Bob and Ev Kaiser: A Daughter’s Tribute.
For years, my mother complained that she was married to Dartmouth. Given my father’s unfailing devotion to the College, she was probably right. Their social calendar revolved around reunions, class officers and alumni council weekends, commencement, football games, hockey games and the ever-present interaction with Psi U. The College permeated our lives to such a degree that Dad even painted the garage floor Dartmouth green.
When I was young, my parents didn’t have K-jam at our home but instead spent a lot of time at Psi U. My siblings and I were often brought along. For us, Psi U was the cornerstone of many happy childhood memories. The fraternity undergrads were entertaining babysitters, especially when speeding around Hanover with us in the back of a jeep convertible. The fraternity house itself was a perfect venue for games like hide-and- seek and tag, once you got used to the smell of stale beer, the annoying stickiness of the rugs, and the occasional loose dog joining in the chase.
The College was my parents’ life, and Psi U was their passion. This was evident from the start of their nearly 50 years as advisors. During a speech at the 1974 Psi U Convention at Kenyon College in Ohio, Dad said, “My wife and I are in complete agreement that our work with Psi U is one of the most rewarding parts of our lives. Of all our various involvements in the College and community, our association with the fraternity is the last one we would want to give up.”
Dad’s words were prophetic. Although they had officially turned over the advisor role to Don Cutter ‘73 last year, they remained connected to Psi U through the countless messages of support from alumni, visits from many who passed through Hanover or who lived locally, and through the dedication of the undergraduates, particularly the classes of 2011, 2012 and 2013. During the especially difficult fall of 2011 when my mother was at Hanover Terrace, members of the class of 2013 made a special effort to bring new pledges to meet her, a few at a time, to maintain a long established thread of continuity. They signed large “get well” posters, and sent pictures and flowers on a regular basis.
It was extraordinary to see the roles reversed and watch as the students became the caretakers: offering support, putting together K-jams and “being there” for my parents and my family in the way that my parents had done for generations before them. When my parents moved to Wheelock Terrace, it was Psi U undergrads who helped my brother and me move furniture into their rooms, and it was Psi U undergrads who helped us move furniture out 6 months later after they passed away. Several times last spring and summer, the brothers organized K-jams out at Wheelock Terrace. I attended a couple of these and remember an older gentleman—another resident at Wheelock Terrace—coming into the common-area kitchen where we were gathered around my parents. There were perhaps 8-10 Psi U’s, and the man looked around at them and said to my parents, “Are these all yours?” My mother proudly responded, “Yes, these are my boys.”
I have reflected a lot on my parents’ lives over the past several months and have developed a renewed appreciation for them. My mother endured a miserable and abusive childhood. She left home at 18 and never looked back. Knowing her past, it is easier to understand the outspoken part of her character, which often made me cringe when I was younger. Anyone who knew her well has a story, I’m sure. My favorite was told to me by my sister after Mom died. It was Kentucky Derby weekend of 2011, not long after my mother had started chemotherapy for her cancer. She and my sister were driving by Psi U on the Saturday afternoon of that weekend. A group of brothers, dressed for a Derby party, were walking in front of the house with some girls. Several cars were parked on the fraternity lawn. Without slowing the car or waiting for a response, my mother yelled out the window, “I’m not dead yet! Get those cars off the lawn!!”
At age 95, my father had lived through his share of difficult times, as well. Not many people knew that he battled periodic severe depression. His gentle and unassuming authority, his humility, his sharp memory and keen intellect were legendary, as I learned when I entered the development profession and discovered the universal respect and affection he was accorded by the many who knew him.
My father’s gift as a mentor, coupled with my mother’s talent for creating family out of any group of people with whom she associated, made my parents uniquely suited to the job of advising successive generations of young men at Dartmouth. In so doing, they left a rich legacy both to the fraternity and the College they loved so much.
