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Alumni in Action – Purdue Alumni Step in to Keep the Chapter Competitive on Campus

01.23.2020

As seen in the Winter 2020 edition of The Scroll

Written by Brad Dickinson, Purdue ’80

About fourteen years ago three brothers were skiing in Utah together, and on the gondola rides between ski and snow board runs, the three concocted a plan to help make the Indiana Theta Chapter House stand out on campus. With the institution of alcohol-free housing, and no longer being able to use the aspect of the best house party to attract new members, they brainstormed ways to make the most prime student housing real estate property on campus (across the street from the student union and in the very center of campus) a premier recruitment tool.

  • From the class of 1980, Andy Bosworth, David Tavitian, and Brad Dickinson devised a program called Alumni in Action (AIA), which predates the Chapter Advisory Board model.

Three goals of an annual fall workdays are:

  • To compete with other fraternities by having the nicest house on campus.
  • To develop relationships with undergraduate members, not just write checks.
  • To advise, plan, work together on common goals to deepen the bond of friendship and brotherhood.
  • To teach transferable skills in managing a property, through regular maintenance, remodeling, planning, project management, and communications.

The original weekend schedule:

  • Thursday night telethon: alumni and undergraduates make phone calls to alumni to explain the current house projects, create buy in, and ask alumni to contribute toward accomplishing the goals.
  • Friday day: alumni begin work on projects, and as class work finishes for the undergraduates, the students work alongside alumni to accomplish projects.
  • Friday night: alumni sponsor a steak fry at the house and they enjoy fellowship.
  • Saturday: work as needed and alumni host gathering before the home football game.
  • Saturday night: social as it happens naturally, out on their own.
  • Sunday: finish up any projects that require more time.

The AIA officers and current Chapter Advisory Board members now meet with the chapter every winter or spring to advise. Then, the CAB advisers meet with their respective chapter officers to check in. Then the CAB advisers meet with their respective officers for annual check in.

  • Andy Bosworth is the steady presence, as chairman of the CAB, and plans the fall AIA weekend and organizes rentals when necessary. The chapter president and house manager are the undergraduate leaders who coordinate on site.
  • Every year they print a t-shirt to commemorate the event and generously give free shirts to the undergraduate Phis.
  • Projects this year included the back of the house four story stairwell that was in desperate need of updates and painting. Past projects include an updated dining room, media room, and frequent updates to the common areas.
  • Through the years they’ve made lasting friendships. Last year Dickinson, Tavitian, and Bosworth invited several undergraduates to the Dickinson lake house for the weekend along with other alumni brothers.

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