My time at Phi Delta Theta has been a rewarding and unparalleled experience. Through my three years as a Refounding Father of a chapter, I’ve traveled all across North America with my brothers, from Toronto to California, and I’ve seen my chapter quadruple in size. I’ve also helped create an indestructible brotherhood on my campus, a campus that is institutionally hostile towards any Greek organization. It is through the battle of this hostility that I found and honed a trait so imbedded in the core of Phi Delta Theta and its members that it is often forgotten from mention, but vital to this brotherhood. That trait is perseverance.
I first learned of the concept of perseverance while I was in high school at a church youth-group. While I don’t remember much, or agree with much of the preaching the youth pastor did, I do remember the concept of perseverance, a concept that time and time again has helped me through life. Perseverance is the steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.
All chapters and all individuals in Phi Delta Theta will have to persevere at one point or another. Phi Delta Theta has been around for over 160 years, and has persevered through wars, fallacious stereotypes, and other various tragedies. Individual chapters have faced a variety of problems through time, but through perseverance beat the odds. I believe that perseverance, while being a trait imbedded in Phi Delta Theta, needs to be a trait that is brought to light and pursued with vigor.
Whether in fraternity matters, or personal life, perseverance is one of the most beneficial traits a man can hold, and through perseverance we help exemplify the three cardinal principles of this Fraternity. Friendship, sound learning, and moral rectitude all require perseverance in their pursuit and attainment. Perseverance through the boom and bust cycles of chapters, as well as the boom and bust of life itself, plays a vital role in differentiating our organization and our individuals from others. If I have one wish for the aggregate of this Fraternity, it is that they realize that they hold a trait as a man of Phi Delta Theta that makes them indestructible if they truly cherish it.
I graduate this summer, and eagerly look forward to my future as an alumnus of Phi Delta Theta. I know as I leave the cocoon of undergraduate life with my Economics degree, I will face inevitable obstacles and difficult circumstances. That being said, I also know that as a man of Phi Delta Theta, I am capable of persevering through life’s challenges until death itself, as my brothers have done before me. The strength of my brotherhood and the influence of The Bond, paired with the perseverance that flows through every man of Phi Delta Theta shall keep me on the righteous path of glory.
Brad Markis is a graduating Economics & Psychology student at York University in Toronto. He is one of the Refounding Fathers and former Vice-President of his chapter, Ontario Delta.