Ballots for the House Corporation elections were distributed on July 9, 2018, by John Pfaff, and their return is requested by August 17 to Dan Zuber. A quorum of members assembled or by proxy is required so returning your ballot is important. Contact Dan if you need a ballot/proxy form.
Pinewoods Educational Foundation
P.O. Box 150
Averill Park, New York 12018
SUBJECT: Donating to PEF or Sigma Chi instead of RPI
By now I’m sure all of you have heard and read about the latest unilateral edicts from the Shirley Jackson administration regarding Greek life at RPI. The new rules they plan to impose will likely harm all chapters on campus and will probably kill several by delaying Rush and placing large burdens on what can be done in rush and pledging and limiting options for spring rush to fill the houses. (See news update on this attack at https://sigmachi-rpi.org/news/ )
These damaging edicts came with virtually no affected-stakeholder input or consultation and little consideration of the harm that would be done and are on top of the great damage her administration has already done to the Institute’s finances, graduate schools and college rating scores, not to mention the Summer Arch program. For those unfamiliar, see: https://renewrensselaer.org/findings/ . While others continue to “fight the good fight” to preserve our chapter and heritage, this letter was prompted by an alum of our chapter who no longer wishes to make donations to RPI and asked about how he could donate to us instead.
For those of you who wish to move your dollars and ammunition towards the Delta Psi chapter, there is good news! You CAN make tax deductible donations without it going to RPI and you can also do so with some direction of your funds. Several options exist:
- Unrestricted donations to The Pinewoods Educational Foundation (PEF – a 501 (c) 3 corporation) which owns the house at 58 Pinewoods Avenue and has the added mission of providing scholarships and leadership training and other career development for Delta Psi and the broader RPI community.
- “Restricted” donations to PEF earmarked for specific purposes (for example; Delta Psi undergraduate scholarships, paying down the mortgage, etc.)
- Donations through the Sigma Chi Foundation, earmarked for Delta Psi undergraduate scholarships. Arch Love left a hefty sum to the Sigma Chi Foundation for just that purpose and PEF still administers the Arch Love Fund and awards scholarships from that Fund each fall.
- Donate directly to Phi Epsilon Phi (the house corporation) which manages the property at 58 Pinewoods for the Foundation and maintains Alumni Relations responsibility. Note that donations to PEP are NOT tax deductible since it is not a 501 (c) 3 public charity as PEF is.
A while ago an RPI Development officer called me to ask me to put RPI in my will. My answer to him was the same as I hope yours will be: “Until the administration changes or they radically change their policies towards Greek Life, I will make all of my donations to my chapter so that they will have the resources to survive and fight her administration.” I hope many of you will agree and do likewise!
In hoc signo vinces,
Jim Manocchi ’75
Delta Psi of Sigma Chi
President, Pinewoods Educational Foundation
UPDATE: On July 18, John Pfaff sent us an email letter using our new email distribution system containing an update about the Greek Life Task Force with a request for us to message our concerns to the RPI administration on or before July 25:
“HELP US VOICE YOUR CONCERN AT https://www.votervoice.net/NAIC/2/Campaigns:
- Email campus administration using a provided template.
- Call the administrators using provided talking points.“
If you did not get this message, contact Dan Zuber.
On June 8, RPI announced a Greek Life Task Force – Task Force
Our RPI Alumni Inter-Greek Council (AIGC) is a committee of the RAA which fosters overall improvement of the Greek community. We have two members on the AIGC, Bob Eckart ’73 and John Pfaff ’71. They are representing our fraternities interest. Also Sigma Chi at our International Headquarters and the National Interfraternity Council are monitoring this action.
An Update was distributed on June 26.
We have moved our e-mail mailing list.
It includes discussions, strategies and tactics in response to our university’s creation of a Greek Life Task Force that includes suspension of alcohol and a two month delay in recruitment. To ensure you remain on the mailing list, contact Dan Zuber at Dzuber321 @ gmail.
Check to see if you received a recent message from John Pfaff on July 1 titled AIGC Meeting on June 29, 2018 from email alumni_discussions @ deltapsisigs.org
Graduating Consul Tim Saia ’18 reported, “graduation was cold and rainy, fitting for RPI.” A large class of 21 was reported. Also Nick Fortune ’13 received his Ph.D in Mathematics Education from North Caralina State.
Back (left to right): Dan Sze, Hunter Eiss, Ed Prettyman, Sean Ferracioli, Tim Saia, Matt Cornell, Sean Waclawik, Damian Amiruddin
Front: Chris St. Onge, Felicia Peacock (Lavalier, Girlfriend of Ben Richardson), Marvin Cosare, Jack Yang, Andrew Ellis, Reilly Keating-Wood.
Not pictured: Nikolay Lihraski, James Hu, Jonathan Tiller, Greg Pepe, Billy Sullivan, Matt Heimlich, Kenny D’Aurizio, Michael Manogue, Christian Sye, Vandan Patel
Updates on plans for the Graduates:
|Marvin||Cosare||B.S. Industrial & Management Engineering||Leviton, Manufacturing ePDP Program||Washington, D.C.|
|Hunter||Eiss||B.S. Industrial & Management Engineering||Booz Allen Hamilton, Cost Engineer||Morganton, NC, Bloomingdale, IL, and Bothell, WA|
|Dan||Sze||B.S. Computer Science and Business Management||TripAdvisor||Boston|
|Sean||Waclawik||B.S. Computer Science||Arista Networks||Nashua, NH|
|Tim||Saia||B.S. Computer Science||Software Engineer at Bloomberg||NYC, Midtown, living in UES|
|Kenny||D’Aurizio||BS Business and Management||Northeastern Law School||Boston (Fennway)|
Congratulations to all!
