Fall is my favorite time of year. The leaves will soon start to change, there will be a crispness to the morning air, college football will fill our Saturdays, and most importantly, college students across North America will begin returning to campuses. This year, fall is even more special. Most campuses will be returning to in-person learning for the first time in eighteen months. The excitement of reconnecting with fellow students, many of whom you may only know as a face on a screen, is notable. The bonds of brotherhood will only be strengthened as we prepare for in-person chapter meetings, initiations, milestones, and celebrations.
With all of this excitement, we must also be vigilant. COVID-19 continues to be a concern for public health officials and university administrators alike. The spread of the Delta variant across North America is something we cannot ignore. As you return to campus, it is imperative to follow the COVID-19 protocols set by your college or university. As Phi Delts, we are responsible leaders. As leaders, we set the bar for our communities; and by setting the bar for our communities, we show the rest of the campus what we truly believe.
This is what we believe – Friendship, Sound Learning, and Rectitude. Our values define us as Phi Delts, but they should also guide our daily decisions. In all of our daily lives, we should strive to uphold the teachings of The Bond of Phi Delta Theta. As recruitment approaches, we should base membership decisions on these values, not the arbitrary barriers to membership we sometimes put in place. As we celebrate with each other, events should be planned with the care and attention demanded by the values of Friendship and Rectitude. As our members inevitably grapple with difficult conversations around social unrest, approach these conversations with an eye toward Sound Learning. Let’s keep our minds open, listen to each other, learn from each other, and not be so quick to dismiss a different viewpoint.
Brothers, we have many challenges ahead as we return to campus this fall. Together, we will meet those challenges and turn them into opportunities. We look forward to celebrating all of your accomplishments this year. Welcome home!