Installation Weekend Reflections
Without question, Eta Epsilon's Installation Weekend had a profound impact on all who attended at least one event. Continue reading as reflections are presented by undergraduate members, alumni, advisors, parents, and General Fraternity officers.
Dr. Tom Purinton, Kansas State '63
General Fraternity President
"It was truly a pleasure for me to participate in the recent installation of the Eta Epsilon chapter of Beta Theta Pi at John Carroll University. What an outstanding group of young men! The event was even more special than usual, as this was the first time, in my knowledge, that the entire Board of Trustees was present at a chapter installation.
General Secretary David Schmidt and I thoroughly enjoyed the Family Dessert Hour on Friday evening. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet not only the men of John Carroll, but many of their parents as well. The men are to be commended for hosting such a great event. What a terrific way to promote the relationships between the parents and the chapter and among the parents. The "Family Feud" contest was an outstanding activity and I thought it most fitting that the parents won.
The Alumni Banquet that capped off the weekend was one of the best that I have attended. I was very pleased that many of the parents were able to attend along with the undergrads from John Carroll and Case Western Reserve. I hope all of you took full advantage of the intergenerational experience events like this provide and hope parents and undergraduates have a greater vision of our Great and Good Fraternity. I wish you the greatest success as you continue your Beta journey."
Chris Saniuk, John Carroll '12
"Eta Epsilon installation weekend was one of the best I've experienced thus far at JCU. The collective efforts of brothers, advisors, alumni, and trustees could not have paid off more in the end. It was a prime example of how dedicated Betas are to their fraternity. We were all able to enjoy ourselves and help others at the same time, escpecially with Carroll's Got Talent. Having dinner at Canterbury was very enjoyable. The food, atmosphere, and attendees made it excellent. I was really glad that my parents could witness how great Beta is. This was the first time they truly had the chance to see what the fraternity is about. They had nothing but compliments at the end of the weekend. Installation weekend is one I will never forget."
Kal Pipo, Case Western Reserve '86
Friend of Eta Epsilon
"At Convention this summer in Washington, I had the pleasure of spending some time getting to know recent alums JJ Kuczynski and Kyle Sobh. We exchanged some good Beta stories and I learned a lot about Eta Epsilon's founding. I was introduced to several of the outstanding JCU undergrads, and we also shared some brotherly conversations, during which they invited me to their installation. I was very honored to travel from NYC to Cleveland to be a part of this momentus day. It is a rare treat indeed to witness a chapter installation, and it's something that I will always remember. I was also very happy to attend the Installation Mass. It was an incredibly moving, and I must say unique, experience. Sharing the Eucharist with these outstanding men, their families, and the JCU community is a memory that I will keep with me, and it was the emotional highlight of the day. The celebration dinner that evening was outstanding, and I hope it gave a glimpse to the undergrads just how amazing a Beta Convention could be. I am very proud of my Lambda Kappa-Beta brothers and their recent achievements, and I am delighted that Beta's Domain in Cleveland now has another strong chapter filled with Men of Principle at John Carroll University. Although not an alum of JCU, I hope to always be considered a friend of the Eta Epsilon chapter. Go Beta!"
Kevin & Ann Marie Clar
Parents of Ken Clar, John Carroll '14
"We had a wonderful experience at Installation Weekend. We attended the Mass and the banquet dinner. The Mass was wonderful with beautiful music. Obviously a lot of thought and preparation went into the planning of this Mass. That alone shows the committment and focus that the Beta group has. The show of support from the other Greek organizations of JCU shows how well-respected the Betas of JCU are. We were skeptical as parents of a freshman when Ken told us he was joining a fraternity. But after meeting several of the Beta brothers and several members of the advisory team as well as the President of the General Fraternity, our minds are well at ease. The Betas of JCU are a very focused, respectful, intelligent group of young men who we are HONORED to have as role models for our son.
It was a privilege and delight to speak one-on-one with the President of Beta, Tom Purinton, and have him tell us first hand what the fraternity is planning for its future, how it has learned from its past, and how well it's doing today across the nation as well as on the JCU campus. What a great guy! We were very much impressed at the banquet dinner how each of the Beta brothers were stationed in different areas to greet us and introduce themselves. That was a very welcoming gesture and showed their friendliness and warmth.
