Court Upholds Penn State’s Right to Purchase the Beta House

Source: Centre Daily Times, October 19, 2023

On October 18, a statewide appeals court panel affirmed a Centre County judge’s ruling that Penn State has the right to purchase the former Beta Theta Pi fraternity house. The previous trial court, in a non-jury decision, had given the owners of the property six months to negotiate a sale price. A board of arbitrators would decide how much PSU should pay if they are unable to reach an agreement. It’s unknown if the house corporation plans a further appeal.

The status of Beta alum Don Abbey’s suit against the house corporation is not clearly stated in the CDT article.  The article concludes by stating that a status conference is scheduled for January 10. It is not clear if this conference is for the price negotiation or the Abbey law suit.

Ed Sidwell Steps Down As VP of Property Association

After many years serving the Delta Delta Chapter of Sigma Nu Fraternity, Brother Edwin R. Sidwell, ∆∆879, has stepped down as Vice President of the Property Association due to health reasons.

He was born on July 6, 1935. He was raised in Narberth, Lower Merion Township near Philly and graduated from Lower Merion High School in 1954. He graduated from Penn State in 1958 and was a member of Penn State’s 1957 NCAA champion gymnastics team. In 1958, he was a College Gymnastics Association All American on the flying rings.

Following graduation, he spent 2-1/2 years in the Air Force serving in Iceland, followed by 14 Years with Monroe, The Calculator Co.  Then he ran his own business, Sidwell Business Machines until his retirement. He was an active member of the alumni leadership for Sigma Nu Fraternity since graduation, having served for many years as president and then vice president of the house corporation (Delta Delta Property Association).

In 2008, he was selected as House Corporation Officer of the Year by Sigma Nu National. He announced Penn State Gym meets for 38 years and was President of Men’s Gymnastics Booster Club for 12 years. He served on the HUB-Robeson Cultural Center Advisory Board and ran the Centre County’s Junior Miss Program for 38 years, followed by assisting with the state Distinguished Young Woman Program (new Junior Miss name). He served on the Board of Directors for more than 25 years for Nittany Cooperative, Inc. (formerly, the Fraternity Purchasing Association) and secretary for the Lion Fraternity Alumni Association. He was a volunteer for the annual Central PA 4th Fest fireworks show. His offspring are Gary (deceased), Todd and Robin. 

Brother Sidwell is now living in the Hollidaysburg Veterans Home, P.O. Box 319, Hollidaysburg, PA 16648.  Please join me in thanking Ed for his many years of service to his country, state, local community, the Penn State Greek community, and Sigma Nu.


Testimonial – Willam D. (Beenep) Knepper, ∆∆900

In 1968, when we moved into the new/restored house on campus at 340 N. Borough Street, I would have been a Junior majoring in Quantitative Business Analysis.  I was not particularly close to Ed and probably had only met him a few times.   

I had a conversation one day with Ed about the vast amounts of calculations I had to do in connection with my major and how difficult and time consuming that was.  Keep in mind it was the 60’s and most students only had slide-rules to use for calculations.  Electronic calculators didn’t exist or if they did they were rare and/or prohibitively priced.  I told Ed that any type of calculator at all would have made my schoolwork easier. 

My recollection is that the next day, Ed showed up at the house with a Monroe mechanical calculator for me (like the one in the above photo) I know that the mechanical calculator in the photo looks ancient and very un-sophisticated but believe me it was a godsend. 

That calculator probably sent me down the path to my successful career of using technology and statistics to solve business problems.  His small act had a major impact. 

Alumni Reunion 2024 – Save The Dates

We’re planning a reunion for Friday and Saturday, July 19 – 20, 2024. Details:

  • Group Room Rate (TBD) at the Hyatt on West Beaver Ave.
  • Friday Reception (5 – 7 PM) at the Federal Taphouse (same building as the Hyatt). Appetizers included. Beverages on your own.
  • Saturday afternoon tour – Arboretum and New Palmer Museum of Art. We may add Old Main and/or the All Sports Museum depending on feedback. Bus transportation provided from & to the Hyatt
  • Saturday dinner at a downtown restaurant (location TBD). Separate checks.
  • Anticipated registration fee: $75.00/person.
  • Registration site will be on-line.

Final plans will follow by e-mail or in the spring newsletter.  Comments/Questions/Interest?  Contact Brother Nelson at [email protected].