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Front of the ATO House

“FIRST DECADE OF 21st CENTURY: Chapter History: 2000 – 2010”
David W. Raymond ‘67, President of ΑΤΩ Chapter House Corporation

      Since 2010 marked the beginning of a new decade, many news organizations took a look back at significant events of the prior ten years. It, therefore, seems appropriate that I do the same with respect to the life of the Alpha Upsilon Chapter of ATO. The decade began with Rich Brunner ’58 as President of the alumni corporation. Rich was followed in that position by Ron Early ’65. I was fortunate to follow those two dedicated ATO alumni to serve as ATO Alumni President since 2004. Both Rich and Ron continue to support our Board of Directors and occasionally attend our Board meetings to offer their seasoned advice and counsel.

      In 2004, the alumni corporation added a roof to our front porch on the Chapter House. A photo of the Chapter House in 2004 with the new roof can be seen above at the top of this page.

      The most significant development in the Chapter’s recent history came with our new relationship with the College that began in 2006 when we joined the College’s Life Safety Program in order to have the College take responsibility for upgrading the Chapter House to comply with the College’s Life Safety standards that became effective for all fraternity houses at the end of the 2009-2010 academic year. The change in relationship with the College took place when we entered into new contracts with the College that gave the College ownership of the Chapter House, as well as the responsibility for all maintenance, utilities, routine housekeeping and repairs needed for the operation of the facility.

      Our Chapter’s actives now engage the Facilities Department of the College for any unusual repairs and other major services required to maintain the house in good condition. The actives are still responsible for keeping the house clean and preventing damage to the facility and its furnishings. Any active member responsible for damage to the house or its furnishings must pay the College for the costs of repair and, in some cases, a fine.

      In accordance with the our new contractual arrangement, the College completely renovated the Chapter House and installed all required Life Safety equipment in the house in 2006. Photos of the work done during the renovation can be seen here. At about the same time that Gettysburg College adopted its new life safety standards, ATO National issued directives to all ATO Chapters across the country to meet enhanced fire safety requirements.

      One major benefit to our Chapter that resulted from the new contractual relationship with the College was the significant College payment made to our alumni corporation for the College taking ownership of the Chapter House. Most of the payment we received has been invested for the benefit of the Chapter in future years. In 2007, the ATO Alumni Board also used $100,000 of the funds received from the College to endow scholarships for active Chapter members through the College and the ATO Foundation. More detailed information about the endowed scholarships can be found here.

      The ATO Board has also made it a practice since 2007 to set aside a portion of our operating funds each semester for use in granting academic awards for the ATO actives with the best semester grades in each class and for the active with the most improvement in his grades from the prior semester. These ATO Alumni Board Awards are also described here.

      In October, 2007, Alpha Upsilon commemorated the 125th Anniversary of our Chapter's founding in 1882 at a Founders Day dinner with alumni, spouses and actives at the Chapter House during Homecoming Weekend. At an Alumni/Chapter meeting held before the dinner, Julie Ramsey, College Vice President for College Life and Dean of Students, and William Lafferty, Assistant Dean and Director of Greek Organizations, extended their congratulations on the Chapter's historic milestone on behalf of the College. In addition, Terry Turman, ATO National Director of Alumni Services, extended his greetings and congratulations from ATO National Headquarters. Terry told some stories about our Chapter's history that he retrieved from National's archives. Alpha Upsilon was only the second Chapter established north of the Mason-Dixon Line (after the University of Pennsylvania Chapter), and Terry noted that ATO Founder, Otis Allan Glazebrook, actually visited our Chapter in the late 19th Century during an earlier anniversary celebration. Photos of the 125th Anniversary event can be found here.

      In 2008, the ATO Alumni Board began a new relationship with the Eisenhower Institute, which now has a Gettysburg office in the former ATO Chapter House on North Washington Street. Our Board member, Rod Tosten ’85, who is the College Vice President for Information Technology, helped the Institute establish its computer systems and communications link with its Washington headquarters. Rod saw an opportunity to commemorate the historical ATO connection with the house in which the Institute now has offices and operates the Eisenhower Undergraduate Fellows Program. As a result, Rod and his wife made a contribution to the College to start an endowment fund to name the Eisenhower Institute’s Boardroom on North Washington Street in honor of our Chapter.

      On Homecoming Saturday in September 2008, the Eisenhower Institute held a special reception for ATO alumni to visit the former Chapter House and see the renovations that have been made to accommodate the Institute’s offices and to provide residences for students. At this reception, Rod and I asked other ATO alumni to contribute to the endowment fund that Rod started to reach the level necessary to name the Boardroom for our ATO Chapter. I am pleased to report that we reached the required level for the fund through the generous donations of ATO alumni and, in October 2010 during Homecoming Weekend, the College and the Eisenhower Institute held a Dedication Ceremony to officially name the EI Boardroom for our ATO Chapter. Photos of this ceremony can be seen here.

      In 2009, ATO Director Emeritus, Rich Brunner ’58, started a College endowment fund to build a memorial near Musselman Stadium in honor of all Gettysburg College alumni who have served in the United States Armed Forces. Many ATO alumni have served with distinction in the military over the years, including many who saw combat in wars throughout the more than 125 years since our Chapter was founded in 1882. The veterans’ memorial will be a flagpole system with a tablet at its base displaying the official seals of the five branches of the US Armed Forces. This memorial is especially appropriate for the College at this time since there is a renewed pride that Americans are showing all over the country for our military men and women, who are serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere around the world. The amount needed to complete this endowment requirement was reached in 2010, and a dedication of this memorial could be scheduled in 2011.

      Our ATO Chapter ends the first decade of the 21st Century with over 65 active members and has been the largest fraternity on the Gettysburg College campus for two years in a row. The Alpha Upsilon Chapter is truly thriving almost 130 years after its founding in 1882.

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