Brothers 67 years apart

Over 100 years later, Pi Kappa Phi remains a national mainstay in the fraternal community. With 179 active chapters and 113,000 initiated members, Pi Kappa Phi has flourished from what three men set out to create in 1904. It has turned into a nationwide brotherhood.

A brother is someone you can go to in a time of need. A brother is someone who will be by your side through the best and worst times of your life. A brother is someone with whom you share a lifelong bond filled with memories that will last a lifetime.

Little did I know that I have been making those memories for the last 19 years of my life. My grandfather, Frank Cozzarelli, Jr., graduated from the Newark College of Engineering (what is now known as the New Jersey Institute of Technology) in 1949. He graduated with a master’s degree in chemical engineering, and has since become one of the most highly respected patent lawyers in the state of New Jersey after going to law school at Seton Hall University in 1979.

Through all of those accomplishments I have heard about my entire life, one thing slipped through the cracks. What I did not know was that my grandfather was a member of Beta Alpha Chapter during his time at the Newark College of Engineering.

This past fall I entered my freshman year at Quinnipiac University. I found a group at Quinnipiac that I wanted to get closer involved with, and it just happened to be the Iota Lambda of Pi Kappa Phi. As I rushed and became more involved in the group, I started to learn the values of the group. Respect, admiration for one another, be a gentleman, represent your brothers as you’d want them to represent you, and so on.

I learned just after my initiation that my grandfather is a brother of Pi Kappa Phi, and that was so interesting to me. As I began to think about it, I realized that my grandfather has embodied the brotherhood of Pi Kappa Phi as long as I can remember.

If I needed help in school, he taught me. When my family needed a place to live, he took us in. When he gets up every morning, he wears a suit to show he’s a gentleman. Most of all, my grandfather taught me to love my brothers. He taught me that under any circumstances you love the ones that are closest to you because they will be the ones with you forever. Love between brothers is what keeps brotherhood alive.

The first memory I have with one of my brothers is him holding my hand as I left for preschool. He would sing “Heigh Ho” from Snow White as he drove me. My grandfather protects me, he loves me, and most importantly he’s prepared me my entire life to be the best possible brother of Pi Kappa Phi I can be.