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Texas Delta (SMU) House Corporation Endows Live-in Leadership Advisor Program

12.14.2018

How does a Fraternity become the premier fraternal leadership development organization in North America? Phi Delta Theta General Headquarter staff members explore the answer to that question daily. While exploring that question, we recognize the information we know to be true: historically our most consistently high performing members are those taking full advantage of the leadership development programs offered through the Phi Delta Theta Leadership and Ethics Academy and those that have local advisory support. The Leadership and Ethics Academy encompasses our approach to developing ethically-minded leaders by supporting conferences and programs that constitute the Fraternity’s comprehensive efforts to provide the best possible education and leadership training for undergraduates and alumni volunteers. Our goal is to consistently grow and strengthen the leadership training, which is why over the past several years we have been piloting a live-in leadership advisor position at approximately ten chapter houses.

What is a Live-In Leadership Advisor?

A live-in leadership advisor is a mature guide for the undergraduate men living in the house. They are Phi Delta Theta college graduates, who have served as leaders in their undergraduate communities or individuals who are invested in the success of the chapter. These advisors go through a four-day in-person training program, as well as at least eight interactive virtual training sessions and they have the opportunity to facilitate and attend the Kleberg Emerging Leaders Institute. These courses all focus on how to best exemplify Phi Delta Theta standards and values to the undergraduates, while at the same time molding them into leaders and encouraging them to become the greatest version of themselves. The constant presence of a mature adult has ensured that chapter officers are mentored, facilities are treated with respect, and risk is mitigated for the Fraternity and its members.

How do Live-In Leadership Advisors affect the future of Phi Delta Theta?

Phi Delta Theta aspires to become the premier fraternal leadership organization in North America in all of its current and future planning efforts. We achieve this by providing outstanding leadership programs, strong mentors, and ethical training. Live-in leadership advisors are the next step in that journey, and Phi Delta Theta has initial plans to place advisors in the majority of our facilities in our next strategic plan, Phi Delt 2030. Their presence provides further reinforcement of all new and future educational programming and chapter growth and retention strategies within the aforementioned plan.

How has the Texas Delta House Corporation contributed?

Six years ago, Texas Delta (SMU) hired a live-in leadership advisor at the requirement of the university and General Headquarters. What seemed at the time to be a forced measure, has proven to be monumentally successful for the chapter. Recruitment has shifted from catchall events to one-on-one relationship building opportunities which has resulted in higher quality recruits and brothers. The quality of men joining the chapter has created an environment of success with the chapter winning several GHQ awards annually, earning two Gold Stars and being runner up for the Founders Trophy two years running. There has also been a significant increase in average GPA from 3.0 to 3.5 and the university has not issued a conduct citation to the chapter since the live-in leadership advisor has been in place. Finally, the average Phikeia class size has increased from twenty-two to thirty-seven, which has improved finances to the extent that the housing corporation is able to fund the Live-In Leadership Advisor Program at General Headquarters.

With these results, the Texas Delta House Corporation believes the LILA program is the best course for success for Phi Delta Theta in today’s society, Texas Delta House Corporation has committed $150,000 to GHQ to jump start the national implementation of the program for the benefit of all Phi Delta Theta chapters. The Texas Delta House Corporation commitment not only provides $100,000 to the endowment for the sole purpose of supporting, developing, and training live-in leadership advisors throughout the year, but also provides $50,000 for immediate use to improve the infrastructure at General Headquarters to make resources more accessible to the advisors.

The immediate gift to improve access will provide technological expansion for video conferencing and training in the Costello-Read Leadership Center. These expansions create the channel that allows for successful interactive virtual training for all live-in leadership advisors. In addition to these technological training advances, the gift allows Phi Delta Theta to secure some of the best speakers in the fields of risk management and facilitation among other relevant topics. Finally, the creation of a marketing strategy to attract Phi Delta Theta graduates to serve as live-in leadership advisors, who are retainable and advance the mission and goals of Phi Delta Theta.

The endowed fund for the Texas Delta Live-In Leadership Advisor Program will sustain and support additional facilitators, ongoing development, and future curriculum enhancements.

To support this fund or to learn more please contact Director of Advancement & Planned Giving Andrew Cole at 513-917-3088 or acole@phideltatheta.org.

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