Pi Kappa Phi tried to get a fraternity house at the University of Miami in 1967.
They raised $10,000 but their membership was down, and their chapter was closed.
Consequently, they used the $10,000 to throw a going out bash.
Almost 40 years later Pi Kappa Phi regained its existence at the university last October. They have 45 members and a newly renovated house, once occupied by Kappa Sigma.
When Pi Kappa Phi President Pietro Bortoletto, a junior, found out that Kappa Sigma was no longer going to be on campus, he contacted alumni and put together a proposal to quickly move into the house they vacated.
“It was a chance to jump on a once in lifetime opportunity,” Bortoletto said.
The frat officially moved in this August, but not before two months of repairing and restoring.
“We spent the entire summer painting, doing electric working, renovating rooms and repairing doors,” Vortoletto said.
The house, built in 1947, now holds 17 Pi Kappa Phi members, and Chef Angel, who prepares lunch and dinner for the boys.
The house boasts a professional volleyball court, barbecue pit, girls’ bathroom, and a library.
During the house opening Sept. 3, the mayor of Coral Gables, Don Slesnick, declared it the official Pi Kappa Phi day in Coral Gables.
Pi Kappa Phi
Before the house and all its new members, recruitment last year brought in a group who had not always considered Greek Life.
“I liked the idea of being a founding father and being remembered at UM,” said Jordan Bregman, a junior and recruitment chair, said.
Vortoletto took interest in the fraternity after learning about their reputation and slogan, CLASS. The acronym stands for character, leadership, academics service and sportsmanship.
“I liked the concept of a well rounded person,” Bortoletto said.
Ian Hest, philanthropy chair, knows Pi Kappa Phi as frat with strong values and is working to make the fraternity unlike any other.
“We have the opportunity to change the way business is done,” Hest said.
Pi Kappa Phi is one of the few fraternities that own and operate its own service organization called Push for America, which spreads awareness and raises funds for people with disabilities.
“We will use the house as a launching pad for service events,” Bortoletto said.
During Push Week, the fraternity will host an empathy dinner, where its members will get a taste of what living with a disability feels like.