Chapter History

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Chronology

The history of the Iota Pi chapter starts in the Spring of 1991. It was during that quarter that the Symphonic Band went on tour to Arizona and played a concert at Arizona State University. While the band was there they met members of the Beta Omicron chapter and decided to start the colonization process at Cal Poly with sixteen colonizing members. The officers were:

  • Erin Burke – President
  • Brian Parker – Vice President
  • Tiffany Harris – Secretary
  • Matt Lerner – Treasurer
  • Amy Alger – Historian
  • Mark Degenkolb – Historian

Two of the colonizing members, Heidi Heber and Chris Zielke, left the school but Chris continued with the colonization process after he had graduated and became Iota Pi’s first Honorary Member. This colonization process was a yearlong project that included the creation of the Petitioning Document. This involved researching the history of Cal Poly and the history of the Bands and writing backgrounds for each of the colonizing members. The group also had to create a constitution and by-laws. During this time the group met with the National Secretary, Tim Greenwell, and met their big bros from the Iota Alpha chapter at CSU Fresno. The brothers of Iota Alpha were also in charge of the education and initiation of the Iota Pi chapter. Iota Alpha was also in charge of the Western District Convention that year in which five of the colonizing members attended. That summer, two of the colonizing members attended the National Convention at the University of Maryland.

The following Spring the group finally finished the colonization process and were officially chartered the Iota Pi chapter on April 5, 1992, what is known as Founder’s Day, with fourteen members plus one honorary. The installation was done by the then National Vice President for Colonization and Membership, Melvin Miles Jr. That same Spring the new Iota Pi chapter traveled to the Gamma Kappa and Alpha Chi chapters at Northern Arizona University for the Western District Convention. At this convention the chapter won the bid for the Accent and Erin Burke won District Secretary-Treasurer.

The next year began the recruitment process for the Beta class. The Beta class had seven prospective members led by Dave Reuterskiold as class President, Eric Lorenzen as Vice President and Susan Wian as Secretary-Treasurer. The Chapter Field Representative, Casey Blankenship also paid a visit that fall. In the Winter quarter the chapter held a retreat in Lake Tahoe and expelled one member for one year due to intra-chapter problems working with this member. The six members of the Beta class were then initiated on Jan 31, 1993. That Spring the Western District Convention was at Utah State University and the Iota Pi chapter won the bid to host the District Convention in 1994 and Brian Parker won the office of District President. Erin Burke also received the J. Lee Burke Student Achievement Award. Upon their return, the chapter initiated Alyson McLamore as an Honorary Member on April 5, 1993.

In the Summer of 1993, the National Convention was held by the Gamma Pi and Beta Sigma chapters at Purdue University. Four members of the Iota Pi chapter attended the event and all four of them were seated as delegates which is the first and only time that that has happened. The chapter also received the Delegate Distance Award. In the fall the one expelled member returned and the search for the Gamma class began yielding eight prospective members. The class was led by Dan Harrelson as President and Shelly Schweigerdt as Secretary. In the winter of 1994 there was a severe intra-chapter personality struggle that caused a lot of tension and loss of membership. In the end only nine active members and two prospective members were left. After another visit by the Chapter Field Representative, Casey Blankenship, the chapter initiated the Gamma class on February 7, 1994. That Spring has been called “Hell Revisited” and in the end only four active members were left and Brian Parker was appointed Executive Officer. So with only four members and four alumni the Iota Pi chapter hosted the Western District Convention and initiated William V. Johnson as an Honorary Member at the convention on April 9, 1994. That Spring also saw the initiation of the Delta class on June 5, 1994 with one member, Doug Mayer. Doug Mayer was elected Executive Officer four days later.

