This solemn section is for beloved brothers of this house, who have died. Forever shall they be in our memory -- not for their deaths, but for the great lives they lead. Thank you Robert Wartelle, Todd J. Porterfield, and Brett Jensen to the contributions you have made to Alpha Delta Chapter.
Todd J. Porterfield
Todd's favorite movie was Top Gun. He could quote almost every line. His very favorite line was probably, "I have a need, a need for speed!!" That's why on the Journey of Hope one could usually find him at the front of the pack, cycling at an average of 25 mph. If you were to walk through the halls of the fraternity, you would hear him listening to Garth Brooks or Pearl Jam. He loved driving to Dick's Drive-In at 1:00am to grab a burger and a milkshake. The Pi Kapp Raiders football team was one of the IMA's best when Todd was playing. He loved parties and social events simply because he liked to have fun, make people laugh, and be with his friends.
Todd was courageous and strong. You would want him to be with you if you had to walk down a long dark alley at night. I remember how he tackled an intruder at the fraternity house and got stabbed in the face with a screwdriver while wrestling the guy to the ground. Eventually Will Sigman came and helped Todd detain the man until the police showed up.
Todd was a brother. He was the guy who motivated everyone to attend Push events. He got fired up about the fraternity and desired every member to have a passion for people with disabilities as well as the ideals of the Alpha Delta chapter. He devoted himself to maintaining our chapter's image as a gentlemen's fraternity, and being the best fraternity on campus in philanthropy, academics, intramural sports, and brotherhood. Todd was an amazing Vice Archon. I believe he recruited the most associates Alpha Delta ever signed in one summer... 36 I recall. He had an intense passion for our fraternity.
Todd was a man of honor and humility. He was somebody everybody looked up to. I remember him as a friend who cared about people and the world around him. Todd was the type of guy who would notice if somebody was sad, lonely, or in need; and he would show compassion.
Todd was a man of faith in Jesus Christ. Though he wrestled with doubts, he also had the faith to believe. He actively sought an evermore intimate relationship with the Lord. He desired to make a difference in the world by sharing the love of Christ. I have a handwritten note from Todd that says, "They will know we are Christians by our love." He firmly believed that faith without action was dead.
Todd was a man for others.
Written by Ben Pascal (Todd's childhood friend and fellow brother of Pi Kappa Phi and the Journey of Hope)
Todd Porterfield, member of the Alpha Delta chapter at the University of Washington, passed away on August 7, 2000. Todd was cycling on the Journey of Hope 2000 South Team and was struck by a car in Lexington, North Carolina.
Todd leaves a very long legacy of compassion, brotherhood, dedication and selfless giving. The following paragraphs are excerpts from Todd's Journey of Hope application.
When it comes to my expectations of the Journey of Hope as a whole I won't lie and say that I don't have high expectations, but I also won't say that I think the Journey of Hope is a gift handed to each rider. I have expectations that I will meet some incredible brothers. I expect that my mind will be opened even further towards people with disabilities. I also expect that I will get the chance to meet some amazing volunteers and people with disabilities. However, I realize that the Journey of Hope is what you make it.
Perhaps one of the greatest gains that I hope to get from the Journey of Hope is to gain a deeper understanding of myself. I feel that in the last four years at college my character has already developed fairly strong, however, I will be the first to admit that I have much more to learn. I feel that an experience like the Journey of Hope, one that challenges me physically and mentally in many different ways, is the perfect means to gaining and achieving a greater understanding of myself.
Todd's death has impacted the lives of thousands. His legacy will now impact the lives of thousands more in many positive ways.
A memorial fund has been established in Todd's name at Push America. To make a contribution, please send checks to the Push America office, made payable to Push America. Please indicate in the memo section "In memory of Todd J. Porterfield." http://www.pushamerica.org
"A Man for Others"
Words do not do Brett Jensen justice. To quantify, describe or measure how great Brett Jensen was or how much he meant to the people who knew him can be seen merely as an exercise in futility. But the stories, the memories and recognition of his numerous accomplishments can shed light on who Brett was and give those who did not know him an understanding of why he will be so missed.
Brett moved into Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity in Fall 2001, a bright-eyed, eager freshman, who was ready to jumpstart his college career at the University of Washington. While quickly establishing his prowess in the classroom by becoming a Dean's List caliber student, at the house he immediately ascended to a leadership position, winning the presidency of his associate class as well as becoming the new members' emotional leader.
"Brett was the pillar of our associate class; he held us up," said Andy Tweedale, a member of Brett's associate class, while discussing Brett's significance to other young members in the house. Tweedale also commented that Brett's leadership style was natural and unforced. "He led us without even trying and we all followed. He was one of the guys, but he could separate himself from that and be serious and a leader when the time called for it," said Divakar Gupta, another member of Brett's associate class.
Leadership was not a new thing for Brett. From seventh to eleventh grade, he was the president of his class, and during his senior year, he was ASB President at Everett's Cascade High School. Brett intimated to his fellow Pi Kapps that his long tenure as President during his junior high and high school all stemmed from a campaign promise he made while running for class president during seventh grade.
Brett said that he ran on the platform that he would lower soda prices if he were elected. Well, the promise led to his victory and where most seventh graders would give up and realize trying to argue for lower soda prices was most likely a dead end, Brett persisted and convinced the principal to lower them. Brett joked that everyone was afraid to run against him after he kept his promise. Even more importantly than helping him secure future elections, his kept promise indicated his character and leadership, which would last him through high school and into his fraternity life.
After becoming an active member of Pi Kappa Phi, Brett turned his attention to Rush, winning one of the two Rush Chair positions in the winter and planning for summer recruitment. To many in the house, his personality made him the natural choice for the person representing the chapter to prospective members. "He was real friendly; instantly likeable. When you met him he'd act like he'd already known you for a while and it was comforting, he just exuded friendliness," said Pi Kapp Adam Kiyonaga, commenting on his first impressions of Brett.
Brett was also devoted to service and volunteerism. In Christmas 2001, he organized a group of Pi Kapps to come with him to work at Everett's Christmas House. Christmas House provides free clothes and toys to less fortunate families who could otherwise not afford gifts for their children. Over two days, Jensen and the others helped set-up the shop, package people's gifts and assist them to their cars.
Along with helping to raise money for Pi Kappa Phi's national philanthropy devoted to helping people with disabilities, PUSH America, Brett was a mentor to elementary school students through Cascade's "Bruin Buddy" program. He also helped as a coach for Special Olympics for three years, volunteered at the Everett Gospel Mission and served on the Youth Advisory Committee for the Everett Parks Department.
Brett's scholarship was just as remarkable as his other attributes. He was his high school's valedictorian with a cumulative 4.0 GPA and a local as well as national Coca-Cola Scholarship winner. He was also the recipient of a four-year tuition waiver having won the prestigious Washington Scholar Award and the University of Washington Scholar Award.
Despite all of these accomplishments and accolades what stands out to people about Brett was his positive disposition. As Pi Kapp Jenkins Chan recalled, "He was always able to take positives from a situation and he had the ability to adapt well to situations and make the best of them."
When almost 2,000 people attended Brett's memorial service on May 15, 2002, they confirmed what most of them already knew: Brett was a great son to his parents Don and Jan, a loyal brother to his little sister Megan, and a devoted and trustworthy friend. Brett Akio Jensen was also the epitome of what a Pi Kappa Phi should be: a gentleman, a scholar, and a friend.