History (One Step at a Time)
In the spring of 2008, Russel van Kraayenburg and Joe Nathan Anderson Jr. individually inquired to the National office of Delta Lambda Phi Fraternity their interest in creating a Colony at the University of Texas. Little did they know this was the beginning of a great adventure that would lead to the founding of a brotherhood unlike any other at UT. By May 2008, Ryan James Yezak, Mike Jules LaCour, David Jimenez III, and Charles Jordan Edmonson, had offered their efforts and inspirations to the founding of such a brotherhood. In July, Armando Sanchez joined the interest group, and the founding class of our colony was set. The journey was ready to begin.
In September the founders were assigned two colony Mentors: Cade Furnas of the Omega Chapter and Danny Soto of the Rho Chapter, who were enthusiastic about our Alpha Pledge Class Induction. On November 1st, 2008, with Danny and Cade, brothers Dusty Garner, Jefferson Patton, and Eric Anderson of the Kansas State Beta Mu Chapter, and Rob Grau of the Fraternity Office, flew to our grand University for our very first Ritual and the Alpha Pledge Class Induction took place.
In May 2009, we held our first Rush, with dozens of interested young men attending. At this time we realized that one more financial requirement had been overlooked, and a sudden dark cloud loomed over the Founders. Recent disagreements had been bothersome, though bearable, but this extra hurdle pushed three of the seven Founders to withdraw from the colony days before our Ritual Weekend. At our Ritual Weekend Armando Sanchez, David Jimenez III, Charles Jordan Edmonson and Joe Nathan Anderson Jr. crossed as Neophytes. Twelve young men were inducted as our Beta Pledge Class, which would endure its pledge process throughout the summer, an all out attempt to boost our numbers and strength.
At the end of the summer, four pledges were lost, and the Alphas realized that though the challenge was great, the new betas were greater than expected. Also during the summer, the University of Texas at Austin Colony was rewarded Colony of the Year at the 2009 National Convention as a reward and acknowledgement for our merit and efforts; despite the struggles, our Colony was visible on campus, and growing stronger every day.
In August 2009 we held our Go Green [And Gold] Rush for a fall Gamma Pledge Class. Again, we had strong numbers during rush, and offered almost as many bids as the Beta Rush. But the night before the ritual, half of those who accepted the bids changed their mind mysteriously, perhaps a blessing in disguise. With Five boys inducted as the Gamma Pledge Class and the Betas now Neophytes, spirits were high.
In January 2010 we held our third Rush for a spring Delta Pledge Class. Numbers were good for a Spring Rush, and four bids were offered. With 16 boys and Ritual Weekend weeks away, our Charter Petition polished for submission, exciting plans for the future, a full exec board, and encouragement from Mentors and Alumni, the Delta Lambda Phi Colony at the University of Texas at Austin shined brighter than ever before, deep in the heart of Texas.
In October 2010, we finally took the journey every Lambda man must take, with Paddy at our side. Only, ours was the culmination of almost three years of hard work. On Saturday October 2, 2010,in front of Jeff Thompson the Trustee, Morgan Morris our Central Regional Director, and Christopher Newman the Executive Director, as well as our colony mentors, our Brotherhood passed its final test. The Beta Rho Chapter of the Delta Lambda Phi Social Fraternity [Inc.] at the University of Texas at Austin was officially recognized, and eleven young men crossed into brotherhood.
In December, the newly chartered Beta Rho chapter crossed the Epsilon-Hall pledge class into brotherhood. The Epsies became the largest pledge class to cross with a total of 10 boys completing the process. The next spring we welcomed the six boys of the Zeta-Williams pledge class. With half the chapter graduating in May, the Epsies showed their enthusiasm by taking over the exec board thereby ensuring that the fraternity would continue to strive with the Chartering members leaving to start new lives.
Today, the Beta Rho chapter consists of the Iota, Kappa, Lambda, Nu, and Nu Pledge classes as active members. The chapter has continued its work on becoming a visible, proud, and active force with the Queer and the Greek Communities on the University of Texas campus as well as in the Greater Austin community. Every semester the Beta Rho chapter grows and continues to prove that it is a force to be reckoned with.
~Br. Ronnie Benion
Updated by: Andy Xu