Apr 27, 2017

National Volunteer Appreciation Week – CAB Chairman Keith Lopez

Phi Delt Volunteers
National Volunteer Appreciation Week – CAB Chairman Keith Lopez

Each semester when I meet with the Phikeia of the Phi Delta Theta chapter I advise, I tell them that through their Phi Delta Theta experience, three things should happen:

  1. They should become better.
  2. Their brothers should become better because they were a part of each other’s lives.
  3. Their chapter and organization should be better because they were each a part of it.

As the current Chapter Advisory Board Chairman for the Colorado Gamma Chapter at Colorado State University, I have been able to witness men attempting to work towards these tenants year after year.

I constantly get questions from the various people in my life that include:

“Why do you still help out with that fraternity? “Are you really going to do that conference again?” “What do you do as an Adviser?” “How much longer are you really going to do that fraternity thing?”

I continue to volunteer for Phi Delta Theta, because I believe in living the Cardinal Principles of our organization. Transmitting those values is a conscious part of every interaction, my work, how I advise and mentor students, my personal relationships, and how I hope to live my life. I am fortunate to have great mentors in Phi Delt who continue to challenge me to live out the values of our great Fraternity. I truly believe that brotherhood runs extremely deep, a feeling that was specifically affirmed by the actions of some of my brothers since my father passed away last summer.

My path to Phi Delta Theta was an unexpected one and definitely not the traditional path to joining a fraternity. After completing my undergraduate work at the University of New Mexico with a Secondary Education degree, I attended Colorado State University to obtain my Masters in Student Affairs in Higher Education with the goal of working in college student services. At the time, Colorado State University had recently decided to pilot a program in which they were placing graduate students as Live-In Advisors in fraternity housing facilities.

As someone who did not join a fraternity during my undergraduate experience, I was somewhat hesitant of the opportunity when placed with Phi Delta Theta. After a year of working with the chapter in an advising capacity, the men in the chapter chose to initiate me as a brother, an opportunity and an experience that has provided a lasting impact in my life.

Beyond serving Colorado Gamma directly, I also serve as a member of the Education Committee as Co-Chair of the Phikeia Educators College experience. In this role, I work alongside an incredible group of volunteers to enhance the resources provided to our Phikeia Educators. These resources include the facilitator’s guide and online resources which encourage congruence of the new member education programs in the Fraternity with the values of the organization. I have also collaborated on writing the curriculum for and facilitated at the Phikeia Educators College that occurs every July in Oxford, Ohio since it its inception.

In addition to my work with the Fraternity, I am also completing my third year of coursework for a Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership at Colorado State University. My volunteer work with Phi Delt has led me to continue to learn more about leadership curriculum for fraternities, specifically curriculum and programming related to new member education processes. Thus, I hope to conduct research on the correlation between fraternity new member education programs and the influence on the new member education experience.

Through this entire journey, I have found that giving back to the Fraternity as a volunteer has given me much more than I can quantify, and volunteering in these capacities has been my way of transmitting the Fraternity not only, not less, but greater than it was transmitted to me. I am grateful for the experiences and can only hope that the undergraduate men I have advised find their own unique and personal ways to transmit the Fraternity beyond their undergraduate experience in ways that are especially meaningful to them.

This year, the Phi Delt Fund is dedicated to our Brotherhood – To our Cardinal Principles, our Bond, and each other.

All gifts in 2017 may be made in honor of a brother or brothers who exemplify our Cardinal Principles and make you say, “Proud to be a Phi.”

When you make a gift—either online or through the mail— include a note to the brother you’re honoring and we’ll forward it to him along with a One Man Is No Man decal he can display proudly.

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