DGT Alumni Association's 2017 Annual Report

Strengthening 'connection' among members and with our Alma Mater

Alumni Program Task Force engages as a 'think tank' to increase connection among members

2017, as depicted in photos included in this article (click on photo to view all), pointed to the potential for successfully connecting and re-connecting DGT members on a grander scale. Captured are two Delta Gamma Theta brothers, Chase Hill and Harold Bernstein, and their families, gathered for lunch in Dallas to meet each other for the first time ever. John Comiskey and Marty Nystrom had not been to the House in decades until Pratt Alumni Day 2017. Also at the annual reunion, 10 brothers pose for the camera in the Chapter Room. That group represents five of the last six decades-50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and 00s. The Thanksgiving Dinner gathering took place at nearby Putnam's Pub & Cooker. Bro. Pete Schirling, one of the first members to live at the House, and his bride, were visiting from Japan. They just had to come back to the House where Pete then reminisced and glimpsed at the mug with his name on it. Ariane Williams, a Spring 2016 Gallery House Intern, returns to support the program and experience the exhibit of a subsequent class of Interns. Two Fall 2017 interns, Rddhima Goylan and Adam Colello, smile for the camera. Finally, in the last image, Paul Fletcher and Aika Mukhambetova, both DGT alumni, are actively involved in making Gallery House happen.

Volunteers Opportunity

DGT looks forward to a future of more of these moments, for more DGT Alumni, in many more places than New York City.  In early 2017 a Special Task Force of DGT Alumni was established to develop recommendations to build on the success DGT Alumni Association has had since 2013 in re-connecting and engaging its members who were once undergraduate fraternity or sister-sorority members, or since 2015, Gallery House Interns. The Task Force came up with a plan, released in early 2018.  The Plan has objectives and a timeline organized under five goals: (1) DGT Member List and Member Information Easily Accessible to Members; (2) Distance Engagement Through Live Video Streaming from the House; (3) Make the DGT Website a More functional and Valuable Tool (for member connection and re-connection); (4) Regional and Out-of-state Member Get-togethers and Reunions; and, (5) Recover Missing Names and Contact Information for Members. 

There is an opportunity for DGT Alumni to volunteer as many hours or as few hours as you may have to carry out the plan. The tasks are all not time sensitive.  There is an opportunity for all members, inclusive of individuals with skills, interest and experience in the field of communications (including webmaster, website administration, digital graphics design, blogging, and data entry and management). Volunteers are sought to research and obtain contact information for members, or to recover, catalog and display documents and artifacts of historical interest to DGT.  Alumni members interested in planning or supporting the organizing of reunions, regionally or at the house, are also being sought. To explore how you could help, from wherever you are on planet earth, contact Gil Gerald, Secretary, by email to ggerald@dgtaa.org. 

 

Alumni Affairs, Office of Student Affairs, Center for Career and Professional Development, and Department Chairs serve as key points of engagement with Pratt Institute in 2017.

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In 2017 DGT continued a tradition of service to and collaboration with Pratt Institute. As indicated in the DGT Foundation's Annual Report, Gallery House is working effectively with various Pratt Departments and organizational units, especially Alumni Affairs, Center for Career and Professional Development, and Department Chairs. DGT Alumni Association coordinates with Alumni Affairs to participate in and contribute to the success of the Annual Pratt Alumni Day program. Pictured above, in early 2018, Pratt Institute rents the gallery space to host a daylong meeting of Department Chairs. The group requested the use of the space, and consequently DGT became a vendor to Pratt, perhaps for the first time. 

2017 Finances

Income

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In 2017 DGT Alumni Association's income totaled $88,427, mostly from rental income (97.7%). All other sources, including member and non-member donations, dues, and interest totaled $2,037 (2.3%). Significantly, direct public support, including members donations, and other individual and business contributions,  doubled from the previous year, increasing from $798.00 in the previous year to $1,490 in 2017. Similarly, as detailed in the 2017 Profit and Loss Statement, income from membership dues increased from $375 total in 2016 to $547 in 2017. Higher income in 2018 can be anticipated as 2017 was marked by higher than usual turnover in tenants with a resulting higher than usual vacancy and less than optimal income. DGT Alumni are increasingly responding, year by year, to solicitations to support DGT through donations and annual dues payments. The donations and dues received in 2017 were matched by additional donations made by these same members to DGT Foundation, the tax-exempt non-profit arm of DGT. For additional detail view the Balance Sheet for December 31, 2017 and the DGT Alumni Association's Federal Tax Return for 2017.

