Pi Lam brothers reunite
By Tina Paknejad '10
Alumni of Pi Lambda Phi know the fraternity stands for more than a good time. The Pi Lam reunion at Homecoming 2009 shows the fraternity, above all else, is a brotherhood, extending its embrace beyond the four years of college, connecting one another in a network of support.
Steven Riegler '92 (pictured with his family) witnessed a true testament to the fraternity's idea of brotherhood when he received an e-mail from a brother who had recently lost his job.
Riegler, a founding father of the Pi Lambda Phi chapter at Binghamton, put the networking abilities of the community to the test, immediately sending an email to more than 300 alumni. The Pi Lam alums pooled their resources together, connecting the unemployed brother with four interviews within the next two weeks.
“The network is so important once you graduate, especially in this economy,” Riegler said. “The fact that we could get together and help this guy out, it is just phenomenal.”
That wasn't the first time alumni came to the support of a fellow brother. In honor of the late Steven Siegel '01, MBA '02, the fraternity organized a picnic fundraiser, giving proceeds to the Ronald McDonald House, a charity near and dear to the hearts of the Siegel family, which provided them with tremendous support during Siegel's battle with cancer.
The men of Pi Lambda Phi hold themselves and the name of their fraternity in high esteem. Throughout Homecoming, their up-lifted spirits and personable characters drew the attention of many alumni spectators. Marc Rosa '01 was excited to return to campus to celebrate the fraternity's 20th anniversary.
“Weekends like this are very few and far between,” Rosa said. “For me to get away with my buddies, literally call them up, and say, 'We are getting a little bit older, this is what we got to do' is rare. Moments like this, you jump on them.”
Riegler, who coordinated the Pi Lam reunion activities, was thrilled at the success of the weekend. When able to relax and enjoy himself, he noted how everyone was laughing and smiling with one another. Perhaps it is the mutual understanding and natural desire to better the fraternity in every way possible that makes turnouts for specific reunion groups such as Pi Lambda Phi so successful.
“It makes me really, really happy that these guys are still one of the best-liked fraternities on campus,” Riegler said. “I meet a lot of people where I live on Long Island who go to Binghamton, whether it's now or over the past 20 years. When I tell them I was a founding father of Pi Lam, they tell me 'Oh, those guys, they are just a great bunch of guys,' and that's great. It makes me feel good.”