Driveway and TKE for Life Donations
XOAA, BATI, and the current Chapter have developed a new program where recent graduates are encouraged to commit to a small donation each month to help defray operating costs of the house.
We are also fundraising to pave the driveway.
Your support is appreciated!
Recurring Monthly Contribution:
One Time Contribution:
Tim Murray, #235, XOAA President
Welcome to the Xi Omega Alumni Association's (XOAA) new website. We are affiliated with the active student Chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon's (TKE) at Virgnia Tech.
Website features include:
- Alumni Directory - that is searchable by name, pledge class, and other fields.
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- Social networking (Facebook, and Twitter) support
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Xi Omega Alumni Association Mission
XOAA's goals are to support the Virginia Tech TKE Chapter in a variety of ways and to provide a means of communication for alumni.
Tim Murray, #235
Xi Omega Alumni Assocation President
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Upcoming Events & Announcements
September 3, 2017-VT vs. WVU
Spring 2018-45-Year Anniversary Celebration
TKE Xi-Omega Summer 2017 State of the Chapter
Dear Brothers, Alumni, and Little Sisters/Sweethearts,
It is my pleasure to write to you and inform you of our chapter's successes in 2017 thus far as well as our goals and future endeavors for this upcoming semester and year.
Coming off a successful 2015-2016 school year and 2016 fall semester, our chapter had high expectations for 2017. Our 2017 TKE Week efforts saw us raise over $150,000 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, over $50,000 more than our goal and over $120,000 more than the next highest TKE chapter nationwide. I want to thank all who made this possible through your donations and promotion of our efforts. With your help, we showed what the chapter can achieve if we put in the time and effort and have the right mindset.
On the recruiting front, we brought in 15 new members who we felt fit our core values and provided Xi-Omega with a group of talented young leaders who have already proved us right in our decision to extend them bids. Several raised thousands of dollars on their own for TKE Week, many have taken committee positions for this upcoming semester, and one even passed BUD/S to become a Navy SEAL upon graduation. The future is bright for this chapter.
This summer has been busy for Xi-Omega. While the alumni discussed Work Weekend in an earlier post, I want to share with you all how incredible and productive it was. We had over 30 brothers attend Work Weekend, many of whom stayed at the The Barn from sun up to sun down to finish a myriad of tasks, highlighted by the construction of a new fence and the repair of the majority of the composites throughout the house. This summer's turnout improved from recent Work Weekends, and all but one of the officers attended. In addition, many of the participants came from the three most recent pledge classes, which is another reason I see a strong future for our chapter as I begin my final semester as president .
This summer was also highlighted by a trip down to New Orleans for the 2017 TKE Conclave in early August attended by Hegemon Sam Argo, Philanthropy Chair Paul Feghali, alumnus Chris Catizone, and myself. In New Orleans, Xi-Omega received a Top TKE Award (its fifth straight), a top fundraising chapter award, and Chris Catizone received a Top Individual TKE Award, one of only five recipients in the country. While Xi-Omega certainly earned these awards and built on its impressive legacy over the past several years, we cannot rest on past accomplishments. This trip further entrenched our motivation and desire for continuous success at both the chapter and national levels.< /span>
As we enter a new semester and school year we must put our achievements in the rear view mirror and focus on what is to come. We are targeting a 20+ man pledge class of future leaders, scholars, and gentlemen who fit the ideals of our fraternity. We are planning on not only participating in a number of sorority's philanthropies, including AXO's Mock Rock and ZTA's Crown Classic, but also excelling and hopefully winning them. We enter the 2017-2018 school year with the goal of improving our relationship with Virginia Tech's IFC leaders, a relationship that has been strained, but not broken, over the past several years. Repairing and strengthening this relationship is vital to the strength of our chapter and its success in the future.
One thing I have asked my officers to think about recently is "what version of themselves" are they going to show up as in this new year. It is something I ask all of you as well. How is what you do this fall going to help this chapter? We have dozens of caring, motivated, and successful alumni. I have met many of you and seen this firsthand many times. While our current members contribute to the success of this chapter, we would be nowhere without the continued support of the alumni. I hope to see this engagement continue this fall. After all, we are all in this together and can't succeed without each other. I hope everyone, brothers and alumni both, bring their best selves to this new ye ar and take this chapter even farther along the never ending road to success. This is a pivotal semester for the chapter, and I have nothing but the highest ambitions and expectations for our brothers and alumni. I hope to make you all and this chapter proud in my last semester as president and that we look back on 2017-2018 as the most successful year yet for Xi-Omega. Thank you all.
