More than 50 years after first being introduced to Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, Joe Sampite officially became a member on December 13, 2008.
He was a member of Phi Kappa Nu, a local fraternity that became Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity when it chartered at Northwestern State University in 1956. Having graduated before the transition to Pi Kappa Phi, Sampite never initiated with the Founding group.
Sampite says he is proud to finally be a Pi Kapp, so many years later. “They’re a great group of young guys who are involved in the community and interested in helping other people. I’m very excited to be a part of that. I’m looking forward to being involved with them, especially helping people with disabilities.”
He was recognized at the Beta Omicron Chapter’s Founders’ Day Banquet on Saturday, December 13th. He was also presented with a pair of his signature white socks, a gift from his friends in the Beta Omicron Chapter Founders Generation Group from 1956.
In both his personal life and professionally, Sampite has represented the Fraternity’s vision of being a leader and a gentleman. He served as the mayor of Natchitoches from 1980 to 2000 and was later named to the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame. A veteran of the Korean War, he was a high school teacher and coach for many years. Sampite was later recognized as a statewide leader in the promotion of education and recreation. For his many years of volunteer work with handicapped youth, he received the “Louisiana Parks and Recreation Distinguished Service Award” in 1984. He helped establish the Natchitoches Association of Retarded Citizens and was named “Professional of the Year” by the Louisiana Association for Disabled Children. In 2000, Sampite was inducted into the Northwestern State University Long Purple Line. He was also named by the Shreveport Times as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in North Louisiana.”