Expense

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DGT Alumni Association expended $93,834 in 2017 with a resulting pre-tax net operating income of -$5,407, a loss, as shown on the 2017 Income and Expense Statement. The loss was primarily due higher than usual renter turnover and resulting additional vacancy days at the DGT Home at 272 Clinton Ave., in Brooklyn, NY. There were also higher than usual costs for repair and upgrades to building systems. These expenses are reflected in higher contract services costs, and also in capital expenditures and depreciation costs detailed in the DGT Balance Sheet for 2017.  At year's end, DGT had increased liabilities in the form of a credit card balance of $28,846. These funds were used primarily to cover capital expenditures mandated by building code requirements uncovered as part of a scheduled five-year, New York Fire Department inspection of the fire sprinkler system. The water main for the system, from the street to the house had to be replaced to meet current code requirements. A real challenge for the future is the need to raise significant capital funds for restoration and renovation work. In 2014 those cost were estimated at $1.25 million and are likely higher now. For additional detail, view the Balance Sheet for December 31, 2017 and the DGT Alumni Association's Federal Tax Return for 2017.

Replacement of the water main for the fire sprinkler system

2017's major capital investment

(click of photo to view all) A required 5-year inspection of the fire sprinkler system by the New York Fire Department uncovered the need to replace the main valve for the sprinkler system. Complications in replacing the valve led to further discovery that repairs would necessitate replacing the water line, from the city's main supply line back to the house. Repairs required an upgrade of the line to meet current code requirements. These and other repairs required the expenditure of an unanticipated $28K.

Thank You!

Active DGT Alumni members: Chuck Anderson, Ryan Baker, Harold Bernstein, William Border, Lance Bottari, Stan Brown, David Cerame, Yuda Drattler, Martin Eskow, Rodney Finkle, Tom Fiorella, Paul Fletcher, Vern Ford, Christine Friello-Fini, Gil Gerald, Jason Grefski, Ken Haber, Alan S. Hansen, Chase Hill, Ira Holst, Douglas Kupfer, Ramon Lacomba, Jon Levy, Bruce McKenzie, Michael Madia, Chas Martin, Marcus McLaurin, John Pagan, Fr. Michael Perry, Luis F. Rivera, Jr., Joe Pierz, Peter Schirling, Richard Shankey, Eric St. James-Lopez, Alexa Telano, Frank Verni, Diane Vita, James Vita, Thomas Wong, Chris Worsley and Josh Yavelberg. Donors to DGT Alumni Association: Ryan Baker, John Comiskey, Lance Bottari, Chris Duggan, Yuda Drattler, Marty Eskow, Vernon Ford, Christine Friello-Fini, Kostas Gerakaris,  Gil Gerald, Jason Grefski, Paul Fletcher, Kenneth Hebel, Chase Hill, Michael Madia, Austin Lawther, Anne Marie Michael, Elycia Lerman, Howard Lee, and Thomas Wong. In-kind services: HYBEK (Ira Holst)  Volunteers: Asa Maria Camnert, Tom Fiorella, Paul Fletcher, Vern Ford, Gil Gerald, Aika Mukhambetova, Eric St. James-Lopez, and Tom Wong. Exhibitors in the Annual DGT Alumni Exhibit: Manuel Castedo, Chris Duggan, Maria de Los Angeles, Paul Fletcher, Charles Martin, Robert Pasternak, Alan Rand, Carl Saieva, and Alexa Telano.

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DGT Foundation's 2017 Annual Report

Strengthening our signature program, Gallery House

Evaluation and planning: the focus of Spring Semester 2017

 Aika Aigherim, Co-lead Coach, Gil Gerald, DGT Foundation Board President, and Asa Maria Camnert, Co-lead Coach. Asa and Aika, former interns of Gallery House, emerged out of the spring 2017 program evaluation and planning process to lead the program in Fall 2017.

