Two months ago, fraternities and sororities were a foreign concept in the small town of Ottawa, Kansas. Only a handful of staff members at Ottawa University had experienced Greek life as undergraduates, and there had never been any Greek life on campus in the school’s 153-year history. That is, of course, until now.
Expansion Consultants Nash Cantrell, University of Utah, ’17 and Kyle Brown, Northern Arizona University, ’17 arrived in Ottawa, Kansas in late January and began the process of establishing the Kansas Theta Colony. The two immediately got to work meeting students on campus, working with alumni and staff, and sharing their vision for the potential of Phi Delta Theta on campus. Ottawa University offers a unique college experience already, being composed of around 750 undergraduates who are predominantly student-athletes, as well as some of the most supportive faculty in the nation. The consultants were immediately able to see the incredible potential this created for a men’s leadership organization like Phi Delta Theta.
Being the first fraternity in Ottawa’s history, the Kansas Theta Founding Fathers were presented with an extremely rare opportunity. They were able to set the standard for not only what it means to be a member of Phi Delta Theta, but what it means to be a fraternity man. When Phi Delta Theta arrived, collective public opinion concerning Greek life in Ottawa was somewhere between ambivalent and skeptical. But the more opportunities people had to interact with the Kansas Theta Founding Fathers, the more people truly began to understand that this group was going to be something special.
The group officially became Kansas Theta Colony on March 16, surrounded by their immensely supportive Colony Advisory Board as well as friends, family, alumni, and campus professionals. The Colony is comprised of 28 Founding Fathers with a cumulative GPA of 3.15, which is significantly higher than the campus’s All-Men’s Average.
Kansas Theta is now in the hands of the Founding Fathers, but they won’t be going through this process alone. They have one of the most dedicated support systems in the country to guide their actions, and there is little doubt that they will set a high standard for what it means to be a fraternity man at Ottawa University. The Founding Fathers are eager to begin their journey towards installation and along the way to learn what it means to be a Phi.