Beta Omicron Chapter founding members hold biennial reunion

In a tradition that began in the 1990s, the founding members of the Beta Omicron chapter of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity held their biennial reunion in Natchitoches on October 25, 2014.

Alumni and their wives enjoyed a weekend of social events, touring the city, and a reunion banquet. Saturday began with an impressive breakfast spread at the home of Billy Paul and Peggy Plunkett, over stories of the groups’ collegiate years at Northwestern State. The Founders’ Generation alumni group is comprised of the September 1956 chartering members of the Beta Omicron chapter through the March 1960 initiates.

Following breakfast, the alumni converged for their business meeting & “rapp session” led by Founders Group organizer Mike “Mickey” Murphy discussing the weekend’s agenda, followed by updates on members’ health and families, learning about student chapter’s successes, a presentation by alumni chapter president Lane Luckie, and discussing the group’s next reunion in two years.

Passing around 1950s issues of the ‘Star & Lamp Magazine,’ Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity’s official journal, the group swapped stories of favorite memories and recalling their transition from a local fraternity, Phi Kappa Nu.

Lunchtime brought the group of the Grand Ecore Visitor’s Center, a museum and scenic overlook perched 80 feet above the Red River, where families enjoyed barbecue sandwiches from Natchitoches-area favorite, Grayson’s BBQ.

Their next tour took them to the recently opened Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum, where the state’s greatest athletes are enshrined, including Phi Kappa Nu alumnus and NSU football and track legend Walter Ledet.

The Beta Omicron student chapter archon Kyler Halbert and alumni chapter president Lane Luckie joined the founders and their wives for traditional Louisiana cuisine at a banquet held that night at Merci Beaucoup Restaurant. As dinner was served, NSU assistant director of Alumni and Develop Vanner Erickson delivered an update on the university and its newly appointed president.

The evening’s program also included remarks from various founding members, a tribute to deceased members, a presentation of red roses to four of the first seven fraternity sweethearts, drawing door prizes, as well as alumnus John “Buck” Wheat’s much-anticipated tradition of distributing hand-crafted reunion mementos.

Founders’ Generation alumni and their families who were not able to attend the reunion are invited to participate in the group’s next gathering, a March 2015 luncheon in Bossier City.

Planning of the Beta Omicron chapter’s 60th anniversary in Fall 2016 is already underway.

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