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Virginia Beta & Phi Society
at the University of Virginia

Letter from the 150th Anniversary Planning Committee

Photo of past Phi presidents

Hugs, smiles, laughter. These three words seem to best summarize the weekend of October 6-7, 2023. When the 150th Anniversary Committee held its first meeting over a year ago, none of us envisioned the success that would follow. Despite forecasts of thunderstorms, the sky was nothing but a beautiful shade of azure and argent the entire weekend!

Exactly 300 Phis, joined by another 200 guests, descended on Charlottesville for the festivities! The weekend was exactly as advertised: the largest gathering of Phis ever on the Grounds of The University of Virginia!!

Brothers came from around the globe, arriving from the UK, France, Norway, and the United Arab Emirates. Brothers from SEVEN decades (’70s, ’80s, ’90s, ’00s, ’10s and ’20s) were in attendance along with 1965 graduate and former House Treasurer and President, Vic Bell, serving as the elder statesman of the weekend. Vic noted that it was 60 years ago this semester that he and 1963 House President, John Herrell, were instrumental in purchasing One University Circle and moving the House from its former location at 129 Chancellor St.

Vic was joined at the 150th by 28 other Phi presidents, whom we honored with the unveiling of a plaque listing the names of past presidents dating back to 1961; as far as our research could take us. This plaque will be permanently hung in the front hall of the Phi House. The inaugural Harry R. Marshall Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to two incredibly accomplished Phis and proud sons of the University of Virginia, Chris Shumway ’88 and Bill Utt ’79.

The weekend kicked off on Friday evening with a welcome party at the House – shout out to Chapter Advisor Dave Edwards ’90 and the actives who worked their tails off to get the House in tiptop shape. Entertainment was provided by Spoonfed, a band consisting of active and recently graduated Phis. Dinner was catered by Mission BBQ and we went through over 100 cases of beer, wine, hard seltzer etc. The only thing that went wrong that night was that the party had to end!

On Saturday morning, brothers gathered for several tailgates at Scott Stadium. Over 200 of us sat in the Phi section and cheered on the Hoos to their first victory of the season. That evening, we all gathered at the Omni Hotel for cocktails, a formal dinner, presentation of awards, dancing to the Skip Castro Band and possibly our favorite part of the weekend: 300 Phis singing a rousing rendition of the Phi Song, “Always This Song”, led by John McGavin ’79, Dave Brubaker ’79 and Bill Utt ’79.

The weekend was exhilarating, exhausting, emotional, and generally just terrific!! We hope to see you at the 155th!!

– The Phi 150th Anniversary Committee

Noah Adams ’24 (not pictured)
Matt Grossman ’91
Mike Melley ’92
Scott Oswald ’90
John Zimmermann ’81