North Porch Restoration Moving Forward

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1950s Era Alums' Generosity Makes Project Possible


By Alumi Association President JT (Tom) Buck '77

[Posted July 2, 2009] A very generous group of 1950s era alumni headed by John Buck '54 have made a wonderful gift to the chapter. Five alums donated a total of $12,750 to enable the Alumni Association to reconstruct the old north porch of the chapter house.

John stepped up and gained the support of Dick Young '51, Doug Roby '56, Bob Leland '58 and Bernie Rinella '58.

Without the generous donations of these brothers, the north porch restoration project would have languished on our improvements "wish list" for many years to come given the many immediate needs for our limited funds.

In 2001, the north porch roof over the kitchen was repaired and improved. A shortage of funds kept us from being able to reconstruct the railings at that time. The north porch has been off limits to the chapter for eight years.

While restoring the north porch was considered a high priority, during recent years the Alumni Association has been confronted by immediate critical needs to repair restrooms, the kitchen, serious water leaks in the dining room and foyer, carpet and painting throughout the house. As a result, we were not making progress toward finishing the north porch project.

Because of the donations of our very own "fab five," construction of an attractive wooden railing consistent with the historic architectural design of the front porch is now under way. The north porch will be open for use in the fall.

On behalf of the Alumni Association, I wish to express our deepest gratitude for your commitment to helping us transmit our 106 year old chapter house to the next generation of Phis in excellent shape. Thank you John, Dick, Doug, Bob and Bernie!

You are models for all of us in choosing a project which contributes to making us proud of our chapter house. We plan to have a reception in the fall to show off the fully restored north porch and a plaque commemorating this outstanding gift.

Finally, I would also like to thank all alums listed on the last page of the Sword & Shield who made donations to the 2008-2009 Annual Fund. Your generous donations are the Alumni Association's main source of funding to provide communication services and perform essential maintenance on our historic chapter house.