We had a great time and were so honored to be part of such a fantastic night. We learned about Beta and came away from that weekend with a whole different outlook of what it means to be part of a fraternity."
Brian Pestotnik, John Carroll '12
"The day that we all had been waiting for has come and gone already, but the Eta Epsilon Installation Weekend is one that I will never forget. Carroll's Got Talent was a successful fundraiser for our philanthropy that started our weekend off. Carroll's Got Talent was followed by our Family Dessert Hour and this was a wonderful event to socialize with the parents of other brothers and it was a great chance for the parents to meet each other. We were blessed to have the General Fraternity President and General Secretary present at this event. We were very fortunate to have members from the General Fraternity and brothers from the Lambda Kappa-Beta Chapter from Case Western Reserve present at our ritual and dinner and it was truly an honor to have them share this experience with all of us. This was truly a memorable experience from college."
David Schmidt, South Florida '92
General Fraternity Secretary
"The chapter installation ceremony is the Fraternity's formal finale in the process of becoming a fully recognized chapter of Beta Theta Pi. I have had the honor of participating in a few of these events for our Good and Great Fraternity, including that for my own chapter. The Installation Weekend at John Carroll was so enjoyable and unique as it provided the opportunity to bring the Fraternity's full Board of Trustees to the ceremony.
The weekend began with a wonderful Family Dessert Hour that was well attended, had a great spread of desserts and the entertainment was fabulous. The installation ceremony was just perfect with great attendance by Beta advisors, alumni, and undergraduates. The highpoint of the weekend was the Alumni Appreciation Dinner which had a sellout crowd of over 200 that included more engaged and proud parents than I have ever seen at a single event.
Thank you to all those that worked tirelessly to make the entire weekend a terrific success. Cleveland may have been cloudy and snowy but Wooglin was indeed smiling on Eta Epsilon."
Andy Lane, John Carroll '12
President, Eta Epsilon Chapter
"There are certain moments in one's life that stand out and are never forgotten. For one reason or another, that point in time remains vivid in the memory of the individual and can be replayed countless times. The installation of the Eta Epsilon Chapter of Beta Theta Pi at John Carroll University represents a meaningful moment in my life and one I will certainly never forget.
Leaving the General Convention in August was a bitter-sweet moment. So much work had been put into our presentation and speeches and to see it come and go so quickly left me thinking that my largest task as chapter president had been accomplished. Little did I know how much planning an 'Installation Weekend Celebration' was going to take.
Looking back on our Installation Weekend Celebration, I personally believe that it was a weekend that will be hard for anyone that attended to forget. Being able to partner with the General Fraternity and the Board of Trustees presented an opportunity and experience hard to emulate. Not only did it allow our members and families to see Beta at another level, but it also allowed us to showcase our chapter to the General Fraternity and Board. It's hard to pick out one event or moment during the weekend that was my favorite because each event helped create a picture of what Beta is all about at John Carroll. From our philanthropy event to our family dessert hour, our Mass to our banquet, our serenade to eating together, it's all what we do and care about as Betas. However, being installed as a chapter by the Board of Trustees and having other Betas present was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Although the ceremony did not last long, I could feel something across the room during our installation -- to this day I believe it was the Beta Spirit. I remember thinking of the different generations of Betas that were in the room that day. Despite our age differences, we had all committed to living our lives a certain way and knew what it meant to be a Beta. We were all linked in phi kai phi. I remember receiving the official Eta Epsilon gavel from Dr. P., the General Fraternity President, and feeling a major sense of accomplishment. However, not knowing what will lie ahead for our chapter makes me realize that now, more than ever, is the time that our brothers have to work together to accomplish even greater goals and push ourselves to become better.
The Installation of our chapter and every event that comprised it is something that I will take with me for the rest of my life. More importantly, it's what Beta has taught me and the experiences I have been able to have while being a member that have helped me become who I am today. For that, I will be forever grateful."
Steve & Oksana Fedyk
Parents of Stephen Fedyk, John Carroll '12
"When we received the formal invitation to attend the Installation Weekend activities, we knew immediately that we would be making the trip up from Rochester, NY. We wanted to share in the celebration because being a member of Beta Theta Pi has become an important part of our son's time at John Carroll.
