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T HETA X I N EWS. Theta Xi Chapter of Sigma Nu Fraternity Virginia Tech Spring 2009. 401 Progress Street, Blacksburg, VA 24060 In This Issue:. Brothers,

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Theta Xi Chapter of Sigma Nu Fraternity Virginia Tech Spring 2009

401 Progress Street, Blacksburg, VA 24060

In This Issue:


My name is Trevor Gingras. I am the new Alumni Secretary for the active chapter. It is my hope that we can rekindle the relationship between the active chapter and you, the brothers of Sigma Nu and Pi Kappa. We look forward to seeing you at Alumni Weekend (see page 8 for details) or your next trip to Blacksburg. I would like to invite you to visit our new website, which we decided to upgrade to over the summer. We are working hard to get this site up to date with our current activities. Please check it out at I would like to thank you for continuing support.Fraternally,

Trevor Gingras, ΘΞ 503, Spring 2008

Sentinel’s Report…………..

Recruitment Recap……….


White Rose Recap…………

Upcoming Events…………..






State of the Chapter

by Phyllip ‘Blane’ Bowers, ΘΞ 489, Fall 2006

The chapter gathers in Lexington for Spring 2008’s Knighting.

As the newly elected commander of our chapter of Sigma Nu I would like to take this opportunity to inform you of the current state of the chapter. We are currently in the process of pledging four new candidates. I am glad to announce that the new guys seem eager to learn the ways of our brotherhood and in my opinion they have a bright future within the chapter. We are currently developing a year round recruitment plan so that we can rush throughout the entire school year. This will be beneficial to the chapter not only in the long term but the short term as well. Within the next calendar year we will see the large majority of the fraternity graduate. It is essential that we establish a strong base of young men that are enthusiastic toward the chapter and show potential leadership qualities. If anyone within our extensive alumni base knows of young men that will be attending Virginia Tech in the fall, please feel free to contact our Recruitment Chairman or myself to refer these potential members to the chapter. The chapter is also pleased to announce that we are currently developing a philanthropy event that will raise money for our National Philanthropy, Cystic Fibrosis. In addition, we are working with some of the other off-campus fraternities on a local community service project. This will hopefully improve not only our relations with the Blacksburg Community but with other fraternities whose values somewhat mirror those of our chapter. With all of the changes being made within the chapter and the planned renovations by our housing corporation, Progress Properties Inc., the future of Sigma Nu at Virginia Tech looks to be a strong one.


New Chapter Leadership

Eminent Commander Phyllip ‘Blane’ Bowers (

Lieutenant Commander Justin Smith (

Treasurer Jason Tartaglia (

Rush Chairman Luke Hodnett (

Marshal Dave Dunn, Jr. (

Social Chairman Tony Caiazzo (

Recorder Cory ‘Butch’ Niziolek (

Risk Reduction Jon Bagg (

Alumni Secretary Trevor Gingras (

Controller Chris Glass (

Sentinel Jerry Button (

Chaplain Stephen Reid (

Historian Casey Stafford (

Academic Advisor Michael ‘Sal’ Salvatore (

Chapter Advisor Scott Hutchins

Sentinel’s Corner

by Jerry Button, ΘΞ 494, Spring 2007

As the current Sentinel, I would like to update you on the current status, recent upgrades, and needed improvements to the house. In the past year, we have put new doors in the house, including one with a new keypad lock for the rear entrance. During this past summer party, we along with several PPI members built a brand new deck and fence behind the house as well as doing landscaping work that included planting new trees in front of the house.

Inside the house, we have updated our kitchen with a new oven, stove, and dishwasher as well as replacing all of the house’s smoke detectors. This semester has seen the potato room getting brand new

wooden flooring, the

waterproofing of the new deck and fence, and the sanding and re-staining of the stairs. Also, the entire upstairs hallway and stairwell have new baseboards, crown molding, and have been painted.

While the house has significantly benefited from these efforts, many necessary improvements are still needed.

Primarily, the house is in need of new windows, front door,

and entire electrical system. We also plan on getting a new sound system for the basement and re-model the bar. These needs and goals can certainly be met with the cooperation of the active chapter, PPI, and the entire alumni base. That being said, I look forward to continue working with you in the future and please contact me with any questions or ideas. Thank you.


Recruitment Recap

National Recruitment Day

by Luke Hodnett, ΘΞ 505, Spring 2008

Our second annual National Recruitment Day event will take place in Richmond this summer. The plan is to have a joint cookout-style rush event with the Sigma Nu chapters from UVA and JMU. This event is geared towards bringing out graduating senior males from the Richmond area, who will be attending one of the three colleges. The purpose of the event is to familiarize the incoming freshman with their future school, college life, and Sigma Nu. All alumni are invited to this event (and bring seniors who might be interested). Further information on this event will be posted on in the near future.

