Current News

September 19, 2018

 Sonnie Wooden Starts Selling Sunflower Hats to Be a Beacon of Hope

"Sonnie Studios was started because of my own battle with depression after a friend of mine died by suicide and the loss of my uncle. 

"For as long as I can remember, I have struggled with depression. I remember being 12 years old and tying a belt into a loop and asking myself, "How would this feel?" I knew something wasn't right and it scared me. As I got older I lost more people close to me and it wore me down greatly. The night a family friend died by suicide, I was contemplating a lot, including if this life was worth living. Then I received the call where I found out what happened to him. His passing in 2015 made me get my life a bit more together.

"My uncle's death is one that is still painful for me to this day. I saw him wither away. As I hugged him and held him in my arms, I felt as if he would poof away. He was weak, but his pride prevented him from telling me what was wrong. He would only say, "yeah, I'm all good." One week later, he passed away from cancer. There is only so much one person can endure, and with all these things happening in the cold climate, where the sun hides behind blankets of gray fuzz, that I lived in did not help. 

"The sunflower hats I created are used to be a beacon of hope in any battle. They are there in the colder months still shining, and they are there when you are struggling the most. When we are not making sunflower hats, Sonnie Studios collaborates with artist and businesses to bring art and design to the forefront. Whether it is designing furniture or making our golf polo, it is all being created for people to enjoy. The people I work with and I know life is hard, but, we are grateful to be here, and we just try to smile as much as we can while we are here."

 - Sonnie Wooden (Iowa 2018)

To learn more about Sonnie Studios or to buy a sunflower hat, visit

September 14, 2018

 Jonathon Click Teaches in Africa During His Summer Vacation

During the summer, Jonathon Click (Grand Valley State 2018) spent four weeks in Tanzania, Africa on a teach abroad. The teach abroad was designed for education majors, because they need to be able to teach in a variety of school during their trip.

John is pictured at Mt. Kilimanjaro, which he climbed while in Africa. He also went on a safari in the Ngorongoro Crater.

September 10, 2018

 WPI Graduate Brothers Gather for Various Trips During the Summer

Three groups of Pi Iota at WPI graduate brothers gather for various trips during the summer.

Picture 1 (above): Brothers hiked the Presidential Traverse, a 20-mile trail, in New Hampshire's White Mountains.

Picture 2: Three Army ROTC graduate brothers hiked to the top of Mount Ida in the Colorado Rocky Mountains in August.

Picture 3: Sixteen graduate brothers participated in the Walter Knapp Memorial Golf Outing, which was held at the Townsend Ridge Country Club in Townsend, MA on August 31. Derick Ford (2002) is the Club's golf pro.

September 5, 2018

 Kettering Brothers From the Class of 1974 Gather in Michigan for Reunion

Brothers from the Alpha Gamma at Kettering class of 1974 from having been gathering for regular reunions every five to ten years since graduation. Through the years, they have met in Indiana, Las Vegas, NV, Chicago, IL and the Outer Banks, NC, to name a few.

The brothers are pictured in Northport, MI during their most recent reunion in September 2017. They rented a house by they lake, where they spent their time eating together, telling stories and bonding. They are closer now than they ever have been before - the epitome of "Not For College Days Alone."
Pictured (L-R): Mike Curtiss (1974), Jay Jarrett (1974), Joe Pakkala (1974), Ken Lazar (1974), Jeff Johnson (1974), Rick Bauer (1974), Art Zelenak (1974), Jim Shufflin (1974), Dean Kimsey (1974), Tom Arndt (1974), Russ Reineck (1974), Chuck Johnson (1973) and John Reedy (1974). Not pictured: Jeff Spitzer (1974).

August 30, 2018

 John Boyd Martin Hosts a Pi Deuteron 1957 Pledge Class Reunion

John Boyd Martin (1959) hosted a Kansas 1957 pledge class reunion dinner party at his home in Overland Park, KS on August 24. Brothers and their spouses traveled from Florida, Colorado, Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas to attend the event. 

