Alumni Outreach and Engagement

Spring 2017

Alumni Reunions

            Last year we decided to piggyback UVA’s five year alumni reunions and hosted an event for the younger batch of alumni. After a good turnout, we decided to up the ante and hosted an event during both reunion weekends. This years turnout was even more amazing, and larger than we anticipated based on RSVPs. Without a doubt, we’ll be hosting these two events again next year. So if it’s your turn to come, save the date, rally your pledge class, and help us make these two weekends even better!

            Between both weekends, we had over 30 alumni come sip on some beers, eat some food, and even play some pong. With beautiful weather both weekends, Alumni were able to reminisce, tour the house and view the changes that have been made over the years. A number of our current brothers attended as well, which allowed for a commingling of the generations of Phi Psi that we have been striving for.We hope to continue to grow these reunion events, as we believe it is a great experience for both the alumni and undergraduate brothers.

Rolling Stone Litigation Update

Most of you know by now that the chapter settled its defamation lawsuit against Rolling Stone in June for $1.65 million.  After all legal fees and associated expenses were paid, the net proceeds of just over $1 million were transferred to an investment account at Alumni Hall managed by the University of Virginia Investment Management Company (UVIMCO). The account requires three signatories, including two alumni and the chapter president. So the funds are safely “parked” for now.  The chapter, in conjunction with Montalto and recent era alumni, have formed a 14-member strategic planning committee to develop a long term strategy for the management and use of these funds.  The committee will start its work soon and hopes to provide recommendations for the chapter to adopt sometime this Fall.  So, please stay tuned for more information on that process.  Along with the strategic planning committee being established to make sure the settlement funds are prudently managed, the chapter and Montalto are hoping to host a celebration to mark the successful end to a very trying ordeal.  We’d like to have a large event that alumni from across generations and across the country will attend – most likely next Spring.  Stay tuned for a “save the date” notification.

Montalto – State of 159 Update

In December, the house narrowly avoided disaster as the gas boiler caught fire during winter break.  Our general contractor, Jerry Taylor, literally saved the house as he was there inspecting the two heat pumps that serve the top two residential floors.  Jerry called the fire department and helped extinguish the fire himself.  The fire was caused by a mechanical failure and Montalto’s insurer covered the costs of just over $20,000 to replace the boiler.  Jerry deserves our appreciation not just for saving the house that day in December but for his ongoing efforts to keep the house improved and maintained.  Last year, he managed the successful installation of a new kitchen. The restoration of a chapter meal plan and cook program has been a huge success and it couldn’t have happened without alumni donations and Jerry’s leadership. He also oversaw necessary safety repairs to the front porch ceiling.  This summer, Jerry is managing projects to update the first floor lighting, refinish the floors on the first floor and paint the exterior trim.  Also of note, this Spring, Montalto received approval from the City’s architectural review board for the installation of an ADA compliant ramp that would match the historic aesthetic of the chapter house. This initiative stems from an unfortunate accident suffered by a student brother while on summer break last year.  Bobby Craig (’84) has generously donated his architectural services for this project, and Montalto board member Chris Martin (’94) has been the lead project manager.  The contractor bids came in much higher than expected so that project is on hold for now. The great news is that the injured brother is recuperating very well and shouldn’t require a ramp to be able to independently access the house when he returns to school this Fall.  Nonetheless, improving accessibility remains an important goal of Montalto and of the chapter. That includes at some point converting the large first floor bedroom in to an accessible, modern restroom – a project that should be part of any larger restoration of the house.

Jeff Gore (’94), Montalto Corp. President