In September of 2012, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis was in the midst of welcoming Phi Delta Theta to campus for the first time. A few months prior, Ohio Alpha (Miami) Phi Chris Shrader and Kappa South Province President Dave Green discussed who would serve as the colony’s CAB member(s). Shrader resided in nearby Carmel, Indiana and had a long history of volunteerism for the Fraternity; both reasons as to why Dave didn’t hesitate to give Chris a call. After thinking about the long-term implications of taking on this role, Chris decided that the benefits would outweighed those long-term implications.
With Chris on board, Indiana then recruited Indiana Delta (Franklin) Phi Bob DeVoss. Bob’s deep background in finance would allow the chapter to remain financially sound as they grew and developed. With Chris and Bob at the helm entering the Fall 2012 semester, the Indiana Mu Colony was in a great position to succeed.
After recruiting a 60-man Founding Father class, Indiana Mu was well on its way to becoming a chapter. Bylaws were being drafted, positions were taking form and a structure was being built. However, the drive was lost, and the work that should have been done by the collective whole was only being done by a handful. The spring semester arrived, and the colony members were losing interest which led to turmoil. By the end of the Spring 2013 semester, Indiana Mu was down to 13 members, a drastic 78% drop in membership. The easy decision for Bob and Chris to make was to give up, throw in the towel and call it quits. Rather, their unique perspective led to the advice to see the situation as an opportunity versus a crisis. As Chris stated, “Sure we lost a lot of guys, but look at the potential that remains. We are left with 12-15 guys who haven’t given up. These are the guys who see the value and the vision of Phi Delta Theta, and they so badly want to be a part of it.” So the colony kept on pushing. The rebuilding stage lasted longer than many would have hoped, but the “do-or-die” Fall 2014 semester turned out to be the best semester this colony had seen in its two years.
In September of 2014, Indiana Mu extended 27 bids and 23 were accepted. This more than doubled the size of the colony. During spring semester, the colony members recruited eight more men.
On March 7, 2015, the Indiana Mu Colony became the Indiana Mu Chapter with Chris Shrader and Bob DeVoss standing by their sides. When Chris was asked why he and Bob didn’t give up on the colony, he replied, “It’s about relationships. Bob and I see the long-term value of being a member of Phi Delta Theta as well as what the undergraduate experience has to offer. Our hope was that by pushing through this and coming out on the other side, those committed will carry the experience with them for a lifetime. It might ignite a fire in many of the members after their college days are over to advise other chapters. We wanted the Indiana Mu Phis to see that it’s important to give back with their time, talent and treasure.”
The Indiana Mu Chapter is forever indebted to Chris and Bob, and to commend Chris for his unyielding love, support, and dedication for the brothers of the chapter, the chapter decided to do something special. With Province President Dave Green in attendance, Dylan Ford, Indiana Mu’s current chapter president, and Mohammad Ruwala, the colony’s first president, presented the “Shrader Pin” to Chris.
The inscription on the inside of the box reads:
“This pin is to be worn by the current president of the Indiana Mu Chapter of Phi Delta Theta in recognition of Chapter Advisory Board Chairman Chris Shrader and his unyielding encouragement and support to the chapter, for his unconditional love and generosity towards the men of Indiana Mu and service to his fellow man. May this pin serve as a reminder to strive to become the greatest version of yourself and to help others do the same.”