Phi Sigma Pi turned 100 years old, so what was the best location for the Fraternity’s centennial celebration? Kansas City, MO, of course! “Cowtown” is approximately sixty miles from Warrensburg, MO, the birthplace of Phi Sigma Pi, so returning “home” to the vicinity of Alpha Chapter was fitting for the occasion. Ten NYMAAC members joined hundreds of other Brothers from across the country at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown from July 26-31, and boy, did we have a great time! Here’s a recap of the awesome things we experienced throughout the 2016 Centennial National Convention:
As you likely can guess, some pretty important things happen at Grand Chapter each year. After all, it is the Fraternity’s single business meeting with all Collegiate Chapters, Alumni Chapters, and the NAA for the entire year! This year, NYMAAC was represented by, Delegate Sarah Viviani (oh hey, that’s me!) and Alternate Hillary Nicoll. We had a great time serving you as your official representation as we voted on various amendments to the National Constitution. One of the most controversial amendments we voted on called for the discontinuation of Regions and Regional Conferences. After much discussion, the Grand Chapter voted to pass this amendment and support the institution of Leadership Academies. We also made an important amendment to our Ritual and Ceremonies Book. Phi Sigma Pi now has a Funeral Rite that can be performed by Chapters who have lost beloved Brothers. This is a great way for us to celebrate the notion that Brotherhood is for Life.
The 2016 Grand Chapter Conference also presented us with a National Council election. Congratulations to two of NYMAAC’s own, Kate McConnell and Patrick Herron, who were elected to Vice President of Alumni Development and Vice President of Philanthropy Development, respectively. Wishing the best of luck to our friends as they begin their new terms on National Council!
A special shout-out goes to Andrew Berman and Kathryn Lieber for running Le Peanut Shoppe among the Peanuts of Grand Chapter. To their enthusiastic patrons, they sold tote bags, notebooks, bookmarks, and more- all featuring hand-drawn Phi Sigma Pi crests. Their fantastic PR for our “black market” helped raise funds for our Undergraduate Music Video Contest winners.
Trip to University of Central Missouri
National Convention attendees were given a very special experience this year. Due to the centennial celebration, a pilgrimage to University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg was the perfect addition to the schedule. Most NYMAAC members headed to UCM together on a bus filled with other alumni. Before reaching the campus, we made a stop at the cemetery that serves as the final resting place for Founders Eldo Hendricks and C.H. McClure as well as Rolla Wood. Brothers had the opportunity to pay their respects to those men who are so important to Phi Sigma Pi’s history. Our visit concluded with the inaugural use of the new Funeral Rite. This stop proved to be an emotional visit that we will always remember.
Once we reached the campus, we were provided with maps so that we could conduct a self-guided tour. After locating several buildings bearing names of Brothers, we headed to Hendricks Hall for refreshments and the afternoon’s official program. Brothers listened to various speakers and heard Phi Sigma Pi’s history timeline read aloud. The highlight for all was when Brother Gene Seevers shared touching and inspiring remarks that only are able to come from someone who has had membership in this organization for over sixty years. The program concluded with the Founders’ Ceremony and the singing of the fraternal songs. This event truly was a memorable experience for all who had the privilege to be present.
The annual awards banquet always is a highly-anticipated event. After all, who doesn’t like getting dressed up? Many collegiate chapters were deserving of awards this year, and it was evident that they put forth a great deal of hard work over the last academic year. Congratulations to all of the award winners!
NYMAAC received some recognition of our own. For the fourth time in its existence, we received the Most Outstanding Alumni Chapter Award! Much thanks to everyone who helped make us such a success over the last year! Additionally, HOBY, our National Philanthropic Partner, awarded us with a Certificate of Recognition for our efforts to engage with the youth at the NY Metro Leadership Seminar. The good news is that the Grand Chapter voted to continue our partnership with HOBY, so we can look forward to another year of supporting this “outstanding” organization.
Well, that sums up our experience at this year’s National Convention! Thanks for allowing me to serve as your Delegate! I had an amazing experience, and I can’t wait to spend another year with NYMAAC. Now we can look forward to more awesome things in our future and the 2017 National Convention!