Aika Aigherim, Co-lead Coach, Gil Gerald, DGT Foundation Board President, and Asa Maria Camnert, Co-lead Coach. Asa and Aika, former interns of Gallery House, emerged out of the spring 2017 program evaluation and planning process to lead the program in Fall 2017.

In 2014, DGT Alumni Association formed DGT Foundation to carry out charitable activities consistent with the DGT Alumni Association's mission and vision. The mission of DGT Foundation is to promote creativity and artistic flourishing through a variety of educational and charitable activities; to foster leadership and professional development among students and professionals in creative fields; and to conduct and fund a variety of educational and charitable activities that benefit neighboring communities in the New York City region. DGT Alumni Association members volunteer with the DGT Foundation and provide financial support for the program as do a broader set of donors who are not members. 

Gallery House Internship Program is the signature and only program of DGT Foundation. Annually, at the beginning of fall and  spring semesters, students apply to serve as interns who participate in a semester-long real-life learning experience in curating, promoting, fundraising, and managing a fine arts or design exhibit to benefit a local non-profit organization of their choice. Social needs and Issues addressed by beneficiary organizations have included LGBT immigration into the US, victims of acid attacks, and art instruction for school-age children.  Between three and four students participate each semester in the Gallery House Internship Program and receive three credits towards graduation in their course of study at Pratt Institute.  Gallery House Internship Program uses a private gallery space within the DGT Alumni Association’s residence at 272 Clinton Avenue.

In early 2017, after three initial and successful semesters, fall 2015, spring 2016, and fall 2016, the program was paused for the spring 2017 semester to evaluate for ways to improve the program and better target marketing and outreach to attract relatively more undergraduate students. The program was envisioned in 2014 as a peer-led volunteer coaching effort in which program graduates coached and supervised subsequent groups of interns engaged in producing an exhibit. Thus a corps of former interns, still enrolled at Pratt for one or more years after their internship, would provide the volunteer peer-led leadership for program continuity. Coaches now receive a small, per session stipend as an incentive and in appreciation for their volunteer efforts.

During spring 2017, seven of the eight interns from the previous three semesters all participated in the work of evaluation and program improvement for Gallery House. The group met to identify evaluation and planning tasks, and to agree on when and how the tasks would be performed. They assigned responsibilities for carrying the tasks out and tracked their completion. A week by week, ten-week coaching guide was developed and written so that there would be consistency from semester-to-semester in implementing the program while also providing for continuous quality improvement. The program's on-campus marketing approach was revised and the web-site content related to the program was improved. The team also collected sample forms and documented strategies that had been developed during the previous three semesters, and assembled them into a digital library for use and reference by future interns. Out of the process, two volunteers, Asa Camnert and Aika Mukhambetova emerged to serve as Lead Coaches for Gallery House Internship Program Fall 2017 and beyond.

Effective outreach to undergraduate students

A 2017 achievement was the implementation of quality improvements identified in in the spring

 Rddhima Golyan, a Senior in Interior Design, Laura Arike, a Sophomore majoring in Art History, and Adam Colello, a Sophomore majoring in photography, represented an important change in the Gallery House Internship Program. Previously the program succeeded in mostly attracting graduate students. 

Rddhima Golyan, a Senior in Interior Design, Laura Arike, a Sophomore majoring in Art History, and Adam Colello, a Sophomore majoring in photography, represented an important change in the Gallery House Internship Program. Previously the program succeeded in mostly attracting graduate students. 

