Alpha Beta Chapter
Alpha Beta Chapter (Founded 5 March 1988) is located at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland. The Chapter was founded by Sigma Chapter alumnus Mike McQueney (Σ 787) and is a member of the Capital Region. It is also the first nationally recognized chapter to harbor the quasi-secret Aces organization.
- 1 Chapter History
- 2 Chapter Events & Activities
- 3 Notable Alumni
- 4 Chapter Honors and Awards
- 5 Further Resources
- 6 In the News
In the late 1980s, four dedicated graduating Sigma brothers made a pledge to do their share in helping the fraternity expand. Each brother continued their education at a new university and they pledged to each other and the fraternity to start new chapters at these schools. Since no new chapters had successfully chartered and remained active in 50 years, you can imagine the excitement when all four of these brothers accomplished their mission. Alpha Beta was the first successful Alpha Chapter and started the rebirth of the fraternity. The founders (in order) were Mike McQueney (AB), Jeff Johnson (AG), Jamie (AD), and Dave Eschelman (AE). According to Mike, Jeff wanted to be the first one to start a chapter in the new wave and the competition was fierce, but Mike won by 14 days with the Alpha Beta Chapter at the University of Maryland at College Park! GO TERPS!
Mike McQueney came to UMD to pursue his graduate degree in Biochemistry. Amazingly he had time to induct 16 brothers on March 5, 1988 and guide them through their first few semesters. Alpha Beta started out as a colony, meaning it started with a small number of brothers and grew outward instead of starting with enormous numbers and shrinking downward. The 16 charter brothers then expanded greatly the following semester. Renee A. Chen (née Miller, AB 34) became Secretary in 1989 and worked closely with Letti Large Becker, Phi Sigma Pi's first Executive Director, to institute the chapter's administrative protocols. Realizing the amazing potential of the Alpha Beta chapter, Renee became President in 1990. At the fall recruitment meeting she told aspiring pledges she was looking for "enthusiastic people who wanted to make a positive difference in the world, and who just happened to have a high GPA." The numbers grew even more, but the fledgling chapter still a had difficult time defining its identity and creating a sense of brotherhood. The fraternity began to question what it meant to be a brother and many brothers did not take the Tripod seriously. Something had to be done.
In the Fall 1991 semester, Alicia Feddor, the President of Alpha Beta, called in a special group counselor to work with the chapter. Enough people believed in Phi Sigma Pi to make it into something great, but the chapter needed help defining goals and expectations. The counselor worked wonders for the group and some major decisions still in place in Alpha Beta came from these sessions. For instance, we switched the term of office from academic to calendar years so that officers would have access to the past officers and have better training. The fraternity also established a membership cap of 70 brothers with the hopes of preventing fragmentation and loss of identity.
During the spring of 1993, AB put together the first ever large interchapter event (the brain child of Dave Fries) with the volleyball tournament. Visiting brothers paid less than $5 to attend and stayed over for a huge party. Each year the party's theme changes and each year more and more brothers attend as the event becomes a "don't miss" in the fraternity. In Spring 1996 Omicron unseated the Alpha Beta team who had won the coveted title since the first tournament.
During 1994, AB experienced a consolidation of its institutions and the feelings of brotherhood. While Christy Razzano was president, fraternity spirit was realized, and a chapter pride developed. We expanded our traditional interchapter ties and created new friendships among other chapters as we expanded our national recognition. AB also assisted Derek Simmons, a Rho brother who also started Alpha Tau, in chartering two new chapters in Washington, D.C - Beta Lambda at American University and Beta Mu at George Washington University. Christy, Katy Razzano (her twin and VP) and Suzanne Moore (Chapter Historian) helped Derek with the colonization process, including interviews, meet nights, and chapter involvement. AB brothers took littles from these new chapters to guide them into Phi Sigma Pi. AB lines still run through Beta Mu (and Gamma Pi from similar work of Sharon Lilly in 1997).
The end of Spring semester proved to all the brothers that AB was truly something amazing. Attendance was the highest it had ever been and active brotherhood reached its cap. Initiation became more intense and selective and service and fundraising took on new meaning to the chapter. The service chairs Chris Reynolds and Adrienne Tinana created service handbooks explaining the purpose of each service project and we all learned not only to do it for the hours, but because it meant something. During this time, we also expanded the scholarship aspect of our tripod. WE wanted more than just good grades and we established the cultural event criteria to encourage brothers to get involved in the arts, lectures, theater, and other scholastic and cultural opportunities in D.C. This "cultural event" criteria would later evolve into the scholarship committee and semester requirement, which would spread nationally to chapters everywhere.
