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1949 - 1950

The Beta Sigma Chapter of

Pi Kappa Alpha

Carnegie Mellon University

5010 Morewood Place

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Chapter History Report

Filed by Brother Warren Johnson

Beta Sigma Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha has completed another successful year in its short but growing history. Many changes are evident in the house with the departure or the "Combat Veterans” from the active ranks of the brothers. The influence of the younger men direct from high school can be seen.

The 33 brothers of the chapter reported to school ten days before the official commencement of classes, to open the house and conduct the rush program as set up by Bill Dorn. This year the ground work for rush week was very thoroughly prepared by Bill Dorn, through his efforts during the summer each brother was assigned in his home area various freshmen to be contacted and looked over in hopes of finding new PiKA material. By the official opening of rush week every freshmen of the 450 entering had been either written or visited and invited to the festivities at the house. Our week long rush week netted us 21 pledges, the largest known to this chapter in some eight or nine years.

Besides the 21 pledges in the fall semester there were 33 active brothers. Our officers were Jim Trautman SMC, Bill Dorn IMC, Ames Penfield ThC, Bill Cody House Manager, Warren Johnson Pledge Master and Al Yarian Asst Pledge Master.

The pledge training was a combination of big brother and pledge master system. Through the pledge master all reports, notices and lessons were passed on to the pledges, but in the case of any personal matters the big brother took a hand and helped the pledge through his first semester at school.

Through the year the many social activities filled the lives of the brothers and pledges with many memories. The fall homecoming was made into a two day festivity. The Christmas party before Christmas vacation again was the largest and most colorful party of the year. The spring saw such wonderful affairs as the pledge party, the first Dream Girl Dance since the war and our ever famous Spring Carnival.

During the fall semester, the chapter did not seem too interested in any extra curricular activities but with the end of the spring semester the chapter had taken the majority of important places in the organic structure of the undergraduate extra curricular activities. For the most part the chapter worked better as a team in every respect, especially with regard to organization of parties and all school functions such as Homecoming and Spring Carnival.

The Founders Day banquet was again a joint affair with the Gamma Sigma Chapter of the University of Pittsburgh. For one of the few times since the reorganization of this chapter 100% attendance of the chapter was attained. This was mainly due to the combining of the Founders Day Banquet with the Initiation Banquet of the men who had completed their pledge training that fall. At that time 13 men were initiated and 2 more initiated the following month.

Our contributions to Varsity Sports were as follows, Football, James Trautman, Jim Norton; Cross Country, Skip Mitchell; Swimming Gene Sapper; Track, Al Yarian, Bill McKibben, Ernie Barvotes and Jim Blakely.

The chapter was also represented in every intramural sport. From the intramural sports the chapter took the School champion in table tennis. Other extra curricular activities were represented by Warren Johnson and Jack Melady as members of the Kiltie Band. The publications on campus had Bill Dorn as the sports editor of the Tartan, Bob Lynch and Jim Blakely as sports writers on the Tartan. On the Thistle staff was Bill Cody as Layout editor and Wes Apple as a member of the business staff.

The biggest contribution to the glory of the chapter came through the political efforts of our more activities minded members of the chapter. Due to their efforts, half of' the senior honorary ODK pledges who received the call were PIKA'S, they were, Gene Sapper, Bill Dorn, Don Culler; one third or the Junior honorary, Delta Skull were PIKA’s, they were Wes Apple, Don Leatherberry, Bob Lynch. One sixth of the Sophomore honorary were PIKA’s, they were Jim Walker and Paul Shively.

Our Financial Report is as follows:

Our treasurer, Ames Penfield made a valuable contribution to the efficient management of the chapter this year through his new system of payment. The school year was divided into 9 equal parts and at the beginning of each part a set sum of money was to be paid to the house. This sum was obtained by estimating the total costs of the year and dividing by 9. This was the trouble of' calculating a new bill each month was done away with. The amount due each of the 9 parts was about 60 dollars .

The house enjoyed the luxury of television through the spring semester a noble improvement to the enjoyment of the members although a scholastic destroying factor.

Of course the love of brotherhood and friendship that has come about through the past school year of 49-50 can not be written or ever forgotten. The eight seniors who enter the rolls of alumni can not express their feeling of emptiness that has come upon them. Pi Kappa Alpha has given them the necessary touch to provide them with the happiness, memories and brotherly love so necessary to those who are to be the leaders of tomorrow.

Yours in phi phi K A

Warren Johnson



In the Sweepstakes competition the Chapter achieved a Second Place finish. Pictured here is the 1950 Buggy and Team. From left to right: Wes Apple, Al Yarian, Don Culler (driver),Warren Johnson, Ernie Cassler. This photo was taken at the Thaw mansion entrance looking toward Morewood.

Photo courtesy of Don Leatherberry

Results: 2nd Place

Course Record: DTD 2:41.8 (breaking their own record this year)


Roll No. 420

Mr. David C. Eckhardt (Dave)

Initiated: September 10, 1949

Roll No. 421

Mr. Robert C. Green (Bob)

Initiated: September 10, 1949

Roll No. 422

Mr. Donald L. Leatherberry (Don)

Initiated: September 10, 1949

Positions/Offices: House Manager, Steward

Honoraries: Delta Skull

Chapter Advisor 1954-55

Big Brother: Mike Costa

Little Brothers: Dale Kirkbride, Chuck Bateman

Roll No. 423

Mr. John P. Smith (Pete)

Initiated: September 10, 1949

Roll No. 424

Mr. William P. McKibben (Bill)

Initiated: October 3, 1949

Varsity Track

Roll No. 425 Mr. Ernest F. Barvoets Jr. (Ernie)

Initiated: March 4, 1950

Buggy: Chairman

Varsity Track

Legacy (Brother): Don Barvoets

Roll No. 426

Mr. James M. Blakely (Jim)

Initiated: March 4, 1950

Varsity Track, Sports Writer - Tartan

Roll No. 427

Mr. Edgar R. Hartt (Ed)

Initiated: March 4, 1950

Roll No. 428 Mr. Robert G. Hocker (Bob)

Initiated: March 4, 1950

Positions/Offices: Assistant Social Chairman

Cameron Choir Manager

Roll No. 429 Mr. Jack B. Ludwig

Initiated: March 4, 1950

Positions/Offices: House Manager

Roll No. 430

Mr. Robert W. Mair (Bob)

Initiated: March 4, 1950

Positions/Offices: Social Chairman, IMC

Student Council; "Thistle" Business Manager

Roll No. 431

Mr. John C. Melady (Jack)

Initiated: March 4, 1950

Honoraries: Phi Mu Alpha

Kiltie Band

Roll No. 432 Mr. Samuel H. Mitchell Jr. (Sam)

Initiated: March 4, 1950

Varsity Cross Country

Roll No. 433

Mr. Richard W. Noble (Dick)

Initiated: March 1, 1950

Roll No. 434 Mr. Robert W. Reuther (Bob)

Initiated: March 4, 1950

Roll No. 435 Dr. James E. Walker (Jim)

Initiated: March 4, 1950

Positions/Offices: SC

Honoraries: Delta Skull

Roll No. 436

Mr. Paul B. Shively

Initiated: March 4, 1950

Roll No. 437

Mr. Alton G. Woody (Al)

Initiated: March 4, 1950