May 2018 Phi Kappa Theta Alumni Association Luncheon
Nineteen alumni and seven undergraduate members of New Jersey Phi Beta Chapter and four friends of the fraternity attended the Phi Kappa Theta Alumni & Friends Luncheon on Friday, May 11th at Seton Hall University.
The event, held in the Chancellor’s Suite of University Center, featured two main speakers – Grant Billmeier, Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach, and Dr. Peter W. Ahr ’62,’H, who retired in July 2017 after a distinguished teaching and administrative career at SHU spanning 53 years.
The luncheon was co-sponsored by the Phi Kappa Theta Alumni Association at Seton Hall and the University Office of Alumni Affairs. Brian O’Malley, Director of Alumni Clubs and university liaison to the PKT Alumni Association, and members of his staff administered the lunch event.
Associate Athletic Director Jay Judge delivered brief welcoming remarks to the group and responded to questions from the brothers about the sports program.
PKT Alumni Association President Chuck Guariglia ’ 64 served as master of ceremonies. He emphasized the important partnership role of the Seton Hall Alumni Office staff. “Their hand-on support makes it a lot easier for us to hold Phi Kappa Theta Day at The Rock and these alumni lunches. They also help update our alumni email list.”
Guariglia urged brothers to support the 32nd Annual Many Are One gala to be held in Bethany Hall on Friday, June 8th. He said Phi Kappa Theta alumni “contributed $2,100 towards the event last year – the most of any alumni organization by far. One hundred percent of donations will go directly towards scholarships for students.” Tickets cost $250/person. To register for the gala and/or make a donation, visit: https://advancement.shu.edu/event-registrations/many-are-one
Grant Billmeier gave a preview of next season’s men’s basketball team and how it plans to adapt to the loss of its four starting seniors – Khadeen Carrington, Angel Delgado, Desi Rodriguez and Ismael Sanogo. He also discussed the returning players and the team’s prospects for competing in the BIG EAST in the 2018-19 men’s basketball season.
Doc Ahr gave a historical account of “the changing Seton Hall student.” He traced SHU’s origins as a small local college attended mainly by students of blue-collar families who lived in nearby towns and commuted to and from campus. Ahr explained how the university had grown into a prominent Catholic university with students from across the nation and around the world.
A faculty member of the Department of Religion since 1964, Ahr also served as Assistant and Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences (1972-87), Dean of Freshman Studies (1987-96), Interim Dean, College of Arts and Sciences (1997) and Interim Provost (1997-98). After retiring, he held the title of Emeritus Professor of Religion.
Doc Ahr has been the faculty advisor to New Jersey Phi Beta Chapter for more than 40 years. His advice and support were instrumental in ensuring the proper functioning of the PKT chapter since it was chartered in 1965. It’s the longest continuously operating fraternity at Seton Hall.
Guariglia said the association must attract younger alumni to attend events and join its Board of Directors. He added that younger brothers are needed to succeed older brothers who are leaving the board, noting the future of the association depends on it. If you are interested in being considered for appointment to the Board, contact Chuck at email@example.com.
The Rev. Paul A. Holmes, S.T.D. ’H, a University Professor of Servant Leadership who has been Chaplain of the PKT undergraduate and alumni chapters for many years, was unable to attend the luncheon but expressed the following thoughts in an email message:
“I’ve known Doc Ahr for more than 40 years – as a Seton Hall student (1973-77). I took his course, the Gospel of John (3 credits). Once I got to Rome to study theology – the Gospel of John course was 4 credits. So, all I had to do was 1 credit worth of the course. What a boon! We’ve been brothers in Phi Kappa Theta for more than a quarter-century. And I couldn’t be more grateful for his fraternal care and concern – not only for me, but for the whole fraternity. We’re obviously very blessed to have Doc Ahr as our Faculty Advisor – and our brother!”
At one point, Guariglia asked all attendees for a moment of silence in memory of the late William F. Dowd ’66, who died on April 21, 2018. He was a long time friend of the fraternity. Bill’s younger blood brother is PKT alumnus Charlie Dowd ’69.
In addition to Doc Ahr, the following alumni brothers attended the event: Bob Basso (member of the SHU Board of Regents); Jim Byrne; Greg Cvasa; Rich Dooley; Ed English; Bob Gaccione; John Gawryluk; Chuck Guariglia; Rich Holden; Jim Leber; Steve Marcopoto; Mike Moretti; Bill Nicoletti; Tom Portanova; Pat Robinson; Nick Scalera; Jim Spaeth; and Mike Vacca.
The seven undergraduate brothers in attendance were: Evan Costello; Chris Leno; Alex Lopez; Matthew Marinella; Matt Multer; Jared Tuazon; and Zack Smith.
Several friends of Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity also were present: Walt D’Onofrio; Tom Leane; Gerry Moran; and Gregory Patton, son of our late brother John E. Patton ’63, who died on December 21, 2013.