Pi Kappa Alpha Mourns the Passing of Foundation Trustee Emeritus Marvin Dennis
Posted on May 1, 2019
1937 - 2019
Service to the Fraternity and Foundation Spans 57 Years
Pi Kappa Alpha lost one of its true servants with the passing of Marvin D. Dennis (Illinois, Beta Eta ’56) on Sunday, April 14, 2019. Brother Dennis’ legacy is one of leadership, vision, and generosity.
During his years at Beta Eta (University of Illinois), Dennis served the chapter for two terms as treasurer and as chapter president. After graduating in 1959, he joined the Army Reserves and served as a Reserve Officer in the Quartermaster Corp. In 1960, after receiving his CPA, he went to work as an auditor for Arthur Young & Company in Chicago, Illinois. He received a law degree from DePaul University in 1964, and he graduated from Harvard’s Graduate School of Business Administration in 1966. He and his wife, Nancy, moved to California in 1966 where he first worked for McKinsey & Company, followed by ITEL Corporation, a financial services provider. In 1974, he co-founded and served as the chief financial officer of Trans Ocean Ltd., a highly successful maritime container leasing company.
Since his initiation in 1956, Pi Kappa Alpha has continuously benefited from Dennis’ leadership, talents, and generosity. His commitment to the Fraternity included service as a member of Beta Eta’s House Corporation board and as district president. In 1991, Dennis was elected to a three-year term on the Pi Kappa Alpha Foundation’s board of trustees. He served as a trustee for eight more years, and in 2002, Dennis was elected as Foundation President before serving as trustee emeritus. Throughout his 28-year tenure as a member of the Foundation’s leadership team, he rarely missed a meeting.
Brother Dennis firmly believed in the mission of the PIKE Foundation and felt a duty to not only repay the benefits that he gained from the Fraternity but to also help make it stronger for future brothers. He boldly invested in this concept and became the first-ever donor to make a major gift to establish an International Fraternity fund benefitting leadership programs. In 1998, he and his wife, Nancy, elected to provide a lead donation for a campaign to help endow the then SMC Conference (now known as the Chapter Executives Conference). He helped lead the effort that ultimately raised $500,000 for the Conference.
In 2004, Dennis received a standing ovation for his contribution to the International Fraternity as he was inducted into the Order of West Range at the St. Louis, Missouri, Convention. He received the Fraternity’s Loyalty Award in 2010.
“How valuable and rewarding it is to give,” he said to the audience.
Professionally, Dennis was president of Dennis and Company, LLC, a financial consulting firm.
As news of Dennis’ passing travelled through the fraternal family, International President Mark Dziatczak shared: “This is a sad day for Pi Kappa Alpha. I attended the CEC event where Marvin announced his gift to the Fraternity to support our most influential leadership development initiative. He spoke of his wife so lovingly that day he was moved to tears. He demonstrated what it meant to be a loyal Pike and husband. I will never forget that day.
We are fortunate to call him our brother. All of Pi Kappa Alpha mourns his loss and celebrates his life.”
Brother Marvin Dennis will long be remembered and recognized as one of PiKA’s Greats. We will honor his memory and carry his legacy forward.
Memorial donations may be made to the Marvin & Nancy Chapter Executives Conference Fund.