“This is a great time to be a Chi Phi!” was the call from Grand Alpha Jim Soderquist, Alpha 1967, at the 149th Chi Phi Congress. Though Brother Soderquist would never admit this, he is a big reason it is a great time to be a Chi Phi. In 2009, Soderquist was elected Grand Alpha-Elect and immediately went to work on making Chi Phi the best fraternity in the country.
Soderquist carefully selected his Grand Council and developed a strategic plan. He and his Grand Council set ambitious goals to improve Chapter health, create a more financially stable Chi Phi, grow Chi Phi through strategic recharterings and colonizations, reduce risk management issues, improve communications, increase national programming and increase Alumni involvement.
Under the careful watch of the Soderquist Administration, Chi Phi re-opened or started 17 Chapters. The Chapter Accreditation program was implemented to help each Chapter and Colony develop a plan for success. Accounts receivable for the Fraternity are at an historic low, and more than $9 million has been pledged to the Changing Lives Campaign.
In addition, this Grand Council has been instrumental in developing the Alphas Academy, expanding the Regional Leadership Alliances and bringing back the College of Excellence. They also helped begin the Total Membership Education program and collectively have donated nearly $1 million to build better men.
This is indeed a great time to be a Chi Phi!
At the 149th Congress, Brother Soderquist began preparing to pass the leadership torch to Brother Ron Frank, Nu Delta 1981, Iota Zeta 1989, Delta Zeta 2000. Frank has experience leading Chi Phi. He has served the Nu Delta Alumni Association President, Nu Delta Chapter Advisor, a Chi Phi Governor, Grand Beta on Soderquist’s council and Grand Alpha from 2000 to 2005.
Frank shared his vision for Chi Phi with the 149th Congressional attendees.
“We have come a long was as a fraternity. We are leading in so many different areas, and I intend to continue to push Chi Phi to be a better organization. I would like to focus on three key areas during my tenure as Grand Alpha. My focus will be to research and publicize our heritage, improve upon Alumni outreach and increase national staffing.”
Frank intends to continue work on the Chi Phi Greek Life Museum, the next installation of the Chi Phi Chronicles and prepare for the quickly approaching 200 year anniversary of the founding of Chi Phi. He also intends to improve on the Chi Phi Alumni network by adding more City Clubs and providing support to local advisory boards, Alumni associations and housing corporations.
Frank will be installed as the Grand Alpha at the 150th Chi Phi Congress in June 2015.
Commenting about the transition from Soderquist to Frank, Trust Chairman Chris Shuler, Alpha Zeta 1984, said, “Jim is a true gentleman. He has given countless hours, unmatched passion and bold vision to our Fraternity for the last five years. I am truly honored to have had the opportunity to work alongside him leading our Fraternity and our Changing Lives Campaign. Ron has big shoes to fill but I have no doubt Chi Phi is in very capable hands.”