Published: October 17, 2017

Zeta Alpha/Slippery Rock University Recolonized

Slippery Rock, PA – On September 30, 2017, the Zeta Alpha Chapter at Slippery Rock University, an institution Theta Chi has been absent from since 1989, was recolonized with 29 collegians.

The journey back to Slippery Rock started with an inquiry from Kevin Krepinevich (Zeta Alpha/Slippery Rock 1976). In April 2016, Brother Krepinevich approached the International Headquarters in regards to bringing back Zeta Alpha. After initial conversations, International Headquarters staff members approached the university about coming back, to which we were granted permission to start a new group during the fall 2017 semester. This past August, Field Executives Mitch Nolan and Patrick Zurn descended upon Slippery Rock to build a new colony.

Before Mitch and Patrick arrived they already had one member committed, Riley Keffer. Riley attended Theta Chi’s Initiative Academy over the summer and used that knowledge to aid the Field Executives in their expansion efforts. Since a new fraternity had not been started at Slippery Rock in 10 years, there were challenges. While members of the colony were learning about what it means to be a fraternity man, members of the Slippery Rock Greek Life community were experiencing fraternity and sorority expansion for the first time. With this in mind, Mitch, Patrick, and the colony members had to be more diligent with their recruitment efforts.

The September 30th recolonization ceremony was held at 5 p.m. at the Russell Wright Alumni House on the Slippery Rock University Campus. Chief Operating Officer Ray Vanlanot presided over the ceremony that included help from Mitch Nolan and Patrick Zurn, collegians from Zeta Kappa/Ohio Northern, and alumni from Zeta Alpha/Slippery Rock. The ceremony featured two legacies: Brody McKenna, son of Joel McKenna (Zeta Alpha/Slippery Rock 1991), and Dan Pennell, son of Stephen Pennell (Zeta Alpha/Slippery Rock 1977).

The reception that followed was held at the Russell Wright Alumni House as well. Attendees included those at the colonization ceremony along with Associate Provost Brad Wilson, Director of Student Engagement and Leadership Lauren Moran, Greek Adviser Jayne Piskorik, IFC President Scott Vogelgesang, PHA President Sophia Sarver, parents, friends, siblings, sorority women from the Slippery Rock Panhellenic organizations, spouses of the Zeta Alpha/Slippery Rock alumni, and other administration members from the university. Patrick, Mitch, Kevin Krepinevich, Chapter Advisory Board Chairman Ron Burke (Zeta Alpha/Slippery Rock 1973), and Colony President Sky Pederson all spoke to their jubilation in regards to Zeta Alpha’s success thus far and their excitement towards a hopeful rechartering soon. After the ceremony, alumni from Zeta Alpha/Slippery Rock presented four collegians at Slippery Rock University with the Captain Larry King Memorial Resolute Man Scholarship during halftime of the Slippery Rock football game. The scholarship is named in honor of Larry King (Zeta Alpha/Slippery Rock 1975), a Marine killed in a helicopter crash in 1981.

“The colonization was great,” stated Colony President Sky Pederson. “It truly was amazing to see all of the support we got from the alumni and other members in the community. It was an awesome experience and I’m excited to see what the future holds.”

Colonizing with 29 men places the group as the second largest fraternity at Slippery Rock. The members are involved in various student organizations including Student Government Association and their 3.3 cumulative grade point average (GPA) is the highest among all fraternities on campus. Looking forward, the goals for the group include raising the cumulative GPA above 3.3, to raise $1,500 for the USO, host two Sacred Purpose Health and Safety related events for the entire campus, and recharter with over 40 men before the end of the spring 2018 semester.

Founded in 1856, Theta Chi Fraternity is a men’s collegiate fraternity with more than 185,000 initiated members and has established 235 chapters across North America. Leadership development, personal development, and service to alma mater are fundamental to Theta Chi fraternity’s mission.