Happy new year to all my former and current occupants, and to all my friends who have graced my hallways of the Pomeroy Chapter House at 58 Pinewoods, Troy, New York, while visiting the Delta Psi chapter of the Sigma Chi fraternity.
It’s quiet inside my doors finally, for a well-deserved winter break. Finals ended on the December 18, and everyone has cleared out for home. We had early snows this October, and there’s still snow on the ground now. Regardless, the brothers got my lights up, and there’s the lights of the tree inside the door, but you can’t see any snow in this holiday picture of my front porch. Looks like one strand of lights on the railing is missing a light.
Despite the early snows, the members managed to rake the leaves for my neighbors, and wow, do the neighbors appreciate that help. Also, they raked leaves for past chapter advisor, Chris Gribbon. Chris was the expert at repairing my old slate roofing tiles.
2014 was a busy year, with the 41 brothers living inside this fall. The brothers are more organized and learned to get every work assignment complete smoothly during 2014. The TV is finally mounted in the conservatory. The suction-cupped shelves in the showers are helping to keep things tidy. I hear some new towel bars are planned for 2015. Hang those towels, boys! The internet-monitored wash and dryers in the basement, makes it easier for them to check on laundry cycles. I remember before I housed the washers and dryers in the basement that brothers have to leave me for hours to visit washaterias down Pawling Avenue. Isn’t the Internet a great thing? I’m hoping Alumni can help convince RPI to string high speed fiber connections out Pawling Avenue so brothers don’t need to visit campus when high speed access is needed. So 2015 will be a fast year!
Fall semester’s highlight was 26 new members initiated on November 22. Most ever! With 86 total brothers, I don’t know where I’m going to put everyone. That brings the membership listed on those huge roll books (three) to total 1035 brothers since 1950. Four brothers graduated this December. That’s getting more common as cooperative assignments are encouraged more frequently. There be 39 brothers coming back to live here in January. Unfortunately, we recently lost our chef, Chris Brunette, of the past four years. They brothers rallied to run my kitchen following his departure while Chapter Advisor Bob “Justa” Eckart ’73 and the House Corporation look for a replacement chef.
During the Spring Semester, Larry Heininger ’78 arranged for a Pinewoods Educational Foundation sponsored presentation on DiSC (personality traits analysis) and how better to understand and work together with each other. Hopefully I can house many more of these training seminars in 2015. Alumni, volunteer with your specialty and come back for a visit. Seven new members joined in May, and fourteen brothers graduated. The membership again earned a top, 5-Star rating from RPI and received their fifth-in-a-row Peterson award for chapter excellent from Sigma Chi HQ. Derby Days 2014 raised nearly $9000 for the Huntsman Cancel Institute. At the Pinewoods Scholarship Dinner in March, the Pinewoods Educational Foundation award $10,000 in scholarships divided to 5 brothers.
As I said it’s quiet now, but I can’t wait for the brothers to get back in January, with all the excitement when the spring semester begins. I heard rumors that May 2 will be the spring 2015 initiation date and all the fun of Derby Days with be held the first full week of April. I love it when all those girls visit! If you would like to donate, please visit derbychallenge.org and donate to the Sigma Chi Delta Psi team. I heard the 2015 goal is $20,000, more than twice 2014 and that the undergraduates have already raised close to $10,000 from the fall 2014 semester (more than all of last year). The 2015 summer work party will be August 21-23. I know that I’m still looking good with my rear-end reconstruction in 2013, but I still need a face-lift to keep my 100+ year-old front-end in tip-top shape. There will be plenty of projects and fun with the old guys back to help the actives. The old guys always tell the best stories like about sleeping in my unheated third deck, with ropes for fire escapes under my eaves.