As part of the continuing improvements in organization and execution of our alumni efforts, I have volunteered to help with communications. To that end, we've set up an improved mail experience and a small web site we can use to provide quick links to resources.
Below is the latest installment from Kurt Ulbricht, the president of Omicron Delta, on the status of our chapter and of the house. Having been back in Valpo for Homecoming last fall, I can attest to -- and am thankful for -- the huge effort that Kurt and others are putting in to get the house into a usable condition. Please take a few minutes to read Kurt's report and then get involved (starting by paying your alumni dues...)
Dale Koetke '86
Sigma Tau Gamma Alumni Brothers,
Everyone knows the old cliché… there is good news and there is bad news! At our recent quarterly Omicron Delta Inc. board meeting we reviewed our efforts of the past year and concluded that more has been accomplished than almost anyone imagined at the outset. Unfortunately we also concluded that much remains to be done.
If nothing else, we were able to demonstrate what we all know to be true. There is nothing in our world today that is straight forward, simple to understand or easy to accomplish.
Beta Lambda Undergraduate Chapter: The Chapter had their charter revoked by Sigma Tau Gamma National and had their recognition withdrawn by the University and banned from return to campus for five years. This took place in spring of 2013… fall of 2018 is the earliest possible return. The good news, both the University and Sigma Tau Gamma National have expressed their support for Beta Lambda Chapter’s return – in due time! The bad news, neither can make any firm commitment to a specific time for this to happen!
The House and property at 801 Union: The property was essentially abandoned from May 2013 until November 2013 and no work was begun until March 2014. Omicron Delta Inc. the housing corporation that owns the property had been declared legally dissolved several years ago. The neglect and vandalism of the late days of occupancy and throughout the period of abandonment nearly destroyed the interior of the house. At one point a university sponsored property appraisal reported the building unfit for occupancy. The good news, thanks to the work of a handful of alumni volunteers and many hours of effort the main and lower levels are nearly restored to the point where we may find a tenant to lease space to provide an income stream that will allow work to continue on the upper level and the property. The bad news, there are still many hurdles to clear with the county, the city and the University before occupancy.
Objectives and Prospects: The overriding objective of our effort is to preserve the ability to have our undergraduate chapter return and occupy the place where it has been for more than 50 years. Accomplishing this requires we provide benefit for ourselves and the tenant without jeopardizing our relationship with the University or the National Fraternity. Four choices have been identified… rent to a nonprofit community organization, rent to individual students, hold the property vacant, or sell to the University who has expressed their interest in owning our land. The good news, we have viable choices. The bad news, there are challenges to each choice which could defeat our objective and cause irrevocable losses. The best news, the board has acted to immediately begin work with a prospective tenant that we feel would be an appropriate candidate to meet our objective. Time will tell if we have found a solution.
Alumni Action: Two important ingredients remain essential for bringing Beta Lambda Chapter back to Valparaiso University:
- alumni brothers who will volunteer to help with the work on the house, and
- continued financial support of annual dues/contributions.
We need both now! Starting now by paying your dues with PayPal. An active and involved Alumni is required right now and will be essential in the future! Please consider how you can help your fraternity achieve the success we enjoyed in our time at VU.
Kurt Ulbricht ’71, President Omicron Delta Inc.