Beta Rho Chapter
Beta Rho Chapter (Founded 26 February 1995) is located at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The Chapter was founded by Joanna Cestaro and Jami Jones and is a member of the Dominion Region.
- 1 Chapter History
- 1.1 Founding
- 1.2 Early Years
- 1.3 The Active Chapter
- 1.4 Initiate Classes
- 1.5 Families
- 2 Chapter Events & Activities
- 3 Notable Alumni
- 4 Chapter Honors and Awards
- 5 Further Resources
- 6 In the News
The Active Chapter
The current chapter membership fluctuates between 70-90 brothers each semester, in addition to initiate classes which have ranged from 13 to 30 members in the last few years. Our brothers are not only an active and enthusiastic force in our own chapter, but are incredibly involved elsewhere on the James Madison University campus. Brothers are also involved in fraternity and sorority life, business fraternities, honor and pre-professional societies, First Year Orientation, Student Ambassador tour guides, varsity and club sports, and much more. The Brothers as a whole also engage in a variety of service activities which include:
- Big Brothers, Big Sisters
- Peer Advising
- Blast Off Program
- Our Community Place
- SPCA Volunteering
- Boys and Girls Club
- Relay For Life
- Harrisonburg EMT and rescue squad.
The Executive Board
The Executive Board is comprised of 9 positions. The term of each position is one calender year, with the exception of our Regional Delegate, who's term is for one school year in order to adequately plan for Regional Convention. In our history there have been a total of 12 presidents:
- Tara Weideman 1995
- Becky Askew 1995-1997
- Preston Garcia 1997-1998
- unknown 1998-2004
- Sara Martin (2004-2005)
- Jacky Allgier (2005-2006)
- Danielle McGhee (2006-2007)
- Craig Randolph (2007-2008)
- Kaitlin Balka (2008-2009)
- Emily Niedermaier (2009-2010)
- Matthew Hartmann (2012-2013)
- Lauren Vaccarello (2013-Present)
The current executive board is as follows:
- President-Lauren Vaccarello
- Vice President-Shelby Whitwell
- Secretary-Olivia Massa
- Treasurer-David Adams
- Initiate Adviser-Michele Freedman
- Brother Relations-Eric Lehman
- Brother Historian-Alicia Henneberry
- Initiate Historian-Mollie Moran
- Parliamentarian-Jake Braun
- Regional Delegate-Brooke Matherly
Rush is held at the beginning of every semester and is open to students that have been enrolled for at least one semester and possessing a GPA of at least 3.0. Beta Rho's rush runs for about 2 weeks. Events typical of our Rush are Field Day, 90's Night, Tripod Night, and Mocktails. Here is our most recent rush promotion video! Phi Sigma Pi(Beta Rho)- How I Met Your Brother
- Fall 2013 Chairs: Sam Lade & Josh Temple
Beta Rho hold several fundraising events every semester, which have included concession stand sales, event clean up and set up, and sales of t-shirts. Vrothers must earn a total of 3 points a semester, which can be earned by participating in three fundraising events.
- Fall 2013 Chair: Heather Fowler
Multiple scholarship events are held every semester. Some that have been held in the past are documentary viewings, cooking lessons, scholarly talks and lectures, field trips to the Harrisonburg Cultural Fair and local museums, and more. Brothers must earn a total of three points a semester, which can be earned by attending or holding at least one scholarship event,or outside events that are approved by the Scholarship Chair.
- Fall 2013 Chair: Katie Costanzo
The Brothers must earn a total of three service points a semester, which can be earned by attending or engaging in a Beta Rho sponsored event, or an outside event approved by the chair. Events in the past have been the DC Walk for MS, Relay for Life, Highway Cleanups, and the Big Event.
- Fall 2013 Chair: Gina Settimo
The Social committee is responsible for organizing events throughout the semester for borhters to meet and bond in outside of school. Events in the past have been apple picking, zumba classes, movie nights, mini-golfing, cooking classes, pot-luck dinners, and more. The committee is also responsible for planning semi-formal in the fall, and formal in the spring.
- Fall 2013 Chair: Gaby Edwards
The Public Relations Committee is in charge of getting the word out around campus and the community about all of the events the Brotherhood holds. The PR chair and committee help promote rush in the beginning of the semester, as well as advertise our fundraising and philanthropy events.
- Fall 2013 Chair: Chelsea Clark
The Alumni Chair and committee is in charge of informing our alumni about current chapter events, and providing communication between current brothers and the alumni. The chair and committee also organize breakfasts and bonding events during our Founders and Homecoming weekends.
