This was the charge of the Fraternity’s newly elected General Council President, Dr. Chris W. Brussalis at the closing event, the Grand Banquet, of the 82nd Biennial Phi Delta Theta General Convention. As a management consultant and strategist by profession, it was natural for Brother Brussalis to consider how a long-term, strategic plan could positively impact Phi Delta Theta when he was elected to the General Council in 2010. The members of General Council and General Headquarters staff developed the initial strategic plan, Phi Delt 2020, identifying six areas of focus, along with many goals and objectives within each focus area.
When Phi Delt 2020 was launched in 2010, this 10-year strategic plan became the roadmap for Phi Delta Theta with a vision that the Fraternity become the premier fraternal leadership organization in North America.
President Brussalis highlighted the success of Phi Delt 2020, “We had agreement to set a bold vision. The vision was aggressive, very worthwhile, and had impact. Without the effective partnership between the Phi Delta Theta volunteer corps and its General Headquarters staff, the accomplishments from the last several years could not have been accomplished. Because of this firm foundation, the Fraternity is in an excellent position to build a bridge toward an even more impactful Phi Delt 2030.”
According to Brother Brussalis, Phi Delta Theta has exhibited bold determination in doing what is right. The decisions to go alcohol and substance free for chapter housing in 2000 and to open the Fraternity to a university research institution to study how to more effectively educate membership on the tools to protect each other, demonstrate that Phi Delta Theta takes Brother Morrison’s words, “To do what ought to be done,” very seriously.
In his address, President Brussalis affirmed that the evidence clearly demonstrates that the Fraternity’s alcohol-free housing policy has prevented countless accidents and deaths since it was implemented in 2000. He reinforced the General Council’s commitment to stand firm in strengthening this policy to further ensure the health and safety of its members.
The formation of the Live Like Lou Foundation is yet another bold move to bring laser focus and funding to ALS research as well as patient and family care. Brother Brussalis recalled meeting Brother Neil Alexander and his wife Suzanne after Brother Alexander, a prominent Pittsburgh business leader, was diagnosed with ALS. Brother Alexander and Suzanne followed the lead of Brother Alexander’s idol, Brother Lou Gehrig who, in his famous “Luckiest Man” speech, said that he “had an awful lot to live for.” In bold determination to leave ALS better than he found it, Brother Alexander and Suzanne founded Live Like Lou in Pittsburgh. Today, Phi Delta Theta has taken Brother Alexander’s vision to a higher level by forming the Live Like Lou Foundation, based at GHQ in Oxford, Ohio. The Live Like Lou Foundation will enable Phi Delta Theta to be a leader in the fight against ALS and the efforts to help those afflicted with the disease named after Brother Lou Gehrig.
The Live Like Lou Foundation set a goal of raising $4 million in 1,848 days! This goal will be achieved by Phis working together in chapter and alumni club philanthropy and service coupled with the Iron Phi program. Brother Neil Alexander’s vision lives on and his impact carries on through the might of the Fraternity’s undergraduate and alumni members and friends.
Over this next biennium, the call to action from the Fraternity’s General Council President Dr. Chris Brussalis is as follows:
“First, Phi Delta Theta will steward this important transition from Phi Delt 2020. We will reflect back on our incredible accomplishments as a good thing and move ONWARD to develop Phi Delt 2030 with the expertise of our brotherhood.
Second, the Fraternity will take a leadership role in higher education to address the widespread challenges with campus health and safety. Fraternities have a big bullseye on their backs and take the brunt of criticism. These are societal problems, and fraternities are a microcosm of society. We have a great opportunity to lead change.
And finally, we will ensure that our undergraduate and alumni members are having the best experience as Phis, and that we are instrumental in enabling all of our members, young and old, to become the greatest versions of themselves.
It is my pledge, that under my leadership, we will continue to be dedicated to our values of Friendship, Sound Learning, and Rectitude, and we will do our very best to advance and promote the value of this very special and impactful leadership society.
May God give me the wisdom, demeanor, and strength to lead and always do the right thing – even when the right thing is tough, and may God continue to bless Phi Delta Theta International Fraternity.
Please, take up the charge, and join us as we march on and move ONWARD!”