￼Robin Kaiser ‘83
Our time together as undergraduates in the halls of the Zeta spans just three years. The passing of Bob and Evelyn Kaiser is one of the personal and collective experiences that will be forever stamped on our time at Dartmouth. We knew them as warming and caring friends of the house. Both showed remarkable grace and humor even as their health rapidly declined. We carried an awareness of their truly special relationship with Psi Upsilon as we remained close to them in their final year.
It was wonderful to see many brothers from many delegations gather in Hanover for the Kaiser Memorial last October. The K’s devotion to our brotherhood reminds us what it means to be part of this great fraternity. The brothers have commissioned portraits of Ev and Bob for the Chapter Room (see the House report).
The climate for fraternities and sororities on campus has become increasingly challenging. The administration has recently introduced a plethora of new regulations and rules in an attempt to curb the incidence of hazing, binge drinking, and sexual assault. Psi U has distinguished itself as a campus leader in taking steps to banish these behaviors.
Don Cutter ’73 serves as our new House Advisor. I am very fortunate to know Don as an advisor and as a friend. He and his wife Doreen have even stepped up to cook K-JAMs for brothers on Wednesday evenings at their Hanover home, a wonderful tribute to the Kaisers. Don has also been instrumental in helping the house stay on the college’s good side. Don’s insight as a former college employee has been essential in navigating this rapidly evolving environment.
Despite these challenges, The Zeta Chapter of Psi Upsilon has managed to thrive and maintain its prominence at the forefront of the Dartmouth Greek scene. Demonstrating excellence in academics, athletics and campus leadership, our brotherhood has upheld our fraternity’s core values. We were recently awarded three distinguished awards at the 2012 Psi Upsilon Convention, including the award for outstanding philanthropy and service and two awards for academic excellence.
Individual accomplishments abound this year. Ben Feeser ’13 won Psi Upsilon’s National Outstanding Junior Award and Tim Brown ’13 was a Rhodes Scholar Finalist. Brothers also excel as captains of several sports teams. To think that these achievements represent just the tip of the iceberg for Psi U’s successes this year is incredible.
I expect the incoming officers to further our progress. It’s my pleasure to introduce Luke Suydam ’14, who will take over as the next Archon. He is a congenial and accomplished brother, known campus-wide for his even keel and devotion to numerous activities. He will thrive as Archon.
I thank you for giving me the opportunity to preside over the House this year. I feel fortunate to have been part of this group of brothers, Psi Upsilon and Dartmouth. As I reflect on the events of the Zeta over the past year, and as we remember the Kaisers, I’m reminded of the second verse of our Alma Mater: “And the granite of New Hampshire keeps the record of their fame…”
Christian H. Sherrill ’13 Archon
State of the House
Over the last calendar year, the house has continually been kept in great shape. A large part of this is due to the
work the brothers put into cleaning it well and reporting any damages. All new additions to the house, including the washer/dryer unit that we installed fall 2012, are continuing to work well and benefit the brotherhood as intended.
Since the fall trustee’s meeting in October, a new fire alarm system has been successfully installed and the house now meets appropriate college and town fire codes. Every bedroom now has a horn and strobe light. There are also now carbon monoxide detectors on every floor. This cost $18,000 and was paid for by the Zeta Association. Our sprinkler system and fire extinguishers have all been checked and given the “OK” as well.
In addition to the completion of the fire system, the house has re-invested heavily into the Meetings Room. Over winter break we re-sanded and protected the Meetings Room floor. We have limited the use of the Meetings Room for pong as constant and intense use of that room for pong considerably damages the floor. We have made the rules for using the refurbished Meetings Room clear to the brotherhood and, so far, everyone is abiding by those rules. Over break, we also replaced the heaters in the meetings room as they were considerably damaged. The new heaters are made of solid cast iron and are far sturdier than the previous heaters. This cost the House $7080.76. In addition to the floors and heating, we re- painted the meetings room. It is still the same color just with a fresh coat of paint. This job cost the House $2230. Overall, the room looks great and was well worth the investment.
