Phi Kappa Theta - Iowa State University

Spring 2018 Newsletter

Iowa Xi Chapter of Phi Kappa Theta at Iowa State University

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CLONE PAGE 2 A Brief History of the Christian Petersen Crucifix T he fall 2016 issue of the Xiclone had an article about the crucifix carved by Christian Petersen, Iowa State sculp- tor-in-residence. The Xiclone mention was prompted by an article in the magazine, Visions, about his works. Lynette Pohl- man, author of the Visions piece, director and chief curator of University Museums, was interested in the history of how the crucifix was carved and came to be at the Phi Kappa Theta chapter house. Below is feedback and quotes (some para- phrased) from several alumni in response to the Xiclone article. W. Jay Conover '58 attended St. Cecilia's grade school in Ames with Christian's daughter, Mary Charlotte, the only child from Christian's second marriage and possibly adopted. Jay doesn't have a recollection of the crucifix being presented, so he thinks it happened after he graduated. Mike Bellinger '69 recalled two smaller works, a bound Christ figure and a life-size wooden face of Christ. Petersen's widow may have taken them after she retired as housemother (more on this later). Gerry Gartner '63 confirmed that after Christian's passing in 1961, his widow served the chapter as housemother and lived in the quarters in the back-right corner of the house. If com- posites from around 1962-63 are available, her picture may be on them. Dave Meis '54 says Mr. Petersen converted to Catholicism around 1949. In or around 1953, he was made an alumnus ini- tiate (honorary) of Phi Kappa Theta. Dave thinks the carving was donated sometime after 1953. Dennis Klute '54 recalls that Christian volunteered to carve the crucifix after being made an honorary member during the 1953-54 school year, if we supplied the wood. "He gave us the requirements and I was the one who found the wood. Being from Boone, I knew a place that cured wood. The piece was seven years old and had to be cured a certain way concern- ing the grain. Christian made the final inspection of the wood before we bought it. My best guess is that it was carved and presented to the chapter sometime in 1954." While this does narrow down the time frame, it does not give us a definitive presentation date, which is okay. This informa- tion does give insight as to the raw material specifications, age, etc. University Museums knew of the two smaller pieces, that at one time were at the chapter house and we gained some in- sights as to what may have happened to them. Perhaps the most interesting item is that, after Christian's death, his wife served the chapter for a couple of years as housemother and actually lived in the current chapter house. A special thank-you goes to these brothers for the information they provided. Fraternally, Kirk Thomas '76 Iowa XI UndergradUates soar academIcally Chapter Joins St. Thomas Aquinas for Religious Progress O ur chapter membership has held very steady with 54 members. A positive re- cruitment this spring helped us maintain these numbers thanks to the help from local alumni. We are looking forward to a strong summer recruitment season and hope to continue this growth of the chapter. Academically, we have improved our chapter GPA by .17 from the previous semester, with a 3.13 GPA from all members. Our rank in the IFC community soared to 13th out of 31. We had the most improved chapter GPA in one year in the IFC community, and one of the highest GPAs in the entire Iowa State Greek community. We will work to maintain this GPA and hope to improve it with the help and everlasting effort of our academic advisor, Jenny Gibbs. During Homecoming, not only did we get to witness an outstanding season of Iowa State football, but we had the opportunity to see our members get painted in the annu- al Yell like Hell competition with Kappa Delta and Beta Theta Pi. This Greek Week we were paired with Phi Delta Theta and Alpha Omicron Pi. It was a fun pairing for all involved as our members have continued to volunteer and perform to the highest capabilities. This spring, we added a new position to the chapter executive board, vice president of spiritual development. Chase Rizzo '19 volunteered and headed the position. Chase and I will focus on building a relationship with St. Thomas Aquinas, the local Cath- olic Church in Ames. We were invited to offer an item at their annual auction; Chase and I agreed to offer a tailgate to the highest bidder. We attended the auction that night with eight other brothers and alumnus Robbie Bonus '17. After we gave a brief presentation about the chapter house and our mission, the bidding began; it went all the way up past $300! Thanks to Chase, our involvement with the church continues with small groups, invitations to events, and direction from local discipleship through the church. Chase has been met with overwhelming support from the chapter and we look forward to continuing this relationship with STA. Iowa Xi continues to uphold the standards and leads the way both in the Greek com- munity and the Iowa State community. I am proud of the men this semester and look forward to a strong finish! Fraternally, Matthew Milder '19 Chapter President (630) 731-0029 Iowa Xi members serve hamburgers during Burgers and Bags, our first-ever cornhole tournament to raise funds for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.

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