Theta Xi - Bradley University

Summer 2020 Newsletter

Alpha Sigma Chapter of Theta Xi at Bradley University

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THE TAXI NEWS PAGE 2 I n the early stages of planning the Building on Our Past, Securing Our Future campaign, Bob Schmanski '99 proudly joined the board to give back to the chapter that gave him so much. "I can't imagine my college experience without Theta Xi," he said. "It has given me lifelong friends, experiences, and memories that I will never forget." A MEMORABLE PAST Many of those experiences arose for Bob as leadership positions, such as house manager, vice president, and president. Through these roles he learned to resolve conflicts, work with others toward common goals, and to be the best person he could be. Bob's favorite Alpha Sigma memories tend to be the day-to-day experiences— late-night hangouts and philanthropic and social events—as well as the "occasional good-natured hijinks," such as when a brother obtained a bonfire permit (to burn "wood and stuff" verbatim) from the fire department; they had the permit ready when the campus police showed up. With Alpha Sigma being a relatively small chapter in his undergraduate years, Bob feels that nearly every member at the time influenced his experience in some way. That includes then-Recruitment Chairman Pete Pirro '96, who helped brothers be their best selves and showed them the recognition they deserved; the late Len Goldfine '96, who encouraged Bob to hit the gym with him in the morning before class; and of course, Bob's pledge son, Craig Janus '00, who served as chapter treasurer for most of his undergraduate years and has continued to bring a positive fiscal influence to the chapter. Craig started the chapter scholarship program, and Bob was an early contributor and supporter. SECURING THE FUTURE Greek life is an increasingly challenging environment in several ways, and through the campaign Bob sees an opportunity to help the chapter not only survive but prosper. "The scholarship aspect will help attract good students and motivate them to live in the chapter house, which is critical to the financial health of the chapter and helps build and maintain strong bonds between brothers." Bob additionally noted that this will help increase chapter involvement for some brothers who may otherwise need to work long hours just to afford college. The loans that the endowment will provide to the chapter will also help maintain and improve the house as a competitive option on campus - while paying interest to ourselves and not a bank. In addition to the practical reasons for supporting the campaign, Bob simply hopes that Alpha Sigma will always be on campus for him to visit, as he has frequently done since graduation. One of his favorite parts of the campaign so far is reaching out to brothers he hasn't seen in many years. "I would encourage them to contribute financially to the extent that they can. Or if their ability to do so is limited, they can contribute time and effort by being a class or era leader, to help spread the word about the campaign to fellow brothers from their undergraduate years." Bob and his wife love to travel internationally and have gone on amazing trips in recent years. With travel off the table for now, they are enjoying their other pastimes, such as movies, TV, and video games. Bob has also enjoyed the opportunity to catch up with brothers through digital events such as game nights and a Zoom video conference for Founders' Day this past spring. To reconnect with Bob or ask him about the campaign, you can reach him at Why Bob Schmanski '99 Supports the Campaign F rom the moment Joe Tarnowski '20 met the brothers of Alpha Sigma Chapter, he could tell they were genuine and inclusive guys. "I felt an immediate connection with the guys in the chapter as soon as we started talking," Joe said. "I found an opportunity to make an impact at Theta Xi that pulled me in and kept me there through college." Joe kept himself busy throughout his four years at Bradley, holding a part-time job while studying and serving in various chapter leadership positions. He spent one year as recruitment chairman, two years as treasurer, and one semester as the new member educator. As a double major in actuarial science and management information systems with a concentration in business analytics, Joe also had to do a lot of self- studying outside of his schoolwork. "My support system within the chapter allowed me to push myself to completing two professional exams while I was an undergraduate," Joe said. "This helped make me a more attractive candidate for internships and full-time positions." It wasn't all work and no play though. Joe also enjoyed hanging out with his brothers. "Easily the best thing I was ever part of was building a waterslide out of the social room into the front yard," Joe said. Additionally, Joe always looked forward to chapter camping trips as they were great bonding experiences. After graduation, Joe started working for Liberty Mutual Insurance and is on track to becoming a fully credentialed actuary. "I became interested in this field because I knew it was something that would challenge and engage me," Joe said. "It worked well with my preexisting interests in statistics and economics." On top of his new job, Joe also became involved with Alpha Sigma's capital campaign board. "As someone who received both the Blue Iris and Janus scholarships, I know it relieved a lot of stress for me," Joe said. "I wanted to show my appreciation for the personal development I experienced through Theta Xi while making sure that future brothers receive the same opportunities I did." Through this process, Joe has been maintaining relationships with his alumni brothers and he encourages others to do the same. "Reconnecting The Benefits of Brotherhood Recent Graduate Joe Tarnowski '20 was Inspired to Immediately Support Alpha Sigma Upon Graduation OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO ALPHA SIGMA (Continued on page 4)

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