Oct 19, 2009: Carbondale, Ill.—Beta Chi chapter at Southern Illinois hosted an alumni reunion Oct. 9-11. Notable alumni joined recent alumni and students for an initiation, banquet and homecoming game, among other events.
Matt Leavitt, Southern Illinois ’09, was initiated into the chapter on Friday night before the alumni banquet. Leavitt was an associate member during the chapter’s colony days and has since re-enrolled at the university and become active within the Fraternity. Witnessing the initiation were several recent alumni, as well as Board of Governors Chairman Ken Buzbee, Southern Illinois ’56, and Harlon Seats, Southern Illinois ’53, who was the chapter’s first president in 1953.
Following the initiation, alumni, members and guests attended the alumni banquet held at the Carbondale Eagles Club. Several awards and recognitions were announced, most notably the Key Award presented to Bane Kroger, Truman State’86, for outstanding service as chapter advisor and participation with the Board of Governors and House Corporation.
Alumni recognized Harv Grandstaff, Southern Illinois ’60, and Jerry Mileur, Southern Illinois ’53, as Alumni Co-Men of the Year. Grandstaff was recognized for building and maintaining the alumni website, and Mileur was honored for his continuous financial contributions to the house and chapter.
During a separate ceremony, the house’s chapter room was formally named after Phi Kappa Tau Hall of Fame member Dr. David Kenney, Southern Illinois ’53, for his more than 65 years of service to the Fraternity.
The chapter, in collaboration with Sigma Kappa sorority, took first place in the homecoming parade for the large float category, marking another first for the chapter.
Other events included a tailgate prior to the SIU football game, wine tour of local vineyards, barbeque at the chapter house and the traditional Phi Kappa Tau Candlelight Ceremony at the house on Saturday night.
The weekend concluded, once again, with the annual Chi Delta Chi reunion held at the Mississippi Flyway restaurant in Carbondale. Chi Delta Chi was the local fraternity formed in 1932 that eventually became Beta Chi chapter in 1953. The evening was spent sharing stories and remising about college life in the 1940s and early ’50s.
Similar events are planned for next year. Contact Lincoln Domain Director Andy Fruth, Southern Illinois ’08, for more information.