The Beta Omicron Alumni Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity at Northwestern State University has been named the national fraternity’s 2015 ‘Alumni Chapter of the Year,’ for excelling beyond the expectations of engaging its alumni members. The alumni chapter has been a model for providing an active, enriching experience for their alumni as well as supporting their student chapter and the campus community.
Their desire to set a good example for the undergraduates is evident. “Beta Omicron Chapter alumni are motivated by the desire to pay it forward, creating a better experience for our students. It’s that simple,” alumni chapter President Lane Luckie said. “These uncommon opportunities continue beyond college, so that true commitment to lifelong brotherhood means being an involved alumnus. At the same time, I think many of our alumni keep the 1980s, when our chapter went dormant, in the back of their minds. They want to make sure we’re doing everything possible to support our student members in paving a pathway to success. Learning from the past.”
Since the chapter’s re-founding in early 2000, the alumni have modeled the way, not only for the undergraduates, but alumni across the country. Over the years they have worked on digitizing their archives, offering scholarships to students and organize an annual house improvement project, among other events and reunions. Currently they are gearing up for next year’s observance of the 60th anniversary since their original 1956 chartering. If their recent endeavors are any indication, this event is sure to be quite the celebration.
This is the second such award for the Beta Omicron alumni chapter in three years and with good reason. They continue to have a highly engaged alumni base of volunteers and many who contribute in their own way to not only help the undergraduates, but also provide a meaningful alumni experience.
To keep the chapter’s more than 500 alumni around the globe connected, the Beta Omicron Alumni Chapter produces both printed and digital newsletters, as well as bi-monthly email blasts. The alumni chapter also leverages an interactive website and various social media, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram to help connect alumni with student members, providing a gateway for professional networking and mentoring, especially among graduating seniors.
The alumni chapter also continues to promote lifelong brotherhood by co-sponsoring or supporting an annual golf tournament, scholarship banquet, Founders’ Day celebration, various tailgating events, social events in cities around Louisiana and Texas, as well as a homecoming reunion that regularly draws more than 100 attendees. In fact, the chapter’s 1956 chartering members hold a biennial reunion in Natchitoches, exemplifying a lifelong commitment to Pi Kappa Phi.
The Beta Omicron Alumni Chapter also provides advisory support to the student chapter and encourages academic excellence and campus involvement. The Council of Advisors, a committee of 10 alumni volunteers, advise the students on chapter operations, while providing mentorship opportunities with successful professionals. Alumni also support educational needs of student members through a professionally managed Chapter Investment Fund, along with providing an annual Freshman Leadership Scholarship to incoming students at Northwestern State. Alumnus David D. Morgan also funds the ‘Extra Mile’ scholarship to recognize academic performance while encouraging active and sustained involvement on campus and within the student chapter. Since 2008, Pi Kappa Phi members have been awarded more than $40,000 in grants through this program. In July, alumni representatives from each decade of the chapter’s existence were present for the Journey of Hope arrival at Shriners Hospital in Shreveport. Sponsoring the barbecue and arrival event is just one of the many ways Beta Omicron chapter alumni support the fraternity’s philanthropy, The Ability Experience.
Alumni are also involved in the Fraternity on a national level by serving on boards, advising chapters at other institutions, and volunteering as facilitators for various programs, conferences, and workshops. The same level of support is shared with the Northwestern State campus community, with countless alumni serving as faculty, staff, board members, guest speakers, donors, and avid Demon fans.
All of these efforts are coordinated by a seven-member volunteer board of directors, which includes president Lane Luckie, vice president of membership DJ Klucznik, treasurer David D. Morgan, secretary Wil Adams, director of housing Joey Kliebert, director of alumni events Shayne Creppel, and director of special projects Wes Breeden. More than 50 alumni chapter members contribute monthly dues, making these efforts possible.
The Beta Omicron Alumni Chapter also serves as a housing corporation, which owns and manages the Fraternity house located at 730 University Parkway.