Share this post
FaceBook  Twitter  

Mitch Karig '76 Reflects on Lifelong Benefits of BrotherhoodWhen Mitch Karig '76 arrived at Penn in 1975, he considered himself a sheltered, inexperienced kid, not quite prepared for the real world.  But, a firm believer that happy coincidences exist, Mitch quickly found a place where he fit in at Beta Pi, thanks in large part to his sister, who was in law school with Beta Pi brother, Bruce Wolfson '71.

“I got invited into the house and I loved it,” he recalls. “I never considered living anywhere else and was thrilled to have been accepted.”

For Mitch, being part of Beta Pi and living in the house exposed him to a level of camaraderie that he never experienced before.

“I don’t have any blood brothers,” he explains. “The intensity of the friendships, the camaraderie, even the politics—brotherhood is a very special bond. I will always remember being invited to join and wanting it more than anything.”

While he relished his experience at the time, an older and wiser Mitch now realizes that being a Beta Pi provided him with lifelong blessings.

“As the years have passed, I have come to understand the importance of community and ritual,” he says. “I am grateful beyond words to have friendships that have endured and deepened over the last 40-plus years. At the beginning, we get thrown together in the house, and then you see the miracle of brotherhood—these are wonderful people and I knew I wanted them in my life forever.”

Although he hasn’t been back to the house as often as he’d like, Mitch does hope that once he retires, he will be able to be more involved with the fraternity.

“I’m sorry to say that I’ve missed the last few Founders Day dinners,” he laments. “I used to be more active, until my parents got sick. When Gregg Ormond ’74 died a couple of years ago, I went back for the first time in a long time.”

Mitch didn’t know what to expect, but he certainly wasn’t disappointed.

“I just felt so proud to be a Beta Pi,” Mitch says, recalling his trip back. “The Brothers, the House, and everyone’s commitment to the fraternity was amazing. I didn’t shut up about it for weeks!”

Until the time when Mitch can become more present and involved, he’s committed to giving back to the chapter in small ways.

“I didn’t give enough of my time or money when I was younger,” he admits. “That’s a goal of mine now. I was lucky that Beta Pi and Pi Kappa Alpha were there at Penn, and I want them to be around for generations to come.”