27 years ago a group of alumni gathered to play golf and catch up, but over nearly 3 decades, this tradition of friendship has transformed into an entire cross-generational alumni culture for these Omicron alumni. These brothers not only gather to cultivate their Psi Upsilon bonds, but also give back to the community while doing so.
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In 1992, four Brothers from University of Illinois – Champaign Urbana, were participating in a spring break-remembrance of friendship, golf, and fun, but little did they know that 27 years later the trip would become not only their tradition, but grow into a cross-generational, annual alumni gathering.
Omicron brothers from graduating years ranging from 1960 to the late 1980s continue to get together for the same reason as the original four, creating bonds that will last a lifetime. Over the years it has gained popularity, encouraging brothers to stay united and become better
After some time, the location has changed on a few occasions: Napa, Las Vegas, San Antonio, New Orleans, Tampa, Naples, Phoenix. There are newcomers, and every year, between four and eight join this traditional alumni getaway weekend. Although golf was the foundation of the gathering when it originally started, the group has expanded the focus of the trip to one of service, allowing brothers to step back into their philanthropic roots of Psi Upsilon members.
The group now gathers to build houses with Habitat for Humanity, but still makes time for a round or two of golf. After staying in touch yearlong via texts and emails, this upcoming November the group will return to Naples for their annual gathering. They all share responsibilities for the planning of the trip: one brother takes charge of meal planning to enjoy the foods they normally don’t allow themselves to eat, another plans the service project, and another secures tee times.
This group has remained close over the last 3 decades, supporting each other through marriages, kids, parents passing, illnesses of spouses, and even losing their own Brothers.
During their trip in San Francisco, the group was able to connect with other Omicron Chapter brothers that live in the area. One of the original four, Matt Hower, recalls one round of golf he’ll never forget.
“We had made tee times for the Golden Gate Park Golf Course and couldn’t figure out why it was so easy to get tee times. Then we teed off on the first hole – right into a thick horizon of fog. The first nine holes we were completely fogged in. That made it quite challenging to keep our eye on our golf balls.”
Hower is grateful for all the Omicron Brothers he’s met throughout the years during this annual gathering. He encourages other chapters to create a special tradition for their alumni to bond with each other as well, regardless of when they initiated.
“Keep it interesting and get to know guys well. It’s a chance to be laid back, have fun, and enjoy no responsibilities… even if for just a few days.”