We enjoyed every single event and at each event, learned more about the young men who are part of our son's life. Throughout the whole weekend, from raising money for kids with autism to the Installation Banquet, we felt an aura of pride, commitment and a sense of accomplishment of these young men. After talking with the students, alumni, faculty, and volunteers throughout the weekend and after listening to the "State of the Fraternity" address, we understood how fortunate Stephen is to be part of Beta Theta Pi. We realized that not only is he a part of John Carroll's network of great men, but he is part of a wider network of men that includes thousands of members. It's a brotherhood that will be part of him his entire life.
The weekend was truly enlightening, fun, and memorable, and we were thrilled to be part of the celebration!"
Kurt Hauber, John Carroll '10
"As an alumnus and a Founding Father of Beta Theta Pi's Eta Epsilon Chapter, I can honestly say that during the weekend of the Eta Epsilon installation was the proudest I have felt since joining this Good and Great Fraternity three years ago. The Mass was wonderful. What better way to celebrate Mass than having a priest, who is also a Beta, give the homily? The Cleveland Alumni Appreciation Dinner was also a memorable experience. It is not everyday that you have the opportunity to meet and be congratulated by the members of the Board of Trustees along with Beta alumni of all ages."
John Jackson, John Carroll '13
Installation Weekend Co-Chairman
"Eta Epsilon: those Greek letters resound in the hearts of every member of Beta Theta Pi at John Carroll University, because they are the mark of our chapter. Yes, Chapter! When I think of all the work that has gone into creating such a Good and Great Fraternity I am humbled. Many great brothers of this chapter came before me to set the tone for something very special. I am very thankful that I could be a part of the transformation process from colony to chapter. Receiving the charter in August in Washington, D.C. at the General Convention was nothing less than exhilarating. It wasn't until November though that everything was official.
Eta Epsilon's official installation weekend from Nov. 5-6 was amazing. We were able to raise a lot of money for Milestones with Carroll's Got Talent. The event was well attended and a lot of fun. All of the acts were talented, and the brothers and all of the parents in attendance had a great time. Trenton Oczypok, our philanthropy chair at the time, really deserves a lot of credit for how wonderfully everything was handled. After the talent show brothers and family members came back for a dessert hour. A great memory I have from the dessert hour was when the parents beat out some of the brothers in Beta's Family Feud.
The next day all actives took part in the installation ritual. It was an unprecedented experience having the entire Board in attendance for the ceremony. It brought the idea of building a bridge for others to life seeing the different alumni and major leaders of the General Fraternity there supporting us. After the ritual we made it back to campus through the sleet and snow just in time for the beautiful Installation Mass. Having a Beta, Fr. Janoch, as the homilist was very memorable. He spoke of all the good Beta has done for him and all of the positives the Greek system can offer. But nothing compares to the installation banquet/alumni appreciation dinner. Having the young and old dine together in brotherhood was fun. That dinner was the first time my parents got a true feeling of all of the different opportunities Beta has to offer. After leaving the dinner they couldn't stop saying how proud they were that I joined Beta. "You're doing great Johnny, doing great!" was the resounding catch phrase from my Dad for weeks following.
All in all, the installation weekend was a highlight of my Fall semester. There was a lot of pride, joy, and brotherhood in the air. A big thank you goes to Spencer German, Mark Ehrbar, Andy Lane, Chris Shaheen, Joel Mullner, Joe Chinnici, and Ric Eickhoff for helping with the planning and making sure everything went smoothly."
Mother of Bence Toth, John Carroll '14
"I would like to thank the John Carroll Betas for a wonderful weekend of experiences in November. As the mother of a freshman pledge, it was my first time taking part in Beta activities at JCU. Carroll's Got Talent showcased many talented young people who so willingly gave of their time and talents to benefit Milestones Autism Organization. After the show, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting my son's fellow pledges, as well as many of the young men, parents, alumni and fraternity leaders at the Beta Dessert Hour. I was especially struck by the poise, thoughtfulness, and hospitality of the brothers. Many of the parents came up to me to introduce themselves and made me instantly feel a part of the amazing Beta family. The Installation Mass on Saturday was an especially moving and meaningful way to celebrate such an important milestone in the history of the Eta Epsilon chapter of Beta Theta Pi. Having been able to take part in the Installation Weekend activities was an honor and privilege for me; I am very much looking forward to attending future Beta activities at JCU. Go Beta!"
