New scholarship honors late Pi Lambda Phi brother

A new scholarship available for Temple students this semester is honoring the memory of a former alumnus by providing $250 towards course textbooks.

The Mentzer Scholarship is the design of Temple’s Pi Lambda Phi chapter, created in honor of Bob Mentzer, a brother who passed away from cancer three years ago.

Mentzer was in his 30s when he passed, leaving behind his wife and son, Ian.

Although Mentzer was never introduced to the current brothers living in the Pi Lambda house, his achievements are still talked about throughout the chapter’s halls.

“We never actually met Mentzer,” said Pi Lambda President Alex Billotte. “But we do know he was a leader in setting up events within the fraternity.”

Leadership ability was a respected trait of Mentzer’s and is an imperative characteristic for those applying for his scholarship.

“The Mentzer Scholarship is for freshman males who are interested in community service and working to eliminate prejudice in Philadelphia by taking on leadership roles,” said Billotte, a senior elementary and special education major.

Such a requirement is expected from Pi Lambda, whose members proudly display themselves as, “the house that leads” on their website. Their mission is to promote the future of their fraternity and their brothers’ role in the Philadelphia community

That message rings especially true, as the Mentzer’s Scholarship is not the fraternity’s first act in honoring their late brother, but an extension of the Mentzer Fund, created to raise money for a college education for Ian Mentzer, now four years old.

The fraternity’s goal is to raise $1,000 annually for Ian Mentzer.

“There is no formula for a person,” said Malcolm Kenyatta, a senior public communications major and member of Pi Lambda. “You just have to live our creed–to believe that I will fight for it with my life.”

Kenyatta doesn’t speak with hyperbole. He’s acted on such principles as a former senator of Temple Student Government and when he successfully persuaded Temple’s administration to revise its Inclement Weather Policy from his petition “Fired Up: Students for a Better Temple.”

While these values were always a part of Pi Lambda’s creed, there was a time when its self-proclaimed duty “relaxed.”

Kenyatta and Billotte admitted that members of Pi Lambda were removed from campus in 2005 after alcohol violations.

Eventually, Pi Lambda rooted back up on Broad Street in 2009, and Billotte assures that “everyone in the chapter now is new and has no ties to those who were kicked off campus.”

For Kenyatta, the scholarship is a second chance to showcase the fraternity’s dedication to its creed and counteract the stigmas that plague fraternities at large.

“We want to show people that, yeah this guy drinks a beer, but he has a purpose,” Kenyatta said. “Any organization needs a purpose. If you don’t, it’s only a dream.”

The deadline to apply for the scholarship is Friday, Sept. 16.

Payne Schroeder can be reached at payne.schroeder@temple.edu.

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