Jun 18, 2024

Donor Profile – Walt Morris

Phi Delta Theta Foundation Pursuit of Greatness The Scroll News
Donor Profile – Walt Morris

Thank you for your support to the Phi Delta Theta Foundation!

The Phi Delta Theta Foundation exists to strengthen men for life by building on the tradition of our core values: Friendship, Sound Learning and Rectitude. The Foundation grants $1 million annually in scholarships, fellowships, and educational grants to help Phis on their pursuit of greatness.

Meet Walt Morris, Mississippi State ’22, a dedicated supporter of the Phi Delta Theta Foundation. Walt is a member of the Young Alumni Trustees Roundtable, a giving society for graduates within the last ten years and undergraduates. These Phis are welcomed into the Trustees’ Roundtable when they give $100 for each year since they have graduated. By supporting the Phi Delta Theta Foundation, Walt carries his legacy to future generations of Phis, so that they can experience the same transformative opportunities that helped shape his own Phi Delta Theta journey.

What is your most memorable experience or moment from Phi Delta Theta?

I have been fortunate to experience and see what Phi Delta Theta offers and what the organization is about at all levels. The most memorable moments were probably at my home chapter, Mississippi Beta, at Mississippi State University, and at what we call Final Roll Call. Every year, my chapter holds a final meeting just after classes end but before the final exam study days start. All members are expected to attend this meeting and remain there until the end. This was our chapter’s final sendoff to all of the seniors in the chapter. This was a night in their honor where everyone got to say their final well wishes and the seniors could impart their final words of wisdom to those coming up in the chapter after them. We started right after dinner and, in descending order by Bond number, allowed every member to say what they had in their heart to the seniors and the chapter as a whole. This went on well into the early hours of the next day, but nobody complained. I loved Phi Delta Theta from the beginning, but at my first Final Roll Call, I remember feeling all thoughts of what life may have been like had I pledged to another fraternity fade away. Throughout the night, I saw how much the organization and the connections forged at the chapter meant to each member. Every year that I was at Mississippi Beta, we repeated the tradition, and each year, I saw another display of what Phi Delta Theta’s promise of brotherhood meant to our members. It was a heartwarming and emotional experience that I looked forward to annually.

If you could go back in time, would you change anything about your experience? If so, what?

I would not change anything. I truly feel like I got the optimal experience from my membership and would not have wanted anything different. I wish more people could have a similar experience as I did.

Do you feel that Phi Delta Theta made a difference in your life?

Phi Delta Theta made a difference in my life and is the organization to which I attribute a large part of my success so far. My time as a member of Phi Delta Theta allowed me to develop into the man I am today. Because of my experience in Phi Delta Theta, I developed many of the skills I used in undergrad and still use today at my job and in life. In the chapter, I served as the chapter’s awards chairman, vice president, and president. I was supported by the chapter in my positions on campus as a member of the University’s Honor Code Council and Student Conduct Board, the Director of Academic Affairs and the Interfraternity Council Senate Representative in campus student government, and as a leader of many other organizations on campus. Phi Delta Theta has always been an organization that has helped cultivate leaders and make its members the greatest version of themselves. I believe that Phi Delta Theta delivered on that promise in my case. Through Phi Delta Theta, I have met the men I now regard as brothers, and that has had lasting impacts on my life, so I would not trade for anything.

You’ve attended Kleberg, McKenzie, and the General Convention. What would you tell younger Phis about these opportunities?

I recommend that anyone given the opportunity to attend one of these conferences take it. Phi Delta Theta is known for its outstanding leadership development programs and instructional material; there is much to be gained from these events. All three of these conferences allow members to gain insight into what the international organization is like, and they allow you to leave feeling connected to something larger than yourself and with brilliant ideas to take back to your chapter. In my first year as a Phi, my attendance at Kleberg allowed me to connect with other chapters from across the country and develop new ideas that I later implemented as a leader of my home chapter. McKenzie directly supports already elected members of their chapters and allows these leaders access to a wealth of additional knowledge/guidance. At the same time, they develop higher-level goals for their chapter and the action plans to complete these goals. Upon leaving convention, I felt prepared for my new role as the chapter president and was introduced to many contacts I later used to navigate difficult situations. Meeting other chapter presidents also allowed me to have a group to bounce future ideas off of. General Convention allows you to see more of the governing side of the Fraternity and learn about many of the organization’s strategic goals. These opportunities allowed me to become a better leader and fully understand what Phi Delta Theta is on an international level.

What are you most proud of in your life so far?

I am most proud that I have reached a point so early in life where things are already starting to come together. I am thankful for the job opportunity I have been given working for Northrop Grumman in Utah as an engineer (which I was in part aided in getting by recommendation letters from fellow Phis). I am thankful for the relationships I have developed and maintained with my chapter brothers over the years. I am probably most proud of my relationship with my fiancée as she has supported me in many things in life, including moving to Utah for my job, my continued involvement as the chapter advisory board chairman of Mississippi Beta, and my recent decision to work towards a master’s while working full-time.

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