Parker Leep, Prytanis, #840
TKE House Work Weekend, Summer 2017
Work Weekend 2017 produced some really impressive teamwork and good results. Brothers showed up early, ready to work, and all (but one) of the current officers were present. This says a lot about our current Executive Board, as well as the active members who drove from far away to carry their bricks and support the house. Thanks to Parker Leep (Prytanis) for helping to organize the officers, and thanks to Pat Girvan (Epiprytanis) for arriving a day early to get the lawn mowed and begin to assess the condition of the house. Local active brother Trey Shelor assisted tremendously with getting the groundwork started by providing heavy duty mowing equipment, and beginning the task of tackling that big yard.
Big thanks to Tim Murray (Alumnus, BATI, & Alumni Association) for organizing the tasks that needed to be accomplished and for recognizing the importance of fixing the composites. Also thanks to Chris Friberg (Alumnus), Shawn O'Dowd (Alumnus, BATI), and Tammy Bagnato (Alumnus LS, BATI) all of whom continually support the efforts of the chapter and Alumni and did a tremendous amount of work during the weekend. It was also great to have Alumni Jordan Wolf, George Bidanset, Danny Burcher, and Ryan Greer stop by to say hello and offer their support.
A huge thanks goes to Tom Kuhn (Alumnus, BATI Chair, Chapter Advisor, and more!) as always for being the center of the TKE Universe and showing up to support the chapter and the alumni, and to work on the house.
Active brothers included: Parker Leep, Pat Girvan, Sam Argo, Evan Bogin (House Manager), Eric Arkfeld, Nathan Kent, Taylor Leonard, Collin Scott, Peter Coiley, Tim Reynolds, Austin Cooley, Bless Jung, Andrew Littlefield, Sam Lewis, Robert Povlock, Trey Shelor, Ethan Jones, and anyone else that may be unintentionally left off of this list. They all deserve a big does of recognition for the skills they brought with them and for the work they were able to complete. The house looked much better when we all left than when we all arrived. These men did a ton of yard work, fixed the fence, cleared the junk out of the upstairs closet, cleared the party room, cleaned the floor in the party room, stained the deck (with massive input from Shawn O’Dowd!), cleaned the kitchen, fixed composites (with massive input from Tim Murray & Chris Friberg), built a platform behind the bar, cleared out other junk from common areas, took the stuff to the landfill (bonus!!), and discussed other work that needs to be done.
Most arrived early, and worked through the day with skill and focus. The care they took with the house over that weekend sets a standard going forward, and we hope to have more improvements soon. Repairs, updates, and general turnover maintenance require a Chapter that is committed to the upkeep of the work completed. This group took ownership of the work they did during the weekend.
On another important topic, a deserving mention goes out to officers Pat Girvan (Epiprytanis) & Sam Argo (Hegemon) , and active brother Dylan Orrell for a meeting with Tammy Bagnato and Byron Hughes (VT Fraternity & Sorority Life office) on the Friday of the Work Weekend. Maintaining a healthy relationship with Virginia Tech is critical for Xi Omega's longevity and contribution, and Byron’s input comes with years of experience for what works (and what doesn’t) for Greek organizations.
As an aside, for those that don't know, BATI = Blacksburg Alumni of TKE, Inc. This is not the Alumni Association; the Alumni Association is separate. BATI is charged with overseeing the house, including upkeep and financial obligations, as well as tending to the general welfare of the chapter. BATI meets once a month via phone conference to talk about house matters. Parker often joins the calls, and brothers and/or officers that have been on past calls include: Connor Bolen, Pat Girvan, Sam Argo, Evan Bogin, and Patrick Moody. Anyone who has an interest in joining a call may do so. We love to hear from the active brothers & alumni. Calls are usually the 1st Tuesday of every month. Let us know if you want to be on the calls and we can give you the call-in information.
One final thought worthy of mention: The alumni really (really really) enjoy & value doing fun things with the chapter when visiting the house for Work Weekends or other occasions. During this past work weekend, the alumni went to dinner with the guys, met out at TOTS (after working, of course!), and had numerous casual conversations while working together on projects. This type of interaction builds relationships and helps the alumni understand the chapter's needs. It's a big deal for the alumni, and it makes that long drive to Blacksburg worth the effort!
Let's keep up the good work, and the new friendships.
