Letter from the Alumni Recorder
When I accepted the position of Alumni Recorder for the chapter, I had two primary goals: I wanted to revamp the website and expand the Brotherhood newsletter. The website, while informative, offered very little reason to habitually visit it. Sean Roesch, the former Historian, and I created a photo gallery on the site, and while it is a work-in-progress, I think that it has the ability to promote the activities of the chapter as well as create a stronger connection between the alumni and active Brotherhood. Van Schuster, Sean’s successor as Historian, and I will continue to add pictures, and we welcome any submissions from alumni. While it will primarily serve to document the ongoing activities of the Brotherhood, any pictures of past events or pledge classes could reconnect and celebrate our alumni. Secondly, I wanted to further develop the newsletter. In the past, the newsletter served to wrap up the school year or the semester, and though it served its purpose, I felt that it could be strengthened. More than just covering administrative topics, I want to provide a chronicle of Brotherhood events and news.
In other news, the alumni reunion this fall will be on Saturday, October 31st. UVa football plays Georgia Tech at home, and we will be hosting a tailgate at the house prior to the game and a dinner reception afterwards. More details to follow as the event approaches. All alumni are welcome, and we hope to see you there.
Fast & Firm,
Alumni Recorder Jimmy Humphrey
Currently, the Brotherhood is planning a housing project to refurbish the chapter room in the house (the first room on the left when walking through the front door). This room, which is presently empty and haphazardly used, has incredible potential. After speaking to Tom Ross and Howard Siegel-Beta Psi Housing Corporation Directors-the Brotherhood has decided to make this space a Brotherhood Room. This room will provide a much-needed space that brothers can use to eat the chapter meal plan, do schoolwork and relax. Below is the proposed floor-plan for this project, which includes a 12-person dinner table, chairs, couches, a coffee table, and an end table. Additionally, we would put doors on this room so that access would be limited during open events at the house. In order to fund this project, the Brotherhood will be looking primarily to alumni donations and parent contributions. Though this project will be a large undertaking totaling $8,415, I cannot overstate how beneficial to the Brotherhood this room would be. One of the biggest shortcomings of the house is the lack of communal space for brothers to work, eat, or hang out, especially for those not living in the house. This room, in addition to providing key functionality to our home, will serve to strengthen the Brotherhood by encouraging actives to spend more time at the house.
Every donation for this project would be an incredible help. In order to recognize the generosity of contributing alumni and parents, we plan to attach small plaques to items in the room in order to commemorate the donor(s). Howard Siegel (‘70) mentioned the idea of entire alumni pledge classes putting money together for a donation. At the end of the newsletter is the price breakdown of the items for the room and further instructions on how to donate. Please contact alumni recorder Jimmy Humphrey (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions or comments.
Letter from the Prior and Vice Prior
First and foremost, we would like to welcome the 20-person Omicron pledge class. With members hailing from as far as Armenia and Houston and as near as Richmond, this pledge class offers a fresh and varied perspective to chapter decisions and leadership. Already, many of this pledge class have stepped up to take on greater responsibility within the chapter, filling important positions and roles. We have high expectations for this new group of men and are excited to see the ways in which they contribute to the Brotherhood.
The continued good standing we have maintained with Nationals, UVa’s Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC) and the university as a whole is ever-important to us as we move forward. In light of recent changes and discussions at the university, it is increasingly essential that we, as men of fraternity, be leaders in these conversations and efforts of progress. By serving on the IFC and other bodies of council, holding panels to combat sexual assault and conducting open dialogs with university leaders, brothers continue to display the leadership expected of fraternity men. We are proud of the active university leadership exhibited by members of the chapter and hope to see this trend continue.
This semester, brotherhood and social events were incredibly successful. Our soccer intramural team continued deep in the playoffs, and our basketball team also saw success. We had multiple mixers this semester, each of which was undoubtedly fun and fostered greater sorority relations for the chapter. Formal this year was arguably the best we have thrown, and it has definitely set the standard high for subsequent years.
