Phi Delta Theta returned to Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) on May 15, 2021 with the induction of the Ohio Beta Emerging Chapter. Expansion Consultant Cody Flynn spent fifteen weeks on campus recruiting and educating a group of founders who have taken on the effort to rebuild the historic Phi Delta Theta chapter at OWU. Originally founded in 1860, Ohio Beta was the Fraternity’s thirteenth chapter and has initiated 1,988 men. With a strong commitment to the Cardinal Principles and growing its diverse membership, Ohio Beta hopes to open the fraternity experience at Ohio Wesleyan to previously underrepresented students.
Ohio Wesleyan, while having some in-person presence this school year, still felt very different than usual. The JAYwalk on campus, normally filled with students, had social distancing and mask signs present. Even with the challenges presented, many students were still looking for ways to better their college experience and themselves along the way.
One of the highlights of the new emerging chapter has been reflective of this spirit of betterment. Ohio Beta and the Ohio Wesleyan Career Connections office have embarked on a unique partnership hoping to provide a high degree of career preparation to all members of the emerging chapter. Every member will meet with the staff and volunteers in the office at least once a semester. The emerging chapter will also have access to enhanced mentorship and networking opportunities.
Another highlight of the return effort has been the commitment of the alumni and chapter advisory board for the group. Through an endowment and alumni contributions from men like Mark Shipps, ’70 and Andy Warnock, ’06, the members have had their founders’ dues covered this semester to make the experience accessible to more students. The alumni have also successfully raised capital in a housing campaign to renovate their chapter. This summer, the facility will begin a $3.2 million renovation with an anticipated move-in date of spring 2022.
“The men we have at Ohio Beta are a truly special group,” said Expansion Consultant Cody Flynn. “If we look at what the future of fraternity life can be, this group will lead that charge. They think outside the box and are looking for ways to change the idea of fraternity at OWU. They are at a campus where several different identities exist in a small community, and they want Phi Delta Theta to be representative of that.”
Phi Delta Theta congratulates the Ohio Beta Emerging Chapter and offers thanks to all of the volunteers who helped re-establish the Fraternity. Phi Delta Theta is excited to celebrate its accomplishments in the future as the emerging chapter progresses towards installation as a chapter.