Work Party 2019

DSC_7696August, 28, 2019

Last weekend was our 14th Alumni Work Party. There were 16 alumni participating in the event along with all the undergrads.  Our newest alum, Pierre Fabris ’19, joined Mike Greenberg ’15, Ken Sobel ’12, Dan Zuber ’10, Gary Stotler ’82, Jim Rosetti ’79, Larry Heiniger ’77, Thom Kouletsis ’76, Bob Bedard ’75, Jim Manocchi ’75, Jim Board ’75, Bob Eckart ’73, Bob Jones ’73, Paul Cosgrave ’72, Bill Wurst ’71 and me, John Pfaff ’71.
Kudos to the class of ’75 with the most members, followed by the classes of ’73 and ’71.  It was also not unnoticed that I was the oldest fart at the house.
We started off Friday night with pizza, salads and wings, followed by our annual meeting where annual reports were given and we reelected 4 of our Directors to 2 year terms – Mike Greenberg, Thom Kouletsis, Dan Zuber and Jim Rosetti.
Due to the amazing work done over the summer under the auspices of PEF, the house had been almost completely repainted inside, the first time since our reconstruction in 2012.  Concrete steps replaced wooden ones from the sidewalk to the driveway, the chapter room floor was replaced and the walls were repainted.  The front porch steps were rebuilt, the porch ceiling was refinished and a rainwater diverter was installed over the dining room windows.
Saturday and Sunday mornings were devoted to primarily cleaning the old basement and the garage, rehanging composites, servicing and replacing HVAC filters, straightening up the alumni room (living room) and library, and cleaning up the property by weeding, pruning and mulching all the foliage and flower beds.  Kudos to Larry Heiniger ’77, as his landscape plan has matured beautifully.  Not only do we have the best looking fraternity house at RPI, we have the best looking house on Pinewoods Avenue.
After a great lunch by chef Mike, Saturday afternoon was devoted to three alumni/undergrad discussions.  Marketing the Sigma Chi brand and coping with deferred recruitment was led by Bob Bedard ’75.  They plan to continue meeting during the semester and brother Bob will be there to help and lead.  Paul Cosgrave ’72 and Jim Manocchi ’75 led a discussion group about maintaining and keeping the house in great condition.  And finally Bob Jones ’73 and I led a group discussion about risk management and coping with RPI’s new alcohol and substance free policy.
Chef Mike provided a surf and turf dinner for all of us on Saturday night.  We followed up with a ritualistic house meeting led by Consul Matt Bonnette.
All in all, it was a great weekend of brotherhood and cameraderie.  I know you missed a great time, but Alumni Weekend is coming up on September 26-28.  This year is the 50th reunion of the class of 1969.  These guys were seniors when I moved in as a sophomore 51 years ago, and they were my heroes, a small but powerful group.  Mung and Jorg, Spurt and Sarkaz, Schroeder, Gremmie, Rangy, Bernie and Charlie.  Jorg and Schroeder are in chapter eternal, but I hope as many as possible of the rest of them return.  I plan to be there.  Gremmie, sometimes known as Larre Nelson, is putting together an informational gathering for his classmates and any other Greek alumni who wish to attend about Rensselaer Alumni Association updates, the Renew Rensselaer story and the Greek status on campus.  This will be held in our chapter room at 58 Pinewoods Avenue from 10 AM to Noon on Saturday September 28th.
Of course you all know we are celebrating the 70th Anniversary of Sigma Chi and the 30th Anniversary of Phi Epsilon Phi on October 8-11, 2020.  Be sure to put that on your calendars
Finally, in case you haven’t heard, I want to let you know we had a great scare on Saturday morning.  Our brother, my classmate, Bob (Ruff) Hutnik ’71 suffered a stroke and a heart attack while on vacation on the Outer Banks.  While he was on a ventilator for a while, he has since had the ventilator removed and was moved from the ICU to what they call a step down floor.  I talked to him last night and he sounded good, but tired.  The better news is that he will probably be released tomorrow and be able to go home.  Someone at that hospital must have realized that they don’t want Ruff there if he regains his strength quickly.  Instead his wife, Saint Jeanne, will have to deal with him.  Anyway, while things look good, a few more prayers can’t hurt.
In hoc,
John “Leroy” Pfaff, 71, President, Phi Epsilon Phi Corporation

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