As always, should you have any questions about the chapter, please do not hesitate to contact either of us or Jimmy Humphrey, our Alumni Recorder, and please feel free to visit us at the house.
Fast & Firm,
Prior Jake Spector and Vice Prior Alex Cohen
Letter from the Philanthropy Chairs
This semester saw an awesome amount of philanthropic success as a result of the brothers’ efforts. In addition to volunteering at Habitat for Humanity, the brothers hosted fundraisers at Zoe’s Kitchen and Chili’s to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association. Our flagship event, All You Can Eatsters, did incredibly well this spring. A large number of people came to support the cause, as well as enjoy the samplings of many Charlottesville favorites such as Mellow Mushroom, College Inn, Marco & Luca’s and more. $6,000 in total was raised this semester to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association, and we hope to build on this success in the coming semesters.
Fast & Firm,
Philanthropy Chairs Josh Barkow and Jared Fogel
Letter from the Scholarship Chair
This semester, we continued in our academic achievements by maintaining a place in the Top Ten Fraternity GPAs list. Multiple Mu’s have been awarded honors as they graduate. James O’Brien, our former prior and a previous Sigma Alpha Mu Scholarship awardee, has been accepted to Georgetown to pursue a Master of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Nu’s have continued in their academic success, and are spending their summers taking classes or working internships. Seven members of the Xi pledge class have been accepted to the Comm School, and other Xi’s have been accepted into their respective majors as well, such as Biomedical Engineering and Computer Science. Three members of the Omicron pledge class qualified for the Sigma Alpha Mu Young Scholars award, and Billy Howell (Omicron ‘18) was awarded the John C. Ale Scholarship through the Sigma Alpha Mu Foundation. Brothers work very stringently to maintain their high levels of academic success, and it is obvious that their work has seen results.
Fast & Firm,
Scholarship Chair Christian Pinto
As opposed to focusing on only one brother for this newsletter, it seemed appropriate to highlight the successes and the post-graduate paths of the Mu class (and one Nu) as they leave UVa. We will greatly miss our graduating 4th years, but we wish them luck and look forward to hearing of their continued success.
Having earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Taylor will be spending his summer working for Lighthouse Instruments, LLC while seeking full time work for the fall. At Lighthouse Instruments, he is responsible for the design and production oversight of glass products. He leads process redevelopment that helps to streamline operations and cuts away from time wasting activities. Each week, Taylor orchestrates a team meeting for the engineering department to discuss weekly benchmarks and goals. While an active, Taylor was a Recruitment Chair and a Standards Representative.
Donovan graduated with an Economics degree and is planning to move to DC to work in a hospital doing Healthcare Analytics. Currently, Donovan is in Germany, traveling with friends and making use of his conversational German skills before entering the workforce this fall. While at UVa, Donovan was a team captain for the Frisbee Team, working hard to establish himself as one of the better players on the team. He volunteered as a high school basketball referee and is the only Nu graduating this year.
Doug will be graduating from the Engineering School as an Electrical and Electronics Engineer. He will receive honors. Following graduation, Etts will be working in DC as an Associate Consultant for Incentive Technology Group, a business process management software development consulting firm. While at UVa, Etts served as Sammy Vice Prior and Risk Manager, as well as volunteered for Madison House and the Technology Leaders Program.
Brother Linzon is a McIntire graduate who after spending a summer working for an investment bank, decided to take his postgraduate efforts in another direction by opening Roots, the Corner’s newest healthy eating option. He, along with other Sammy alumni, invested in their idea for a healthy eating establishment and it has officially opened. Many brothers have had the opportunity to eat there, and the general consensus is that Roots will be a huge success. Linzon served as Social Chair for Sammy. He will be graduating with honors.
O’Brien is graduating from the Engineering School with honors. This fall, he will begin school at Georgetown to pursue a Master’s of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. As of now, he will be spending his summer working at Old Bust Head Brewery in Warrenton so that he may learn more about the microbrewery industry as he and his father have aspirations to open their own microbrewery. While an active, O’Brien served as the Prior, a Social Chair and a Standards Representative.
