History of Gamma Psi Chapter

Lawrence Technological University

 

In 1965, at their National convention, Alpha Gamma Upsilon voted to merge with Alpha Sigma Phi. The brothers of Epsilon Chapter were faced with a choice of remaining as a local fraternity under the Alpha Gamma Upsilon name or become pledges again as a chapter of Alpha Sigma Phi.

 

The formal process of the merger was not easy. The biggest obstacle was that at the time, Lawrence Tech was not an accredited college. The brothers had to wait until the school became an accredited institution before Alpha Sigma Phi would accept them. In April of 1967, the school became a fully accredited college. In June of the same year, the brothers of Epsilon became pledges of Alpha Sigma Phi.

 

On November 11, 1967, the following men were fully initiated into the Mystic Circle:

 

  • Brian P. Judge

  • Daniel J. Huber

  • Donald A. Cerget

  • Edward P. Gordon

  • Eugene T Schlarman

  • Gary D. Churchill

  • James J. Tabb

  • Keith F. Baker

  • Marvin L. Peck

  • Paul R. Riethmeier

  • Richard W. Rodgers

  • Thomas E. Hansz

  • Thomas M. Jenzen

  • Thomas E. Kruth

  • Thomas K. Weir

  • William M. Bennett

  • William K. Stiem

  • William J. Whitaker

With that, Gamma Psi chapter received her Charter as a full fledged chapter of the Fraternity.

 

Through the 60’s and 70’s, Alpha Sigma Phi was a very visible and active group on campus. For many years, the Alpha Sigs held first place in Greek week, flag football as well as other intramural sports The brothers maintained a chapter house on Circle Drive from 1978 to 1981 near campus.

 

The early 80’s brought some major challenges for Gamma Psi chapter. During the summer of 1982, due to the poor economy in Southeastern Michigan, many brothers transferred to other schools or left the area to stay gainfully employed. Combined with a good number of graduating seniors, Gamma Psi was left with 3 brothers to attempt the rebuilding process. Pledge master Dave Cross, HM John Winters, and HSP Bob Vieracker along with alumni Gary Lewis, Paul Fitzpatrick, and Steve Savage combined efforts to slowly right what literally was a sinking ship. Later with new brothers like Bob Gruszczynski & David Gurjack, the brothers were able to mount one of the most successful rush campaigns in the history of the Gamma Psi Chapter during the fall of 1983. Over 80 LIT students were registered and aggressively rushed. 19 men were pledged and 15 initiated in that fall class known as "F-Troop" - the largest pledge class Gamma Psi ever had to that point.

 

The year culminated in a grand 50th anniversary AGY/ASP party held inside the Buell Management Building in December 1983. This was attended by LIT President Richard Marburger and included the awarding of the first two Delta Beta Xi awards in Gamma Psi history to Brian Judge and Paul Fitzpatrick. What a great year 1983 turned out to be as we also sent the biggest contingent of brothers (6) six of any chapter nationally to Ohio State University from the Alpha Sigma Phi Ed. Conference during that summer.

 

The chapter continued it's rally in 1984 and 1985 by initiating 18 more brothers in the fall and spring classes of those years.

In 1985, with the brotherhood once again large and strong,the chapter rented a large house on McClung in which 17 brothers lived. The house, known as “The Mansion” brought a sense of unity to the chapter. In the spring of 1986, Gamma Psi chapter hosted a local conclave of nearby chapters. Our guest of honor was Grand Senior President Don Morgan. In that same year, Alpha Sigs also regained some of their visible stature by taking first place in the Greek week activities.

With what appeared to be a strong brotherhood in place, Gamma Psi alumni tried to help the chapter by attempting to raise funds to purchase this house through a raffle. Unfortunately, the raffle didn’t raise the necessary funds and the brothers were forced to move out of that house in the summer of 1986.

 

While the brotherhood was disheartened by this loss, the brothers carried on. The chapter continued on for several more years (some of the brothers even rented another house), but the momentum of the mid-80s had faded. Once again, with membership dwindling, the brothers of Gamma Psi tried to recover. Unfortunately, several factors came together this time in which the chapter could not recover come. In the fall of 1990, with the chapter down to only 3 brothers, the Grand Council was forced to revoke Gamma Psi’s charter. The charter was returned to HQ in January of 1991. While a few brothers remained on campus for a year or two longer, Gamma Psi chapter had come to an end.