Doug Mayer returned that Fall as the Executive Officer and in the Winter of 1995 there were five prospective members in the Epsilon class. Iota Pi was supposed to host California State Days that year but it was cancelled due to massive flooding. In the Spring the chapter traveled to the Theta Pi chapter at Brigham Young University for the Western District Convention. It was there that the Epsilon Class was initiated on April 8, 1995. That Summer, National Convention was hosted by the Alpha Eta chapter of University of Florida and the Gamma Nu chapter of Florida State University. Only one alumnus attended the convention.

The Fall of 1995 marked the appearance of the Zeta class led by President Jason Frey. Then in the Winter that class of seven was initiated on February 21, 1996. That Winter also saw the second California State Days cancellation at Iota Pi due to rain.

The Fall of 1996 the Chapter initiated its fourth Honorary Member. David Rackley was initiated on November 15, 1996. The Eta class was then initiated on February 2, 1997. Next came the Theta class represented by their Speaker, Brian Pietsch. The chapter was then visited by the Chapter Field Representative and Iota Pi alumnus Brian Parker before heading to San Diego for the District Convention. The convention was attended by all eighteen actives and six of seven prospectives. Once there, the chapter won the Chapter Distance Award and Mark Searby won District Secretary-Treasure but the chapter lost the bid for the Accent. Once the chapter returned the seven members of the Theta class were initiated on May 19, 1997. The chapter then held the first ever Spring Formal on May 23, which soon became the annual Musician’s Ball. That Summer, the National Convention was hosted by the University of Arizona, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University. The Iota Pi chapter won the Chapter Participation Award.

That Fall the ten prospective members of the Iota class gave each member an officer based on chess pieces. The class was initiated on November 30, 1997. That Spring, District Convention was held at the University of California Los Angeles. At this convention, Mark Searby ran for District President but was elected Member at Large and the chapter lost the bid for the 1999 Convention.

The Winter of 1999 marked the first ever Western District Leadership Conference, held at Arizona State University. The conference was attended by four prospective members of the Kappa Class. The class of thirteen, led by Co-speakers Leslee Derahian and Carolyn Soderberg and Secretary Heather Jensen, was initiated on February 28, 1999. That Spring the District Convention was hosted by the Iota Gamma and Theta Delta chapters of Washington State University but was held in Coeur d’Alene. At the convention, Diana Puig won Western District Secretary-Treasurer and the chapter won the bid for District Convention 2000.

That Summer, National Convention was in St. Louis Missouri hosted by University of Missouri Rolla. In San Luis Obispo, though, the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) was having its big conference and the Iota Pi chapter was there to help.

In the Winter of 2000, the Iota Pi chapter continued to take prospective members to the Leadership Conference. This time the Lambda class had twelve prospectives who used ancient Greek gods as their officer structure. The ten members of the class, led by Kelsey McCarty as Zeus, Rachel Grunsky as Hera and Katie Day as Hermes, were initiated on March 5, 2000. At the District Convention that Spring, held by Iota Pi, Diana Puig ran for District President and Secretary-Treasurer and won Secretary-Treasurer and Ryan Phillips won Member at Large.

In the Winter of 2001, Iota Pi finally got the chance to hold California State Days and it was not raining. The Mu class used buttons of the keyboard to denote the officer structure and the fourteen member class, led by Ethan Larson as Ctrl, Elizabeth Ketterer as Alt and Krysta Johnson as , were initiated on March 4, 2001. That Spring marked the first ever District Convention for Colonization held in Portland, Oregon to try to start new chapters in the state. National Convention was held that Summer in Corpus Christi, Texas. At this convention, the Iota Pi chapter received the Chapter Leadership Award which put the chapter in the running for the Founder’s Trophy, the highest award a chapter can receive for excellence.

In the Winter of 2002, the Nu class was ten members strong led by Representative Myles Bostwick. The class was initiated on March 10, 2002. That Spring the District Convention was held by the Gamma Kappa chapter at Northern Arizona University. At the convention, in addition to being honored with the chapter leadership award, Iota Pi won the bid for the District website, being the first chapter to win it.

