Fraternity Brothers Nearly 100 Years Old Reunite After 70 Years
After 70 years, fraternity brothers reunite and reminisce of old college days. Mike Cappiello, 95, and Dominick Mele, 97, were Alpha Phi Delta Fraternity brothers at Union College in Schenectady, NY.
The organization held a reunion for fraternity brothers at the Portobello Cucina Italiana Restaurant in Jupiter. Cappiello and Mele were two of the surviving brothers who had the pleasurable opportunity to reunite after seven decades.
Joseph Bell, spokesman for the Alpha Phi Delta Fraternity, was pleased to witness the special event.
“We know that many men who enjoyed their fraternal experience in college eventually lost touch as their careers took them to a myriad of cities around the world. We also know that many of these men eventually came to spend their retirement years in warmer climates,” Bell said, “What is amazing is the way older men who have not seen each other in decades connect with each other.”
Cappiello and Mele spent the entire time reminiscing about their lives as college students and what they accomplished since graduating. Cappiello is now a retired attorney while Mele is a retired physician. Both spend their winters in Florida.
Cappiello recalls being asked to join the fraternity by an upperclassman. The student told Cappiello he would give him a job cleaning the fraternity house. The young and enthusiastic freshman jumped at the opportunity and needed the money to pay for his room and board. Cappiello met Mele, a junior, while working at the house.
Though college days were nearly 70 years ago, Cappiello never forgot his first week at the fraternity house.
“They (the upperclassmen fraternity brothers) threw a big party for freshmen called ‘the Smoker.’ I smoked my first cigar. After I took a deep breath, I almost died!” Cappiello said, laughing. “The odor was so horrible I never smoked again.”
“I saved a lot of time and a lot of money not smoking.”
Cappiello enjoyed his time with Mele and catching up on old times.
“We had a nice chat!” he said.
Mele recalls Cappiello’s charismatic ways and how he was “eager to meet girls.”
“But I was shy,” Mele said.
“Of all the people that belonged to Iota, only Mike and I are left,” Mele added. “(At the reunion) we renewed our friendship. We had a nice meeting.”