David W. Raymond ‘67, President of ΑΤΩ Chapter House Corporation
Last year, John Lasko '14 won the College Award for the ATO Senior with the highest overall grade point average and Lee Richlin '14 won the ATO Foundation Scholarship for the best All Around Chapter Senior for the 2013-14 academic year. We encourage ATO alumni to make charitable contributions to the College and/or the ATO Foundation specifically designating that the contributions are to be added to the endowment funds for these scholarships.
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. A photo showing John Lasko and Lee Richlin and other ATO actives receiving their academic awards at our September 2013 Alumni Board meeting can be seen on this website here. Information about the ATO Alumni Board Awards and our endowed scholarship programs described above can be found here.
The Alpha Upsilon Chapter membersí grades improved in the Fall semester of 2013 from the prior Spring 2013. In Spring 2013, ATO ranked seventh out of 9 fraternities with an average GPA of 2.88. The GPA for all Greek men was 2.95 and the All Menís Average was 3.00. In the Fall semester of 2013, the Chapter ranked third out of 9 fraternities with an average GPA of 2.95. The All Greek menís average GPA was 2.91 and the All Menís Average was 2.95.
The Board certainly hopes that the scholarship and academic achievement awards programs that it has established over the last few years will provide additional incentives for the studentsí academic success. The Chapter members are committed to work with those members who are most in need of academic improvement in order to help them succeed and achieve better average grades for the Chapter.
The ATO Chapter had an extremely successful Rush on campus in the Fall of 2013 by pledging 24 sophomores. The new ATO pledge class brings the total active Chapter membership for 2013-14 to 87. ATO continues to be the largest fraternity on campus for the fifth year in a row.
The Chapterís successful Rush result was recognized by ATO National Headquarters with a National Award for Recruitment. In addition, the Chapter received a True Merit Honorable Mention award plaque and a Chapter Excellence Award from National. Our Alumni Board was also recognized by National with an Upper Alpha Award. A photo of these awards can be seen here.
As I noted in last yearís annual letter, there are now only nine fraternities at Gettysburg College because two fraternities became inactive in Spring 2012 due to the lack of sufficient membership. Alpha Phi Alpha (a relatively new black fraternity) only had two members in 2011-12, and our neighbor Phi Kappa Psi was disqualified from occupying its Chapter House due to lack of sufficient numbers. In academic year 2011-12, Phi Psi only had 13 members. The former Phi Psi house next door to our Chapter House is now a College residence and all Phi Psi identification has been removed.
In addition to academics and a successful Rush program, the undergraduate members of ATO continue to be active in community service, College sports and other campus activities. All of these campus activities support the efforts of the Collegeís Greek community to help maintain a positive Greek image on campus.
I also noted in last yearís letter that a major highlight of 2012 was the filming on campus of a Disney produced movie depicting the inspiring story of Chapter member Cory Weismannís recovery from a stroke that he suffered during his freshman year at Gettysburg. The movie entitled ď1,000 to 1Ē, which includes some scenes shot in our Chapter House, will be available on DVD in March 2014. More information can be found here and here.
The most significant development in the Chapterís recent history came with our new relationship with the College that began in 2006 when we joined the Collegeís Life Safety Program in order to have the College take responsibility for upgrading the Chapter House to comply with the Collegeís 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 is detailed in contracts we entered into in 2006 that give the College ownership of the Chapter House and the responsibility for all maintenance, utilities, routine housekeeping and repairs needed for the operation of the facility. In the summer of 2013, the College replaced additional furniture on the first floor of the Chapter House and made significant repairs in the basement in accordance with the 2006 contractual agreements. In addition, the College made major renovations to the Chapter House kitchen with advice and input from Chapter actives and Alumni Board members. Photographs of the kitchen and other areas of the Chapter Houseís interior can be found here.
Our Chapterís 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.
Our all-volunteer Alumni Board of Directors of the ATO Chapter House Corporation is comprised of 20 members including graduates from every decade starting in the 1960s and extending up to the year 2012. We also have Directors Emeritus from classes of the 40ís and 50ís. It is a very competent and diverse Board consisting of a Vice President of the College, computer specialists with companies large and small and professionals in the areas of law, banking, accounting, optometry and dentistry. We have numerous businessmen and a Pennsylvania County commission member. Of course, several of us are retired. Regardless of age, profession or employment status, all of the Board members share a commitment to seeing the Alpha Upsilon Chapter continue to thrive and to assuring that the Chapter House is and continues to be a place of which we can all be proud.
The Alumni Board is always interested in having other ATO alumni become new Board members or to help with specific projects. To assure representation from younger alumni, the Board adopted a policy in 2012 of encouraging graduating past Chapter Presidents and Vice Presidents to join the Alumni Board at the first Board meeting following their graduation. Consistent with that policy, Sean Johnson í12, who was the Chapter President in 2011, was elected to our Alumni Board at its September 2012 meeting.
If any alumni are interested in helping out or becoming Board members, or know someone who is, please contact any current Board member.
We encourage all ATO alumni to come visit the Chapter House whenever you visit the College. Even though sprinklers and new fire alarm systems have been added to comply with the Collegeís Life Safety standards, the original look and character of the house have been maintained.