annual fund. Specific annual fund uses include:

  • Addressing planned expenses outside the scope of the Capital Campaign.
  • Repayment of the $30,000 second mortgage debt, which was paid off in full in December 2015.
  • Re-building our reserve fund to maintain the house in good condition.

So far, we have received nearly $141,000 in pledges through 2018. Most participating brothers have made a multi-year pledge. 145 brothers across 7 decades have already pledged their support to the campaign, including alumni from the most recent graduating class of 2015. We appreciate the support as many brothers continue to demonstrate that the “helping hand” is alive and well across so many of our Xi Chapter generations.

Although we have achieved over 70% of our 5-year $200,000 goal, there’s still much to accomplish. Visit our annual giving site at www.thetachiuva.com and make a pledge or donation online, or contact me or another board member to ask about annual fund giving. We appreciate your support!

Mark Chinn (91)


RUSH RESULTS

Rush is over and we had a very successful year. Despite two feet of snow cancelling an Open House event, we were able to smoothly navigate two weeks of chaos and conversations, fun and fraternizing, and ultimately we found 18 great new members.

Three hundred twenty-eight (328) rushees came to open house and we think we made a lasting impression. After some first round events that allow for small talk, we moved into second round with live music. Our very own Ben Laderberg’s band, The Smiling Islanders, played live music on the patio, followed by a band from California. The next day, we introduced a new event as we took rushees by charter bus to Topgolf in Alexandria. Third round was capped with the annual Garden Room Dinner, where Carter Levinson (17), Spence Phillips (85), and William Everett (14) spoke about their Theta Chi experiences and what the fraternity means to them. It was a classy end to a crazy rush.

Among the new members, we have one Xi chapter legacy (brother of a currently active member), another Theta Chi legacy, a member of the club wrestling team, and a member of the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society. All new members have at least 3.0 or above GPA. We are confident that this pledge class will continue to guide the fraternity in a positive direction, and many of them are poised to be great leaders.

New Member Hometown
Sam Ailsworth Lynchburg, VA
Tucker Blythe Virginia Beach, VA
Julian Brass Virginia Beach, VA
James Childress Midlothian, VA
Logan Ende Petersburg, VA
Joe Gates Richmond, VA
Jason Kappel Arlington, VA
Payton Lawlor Gainesville, VA
Jourdain Lemaster Ashburn, VA
Marc Michaud Orlando, FL
Jack Morris Arlington, VA
Dylan O’Keefe Washington D.C.
Matt Osborne Charlottesville, VA
Miles Rodi Charlottesville, VA
John Rowley Fairfax, VA
Derek Schauss Warrenton, VA
J.T. Speetjens Reston, VA
Christian Vagonis Reston, VA

Carter Levinson (17)