Bethany Graduate Council Throws 95th Anniversary Party

The Phi chapter’s graduate council is one we have highlighted before for its exceptional organization and manpower. Years ago, Don Dallas, Bethany ’29, and Dick Mees, Bethany ’48, launched the Harvard Red and Old Gold Club, an educational endowment designed to help Phi Tau brothers. Phi alumni have also kept a detailed chapter directory, mailing lists, and host annual homecoming and fundraising events to keep the chapter engaged. Recently this dedicated group rallied together to host a milestone anniversary, one that will only be topped in five year’s time.

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Last October, alumni of the Phi chapter rallied together to collaborate their chapter’s 95th. “We weren’t sure how many would show up, since it was an odd year,” Tim Smith, Bethany ’75, said over the phone, “Our goal was 95 guests for 95 years and we got over 100.” From Friday, October 26th to Sunday, October 28th, Phi alumni gathered in Wheeling, West Virginia, some thirty minutes from Bethany College to celebrate their chapter’s legacy.

Attendees at the open Graduate Council meeting

Attendees at the open Graduate Council meeting

An event nearly a year in the making, it was decided October 2017 to host an event for the 95th. However due to some scheduling conflicts with Bethany, it had to be held at a hotel rather than on campus. Because it was held at a hotel and rooms had to be covered, organizers developed a “sponsorship” system where alumni could chip in during their own registration process to offset the costs for undergraduates. This system raised over $3,000 and all members of the Residents Council were able to attend.

Decor at the Saturday night banquet

Decor at the Saturday night banquet

The event kicked off on Friday night with a “Luau” party - a long standing tradition of the Phi chapter. This was held at the hotel and, despite some rain that canceled plans for a cookout and tiki torches - was huge success with many guests, good food, and custom anniversary Hawaiian shirts. Saturday Brothers and their guests took a tour of the Bethany campus as well as the Phi house, one they have had since 1983. They also had a Graduate Council meeting, open to all attendees, where they “passed the gavel” so all everyone could speak about whatever they wanted. That evening the Harvard Red and Old Gold Club sponsored a reception with speeches, a performance by the Warblers, and distribution of several chapter awards. Every brother that attended also received a new Phi Tau membership card. The event closed with a candlelight ceremony and singing the brotherhood banquet.

A performance from the warblers

A performance from the warblers

The Phi chapter will be celebrating their centennial in 2023 and preparations for the event will begin at least a year in advance. Congratulations to the Phi chapter on the milestone! #GoFar

If you are interested in hosting an event like this you can reach out to your Domain Director.

John Sayers,  Bethany ‘78 , at the luau party

John Sayers, Bethany ‘78, at the luau party