Hello, Alumni Brothers!
Happy Holidays to you all, and hope this newsletter finds you prospering and in good health!
Our membership has grown to over 500 alumni brothers from VT and we are spread across the globe. So, we are providing you with a year-end update about the active chapter, the chapter housing situation and our Association finances.
The Nu Prime chapter is doing well, is still leasing a house on Roanoke Street (but not for long, see below) and remains one of many fraternities in Blacksburg not recognized by the VT administration. Brother TJ Wilson took over as Chapter Advisor when Brother Bob Long stepped down, and he offers the following from Brother TJ (that’s right, another TJ) Bulhoes who is current chapter GM::
Currently there are 61 brothers:
(3) 5th years
This includes 11 newly initiated pledges (8 Freshman, 1 Junior and 2 Sophomores.
The Chapter is involved in Intramural Soccer and looking to form basketball and flag football teams for Spring.
Socially, the Chapter has held events from hot dog eating contests to cabin retreats at Smith Mountain Lake.
Nu Prime held a successful pumpkin sale with pumpkins and gourds from Brother Nate Murphy’s family farm and also had a booth to sling pies at Brothers for donations.
Plans are being made for the return of their fraternity wide ski trip to Canaan Valley at the end of break, and upcoming events include paintball and Spring Formals in Myrtle Beach.
VT Chapter Housing Situation
Brothers TJ Wilson, John Skipper, Matthew Skipper and the new Housing Chair at the Chapter, Croix Javier, collectively report on the housing situation below.
The VT chapter has been leasing the former Lambda Chi Alpha house on Roanoke Street for years. However, the Chapter recently received written confirmation that the 413 East Roanoke Street landlord is terminating the lease at the end of the current lease extension period which is May 31, 2023. This came despite Brother John Skipper being called and told by the landlord on 8/28/2022 that the Lambda Chi Alpha Housing Corp Board had approved the Chapter’s request to have the last lease extension period exercised for 6/1/23 to 5/31/24. However, the landlord never confirmed it in writing as required.
The Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity is recolonizing at VT and understandably will want to take back their house next summer for the 2023-2024 school year. Why the chapter was strung along since making the extension request last May, and verbally told it have been approved is a head scratcher. The most recent rent renewal option our chapter executed with the landlord has Nu Prime at the house only through May 2023.
At any rate, the Chapter will have to work quickly to find a new house to rent for next August for the ’23-’24 school year and beyond. John Skipper has already reached out to the realtor that helped us lease 413 E Roanoke Street to find a new house for the Chapter to rent or buy. But, she has reported that the market is “very tight” right now. The ball is in the Chapter’s hands to find some target properties.
Interestingly, 607 N Main St (which still has “Blacksburg Tap House” signs on it but has been vacant for about 3 years) was purchased in May of 2020 by Blacksburg Main, LLC for $1.5M which has a Chicago, IL address. The Nu Prime Housing Corp sold it for $300k in 2007 (and it was hard to sell then!)
Our chapter is now investigating a new house that was discovered by their Housing Chair. It is relatively near campus, has a good set up for fraternity, but is listed for $600K. A concern is that it is a residential house so by local codes only 3 non-family members can reside in it. The Chapter is the early stages of working with owner to see if they are ok with a fraternity, etc.
Another option is to wait for a house to become available on Roanoke Street. Our realtor has been talking to someone who might be selling on that street but cannot disclose any info yet since it is owned by an organization and its Board of Directors needs to vote on it.
The Chapter is understandably concerned with this housing problem, as a move to a new house will need to take place for Fall of 2023. As the chapter is looking to the future, input and assistance from alumni will be crucial in finding a new headquarters for the fraternity that can hold ritual ceremonies, social events, and recruitment. Renting the Lambda Chi house for the past 6 years has been a blessing in growing the fraternity; however, they note that a main chapter house is incredibly important to continue growth and sustain the fraternity long term.
Brother John Skipper thought it would be prudent to soon convene an Alumni Association meeting to focus on any alumni assistance, once local options become clearer. The Chapter reiterated that any alumni involvement will be appreciated and perhaps greatly needed in finding a new home for the Nu Prime chapter.
Alumni Association Finances
Brother Will Rountree has long served as our Association Treasurer, and he reports below on our finances.
Currently we maintain $34,815.24 in Wells Fargo Bank accounts, with nearly 92% of that held in our savings account. Money in: one brother donated the collections from his tailgate in 2021 (John Skipper), and one brother has been donating $50 per month through an auto draft to our PayPal account (Judd Robins)… many thanks to both for their generosity and dedication. So, other than a small amount of savings account interest, no other income has been generated. Money out: other than Internet fees of $316 in 2022, no other expenses are noted.
Final Thoughts (Ralph Basile, President)
Not much has been going on with the Alumni Association. We have been blessed with very few reports of brothers with illnesses and our Chapter Celestial list thankfully remains quite small, including the passing of Brothers Brendan Foster, Alan Law, John Deignan and Tim Thrash, most recently.
As is often said, “we are not getting any younger!” Charter brothers like myself are now over 70 years old, and we continue to welcome the thoughts and energy of younger VT alumni. We incorporated and chartered the Alumni Association as a “social organization” but have purposely and completely refrained from using any of our funds to support any social functions.
While no formal vote has been taken by our Association’s Board of Directors, our Leadership Group, composed of the elected Board members and 18 other Nu Prime alumni who graduated long after Kappa Sigma returned to VT, have together discussed from time-to-time whether/how to use our banked funds. The informal consensus has always been that since our funds came from the long-ago sale of the chapter house at 607 North Main Street, the funds should be used when needed to support future Chapter housing needs.
The chapter housing situation has emerged again after 6 years, so as we approach 2023 we will likely need to more formally address this situation again soon. AEKDB
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The Nu Prime Alumni Association