By Michelle Lampariello
After only one year on campus, Beta Theta Pi has proven to be a productive philanthropic and social organization as the College’s newest fraternity.
Beta’s colony at the College began in the fall of 2016, when its original 24 founding fathers felt as though greek life on campus was missing the kind of brotherhood that Beta offers. With 47 active members at the start of this semester, Beta is eager to recruit new brothers in spring 2018.
“Being a fall founding father, to me, meant setting the sails for the future of a brotherhood, whether that future is 5 years or 500 years,” said Kevin Hurler, a senior physics major.
For the fall 2017 semester, Beta earned an average term GPA of 3.342 — the highest out of all fraternities on campus. The seven members who joined Beta last fall earned an average GPA of 3.25, displaying the organization’s commitment to maintaining academic excellence.
Bryant Fiesta, Beta’s colony development coordinator, taught the founding fathers about the fraternity’s history and values, and helped them prepare to run a chapter. Fiesta ceased his involvement shortly after these lessons, leaving Beta on its own to develop an identity at the College.
Matt Pollock, a sophomore health and exercise science major and Beta’s vice president of recruitment, recognized that this was a daunting task for the new brotherhood.
“A year ago, we were just individuals unprepared about how to expand Beta’s mission, Pollock said. “We were worried about developing a colony and getting recruits.”
Many people watching the organization develop wondered how will Beta planned to expand its presence on campus.
Beta began to integrate itself into traditional campus activities for greek organizations at the College, like having a philanthropy week. During the spring 2017 semester, Beta supported Doctors Without Borders. This semester, Beta will be promoting the Make-A-Wish Foundation during its second philanthropy week.
“My goal is to find new ways to engage with the campus and the community in a fun and constructive way,” said Nate Gambrill, current president of Beta and a sophomore marketing major. “I’m glad I have the chance to build a brotherhood that other worthy men can enjoy for many years in the future.”
The brothers are no strangers to community service — they have visited the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, participated in a walk for multiple sclerosis in the spring of 2017 and helped organize a Trenton thrift shop.
By and large, the Beta brothers have achieved substantial growth in their expansion both as a fraternity and as individual members. Former fraternity president and senior biomedical engineering major Alec Paterno placed third in the race to be the College’s 2017 Homecoming King, and Chris Blakeley, a junior civil engineering major and member of Beta, currently serves as president of Student Government.
Beta’s founding fathers hope to create an example for future brothers as the fraternity prepares to enter its second year at the College.