• Attend the Alumni Tailgate Party for the VT vs. WVU football game on Sunday, September 3 at FedEx Field. In years past, we have met at a nearby hotel to caravan to FedEx Field in order to park together. Email back if interested in organizing the caravan.
• Buses from Northern Virginia to FedEx Field. Scott Steiger, Chris Friberg, Tim Murray and several others have signed up for 1:30 P.M roundtrip bus transportation from Ocelot Brewery in Herndon to FedEx Field. There are other bus options from Ashburn, Reston, and Arlington if that time is sold out.
• A Xi-Omega Chapter 45-Year Anniversary Celebration for Spring 2018 is being explored. Please reply back if you are interested in attending and/or help organizing.
State of BATI - Spring 2017
George Bernard Shaw once said, "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." With this thought in mind, those of us on BATI will continue to strive to make letters like this and other forms of communication impactful and worthy of your time.
As I write this letter, we have an active chapter of 110 men. They have won 4 straight Top TKE Awards and are working towards a 5th. In the last 4 years, they have raised $136,000 for St. Jude and are aiming to raise $100,000 during this month's TKE Week.
We have a chapter house that has been greatly improved over the last few years. Because of proper care by alumni volunteers and actives, it has remained a desirable place to live and has contributed to the success mentioned previously.
We are currently fundraising for a driveway project that all of us have talked about for years. At this time, we have raised about $20,000 including a $5,000 donation from BATI. The project will cost around $30,000 so we are 2/3 of the way there. We recently created a BATI Venmo account to help our efforts, and the house and chapter still need your support. You can donate through both PayPal and the new Venmo account @VT-TKE. Fellow TKE alumni have already donated over $1,000 to our Venmo account.
This spring the chapter reached the 5-year milestone since their return to campus. We are reminded of the promises we made to the university and to the chapter itself when we were planning and hoping to return to campus. We promised to support the chapter and continued relationships with campus officials, TKE Headquarters officials, and the undergraduates themselves.
On that note, we all know and agree that managing our risk is critical. One person who acts in a way that is inconsistent with our shared values can end 44 years of tradition and pride. Everything is fragile, and these young men need us more than ever. They need our practical experience, advice, and wisdom to help guide them down the right path.
So you may be asking, "How can I help?". How can you still play a role in your fraternity? Here are a few ways:
-Attend this year's work weekend: June 23-25th at The Barn. Help the active members and other alumni improve the house while building relationships with the current brothers and/or catching up with brothers you have not seen in years.
-Attend the Alumni Get Together for the VT vs. WVU football game. There will be more details to come.
-Volunteer in a formal role on the BATI Board or with the chapter directly. If you need more information on this please contact me directly.
-Stop by the house when you're in town, meet the brothers, and make connections with them.
- Help us find brothers who are not getting our emails/social media posts.
-When your company is hiring interns or entry-level hires, you can share information with the active chapter.
(You can post on Facebook/LinkedIn group pages or contact me directly.)
-Make a donation to the driveway or general fund or to a project that interests you.
**We are always looking for new ideas, feedback on what you wish we would do differently, new resources, etc. Please reach out to me directly, and I will share your thoughts with the board.
Individually, Tekes are men of virtue and honest conviction. Together, Tekes are the embodiment of an organization that for the last 44 years has served as a second family to most of us. The Barn has been a second home for some, and the relationships and experiences we shared together are ones we have never forgotten. In the end, it is up to each of us to continue to ask more from ourselves.
We can build a stronger fraternity and alumni organization if each of us does a little more than we have done in the past. We can reconnect with brothers we have not spoken to in years, we can play a small part in influencing and impacting the lives of the current actives, and we can give them the opportunities we were provided or opportunities we had hoped for when joining TKE. This is the fraternity for life, and even though we are strong, there is always room for improvement.
Thomas E. Kuhn #624
State of the Chapter-Fall 2016
Dear Fraters and Little Sisters,
We have begun our fall semester on a great note. I am excited to share that we acquired 25 new candidates for our brotherhood from a successful rush this fall. The candidates are a diverse group of young men who we believe exhibit traits of leadership, scholarship, and sociability. Our bids were offered to and accepted by young men who were sought after by other top chapters on campus. The chapter looks forward to the following weeks when we start to build these young men into great TKEs.
