Stephen DiOrio ’78: “Without Pi Kappa Phi, I wouldn’t be the person I am today”
Stephen DiOrio ’78 (email@example.com) graduated from Penn State University with a degree in political science and a dream of going to law school. At a time when THON was in its infancy, DiOrio and other Greek members were delivering a check to Hershey Medical Center when a tragic accident claimed the lives of some of those on the trip. It was during that time that he decided not to pursue law school, but to pursue the career path of his father in the insurance industry.
In September 1978, DiOrio married the love of his life, Susan and two months later opened his own State Farm Agency in Wayne, Pennsylvania. In addition to his wife, he also has three children and six grandchildren. Two of his children, Stephen and Christina were involved in the Greek system as well. Stephen is also an alumnus of Pi Kappa Phi and Christina enjoyed her time as a Pi Phi.
DiOrio said that many of his accomplishments can be attributed to his time as an active Pi Kappa Phi member. “The leadership experience I gained is unlike what most college students are able to receive. We were self-governed and had to learn how to run a house, hold ourselves and each other accountable and make decisions that were in the best interest of the chapter,” he said. “We learned that you don’t always get your way, you have to listen to each other and come to a consensus.”
The brothers who were in the house at that time made the decision to pledge Pi Kappa Phi easy. “The house was in its hay day, so it was easy to love. But the brothers were the most important,” DiOrio shared. “They wanted to get to know me and who I was, they were all very welcoming and engaging wanting me to be a part of the brotherhood. My best friends now were my brothers then.”
“Being a member of Pi Kappa Phi taught me to give back to the community. My first position of leadership in the house was as Chairman of our Annual Turkey Drive. We went around the community gathering canned goods to donate to a food pantry,” he said. “That principle has stuck with me. Today I continue to give back. I have served on YMCA boards and local Chambers of Commerce. I was able to do these things well because of my involvement in the Greek System.”
Volunteering and giving back to Pi Kappa Phi remains an anchor for DiOrio even after all these years. “I enjoy working with the undergraduates. I have a responsibility to help, and I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to make sure I could continue to share my experience and value in the Greek system with the students,” he said. DiOrio has served on the Board of the Housing Corporation since 2003 and currently serves as President.
In addition to serving on the board, DiOrio has been striving to help build a solid foundation not just for Pi Kappa Phi but for the entire Greek system. “We have been making great strides and we are laying a great foundation, internally, for the future where the chapter can grow and prosper, but for the Chapter to truly thrive, the entire system needs to be strengthened and branded differently” he said. “My biggest hope for current and future undergraduates is that they will have the same life-long relationships leadership experiences I have had, and I think we are giving them the tools to do that.”
Without Pi Kappa Phi, I wouldn’t be the person I am today—I wouldn’t have the skillset that I have to run a business, be an entrepreneur, contribute in a valuable way, I wouldn’t be the father and husband I am.