Fall of 2002 displayed successful active recruiting methods, as the Xi Class was the first ever to be invited to an exclusive rush event and service project. As a result they were the most successful class in completing their assignments on time. They were represented by a superhero theme with Aaron Azevedo as powdered toast man and Lyndsey Krutein. In the spring Heta Mu and Zeta Xi joint chapters hosted the Western District Convention in San Diego. Here Iota Pi celebrated another year of success in winning the bid for Convention for Colonization Host Chapter, another Chapter of The Year award, and two officer positions. Krysta Johnson was elected Western District President, and Corey Downum was elected Western District Vice President. Also Jeralee Anderson received the AEA scholarship for her outstanding contributions to the organization.

Summer of 2003 the National Convention was held in Norfolk, Virginia. Iota Pi represented the school and the District very well with a nomination for a founder’s trophy, 2 committee chairs, and two delegate seats. Their sponsor William Johnson was appointed Vice President for Professional Relations.

Winter of 2004 brought about the initiation of the Omicron Class, complete with a Transformers theme. The Service Project was headed up by Amanda Witko, Fundraising by Harrison Wolf, and History by Amy Schultz. The chapter continued in tradition by road-tripping to District Leadership Conference (Dealy) in Logan, Utah, hosted by Iota Iota and Theta Eta.

Iota Pi hosted the Western District Convention for Colonization in Spring 2004, in Santa Clara, California. This experimental event was not as successful in terms of recruiting as had been anticipated, but helped the District refine its methods of acquiring colonies.

In Winter 2005, the Pi Class was initiated. Road trips included Boise State University for District Leadership Conference and University of Arizona for District Convention shortly after the start of spring quarter. To serve the bands, they overhauled the instrument room, headed up by Adam Brover. Adding to the wealth of ways to make money at Iota Pi’s disposal, the Pi class started the TV taping audience participation fundraiser, organized by Andrea Sisk. In an ambitious, much anticipated, and long time coming DVD, the workings and history of the Pi class were forever immortalized, led by Steve Becraft.

At the 2005 National Convention, Cal Poly sent six people to the National Intercollegiate Band, four of which were members of Iota Pi. This strong turn out led to Cal Poly receiving the “National Intercollegiate Band F. Lee. Bowling Award.” Iota Pi had received the Chapter Leadership Award for the third biennium that year, but was not awarded the William Scroggs Founder’s Trophy.

The Tau Membership class was initiated on March 9,2008 with 9 members. The class traveled to Arizona for DLC and to Boise State University for District Convention that year. Their projects included selling "Cal Poly Music" sweatpants as a fundraiser and hosting the very first Musical Carnival at Sunshimer Elementary School. Inspired by previous classes' themes. the Tau class adopted a "Finding Nemo" theme and nicknamed each member of the class accordingly.

In Spring of 2009 Iota Pi hosted Western District Convention at which the Upsilon class was initiated. The National President at the time, Malinda M. Matney, gave the new class the membership charge. The Upsilon class raised over $900 with their Lincolns for Lincolns fundraiser. The class also hosted a day long music camp for the Gonzales middle school and high school in coordination with director and Alpha member Brian Parker.

In Spring of 2010 the Phi class was initiated.

In Spring of 2011 the Chi class was initiated.

In Spring of 2012 the Psi class was initiated. This class nicknamed themselves the 'Brosidons' and consisted of twenty new Bros. The 2011-2012 school year marked the second year in which Iota Pi decided to initiate a relatively large class, and thus these new Bros encompassed a fairly large portion of the chapter. The Brosidon's history project consisted of a 'scrapbook' that portrayed an unforeseen and nifty fact about each new Bro. A cool fundraising project sparked, also by the Brosidons, that consisted of blue wristbands with the words 'Peace.Love.Music' engraved in white. This was a pretty cool project because this left Iota Pi with the opportunity to portray and share their love for music with fellow Chapters during conventions and gatherings. A major service project Iota Pi accomplished this year was remodeling and organizing Cal Poly's music library. This was huge project that required months of planning and dedication from the chapter, and therefore this project led to Iota Pi receiving the 'For Service Sake' award at WDC that Spring. Iota PI also had the opportunity to re-vamp the music booth for Cal Poly's Open House weekend.