This term we replaced the refrigerator in the Gold Room, which had been working well for us for the past 10 years (A true artifact in fraternity longevity). The previous one was cutting short often, resulting in over chilling/freezing or no chilling at all. The new fridge is the same industrial make/model as the previous and has been working well without any hitches.
Wireless access in the house has always been an issue, as the cheaper modems cannot send signals very far or very effectively through the walls. This term we’ve invested in a powerful Apple modem, which so far, is working throughout the house very well. It is worth noting here that in 9 months the college will be updating their wireless system in Greek houses. Therefore, we have the option to reduce our spending on wireless if we ask them to install 3-4 routers (depends on the structure of the house). These routers will be identical to the ones in the residence halls, and while the initial cost of them is quite expensive, the overall cost of our wireless will decrease.
As we had some significant expenditures last term and over break, the House does not have any plans for residential room upgrades at the moment. Non-residential projects include the commission of the Kaiser Portraits, which will be done by Peter Michael Gish, Dartmouth Class of 1949, father-in-law of Robin Kaiser Gish ‘83, and close friend of Mr. and Mrs. Kaiser. Mr. Gish has done many works of and for Dartmouth College including the official portrait of President James Wright. We are very lucky and honored to have Mr. Gish do this for us.
This is the last term we will serve as House Managers before handing over the hammer to Frohman Anderson ‘14 and Jake Perkins ‘14. Both Frohman and Jake
were House Managers during their sophomore summer and did an excellent job, thus it was no surprise to us to see them re-elected. We wish them well and charge them with leaving the house in a better state than what they picked it up in.
Paul Trethaway ‘13 & Duncan Hall ‘13 House Managers
Well into our 171 year, Psi U Zeta Chapter continues to participate actively in one of the most crucial pillars of our charter: Philanthropy and Service. The Zeta is proud to report its record in the surrounding Upper Valley Community over the past year.
The ’14 class has been especially adamant about building our positive relationship with the community. During their sophomore summer, several ‘14s bicycled and ran in the Prouty Ultimate, an annual benefit for Dartmouth- Hitchcock’s Norris Cotton Cancer Center, while many others in the house participated by volunteering and raising money for the organization. Psi U achieved a 100% participation rate in the 2012 Prouty, which raised $2.4 million in total for Norris Cotton Cancer Center. We are proud of our involvement in this cause!
Fall term 2012 was a competitive time for Service and Philanthropy in Psi U with the second annual PAAR (Philanthropic All-American Rush) Competition alive and well on campus. Psi U competed with all other Greek organizations for the title of PAAR champion. I am proud to inform you that Psi U blew the competition away! Buoyed by a very strong 171st pledge class, Psi U raised over $15,500 for the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth (CH@D). We teamed up with Positive Tracks, an organization represented by TV actor Patrick Dempsey. This organization pledged to match any contributions we raised. As a result of this doubling effort, Psi U and Positive Tracks donated over $31,000 to CH@D. One of our new Brothers, Colin Murphy ’15, raised over $5000 himself over the course of the fall term.
In addition to our successful house efforts, we have some individuals who have stood out on their own. In 2005, Max Schneck ’13 founded an organization called Reading Reflections, which supplies books and educational games to children in need of learning resources in underserved local communities and around the world. Since arriving at Dartmouth as a freshman, Max has brought Reading Reflections to Hanover. Over his career at Dartmouth, Max has teamed up with DREAM, an organization that pairs Dartmouth students with children from the Upper Valley for after- school mentorship, to donate over 1000 books. He is planning an ambitious book drive for Spring term 2013 in order to establish revolving libraries for CH@D and David’s House, DHMC’s housing organization for families of children being treated there. Max’s organization has donated over 500,000 books to areas as disparate as Nigeria, Guyana and the good old Upper Valley.
Psi U hopes to continue its philanthropic devotion to the surrounding community and the girdled earth as the ‘14s take over in the spring.
