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Over the off-football weekend of October 9-11, more than 60 brothers from the classes of 1967-1973 — many with their spouses — reunited in Chapel Hill to dedicate and name the newly renovated party room, now christened “The Phipps Robbins Party Room.”

On Friday evening, we gathered for cocktails and dinner at the Weathervane Restaurant at Southern Season. On Saturday, we toured the newly renovated house (which is amazing), enjoyed a barbecue lunch (kindly provided by Chuck Robbins ’69) and assembled for the seated dedication ceremony. Saturday evening, we gathered again for cocktails and dinner, this time at the elegant Dubose House at the Rizzo Center (a few notches up from the typical Phi Delt venue). The cocktails and dinners were great fun. Everyone looked the same as in college (although the name tags were an excellent idea for those of us with early dementia). The house looked far better than during our time there (despite the lack of a phone booth).

Stewart Wilson ’68, suave as always, served as the master of ceremonies during Saturday’s dedication. Stewart welcomed the assembled crowd and then asked Sam Clements, the current house president, to provide a state of the house address. Sam, along with Vice President Louis Stephens, thanked all the donors for the successful capital campaign and fantastic house renovation. They explained why the Phi Delt house remains the best on campus with nearly 90 brothers and pledges who raised over $120,000 for the Eve Carson fund and recorded an average cumulative GPA over 3.3.

Special thanks was given to Brother Steve Bell ’67 for his support of the capital campaign and must-see house renovations

Members of the Reunion Organizing Committee then recognized and presented plaques to brothers Randy Worth ’68, Ronnie Bagwell ’68, and Bob Page ’52 in appreciation for their many years of service on the NC Beta Foundation. Without the steadfast surveillance and supervision of Brother Page over the past 40 years, God only knows if the house would even exist today.

Of course, the capital campaign, house renovation and reunion weekend would never have happened without the passion and generosity of Steve Bell ’67. Speaking for all of us, Bob Page recognized Steve for his unparalleled support of the Phi Delt house and presented him with an inscribed photograph that will hang henceforth in the main foyer of the house. Steve, many thanks from all of us! I think you need a new nickname, perhaps “The Steve” — sort of like that other real estate tycoon. Steve recently said we have raised about $815,000 and will pay off the bank loan in December.

The Classes of 1967-1973 honored brothers who have entered The Chapter Grand.

Next, we honored four special brothers who are no longer with us: Mathew Mason (remembered by Bob Page), Andy Galyon ’68 (remembered by Stewart Wilson), John Barber ’68 (remembered by Randy Worth) and Emmett Stoval ’70 (remembered by Bill Spry ’68, reading with embellishment the written remarks of Bert Bahnson ’68, unable to attend).

We then turned to the dedication. Stewart began by welcoming and recognizing former Phi Delt Sweetheart Pam Phipps and Melanie Robbins along with their children and grandchildren. Garnett Smith ’69 did a wonderful job memorializing his classmate Gene Phipps ’69, and Juno Brantley ’70 did an equally great job memorializing his classmate Bill Robbins ’70. Gene, Bill and Juno had grown up in the same neighborhood in Rocky Mount, and Garnett had never heard of Rocky Mount when he joined the Phi Delt house. Juno recounted his serial post-midnight kitchen break-ins and pantry thefts with Bill and how they were finally caught by “Clean Gene,” who was the house president. Garnett recalled how Gene showed leadership early by “volunteering” to take the top bunk and leave Dr. Robert Steele ’69 on the bottom. What appeared to be a “nice gesture” was really Gene knowing that on the top bunk, he would escape the leathery hand of the “human alarm clock” (Reeter Skeeter), who would have a difficult time reaching Gene on the top bunk. All kidding aside, Gene and Bill were great brothers and longtime friends of many of us. We miss them both, and we hope that the dedication of the party room in their names caused their souls to smile.

In the words of Harry Bryant ’70, “What a well planned, meaningful and eventful weekend. I’m so proud to be a Phi for all these years. Right Boy!” That captures it for me. If you graduated in the classes of 1967-1973 and missed this one, you might want to contact Pokey Adams ’70 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) to get a copy of the slideshow he created that will remind you of the crazy, jejune and fun life we experienced among a special group of people. As Juno remarked, we took it all for granted at the time. Little did we know that the phrase “Yours in the Bond” would grow in meaning as our lives progressed. If you are not class of 1967-1973, follow our example. Organize a reunion, remember your lost brothers and celebrate your Phi Delt friends. You will love it.