Four Missouri Alpha Colony members will serve as faces of the University of Missouri this summer as Summer Welcome Leaders. Alongside 32 other leaders, these four Phis will invite incoming freshmen on a daily basis. Their role as leaders will be to “provide knowledge, resources, and engaging opportunities for new students in their academic, social, and cultural transition to Mizzou,” Summer Welcome Student Coordinator Rachel Hensel said.
Phis Chase O’Neal, Derrek Hardy, Darien Lee and Patrick Skrivan were selected to hold this position after going through a rigorous application process. After writing application essays and getting recommendation letters, they went through three rounds of interviews. On Tuesday, Jan. 31, they received a call from Hensel welcoming them into the elite program.
Hensel said that O’Neal, Hardy, Lee and Skrivan will be important members of the group, ensuring that the 36 leaders work as a cohesive unit to “connect with one another, as well as future Tigers.”
Over the course of two months, these Phis will guide incoming students across campus and prepare them for their college careers. Students attend informational sessions, club fairs, resource fairs and a meeting with their college advisers to schedule Fall classes. “Summer Welcome Leaders guide students through this process and act as a mentor to make the transition to Mizzou as easy as possible,” Hensel said. “They do the same for parents and guests that are welcome to accompany their students to the session.”
Until the summer, the group of 2017 Summer Welcome Leaders will attend weekly meetings for training and team-building activities. They will go to Venture Out, a local low and high ropes course that challenges teams to communicate and work as a well-oiled machine.
By the end of their first year as Phis, these four members will be waking up every morning to greet new Missouri Tigers.
“Our leaders have to have the energy to wake up early with a genuine smile on their face to ensure every new student feels welcome,” Hensel said. “Not only that, but we ask that they make themselves a long term resource for the students they come into contact with during the summer.”
Lee, a sophomore studying Textile and Apparel Management, says that being a re-founding father of Missouri Alpha has prepared him for this campus leadership position.
“The process of becoming a re-founding father has really bolstered my organization and speaking skills, things I had before but never really honed and sharpened,” says Lee. “The job of becoming a Summer Welcome Leader not only relies on your ability to communicate and be personable to incoming students, it’s also about organization and time management, skills that have grown during my time as a re-founding father of the Missouri Alpha Chapter.”
O’Neal, a freshman studying Psychology, looks forward to the experience and hopes to contribute his experience as a leader.
“I look forward to bonding with all of my co-workers/friends/peers,” says O’Neal. “I’ll take my hard work ethic and my ability to work with others, especially with something new, from my experiences as a Phi Delt and apply it to my role as a Summer Welcome leader. I know I’ll take those with me to Summer Welcome to hopefully positively influence incoming students.”
Although Summer Welcome Leaders aren’t able to discuss their involvement in Greek Life with the students in their daily groups, these four Phis will still provide a valuable first-time Mizzou experience for thousands of incoming freshmen. By the end of the summer, these students will have a friendly, go-to resource on campus.
That is what a Phi Delt Missouri Alpha member is––a go-to member of the community.
Photo caption: Phi Delta Theta Missouri Alpha 2017 Summer Welcome Leaders, from left to right: Darien Lee, Chase O’Neal, Patrick Skrivan and Derrek Hardy.