Christian H. Sherrill ‘13
The 171st Pledge Class was initiated into the brotherhood on
November 13th, 2012. Those honorable gentlemen exemplified the values of the Psi Upsilon fraternity time and time again throughout their pledge term, and the brotherhood is confident that the house is in good hands. As pledge educator, I had the unique opportunity to get to know all of them personally, and it is my absolute pleasure to introduce them to you.
Adam Tong is a computer science major and is currently researching the technology of “cloaking” – the process by which an object becomes invisible and unseen. Hailing from the Czech Republic, Martin Tomanik and Ashton Slatev are second cousins by marriage. Martin is a Women’s and Gender Studies major, and spends much of his time at the Tri-Delt house for his field studies. Because he is not yet fluent in English, Ashton is taking ESL (English as a second language) remedial courses.
Carl Neisser, an accomplished French actor, is spending his off-term filming “Les Cousins Dangereux” in Paris. Colin Murphy is a member of the sailing team at Dartmouth and an amateur powerlifter, and holds the house record for the bench press at 365 pounds. The other Colin is none other than Colin Walmsley of Alberta, Canada. He is an accomplished soprano in the Brovertones, an a cappella group on campus.
Daniel Calano is the bass singer for the Dodecaphonics, another a cappella group at Dartmouth, and runs a small business selling skis on campus. Daniel Knight is the joker and prankster of the class, and once accidentally put his broom in the mop bucket when he was in the attic, angering the housemen. Doug Payne participates on two varsity sports – cross- country running and lightweight rowing. Dylan McCarney is an expert at computer hacking and has surreptitiously placed the house on the Kappa Kappa Gamma mailing list. Erin Frey is known for his tidiness and once cleaned a fifth of the house in under fifteen minutes.
Francis Uzzi of New York tied the Psi U record for attending the most sorority formals in one night with three. Hunter Black, a member of the Dartmouth Skiing team, unfortunately broke his hip during a bingo game at a Florida retirement home this summer. Ian Woon is an avid scrap booker and has already produced three scrapbooks chronicling his pledge term. A Boston native, Jamison McNay hopes one day to become a plastic surgeon. Jamison’s high school classmate, Jared Tagen, is an avid dancer and held many such performances on the first floor of the house. Jefferson Yates, our third Boston local, introduces the house to music and styles we’ve never heard of. He will be living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in the fall.
Jesse Heussner is another avid dancer, and has studied professional ballet for fourteen years. Josh Glikin has been involved in theatre and comedy for many years, and does great impressions of the brothers. Konrad von Moltke is an international student from Bavaria, where he was one of the nation’s top competitive saltwater fishermen. From Greenwich, Connecticut, Nicholas Joung loves the outdoors and can even set a fire without matches. Ralph Scozzafaza is one of Dartmouth’s best yoga instructors, and even travelled to India this winter break to further his study…
Richard Newsome-White rows for Dartmouth, and in his spare time, manages an online dating site. Riley Ennis, of the DC area, is working towards his nursing license. Ryan Galloway was our intramural soccer team’s back-up goalkeeper, though he injured himself tripping over a trashcan on the sidelines. Ryan Shelley is a scuba diving instructor and has explored all the major coral reefs of North America. Scott Houck is a sailor, though he still manages to find time to pump iron in the gym. Sean Fuller spends much of his time studying the 18th century developments in southeastern German music.
Stuart Maeder is one of the top heavyweight rowers for Dartmouth despite a disadvantageous size to pull ratio. Tobin Paxton is Dartmouth’s student representative for the popular nationwide charity group “Movember.” William Callan, of the Thacher School in California, is a member of the track and field team at Dartmouth and heads the World Affairs Council. Zacharias Nelson, originally born in Singapore, was raised in the plains of Tibet until his adolescence. He returns there every summer.
Our fine class of thirty-two new members are excited to make their impact on the house this summer. And I speak for the whole class when I say that we are proud to call them brothers.
Eric Wu ‘12 Pledge Educator
￼Brothers pose after a successful finish at the Prouty fundraiser in Hanover.