Allen Snyder ’79: the friendships I made there are everlasting

“For me, my ongoing Pi Kappa Phi friendships are valuable, dependable, and everlasting and I appreciate them more and more as time goes on,” Allen Snyder ‘79 says.  

Allen graduated from Pi Kappa Phi Penn State in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science in petroleum and natural gas engineering. He married his wife, Eileen, and the couple moved to California, where Allen would work in the energy sector at Chevron for the next six years. Allen found an interest in energy finance business, and soon received an MBA degree and moved to Dallas, Texas with his growing family. Allen is now retired and lives with his wife in Cary, North Carolina. Allen has four children and four grandchildren. One of his sons pledged Pi Kappa Phi at UNC Wilmington, and another received their graduate degree from Penn State.  

Allen recalls that the house was known for being attractive and clean with an “electric mix of men that didn’t fit into any one category (“preppy”, jocks, nerds, pot heads, etc.). Instead, the brothers were considered “top-notch, down-to-earth guys that had great parties”. Regarding the parties, Pi Kapp’s social calendar was always full, and the party room in the basement was unique with multi-colored ceiling lights that were synchronized with the sound system (designed and installed previously by brothers I can’t recall). We also had party mix disco music that attracted a lot of ladies that came out to dance (thanks to brother Chuck Sorg ‘78!).” 

Throwback to Pi Kapp in 1976

During parties at the house, Allen loved hanging out by the bar so he could chat with his fellow brothers and meet many “other interesting people.” 

Allen recalls that a few of his brothers made a special impact on him while living at the house. His big brother, Steve DiOrio ‘78, his pledge brother and roommate, Walt Rakowich ‘79, and fellow PNGE major Bruce Berwager ‘79. Allen’s brothers continued to be a strong support years later.  

“A few years back, I had to furnish an empty 2-bedroom condo in another town, and coincidentally, Skip Parks ‘78 was moving out of a 2-bedroom row house at the same time. Skip offered all his furniture to me (with a generous Pi Kapp discount), and I just had to move it all from Baltimore to Greensboro, NC. Steve Ferguson ‘78 lived close to me at the time, and he agreed to provide the ‘muscle’ and to spend two days to drive up to Skip’s, load the truck, and drive back to NC. I should note that Steve also helped me renovate that same condo six years later.” 

Today, Allen enjoys golfing, traveling, and meeting with old fraternity brothers at football games. 

“I keep myself busy by traveling quite a bit with my wife, Eileen, volunteering, consulting, and playing golf more than I used to. I manage to get back to Penn State at least twice a year to see my Pi Kapp brothers for the Alumni Golf Outing in August. In addition, there’s a core group of about a dozen brothers from that era that I’ve stayed in touch with over the years, and we continue to get together for a football weekend every fall with our gracious hosts, Tom and Karen Robinson. I also vacation every year with brothers Skip Parks ‘78 and Steve Ferguson ‘78 and their wives in N. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.” 

Allen is hopeful that the renovations completed to the Pi Kappa Phi house to reestablish the Penn State chapter (with help from his brothers Steve DiOrio ‘78 and Tom Robinson ‘79) will allow alumni to continue visiting 409 East Fairmount Ave.