We also created the scholarship award, the Richard V. Durand Outstanding Scholarship Award. This award is only given to someone who excels dramatically in their academic field while also maintaining active and consistent brotherhood. Several new positions were created or expanded on. VP Katy Razzano, who was secretary under Nicole, proposed changing the secretary position into three separate positions. The secretary position split into three separate entities with individual, manageable, responsibilities. Christy, who had served as Historian under Nicole, also pushed to increase the role of Historian by adding more responsibilities to ensure that the chapter doesn't lose site of the past. The Outreach Committee got underway with starting alumni newsletters and interchapter relations. AB was one of the first chapters to formalize an interchapter relations position. Not all the suggestions and decisions were popular, but they effectively consolidated AB as more than an institution, it was a brotherhood.
By Fall 1994, AB had reached top 5 status nationally and was informed that we would be hosting National Convention. We increased our name on campus through intramural sports and other activities. The bonds of brotherhood were so incredibly strong. By convention, AB was at one of the highest points in history. AB received its first national award. We won the McClure Single Service Award for our work with the CHOICE program. The chapter tutored and mentored DC area adolescents whom had gotten into some trouble. At the end of the semester, the chapter wanted to do something special for them. Chris Renyolds put together an incredible carnival, complete with games and guest athletes from a variety of sports at UMD. However, the most famous and influential were Joe Smith (of the Golden State Warriors) and Mark Mason (of the Dallas Cowboys). The project intended to inspire these students to stay in school. These athletes were their role models and their opinions meant a lot. The athletes played with the children, took pictures, and signed autographs. When AB won this award, brothers broke down and cried. Not because we won, but because the project had meant so much to us, especially those who directly took part in the mentorship program. The recognition of something that meant so much to us filled us all with great emotion and pride.
Another highlight from this convention was a homecoming of sorts. Two extremely dedicated AB brothers had transferred to other universities. Jon Pinto, and Alpha Beta service chair and motivator extraordinaire transferred to UCONN and started Beta Pi. Denise Barnes, another AB service chair, transferred to UNC-Wilmington and started Beta Omicron. Or AB brothers, along with our new chapters in DC, received their charters at the 1993 Convention in Baltimore. AB took pride in their achievements and great joy in sharing this day with them. Additionally, Towson University (Gamma Pi) received a charter in Spring 1997 thanks to AB brother Sharon Lilly. Also, Christy Razzano started the Chesapeake Area Alumni Chapter soon after her graduation in Spring 1995.
Alpha Beta increased its name recognition nationally and locally in 1995 under Adam Feinburg. In the Spring of 1995, AB hosted the first ever regional conference during our Founder's Day weekend. AB invited presidents from other chapters to speak on topics in which their chapters excelled. The National Vice President of Chapter Development Lindsay Fernandez and then chapter consultant Betsy Robinson (now Jaquith) also spoke at the seminars and banquet. The National President Jeff Johnson spoke at our formal that year and AB presented two alumni awards to alumni not of AB. Phil Morrison of Alpha Lambda and Colleen Dougherty of Alpha Theta provided a great deal of support for AB and created role models for graduating AB brothers to follow. Coincidentally, both of these brothers received the National Distinguished Service Key at the Convention in the fall of 1995 in Norfolk, VA.
Main Article: 1995-2000 Alpha Beta Chapter History
Main Article: 2000-2005 Alpha Beta Chapter History
Nothing of any significance happened during this time period.
BAM! With a crash and a bang and a puff of smoke, the Alpha Chi class exploded onto the scene, forever changing the face of Phi Sigma Pi. Yes, this was indeed the dawning of a new era -- an era marked by success, happiness, chivalry, more success, and classy dancing. Is it an overstatement to say that the Alpha Chi class was the greatest thing to ever happen to Phi Sigma Pi in its entire history? No, no it is not an overstatement. In fact, it is an understatement. In conclusion, we are great and do not have huge egos.
The Beta Lambda class usurped the Alpha Chi class as the greatest thing to ever happen to the fraternity, and now thinks they reign supreme as the best class in Phi Sigma Pi history.
In Spring 2017, one of the biggest classes in a while was inducted, the Beta Mu class of 19 initiates. During this semester there was turmoil between E-board members which lead to some incohesiveness and people feeling discouraged to do executive board positions. However, having formal on a boat at the end of the semester brightened the horizons for the chapter.
