Rising from the Ashes
After the Sigma Chi house on South Seventh Street was gutted by fire in April 2004, alumni rallied to help build the university’s first from-the-ground-up fraternity house. Scheduled to welcome occupants this month, the new house accommodates twenty members in ten two-man bedrooms. Complete with a living area, game area, chapter room, computer lab, and four separate restrooms, the structure is wired for cable, phone, and Internet access.
The new house at the corner of Seventh and Washington streets is at the site of the one destroyed nearly two years ago by fire.
According to Ed Rammrath ’79, president of the Sigma Chi House Corporation, the nucleus of the effort was “eleven dedicated IUP Sigma Chi alumni” who formed the house board. They were augmented by an additional six volunteers, who assisted with many aspects of the project.
Sigma Chi house construction was in its final stages last fall when several alumni instrumental in its progress posed on the new front porch. Left to right:Jeff Bird ’85, Fund-raising Committee; Tom Clark ’79, House Corporation secretary; Ed Rammrath ’79, corporation president; and Joe Franceschini ’78, Construction Committee.
Rammrath paid special tribute to local Sigma Chi alumnus Richard Clawson ’74. “Dick is the executive officer of the Indiana-Armstrong Builders Association,” Rammrath said, “and he was on site just about every day to ensure all aspects of the construction were handled properly.”
Funds for construction came from insurance, borrowing, and a fund-raising campaign. Before Thanksgiving, Rammrath said they had “raised $85,000 of our $100,000 target, primarily through letters, one-on-one solicitations, and a calling blitz last summer. It’s also interesting to note that we’ve received $8,500 from non-IUP Sigma Chi members and $5,500 from local business people.”
Chapters in the Works
Director of Alumni Relations Mary Jo Banks Lyttle ’86, M’89 reports that IUP Alumni Association chapters are forming and growing in many areas throughout the United States. One of the newest chapters is the Westmoreland County Chapter. Under the leadership of Larry Buckwalter ’68, Scott Harshman ’92, Sally Kees ’68, Marjorie Turley Nelson ’61, Jim Perry ’71, William Scheeren ’68, and Deborah Wojciechowski ’80, the group has held two very successful events.
In June, the chapter sponsored an event at the Westmoreland Country Club to introduce area alumni to President Tony Atwater and his wife, Beverly Roberts-Atwater. In October, chapter members hosted a networking event at Pepperwood Grille. For additional information on the Westmoreland County Chapter, alumni are invited to contact Larry Buckwalter at 724-289-8740. For information on any IUP alumni chapter or service available to alumni, call 1-800-937-2487 or visit the Alumni Association on line at www.iup.edu/alumni.