DGT Foundation's Gallery House Internship Program coordinates its on campus recruitment of applicants with the Pratt Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) and Pratt Institute's Office of Student Affairs. The internship opportunity is posted digitally through Pratt PRO, the go-to-resource for students and alumni seeking employment. Students apply through the DGT website, and International students studying at Pratt and accepted into Gallery House are further assisted by CCPD to comply with special requirements that apply to them. All students accepted into the Gallery House Program are assisted by CCPD to register to receive credit for their internship, and this support is performed in an efficient and timely manner. Through the Office of Student Affairs, the internship opportunity is posted on campus video screens and flyers about the program are distributed throughout campus. Pratt faculty participate in the program as exhibiting artists, and also provide information about the internship opportunity to students. Outreach to faculty is performed in coordination with Pratt Institute's Department Chairs who thus also help maintain and increase awareness about the program. As a result of quality improvement, the opportunity is now described in marketing materials as an internship program rather than a fellowship.  Academic credit is offered to participants rather than a $3,000 shared fellowship grant, the practice for the first three semesters of the program.  These strategies and changes resulted in achievement of the goal of recruiting and engaging undergraduate students, for the first time in more than a year. Previously, only once, in the fall of 2015, were undergraduate students engaged in the program; the re-calibration in spring 2017 worked!

Finances

2017 Revenue

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Gallery House Internship Program was the sole program of DGT Foundation in 2017. Donations totaling $7,043 to DGT Foundation included a $5,750 gift from DGT Alumni Association, and additional individual support of $1,292 from donors, primarily DGT Alumni Association members. This is  more fully detailed in DGT Foundation's Statement of Activity for 2017. Additional information is also posted in the form of DGT Foundation's IRS tax return for 2017.

2017 Expenditures

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DGT Foundation's expenditures totaled $7,661.58 in 2017. Major expenses included $5,233.31 in fellowship grants to students offered by Gallery House and disbursed in 2017. A total of $1,525 in business expenses included $1,000 in incentive stipends for volunteer coaching provided to students through Gallery House Internship Program. For further details see DGT Foundation's Statement of Activity for 2017. Also Available for review is DGT Foundation's 2017 IRS tax return.

Yesterday's Tomorrow

Fall 2017's Exhibit produced by Gallery House Interns

Photo credits: Ike Cheung, Pratt Visiting Instructor and Lecturer, and a DGT Alumni Association Member.

Thank You!

Individual Donors: Lance Bottari, Manuel Castedo, John Comiskey, Paul Fletcher, Gil Gerald, Ken Haber, Alan Hansen, Kenneth Hebel, MIchael Madia, Anne Marie Michael, Fr. Michael Perry, Jakub Skoda, Greg Rajczewski, and Thomas Wong. Corporate Contributors and SponsorsNew York City Department of Cultural Affairs Material for the Arts Program, Pratt Institute Center for Career and Professional Development, and Pratt Institute Office of Student Affairs. Collaborating Partner/Beneficiary Organization: Children's Arts Guild. Fall 2017 Interns: Laura Arike, Adam Colello, and Rddhima Goylan. Exhibiting Artists: Tess Adams, Panyagal Charm, Xuan Chen, Carola Dixon, Nina Kou, Mark LaRiviere, Xander Maclaren, Michael Lee, Anna Marcelo, Christopher Smith, Anna Williams, Jingwen Zhu Volunteers: Asa Camnert, Paul Fletcher, Vern Ford, Gil Gerald, Aika Mukhambetova, August Ou, Maria Camila Pava, Eric St. James-Lopez, Rudolph Strelis, Alexa Telano, Ariane Williams, and Tom Wong. 

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Knowing Me, Knowing You: The Opening Reception

A freshman, a junior and a senior at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, successfully pulled off a well attended opening reception of Knowing Me, Knowing You on April 26, 2018.  Samuel DiBiasi, Yejin Ha, and Christine Hwang, curated the exhibit as part of their Spring 2018 Internship with the Gallery House Program, an experiential learning opportunity provided by the DGT Foundation, the educational and charitable arm of the DGT Alumni Association. 

Quarterly Meeting Notice and Invitation to Induction and Celebratory Lunch for New Undergraduate Members

DGT Alumni Association, Inc. serves notice that the next Quarterly Membership Meeting of the DGT Alumni Association will be held Saturday, April 28, starting at noon, eastern.  The agenda normally includes reviewing reports from the officers, including the Treasurer, as well as reports from the Property Manager and Gallery House Internship Program’s Lead Coach

DGT's Calendar Updated

The calendar of DGT Alumni Association's events and meetings for the remainder of 2018 has been updated. Key dates to keep in mind include:

