BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany College's Phi Chapter of the Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity traveled to Oxford, Ohio July 20-23 to celebrate the National Convention and Centennial Celebration. Throughout the weekend, the Bethany chapter and members of the fraternity were honored for their contributions to Phi Kappa Tau.

The convention brought individual honors for Sam Vuchenich, who was awarded the Jack L. Anson Undergraduate Award for outstanding interfraternal service and Brian Fernandes who was honored with the Outstanding Greek Advisor Award.

Vuchenich, of Steubenville, Ohio, is currently serving as the Leadership Development Chair on the Interfraternal Council at Bethany and as both the Chaplain and the Philanthropy Chair for the Phi Chapter. Within the chapter, he has also served as Associate Member Class President and Vice President of Alumni Relations. Vuchenich also serves as President of the Student Activities Council and Vice President of the Writers Club at Bethany.

"I credit this award to two people in particular: Don DiPaolo, Leadership Advisor of the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity, and Brian Fernandes," Vuchenich said, “for sparking the positive change which has taken place at Bethany and in Phi, and showing us how to run with it.”

Fernandes, in his first year as Director of Greek Life is entering his fourth year as Advisor to the Student Activities Council and Manager of Renner Union for the college.

An active alumnus of the Beta Iota Chapter of the Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity at California University of Pennsylvania, Fernandes explained the impact that Bethany’s fraternities and sororities have had on him.

”I have been very blessed and honored to take over such a great Greek system. There is so much history and tradition here and it is a wonderful challenge to help it grow and be strong for years to come,” said Fernandes.

Joe Henderson, of Wheeling, W.Va., a 2006 graduate of Bethany, was a finalist for the William H. Shideler Award for the most outstanding graduating senior in Phi Kappa Tau.

As a group, Phi Chapter was once again a finalist for the Roland Maxwell Award for the most outstanding chapter in Phi Kappa Tau, an honor they received in 2004.

“We are really proud of our accomplishments and being honored as a finalist for the Maxwell Award, but I am more proud of what this chapter does on a day-to-day basis,” said Dan Fox, Phi Chapter President.

In a special ceremony on Friday night of the Centennial Celebration, three Bethanians were inducted into the inaugural class of the Phi Kappa Tau Hall of Fame: Albert "Jay" Buckelew, Jr., Chapter Advisor; Robert Goin, a 1959 graduate; and Joel Rudy, a 1962 graduate.

In addition, Phi Faculty Advisor David Rudari was initiated into the fraternity. Rudari, Assistant Professor of Fine Arts-Music at Bethany, began serving as Faculty Advisor to Phi Chapter this past year, assisting Chapter Advisor Buckelew.

“This year with Phi Chapter has been a wonderful series of experiences. I have learned a great deal and gotten to work with and know some outstanding gentlemen in our Campus community," said Rudari. "The invitation to become a Brother of the Chapter was undoubtedly a great honor, but to learn that my initiation would happen at the Centennial Convention – at the place where our fraternity began, made this a capstone experience that I will always cherish.”

Phi Chapter will initiate Rudari again in the fall, repeating the ceremony when the Phi Chapter Resident Council returns to Bethany. Fox added, “It’s been a pleasure getting to know David as a friend of the chapter, and now that he has entered our chapter as a Brother, it’s really exciting for all of us. This second initiation will be more personal, when the whole chapter can be there to witness it.”