As many of you have already learned, we exceeded our goal of raising $50,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. With chapter-wide dedication, we raised nearly $63,000 from TKE Week last semester. We were named the Top TKE Fundraising Chapter of 2016 and the overall Top TKE Chapter of 2016. This type of achievement and commitment exemplify what it means to not only be a TKE, but a Hokie as well. The traits required for these accomplishments were ingrained in the chapter by the men who came before us. I expect them to be the norm going forward as well.
On a related note, chapter officer elections will be held in mid-November. The chapter is in a great place, and we expect a smooth transition between the current and future officers come November and December. The current officers will do everything we can to advise the new leaders and assist in any way possible during their term. For now, the current E-Board continues to hold high expectations of our fellow brothers and ourselves. We continue to desire the best reputation on this campus.
In the coming months, we will participate in two important philanthropies. We are the 4-time defending champions of AXO’s Mock Rock, which is one of the largest sorority philanthropies on Virginia Tech’s campus. Also, Tri Delta’s philanthropy for St. Jude is approaching and we expect to continue our win streak there as well. In the past, we were able to win in large part due to alumni donations. Many of the younger alumni enabled us to win in recent years because of the bond they still hold with those particular competitions. I implore you all to help us succeed in the coming months to maintain our successful reputation.
Unfortunately, my term as Prytanis is nearing its end, but as I tell my fellow officers and brothers often, we need to finish strong. I want to thank all the members of the Xi Omega Alumni Association for supporting this chapter. You have provided the groundwork necessary to succeed, and I believe we are doing just that. The bond that alumni and active members have to this chapter at Virginia Tech will always play a role in our lives. Thank you all again for your continual support.
Yours in the Bond,
Connor Bolen, #803
State of the Chapter-Spring 2016
Dear Fraters and Little Sisters,
I would like to begin by expressing my excitement and gratitude to work with all of you this year. The new E-Board of Xi-Omega chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon is young, productive, and full of excitement. My goal was to create a team of our most productive members and not just a board of officers. I can assure you that I am confident in the team we have now.
Our first major goal of this semester was to improve our bid acceptance rate and acquire a stellar group of guys. Traditionally, the fall semester earns a lot more attention from potential new members not only for TKE, but for Greek Life as a whole. With 17 out of 23 men accepting our bids this semester, we achieved our recruitment goal and are enthused to sculpt them into TKE men. We believe that we have gained the most competitive, sought after candidates this semester and are glad they chose TKE.
The momentum from recruiting this new pledge class and the passion of the E-Board has inspired the entire chapter. Ideas of improving ourselves and the Barn run rampant. Participative leadership is essential in our organization’s success so we welcome the ideas of all brothers who express passion for improvement of Xi-Omega.
As many of you know, two years ago we pledged to raise $100,000 for St. Jude. We have made great progress towards this goal so we decided to set our sights higher with a new goal of raising $50,000 this year. Our new philanthropy chair is Paul Feghali whose father sits on the Board of Directors for St. Jude. During high school, Paul raised an impressive amount of money for St. Jude. Because of this, we feel that Paul is the best man for the job. In April, we are going to visit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee with the sorority Delta Delta Delta. This trip will be an unbeatable experience especially before we kick off TKE Week.
The success that we have achieved since I became a brother is extremely exciting. The chapter is reaching new heights on this campus, but too often organizations become complacent with their newfound success. The new E-Board is aware of this tendency and continues to rise above it, ultimately reflecting that onto the brotherhood. We will continue to set, work towards, and achieve new goals that are a representation of our values of love, charity, and esteem.
We could not have come this far without the dedication and love that we have seen from the Xi Omega alumni, and we hope that we continue to inspire that in all of you. We have a tentative date of Saturday, April 30th for the End of the Year Party (EOYP) and look forward to seeing you. I am thankful for this opportunity and am excited to work with all of you this year.
Yours in the Bond,
Connor Bolen, #803
BATI Report-December 2015
Dear Fraters, Little Sisters, and Sweethearts,
Greetings from the Xi-Omega chapter of TKE. It has been another great year for the chapter. Sorry to steal some of the thunder from Preston’s Prytanis’ Report, but Xi-Omega has been honored as one of the top TKE Chapters for three straight years (2013-2015). BATI also congratulates Conner Bolen on his election to Prytanis for 2016. We look forward to working with Conner and the other officers.
