Sigma Pi - Cornell University

Summer 2019 Newsletter

Mu Chapter of Sigma Pi at Cornell University, Educational Foundation

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A s we reach the midway point of the Educational Foundation's 12th year, I am pleased to report the growing progress and impact the Educational Foundation has had on leadership and educational programs within Sigma Pi and the greater Cornell and Ithaca communi- ties. 2019 has continued to show progress with programs and educationally oriented infrastructure becoming an important and integrated part of under- graduate life at the chapter house. Undergraduate brothers are utilizing the Learning Commons daily, and the newest member class from this spring cannot imagine Mu Chapter without it. Events in the Learning Commons occur on a frequent basis, highlighted by the Educational Foundation coor- dinating two speakers this spring. Mu Chapter brothers' participation in College Mentors for Kids remains as strong as ever. We could not do any of this without the generous contri- butions of the alumni community, and we are forever grateful. The focus on education has helped to generate a culture of strong GPAs, and while results for spring 2019 have yet to be released, we are sure Mu Chapter's GPA will continue to be among the highest of all fraternities at Cornell and Sigma Pi chapters nationwide. Learning Commons Update The Learning Commons has become a state-of-the-art location for collab- orative study for brothers throughout the past year. In addition to the daily impact of flat-screen televisions for conducting group meetings and com- fortable new furniture for an enhanced studying environment, the Learning Commons hosted a variety of events this past spring. We hosted Cornell Administrator Laura Santacrose, assistant director, Skorton Center for Health Initiatives, who ran an Intervene workshop focusing on successful bystander intervention, and Nick Ornitz '16, who shared his journey from engineering at Cornell to consulting for McKinsey and is now pursuing an MBA at Harvard Business School. Wi-Fi Modernization Update In conjunction with construction of the Learning Commons, the Wi-Fi modernization project was completed last fall, allowing undergraduate brothers access to top-of-the-line high-speed internet. Going forward, un- dergraduate brothers will not only have faster Wi-Fi services but will no longer have to pay monthly internet charges. Thanks to generous donations from many alumni, including Alan Portnoi '84, the Educational Founda- tion has paid off the costs of this Wi-Fi modernization effort. Alan says, "I am delighted to support the Wi-Fi modernization at the house and the Learning Commons project overall. It's great to see brothers studying col- laboratively and making the Learning Commons an important part of their daily lives at Cornell and Sigma Pi." College Mentors for Kids Update The Foundation's signature program, College Mentor for Kids, went through a period of transition last year, but Sigma Pi's participation has completely rebounded. Our commitment to the program grew—we had 13 brothers Summer 2019 S I G M A P I • M U C H A P T E R MU CHAPTER OF SIGMA PI EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT Educational Foundation off to Strong Start in 2019 (Continued on page 6) Undergraduate brothers studying in the newly constructed Learning Commons. Brothers Appreciate and Take Full Advantage of Updated Kitchen and Learning Commons A lmost one year after the completion of the Kitchen and Learning Commons project, the new educational infrastructure of the house has helped increase the productivity of the chapter by leaps and bounds. Upon completion in early September, brothers immediately used the Learning Commons for studying and working on group projects. The space provides lots of seating as well as a quiet area away from the lounges of the Pi house to get studying done at all times of the day. Brother Forest Colerick '20 describes the Learning Commons as "an awesome new place to study without having to walk up to Olin [Library] in the freezing Ithaca winters." The Learning Commons currently includes a high-top table and two small study areas for brothers to collaborate and work together. The three TVs help brothers practice for presentations, study material together, or even just have documentaries and programs on in the background while working. In addition to the Learning Commons, the new grab 'n' go area provides brothers access to quick snacks and meals at all times of the day, allowing them to quickly fuel up before going to class. The undergraduate brothers would like to thank all alumni for their contributions to the project, especially all the members of the K&D Project who helped to make this new infrastructure possible! Fraternally, Harry Drahzal '20

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