Brett “Vegas” Rappaport
Brett is graduating from the Architecture School and will be spending his summer in Charlottesville, attending the McIntire Business Institute, a certificate program that examines practical business solutions in a forward-looking economy. While an active, he served as Philanthropy Chair and continued to be active in philanthropic efforts on Grounds, holding leadership roles in the Relay for Life club.
Schad will be graduating with honors as a Mechanical Engineer. He plans to work for Athena Automation in Toronto as an Engineer designing plastic injection molding machines. This past year, Schad competed in the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association (USCSA) National competition, where his efforts in the snowboardcross race earned the third runner up award. While an active, Schad served as Exchequer.
Graduating with honors as an Environmental Sciences major, Griffin will be seeking work for a career in alternative energy sustainability. He is currently in Israel for birthright, and this year marks 500,000 Jewish kids from the United States attending the trip since it started. He is a skilled photographer, and many of the website photographs were taken by Griffin. While an active, he was Candidate Educator.
Frederick Clay Shorey
Clay is graduating with a double major in English and American Studies with a focus on popular and vision culture. This summer, he is starting his job as a Photo Production Coordinator for NBC Universal at 30 Rockefeller Center, where he will be organizing photo shoots for NBC network programming and internal public relations. While an active, Clay served as Candidate Educator.
Ned graduated with a double major in Systems and Information Engineering and Economics. This fall, Ned will begin working for Accenture in DC as a Consulting Analyst, with a focus on the public sector. While at UVa, Ned was able to continue in his love of competitive squash, eventually earning himself a captaincy for the UVa Club Squash Men’s Team. His work over the four years helped to build the program to become a much greater presence on Grounds and in national competitions. While an active, he served as Alumni Recorder.
Shun is graduating from the university earning a BA in Psychology and achieving a minor in Economics. He has been awarded honors. Following the summer, Shun plans to move to Kushimoto, Japan, where he will apprentice his uncle’s fish farm as an Aquaculture Technician. As his uncle nears retirement, it is Shun’s desire that he learn enough to take over the business and run the farm with a greater focus on sustainable farming practices. Citing the increased demand for fish in culinary operations and the overfishing in wild fisheries, Shun hopes to combat these environmentally damaging practices with improved operations and oversight of the farm. While an active, Shun served as Recruitment Chair and Brotherhood Chair.
Rather than having spring formal downtown this year, the Brotherhood opted to hold it at Brother Shorey’s (Mu ‘15) family farm in Kents Store, Virginia. The Shorey family was incredibly generous in allowing us to use its farm for this event, and the chapter was unanimous in believing that this was the best formal we have had in the recent past. By having formal at the Shorey Farm instead of a downtown location, we were able to cut venue costs, thus driving the price down and encouraging a majority of the chapter to attend.
Clad in suits, tuxedos and dresses, brothers and their dates boarded two air-conditioner-less, white prisoner-transport-like buses, blasting music for the following 30 minutes as the group headed to the farm. Upon arrival, couples scattered to claim tables, to stand in the picture line on the pond’s dock or to find more champagne. A giant light-strung tent protected the tables, the BBQ-catered dinner, the band and the dancefloor. Pledge classes and dates clustered around tables, their healthy portions of messy BBQ on Hefty plates juxtaposed with the white linen tablecloths and formal attire.
Finishing dinner, tables unsystematically made their way to the dance floor, kicking the party into full gear. Crowd-pleasing songs filled the tent, and hours of dancing ensued. Sensing a lag in the band’s sets, chanting brothers encouraged Brother Topher Price (Nu ‘16) on stage to sing a more acoustic version of a Lil Jon classic. Emboldened by Topher’s success, brothers continued to chant people to the stage, turning Formal into a quasi-open mic night as the band’s singer rested.
