Thank you to James Karivalis ’12 for participating in this Q&A.

Why did you join SAE? 
I was first introduced to SAE when I went to go see comedian Steven Singer with Michael DeAngelo ‘10 during my first week of freshman year.  DeAngelo went to St. Augustine Prep with me and we were on the wrestling team together.  I eventually joined SAE out of friendship; by the time rush happened second semester, SAE was the house where I had the most upper-classman friends.  The guys in the house were motivated to succeed academically during the week, but on the weekends, there was always something going on at the house: live concerts, date parties, sorority socials and even Christian “Vegas” Lunoe’s ‘11 attempt to turn the courtyard into a swimming pool.

What is your best SAE memory? 
Golf Night.

How have you been involved in the house? 
My sophomore year I was Social Chairman. I was elected Rush Chairman my junior and senior years. It was a great experience because we were able to make the rush process much more selective over the past three years. When I was a freshman, about 100 guys came out for SAE’s Rush. This year, we had about 450 come out for SAE Rush. We’ve also become the largest fraternity on campus. 

How has your experience living in house been? 
My best memories from college all happened in the SAE house. 

How would your life be different if you never joined SAE? 
I wouldn’t have a place on campus I truly consider home.  Also, SAE has allowed me to meet individuals who challenge me to be the best that I can be.

What other activities are you involved with on campus? 
I’m the President of the Penn Hellenic Association, an organization that connects ethnically Greek students at Penn.  I’m on the committee of the Benjamin Franklin Society, an organization that encourages seniors and young alumni to donate to the Penn Fund.  I serve on the board of GUIDE, a Wharton club that connects Wharton undergraduates with Wharton MBAs.  I’m a member of the Wharton Undergraduate Finance Club and the Preceptorial Committee.  I also play Club Squash.

What has been the best part of your SAE experience? 
My year living in the Chapter House was exciting.  There was always something new happening just downstairs!

What advice would you give to younger brothers at Penn Theta? 
Constantly work to make the house the best that it can be and have an amazing time doing it.

Have you had any direct experience with your alumni?  If so, what was the best part about it? 
Yes. Alumni Beer Die Tournament during my freshman year was really great because I saw all our chapter’s alumni come together and be themselves with their pledge classes. Everybody was having a great time. I saw brothers rekindling bonds who hadn’t seen each other in years. There were over fifty alumni at 3908, and it made me proud to be pledging SAE.

Why is it important for alumni to remain connected with the active chapter? 
One thing that makes Penn Theta great is its active, powerful, and large alumni base.  Our chapter has not only been the longest running Fraternity at Penn (since 1901), but is now the largest fraternity on campus.  I encourage our alumni to return to the chapter house, rekindle old bonds of brotherhood and find themselves on the composites.  Even if you haven’t been back in years, returning to Phi Alpha will be a nostalgic experience.  Kevin Ng ‘04 an ex-Archon, recently visited the chapter after a Morgan Stanley event and spoke to our incoming-rush class after taking a tour of the chapter house. Additionally, the chapter house looks great!  Our library (pool table room) has been newly renovated with a new ceiling, lighting, and a grand piano donated by Tom Stoner ‘56.  

Brothers can connect with James at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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