Images by Christopher Maharry of Maharry Photography
After an eleven-year hiatus from campus, the Iowa Delta Chapter has returned to Drake University. Originally founded on October 28, 1961, Iowa Delta has initiated 925 members and has produced many business and community leaders in Des Moines, Iowa.
On September 18, 2020, the men of the Iowa Delta Emerging Chapter at Drake University were initiated and signed The Bond of Phi Delta Theta at the Scottish Rite Consistory in Downtown Des Moines. The next day, the chapter received its charter and was officially re-installed as a chapter of Phi Delta Theta.
The weekend’s initiation and installation ceremonies were executed by the Fraternity’s General Council President Dr. Chris W. Brussalis, Province President Jay Longnecker, Senior Vice President of Growth, Engagement, and Philanthropy Steve Good, Advancement Officer Landon Killion, and Leadership Consultant Corbin Lovelady. Phi Delta Theta would like to give special recognition to Tim Coonan of the Iowa Delta House Corporation for his tireless work and preparation to make the weekend a success.
Saturday’s installation ceremony was held outside at the Iowa Delta chapter house with university professionals, chapter advisers, undergraduate founders, and Iowa Delta alumni, safely social distancing and wearing their Phi Delta Theta masks. During the installation celebration, Drake University President Marty Martin mentioned, “I have a lot of faith in our Greek community and what it does daily. I see it as the president every day, in the service, achievements, and the leadership it provides to our students here. So, congratulations to you all, and I look forward to many great things from Phi Delta Theta at Drake University.”
Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life Kerry King offered a congratulatory note from the Drake Greek community and thanked the undergraduate and alumni members for their leadership throughout their journey to installation. Kerry’s on-the-ground support of the Iowa Delta founders and the Phi Delta Theta staff has been invaluable, and she deserves a very special thank you.
The Fraternity’s General Council President Dr. Chris W. Brussalis mentioned, “This is truly a great day. We are so excited to be here and to be partnered with Drake University. Undergraduates, please don’t forget to congratulate and thank your parents for supporting you on this Phi Delta Theta path. I’d also like to thank our alumni. It truly is our great alumni volunteers who are the glue that holds organizations like ours together. We all took an oath as a Phikeia, and that is to ‘transmit the Fraternity to those who may follow after, not only, not less, but greater than it was transmitted to me.’ It’s the outstanding alumni that we have here who have really walked the talk. Recognize and embrace their efforts, and before you know it, you’ll be next. You’re going to be the future alumni leaders mentoring and guiding those brothers who follow you.”
Iowa Delta House Corporation President Timothy Coonan shared his advice for the young men, “We talked a lot at initiation last night about how meaningful this is. From here we have a lot of responsibility. From here, you have the opportunity to turn a legacy into your legacy. Lean in to those institutions that make this possible. Because I can tell you, for those institutions it’s an honor for them to accept us back. We took it for granted as a chapter previously; that’s a lesson we don’t want to learn again. Proud to be a Phi.”
A special Cornerstone Club presentation was made to Doug and Mary Bruce for their unwavering support of Iowa Delta, its facility, and the young men who occupy it. The Phi Delta Theta Foundation’s Cornerstone Club recognizes alumni who contribute to local chapter campaigns supporting the “bricks and mortar” of Phi Delta Theta’s chapter facilities.
Iowa Delta Chapter President Eddie Hohe expressed hope. “I know the pandemic has given us a lot of trouble, but once things improve to a more normal college experience, we look forward to hitting the ground running. I’m really excited to see what that new normal is and what Phi Delta Theta can do with our new opportunities.”
At the conclusion of the installation luncheon, Tim Coonan announced that the Iowa Delta Chapter House would be renamed the Jack Fletcher Chapter House for his longtime volunteerism and support of the chapter. Brother Fletcher entered the Chapter Grand in 2019. It was also announced that the study room in the chapter house would be renamed to honor Jan McMahill who served Drake University for over thirty years and recently retired as Dean of Drake’s College of Education. Dean McMahill served as a faculty adviser to the chapter for many years.
The future is bright for the Iowa Delta Chapter of Phi Delta Theta at Drake University.
Drake University is a mid-sized private university in Des Moines, Iowa. With approximately 5,000 undergraduates and graduate students from forty-five states and more than forty-two countries, Drake University is recognized as one of the finest institutions of higher learning in the Midwest.