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President’s Letter

Welcome to the University of Texas at Austin Pi Kappa Alpha (Beta Mu chapter) website.

Texas Pikes are enjoying summer 2021, with many brothers in Austin both working and going to school, as well as back home across the state and country. Importantly, our recruitment/rush program is fully underway as well.

Reflecting on the spring semester, we managed to have an active, yet subdued semester with our usual mix of academic, brotherhood and service events, and several smaller gatherings/social events around Austin as pandemic circumstances permitted. We’re particularly proud to have partnered with UT Austin’s Heathy Horns program, opening the Pike House on Wednesdays throughout spring as an official UT Proactive Community Testing site. Each week Pikes and many UT student neighbors took advantage of COVID testing to better manage the impacts on the UT community through the “ProtectTexasTogether” campaign.

Pikes remain grateful to the brave medical professionals and first responders for keeping Austin and our home communities safe in this challenging time. Fortunately, the Pike family has remained safe during the national emergency and we wish everyone good health and safety as the pandemic shows signs of receding.  We are certainly hopeful for a return to more normal times in fall 2021 across The Forty Acres.

Texas IFC sponsored a blood drive for Central Texas blood bank We Are Blood in November 2020 and again in February 2021. Then-Pike President Richard Sherwood and Pike’s Griffin Boutwell, IFC’s VP, Philanthropy, helped manage the events, which were held at the Pike House.

In March the chapter gathered to celebrate Texas Pike’s 101st Founders Day.  We enjoyed celebratory birthday cake in the new Pike House. While restrictions existed on social gatherings, we made good use of the house with brothers enjoying March Madness basketball, and we hosted both a Pike Mothers Club dinner and a Dad’s Club casino night. We are grateful to the many Pike alumni donors who have made the new house possible. We are already creating new memories and are proud of 101 uninterrupted years of brotherhood and service in the UT Austin community.

We are proud of our academic performance as a chapter.  Our fall 2020 pledges carded – per UT Austin reports — an average 3.414 GPA and the chapter’s overall average GPA was 3.325.  More than one-third of our members hold a 3.75 GPA or higher, and five brothers earned perfect 4.0s last semester. This GPA attainment ranks Pike in a cadre of eight fraternities carding 3.3s. The top overall fraternity boasted a 3.62 GPA, which we hope to overtake next year!

We’re also very proud of the fall 2020 new members who not only earned top grades but are already making an impact at 2400 Leon. They are a great group of young men, as are the four spring pledges who were initiated in May. Pike continues to grow and we have a strong recruitment process underway this summer.

Summer 2021 recruitment/rush is being led by the enthusiastic rush team and its chairman Grant Hiskes. We look forward to meeting new UT Austin students interested in being a part of Pike’s 101 years of Austin traditions. We welcome alumni rush referrals and interested students can register for rush on the Rush page of this website. We look forward to a great fall and full school year of fraternity activities focused on brotherhood, academics, athletics, philanthropy, campus participation, and of course a fun social schedule.

Pike proudly engages in community service projects in Austin and on The 40 Acres. We look ahead to reengaging post-COVID with more service projects. In recent school years, we’ve hosted in concert with sorority co-sponsors, a pancake supper benefiting Austin’s Safe Alliance, and a fundraising pizza dinner benefiting the Austin Fire Department’s foundation and Autism Speaks. For several years running, we have staffed a Boy Scout corporate skeet shoot fundraiser and we participate in the Texas Interfraternity Council’s Movember men’s cancer research project. In spring 2020 our men helped repaint and perform yard work for a Baptist Church in a distressed Austin neighborhood and provided lunch to 25 UT Austin police officers in the midst of COVID-19. In addition to the aforementioned Healthy Horns PCT testing and the We Are Blood blood drive co-hosted with Texas IFC, Pikes have also volunteered in 2020-21 at the Central Texas Food Bank.

The International Pike Fraternity did not hold its usual summer convention in 2020 (scheduled for Las Vegas!) but did confer awards via a virtual ceremony.  This past summer our chapter received numerous awards including the Orians Chapter Excellence Award — for the seventh successive year — given to only 20 top-performing national chapters, Pike Scholarship Award, and Pike University awards. Our Alumni Advisory Board was recognized as one of the top 20 national operating boards for the seventh consecutive year. We look forward to a rescheduled national meeting in 2022 and are confident we will again earn awards and recognition for the chapter.

I am honored to serve as Beta Mu’s president for the school year ahead.  Our 101st and 102nd years on the UT Campus promise to be filled with brotherhood, leadership development, community service and academic excellence. There has never been a time to have more pride in being an active or alumnus of Pi Kappa Alpha. We encourage Pikes, parents, and friends to visit us when in Austin.

Respectfully,

Nathan McDermid ’18

President, Texas Pikes

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