August 23, 2018

 Three Georgia Brothers are Recognized on UGA's "40 Under 40" List

Dr. Scott Irvine (2002) (left), John Ozier (2002) (middle) and Latham Saddler (2005) (right) were featured in the University of Georgia Alumni Association's "40 Under 40" list for leading the pack in their industries and communities. Brother Irvine is an Associate Professor for the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Alabama, Brother Ozier is the Vice President of Creative at ole Song, LLC and Brother Saddler is the Director of Intelligence Programs for the National Security Council.

For more information, visit

August 7, 2018

 Auburn Undergraduate and Graduate Brother Start Software Company

Blair Chenault (Auburn 2016) (left) and Ben Conry (Auburn 2019) (right) started Flashtract, a software service that handles construction payments. Each year, an extra $40 billion is spent financing construction projects to compensate for the 50-60 days it takes for contractors to receive payment. Flashtract was designed to solve that problem by using automatic billing and payment processing, which will allow contractors to be paid in less than 30 days while lowering the risk to all parties involved. Blair and Ben are currently in the late stages of product development and plan to launch their software in the first quarter of 2019.

For more information about Flashtract, visit

August 6, 2018

 Ohio State Brothers Participate in Bike Ride to Support Cancer Research

On August 3-5, Ohio State brothers Dave Giancola (2010), Brandon Smith (2011), Jon Horn (2006) and Dennis DiTullio (2005) participated in the 10th annual Pelotonia. Pelotonia is a 3-day, 45-mile bike ride in Columbus, OH that raises money to support cancer research. This year, over $15 million was raised, bringing the total to over $171.7 million raised to date. For more information about Pelotonia, visit

Pictured (L-R): Dave Giancola, Brandon Smith, Emily (Brandon's wife, who works for Pelotonia), Jon Horn and Dennis DiTullio. 

August 2, 2018

 Pittsburgh Brothers Gather for a BBQ at the 170th Ekklesia in Dallas

Pittsburgh brothers and former IHQ staff members gathered at the 170th Ekklesia in Dallas, TX for the Pi Sigma Recolonization Effort Appreciation BBQ. The event was hosted by the Wallander brothers: Bill (1981), Jim (1982) and Ben (1989).

Pictured (L-R): Logan Brubaker (1985), Brent Ellis (Tennessee Tech 1999), Matt Farrell (Connecticut 2013), former Director of Expansion, Neil Syken (1984), Trevor Curtis (Oregon 2014), former Field Secretary, Ron Banerjee (1987), Wesley Keck (2019), Corresponding Secretary, Alec Mertz (2020), John Coyle (2020), Chapter President, Jim Wallander (1982), Josh Cox (Indiana State 2014), former Field Secretary, Adam Thomas (IUPUI 2015), former Field Secretary, Davis Wissinger (1989), Purple Legionaire, Mark Rusiski (2000), Section Chief, Bill Wallander (1981), Ben Wallander (1989), House Corp. President. 

July 30, 2018

 Congratulations to Our Annual Award Winners for the 2017 Calendar Year

Click here to see a full list of award winners for the 2017 calendar year.

Pictured: The 2017 Wilkinson Award Winners Jacob Fucetola (Georgia 2018) (left) and Chase Womble (Tennessee Tech 2018) (right) with Archon President Brian Douglas (Tennessee Tech 1998) (middle).

July 23, 2018

 Washington & Lee Hosts Western Kentucky's Bike4Alz Bikers

On July 19-20, the Zeta Deuteron Chapter at Washington & Lee hosted the Chi Eta at Western Kentucky brothers as they biked through Lexington, VA with Bike4Alz. Bike4Alz is a 3,600 mile, cross country bike ride which raises money for Alzheimer’s research. The Western Kentucky Chapter started this philanthropy event in 2010 and have since obtained a 501 C3 nonprofit status. 

^ Pictured: Several Bike4Alz bikers with Kelly Harris, Zeta Deuteron's house mother.

^ Pictured: Western Kentucky bikers outside of Zeta Deuteron's chapter house.

