Undergraduate and alumni brothers of Connecticut Alpha joined together recently at SigEp’s 58th Grand Chapter Conclave in San Antonio, Texas, held August 2-6, 2023 at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio River Walk.
The 2023 Conclave was an absolute blast. Thanks to our alumni donor support, Connecticut Alpha was able to send 12 undergrads to San Antonio, accompanied by numerous members of our AVC and alumni from decades past.
Overall, the San Antonio Conclave gave visibility to the many ways in which Connecticut Alpha stands out among its peers. Below are some highlights.
Connecticut Alpha was well represented at Wednesday night’s Celebration of the Ritual with Van Augur, ‘20, serving as a co-host, chapter president Kellen Paparella, ’25, serving as president of the contemporary Ritual, and alumni brothers Steve Chaneles, ‘83, and Bob Flynn, ‘82, serving as marshals for the 1907 Ritual.
Thursday morning, alumni brothers Chaneles, Flynn, and Eric Muschlitz, ‘91, teamed with former Grand President Tom Jelke, Florida International ‘90, to tee it up in the Grand President’s Cup golf tournament at TPC San Antonio, home of the Valero Open, and placed 3rd.
SigEp’s National Chaplain Father Ray Ackerman read a touching tribute to our chapter brother Ed Kaplan, ‘88, who passed to Chapter Eternal in 2021 shortly after attending his final Conclave – his 18th in 2021. Father Ackerman highlighted Ed’s contributions not just to Connecticut Alpha, but also to SigEp chapters at Quinnipiac University and Yale University. Ed was a fixture at Conclave for many years, and his presence was sorely missed.
On a happier note, at Thursday night’s Balanced Man Celebration, Connecticut Alpha was recognized among the top 15% of SigEp’s chapters as a recipient of the 2023 Buchanan Outstanding Chapter Award, the chapter’s third consecutive Buchanan Cup since rechartering. The Balanced Man Celebration began with the presentation of colors by undergraduate members of the U.S. armed forces, led by Staff Sergeant John Donnelly, ‘23, who carried the U.S flag. Later that evening, undergrads and alumni celebrated together at a local Tex-Mex restaurant on the River Walk and enjoyed some classic Mariachi tunes at dinner with the Buchanan Cup as the guest of honor.
Pinkerton’s, a top 50-rated Texas BBQ restaurant, was the venue for Friday night’s dinner, hosted by our alumni.
Bill Gunn, ‘88, continued his service as National Song Chairman in his 14th Conclave at the helm of the Conclave Chorus. Consistent with tradition to recognize members of the Chorus who have transitioned to Chapter eternal, members of the Chorus raised a glass to toast Brother Ed Kaplan. Continuing another Conclave tradition, Connecticut Alpha made up the majority of the Conclave Chorus.
Longtime chapter volunteer Jonathan Wharton, Stevens Renaissance, facilitated an educational session titled “Dress for Success: Elevate Your Professional Image,” as part of Conclave’s HUB series Friday afternoon. It was a great turnout with over 30 in attendance.
In addition to our many first time Conclave attendees, Connecticut Alpha’s alumni continued to outrank other chapters in terms of aggregate number of Conclaves attended. Among our chapter’s “double digit” crew, the following alumni have collectively accumulated 154 Conclave registrations: Flynn (22), Joe Langella, ‘83 (20), Bill Wivell, ‘85 (20), Gunn (18), Sean Fallon, ‘86 (18), Chaneles (16), Muschlitz (16), Kevin Curtis, ‘92 (14), and Steve Jason, ‘83 (10).
Conclave was a fantastic experience to reconnect with old friends, meet new alumni and undergraduates, and learn from other chapters in attendance. It was yet another shining example why we all feel proud to be members of the Connecticut Alpha chapter. I was a damn great week to be a SigEp. We can’t wait for the next Conclave in Tampa, Florida. Mark your calendars for July 23-26, 2025, and we hope to see you there!