News

ALS Ride For Life

Sunday, May 14 at 3 PM on the GWU campus.

Christopher Pendergast was diagnosed with ALS twenty-four years ago. A former teacher for over thirty years, he chose to fight.

In an effort to build ALS awareness and raise financial support in search of a cure, Chris founded a non-profit, volunteer-run organization called ALS Ride For Life. For the past 20 years, Chris has traveled in his motorized wheelchair, along with other patients, families, and friends from Lou Gehrig’s memorial in Yankee Stadium either to Washington, DC or across Long Island.

To date, he has raised over $7M for research, patient care, education and awareness of the horrific disease that took the life of New York Yankee legend, and our own Phi Delta Theta brother, Lou Gehrig. Chris has made this ride for a cure his second career. He is on a ventilator now but soldiers on. He is one amazing man!

This year starting on May 4, Chris journeys to Washington, DC and will make stops at the University of Maryland in College Park and George Washington University in Washington, DC en route to the United States Capitol.

While at GWU, come out to meet Chris and welcome him to the Nation’s Capital on Sunday, May 14 at 3 PM and show your support in the fight against ALS.

WHO: All area Phi Delts, DC Alpha colony members

WHEN: Sunday, May 14, 2017 at 3 PM

WHERE: George Washington University
2132 H Street, NW
(Meet at the GWU gate, 21st & H Streets just across from the Marvin Center)
Washington, DC 20052

Follow the latest updates on this year’s ALS Ride For Life via Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/ALSRideForLife/

For more information, please contact Ride For Life’s Dick Iannuzzi, (631) 352-8998 or Dennis Constanza, DC Alpha Colony of Phi Delta Theta.

Washington, DC Alpha Colonization Ceremony at GWU

GWU statue

All members, guests, family and friends of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity are cordially invited to attend the Colonization Ceremony of Washington, DC Alpha on the campus of George Washington University. Recruitment efforts officially began this fall and we are pleased to be able to take this next important step in the process of establishing a chapter at GWU.

Phi Delt DC GWU DC AlphaThe ceremony will take place on Sunday, December 11, 2016 at 2 PM ET in GWU’s Marvin Center, Room 309. Admission is free and the event is open to the public. Business attire (coat and tie) is requested.

WHERE: Marvin Center, George Washington University
800 21st Street NW, Room 309, Washington, DC
WHO: All area Phi Delts, family, friends, GWU Greek community and guests
WHEN: Sunday, December 11, 2016 at 2 PM

Please RSVP via Eventbrite. We expect a large turnout by friends/family of the colony, GWU Greek Life community, local area Phi Delt undergraduates and alumni so we kindly ask that you RSVP by Wednesday, December 7, 2016 so that we can plan accordingly.

If you have questions about the event, please contact GHQ Leadership Consultant BJ Henderson at (262) 930-9679 or send an email to updates@phideltdc.com with subject line “DC Alpha Colony.”

Join Phi Delt DC in the Walk to Defeat ALS

ALS Walk Phi Delta Theta DC AlumniAmyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Lou Gehrig was not only a legendary New York Yankee, he was also a Brother in the Bond of Phi Delta Theta.

To honor Brother Gehrig’s memory and to help fight this horrible disease and provide resources to those currently affected by it, the Phi Delta Theta Washington, DC alumni club is forming a team to participate in the annual “Walk to Defeat ALS” consisting of undergraduates, alumni and other supporters.

Here are the details for this year’s event in Washington, DC:

WHERE: Washington Monument Grounds
WHEN: Saturday, October 29, 2016
TIME: 9 AM Registration, 10 AM Walk Begins
DISTANCE: 3 miles

Join the DC Alumni Club team “Phi Delta Theta DC” by visiting:
http://web.alsa.org/goto/phideltdc

Whether or not you are able to walk with us, please consider joining our fight. Let’s do it for Brother Lou!

Lou GehrigALS Walk

Phi Delt DC Summer Reception

Phi Delta Theta Summer Reception Washington DC August 2016

On August 10, 2016, approximately 35 Phi Delts gathered for a casual summer reception hosted by local area alumni.  Over two dozen different chapters were represented.

Many thanks to all who attended and special appreciation to the eight Phis from Gettysburg College (Pennsylvania Beta) who hosted the event in their Washington, DC home.

Phi Delta Theta Expands to George Washington University

Washington, DC Alpha Colony Forms Fall 2016

PhiDeltDC-GWUWe are very pleased to announce that following a presentation by GHQ staff and local Phi Delt alumni to the GWU IFC this past April, Phi Delta Theta has been officially selected to expand to the campus of George Washington University.

Although we have local chapters at UMD, McDaniel, Washington College, Johns Hopkins and UVA, this will be the first expansion for Phi Delta Theta in our nation’s capital city.

Recruitment efforts will begin later this Fall after Formal Rush has been completed. If you would like to be involved with the expansion efforts, please register via Phi Delta Theta’s website and indicate your interest in serving on the Washington, DC Alpha Colony Advisory Board.