In the Fall Semester of 2017 the Alpha Beta Chapter made a few changes in order to help the brotherhood fight issues with apathy. This includes adding Partial Inactivity as an option other than being fully Active or Inactive, an Eboard slide during meeting detailing decisions and discussions in order to have transparency with the brotherhood and redefining all Eboard and chair positions to be kept in Brother resources. The chapter also embraced the new national philanthropy, Hugh O'Brien Youth Foundation (HOBY) by hosting a Community Leadership Workshop (CLeW) to encourage high schoolers to volunteer and continue getting involved with HOBY.
Spring 2018 started off strong with the changes from the previous semester, but the number of active brothers was very low for the chapter. Two Eboard members were elected to interim chair positions as a result. With national convention looming overhead, Alpha Beta was not sure how it would afford to send even one delegate. A meeting with the chapter consultant led to the chapter feeling as if nationals was trying to shove "twenty more people" down its throat. This was apparently the answer to all our problems. Nonetheless, Alpha Beta was able to kick into gear to host many fundraising events from a Yankee Candle fundraiser and restaurant nights to the 26th annual ABVB. Many generous alumni also donated to help send two brothers to national convention.
With that problem out of the way, the chapter was able to host many events such as the semesterly retreat at Camp Merrylande, Formal at Terrapin turf, a clean up at nearby lake Artemesia, and one of the biggest ABVBs. With over 35 chapters invited, there was a total attendance of around 240 from 7 chapters. Feedback from chapters showed that participants had a great time though there are things to be improved. Alpha Beta also celebrated its 30th Founder's Day on March 5th, 2018 with a banquet planned by previous Vice President, Alesia Richardson. The semester ended with transitions of chairs that were mostly Beta Xi's, the newest class to be inducted, and a senior farewell brunch to wish our some of our most devoted members luck in their futures.
At the 2018 National Convention in Phoenix, Arizona, the chapter made many connections with chapters near and far while one of our delegates, Owen Kahn became known by all. For other delegate, Rhianna McConnell, the trip to Phoenix was the first time that she flew on an airplane, which was a great opportunity for her to use her camera. Convention ended with Alpha beta receiving the Josh and Britt Marder Excellence in National Philanthropy Award for the CLeW they executed in Fall 2017. This was the first award the chapter had won in about 2 years which made everyone excited to start the next semester.
The excitement died down after repeated weather issues that interfered with recruitment events, but the chapter was able to pin 11 initiates in the Beta Omicron class and induct 10 new brothers. We also began the process of changing our committee structures to put less work on chairs and to get more brothers involved. This amendment was passed which reduced our number of committees from 10 to 8. As a chapter, we also decided to remove our 70 member cap because it felt like an arbitrary number and our chapter doesn't need a cap to stay small and close knit.
Throughout the semester, we struggled to plan events, but after a CDM, committees started kicking into action. Some hits were a holiday party, PSP talks, menstrual product collection and packaging with UMD PERIOD, DC museum trip, and formal at Mulligans. We also started rethinking some recruitment events to highlight what we do as a fraternity. In the spring, almost half of our chapter is graduating next semester, so our campus outreach and new brothers committees are going to need to work hard to keep the Alpha Beta chapter thriving.
Spring of 2019 was an important semester for Alpha Beta. With over 25 brothers graduating at the end of the semester, the pressure was on to recruit new brothers. We ended up inducting 19 new brothers into our Beta Pi class. Highlights of the semester included our annual Alpha Beta volleyball tournament, great events such as a camping trip, ice skating, and multiple trips to help out at A Wider Circle.
The Active Chapter
The current chapter...is the best!
Past Chapter Presidents
- Mike McQueney (1989)
- Renee Miller (1990)
- Alicia Feddor (1991)
- Dave Fries (1992)
- Christy Razzano (1994)
- Adam Feinberg (1995)
- Sharon Lilly (1996)
- Alysia Sierra (1997)
- Brian Smith (1998)
- Kristin O'Planick (1999)
- Kimberly Chwan (2000)
- Jimmy Brown (2001)
- Stephanie Phelps (2002)
- Alyssa Watzman (2003)
- Brandon Thompson (2004)
- Kelly Anne Shelton (2005)
- Andrew Cluster (Spring 2006)
- Arnie Seipel (Fall 2006-2007)
- Scott Malecki (2008)
- Chelsea Beran (Spring 2008)
- Matt Tabisz (2009)
- Sabrina Starkman (Spring 2010
- Luke Lindberg (Fall 2010-Spring 2011)
- Andrew Kannan (Fall 2011)
- Jordan Carter-Reich (2011-2012)
- Joshua Gorsky (2014)
- Rachelle Kromash (2015)
- Victoria Daley (2016)
- Bethany Cox (2017)
- Sarah Cooney (2018)
- Owen Kahn (2019)
Alpha Beta back again! Alpha Beta to the end! Alpha Beta is the best! Alpha Beta loves the rest! A-L-P-H-A- B-E-T-A say we… Are the best! Can you stand up to the test?! AHOY!
