Kleberg Leadership Experience to Be Offered Regionally in 2020-2021

Since the debut of the Leadership College in 1987, 16,682 members of Phi Delta Theta have made a summer pilgrimage to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio for a transformational leadership experience and an introduction to a brotherhood that transcended their campus experience. Today, this annual conference is known as the Kleberg Emerging Leaders Institute.

The ongoing presence of COVID-19 brings uncertainty to what the next few months may bring. As a vast organization comprised of chapters in forty-two states and five Canadian provinces, the feasibility of hosting any event must consider the health, safety, and logistical challenges of all of our members. For this reason, on May 1, the General Council determined that the most prudent decision was to not host the Kleberg Emerging Leaders Institute on July 31-August 2, 2020 in Oxford.

Since the pandemic has taken the world by storm, the General Headquarters staff and volunteer leaders have been working to help support chapters as they prepare for the future. Various scenarios have been considered for the return of undergraduates to campuses, and initiatives focused on the future and the use of technology have been expedited. All preparations have been made with one goal in mind – to keep Phi Delta Theta at the forefront of fraternal leadership experiences.

Virtual connectivity has been invaluable as of late, and it will continue to complement the Fraternity’s efforts in the future. While new environments and tactics have emerged, Phi Delta Theta believes that the spirit of Fraternity is built upon applied leadership experiences and human interconnection. Phi Delta Theta is dedicated to ushering back normalcy as soon as possible. For this reason, the spirit of Kleberg will be used to reactivate Phi Delta Theta during the 2020-2021 academic year in the form of regional conferences.

Undoubtedly, campuses will return in many forms this fall, and during the next few months, Phi Delta Theta will be monitoring regional opportunities that would allow for a different, but safe in-person experience for attendees. What will remain the same is that the regional Kleberg experience will feature best-in-class speakers, as well as small and large group learning that will bring out the best in each attendee.

The reactivation of Phi Delta Theta will also include opportunities for the Fraternity’s officials to help present chapter awards not presented this summer and to help recruit and properly welcome what is sure to be the most important new member class of the twenty-first century.

Phi Delta Theta looks forward to sharing additional information as it becomes available in the coming months. In the meantime, we wish you and your family well.


Frequently Asked Questions


Will a Shaffer Honors College of Leadership be held in 2020 and Whole Man scholarships issued?

An online version of the Shaffer Honors College will occur later this summer, and Whole Man Scholarships will be rewarded to its participants. Information will be provided directly to selected candidates and supporting chapters.

Will a Phikeia Educators College be held in 2020?

An online experience will be held for all current and future chapters participating in the Phikeia Education Pilot Program later this summer. Information will be provided directly to chapter leadership and volunteers of those chapters.

When will the regional Kleberg events occur?

We are assessing social easing on a regional basis and hope to be able to host these meetings as soon as a healthy and safe environment is able to be facilitated. Our hope is for them to occur in the late summer and early fall.

What if I have already registered for the Kleberg Emerging Leaders Institute?

Your Kleberg registration will be cancelled on our end automatically. If your chapter registered for extra delegates, it will not be billed for these individuals.

Given the prior uncertainty of the conference, in respect to the Chapter Greatness Checklist, what if a chapter did not register a chapter delegate for the Kleberg Emerging Leaders Institute?

Kleberg registration, or lack thereof, will not have an effect on the 2019-20 Chapter Greatness Checklist.

Will faculty be needed for the regional Kleberg events?

Alumni mentorship has always been a significant component of the Kleberg experience and will remain so regionally. Once locations and venues are determined, faculty will be sought.

Will a Peer Mentor program be available for these regional Kleberg events?

Anyone who previously applied to be a 2020 Kleberg Emerging Leaders Institute Peer Mentor will be considered to help facilitate and help execute the regional experience in their areas.

Will chapters be required to attend regional Kleberg events?

Due to regional Kleberg events not being in close proximity to all chapters and occurring during the academic year, chapter attendance will not be applied towards the minimum standards program.

How will this plan impact the 2021 Kleberg Emerging Leaders Institute?

The 2021 Kleberg Emerging Leaders Institute is scheduled to occur July 30-August 1 in Oxford, Ohio as planned.

With this change in mind, how will the conference assessments be used?

Each chapter is billed $350 twice a year as a conference assessment. $100 of that assessment is allocated to in-person educational experiences and $250 towards Convention. Those allocated funds collected during the 19-20 academic year will be applied towards the overall expense of the 2021 Convention, the aforementioned regional Kleberg events, the 2021 Presidents Leadership Conference, and PDTU Online Education.

Will Province Retreats occur during the 2021-2022 academic year?

Due to plans to conduct regional Kleberg events during the academic year, Province Retreats will not be held on an International scale. Some provinces may elect to hold their own meetings independently.