Phi Delta Theta Urges Reinstatement of University of Virginia Greek Community

uva-virginia-campusPhi Delta Theta International Fraternity has closely monitored the recent developments at the University of Virginia stemming from Rolling Stone’s “A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice” story. The subject matter and continuing conversation around sexual assault and rape is of utmost importance to Phi Delta Theta, and the Fraternity fully believes that its Virginia Beta Chapter at the University of Virginia is comprised of young men who can be a valuable part of the solution on campus.

Phi Delta Theta is opposed to the University of Virginia’s approach of suspending Greek social activities as it has infringed on the Fraternity’s First Amendment freedom of association rights and existing operating agreements on campus. Further, as the University of Virginia develops a new Fraternity Operating Agreement, Phi Delta Theta does not support negotiations until the suspension is removed.

Phi Delta Theta understands its duty of cultivating responsible young men on college campuses and takes great pride in its progressive leadership within the Greek community on an international stage. Nearly 15 years ago, Phi Delta Theta implemented its Alcohol-Free Housing policy, a policy that has both championed responsible behavior and resulted in safer environments for our members and their guests. Phi Delta Theta knows that alcohol is oftentimes a main contributor to the sexual assault and rape issues that exist on college campuses, and the Fraternity remains steadfast in developing its chapters in a way that makes them valuable assets to the campuses and communities where they exist.

Source: Phi Delta Theta Fraternity

Former Maryland Coach Gary Williams Inducted Into Basketball Hall of Fame

Brother Gary Williams, Maryland ’68, former head coach of the University of Maryland men’s basketball team (1989-2011) was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame this past weekend at the 2014 Enshrinement Ceremony in Springfield, MA.

Williams was one of ten in the 2014 class of honorees including Nolan Richardson, Mitch Richmond, Bob Leonard, Guy Rodgers, Nat Clifton, Sarunas Marciulionis, Alonzo Mourning, David Stern and Immaculata University.

Gary’s first job coaching basketball at the college level was as an assistant coach at Lafayette College. The position also required that he serve as head coach of the soccer team, a one year post that he ended up holding for six years. Upon reflection about his team’s performance on the pitch, Gary said, “People ask me how I did as a soccer coach. Let me just say this… the Soccer Hall of Fame hasn’t called yet.”

He went on to be the head basketball coach at American University, Boston College and Ohio State University before returning to his alma mater in 1989 at the University of Maryland where he once played as a starting point guard and was team captain in 1967.

According to the umterps website, during Gary’s coaching career at Maryland, he led the “basketball program from a period of troubled times to an era of national prominence.”

With 14 NCAA Tournament berths in the last 17 seasons, seven Sweet Sixteen appearances, a pair of consecutive Final Four showings, and the 2002 National Championship – the first of its kind in Maryland basketball history – Williams and his staff have literally forged what is now more than a decade of dominance in college basketball’s most storied and competitive conference.

After leading the Terrapins to the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title in 2010, Williams was voted the league’s Coach of the Year by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. It was his second such award, as he was also honored in 2002.

Now with 442 victories as Maryland’s head coach, Williams stands as the Terrapins all-time winningest head basketball coach. He passed Charles “Lefty” Driesell, who amassed 348 victories in 18 seasons from 1969 to 1986. The Terrapins have averaged 22.6 wins per year since the 1994-95 season.

With 649 career victories in 32 seasons overall, Williams is the 5th-winningest active head coach in NCAA Division I men’s basketball.

Watch the full acceptance speech here:

Today, Williams is a college basketball analyst for the Big Ten Network and can be heard regularly on ESPN 980‘s “The Sports Fix” program.

RELATED
Gary Williams savors entry into Naismith Hall of Fame
Boston Herald, 8/10/14

Williams, Zo shared common ground
Washington Post, 8/8/14

Gary Williams reflects on enshrinement into Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
The Baltimore Sun, 8/8/14

Entry into Naismith Hall of Fame ‘validates’ Gary Williams’ coaching career
Fox News, Associated Press, 8/6/14

The Evolution of the Modern Fraternity

By Christopher A. Lapple – President, Phi Delta Theta International Fraternity

The Dark Power of Fraternities, written on February 19 by Caitlin Flanagan of The Atlantic, caught the attention of the leadership and general membership of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. While we are very aware of the issues that remain within the walls of fraternities, specifically alcohol-abuse and hazing, Phi Delta Theta and its bold leadership has long been making tough decisions to address them.

No parent, who has the highest hopes when their son or daughter attends college, entering the prime of their life with every good experience yet to come, should have to bury a child. Having said this, society today has become less tolerant of the behavior referenced in the article, especially when it leads to the unthinkable. Understandably, rare instances of death, injury and stereotypical behavior will always make the front page. However, it is unfortunate that positive stories about community service, philanthropy and acts of brotherhood that occur every day are either overshadowed by the bigger, more sensational story or ignored altogether.

