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Dear Brother,

I hope and trust that this letter finds you well, and I wish you a healthy and successful New Year!

The past year was a good one for Kappa – perhaps better to say a year of improvements and survival, in the face of the challenges that fraternities face nationwide. Although we know full well the value proposition of fraternities, making the case to the communities in which we live (i.e., universities, college towns, and families of actives) requires more effort today. However, we are not beyond doing so, and we will continue to do so. It is a case truly worth making.

I am happy to advise you that we have a strong alumni board, without which we could not be accomplishing what we are accomplishing. As you hopefully heard, we had a very successful Homecoming! Alumni and actives a like had a great time.   It was great to see everyone, and especially those who I haven’t in quite some time (yes, I’m talking about you, Jim Whipkey!) We celebrated the opening of the Chapter History Room (we still don’t have this name right yet, and I am open to suggestions), in which we are seeking to collect and to preserve Kappa history. Bill DeGrandis, a past board member and a driving force in the capital campaign of the early 2000s, told me about how a chapter history room has been a desire for some time. I am happy to see us get it off the ground. However, there is much to do yet - but I look forward to the fun of the work. One last mention on accomplishments. Our mortgage debt has been reduced to under $400,000. I am working with the board to see if we can pay this off by the end of 2023.

In addition to the board, the Kappa alumni have been a great support to the good of the brotherhood. Kappa has experienced strong donations for this giving year (8/1/19 through 7/31/20) and the total amount to date has nearly matched the total for the previous giving year! This includes a very generous donation from Joseph Masterson to the Scholarship Fund. My heart-felt thanks for all of the support.

Financially, our position is strong. The board adopted a budget approach that separates the budget into two buckets:  a housing budget and an alumni association budget. This enables the board to better manage the business. We can set the rents for actives based upon not only the market place, but to ensure that the rents are covering the housing costs that are the responsibility of the alumni. Even in the face of being below capacity of actives living in the house, we have been successful in running the housing budget at a surplus, which we have been using to pay down the mortgage. The alumni association budget, however, is running a little behind. The alumni association budget includes all communication costs (which include the Affinity website), events hosted by the alumni, and the Scholarship Fund. Our budget for this year is $30,000 which includes $5,000 for scholarship. We are about a third of the way there in funding the alumni association budget.

As I close out this letter, allow me to make an offer and to make a request. I offer to be available for your input. The board is very interested in identifying and implementing steps to improve communications with alumni and to provide activities and events for alumni. Our Alumni Communications Chair, Fred DeCock (a former board president who can’t stop helping us – thank you Fred!), is ready to hear from you. So am I. Please feel free to contact me at the contact information below.

The request is this. If you can, your support to close the gap on our alumni association budget would be greatly appreciated. As they say, every little bit helps.

Be well, and I hope to see you soon.

Fraternally yours,


Martin Barbato

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