After a six-year hiatus from campus, the Ontario Alpha Chapter has returned to the University of Toronto. Originally founded on May 28, 1906, Ontario Alpha has initiated 1,033 men. This past weekend, the chapter’s roster of initiated members continued to grow with the re-installation of the chapter.
On February 16, 2021, the men of Ontario Alpha participated in one of the Fraternity’s virtual initiation ceremonies that have been introduced during the pandemic. Phi Delta Theta’ Executive Vice President and CEO Sean Wagner presided over the initiation ceremony. Ontario Alpha’s members joined the ceremony from all over Canada and even India for the unique opportunity. As is the case for all of those participating in the virtual initiation ceremonies, the new brothers will experience an in-person ceremony when conditions improve.
The installation ceremony was held on Zoom on February 20, 2021, and gathered Chapter Advisory Board members, Ontario Alpha alumni, other Canadian chapter undergraduates and alumni, General Fraternity staff and volunteers, and friends. Re-Founding Ontario Alpha President Shahbaz Khan shared, “As young men in a growingly unnerving and lonely world, I am glad we all have each other. I’m also personally and deeply thankful for my older brothers Corbin Lovelady, Andrew Norrie, and Graham Erskine, who have helped me through it. And last, we are legends, no, we are absolute kings, no, we are legends that are absolute kings that are fraternity brothers in the Bond, in the best Fraternity in the whole wide world.”
Current Ontario Alpha President James Wright shared, “Some of my most important memories as a man have been made in the presence of brothers who everyday practice that which the Fraternity was founded on. I hope that the experience I have had, and will continue to have, will be transmitted to every man who joins us in The Bond at the University of Toronto. I have no doubt that Ontario Alpha will continue in this strong trajectory through this pandemic and redefine fraternity at UofT.”
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 have the Ontario Alpha Chapter recognized as a chapter again. Undergraduates, please do not 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.”
Ontario Alpha now looks to their next big goal, winning the Fraternity’s 2022 Housser Trophy, which is awarded annually to the most outstanding Canadian chapter of Phi Delta Theta. The future is bright for the Ontario Alpha Chapter at the University of Toronto!