Welcome Home, Boys

The First Annual Alumni Dinner for Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, an event 45 years in the making, was held last week by the brothers of the Theta-Sigma chapter at St. John’s. The dinner served as an opportunity to bring together some of the 612 initiated members, as well as the 24 new members.

With more than 50 alumni and current members present, the dinner was a chance for the brothers of TKE, old and new, to get to know each other and bond over their shared brotherhood in the organization.

Current TKE President Sean Copello, who was responsible for planning the event, reminded the brothers that, “Above all else, TKE stands for men. Not for wealth, rank or honor, but for personality and character.”

Lou Carnesecca, famed former men’s basketball coach and a TKE alumnus, displays the character traits expressed by Copello and served as the keynote speaker. Prior to the start of the dinner, numerous alumni approached Carnesecca to tell him how much his career had inspired them and what having him as a brother of TKE meant to them.

Carnesecca said that seeing so many members of the Theta-Sigma chapter together was “wonderful” and he was happy that the dinner was able to bring all of the brothers back together. He cited the camaraderie and fellowship of the organization as the reason for his involvement, and said that he was impressed with the current group of brothers.

“They make us proud,” Carnesecca said, adding that seeing all the men together for the first time made him proud to have taken the feeling of fellowship with him after graduating.

He expressed this feeling best during his keynote speech, in which he said: “Who remembers the games? The wins and the losses? It’s the wonderful relationships [that you remember].”

For Carnesecca, and dozens more, those relationships were formed with other brothers of Tau Kappa Epsilon.

“This event was enormous for the fraternity,” said Lawrence King, a current member of TKE. “By bringing us close together we were able to provide opportunities to network and understand what the fraternity is as more than just the actives and recent alumnus that many of us know. Any time that you can bring back people who graduated over 30 years ago and still have the same bond with those who were freshmen last year is truly special.”

In addition to forming bonds with the current brothers, the alumni members continually praised the character of the present active members and the work they are doing. Chapter advisor Tom Locascio, for example, told the group how proud he was of Copello and the other members for eliminating a $35,000 debt that had existed since the early 1990’s and for putting the chapter back in good standing with the Grand Chapter.

“Over the past year, TKE has truly seen the absolute high of highs and low of lows,” King said. “This fraternity was able to take a really low period in our history and make a real opportunity out of defeat.”

With such a positive attitude, and a number of goals set forth for the coming year, TKE is sure to have a bright future at St. John’s.