A Long Time Coming

Two brothers, once colony members, return over 20 years later to be initiated

Submitted by Simeon Melman Brandeis '13, Corresponding Secretary

Brandeis 1.jpgOn the morning of April 27, 2013, the brothers of the Massachusetts Beta Chapter of Phi Kappa Psi at Brandeis University united for a very atypical event. It was a beautiful spring day as we inducted two new members, Edward Messina Brandeis '13 and Evan Schwartz Brandeis '13, into our Fraternity. Both men (now in their mid-40's) were some of the first colony members back in the late 1980s, and graduated before Massachusetts Beta attained national recognition as a chapter in 1991. 

Until that morning, the two men had not seen just how far their colony had come. Since their ingenuity in bringing the 'great joy of serving others' to Brandeis University had truly formed after their departure from the school, Brothers Schwartz and Messina were awe-stricken by the progress their idea had made. What was once a small group of men trying to follow the ideals of Phi Kappa Psi has now become a full-fledged brotherhood of over 60 young men of all backgrounds, complete with its own chapter house. Despite not being recognized by Brandeis, the chapter maintains a staggering presence on campus. 

All brothers who were present, including our chapter founder, Neal Spindel Brandeis '91, were very emotional in seeing our beloved chapter go full circle. All expressed gratitude for our chapter's "newest" members. If it wasn't for their determination, we would not share the wonderful fraternal bond that we cherish so deeply.

After the initiation ritual, the present graduating seniors and alumni were inducted into the Alumni Association. After becoming official Phi Kappa Psi alumni, each member said a few words, mostly regarding the pride and love they had for their Fraternity, and how their brothers inspired them to succeed and seek the right path in life. Closing remarks were made by Brother Spindel and recent graduate Mitch Berkowitz Brandeis '08, who spoke with a sense of wonder about how new and old merged so beautifully, that striving for the betterment of one's community is one of the noblest deeds a gentleman can do, and how a common sense of initiative can go a very long way.

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Brother Spindel (middle) flanked by his former colony brothers, now finally chapter brothers Messina and Schwartz