Words From Founders
Founder, Alpha Chi Chapter (Boston, MA)
I remember the time I spent founding my Chapter as a joyous one and an inevitability. I don’t remember it being a challenge, a hardship, or a lot of work. It certainly was all those things, but I don’t remember it that way. My recollection is all positive. The joy I felt bringing people together in a common cause. The excitement of building something new. Building a lasting Brotherhood to counteract the superficial and ephemeral connections that many other organizations offered. Delta Lambda Phi, for me, brought together the best of a traditional fraternity—the idea of honor, endurance, and commitment—without decades of baggage that many other fraternities had; the homophobia, the legacy members, and the power plays.
The other aspect was the inevitability of this occurring. I knew that Boston would have a Chapter one day, but I wanted to see it happen and be a part of that process. So for me, starting the Chapter was a way to share the inevitability of this happening with other people, and encourage them to be a part of the process, too.
There were times where people had differences of opinion and arguments ensued. We were so young, so new to this whole fraternity thing. The vision of a Boston Chapter was there with all of us, but I was afraid that strife and friction would cause us to lose the vision. But I kept working with my fellow Pledges to remind them of what we were building. The vision endured and we all won in the end, with many of my fellow Colonists agreeing that our differences of opinion were actually a strength for us.
Over ten years have passed since this time, and I still call many of these gentlemen my Brothers. Many of us has become leaders in our own communities and when we chat, we tend to talk about the new and exciting things in our lives as much as we reminisce. And while I don’t get to see many as often as I would like, when we are together, that closeness endures. The years fall away. The vision is still there with all of us, and we are Brothers.
Alpha Class, Beta Omicron Chapter (University of Toledo)
I was looking to join a fraternity. I was recommended to look into a specific one on campus because I would be a good fit. I met a couple of the guys but never felt that they wanted to get to know me. I felt uneasy about wanting to continue to rush and get to know them.
A couple of days later a friend who had graduated told me there were a couple of guys on campus looking to bring a new fraternity onto campus, and he asked if I was interested. I said I would give it a try and go the first information meeting they were having. I knew no one there, but then, everyone was mostly a stranger to everyone else. I listened to the information and I decided I would give it a try. I could tell that the other guys were genuine in wanting to get to know everyone else and make this new fraternity thrive on campus. I went through the whole colonization process and eventually was initiated into the Brotherhood of Delta Lambda Phi.
As I look back on that process, I can proudly say I made the best decision in my life. I have made some fantastic bonds with Brothers from around the country, who I otherwise never would have met. My life has been enriched because of those Brothers and because of this Fraternity. The journey was hard but the payoff was a thousand times better than I ever could have imagined. It has been such a joy in my life, and I am glad that I am able to contribute back to the Fraternity and continue to see that reward when new Brothers are Initiated. I would do it all over again in an instant without any regrets or changes. I am a better person because of this Fraternity.
Founding Member, Beta Nu Chapter (Missouri University of Science & Technology)
Be patient with the process. It can be daunting and not every detail will be spelled out for you, though, it’s important for them not to be. Each group is unique. Hold fast to the reasons why you started the Interest Group, then Colony, and eventually Chapter, but ensure that those reasons breathe. Initial goals and purposes need to be able to change as you gain new members and your group changes. In four words, be flexible and patient.
After Chartering, further understand that the goals from your colonization period, while they should not be abandoned, should not be the same. The Founders cannot have the same experience as those who come after, and vice versa. Founders need to be attentive, administrative, and persistent. Afterward, those three qualities may not be the most critical. Instead, Brotherhood, service, love, and care (to name a few) may ring more true.