Following dinner and dancing, the party gradually moved to the fire pit, where Clay and his father had engineered a fire whose flames reached almost six feet. As the party congregated around the heat, fourth year brothers sneaked away to a clearing, shouldering large containers overflowing with Roman Candles and Skyrockets. The fourth years began to ignite fireworks, and those around the fire watched as they broke across the sky. Illuminated by exploding fireworks, the party apexed to echoing pyrotechnics that perfectly wrapped up the evening and celebrated the school year.
Formal this year was such an awesome experience, and the Brotherhood thanks Social Chairs Brandon Eck (Nu ‘16) and Charley Wallach (Xi ‘17) as well as Brother Clay Shorey and his family for creating such a memorable event.
Early Saturday mornings at the house are customarily quiet and vacant save for sleeping brothers, but the fourth Saturday of April always finds the entire chapter, a mixing sorority and alumni grouped on the front porch or packed throughout the first floor. Each year the masses flood to Charlottesville to attend Foxfield, a horse race whose competition receives little to no attention from the student body. While Foxfield has for 30 years been centered on this steeplechase, UVa students and alumni have rebranded this event as a vast tailgate to blow off steam before finals and to reconnect with visiting alumni.
The early morning mob along University Ave gives the impression that Vineyard Vines and Lilly Pulitzer are sponsoring an Easter egg hunt. A slight drizzle descends on the multicolored passersby, each toting white Bodo’s bags and André bottles. 129 Chancellor is heard before seen, its speakers blaring down the entire street, echoing off adjacent homes so that the entire block seems amphitheatered around the neighboring houses by the distorted music. A volley of brotherhood shouts greets those as they walk up the stairs, and weaving through the masses reveals brothers and alumni drinking mimosas and eating bagels. Brothers Peanut (Lamba ‘14), Waddell (Kappa ‘14), and Blanton (Kappa ‘14), all of whom are in grad school together, assure the crowd that Wake Forest is far inferior to UVa, and that Winston-Salem pales in comparison to Charlottesville. The second-year Xi pledge class is congregated in the Bar Room among the bagels and second-year Chi O’s. Brother Dunn and Chopra, fellow 2014 Kappa graduates, discuss Dunn’s consulting job and his move to DC as he pours them both Solo-cupped mimosas. Brother “Turtle” Whisnant’s (Epsilon ‘11) chocolate lab puppy, Ellie, enters the chapter room and a crowd quickly forms to pet and hold her as Brother Ellis and Wallach’s (Xi ‘17) “Never Gon Lose (remix)” blasts from the speakers.
An hour of eating bagels, drinking champagne and meeting Chi O’s passes, interrupted by Brother Herrick’s (Xi ‘16) ushering brothers to the buses on Mad Bowl, making sure that allotted Styrofoam coolers are given to those of age. The buses join the horde of buses and pickup trucks on Garth Road, blasting music as brothers walk back and forth along the aisles. Following the example of those walking along the road, some brothers disembark the buses and move between them or alongside their slow-paced progress. Those on the latter of the two buses met Mike Tobey and BJ Stith, as the two were wandering among vehicles in search of free drinks and fellow partiers.
Finally arriving at Foxfield, brothers stepped off the bus and onto the muddy Foxfield enclosure in search of the plot. As opposed to last year’s rail plot, this year’s was centered among the undergrad chaos of Foxfield’s major passageway. Undeterred by the rain, students swarmed among plots, meeting up with friends and seeing who else was there. Sandwiches and Chick fil A nuggets were quickly eaten and those around the plot tailgated as music sounded from inside the U-Haul.
The bus ride home was marked by the traditional collective Foxfield crash, and most brothers slept for its entirety. When the buses arrived back at UVa, brothers scattered to find dinner or rest, and the subsequent hours were spent eating or sleeping. That night, brothers and alumni regrouped at the house, playing pong and hanging out in Brother O’Brien’s (Mu ‘15) room before going out. After listening to brother Andrade (Iota ‘13) DJ at Trinity, some brothers returned to the house, where Brother Turtle told stories about his time at UVa and in Sammy.
Foxfield is always a favorite weekend of UVa students and provides the opportunity to reconnect with alumni. As an active, it is awesome to see so many alumni back in town for an entire weekend.
