Brothers - We sent the below message out via email today, if you didn't get it, please check your spam and junk folders or let us know what your updated email is.
I thought today appropriate to write an update for everyone. As Drew, Scott, Bret, McCoy, Jeff, Jeff, Jeff, Jimmy, Fred, Dustin, Tony, and Dallas may remember – it was 15 years ago today in the early morning hours that we were initiated. In quite the contrast to the weather we had this week – it was frigid that night, I remember it quite well, waiting to pass through that final gate. My first thought is holy crap, I’ve been a Kappa Sig for 15 years. In that 15 years I’ve gone from undergraduate to undergraduate officer, back to undergraduate who cut a dog-door in a closet, to alumnus, to board member and finally board president. Each of those steps along the way contributed to my life, the choices I make, the husband I am, the father I am, the friend I am – the man I am. I won’t dwell much longer on my initiation anniversary but I want to say thank you to each of the 12 other men I listed above for doing it with me. We’ve encountered Baldwin City’s finest together, graduated together, vacationed together, had many a party together, and been at funerals together (we miss you Jeff). You stood at my wedding, and you gave me the honor of standing at yours. I’ve held your children, you’ve held mine – and we have done it all together as brothers just as we started 15 years ago. Thank you for being my brothers – to the initiates of 2002 and all other years; I know you all have the same memories and experiences.
Active Chapter Update:
I am extremely happy to report the active chapter is strong. Exceedingly strong. There are currently 34 initiates, with 20 living in the house. They have identified five men as a spring rush class as well. They plan to have over 30 men living in the freshly renovated house next fall. Thanks to an amazing executive committee, their finances are strong, their path forward is bright, and they make me excited to help them grow and learn what being a Kappa Sigma is about. The current in-house GPA is over 3.1, which is 1st on campus. The members are involved in virtually every facet of campus, from our nationally ranked football, soccer, and other teams to various fine arts, leaders, and scholars. They are excited for upcoming events such as pig fry, the spring formal, and not to mention spring break.
What got us started
We hired Pennington and Company to perform a Feasibility study on our vision ($10K), We initiated a large-scale capital campaign, contracting Pennington to help get us going ($72K), and began planning, designing, and campaigning. Our original architect got out of the business and we had to start over. We hired Jay Zimmerschied ($21K) to develop all drawings, plans, get permits, approvals, and help find general contractors.
What we’ve completed
As I’ve said in previous updates, we have completed several upgrade projects, unfortunately most of which aren’t noticeable. We upgraded the entire electrical system in the house (~$20K), we added main-floor laundry facilities ($3K), we sealed all attic HVAC connections and added insulation up to R-38 ($14K), we gutted and renovated the south hallway bathroom ($70K), we installed a new water feed line from the city connection at the street ($16K), we installed a whole-house fire suppression system ($30K).
Where we are going
We have officially hired Triangle Builders out of Paola, KS as our general contractor for the house renovations. Jay Zimmerschied has been absolutely amazing as our architect in helping plan every small detail and step. Jay has coordinated with countless engineers, contractors, and municipalities. As you know, we have taken out a construction loan with the help of Robert Maxwell at Kaw Valley Bank. We have had to re-scope the current renovations based on the loan amount and updated bids we received from the contractors. At this point in time, we are proceeding with the dining hall renovation and expansion, the library expansion, and the new guest restroom area in the front of the house. Those phases will tie in the refresh of each residential hallway with new carpet, door jambs, doors, paint, and lighting. That is as far as our current funds can take us. We have the architectural plans and GC bids to complete the entire entry foyer area and basement remodels but can’t move forward without your help. As you can see – we’ve spent well over $200,000 so far and are about to spend another $230,000. Based on our GC bid, we anticipate the new stairs and basement work with cost another $69K, plus $95K for new basement bathrooms and chapter room.
Thank you to all whom have supported our campaign, your generosity continues to amaze me. That said – we have a long way to go. I know many of you are hesitant to donate until you see physical progress I can tell you that progress has started and won’t be stopped now. Lastly, I know many of you were able to make it to the services held for brother Alan Mauch. Alan was an extremely private man that most of us never knew well enough. I remember one of the first conversations I had with Alan. It was at the annual Baker Scholarship Gala (wish they’d bring those back). Alan approached me and said – I know you – you’re a Kappa Sig. I had seen him at STAG virtually every year, maybe had been introduced once before, but he knew I was a Kappa Sig. I felt like the freshman that was recognized by the popular Senior (so maybe I was nearly 30 years old at the time). That was Alan to me, he noticed people and remembered them. He was a good steward for Baker and Kappa Sigma and he will be sorely missed.
SAVE THE DATE – STAG 2017 will be here before you know it. This year it is Saturday, May 20th. The house will be under construction through STAG into the summer so come see the progress!! As usual, a large group of brothers will start the day with a round of Golf at Hidden Springs in Overbrook. Call three brothers to make a foursome, come and enjoy a low-pressure, high-stakes (pride of course) round of golf before heading to the house.
Evan Durnal ‘02