In April 2017, our Chapter welcomed 16 new members. The Chapter President, Austin Simpson (18) provides details in an article below. Other contributors to this edition are Will Teass (97) and his House Committee, Mark Chinn (91) and his Annual Fund Committee, Patrick Higgins (10) our Treasurer and a special interest piece by Chris Winter (07) about a Charlottesville resident known by many Theta Chi generations.

The first Reunions Weekend at the University is scheduled for June 1 through 4, 2017 for the classes of 1957, 62, 67, 72, 77 and 82. A second Reunions Weekend will be held the following weekend from June 8 through June 11, 2016 for the classes of 1987, 92, 97, 2002, 07 and 12. We will have a cookout (including adult beverages) from 12:30 until 4pm on Saturday June 3, 2017 and Saturday June 10, 2017. You can count on Theta Chi for lunch, a couple of cold beers 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 encourage a good turnout. Last year we had over 40 people on the patio for each of the Reunions Weekends. There is no charge for the event. Contributions made to the Theta Chi Annual Fund do also count toward any class gift you might be contemplating.

We are dependent upon the University of Virginia Alumni Association’s list of email addresses. This list is extensive but is not perfect and we have also learned over the past couple of years that some folks have not received all issues of these Xi Lights. We are planning an effort this Fall to improve the completeness of the list. Please do not assume that everyone on your personal Theta Chi mailing list received this communication and accordingly, pass it along.

We continue to hope for the safe return of our brother, Otto Warmbier (17) who is held in North Korea. Update from the Wasington Post

Rick Nadeau (76)

The Alumni Corporation that owns the fraternity house continues to improve its financial position and accumulate a reserve for major house maintenance and improvements. Our mortgage loan is now below $400,000. As reported below, this Spring we replaced the gutters and made the required repairs to the roof. This was made possible by the generosity of our alumni. While the rent we receive from the Chapter of $65,000 annually covers interest on our debt, real estate taxes, routine house maintenance, and insurance, we continue to rely upon the annual giving for both reducing the principal of our debt and for capital improvements to the property. If you ever have any questions about the finances of your alumni association corporation please feel free to contact me.

Patrick Higgins (10)


We are pleased to report that the in-line gutters, long a topic of discussion and concern, have been finally been replaced. In February, the alumni corporation contracted with Rooftop Services of Charlottesville after reviewing several proposals. The metal flashing associated with the in-line that surrounds the roof of the original house and the flashing under the slate on the hips and valleys were both replaced. Work commenced in early March, and lasted two weeks. As expected there was some damaged wood beneath the gutter that needed to be replaced. Our total cost was $23,060. Tackling this project was only possible because of the success of our annual giving program, and we would like to thank all those brothers who have made contributions.


Efforts to increase the permitted number of house occupants are also underway. In mid-February, Rick Nadeau ’76, Chris Winter ’07 and myself met with the immediate neighbors to discuss our desired amendment to our Special Use Permit. As you may recall, the fraternity use within a residential zone requires a Special Use Permit from the City of Charlottesville. During the centennial renovation, we increased the capacity to fourteen (14) brothers who could reside in the house and garage. Based on discussions with the current brotherhood and the desire to increase the rent to help cover operating costs, the Board voted to move forward with the application. Prior to submitting our application, the City now requires that applicants hold a public meeting to present information to the neighborhood. Several neighbors attended the meeting and expressed concerns, but not outright objections. Trash, both on the property and public street / sidewalk surrounding the property, hedge management and parking are their major concerns. Further, we need to be sensitive to the neighbors concern that communication between the chapter and the neighbors dropped off significantly from the excellent work done during the previous application process in 2011 / 2012. The board still desires pursing the revisions to the Special Use Permit, but only after an improved record of accomplishment of property maintenance and neighbor outreach. We are developing an annual outreach plan. A key element of the outreach will be hand delivery of a letter of introduction each Fall by the chapter executive council including contact information for both key chapter members and board members. Ensuring that the brotherhood maintains focus on keeping the exterior in top shape is also a high priority.

Our committee of Christopher Winter ’07, and Spence Phillips ’85 and myself continues to work closely with the current chapter President and House manager to identify and resolve any maintenance issues. Both Chris and Spence live in Charlottesville, and both have been vigilant in keeping an eye on the house conditions, as well as assisting the brotherhood with some repair tasks. We continue to contract with Piedmont Facilities Management for emergency service and more significant items.

Our list of deferred projects has been reduced, but not eliminated, by completing the gutter replacement. Items on our list include incremental renovation project to improve safety, energy efficiency and aesthetics in the garage, replacement of some windows in the original house, 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)


We are continuing our 5-year campaign (begun in 2014) with support from our volunteer ‘calling captains’ and the generosity of our alumni. Our ability to fund our discretionary initiatives is dependent upon the success of the annual fund. Specific annual fund uses include:

  • Improvements deferred at the time of the Capital Campaign.
  • Reduction of our first mortgage debt of approximately $400,000.
  • Building our reserve fund to maintain the house in good condition.

