Dear Alumnae, Angels and Parents,

               My name is Jeanie Tomeny, and I am the President of the Chapter House Corporation for Vermont Beta. I graduated from the University of Vermont (UVM) in 2008, and have been serving in this role since July of 2013. In this short amount of time, our beloved chapter house has been through a lot. For those of you that don’t know, our house is the only chapter house at UVM that was built for the organization that still inhabits it. Our alumnae raised the money for the chapter house in the 1920’s, purchased the land from UVM in 1930, and the house was built and ready for move-in in October of 1931. The house was intended to be a gift for all past, present, and future Vermont Beta Pi Phi’s. It has served us very well for 83 years, and I plan to keep her standing for at least another 83 years!            

               On November 6, my biggest fear came true –– we had a fire in the chapter house. It gives me goose bumps just writing it. Thankfully, no one was injured, and the in-house women acted quickly to save our cherished home. In fact, their actions were so fast and intelligent, they received a written commendation from the Burlington Fire Department, and the UVM fire marshal. That said, there was significant damage to the upstairs bathroom, as the fire took place in the bathroom ceiling. The fire department used minimal water in the attic and spared further damage to the house. However, because some of the wiring was damaged in the attic, the women were displaced from November 6 until they returned from winter break on January 11. The women ended up spending a total of 29 nights in a hotel. They were troopers, and it’s so amazing to have them home again where they belong!

               While the young women were displaced, I had work crews in the house and had multiple other renovation projects completed. Most of these projects, such as the new kitchen floor, were on my “to-do” list. But, I had planned to complete them over a five-year timeframe. With the fire damage an opportunity presented itself to get more accomplished, so I took it! We also uncovered and fixed some issues I didn’t even know we had yet. Though the fire was a terrifying nightmare, a lot of good has come of it. I now think of the house as a phoenix –– rising anew from the ashes –– better than ever before. For a complete list of recent renovations, see the Housing Renovation List insert.

While the house looks absolutely amazing, and I’ve been told it’s built like Fort Knox, there is still much work to be done. We’ve just discovered we have some plumbing issues outside the house and some of the appliances will need to be replaced in the next year or so. The house could also use a bit of an exterior facelift.

One of these exterior projects is the brick walkway. And here’s where I get to my point –– we’re selling engraved bricks to repave the walkway! We had a bit of help loosening up the current bricks from a nearby fraternity in the fall. Now is as good a time as any to repave it! My goal is to have the work completed this summer. The existing engraved bricks will be put back into the walkway, but we want to add more names! This project will be a win-win-win. More women can have their names and their time at VT Beta commemorated, our walkway will get repaved and we’ll raise the needed funds for this and hopefully future projects. An engraved brick is a great way to “leave your mark” on 369 and would make an excellent graduation gift for our current seniors. It would also be a lovely way to honor your or your daughter’s time and experience as a collegiate member of Pi Beta Phi.


The minimum donation for each brick is $175. You may get your name (maiden and married, if you’d like) and your graduation year engraved on your brick. For current collegians, the expected graduation year is fine or you may leave the year off if you prefer.  Sorry, no rhinestones or glitter. I checked.

We will also be having an open house around the time of Founders’ Day, on April 11. I, and all the amazing women on AAC who have been supporting me through all this, would love for you to come see the house!

In the wine and silver blue,




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