Dave Holcomb, Case Western Reserve '12
President, Lambda Kappa-Beta Chapter
"Case Western Reserve Betas were honored to take part in the Eta Epsilon chapter's installation activities. Carroll's Got Talent is rightly becoming an important tradition at John Carroll, and we always look forward to attending and being immensely entertained. We were honored to be a part of the installation ceremony and to witness firsthand the culmination of years of impassioned efforts. The highlight of the weekend was joining our JCU brothers in food, song, and fellowship at the Cleveland Alumni Appreciation Dinner. Congratulations, Eta Epsilon; we are looking forward to many years of partnership and brotherhood."
Dr. Scott Allen, Minnesota '95
Vice President, General Fraternity Board of Trustees
Faculty Advisor, Eta Epsilon
"The highlight of the weekend for me was the celebration banquet following the formal installation. It was beautiful to see so many constituents - undergraduate brothers, family members, Beta alumni, campus administrators, advisors, general fraternity officers, pledges and so forth. In many ways, the gathering clearly represented the crucial ingredients for a successful chapter of Beta Theta Pi. It is clear that Eta Epsilon has these ingredients in place and I know this will be the case for years to come."
Ted & Judy Oczypok
Parents of Trenton Oczypok, John Carroll '13
"As we journey through life, there are hundreds of thousands of events and experiences that touch our hearts and souls to the point that memories are etched in us forever. Similarly, but unfortunately not as often, our paths cross with a person or persons whose charisma, talents, or moral core cause us to marvel, leaving their lasting impressions on us. On Friday, November 5th and Saturday, November 6th, we were blessed to unexpectedly experience both events and people who have been added to our personal treasures!
Using the two popular reality TV shows as a benchmark for the performances at Carroll’s Got Talent held on Friday evening, all those in attendance would agree that any one of the acts that evening (with the sole purpose being to raise money for Autism) would have easily made it to the final elimination rounds of America’s Got Talent or would have been given a ticket to Hollywood on American Idol. If you did not attend this event, we would strongly recommend that you "save the date" for 2011 so that you can witness first hand what amazing talent exists within the student body at JCU!
The Installation Mass conducted on Saturday evening was extremely touching, especially noteworthy being the angelic voice of Sadie Curtin accompanied by Mark Ehrbar on the piano. The celebration at the Country Club following the Mass was unforgettable. It was quickly apparent that our sons' affiliation with the Beta brotherhood will serve them well as they embark on their endeavors beyond the undergraduate years at JCU. We were impressed with the tremendous support from the alumni who obviously are accomplished professionals, some having graduated over 50 years ago! We were truly honored to have had the opportunity to engage in conversation with so many interesting people and to meet those who will be a positive influence in the shaping of our son into adulthood. Although neither of us experienced Greek life in college, we are convinced that the enthusiasm, the zest for life, and the camaraderie which permeated from the banquet facility that evening was uniquely Beta.
On the trip home Sunday morning we could not stop chatting about so many of the wonderful moments encountered over those two days and mutually agreed that we can't wait until the next opportunity to add new lifelong memories by socializing with these fine Men of Principle!"
Jon McCandless, John Carroll '14
"It was truly a great experience to be a part of that special Beta weekend. It was what all my brothers had worked tirelessly for during the previous few years. All the hard work paid off when Eta Epsilon became officially recognized as a chapter of Beta. I will never forget that great weekend, and it served as a reminder of what Beta stands for. I saw how strong leadership and hard work brought about a successful fundraiser-Carroll's Got Talent. I saw an unbelievable amount of devotion and time put into the Mass (a masterpiece put together by one who exemplifies the idea of a scholar by taking a passion for music and developing it into a major). I saw the commitment and love of our advisors through the creation of the dessert hour. During the dinner, through the tears and cheers, and through the laughter and excitement of brothers, I saw the unification of our brotherhood forming a picture of true gentlemen."
Steve & Viv Lane
Parents of Andy Lane, John Carroll '12
"We were very honored to be a part of the Eta Epsilon installation weekend. Everything was extremely well planned and emphasized the commitment to service and principles that the JCU brothers of Beta Theta Pi exhibit. We could not be more proud of Andy's involvement and the friendships he has formed with such an awesome group of men."