So far, we have received nearly $148,000 in pledges through 2018 and we have collected over $90,000 of these pledges to-date. We are encouraged that 150 brothers across 7 decades have already pledged their support to the campaign with multi-year pledges. We are pleased that many alumni from recent graduating classes are participating. 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.

Please visit our annual giving site at www.thetachiuva.com to see our growing list of donors 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 and pledging were successful and we now have 16 great new members.

Three hundred forty (340) rushees came to open house and we think we made an impression. After some first-round events that allow for small talk, we moved into second round with a pig roast. The next day, we took rushees by charter bus to Topgolf in Alexandria. This Topgolf trip has become an annual event. Third round began with live music provided by our own Ben Laderberg’s band Kendall St. Company. Rush was capped with our annual Garden Room Dinner, where Carter Levinson (17), Timothy McKinney (17), and William Burgess (17) 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, a member of the UVA cheerleading team, a member of the club wrestling team, a member of the club baseball team, and a member of the club basketball team. 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.

Charles Anderson
Daniel Bader
Jesse Boston
Nicholas D’Apuzzo
Sean Ealy
Liam Flaherty
Anthony Getter
Zachary Glissman
Colin Hood
Alexander Hyldmar
Connor Loats
Peter Myers
Ryan Partridge
George Perry
Anthony Turtora
Connor Whan


As always during rush and the pledge process, the older brothers look back at their rush and pledging experiences fondly and remember the bonds that were formed within their pledge class as well as the older members. Currently this remembrance brings a sullen feeling to the older members of the fraternity due to the absence of our brother, Otto Warmbier, who is currently a prisoner in North Korea for over a year. We hope for his safety and speedy return to us.

Austin Simpson (18)


On Thursday April 20, 2017, I received a phone call from Martin Powell asking if I would like to join him at a John McCutcheon concert at Piedmont Virginia Community College that weekend. Given my inability to turn down a good time, I agreed, and that Saturday my wife, Megan, and I met Martin at his home just a few blocks away from 600 Preston Place.

When we arrived at Martin’s house we were greeted by one of his many dedicated caretakers, Dory. Martin was excited to see us and for the opportunity to have a cultural experience. The company of visitors and the opportunity to connect with friends in person or over the phone are incredibly important to Martin given his limited day to day social interactions. We chatted about baseball, the miserable weather, and what books have been the recent victim of his voracious appetite for reading. A few minutes later the JAUNT bus arrived and we were greeted by a friendly driver who had clearly taken Martin on more than one trip around the city.

As we drove through the PVCC campus Martin reflected on past classes he had attended in various buildings. The concert was incredibly entertaining and we were grateful that the driver for the return trip was willing to delay our scheduled departure to see a few more minutes of John McCutcheon. That driver, along with the caretaker who greeted us when we returned home, were not the same individuals as before the concert but all four shared the same kind and caring nature.

If you were in the house during the 80s and 90s you likely have fond memories of Martin Powell – a man with a big heart, infectious spirit, and wealth of knowledge, especially when it comes to sports and all things UVA related. Martin has cerebral palsy, a condition that limits him physically and requires daily help from a team of caretakers, including his wonderful mother, Angelika. Despite the revolving door of undergraduates over the years, Martin’s relationship with Theta Chi was uninterrupted until the early 2000s. After a long hiatus, the house reconnected with Martin under the leadership of Perry Williams, (94).

I’m excited that, as in years past, that current brothers are engaging with Martin, be it for a short visit or excursion to a local sporting event. Martin appreciates these interactions and looks forward to them immensely. He relies on a support network for many things and even something like attending a concert requires a fair amount of scheduling, but he doesn’t let that slow him down. His mind is sharp and we should all strive to be as in touch with the world and empathetic as Martin is towards his fellow man.

For the last 60 or so years Theta Chi has been fortunate to have a few galvanizing forces to draw the brotherhood together and to serve as constants in a sea of changing undergraduate faces. These have included the likes of Willie Alexander, Hovey Dabney, and Earl Henderson. I include Martin Powell in this elite group as someone we are lucky to have as part of our chapter’s history and legacy.

I encourage all of you – whether you know Martin or have only heard of him – to reach out at some point and share some of your time. Brotherhood is about relationships. With our busy and hectic lives, it’s easy to take these for granted, or to let them go fallow. Let’s not let that happen again with Martin. Together we can continue to make a huge difference in the quality of his life. Martin can be reached anytime at 434.979.0905.

Chris Winter (07)

The views expressed in this email are those of the Xi Chapter of Theta Chi, and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Virginia or the University of Virginia Alumni Association.