The Spring of 2013 saw the Omega class initiated. Choosing the title of Omegaladons, they undertook the projects of sorting the Choral Library at Paso Robles High School, designing a new Mustang Band logo, as well as monogramming it to backpacks, as well as a new trivia night. This year, Iota Pi hosted a very successful DLC, under the leadership of Chloe Cruz. Additionally, many members braved the frozen north to attend WDC, held in Boise. Despite all these happenings, the biggest event this year was the Run For Music, a 5k fun run that raised money for not only Iota Pi, but local children's music programs.

Iota Pi Founding Fathers

Alpha Class

  1. Erin Burke (President)
  2. Brian Parker (Vice President)
  3. Tiffanie Harris (Secretary)
  4. Matt Lerner (Treasurer)
  5. Amy Alger (Historian)
  6. Mark Degenkolb (Historian)
  7. Guy Elliott
  8. Krista Katusha
  9. Len Kawamoto
  10. James Loesch
  11. Audrey Nissen
  12. David Pott
  13. Maureen Quintana
  14. Doug Sandy

Honorary Member

  1. Chris Zielke

Active Families

Family #2

Sweatshirt: Unnamed line - Navy sweatshirt with solid white letters outlined in silver. White “Iota Pi” script over heart.
Founding Father: Brian Parker
# of Active Members: 2
# of Conditional Members: 0

Family #6

Sweatshirt: Gryffindor line - Black sweatshirt with maroon letters outlined in silver (sparkly if you're a girl!). Iota Pi script monogrammed above the heart.

Strugglepuff Line: Carolina Blue sweatshirt with white letters outlined in dark blue. Gold Iota Pi script monogrammed above the heart.

Slytherin line - Black sweatshirt with green letters outlined in silver. Iota Pi Family 6, Slytherin monogrammed on left sleeve.

Adorable line: Black sweatshirt with plaid letters outlined in silver. Iota Pi script monogrammed above the heart.

Space line: Black sweatshirt with space print letters outlined in silver. Iota Pi script monogrammed above the heart.

Ravenclaw line: Black sweatshirt with blue letters outlined in bronze. Iota Pi script monogrammed above the heart.

Brütal line: Black sweatshirt with grey camouflage letters outlined in bronze. Iota Pi script monogrammed above the heart in blackletter.

Yellow line: Golden Yellow sweatshirt with blue letters outlined in white, Green Iota Pi script monogrammed above the heart.

Historic: Blue sweatshirt with plaid letters outlined in green, Green Iota Pi script monogrammed above the heart.

Founding Father: Mark Degenkolb
# of Active Members: 17
# of Conditional Members: 1

Family #9

Sweatshirt: Generic - Ash/white sweatshirt with solid blue letters outlined in white/black. Either blue or black “Iota Pi” script over the heart.

Classy line - Black sweatshirt with navy letters outlined in gray and stitched in white Historic: Blue sweatshirt with plaid letters outlined in green, Green Iota Pi script monogrammed above the heart.

X-Line - black sweatshirt with flame pattern letters.

Founding Father: Len Kawamoto
# of Active Members: 17
# of Conditional Members: 0

Family #11

Sweatshirt: FTW line - Black drum corps style jacket with green letters down the right side with monogram on the left.

Carda-wins - Black cardigan with purple letters outlined in white on the right and monogram on the left.

WTF line - Ash sweatshirt with blue plaid letters on the left, Iota Pi monogrammed above the heart and Family 11-WTF on the left pocket.

Founding Father: Audrey Nissen
# of Active Members: 12
# of Conditional Members: 0