It has often been quoted that change is inevitable, but progress is optional. As we would all agree, this Nation and the world at-large are experiencing unprecedented times of political, social and economic turmoil. Like every other aspect of our lives, our Fraternity is impacted by these unpredictable and mercurial times.
I am frequently asked whether fraternities can continue to be relevant in today’s college environment. My answer is an emphatic and unequivocal – yes!
Today’s young men have grown up in a world where traditional values have been supplanted by moral relativism and veiled accountability.
Sadly, there are few organizations and even fewer positive male role models to lead and guide these young men during their formative years.
Chi Phi continues to provide the opportunity for lifelong friendships, leadership and character development.
I can proudly make this statement because our chapters are continuing to experience substantial growth throughout this country.
For me, these membership statistics are an extremely important aspect of our current and future health. While it is important that we continue to expand to new campuses, it is even more important that we support our current chapters and help them succeed. I believe we are making significant progress on that front.
Young men are seeking opportunities to position themselves in a competitive marketplace. They are searching for opportunities that expand their knowledge and leadership abilities. The out-of-classroom learning experiences provided by Chi Phi remain as important today as at any period in our history. While there will always be room for improvement, our efforts are making a profound difference, and students are validating this difference by joining our ranks.
When I assumed the office of Grand Alpha several years ago, I set forth a strategic plan for the Fraternity – the first formally-adopted strategic plan we’ve had in many years.
This plan revolved around four key initiatives: Chapter Health, Chapter Expansion, Alumni Development and Heritage Preservation. Hopefully, the progress to date has been readily apparent to everyone.
I firmly believe that it is quintessential to the future of Chi Phi that we resist complacency and the false sense of comfort that accompanies the intoxicating drug of the “status quo.” We must continue to be bold and innovative. We must continue to actively pursue the necessary steps that will ensure we remain relevant to young men, their parents, our Alumni and our higher education partners.
Ownership of our future is not the exclusive domain of the Grand Alpha, the Grand Council or any other special interest group. It belongs to each and every one of us.
I hope you will share in our enthusiasm and vision for Chi Phi. We seek nothing less than to be the premiere college fraternity in America.
In the Bonds,
Dr. Jim Soderquist, Alpha 1967