Many of those volunteering to serve on the BATI Board, way back when, had a singular goal – save the Chapter and the Teke House. As you can see, the Chapter has not only been saved, but is a thriving, esteemed fraternity at Virginia Tech. As we move along, the Board’s focus will shift to improving the Teke House, supporting the chapter, and securing both to be enjoyed by future generations. The House is in good shape both physically and financially, but could use some help. Our main project will warm the hearts of many a brother who has lived in or visited the original or rebuilt Teke House since each was constructed. We are going to pave the driveway, and we already have over $11,000 committed to the project. Any help with this, both big and small is greatly appreciated.
We have a couple of event dates coming up for the Chapter that should be of interest to the alumni. The End Of Year Party (EOYP) will be held the weekend of April 29 to May 1, 2016.
We are planning to have an alumni get together to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the biggest bash the chapter has ever seen – the 1986 TKE Beach Party. We will also have a work weekend June 25-27, 2016. This is a very low key get together where we have had about equal numbers of active chapter brothers and alumni pitch in to fix and improve the Teke House. There is plenty of time to catch up on life at the chapter and the busy lives of fellow alumni.
And with that, I want to speak directly to those alumni who have an interest in coming down for a weekend but are concerned that too much time has passed and they won’t know anyone, etc. etc. etc. Many of you are now on social media. Contact your best friends and come together. Get together with your pledge brothers and have a reunion in Blacksburg. I have gained a level of satisfaction with being part of a group that has helped the Fraternity Chapter that I love so much, and it has been a great experience reconnecting with one of my own Pledge Brothers and several brothers and little sisters from my time as an undergrad and making new relationships with older and younger alumni alike. I pledged over 30 years ago, and you certainly feel a whole lot younger getting to know the men that make up Xi-Omega today.
Best wishes to all of you in 2016.
Shawn O’Dowd (Alpha-Lambda #280)
Blacksburg Alumni of TKE Inc.
State of the Chapter-December 2015
Dear Fraters and Little Sisters,
As the year comes to a close, I’d like to reflect on the accomplishments of our chapter in 2015. This year we raised over $20,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, putting us well within reach of completing our 5 year, $100,000 pledge to the hospital. We have also raised thousands of dollars for causes around the Virginia Tech community, winning the philanthropies of Delta Delta Delta philanthropy and Alpha Chi Omega. In both of these instances, we raised close to $2,000. Thank you to everyone who generously contributed to both our philanthropic mission as well as those of other organizations.
By the end of this year, the chapter will have 25 new initiates in our chapter. These 25 men offer the fraternity a great amount of passion and fresh ideas that will propel us forward in the coming years as they continue their undergraduate fraternity experience. Going forward, we will continue to improve our recruiting efforts so that we can initiate another outstanding group of men.
This year we had our share of success and recognition from both the university and TKE Headquarters. In the spring, Patrick van Nuys, our chapter Hegemon was awarded "Best Chapter Officer" by Virginia Tech Fraternity and Sorority Life. This is a great honor, and the chapter has been extremely fortunate to have someone as caring and hard working as Patrick. As mentioned in my last letter, the chapter was awarded its 3rd consecutive Top TKE award in August. We are very proud of this chapter accomplishment. To complement these achievements, in November we were awarded the Commonwealth Cup for the Virginia Province, recognizing Xi-Omega as the #1 chapter in Virginia.
I believe that the future is bright for Xi-Omega. We recently elected a new executive board headed by new Prytanis Connor Bolen. Connor is currently a sophomore and one of the youngest presidents to be elected by our chapter. However, I have complete faith and confidence in his ability to lead the chapter and expand upon our success. This executive board returns only one member from this past year, Christopher Catizone, who will be serving as the chapter’s Crysophylos. I am proud to say that this executive board will be a fresh face for the fraternity, and I’m excited to see where they take this chapter in the upcoming year.
Finally, I want to thank everyone for a fantastic year. Serving as chapter Prytanis was an honor and a privilege that I will never forget. I particularly want to thank the two BATI presidents that I worked with, Tim Murray and Shawn O’Dowd for their continued efforts to improve the undergraduate and alumni experience. Finally, I want to thank Tom Kuhn who has served as a mentor and a guide this entire year and who deserves as much recognition as any active frater for the achievements we have seen in the past few years.
I will continue to remain a productive member of the chapter and look forward to assisting Connor as he transitions into the Prytanis role. Thank you again for a great year, and please do not hesitate to reach out to me should you have any questions.
Yours in the bond,
2016 Xi-Omega Chapter Executive Council
Rush Chair-Gerrold Walker
Internal Philanthropy Chair-Paul Feghali
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