Pi Kappa Phi Announces 2024 Mr. Pi Kappa Phi Honoree

Gunnar Schalin, Upsilon (Illinois-Urbana-Champaign), Named Mr. Pi Kappa Phi 2024

Gunnar Schalin was initiated on October 1, 1965. During his undergraduate years, Schalin served as archon of the Upsilon Chapter (Illinois-Urbana-Champaign). After obtaining his degree in human factors engineering, he received his commission in the U.S. Army through ROTC and his Master of Science in business administration from San Diego State University.

In the Vietnam War he flew combat missions for Alpha Troop, 3rd Squadron, 17thh Air Cavalry. During his tour, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross twice for heroism. Shortly after his return, he was employed by Rockwell International where his responsibilities included engineering test pilot duties in support of the development of the HELLFIRE missile. Later he served as president of a small bio-tech company and then of a software startup.  In the Army Reserve, Colonel Schalin commanded the 168th Combat Aviation Group. Later he retired as deputy commander of Corpus Christi Army Depot. He is a graduate of the Army, Navy and Air War Colleges. 

His retirement from the Army didn’t mark the end of his deep commitment to the military or the community. He currently holds leadership positions with local chapters of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Association of the United States Army and the Military Officers Association. Recently, he served as president of Lindbergh Chapter of the Distinguished Flying Cross Society and as provost marshal for Order of Daedalian Flight 13, a fraternal and professional order of American military pilots.  

He also served as national president of the Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Center, this during his tenure as director at Southwestern College. During that time, the Small Business Association recognized him with both the Anthony Vigil Small Business Advocacy Award and the George Chandler Leadership Award. He received the Award of Merit from the American Public Works Association and the Loyal Award from the University of Illinois for exceptional alumni service as local scholarship chairman. In addition to serving as an officer on his church council, he served on the area team for Bible Study Fellowship.  

In addition to these accomplishments, Schalin has consistently engaged and served the greater Fraternity including positions such as regional governor, chapter advisor, chartering officer and housing corporation board president. He attended his first Supreme Chapter in 1966 and has not missed one since. He is an inaugural member of the Nu Phi Society, inducted into the 1983 class and has attended every Nu Phi banquet held  – one of few members of the society to hold that distinction. In 1989, at the 42nd Supreme Chapter, Schalin was awarded a Merit Citation for exceptionally meritorious service to Pi Kappa Phi.  

Schalin is a member of the Thirty Under 30 Award Committee and has served on the Foundation Board of Trustees since 2021. He is currently chair of the Foundation’s Scholarship Committee. 

 “What continually strikes me about Gunnar Schalin is the depth of commitment to his brothers that he exhibits in every conversation,” said National President James Smith. “His first inclination is always to ask how something can best serve our Fraternity and our members. He is truly a Pi Kapp’s Pi Kapp.” 

Please join Pi Kappa Phi in congratulating Gunnar Schalin for being named the highest and most prestigious honor of the fraternity: Mr. Pi Kappa Phi. 

If you would like to join us in celebrating Schalin’s service to the Fraternity, join Pi Kappa Phi this summer at Supreme Chapter in Baltimore, Maryland from July 25-28.