- Fall 2013 Chair: Alan Becker
The Intramural committee is in charge of signing teams up for various sports organized by University Recreation, as well as planning our annual Frosty 5K.
- Fall 2013 Chair: Josh Weaver
The Philanthropy committee is in charge or organizing events and spreading awareness for both our national philanthropy, Teach For America, and our local philanthropy, Multiple Sclerosis research. Events include our Teach for America 5K and MS Week.
- Fall 2013 Chair: Peter Watt
The Spirit committee and chair is in charge of promoting the values of our chapter and nationals on a daily basis within the Brotherhood. Events held in the past have been Megan Concert, tie-dying, and brother/parent brunches.
- Fall 2013 Chair: Elisa Hernandez
Our Web Master is in charge of maintaining our Beta Rho websites and the creation and supervision of the voting system used at the end of rush.
- Fall 2013 Chair: Patrick Davis
Main Article: List of Beta Rho Chapter Initiate Classes The most recent class to be inducted into Beta Rho is the Alpha Nu class in April 2013
- BAMF Family
- Pretty Family
- Kennedy Family
- Shoes=Nuts Family
- Pinky Family
- Black Family
- Classy Family
- Dynasty Family
- Baller Family
- Hot Damn Family
- VIP Family
- Troublemaker Family
Chapter Events & Activities
Beta Rho celebrates the Chapter's founding every spring semester with an annual banquet and activities planned by our Brother Relations chair in coordination with our Alumni Chair. The weekend includes one service event and one scholarship event. The banquet takes place that Saturday night, and features an honored alumni guest, who talks about his or her experience in Beta Rho and in the real world, while offering advice and words of encouragement to the Brothers. Along with this speaker, the Brothers also look forward to the annual superlatives which are apart of the banquet. The Brothers all vote on specific categories, such as Best Dressed and Best Big/Little Pair,and the winners are announced during the dinner. The following Sunday morning, the alumni who visited are treated to a special send-off breakfast, where the current Brothers have their last chance to mingle and talk with those who came to visit.
The Megan Concert is sponsored by the Beta Rho chapter in memory of Megan Stidham. The concert, held annually in the Spring semester, raises money for an endowed scholarship in her name at James Madison University. The scholarship is presented to one Beta Rho Brother and one member of the student body. In 2006 the scholarship became fully endowed. In addition to the scholarship, the event raised money for The Megan Memorial, which was started to raise money to go towards placing a memorial on campus in her name. The Megan Concert has grown over the years to include numerous acts from the a capella, comedy, dance, and musical groups on campus, as well as speakers who talk to the audience about loss and how it affects a community. This concert is organized by our Spirit Chair.
Beta Rho dedicates one week each semester to raise funds and awareness for their local Philanthropy, Multiple Sclerosis Research. For 5 days, members are stationed outside of busy areas around campus and ask for donations for the National MS Society, and also distribute informational literature about the disease. The week culminates with the “MS Sleepout”. This is where members of Beta Rho camp out in a public area of campus to raise awareness for the disease. The night is filled with performances by many JMU organizations and a capella groups. Guest speakers frequent this event as well. Usually it is someone who has MS, or is directly affected by the disease.
Homecoming is not only a special weekend for our university, but also our chapter. Homecoming is always anticipated as the return of many of our beloved alumni and friends, from those who just graduated to those a few years out. We set up a special tailgate before the homecoming football game, making name cards for initiates, brothers, and alumni, so all can mingle and get to know each other while celebrating our school spirit. The Alumni committee also organizes an annual alumni brunch the next day before alumni head back home.
- Vice President of Alumni Development (1998-2000)
- Vice President of Membership Development (2002-2004)
- Rolla F. Wood Graduate Scholarship recipient 2015
Chapter Honors and Awards
- 2002 Joseph Torchia Outstanding Chapter Award
- 2002 Top Ten Chapter Award
- 2003 Joseph Torchia Outstanding Chapter Award
- 2003 Top Ten Chapter Award
- 2004 Joseph Torchia Outstanding Chapter Award
- 2004 Top in Region Award
- 2005 Steven A. DiGuiseppe Administrative Award
- 2006 Outstanding Initiate Program Award
- 2007 Claude A. Phillips Fellowship Award
- 2009 Top in Region Award
- 2009 Outstanding Fundraiser Award
- 2010 Top in Region Award
- 2010 Joseph Torchia Outstanding Chapter Award
- 2013 Outstanding Risk Management Award
- 2013 Top in Region Award
- 2014 Top in Region Award, C.H. McClure Single Service Award
- 2015 Outstanding Risk Management Award
- 2015 Top in Region Award
- 2015 Joseph Torchia Outstanding Chapter Award
In the News