Sigma Pi - Cornell University

Winter 2018 Newsletter

Mu Chapter of Sigma Pi at Cornell University, Educational Foundation

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HONOR ROLL OF PATRONS T he Mu Chapter of Sigma Pi Educational Foundation would like to thank and recognize the following generous donors who made contributions from July 1 to December 18, 2017. Mu Chapter of Sigma Pi Educational Foundation Page 2 Carol Patane and Family Albert Beck '52 Winthrop Cody '55 Peter Romeo '55 Angela and Douglas Parker '56 Richard Boerner '60 James Unckless '66 Kevin Fountain '68 Walter Knox '71 James Boland '73 Michael Feiertag William Strusz '73 Bert Hurlbut '74 James Kraker '74 Jeffrey Craver '75 Mark Cunningham '75 Peter Cady '77 John Christoforo '77 Robert Ruhlman '78 Kent Sheng '78 Steven Bergh '79 Kay and David D'Orlando '79 Robert Novo '79 Gordon Pugh '79 Thomas Cherner '80 Neal Douglas '80 John Altmeyer '81 Joseph Ruocco '81 Tom Silver '81 Ford Fay '82 James Garr '82 John Roche '82 Joshua Weinrich '82 Michael Feiertag '83 Dennis McNamara '83 Steve Novak '83 Scott Wilson '83 T he undergraduates have achieved a level of excellence unparalleled in the history of Mu Chapter. For years, Sigma Pi ranked in the middle of fraternity GPAs and, in 2011, fell to a low point of 3.18. Through a change in house culture, aided by Mu Chapter of Sigma Pi Edu- cational Foundation initiatives and investments, the chapter's GPA has steadily increased over the past four years. I spoke with four young Sigma Pi men to get a better sense of what has changed at 730 University Avenue to accomplish the im- provement in GPA. The Foundation, through your support, has in- vested in desks for each bedroom, furniture for the Memorial Library and West Lounge, and purchased subscriptions to the TakeNote and Chegg academic services to aid in the studies of the brotherhood. Alex Wood-Thomas '18 said that he was "particularly impressed by the desks. Their combination with modern furniture in the common spaces and a dedicated study space in the Memorial Library makes the house very ac- commodating and comfortable for studying." He also stated that it helped his academics to live in a space where he could have a quiet, comfortable place to work or collaborate with others, while also having all the amenities of his own home. David DellaPelle '17 also noted that the new furniture has "made our studies much more ef- fective and enjoyable." However, all this would be for naught without an immense commitment from the undergradu- ates to their academic achievement. All four undergraduates agreed that no overt strategic ac- tions were taken by the fraternity to change the academic practices like instituting library/quiet hours. Rather, as summed up by Zac Goldman '18, "The brotherhood culture and, as a residual effect, the recruitment of new brothers has been centered on achieving success in the classroom and beyond." The change in culture was best summed up by Alec Charbonneau '16, who said, "It seems that the younger brothers care much more about their grades and careers than my pledge class and I did when we were younger. We have more brothers open about where they are going with their ca- reers and alumni shining light on their successful careers and how the house has helped." The over- all increase in alumni involvement during recent years, which includes the career mentorship pro- gram and teleconferences via the Dick Cahoon Tech Center, has reinvigorated the ambitions of the undergraduate brothers and challenged them to strive for greatness. The passion for their fu- ture careers has boosted academic achievement and has set a precedent for new members, which we hope will continue for years to come. Fraternally, Sam Barnum '19 • David Golding '18 Sigma Pi Remembers Deceased Brothers with Memorial Plaques L ast fall, the Mu Chapter of Sigma Pi Educational Foundation was proud to honor two deceased brothers. The life of Robert Reber Carroll '75 was celebrated at a special Zoltan reunion at 730 Uni- versity Avenue during Homecoming. The classmates of Ed "Fred" Finnerty '82 also created a fundraising campaign in his honor. The memorial messages have been affixed to plaques that will be perma- nently located in the house's Memorial Library so that their friends, families, and future generations of Pi men can remember them and their contributions to our fraternity. Memorial Plaques are a unique, special way to contribute to the future of Sigma Pi. All proceeds are donated to the Mu Chapter Sigma Pi Educational Foundation, a 501(c) (3) organization, and help contrib- ute to our many causes, including scholarships for the undergraduates and support of the College Mentors for Kids program. Last fall, the Educational Foundation also installed nine new donor plaques to the wall in the Memorial Library, which recognize indi- viduals who have donated $1,000 or more. We thank these individuals as well as all of the others who have supported our mission. Support from foundation, alumni involvement linked to academic achievement

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