Delta Psi Brother James (Jim) B. Straw, ’68, has been selected for the 2018 Class of Significant Sigs. The Significant Sig Award recognizes alumni who have accomplished outstanding success in their professional or civic activities. Jim joins 7 other RPI Brothers who were honored previously. His picture will be added to the Alumni Room at the Pomeroy Chapter House at 58 Pinewoods.
Brother Straw graduated from RPI in 1968 with a Bachelor of Building Sciences and received a Bachelor of Architecture in 1969. Jim received his Master of Science in Urban Design from Columbia University in 1971. A retired architect, Jim resides in the Philadelphia area.
Jim was the Managing Principal of KSK Architects Planners Historians from 2009 to 2014. From 1997 to 2009 he led the firm’s Preservation Practice. Through several major, and award-winning projects, he developed an expertise in both preservation architecture and the planning and design of cultural facilities. He was Principal-in-Charge of the design of the $110M clay Center for the Arts and Sciences (2003) in Charleston, West Virginia, and the National Award-winning restoration and adaptive reuse of the historic Ridgway Library Building, in Philadelphia, as the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts (1997). Jim was also Principal-in-Charge of the National Award-winning restoration and reuse of Memorial Hall, a National Historic Landmark, for the Please Touch Museum (2010) in the Centennial District of Philadelphia.
Brother Straw also took his firm’s preservation and cultural facilities design practice to China in the late 1990s, when he was instrumental, with other firm principals, in setting up a planning and design office in Tianjin, China. His firm assisted in establishing some of China’s first historic preservation ordinances, and undertook planning a design of cultural and entertainment facilities around the country.
He received numerous awards in the architectural field. To name a few, the long list includes the National Honor Award, National Trust for Historic Preservation, 2012, for the restoration and adaptive re-use of Memorial Hall, the National Honor Award, National Trust for Historic Preservation, 1998, for the restoration and adaptive re-use of the Ridgway Library Building; a Grand Jury Award, Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia for the Please Touch Museum; the Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Award, Preservation Pennsylvania: Johnson House Underground Railroad Museum restoration, 2008; and The Philadelphia Art Alliance Wister Award, 2009, for “dedication and devotion to Arts and Culture in the City of Philadelphia.”
In addition to his professional achievements, Jim has served the music, non-profit and cultural community in many leadership positions, only some of which are mentioned here. He was a Commissioner for the Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation for 8 years; Chairman of the Board of Partners for Sacred Places; Executive Committee Board Member of the Mann Center for the Performing Arts; Chairman of the Opera Philadelphia Board; Chairman of the Philadelphia Flower Show Executive Committee; President of the Philadelphia Chamber Ensemble; and President of the Union League of Philadelphia.
His involvement in music started long ago and included a stint as bass guitarist in Oedipus and the Mothers, the Delta Psi house band with which he has returned for many Homecoming performances at Delta Psi. Jim is looking forward to a reunion performance for its next gig. Clearly, Jim still has rhythm. – Larry Mentz ‘68
Delta Psi Sigma Chi Brother George Herbert (GHerb) Reynolds ’66 entered the Chapter Eternal on February 27, 2018.
Pictures below are from the 2010 Homecoming Reunion – In front of the Pomeroy chapter house at 58 Pinewoods, left to right are: Bruce Allen ’65, Dick Ross ’66, George Reynolds ’66, Foss Hooper ’66, Eric Klutz ’66 & Paul Davis ’66, and at dinner are George Reynolds ’66, Faith Reynolds and Sharon Davis.
Comments from chapter Brothers:
All honor to his name. In hoc, Dennis George ’66
Here is a photo from the 1965 rush brochure with Herb Reynolds (better known as Troll). Troll is the little guy on the right side of the 49 Chevy (?) that had been sitting in the back of the house for years. Also identifiable are Foss Hooper on the left front hood, Denny George behind him, then ??, and I think, Bill Pomeroy. We all decided to dispose of it by driving it down Pinewoods Avenue flat out in second gear until it blew. A was a passenger, and it DID blow. We left it and walked back. Frank (Skull) Kendall was the driver. Bruce Allen, ‘65
By: Ken Sobel ‘12
Are you supposed to enjoy your first job out of college?
Two weeks into my career, this was the biggest question weighing on me. I didn’t sign my job offer with the expectation of hating my job, but here I was. With the encouragement of Andrew Stevens ’12, I decided on the solution. “I’ll start my own company!”
And so Whirl, Inc. was born. I quickly joined forces with my biological brother, Steve Sobel ’14, and former Pro Consul Jay Cady ’14, both who, unlike me, knew how to design circuits and write code.
With a founding team in place, we got to work. Our product was a point of sale system that accepted fingerprint payments. It would dramatically improve the speed, convenience, and security of everyday retail transactions. After working nights and weekends for six months, we had our first prototype by the spring of 2014.
Still resembling an RPI science project, that prototype helped us raise capital from Y Combinator, a startup venture fund based in Mountain View, California. We quickly relocated to the SF Bay Area, where we spent over two years figuring out how to transform a prototype into a business.
In those two years, we learned how to design hardware, build production-quality products, file a patent, write a pitch deck, form investor relationships, acquire customers, and partner with large banking institutions. Looking back, it was not my RPI coursework, but rather my experience in Sigma Chi that best prepared me most for the intensity of starting a company.
By late 2016, Whirl had processed over $1.2 million on behalf of its customers, and over 1000 people used our product to pay by fingerprint. In 2017, Visa tendered an offer to acquire Whirl’s patent rights – and we accepted.
Steve, Jay, and I continue to work as a team at b8ta, a new type of retailer that allows emerging consumer brands to sell through physical stores over the internet.
Waiting on names and details….