  • Thursday, April 24, at 7:00 p.m., Opening Reception of Knowing Me Knowing You, an exhibit curated by Gallery House Interns, Spring 2018
  • Saturday, April 28, 12:00 p.m., Quarterly Membership Meeting and Social Gathering
  • Thursday, May 3, at 7:00 p.m., Closing Reception of Knowing Me Knowing You, an exhibit curated by Gallery House Interns, Spring 2018
  • Saturday, July 28, 12:00 p.m., Quarterly Membership Meeting and Backyard BBQ
  • Saturday, September 29, Pratt Alumni Day and  DGT's Annual Alumni Exhibit and Reception
  • Saturday, October 27, 12:00 p.m., Quarterly Membership Meeting and Social Gathering
  • Saturday, November 17, 3:00 p.m., DGT Thanksgiving Pot-luck Dinner

Adam Colello, Laura Arike and Rddhima Goylan join the Ranks of Pratt Students and Graduates Committed to Continuing Gallery House Internship Program

On Saturday, January 27, In a brief afternoon ceremony, the graduates of the fall 2017 Gallery House Internship Program, joined the ranks of the graduates of fall 2015, spring 2016 and fall 2016 committed to help continue the program, in a volunteer capacity, as they are able.

The Mug Story

As DGT manages transition and transformation, from bright past to bright future, from pledging to the Gallery House Internship Program, the Mug Story merits sharing. A new generation wants and appreciates that mug. It appears some things change and somethings remain as shared joys and experiences across the generations, inclusive of members who received theirs in the 1950s and those who now receive them in the second decade of the 21st Century.

Dues are due; Maintain your Connection!

With your active participation as a dues paying member, DGT Alumni Association will maintain a path of progress that has been followed since re-organizing efforts in 2012 and 2013. If you have already sent in your $10 dues for 2018, thank you! If you haven’t yet done so, the month of January has been designated for when dues are renewed. Please use a convenient link to PayPal to make the payment.

May the "Spirit of Hanna, My Delta Gamma," Help Make 2018 a Great Year

May you and your families have a great 2018! As I pause as President of DGT Alumni Association to reflect on the past and coming year, I can’t help but think of Brother Tom Wong (spring ’83, Engineering ’84). 2017 ended as it began with a bit of a crisis at the House that was again largely managed by an individual who embodies the spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood, or as a newer generation prefers to say, ‘family.’  It is a spirit many of us came to know in our undergraduate life at 272 Clinton Ave.

Change in Time and Location for Thanksgiving Dinner

There is a change in the time and venue for DGT Alumni Association’s Annual Thanksgiving Dinner.  It will take place on Saturday, November 18, at Putnam’s Pub & Cooker, 419 Myrtle Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11205.  This restaurant is located at the corner of Myrtle Ave. and Clinton Ave., just two and a half blocks from the House. A group reservation has been made for 5:30 p.m. 

Thanksgiving Celebration at the House, Saturday, November 18

Attention all members and Gallery House Interns. It’s that time of year again for the annual DGT Alumni Association Thanksgiving dinner, which will take place on Saturday, November 18 from 4 pm to 6 pm at 272 Clinton Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11205.  If you will be in the New York area next Saturday please join in the celebration. A signup webpage has been established atlogo-signupgenius-color.png.

 

A Spring and Summer of Overcoming Challenges Related to Our Beautiful but More than a Century-old Home

Several costly repairs and improvements had to be undertaken in the first half of 2017. The problems requiring immediate attention involved the boiler in the cellar, gas lines leading to boiler, and a series of issues uncovered as a result preparing for an inspection and test of the fire sprinkler system required every five years by New York City.  In all, when completed, these repairs and improvements will have cost in excess of $40,000 or more than 40% of annual income from rent in a normal year with 100% occupancy rate.

Keep the Connection Going in 2017

Involvement in and support for the DGT Alumni Association annually starts in January with payment of $10 in membership fees. The work of keeping the connection going is volunteer based. However, the fee not only provides for the ability of you to vote at membership meetings, now held by video conference, and to hold office, but for you to  also cover the costs of supplies, stamps and communications to "keep the connection going.' It's easy to do it via PayPal. Thank you in Advance from the Board.