Omega celebrates 2,000th initiation

CEO Mark E. Timmes presents Austin Schroeder, Omega (Purdue) No. 2,000, his shingle following his historic initiation on Oct. 24, 2015.

The Omega Chapter was established in 1922 and it took 54 years to get to 1,000 members. The second thousand took 39 years. Austin Schroeder, a sophomore from Carmel, Indiana, majoring in financial counseling and planning, was the historic initiate. While he has earned the nickname “2K” from his chapter brothers, he downplayed the attention. “It could have easily been another brother standing in front of you tonight,” Schroeder said at a banquet. “What I am trying to say is, tonight is not about me Ð it is about us. Tonight is about our brotherhood!”

Omega-Purduesmall-10282015He said several months ago when he accepted his bid, he didn’t fully recognize the impact that decision would have on him. “I am forever grateful I was given the opportunity to join an incredible organization dedicated to the success of its brothers and service to others,” Schroeder said. “The Pi Kappa Phi organization has positively impacted my life thus far and I know it will continue to do so in the future.” 

While undergraduates mostly populated the audience, there were more than 30 alumni who spanned 1,150 initiation numbers Ð from No. 852 who was initiated in 1968, to an alumnus initiate who became No. 2,002 that day. “I know that most of you don’t know me and I do not know you, but one thing Ð you are my brothers and I couldn’t be happier and I love you all,” alumnus Kim Tubergen (Omega No. 852) told the audience. On behalf of the national council and president Tracy Maddux, CEO Mark Timmes traveled from Charlotte to West Lafayette, IN, to be at the event. “We have created a sustainability here Ð a culture of excellence that has made Omega one of the great chapters in Pi Kappa Phi,” Timmes said. “Across the United States on 183 campuses, Omega is a leading chapter of Pi Kappa Phi. You’ve heard about all the awards the chapter has won at the university and national levels and with your great volunteers, Omega has been a very impactful part of Pi Kappa Phi.”

Ken Buchanan, who became Omega initiate No. 1000 in 1976, attended the events, too. “One of the best decisions I’ve made in my life was to rush Pi Kappa Phi and I was honored to accept a bid from Omega,” he said. “The ‘life lessons’ I learned from the other brothers still help me every day on my journey through life.” Alpha Epsilon (Florida) and Omicron (Alabama) are the only the other two chapters to achieve 2,000 Pi Kappa Phi initiates.