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In February I reported on the strength of Kappa – about our dedicated and strong Alumni Board, our very successful 2019 Homecoming, and the opening of the Kappa Chapter History Room, just to name a few accomplishments.   

Since that report, we celebrated Founder’s Day. Given the closure of the PSU campus due to the coronavirus pandemic, Founder’s Day was celebrated by Zoom meeting. Attendance was high, with nearly all actives and about 18 Alums. And in the first time in a long time, scholarship awards were given to actives for exemplary performance on behalf of the Kappa Brotherhood. It truly was a great experience to present these awards, and we intend to make scholarship awards a regular part of future Founder’s Day celebrations.  

In my earlier report, I noted that the Kappa Alumni have provided significant financial support during this giving year (8/1/19 through 7/31/20), and that the total amount to date had nearly matched the total for the previous giving year. I also provided some detail on our Alumni Association budget (which is managed separately from the housing budget), and asked for help to close the gap in this budget, from which we fund all communication costs, events hosted by the Alumni, and the Scholarship Fund. The response was very strong, for which I give my personal thanks. However, we do have further to go.

The coronavirus has added an additional complication to Kappa’s finances. In reaction to the need to close the House effective March 16, 2020 the Alumni Board approved partial refunds to seniors and partial credits to returning actives. We thought that this was the right thing to do. Of course, this will have a significant impact on the housing budget. 

It is said too many times, but it is nevertheless true – we are in an unprecedented time. I read today an article in which the authors of the book “This Time is Different”, a book about the recession of 2008, give opinions about the current impacts from the coronavirus. In their book, the economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff (both professors at Harvard) make the case that the 2008 recession was not that different from the other financial follies (as they name them) over the course of eight centuries. Yet this event is different. Although a common point of comparison is made to the 1918 epidemic, they note that it took place during the first World War, and thus did not incur the same economic impact as we are experiencing now.

I hope and trust that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy at this time, and as we move forward to a level of normalcy. I also take this moment to ask for your support, to the extent that you are able. The fraternity experience is truly a valuable and unique experience, fully worthy of continuation. I thank you for your past support and thank you in advance for your continued support.

Please feel free to contact me at the contact information below regarding any questions or concerns you may have, or any comments that you would like to pass along.

Be well, and I hope to see you soon.


Fraternally yours,


Martin Barbato

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