2017 Winner of Cornell University’s Outstanding Chapter and Outstanding Service to the Community Awards

News and Photos

An Introduction to Sigma Pi’s Spring 2018 Pledge Class

By Peter Gribizis ’21, Pledge Class President

2018 plege class photo

Sigma Pi’s 2018 pledge class of 21 new members is a truly unique and diverse group of brothers, consisting of members from San Louis Obispo, Livermore, New York City, Greenwich, Monroe, Denver, Nairobi, Madrid, Philadelphia, Houston, Charlotte, Long Island, Harrison, Stamford, and Portland. Our diversity doesn’t only stem from our geographic and national origins but also from our studies; we have three information science majors, seven engineers, one bio. major in pre-med, one policy analysis and management major, one hotel administration major, one English major, four ILR majors, one AEM major, a biology and economics major, and a physics and economics major. In addition, Sigma Pi’s 2018 pledge class includes sophomore transfer students. Even with all of these differences, I could not feel any closer to my pledge class and firmly view them to be my brothers; I know any of them would also say the same.

What makes us unique is that we are indeed a very diverse group of brothers, not just by major, hometown, or class year, but also in personality and demeanor. Given our distribution of origin and study, it only makes sense that we encapsulate such contrasting senses of character. There is no stereotypical member within our pledge class. Yet, at the same time, I have never seen a more cohesive collection of 21 people. We are also a group of individuals that are incredibly driven and motivated. Two members are a part of project teams on campus, one has started and is the president of Cornell Blockchain, another is interning at a venture capital firm in New York City, and the rest of us are also involved in and leaders of an assortment of different clubs and programs on campus. We are driven, motivated, diverse, unique, and as close to one another as we possibly could be. We are Sigma Pi’s 2018 spring pledge class!

13th Annual Sigma Pi NYC Career Event

The 13th Annual Sigma Pi NYC Career Event took place November 9 and 10, with 16 undergrads and over 30 alumni participating. Andrew Ross Sorkin ’98 hosted five undergraduates to attend the prestigious DealBook conference that he organizes annually. The student admission ticket was funded out of the generosity of the Mu Chapter of Sigma Pi Educational Foundation. The students heard speakers, including Mark Cuban, Howard Schultz, Jack Dorsey, and Laurene Powell Jobs, among many others.

The DealBook conference was followed by the annual dinner with alumni, held at Orsay Restaurant. Thank you to all of the alumni who attended and those that could not attend for sponsoring the students for the dinner. We had an excellent turnout, with 24 alumni in attendance spanning over five decades of generations. This year’s after-dinner speaker was Ali Hamed '14, founder of CoVenture.

The following day, students visited with NYC area alumni in industries, including finance, venture capital, investment banking, consulting, real estate development, and entrepreneurship.

It was a fantastic event all-around!

Alumni Dinner Attendees:

Andy Kantor '79: Memorial Sloan Kettering
Don Motschwiller '80: First NY Securities
Steve Pirozzi '80: Hotel Plaza Athenee
Jarett Wait '80: JF Wait Advisors
Ed Berlin '81: Attorney
Brian Finneran '81: Intermedia Production & Events Group
Tom Silver '81: Top Gun Ventures
Dennis McNamara '83: Oppenheimer
Mike Vernick '83: JW Player
Frank Sposato '84: Lazard Asset Management
Steven Decker '85: Decker Law
Eric Hamburg '85: Industrial Renaissance
David Hogan '86: Addo Capital Partners
Tim Donohue '87: Columbia Investment Management
Mark Childs '88: Genpact
Gordon Adelsberg '90- Adelsberg Consulting
Nathan Bryce '06: Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP
Giorgio Piccoli '07: American Flat
James Alvarez '14: SaferVPN
Ali Hamed '14: CoVenture
Zach Gilbert '16: JP Morgan
Andrew Joseph '16: AECOM
Connor Riser '16: Paul Hastings LLP
Fernando Cevallos '17: Morgan Stanley

Alumni Office Hosts:

Donald Motschwiller '80: First NY Securities: Capital Markets Trading
Eric Hamburg '85: Entrepreneurship, Manufacturing, Engineering, Real Estate Development
Marc Rothenberg '87: Goldman Sachs -Prime Brokerage
Mark Childs '88: Genpact: Consulting
Alan Riffkin '88: Lazard: Investment Banking
Jason Halio '93: Credit Suisse: Equity Derivatives
Giorgio Piccoli '07: American Flat: Entrepreneurship
Ali Hamed '14: CoVenture: Venture Capital

Homecoming ’17 / Zoltan Reunion: Undergraduates and Alumni Have a Great Weekend Together!

By Jarett Wait ’80

Homecoming weekend 2017 was a huge success, with a large alumni turnout coming back to the house to hear Zoltan.

Zoltan is a rock-’n’-roll band consisting of Sigma Pi brothers who played extensively at Cornell and in the region from 1973–1975 and has had reunion shows at Cornell over the years. Reber Carroll ’75 , one of the band’s founders, recently passed, and the band made the unified decision that Homecoming would become a reunion tribute to its fallen bandmate.

The weekend schedule started off with a Friday night reception on the beach. On Saturday morning, the brothers hosted a brunch with a sorority, prior to tailgating and the Homecoming football game, which Cornell won against Brown. Alumni and undergrads enjoyed drinks and dining together on the porch, followed by the Zoltan reunion concert on Saturday night. The undergraduates did an excellent job of welcoming the alumni back to the house and made them feel comfortable.

Zoltan performs

A memorial plaque was presented to Reber Carroll’s family in his memory. It will be hung in the Memorial Library. To honor his memory, we ask that alumni consider a contribution to Sigma Pi for a memorial fund in Reber’s name to support the Dining and Learning campaign project. Visit the Dining and Learning for the 21st Century campaign page on the Mu Chapter website to make a contribution or to learn more.