Phi Delta Theta introduced an Alcohol Free Housing policy in 1997 with these growing concerns in mind. There was a three-year phase-in period and an implementation of the full policy on July 1, 2000. When this policy was introduced, many skeptics believed that this was the end of our organization. Many predicted the organization’s doom in five years. However, today I’m proud to report that the policy is having a tremendously positive impact, disproving our naysayers, and placing Phi Delta Theta in a much better state today than prior to this groundbreaking decision.

In the early 90s, Phi Delta Theta experienced two undergraduate member deaths. Such moments were incredibly troubling for my predecessors on our Board and they understood that they needed to tackle an issue that was bigger than just Phi Delta Theta. Their solution was to return to the values established by our Founders in 1848 and focus on the Fraternity’s three Cardinal Principles: Friendship – the cultivation of friendship among members, Sound Learning – the acquirement individually of a high degree of mental culture, and Rectitude – the attainment personally of a high standard of morality.

As Phi Delta Theta chapters and its members drifted away from the Fraternity’s true purpose and the vision of our Founders, and upon reflection of our Cardinal Principles, it pointed to a need to realign the organization’s values and actions. Such realignment occurred with the help of Alcohol Free Housing.

Once the organization’s leadership made the decision to move forward, seven goals were established alongside the institution of the Alcohol Free Housing policy: 1) return the focus to our founding principles, 2) combat an alcohol-dominated culture, 3) improve members’ academic performance, 4) stop the deterioration of chapter facilities, 5) slow the rising cost of liability insurance, 6) meet the needs of today’s college students with substantial programming and leadership education, 7) reengage our alumni members.

The return to our core values and the implementation of Alcohol Free Housing has produced overwhelmingly positive results for Phi Delta Theta and the 188 campuses where we exist. We have discovered that many students seek a values-based experience from their fraternity. From 2000, when the policy was fully implemented by all of our chapters until today, we’ve experienced a 41.37% increase in the number of new members who join our organization each year. Our total number of undergraduate members has increased 38.64%.

From a competitive standpoint, our average chapter size is 64 members, the second highest among all fraternities and up from 49 in 2000. The national average hovers around the low to mid 40s. From a chapter growth perspective, we have installed or reinstated 64 chapters since 2000. During the 2012-13 academic year, we installed eight new groups with an average size of 45 new members. We are on pace to do this again in 2013-14.

Sound learning has also improved as the organization’s collective GPA is at 3.01, up from 2.73 in 2000. In addition, our members are making smarter decisions outside of the classroom that keep themselves and their brothers safe from high-risk events. The best way to measure this success is by evaluating the number of incidents that might manifest themselves into insurance claims. We averaged 12.3 alcohol-related insurance claims per year prior to 2000 with an average annual payout of $413,378. Today, we average 4.9 claims a year with an average annual payout of $23,877.  The average number of annual claims has decreased 60.5% and the severity of payout has decreased 94.2%. Because of this, our liability insurance costs have dropped substantially, thereby, offering a much more affordable and safer experience to our members. Today, the average per member insurance rate for fraternities is approximately $160 per member; our rate is less than half that at $74 per member.

Our alumni have quickly noticed the difference in our organization and have returned to be involved as advisers and mentors. In 2000, we had approximately 200 advisers. Today, we have 885, a 342.5% increase. Because of the positive effects of Alcohol Free Housing, alumni are more comfortable providing both their time and treasure. Additionally, alumni giving is at an all-time high. In 1990, our Foundation raised just over $494,000; in 2000, just over $1.08 million. This past year, $3.65 million was raised to provide valuable educational programs and financial assistance to our members in the form of undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships.

More than anything, I believe that by removing alcohol from our facilities, we have been able to focus on things that make us a better organization. While we concentrate a great deal on risk management education, our volunteers and staff no longer regularly focus on incidents involving alcohol. We are now able to broaden our focus to other progressive programming for our members.

While we will be the first to admit that we are certainly not perfect, we are extremely confident about our direction, decisions, and leadership, and we remain committed to tackling the tough issues that currently face our organization and our members. Most importantly, we are proud of our members and their support in helping our Fraternity become the greatest version of itself.

This article is cross-posted on the Phi Delta Theta blog

Brother Byrne Elected to Congress

Congratulations to Brother Bradley Byrne, Duke ’75, who won a special election Tuesday night to represent the 1st District of Alabama in the U.S. House.

Byrne (R) fills the seat previously held by former Congressman Jo Bonner who left Congress earlier this year for a position in the University of Alabama system.

This brings the total number of Phi Delts currently serving in the U.S. Congress to three including Sen. James Risch from Idaho and Rep. Luke Messer from Indiana.


RELATED
Republican Bradley Byrne wins Alabama special election (Washington Post, 12/17/13)

Phi Delta Theta Foundation Meets in Washington, DC

On October 25-27, 2013, Phi Delta Theta Foundation trustees and general headquarters staff members gathered for a foundation board meeting in Washington, DC.

Phi Delta Theta Foundation Washington DC October 2013

Photo credit: Phi Delta Theta Fraternity