July 23, 2018

 Indiana Brothers From the Class of 1984 Gather for Annual Golf Reunion

Brothers from Indiana's class of 1984 gathered for the 14th annual Naples Cup Golf Reunion at the Prairie View Golf Club. The brothers are pictured on tee #1.

July 9, 2018

 Connecticut Brothers Hike to Mount Everest Base Camp

In June, Ethan Shafer (Connecticut 2020) and Nick Maou (Connecticut 2020) traveled to Nepal for four weeks with GIVE volunteers. GIVE Volunteers is a volunteer organization that recruits students across the country to travel abroad and volunteer in local communities. The first two weeks of June, Ethan and Nick volunteered in the Gorkha District of Nepal helping villagers rebuild their homes that were destroyed during the 2015 earthquake.

Pictured: After volunteering, Ethan (left) and Nick (right) spent seven days hiking to the Base Camp of Mount Everest, which is at a 17,600 foot elevation.

July 9, 2018

 Case Western Reserve Brothers From the 1970's Gather for a Reunion

On June 30, 2018, 20 Xi Deuteron graduate brothers from the classes of 1970-73 gathered for a reunion at the Case Western Reserve Alumni Center. Brothers enjoyed a catered reception on the "Phi Gamma Delta Floor" (plaque pictured below) with 13 of their wives.

Pictured: Doug Montgomery (1972), Ross Pillari (1972), Arnold Danchenka (1973), Bob Niebaum (1969), Peter Burns (1970), Mitch Henn (1972), Al Belknap (1972), Ray Fenner (1971), Joe Konieczny (1971), Roger Kapostasy (1973), Paul "Fred" Ricart (1973), John Vanek (1970), John Lubahn (1971), George Yanok (1972), Stan Jonas (1973), Paul Cevasco (1972), Barry Lehto (1970), Jim Gavacs (1973), Ken Lucas (1970) and Carl Alexander (1970).

June 14, 2018

 How a Father's & Son's Relationship Became Stronger as Fiji Sire and Son

Brad Daitch (Maryland 2021) (right) shares how his relationship with his father, Charles Daitch (Maryland 1990) (left), was strengthened when they became fraternity brothers. Read Brad's article from Phi Deuteron at Maryland's spring 2018 newsletter: 

From Fathers to Sons, the FIJI Family Tree Continues to Grow

Bradley Daitch (Maryland 2021)

Phi Gamma Delta had an enormous impact on my life long before I was initiated into the Phi Deuteron Chapter at Maryland. Thinking back, my childhood is dotted with memories of graduate brothers who stayed close with my dad, Charles Daitch (1990), and uncle, Brian Daitch (1984), after college. Molson, the chapter house dog from when my dad was in school, was still around during my early childhood. “Not for College Days Alone” is a real phrase and it was one of the key motivators that drove me to pledge FIJI this spring. My dad never felt the need to convince me to join this fraternity. He knew FIJI had been reinforced into my brain through the countless memories made from growing up around his own brothers. Never did I take the time to process that the people who helped raise me my whole life would one day be the brothers I would have as a Phi Gam.

Since getting initiated, I can now call my father, uncle and cousin my brothers. Whenever someone calls out “Daitch” in the chapter house, I have to ask, “which one?” as my cousin, Cole Daitch (2020), is also a current brother in the Chapter. Although it gets quite confusing, this is but a small price to pay.

Throughout pledging, I would find myself looking up at my father’s composite from when he was president in 1988, which hangs in the chapter room as a way to motivate myself to persist. During the confusion and surprise of initiation, my eyes began wandering around the room to take in my surroundings. To my ultimate surprise, my dad met my gaze with a massive smile. In this moment, I was finally able to make sense of what it means to be a part of the same Fraternity as my father. I realized that everyone in the chapter room are now my brothers: my family. Some sharing the same blood as me, some not, but brothers nonetheless. Because of the Brotherhood, I’ve felt the relationship with my dad strengthen over a hundred times. Hopefully, 25 years down the road, I will be lucky enough to share the same experience with my son.


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