By Grant Kimball Oregon ’84

The Oregon Alpha chapter is officially a 100-year-old startup. Founded in 1923, our chapter has experienced a few absences from the University of Oregon in times of war, social upheaval, and anti-establishment sentiment on campus. But, in 2018, it was our own behavior that resulted in losing our charter. So, with our 100th anniversary just years away, we found ourselves in start-up mode.

Our local alumni immediately started planning our return with three goals in mind: earn our charter, grow the chapter membership enough to reoccupy our house, and organize a top-notch 100th Anniversary celebration in Eugene, Oregon — all in a two-year period. We were not entirely confident we could pull all three of these off, but we had a lot of alumni support behind us and knew we could make a good run at it.

Any brothers around the country that have been involved in the chartering process know it is a heavy lift for alumni and undergraduates alike. The keys to our success were coordinating closely with Phi Kappa Psi and the University of Oregon, forming a Chapter Advisory team of alumni to offload the House Corporation, committing to hiring an expansion consultant for at least two years, and communicating regularly with our alumni. We were committed to doing this the right way and it paid off at our 100th Anniversary celebration.

100th Anniversary

The Oregon Alpha 100th Anniversary event took place in Eugene on August 17-20, 2023. Nearly 200 people participated in a reception, golf tournament, BBQ at the chapter house, tours of the world-class athletic facilities at Oregon (Go Ducks!), and a formal dinner at a downtown hotel.

The highlight of the weekend was earning our charter. Executive Director Ron Ransom Butler ’00 and Executive Council President Bob Marchesani Butler ‘94 (IUP ‘79) were joined by six other national representatives to present the Oregon Alpha charter to our Alpha class of 26 members. The moment represented a lot of hard work and a culmination of events that helped us reach all three of our goals set several years earlier. The 100th Anniversary was everything we hoped it would be, and more.

This could not have happened without the tireless efforts of dozens of alumni volunteers serving on the various boards and committees. Three in particular deserve special recognition: House Corporation President Eric Mueller ’93, Chapter Advisory Chair Mike Billings ’87, 100th Anniversary Chair Bob Hastings ’74. We are also incredibly grateful to brother PJ Sarkar ASU ‘20 who has served as our expansion consultant and resident live-in advisor for two years.

The Work Is Just Beginning

As tempting as it might be to think our work is done, we know it’s just the beginning. We are now designing a new mentoring program to help our undergraduate brothers fully realize the value of brotherhood in their lives and make professional connections that will give them a head start after graduation. This start-up is now on the road to success at the University of Oregon.

Cab Searcy ‘89, Mark Billings ‘89 and Craig Thomas ‘89 enjoy the festivities.

Hal Dick Bowling Green ‘55 and George Hosfield ‘76

Taking a trip down memory lane at the chapter house.

Oregon Alpha Brothers from the 1960s

Left to right: Alan Scearce ‘81, John Ghilarducci ‘81, Mark Hallquist ‘78 and Mitch Vance ‘82

Berkeley Smith ‘67 and Richard Hammond ‘64