Fall Updates from Martin Barbato ’79
I am again pleased to write to you – although a bit later than the regular Fall letter. It has been a busy Fall 2022 and I now find myself looking forward to the Holidays!
Homecoming was again live and virtual.
The Alumni Board held its annual tailgate, which was again hosted by Alumni Board members Ben Jarmul and David Hyland. It was great to see so many alumni and friends! We even had the opportunity to do some recruiting of new members. With a night game, the Board conducted the annual General Membership Meeting on Sunday. Alumni and Actives gathered for a brunch beforehand. The meeting was held in person and virtually, using the newly acquired webcam and projector system. In addition, the Actives presented a pre-recorded video house tour, which was very well received. You can see the video and power point presentation of the General Membership Meeting on the Affinity Website.
Kappa is strong and thriving.
For the new academic year, and for the third year in a row, the total number of Actives is up! We have 52 total Actives, 26 of which are living in the house. These are great numbers, in comparison to recent years and in the face of the challenges that fraternities continue to face nationwide.
I’m pleased to also report that the house and Kappa’s finances continue in strong shape. The House looks great, thanks to the dedicated and regular efforts of Board member David Hyland, who serves as House Committee Chair, and to the very caring and involved Actives. Please see the article about Work Weekend on the Affinity website for photos and a story about a very successful effort to maintain and improve the House. The financial position is strong, which is directly due to the Board’s stewardship. As I have described before, the Board adopts two separate budgets – one for housing and a second for alumni association activities. We have been successful in running the housing P&L at a surplus, which surplus is being used to make the additional payments to principal. As a result, the mortgage debt has been reduced to about $164,000 and we are on track to pay off the mortgage by no later than the end of 2023.
The alumni association activities budget includes all communication costs (which include the Affinity website), events hosted by the alumni, and the Scholarship Fund. The alumni association activities budget for this year is $24,000. Your donations go directly to this budget and to these activities. For the just completed academic year, and for the third Founder’s Day in a row, we gave a total of $2,000 in scholarship money to worthy Actives. We look forward to continuing this effort. With your support, we will be able to do so.
Speaking of support, the Kappa alumni have been a great support. Kappa experienced strong donations for this past giving year (8/1/21 through 7/31/22) – a total of $18,608. This was a 26% increase over the previous year and one of the highest over the last 15 years, when one special one-time gift is excluded! My heart-felt thanks for all of the support.
Please see the new Affinity portal
Our long-time partner, Affinity Connection, completed a major update to the website portal. The Board worked with Affinity to improve the content on the site and the user-friendliness. We would greatly appreciate your input.
We need your help to communicate with you.
The Phi Sigma Kappa alumni total about 1,053. Of these, we have current contact information (either a mailing address, an email address, or both) for 769. Of these, we have emails for 555.
It would be helpful if all alumni could provide an email address. There are just two regular mailings per year – the Fall Letter and the Spring Letter. In contrast, an email newsletter goes out monthly.
Please consider providing your email address (or updating your email address, if applicable) so that we can keep you more current on what is happening at Kappa. You can send your email address to any of us:
Martin Barbato – [email protected]
Fred DeCock – [email protected]
Natasha Schlaffer – [email protected]
In addition, we have over cell numbers for over 800 alumni! Cell numbers provide a great way to provide quick information to you via text message. Please go on the Affinity portal to authorize us to send text messages to you.
As I close out this letter, allow me to repeat a previous offer – to be available for your input. The Board is very interested in identifying and implementing steps to improve communications with alumni and to provide activities and events for alumni. Our Alumni Communications Chair, Fred DeCock (a former Board president), is ready to hear from you. So am I. Please feel free to contact either of us.
Be well, and I hope to see you soon.
Martin Barbato ‘79
Phi Sigma Kappa Association of State College
Fred DeCock ‘80
Immediate Past President
Alumni Communications Chair
Phi Sigma Kappa Association of State College