 

While Alpha Sigs were no longer on the campus of Lawrence Tech, a group of dedicated alumni maintained a vision of one day bringing the chapter back to the campus of Lawrence Tech. In 1991, Bob Look agreed to take the presidency of the alumni corporation. While living almost 2 hours from campus posed issues, Bob with alumni brothers Don Carmichael, Denny Slavin, and Paul Fitzpatrck held onto the vision of bringing the chapter back.

 

In 2002, with the backing of the Gamma Psi alumni council, HQ staff agreed to come back to the campus of Lawrence Tech to see if an interest group could be formed. After a week of meetings with campus officials, and alumni officers, 3 men, Ryan Cousino, Nick Diedo and Les Lukacs found that they fit into the beliefs and the large challenge that awaited them in the re-chartering of Gamma Psi Chapter. Working closely with National representatives and alumni, these men made goals and started the hard work of talking to men on campus. In January of 2003, alumni Gary Mallia agreed to work with these men as their group advisor. This gave the group a local connection to Fraternity and helped them to begin to understand what was involved in the operations of a group as well as begin to build the “spirit” of brotherhood. At the end of the school year of 2003, no new men had been given a bid to join the group. While this was a cause for concern, the 3 assured HQ and alumni that they had made several friends and that the fall would show a large group of men joining the interest group. After conversations between alumni and headquarters, it was decided to give the group 1 more chance to get things going. In the fall of 2003, HQ vice president Drew Thawley made the trip up to Southfield. Working with Drew, and alumni Bob Look and Gary Mallia, the group planned an informational meeting/luncheon to see if there were enough men to make this thing happen. Their hard work of the previous year and early fall paid off big as 18 other men agreed to join the group. As a group of 21, they were now large enough to be considered an official organization on campus. They soon received recognition from the Student Government as a group. Unfortunately, in order to move from interest group to colony, Alpha Sigma Phi required that there be 25 men in the group. With more work, the men found 4 more quality men to join the group.

 

On February 13th, 2004 Gamma Psi alumni led by President Bob Look conducted pledging ceremonies and pledged these men to the Old Gal. With that, Gamma Psi was elevated from an interest group to a full colony of the Fraternity.

In the spring of 2004, Gamma Psi colony gained junior status in the Inter-Fraternal council on the campus of Lawrence Tech. This allowed them to take part in Rush in a limited fashion. The group continued to develop and hewn their skills. Before the end of the school year, the group began the work of achieving full chapter status by preparing a petition for chartering. The petition was completed and submitted to the Grand Council in June 2004.

In July 2004, at the Grand Chapter convention and leadership conference, in the presence of several hundred brothers, Chapter leadership consultant Albie Bell announced that the Grand Council had approved the petition for Gamma Psi to re-charter. Their was an enthusiastic response from the brothers as colony president Ryan Cousino stepped forward and accepted the original gavel of Gamma Psi Chapter.

It was decided by the group to set the date of initiation and chartering to coincide with the same weekend as the first chartering of the chapter. Alumni brothers and colonists began the work of planning the initiation and subsequent chartering banquet.

On November 12th, 2004 On the 37th anniversary of the first founding of the chapter, Gamma Psi alumni, with help of leadership consultant Albie Bell, alumni brothers from CMU and OSU, and active brothers from Missouri Western and Western Michigan University, the 21 men of Gamma Psi colony were initiated into the Mystic Circle. Those men were:

  • Ryan Cousino

  • Nicholas Diedo

  • Leslie Lukacs

  • Nathan Anderson

  • Jonathan Banks

  • Daniel Beard

  • Bobby Dimopoulos

  • Andrew Faust

  • Arris Finkbeiner

  • Cole Harrison

  • Kyle Hauser

  • Nicholas Hydorn

  • Andrew Kaniewski

  • Brandon LaCourciere

  • Aaron Marra

  • Christoper Mericle

  • Christoper Noblett

  • Shane Robinette

  • Timothy Schott

  • Nicholas West

  • Brian Zwayer

On the following evening, in an banquet held at GM World at the Detroit Renaissance center in Detroit, MI Alpha Sigma Phi president Drew Thawley presented a chapter flag, plaques of the coat of arms and pin, and the original HSP badge of Gamma Psi chapter to Gamma Psi president Ryan Cousino and other Gamma Psi brothers. Also in attendance was Grand Marshal Rich Ritter. In the name of the Grand Council, brother Ritter presented the charter of the chapter to the chapter!

 

Gamma Psi was reborn!

Gamma Psi Alumni

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