September 1, 2015

Zeta Xi continues traditions, looks to future

Written by Jim Washington

Brothers of the Pi Kappa Phi Zeta Xi Alumni Chapter gathered at the end of July for an annual weekend of brotherhood and bonding.

While the future of the Zeta Xi active chapter at Averett University remains open-ended, 25 alumni brothers spent two days at a cabin on the Shenandoah River reliving past memories and planning for the future. The alumni chapter remains strong, with summer conclave a central tradition. During a business meeting held waist-deep in the Shenandoah's waters Saturday morning, brothers reviewed the past year and mapped out an exciting 2015-16 filled with brotherhood and professional events.

Highlights include brothers being appointed to the University's Board of Trustees and Aviation Advisory Committee and the annual aviation seminar and Christmas dinner.  For years the alumni chapter has hosted a career seminar for Averett University students interested in the aviation field. The event has been a huge success, so much so that the university has asked us to add an additional event.

The fall seminar is scheduled for Nov 6th and will be an "Aviation Open House" geared toward incoming students and open to all prospective students and parents. The spring event will be held March 18th with the traditional format. This has become a key selling point for the benefits of fraternity and Pi Kappa Phi alumni in particular. As our graduates continue to share the benefits of their wisdom and years of experience in the aviation field, Pi Kappa Phi has become the most visible Greek alumni organization on campus, which can only help our bid to revive the active chapter. We urge all Zeta Xi alumni, regardless of career, attend the event as a show of strength. The presence of our alumni on campus is one of the ways we will regain an active undergraduate chapter.

On Saturday December 5th the Zeta Xi Alumni Chapter will gather for their third annual Christmas dinner in the Richmond area. This relatively new event has become a welcome opportunity to spend time with brothers and their families. We are looking to expand to Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads if there is interest. Brothers are still planning details of this event. To volunteer or for more information please contact Tim Schlothauer at 804-241-3962 or James Stokes at 804-986-8488. Averett's homecoming is also coming up and will be held October 2,3,4. Val Kortchak will head up efforts to put on a tailgate party and raise money for a local food bank. He's looking for one or two people to help organize. Call 757-814-9361 to help out.

Averett University President Tiffany Franks has also appointed two of our chapter this year to leadership positions at the school. Brother Tim Carter has joined Averett's Board of Trustees, a distinguished and exclusive position requiring a significant commitment (especially for a brother living abroad). The Board of Trustees helps steer the future of AU and its programs, making vital decisions on the short and long term operations and sustainability of the university. Tim is the only Pi Kappa Phi brother to serve on that board, a true honor and a serious win for our chapter.

Brother Bernie Morrell has been asked to chair the school's Aviation Advisory Committee. This committee makes strategic recommendations to AU in order to improve the aviation program and continue to make it a success. This includes staff development and hiring, acquiring new aircraft and attracting new students to the program and the school. Efforts have already had an effect, and the goal is to double enrollment in the coming years.

These appointments are huge honors and more importantly opportunities for Pi Kappa Phi brothers to make an impact at the highest levels of university leadership, with an eye as always on making Pi Kapps an active force on campus once again.

Zeta Xi Alumni Chapter continue to fund scholarship as we continue to work for the return of an active chapter at Averett. In the meantime the scholarship is available to any alumni brothers' family members who qualify. In addition, officers for next year include Bernie Morrell, president; Val Kortchak, vice president; Andrew Cervantes, treasurer; Jim Washington, secretary.

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