Through a pandemic and a summer filled with creative communication and engagement, both in-person and virtual, Phi Delta Theta has joined the Greek community at East Tennessee State University.
The initial establishment of Tennessee Theta had just begun in March when COVID-19 forced the General Headquarters team to leave campus. Thankfully, the initial recruitment efforts of Expansion Consultants Cody Flynn and Devin Thornton had resulted in several students expressing interest in becoming Founders.
After working virtually with the initial interest group throughout the summer to keep momentum going, Brother Thornton, accompanied by fellow Expansion Consultant Seth Crain returned to Johnson City in late August to continue recruiting and promoting the Phi Delta Theta experience. Working alongside the undergraduate Founders on a mostly remote learning campus, the group grew to twenty-four members. On October 7 Province President Todd Nisbet, Southern California ’87 and Chapter Advisory Board Chairman Hunter Carlheim, Robert Morris ’17 formally inducted the Tennessee Theta Emerging Chapter. Safety was a priority during the ceremony with limited attendees, face coverings, and social distance.
In his letter of recommendation for Tennessee Theta, Chapter Advisory Board Chairman Hunter Carlheim stated, “I think that it says a lot about this group of men that they were able to maintain membership, recruit new members, and begin the crucial stages of brotherhood all during a pandemic. Through group messages, Zoom calls, and socially distanced interactions, Tennessee Theta has already proven that when faced with a challenge they are not going to back down. Beyond this, the dynamic leaders that form this emerging chapter come from different backgrounds but amazingly come together in the spirit of serving others. Whether it is community service, philanthropic ideals, or taking part in serving our country through ROTC, the commonality of service has driven all of these men to join Phi Delta Theta to live the values of friendship, sound learning, and rectitude.”
Phi Delta Theta is extremely excited for the future of Tennessee Theta as the Founders work to receive a charter.
“We will become the leadership standard on campus for Greek life and will bring honor to Phi Delta Theta,” said Tennessee Theta President Nathaniel James Vernon.
Phi Delta Theta joins the East Tennessee State community as the tenth IFC chapter, and Tennessee Theta gives the Fraternity an active presence at four campuses in the State of Tennessee.
“The men of Tennessee Theta are on the road to greatness, both on the ETSU campus and beyond,” said Province President Todd Nisbet.