Dear KB Brothers,
After several months of planning and preparation, the 2016 KB Reunion is now part of our long history of gatherings in celebration of our Kappa Beta Brotherhood. The Reunion Committee is hopeful that we have re-energized the KB spirit and helped reconnect and renew friendships of Brothers from the classes of 1941 to 1975.
Despite the impact of the hurricane, health issues of some of our Brothers, and the unavoidable last minute change in plans experienced by a few Brothers, over 60 Brothers attended at least one of the events. Frank Alessi gets the prize for the Longest Distance Traveled (from San Diego), followed closely by Rick Shirkey (New Mexico), Pete Forster (Michigan), Warren Greshes (North Carolina), and Alan Barocas (Georgia). The award for The Most Distinguished Attendee goes to Pete Dykeman, President of KB in 1957. The prize for the Surprise Attendee is a tie between Stuart Nock, ’57 and George Contompasis, Honorary KB member—-it was great to see both of them.
I want express my deepest gratitude to a truly dedicated group of KB brothers who served with me on the Reunion Committee, providing immeasurable support, advice, and camaraderie. (I have attached a picture ( number 085) of the members of the committee: Alan Barocas, Chick Cairo, Roy Cameron, Dan Johnson, Paul Michel, Brian Pope, Bill Robelee, Ken Turow, and Mike Zimmerman.) Not only did each member of the committee devote a great deal of time and energy, but also contributed funds toward printing, duplication, mailings, etc. I also need to thank Loida Vera Cruz and her staff at the UAlbany Alumni Office who provided a bounty of support (including monthly meetings with Dan Johnson, Bill Robelee and me) and a grant of $500 toward reunion expenses. The total effort was far more than ever anticipated, but was truly been a” labor of love” for our Brotherhood .
Some Reunion Details/Descriptions:
It is difficult to select which event was the highlight of the Reunion. The renewal of the special bond we all share as Kappa Beta Brothers began with the Friday Cocktail Party at the Marriott. The high energy, laughter, and joy reconnecting with our Brothers seemed to fill the room. The reminiscing continued that evening, as over half of the Brothers attending went over to the Barnsider for dinner.
The Brothers of KB literally took over the space in the reunion tent at the Saturday Tailgate Party. It was certainly a wise decision by the Reunion Committee to take advantage of the tailgate and football game package offered by the Alumni Association. Who could have imagined that the UAlbany team would take the higher-ranked Richmond Spiders to three overtimes?! A terrific time was had by all.
The banquet Saturday night was very special, including a moment of silence in memory of our deceased Brothers and a tribute to past KB Presidents. The Banquet Program, prepared by Mike Hoff, is a true keepsake and contains very important historical information commemorating the upcoming 80th anniversary of our fraternity in 2017. The Kappa Kronicle, prepared by Alan Barocas and Brian Pope, included Member Profiles and was enjoyed by all. The banquet favor was a windbreaker with the KB crest embroidered on it. We all enjoyed a delicious black forest cake for dessert, decorated with the KB crest. Thanks to Paul Michel for making all the arrangements for the DJ—he was great. Although no one did the “Bug’, many Brothers showed that they had not lost their moves on the dance floor. Others were harmonizing with the 50’s and 60’s tunes played by our DJ.
Special Messages, Remembrances and Reflections:
The success of this reunion cannot be measured totally by just the number of attendees. One of the goals of the Reunion Committee has been to update the KB Directory and to play some part in re-connecting Brothers and to renew those special bonds that began for some of us over 50 years ago. I have made over 100 changes in the directory and hopefully have encouraged brothers to reach out and contact that special brother from the past. I have been privileged to have been in contact with over 150 brothers over the past many months, including Herman Kleine ’41, Sol Greenberg ’43, Calvin Zippin ’47, Malcolm “Mickey” Slakter ‘50, Max Fallek ’51,and Herb Thier ’53. Many Brothers who could not attend wanted me to express their best wishes to their Brothers. Some wanted me to convey special messages, remembrances and reflections to all. I have attached all these messages. They will also be posted on the KB website.
I apologize for the length of this “summary”. I tried my best to be “brief”, but there is just too much to tell you. I know that I have omitted something—such as the wonderful Nano Tech Tour arranged for just KB Brothers, and the “visit to the past” provided by Paul Michel’s items on the memorabilia table.
Well, from all the emails I have received, I believe that the reunion was a success, on many different levels. I hope you enjoyed this summary and that you will “visit” the KB website to view more interesting information about our Brotherhood.
In conclusion, as Mike Hoff so eloquently stated in his welcome remarks at the banquet:
“First, to paraphrase Supreme Court Justice Potter Steward, I may have failed to explain our brotherhood, but I know it when I see it, and I see it here. Second, when the founders named the fraternity Kappa Beta almost 80 years ago they got it right. We are B’nai Chaim, Brothers For Life.”
Roy Cameron ’68
B’nai Chaim, Brothers for Life