We are currently inducting the Beta Omicron class. Main Article: List of Alpha Beta Chapter Initiate Classes
- Anja Kiraly
- Inducted Spring 2009
- Max Gross
- Inducted Spring 2011
- Alex Fresh
- Inducted Fall 2011
- Patrick Lipsey
- Inducted Fall 2017
Chapter Events & Activities
Alpha Beta Volleyball (ABVB)
Alpha Beta's annual volleyball tournament and weekend of activities has become a staple in Phi Sigma Pi. Started in 1993 by Alpha Beta Brother Dave Fries, it was the first inter-chapter event, and remains one of the largest in the nation. In 2008, over 250 Brothers from other chapters, from Gamma Epsilon at the University of Florida to Beta Epsilon at Syracuse University, attended the event. It is held in the Spring semester each year.
5K for Teach For America
In the spring of 2008 Alpha Beta held its first 5K. The race was to raise money for Phi Sigma Pi's national philanthropy, Teach For America. Since Phi Sigma Pi now has a different national philanthropy, this event no longer occurs.
Phi Sig's UMD Campus-Wide Dance Party
This dance-tastic spectacle is held every May at the University of Maryland. While it is sponsored by the Alpha Beta chapter, Phi Sig's UMD Campus-Wide Dance Party is open to the entire student body. Maryland students get jiggy wit' it in every building at the University, from the Stamp Student Union to McKeldin Library to the Comcast Center to Anne Arundel Hall. This event no longer occurs.
Dodge Ball Tournament
Every fall, the Alpha Beta chapter hosts a dodge ball tournament to benefit a charity of the chapter's choosing. The event is open to all students at the University as well as alumni and other chapters. In 2017, the tournament benefited direct Relief in hopes of helping those effected by the recent hurricanes.
- Mike McQueney (1988)
- Founding Member
- DSK 1992
- Richard C. Todd and Claudia Pennock Todd Tripod Scholarship recipient, 1995
- DSK 1998
- Rolla F. Wood Graduate Scholarship recipient, 2006
Chapter Honors and Awards
- 1999 Top Ten Chapter Award
- 1999 Jeffrey L. Johnson National Chapter Fellowship Award
- 2000 Charles W. Chance Alumni Award
- 2000 C.H. McClure Single Service Award (little league clean-up)
- 2000 Jeffrey L. Johnson National Chapter Fellowship Award
- 2002 Outstanding Initiate Program Award
- 2002 Most Spirited Chapter Award
- 2004 Joseph Torchia Outstanding Chapter Award
- 2004 Outstanding Risk Management Award
- 2004 Most Traveled Chapter
- 2005 Dr. Eldo L. Hendricks Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Programming
- 2005 Top in Region Award
- 2007 Top in Region Award
- 2008 Most Traveled Chapter
- 2008 Charles W. Chance Alumni Award
- 2008 Outstanding Service Project Award
- 2008 Top In Region Award - Capitol Region (Tie with Alpha Rho - Virginia Tech)
- 2008 Joseph Torchia Outstanding Chapter Award
- 2013 Charles W. Chance Alumni Award
- 2013 Top in Region Award
- 2015 Top in Region Award
- 2016 Top in Region Award
- 2018 Josh and Britt Marder Excellence in National Philanthropy Award
- Key of the City of Havre de Grace, MD (1999)
In the News
|Alpha Beta Chapter|
|Founded March 5, 1988 • University of Maryland|
|Presidents||Alicia Feddor • Dave Fries • Christy Razzano • Adam Feinberg • Sharon Lilly • Alysia Sierra • Brian Smith • Kristin O'Planick • Kimberly Chwan • Jimmy Brown • Stephanie Phelps • Alyssa Watzman • Brandon Thompson • Kelly Anne Shelton • Andrew Cluster • Arnie Seipel • Scott Malecki • Chelsea Beran • Matt Tabisz • Sabrina Starkman • Luke Lindberg • Andrew Kannan • Jordan Carter-Reich|
|History||List of Alpha Beta Chapter Initiate Classes • List of Alpha Beta Family Lines|
|Chapter Service Keys||Laura Griesbauer • Melissa Allingham • Chris Reynolds • Helena Seymour • Sharon Lilly|
|National Council Members||Alesia Richardson|
|Torchias||2004 • 2008|