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1933 - 1934

The Beta Sigma Chapter of

Pi Kappa Alpha

Carnegie Mellon University

1445 Wightman Street

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Year in Review

It was the middle of the Big Depression. The mills were running at 18% of capacity, there was a lot of unemployment and if people lost their jobs it was really rough. There were no unemployment or social security benefits. Brother Clifton Carr writes that the song "Brother can you spare a dime" pretty well tells it. The bothers thought that they were lucky to be in college. But on the surface, things were going along pretty much as normal.

Nobody had much money and so they made their own fun. Dances were the "big" thing then as this was the big band era... so there was a dance at the house once a month. They moved all of the furniture out and wound up the record player. The most fun was "Kid Party" where the girls all wore their hair in "pig tails" looking like kids. The "big deal" was Spring Formal which was held at a local country club. Also big was the Spring Carnival dance with a nationally known band.

At the time Tech was playing "big time" football. Fall was pretty exciting with games against Notre Dame, Purdue and others. The Kiltie Band was really something! A couple of years prior Tech had played Buffalo and beat them 75 to 2. Tech's star halfback said that he wasn't tackled one time but just fell down because he was so tired. Football was big.

It was a long walk at the end of classes up to the house at 1445 Wightman Street, particularly in the winter time. But the fraternity was great, rated among the "tops" on campus! There was a lot of stress placed on getting involved in school activities and PiKA had a very active bunch. At the time they gave out "keys" for activities. You could hang these on a watch chain across your vest and wear them with great pride if you wanted to. Brother Carr and Jonny Fox had a big competition to see who could get the most keys. They each had about 8 for things like being on the staff of the Tartan, or on the Puppet, a monthly humor magazine, and on Student Council, etc. There were keys for house offices as well.

1934 Brotherhood

Photo copy provided by Brother Clifton Carr. (Please help identify these guys. Only Brother Carr is known.)

Chapter History Report

Available (pending entry).


Roll No. 160

Mr. Richard W. Dennison

Initiated: November 12, 1933

Positions/Offices: MC

Honoraries: Phi Kappa Phi, Scabbard & Blade, Tau Beta Pi President, Honor Roll

Christian Association; Officer R.O.T.C.

Roll No. 161 Mr. Richard D. Hammond

Initiated: November 12, 1933

Honoraries: Dragons

Student Council; Spring Carnival Committee; Basketball Manager

Roll No. 162 Mr. Donald H. Krey (Don)

Initiated: November 12, 1933

Alumni Chapter Secretary 1956-57

Roll No. 163 Mr. Joseph E. Macalka

Initiated: November 12, 1933

Basketball Captain

Roll No. 164 Mr. Jack E. McKee

Initiated: November 12, 1933

Positions/Offices: IMC

Honoraries: Phi Kappa Phi, Scabbard & Blade Captain, Tau Beta Pi, Honor Roll

Colonel R.O.T.C.; Rifle Manager

Roll No. 165 Mr. Henry R. Patterson Jr.

Initiated: November 12, 1933

Roll No. 166

Mr. Edward Alan Bell (Alan)

Initiated: April 15, 1934

Positions/Offices: SC

Roll No. 167 Mr. John A. Duffy Jr.

Initiated: April 15, 1934

Positions/Offices: House Manager

Pushmobile: Driver, Co-Chairman

Basketball Manager

Roll No. 168 Mr. Robert E. Fitzwilson

Initiated: April 15, 1934

Basketball; Track Captain

Roll No. 169 Mr. Robert D. Platt

Initiated: April 15, 1934

Honoraries: Tau Beta Pi, Pi Tau Sigma, Honor Roll

Roll No. 170 Mr. David M. Schmid

Initiated: April 15, 1934

"Puppet" Business Manager; Football Manager

Roll No. 171 Mr. Leslie C. Shomo

Initiated: April 15, 1934

Honoraries: Dragons, Delta Skull

Student Council; Student Council Senior Class Representative; Basketball

Roll No. 172 Mr. James A. Stewart

Initiated: April 15, 1934

Roll No. 173

Mr. Joseph F. Thomas

Initiated: April 15, 1934

Positions/Offices: ThC, IMC, Social Co-Chairman

Honoraries: Dragons, Pi Delta Epsilon, Scarab, Alpha Rho Chi

"Tartan" Junior Editor 1935-36; Editor-in-chief 1936-37; Interfraternity Council; Football Manager

Roll No. 174 Mr. Howard J. Tobler

Initiated: April 15, 1934

Positions/Offices: Social Chairman, Social Co-Chairman

Pushmobile: Co-Chairman

Honoraries: Pi Delta Epsilon

"Puppet" Business Manager Elect; Officer R.O.T.C.