This semester’s rush provided fun for both rushes and brothers alike as well as producing four great candidates. Our rush events included a hot wing eating contest at Sharkey’s, cook outs and watching the Super Bowl the house, and dinners at D2. With another successful rush under our belt, we are already working on some great events for our Fall Rush next semester.

Candidate Recommendations

Want to recommend a candidate? If so, please contact Luke Hodnett at or (804)-405-0954. Please include your contact information along with the candidate’s contact information, high school, and comments you may have on them.

Meet a Candidate: Casey Conklin


Great Falls

High school:

Langley High School


University Studies


Sports, Cheerleading, Computers, and Cars

A third generation Virginia Tech student, Casey plans on becoming an engineer. Though he is a legacy of Kappa Sigma, Casey chose to pledge Sigma Nu instead. He met Brother Daniel Dively (ΘΞ485) through cheerleading and soon started to rush Sigma Nu. As the Vice President of his pledge class, he is already becoming a leader within Sigma Nu.



New Brothers

Joining the Alumni Ranks

Spring 2008

Fall 2008

Zach Arritt (ΘΞ 500)

Jon Bagg (ΘΞ 501)

Tony Caiazzo (ΘΞ 502)

Trevor Gingras (ΘΞ 503)

Chris Glass (ΘΞ 504)

Luke Hodnett (ΘΞ 505)

Graham Hudgins

ΘΞ 480, Spring 2005

Business Information Technology

Spring 2009

Brett Alley

ΘΞ 483, Fall 2005

Consumer Business Management

Daniel Dively

ΘΞ485, Spring 2006


Matthew Kachur

ΘΞ 482, Spring 2005

Mechanical Engineering

Michael ‘Sal’ Salvatore

ΘΞ 488, Spring 2006

Chemical Engineering

Fall 2008

John Nein, Jr.

Casey Stafford

ΘΞ 498, Spring 2007


New Little Sisters

Brittany Berneski

Katie Hatt

Sam Wingo

Brothers who earned a 3.0 last semester

Zach Arritt

Tony Caiazzo

Dave Dunn, Jr.

Trevor Gingras

Graham Hudgins

Matthew Kachur

Dustin Lotz

Cory Niziolek

Michael Salvatore

Justin Smith

Jason Tartaglia

2009ΘΞ Sweetheart

Michelle Desiderio

Congratulations to:

Trey Rowan (Fall 94) and Renea Rowan are proud to announce the birth of their baby son, Graham Cavender Rowan, on May 5, 2008.

Patrick ‘Babar’ Barbier (ΘΞ 372 and Fall ’94) and Kristina (Lil Sister ’98) are proud to announce the birth of their baby girl, Madeleine Antoinette, on September 17, 2008.

Dick Reaves (ΘΞ 1) ran the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach, his 17th marathon in a time of 3 hours 55 minutes and 51 seconds. As a 61 year old, he plans on running the Boston Marathon next year (as he did in 1990 and 2000).


PPI Chairman’s Report

by Michael Violette, ΘΞ 148

  • It has been a year since we made a transition in the Progress Properties, Inc. (PPI) board and there was tremendous activity to report in our effort to: “Preserve the past; Provide for the Future.” Please join us in Blacksburg on Sunday April 26, 2009 at 9:00 A.M. for the Annual PPI meeting following Alumni Weekend. This has been a year filled with strong support from Sigma Nu Nationals towards the Theta Xi chapter at Virginia Tech and a year of challenges for the active chapter. We are recognizing the need for active alumni involvement, along with Nationals to provide support and guidance with many different aspects of the fraternity within the community and university life.
  • It has been 10 years since PPI was formed to accomplish a long standing goal to purchase our fraternity house from Mr. Frith. Along with that ownership have come challenges in maintaining a good college housing environment. We accomplished many items on our capital improvement plan, but still face some major projects to complete our goals.We will review the capital improvement plan progress and future goals.
  • This year we have also come to recognize that although PPI was formed to purchase the house, Housing Corporation,it has become the defacto Alumni Association entity as well. We have realized that PPI should be just one part of our Alumni Organization and we will be looking to establish this organization so that we can fulfill many of the ideas and activities that we want to see, including:
  • Increased Philanthropy in the Blacksburg Community and towards Virginia Tech
  • Scholarships
  • Social Events and Alumni Activities
  • Advisory and Leadership Support
  • I look forward to seeing you Alumni Weekend and providing a report on our plans and progress.

Michael S. Violette

PPI Chairman


2009 White Rose Recap

by Gina Miller, Little Sister Alumnus (far right on the picture below)

Thanks to all who made the 2009 Virginia Tech/Sigma Nu Alumni White Rose a social and financial success. This year’s AWR was held at the Main Street Train Station in Richmond, Virginia on Valentine’s Day. 160 alumni, actives, friends and family joined in the fun and embraced this year’s Roaring 20s theme. We have created a site for photo sharing at Please add your own photos and memories to the site. The photos will attest to the beautiful venue, the fabulous attendance and the continued AWR tradition of simply being the Best Party Ever.

