Before March 16, 2018 fraternities and sororities were a foreign concept to Ottawa University in the small town of Ottawa, Kansas. In the university’s 153-year history there had never been Greek Life. After nearly two years of developing into a chapter, these emerging Phis have officially established the first Greek organization on campus.
The Founders of Kansas Theta and their university professionals are excited to see the incredible potential that has been created at Ottawa University with the new men’s leadership organization, Phi Delta Theta. Ottawa University offers a unique college experience already, being composed of approximately 750 undergraduates who are predominantly student-athletes, as well as some of the most supportive faculty in the nation.
On January 17, 2020, the night of their initiation, a snow and freezing rainstorm swept through the Midwest, shutting down the airport in Kansas City, just one hour from Ottawa, Kansas. The weather was similar to what the original Founding Fathers of Phi Delta Theta experienced in Oxford, Ohio just over 170 years ago when the Fraternity was created. Chris Brussalis, Phi Delta Theta’s General Council President, had his flight cancelled, leaving him unable to attend the installation of Kansas Theta. Province President Kevin Pouch stepped in and presided over the men’s initiation.
The installation ceremony was held at the Gibson Student Center on January 18, 2020 with chapter advisory board members, friends, family, and campus professionals in attendance. Province President Kevin Pouch shared his continued support for the new chapter and commended the amount of effort these men gave to establish the first fraternity on campus.
Kansas Theta’s newly elected chapter president, Luke Graham, who recently attended Phi Delta Theta’s Presidents Leadership Conference in St. Louis, mentioned, “I have a lot of ideas stirring in my mind after PLC. I think it is so important for us to have a positive impact on more than just ourselves. We must go bigger than that, and I think impacting the lives in our Ottawa community is our path to do that. I am proud to be a Phi!”
The future is bright for Ottawa University’s first fraternity, the Kansas Theta Chapter of Phi Delta Theta.