Phi Kappa Psi Rededicates New Chapter House

by Jim Amidon

February 24, 2007

A crowd of well over 200 people gathered to formally rededicate the Phi Kappa Psi Indiana Gamma chapter house, the latest fraternity construction project completed in the College’s Fraternity Partnerships campaign.

Click here to see photographs from Saturday's celebration. See more photos and listen to Joe Klen '97, Director of Annual Giving and a Phi Psi, talk about the importance of the Feb. 24 rededication.

The Indiana Gamma chapter house received a $3 million renovation with a stunning new entrance to the building; a revitalized living room, dining room, and kitchen; and reconfigured living space for the undergraduate members, among many improvements. Click here to see the Phi Kappa Psi construction blog.

"This new chapter house ushers in a new era of prosperity for Phi Kappa Psi," said Chapter President Jason Gray ’08 (pictured right). "Our brotherhood will forever strive to make you proud."

Phi Kappa Psi thrived on the Wabash campus from 1870 through 1901 when it was disbanded. Thanks to the diligent work of Edward Knight, Wabash Class of 1897, Indiana Gamma re-emerged on the Wabash campus in 1948.

Alumni from seven decades gathered to celebrate the occasion, including Dick Griesser ’51, who was one of the chapter’s "re-founders" when Phi Kappa Psi returned to Wabash in 1948. Griesser related the early history of the chapter, which was colonized in 1947 as "Gamma Phi" until the national Phi Kappa Psi fraternity granted the Wabash chapter a new charter.

Griesser also paid tribute to his deceased pledge brother, Dick Regnier ’52, who for more than 50 years guided the work of the undergraduate chapter and for whom the great hall in the new chapter house is named.

Also on hand was devoted Phi Psi alumnus Gordon Peters ’52 — Griesser’s pledge son — who honored Indiana Gamma’s rich history of brotherhood and achievement, and paid tribute to Regnier and other early members of the chapter.

"Consider where we are today — at a college now in its 175th year; Phi Kappa Psi Indiana Gamma has been an important part of that history for 90 years," said Peters.

"Everything we have today comes from those people who came before us," Peters said to the undergraduates. "Will you do your part when the call comes?"

Ben Kessler ’74, who for 27 years has served as Indiana Gamma’s chapter advisor, was as proud as anyone in attendance. "I’m so grateful to be able to serve the men of Phi Kappa Psi… I’m more of a cheerleader than anything, offering encouragement to the undergraduates."

Kessler also paid tribute to Dick Regnier, whose widow Margaret was on hand for the festivities. "Dick Regnier was my mentor and I miss him very much. I know his spirit is with us today."

Master of ceremonies Terry Hamilton ’89, who serves as chairman of the Indiana Gamma House Corporation, was pleased to welcome Claude Warren, the assistant executive director of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity. He also had the opportunity to joke with Warren, a DePauw University graduate. "As Phi Psi brothers and gentlemen, we’re pleased to have you here… even if you are a Danny."

The celebration — which included guided tours through the chapter house and lunch — ended in song, just as it had begun. Gathered arm-in-arm, the brothers sang the fraternity’s most honored song, Amici, then cheered "High, high, high, Phi Kappa Psi, live ever, die never, Phi Kappa Psi!"

 


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