May 26, 2010: Ithaca, N.Y.—Alpha Tau chapter at Cornell recently celebrated its 80-year anniversary. The milestone was marked by nearly 60 undergraduates and alumni on Cornell’s campus and at the chapter house.
The group convened for lunch and dinner on Saturday, and brunch and a Graduate Council meeting on Sunday. The dinner was held on campus, in the same dining hall as the chapter’s re-chartering dinner in 2001. Jason Lustig, Cornell ’08, served as the master of ceremonies, while Housing Corporation President Paul Martorano, Cornell ’01, Vice President for Student and Academic Services Susan Murphy, former Chapter President Alex Hydrean, Cornell ’07, and Undergraduate National Councilor Efrem Bycer, Cornell ’06, made speeches. Nathaniel Houghton, Cornell ’08, gave an invocation.
Hydrean, a Navy ROTC battalion commander, read a message from National President Bill Macak, Florida State ’73, and Bycer read a message from CEO Steve Hartman, Muskingum ’89. In his message, Macak congratulated the chapter on its accomplishment and encouraged the men to continue on a successful path:
“To the Brothers, Family and Friends of Alpha Tau Chapter:
Your 80th anniversary event on May 8th is a big deal!
My chapter at Florida State (Beta Iota) closed at one point and we brought it back in 2002, a process that involved not just me but my older son Andy, now a Captain in the Marine Corps. Having guided our chapter through it’s return, I can appreciate the challenges that face any colony as it establishes itself and then faces the future. How do you stick to your vision? How do you bring new members into the chapter and move the whole operation forward? How do you maintain the core values/cardinal principles of Phi Kappa Tau?
I understand how difficult it can be to maintain fraternity life at this time in American history, which is so different from when fraternities began over a century ago. As a Board of Governors chair, National Council member, National Vice President and now National President, I have seen the pressures on us, and our requirement to meet high standards.
Your chapter was a Maxwell finalist in 2004, 2005 and 2006, winning the honor in 2006. You have won the Moosnick Trophy for highest GPA six of the past eight years. Your chapter has been named an Outstanding Chapter at Cornell for 10 years and have received other campus honors.
Alpha Tau is on the right track, don’t settle to be good; continue to strive to be Great. I congratulate you on your years of success and I hope you build upon them, with the support of the alumni in attendance tonight.
Destiny begins with choices made today. Choose wisely.”
Many loyal alumni were present the event, which was co-chaired by Province Domain Director Scott Conroe, Cornell ’01, and VPAR Mike Linhorst, Cornell ’09. Special guests in attendance included Larry Wetzel, Cornell ’60, Eric Riedel, Cornell ’04, and Tyler Orchowski, Cornell ’05.
Conroe said he learned a lot from planning the anniversary event. He believes that one of the most important aspects of an event of this caliber is to get alumni and undergraduates communicating.
“The challenges,” he said, “are to get alumni to make the trek to campus and the house, to get undergraduates to speak with them and reach outside their comfort zone to understand who this older guy is, to get alumni to understand the chapter as it is now, and to see where an event falls in the overall alumni relations effort.
“Try to gather as many opinions as you can from alumni while you have them physically there,” Conroe added. “We have about 10 action goals for the coming year in alumni relations, and we made a plan for attacking some of them during our Graduate Council meeting.”