On April 16, 2021, on campus at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, the men of the Ohio Alpha Emerging Chapter participated in the Fraternity’s initiation ceremony and signed The Bond of Phi Delta Theta. The next day, at the re-installation ceremony hosted at Cobblestone Community Church, the chapter received its charter, which contains the names of the Immortal Six Founding Fathers. It was officially a chapter of Phi Delta Theta once more. Ohio Alpha is the founding chapter of Phi Delta Theta, founded on December 26, 1848, and has initiated 2,911 members to date.
The Fraternity’s General Council President Dr. Chris W. Brussalis, Executive Vice President and CEO Sean Wagner, Chapter Advisory Board Members B.J. Nelson and Cody Hike, and Leadership Consultants Corbin Lovelady and Greg Rush conducted the weekend’s initiation. Following all of Miami University’s and Oxford Community’s COVID-19 guidelines to maintain a ten-person limit within a room, this initiation was one to remember. The ceremony started at 6:00 p.m. and concluded just before midnight.
Following the installation ceremony, Ohio Alpha President Alex Kalix mentioned, “We have been able to define the Phi Delta Theta chapter at Miami University as a serious player in the Greek community on campus. We have met goals; two include going from twenty to more than fifty members and gaining the first-ever match grant from Miami University to assist in creating a research and education center for neurodegenerative diseases on campus. And with our sincerest contrition, I state our chapter’s original goal—To be a fraternity consisting of gentlemen who are seeking to break the stigma associated with Greek life at Miami University and be a force of change for the better towards the good fraternities can accomplish.”
Ohio Alpha Chapter Advisory Board Chairman B.J. Nelson emphasized the importance of continuity. He stated, “Each generation faces their trials and tribulations, and what the men of this emerging chapter have achieved during a global pandemic and time of international strife should not be overlooked. Starting an emerging chapter and becoming a chapter is no easy ordeal. Still, the real challenge comes in maintaining what has been built from the ground up, and these men are ready, willing, and eager to face that head-on and without hesitation.”
Zeta West Province President Allen Cole is excited to have Ohio Alpha back at Miami. “It is a thrill to have the Ohio Alpha Chapter officially return to the Miami University campus so that those college students can have the opportunity to become the greatest versions of themselves as members of our premier leadership fraternity.”
Miami University’s Associate Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life Adam Dralle is incredibly proud of this group of men who have come together to re-charter Ohio Alpha. “Greek life at Miami goes back a long way as we have four Alpha chapters founded here. I am incredibly proud of how this group has stepped into this Greek community with a drive and work ethic that bodes well for the future and longevity of the chapter. We are excited to have Phi Delta Theta back at Miami!”
“In forty-four years of serving Phi Delta Theta, there is one lesson I have learned about the most successful chapters in our great values-based leadership society,” mentioned Executive Vice President and CEO Emeritus Bob Biggs. He continued, “there are four cornerstones that support a successful chapter. They are the support from your host institution, support from your alumni, support from your parents, and finally, you have the support from General Headquarters. The more successful chapters understand and appreciate that. They actively engage those four cornerstones who are there serving as mentors and coaches. They do that because they care about you.”
Executive Vice President and CEO Sean Wagner spoke to the importance of applying lessons from this experience to future challenges. “Alex and I spoke last night, and we spoke about the importance of reflecting. We talked a lot about the next phase and the chapter’s five-year plan, but it is also important to think about how you have accomplished what you have. What lessons did you learn from this experience? How have you built consensus and learned to rely on one another? There will be things that you learn as a chapter and as individuals that you can take and apply to future challenges,” stated Wagner.
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 Miami University. Members, don’t forget to go back to congratulate and thank your parents for supporting you in this path of Phi Delta Theta. I’d also like to thank our alumni; it truly is our great alumni volunteers that 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 that have really walked the talk. Recognize and embrace their efforts, and before you know it, you’re next. You’re going to be the future alumni leaders mentoring and guiding those brothers who follow you.”
Congratulations to the Ohio Alpha Chapter of Phi Delta Theta at Miami University!