See which Sigma Pi Alumni, family, and friends attended Homecoming and the Zoltan Reunion Concert: Wally Knox '71, Jim Boland '73, Steven Sanford '73, William Strusz '73, Steve Booth '74, Casey Forbes '74, Sandy Kraker '74, Curt Bolak '75, Family of Reber Carroll '75, Bill Dougherty '75, John Morrison '75, Fred Parker '75, Peter Phillips '75, Michael Quaid '75, John Stetson '75, Gary Wicks '75, Mark Cunningham '75 (Honorary), Fred Bassette '76, Tom Garr '76, John Christoforo '77, Jim Franz '77, Matthew Petti '77, Stephen Ryan '77, Mark Sullivan '77, Mark Barmasse '78, Bill Cavanaugh '78, John Haggerty '78, David Hanssens '78, Michael Reiner '78, Rob and Abby Ruhlman '78, Kent Sheng '78, Sandy (Meeker) True '78, Dave D’Orlando '79, Andy Kantor '79, Kevin Kruse '79, Gordon Pugh '79, Steve Pirozzi '80, Kurt Rasmussen '80, Jarett Wait '80, Brian Finneran '81, Eric Hamburg '85, Bret Johnson '00, Michael Adelstein '16, and Connor Riser '16

Watch the Video!         See the Pictures!

Help Brother Mark Lonski '93, his wife Julie, and their young son Cruz rebuild their home and lives destroyed by Hurricane Irma

Please visit the link below to participate in the effort to raise $50,000 to help Mark Lonski ’93 and his wife Julie, help rebuild their lives along with their young son, Cruz. Hurricane Irma destroyed their home in St. John.

Help Mark and his wife rebuild.

Mark and Julie left NYC after September 11, 2001, to start a new life in paradise, on the island of St. John. They started a business (Property King), putting Mark's Cornell-honed botany skills to work, while Julie's business acumen ran the office. Now their home is destroyed. Let's do what we can to help our Brother get back on his feet.

Mu Chapter Awarded Outstanding Chapter and Outstanding Service to the Community

By Jake Howell ’18 (Sage), The Muse, Spring 2017

Sigma Pi is proud to announce that we were recognized for two major chapter awards at the Susan H. Murphy Sorority and Fraternity Community Awards Ceremony on Sunday, April 30. Mu Chapter won the Outstanding Chapter Award, as well as the Outstanding Service to the Community Award. The panel that voted for the winners was composed of the student leaders from the Greek Tri-Council and administration members of the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life (OSFL).

The brothers are honored by the recognitions, having doggedly pursued excellence in all facets of Cornell life this academic year. Sigma Pi boasts a cumulative GPA of 3.57. We sit fifth on the GPA leader board of fraternities and third out of fraternities with more than 30 members. Our brothers participate in an astounding amount of campus organizations. We have brothers involved in Student Agencies, business fraternities, athletic teams, the Cornell Orchestra, the self-driving bike team, the Baja racing team, Cayuga’s Watchers, student government, the Interfraternity Council, and many other organizations.

Chief among Sigma Pi’s on-campus involvements is College Mentors for Kids. Nearly every brother has, at some point, participated during their tenure at Cornell, and over half the brotherhood currently participates. College Mentors for Kids has had a profound impact on the Ithaca community, and it continues to grow and improve as an organization. Every year, over 100 new elementary-school students are paired with their Cornell student mentors. We have heard tremendous feedback from both the schools and the parents whose children benefit from our service.

Sigma Pi will continue its commitment to our community and to Cornell. We are proud to accept these awards and would like to thank the Cornell Greek community for recognizing us.

Cornell Mentors Strive to Help Ithaca Youth Reach Potential

By Trey Aguirre, Cornell Daily Sun

Cornell’s chapter of College Mentors For Kids — a national mentoring program based in Indianapolis — is celebrating its fourth consecutive year of operations, according to the David DellaPelle ’17, the organization’s president. Read more on the Daily Sun's website.

Committee Launched to Explore Kitchen and Dining Modernization

By Jarett Wait ’80

The Alumni Kitchen and Dining Committee, chaired by Brian Finneran ’81 and Steve Pirozzi ’80, is forming a strategic committee to develop a much needed plan for modernizing and redesigning the fraternity’s kitchen and dining infrastructure. We are reaching out to alumni who would like to be a part of the committee that will develop a plan to bring us up to date. Those with experience in the hospitality, restaurant, food industry, etc. are needed. If you are interested in joining the committee, please email Brian Finneran or Steve Pirozzi.

Today’s undergraduate brothers require flexible, 24/7 access to the kitchen. We currently have 10 distinct meal periods weekly, Sunday through Thursday. In addition to the daily meals, the kitchen is also fully stocked with ready-to-cook frozen foods, cereals and oatmeal, milk and OJ, breakfast bars, breads, and a deli bar with vegetables, deli meats, and salads. Dining facilities can accommodate 50 to 75 people at one time. Brotherhood dinners, during which the majority of the brotherhood makes time to eat together, occur on Sundays after chapter meetings and on Thursdays.

The kitchen and dining facilities have not been upgraded since the rebuilding of the fraternity after the fire in the early 1990s. Students’ requirements for flexible dining times, modern/clean facilities, and flexibility on healthy menu options are becoming increasingly important when attracting new brothers to the fraternity. Research from Inside Higher Ed suggests that 50% of college students today say that the dining program is an important factor in their decision to join a particular fraternity. Forty percent of college students today avoid consuming at least one type of animal product. Students are looking for menus designed to provide a variety of fresh/balanced options to meet their dietary preference. Two out of three students are regularly exploring new foods.