All proceeds from Alumni White Rose benefit Progress Properties, Inc. (PPI), the alumni organization that owns and maintains the Sigma Nu house. As always, the AWR Silent Auction made the evening a financial success. We had 66 extraordinary items donated to the Auction this year. Most of the items were handmade arts and crafts from our talented alumni. There were also numerous donations of vacations home, golf outings and personal professional services. Rounding out the auction selections were the always-welcome wine, booze, and cigars. The 2009 AWR raised over $8000. Combined with funds raised through the Capital Campaign, PPI hopes to continue to improve, update and restore our beautiful and independent VT/Sigma Nu house at 401 Progress Street.

Alumni White Rose is held every other year. The past two events have been held in Richmond. Northern Virginia hosted the previous AWRs. The next event will be in 2011. PPI is looking for new committee members to help plan and execute the next event. Maybe you? Maybe in your town? Throwing the Best Party Ever is extremely gratifying and the OLD committees recommend it highly.

Recognize these guys? (1974)

How about now? (2009 White Rose)

by Trevor Gingras, Alumni Secretary

By all accounts, this year’s White Rose event at the old Main Street Train Station was a success. This Roaring Twenties themed event was enjoyed by about 160 alumni, actives, little sisters, and their dates. The bi-annual White Rose offers all members of Theta Xi the chance to reconnect and socialize with old friends. In addition to the socializing, a significant amount of money (about $8,000) was raised for PPI and the active chapter through the silent auction, whose items were donated graciously by various alumni as well as the active chapter and current little sisters. The brothers appreciate the donations and would like to thank those who paid the way for the actives to attend White Rose. We should all thank the White Rose Committee for their tremendous effort in planning and organizing the event. If you are interested in helping out in planning the 2011 White Rose event, please email the committee at

Pictured above are the active brothers and their dates at the 2009 White Rose.


Where are they now?

2009 Virginia Tech

Football Schedule

David Holt, ΘΞ 65

This newsletter edition’s alumni spotlight is on Brother David Holt. After his senior year when he lived in the "outback" with Wesley Shaw (ΘΞ 45) and Chris Scott

(ΘΞ 79), he taught and

coached (tennis and soccer) for 2 years at Varina High School in Richmond, Virginia. Then, he went to the University of Utah to get a degree in geology and affiliated with the Epsilon Lambda chapter of Sigma Nu. Upon returning to Richmond, he got an MBA at the University of Richmond and began working at VEPCO (now Dominion Power). Brother Holt attended this year’s White Rose and enjoyed socially with other alumni.

Where are you now?

Please tell us. We would like to know what you are up to, what you plan on doing, and where you see the chapter in five years. Please include your contact information, badge number, and graduation year when you email us at

Alumnus Awards Dr. Charles Steger

Brother Daniel Carusillo (ΘΞ 226) presents President Steger with a certificate from the brothers, alumni, and House Corporation of the Theta Xi chapter of Sigma Nu. The presentation occurred in the President’s skybox during a football game on September 6th, 2008. President Steger received the award for his outstanding leadership of Virginia Tech and the entire Hokie community as well as exemplifying the beliefs of “Love, Honor, and Truth.”


Upcoming Events

2009 Spring Alumni Weekend

As is tradition, we are excited to announce this Spring Alumni Weekend on April 24th – 26th, the weekend of the Maroon vs. White football game. We hope that you will come and enjoy a weekend visiting with the active members, reconnect with fellow alumni, and see the house as well as its improvements. The event schedule may be subject to change, check the website for updates. As of now, the schedule for the weekend is:


11 AM- Tailgate at the house

2 PM- Spring Maroon vs. White Game at Lane


5 PM- Luau at the house (family friendly event)

Sunday Morning: 9 AM- PPI/Active chapter

joint meeting (all alumni are invited to come)

Mark your calendars and come to the: 23rd AnnualSIGMA NUBULL RUN FAMILY PICNIC!Sunday May 3rd 200911am - 5pm  Picnic Site #6 (same as last year)

Bull Run Regional ParkCentreville, VA

RAIN or SHINE!First Sunday in May - The Tradition Continues!  Kids love this picnic - ask one!  Save the date and contact your alumni friends to do the same! 

All the BBQ basics and grills are provided, there’s a nice shelter, and restrooms are close by.  Lots of sports activities (including traditional family kickball/softball/etc.) for the teenagers and younger kids, plus the park offers many activities such as Frisbee golf, trails, playground, etc. You bring your own food, lawn chairs, special entertainment for your kids, and anything else that floats your boat.  Leave the dogs at home please and note that alcohol is not permitted in the park and they do check periodically.  Contact Bull Run Committee Chairs Joe Romagnoli ( or Mark Moore ( for more information.  Hope to see you out there this year!