A staggering 42 brothers traveled to North Myrtle Beach to celebrate the end of the school year and to spend time together before departing to respective hometowns for the summer. While many of the Omicrons stayed at Ocean Drive, the rest of the Brotherhood could be found at Avista Resort, a mere block from the former. Our first day in Myrtle was clouded by a hurricane, but that stopped nobody from having fun, or in the case of a few brothers, hitting the beach and swimming. Other than the first day of rain and wind, the rest of the week saw beautiful, hot and sunny weather.
Days were spent on the beach, playing football or cornhole, swimming in the ocean and walking along the beach to see fellow UVa students. A crowd of Virginia students thronged the beach in front of Avista, making a dense line of towels and chairs that paralleled the resort’s facade. The group of brothers was centered around a giant yellow boom box, whose far-reaching vibrations made the Brotherhood easy to find. Towels, novelty beach mugs and sunscreen bottles were scattered about our plot, momentarily ignored as brothers swam in the ocean or strolled the beach. Though cold, the water’s temperature did little to deter brothers from body surfing and swimming in the ocean.
True to Beach Week tradition, most nights resulted in an exodus to the Spanish Galleon, or “SpeeGee” (with a soft g) as it is more commonly and endearingly called among hoos. As the only 18-and-over nightclub in Myrtle, SpeeGee is the decided nighttime destination for almost all UVa students during their stay, and its prodigious size is able to accommodate the masses. SpeeGee’s sunken dance floor is flanked on three sides by elongated bars whose extremities connect to form one continuous counter of undergrads vying for drinks. The fourth wall is dominated by a projection of music videos that accompanies the blaring music, a visual that makes SpeeGee feel even larger than it already is. Giving way to massive, people-filled cages, the hardwood dance floor sprawls outward from underneath a gigantic LED disco ball whose multicolored lights change and move with the music. The building’s sheer size, copious bar real estate, presence of human cages and Myrtle Beach location all coalesce to form SpeeGee, a club that makes Trinity seem tame.
As the graduating fourth years had all chipped in to rent the Avista Penthouse Suite, it was the obvious spot for brothers to hang out before heading to SpeeGee for the night. On our penultimate night in Myrtle, Brothers Linzon and Shapiro (both Mu ‘15) set off fireworks on the beach while we watched from the balcony. Hearing the fireworks detonate, what seemed like every room in Avista made its way to respective balconies, chanting for UVa and ultimately singing the Good Old Song. Much to the distress of Avista employees, the crowd’s unremitting celebration was further exalted by Brothers Campbell and Dallago’s (Omicron ‘18 & ‘17, respectively) pumping up the crowd from the stage-like pool deck below. A mass migration to SpeeGee followed, and it was apparent that the fireworks had made an impression. The last night at beach week was equally fun, featuring an encore fireworks performance from Linzon and Shapiro.
Beach Week was the best way to end the year, and it was great for the Brotherhood to spend so much time together unencumbered by schoolwork or other responsibilities.
Congratulations Greg Crosswell (Kappa ‘14)
The Brotherhood would like to extend its congratulations to Brother Greg Crosswell (Kappa ‘14) who married Kelly Lahvic on May 23rd. Many brothers attended the Chapel ceremony and the Keswick reception, and it was great to see so many alumni back in town. We wish Greg and Kelly the best of luck and hope for their continued happiness.
Chapter Room Price Breakdown
- Dinner Table (seats 12): $2,000
- Coffee Table: $185
- Couch, chair set: $4,700
- Chairs: $105
- End table: $150
- Doors: $1,275
- Total: $8,415
Support the Sigma Alpha Mu Beta Psi Chapter
Donations can be made using the link below, which should redirect you to the Beta Psi website, where you will be given the option to donate online or via mailed check. Donations may be tax deductible; consult your Tax Professional. All donations of any amount are incredibly impactful, and we appreciate your continual support of the chapter and its ongoing improvements. Should you have any concerns or questions, please contact Jimmy Humphrey at email@example.com.