“Forever Young” felt like the perfect theme for NSU Homecoming 2013. A new football coach, brand new buildings, and an unmistakable vitality across campus marked a large turnout for Homecoming activities October 18-19. A weekend of gatherings reunited Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity brothers, spouses, and guests from around the country returning to their alma mater.
On Friday Pi Kapps and hundreds of fellow Demon fans poured into historic downtown Natchitoches where a pep rally and the inaugural ‘Rockin’ on the Riverbank’ Homecoming Festival. The parade featured floats decorated with the “Forever Young” theme carrying student groups and special guests to the pep rally. This year’s pep rally include performances by the NSU cheerleaders, Demon Dazzlers, pom pon line, and the Spirit of Northwestern Demon Marching Band; the introduction of the Homecoming Court and an appearance by Head Football Coach Jay Thomas, senior football players and the university’s newly made-over mascot, Vic the Demon.
Dozens of Pi Kappa Phi members, alumni, and their families gathered on the banks of scenic Cane River, taking in live music and swapping stories about their experiences in the fraternity. Alumnus Butch York was called to the stage by the band, MoJeaux, where he surprised everyone with a proposal to his long-time girlfriend, Erin Shocklee, a Phi Mu alumna. She said “yes!”
Saturday morning began bright and early with an alumni breakfast at the chapter house across from the Northwestern State University campus. Meantime, members of Pi Kappa Phi and Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority had already begun a 25-mile trek from the plantations south of Natchitoches to the Pi Kapp clock at the NSU Alumni Plaza. The annual ride honors the memory of Sharon Sampite, daughter of Beta Omicron alumnus Joe Sampite. Sharon lost her battle with cancer in 2009. The ride concluded a fundraising effort by members of both groups, who contribute to a scholarship fund in her memory.
Following the presentation, Beta Omicron Chapter alumnus David Morgan, Sr. presented scholarships to members who go the “extra mile.” Kolt Kays, Kyler Halbert, Zack Cockerham, and Sean Austin were awarded more than $2,000 for their efforts in the classroom, service to Pi Kappa Phi, and participation in the NSU campus community. The Morgan ‘Extra Mile’ Scholarship Program seeks to recognize academic performance while encouraging active and sustained involvement in NSU, all while remaining active in the affairs and operation of the chapter. Associate member T.J. O’Rourke was recognized as a recipient of the NSU ‘Freshman Leadership Scholarship,’ sponsored by the Beta Omicron Alumni Association.
Beta Omicron Chapter alumni convened for the annual Alumni Association/ Housing Corporation business meeting. Officers gave brief reports of the previous year’s initiatives, which earned Beta Omicron the “Alumni Chapter of the Year” award from the National Fraternity, as well as outlined goals for the future. Nominations were also accepted for the Beta Omicron Chapter Council of Advisors (COA), a group of volunteers who work advise the student officers. Student Chapter Archon Kolt Kays gave an update on the activities of the student chapter. A new slate of officers were elected to the Board of Directors of the Beta Omicron Alumni Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity Housing Corporation, Incorporated. Selected for a one-year term: Lane Luckie; DJ Klucznik, David Morgan, Sr., Wil Adams, Alan Pasch, Shayne Creppel, and Wes Breeden.
The fun and fellowship continued at the Demon Commons, where excitement for the game was stirring at the Pi Kapp tailgating tent. The smell of barbeque filled the air, while people waited in line for their turn at a game of washers or cornhole. Dozens of Pi Kapps, their families, and friends enjoyed all of the entertainment and music at the tent before heading to Turpin Stadium to watch the Demons take on the Southeastern Lions.
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