Historic Russell Hall, with a view of Normal Hill’s three iconic columns, hosted the Rose Ball banquet on April 26, 2014. Music set the mood as attendees mixed and mingled as a slideshow played, highlighting Rose Ball celebrations from the past 57 years. The evening’s program began with welcoming remarks from student chapter Archon Kyler Halbert and Alumni President Lane Luckie. Several speakers and presentations reflected on the successes of the past semester, as well as inspired students for the future.
Following dinner, several members were honored for their contributions in the last year. The “Mister Pi Kappa Phi” award was given to Aaron Finimore. Zack Cockerham was named “Active of the Year,” while Manton Capers received “Associate of the Year.” The Durward Owen Award went to Kyler Halbert. Kolt Kays was recognized for his dedication as a senior with the Kroeg Award. John Simar received the Mixson Award for excellence in campus involvement. The Fogarty Award for excellence in scholarship went to Zack Cockerham.
Each year the Beta Omicron Chapter selects the fraternity sweetheart, known as the Rose Queen. This honorary title is bestowed upon one woman who embodies class, character, and elegance. Julie Peeples was crowned the 2014 Beta Omicron Rose Queen. Others named to the court include: Alex Andre, Blake Lemoyne, Cady Hunt, and Kaila Wilhelmi. After Peeples was presented with a bouquet of red roses, the official flower of the Fraternity, all members and alumni performed the traditional serenade, “The Rose of Pi Kappa Phi,” on one knee.
The Beta Omicron Chapter Distinguished Alumnus Award is given each year to an individual for their personal achievement, outstanding service to the Fraternity and community, involvement in the life of the university, and serving as a model for lifelong brotherhood. The 2014 Alumnus of the Year is Bruce Kinder, the 231st member of the Beta Omicron Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi. He was initiated 40 years ago on February 7, 1974. As a student leader, he served as treasurer and social chair. He has been an active alumnus, playing a critical role in maintaining quality housing for the Beta Omicron Chapter. In 2000, he joined other alumni in taking on the project of securing a permanent home for our brotherhood, dedicating his time and financial support for locating and purchasing a chapter house. In the decade since, he has been an important consultant and supporter of maintaining and improving the house on University Parkway, helping create an inviting environment for Pi Kapps and guests alike. He has also been a longtime supporter of the Beta Omicron Chapter Investment Fund, which supports the educational projects of the chapter. His kind heart and fun stories of yesteryear make him a favorite face at Homecoming Reunions. His humble character and straightforward nature has helped him find success in the business world, as the president of Kinder Paint Company in Alexandria.
Alumnus Shelton Eubanks, who is celebrating 50 years as a member of Pi Kappa Phi, presented the chapter with several memorabilia items. Reflecting on his time as chapter Archon in 1965, to serving as a member of the Beta Omicron Alumni Association, Eubanks shared the importance of lifelong brotherhood. Several mementos from his time as a student, including Rose Ball souvenirs will be displayed in the Chapter House display case.
Following the banquet, members and their dates enjoyed a “Black Light Ball,” with the Pi Kappa Phi Chapter House decorated in glowing colors.