Robert Golden

The Alpha Beta Chapter of Alpha Phi Omega at Pennsylvania State University celebrated its 85th anniversary over the weekend of March 30th to April 2nd.

Alumni checked-in throughout the drizzly Friday evening. Despite the weather, the weekend’s celebrations began with Friday Night Lights Out, a service event first initiated in 2006 by Alpha Beta alumna Kathryn Hoberg. Alumni and current brothers trekked across campus turning off the lights and projectors which would have wasted electricity throughout the weekend. Following the Friday Night Lights Out, the old and new brothers of the Alpha Beta Chapter enjoyed ice cream from Penn State’s Berkey Creamery.

Saturday began early and ended late. Brothers rose at dawn to travel to Seven Mountains Scout Reservation to help set up and run the First Aid Meet, a competition testing local Scouts’ ability to render first aid in a variety of scenarios. With a Star Wars theme, Scouts treated Luke Skywalker for hypothermia and rendered aid to Han Solo. Many alumni reminisced about the project at a barbecue following the competition.

Later that evening, the Alpha Beta chapter gathered for its Alumni Banquet to celebrate 85 years of Leadership, Friendship, and Service. Following a catered dinner, the chapter recognized alumni and listened to past experiences in Alpha Phi Omega. Section 90 Chair Jess Lane and former chapter president and current chapter advisor, Rich Koval also spoke at the banquet, focusing on two events; the receipt of a replica charter and bidding farewell to a retiring advisor. Though Alpha Beta chapter’s original charter was lost after a renovation of the student union building, Rich Koval and the National Office successfully arranged for a replica to be developed with the wording at the time of Alpha Beta’s establishment in 1925.

A bittersweet moment during the evening was the formal announcement of Chapter Advisory Chair Philip Burlingame’s retirement from Penn State. Alumni and active brothers alike shared their fond memories of his unwavering support for the chapter; his counsel was especially prized by former chapter presidents.

Two unique ceremonies concluded Alpha Beta Chapter’s 85th Anniversary Weekend events. First, a Reinitiation Ceremony, giving alumni the opportunity to rededicate their lives to Leadership, Friendship, and Service. After promising to uphold the same values as when they were first initiated, alumni were invited to participate in the initiation of a pledge who, despite not being able to remain on campus due to health complications, had completed her requirements. The brothers of Alpha Beta were grateful to all who attended this event-filled weekend celebration.