In the Winter 2020 edition of The Scroll, Phi Delta Theta featured the People of Phi Delt 2030, a collection of stories that personify the strategic initiatives of the Fraternity’s new strategic plan.
Growth & Retention
Written by Galen Miller, Central Michigan ’19
I came to college as a shy kid who wanted nothing to do with anyone. But when I enrolled at Central Michigan University (CMU), it was time to get out of my comfort zone and make the best of college.
I learned about Phi Delta Theta from Angelo Topi, ’18, telling me about a leadership opportunity on campus. After finding out it was a fraternity, I was hesitant, but looking back I see that joining Phi Delt was the best decision of my life.
The Michigan Zeta Colony was actively recruiting new members. It was so cool to see a group of strangers become best friends, but even better was the opportunity to collaborate with others, which led me get involved on campus and build relationships.
Because we were a colony and able to have a fresh framework built from the ground up, we set the standard for the organization. We wanted to be more than a typical fraternity and prioritized giving back to the community.
Around this time, 100 miles away, Flint, Michigan, was dealing with a water contamination crisis. This was an outrage to me, and I knew we had to help the residents who were suffering from this man-made crisis. I suggested that Phi Delt distribute water to help the residents in Flint.
After spending weeks of planning, we headed to Flint to help distribute water, where we joined with the brothers at Michigan Delta at Kettering University who felt the impacts of the water crisis firsthand. As families in cars received their water, I was devastated to see what they were going through to simply get clean water. In this crisis I saw other real needs that weren’t being met and decided to create the nonprofit Pack Your Back to help students and teachers receive critical supplies to have success in the classroom.
This organization has opened up opportunities for so many people, me included. Without Phi Delta Theta, Pack Your Back likely would have never happened. Building connections with people like Elon Musk, Jaden Smith, Casey Neistat, Alyssa Milano, and Mark Ruffalo has allowed Pack Your Back to thrive. Since the organization’s start in early 2016, over 25,000 students have been impacted.
Joining Phi Delta Theta changed me. It changed the community. And it is changing the world. Friendship, Sound Learning, and Rectitude motivate me to impact others and leave a lasting legacy. Let’s unlock our potential and unleash it to the world.
Written by Alex Atkinson, Phi Delta Theta Director of Expansion and Jim Rosencrans, Phi Delta Theta Director of Growth
Galen’s Phi Delt leadership journey showcases how each Phi contributes to his campus, his chapter, and his community. Yes, a larger membership brings in greater revenue and services for any association, but the Phi Delt 2030 growth plan focuses on attracting leaders like Galen to the organization, retaining current members, and ensuring that our chapters flourish.
Increasing market share on existing campuses and pursuing expansion opportunities drive the Phi Delt 2030 Growth and Retention initiative. Approximately 65 percent of our chapters today are above the average chapter size on their campus, but we hope this increases to 80 percent by 2030 and translates to long-term chapter success. And the goal of 250 chapters by 2030 means the Fraternity will add five new groups each year (net chapter loss) in the next ten years. Accomplishing increases will ultimately grow undergraduate membership.
The Phi Delt 2030 aim to continue to improve new member retention will rely on the Fraternity’s collective ability to showcase its value, develop superior recruitment skills (both for students and advisers), and ensure quality new member education. Improving annual chapter retention to 98 percent will rely on data to guide the Fraternity’s resources and support to chapters that need the most attention.
For Phi Delta Theta to thrive, it is imperative that continued growth leads to diverse chapters filled with high-performing and purpose-driven members. Regular demographic surveys highlight our student makeup and how our demographic trends compare to the student population on the campuses where we are located. Recruitment education will be amplified online, at a centralized annual conference, and enhanced by having recruitment advisers at 100 percent of our chapters.
A fraternity is only as good as its people. We fully understand that to be recognized as the premier fraternal organization in North America, we must attract and retain the best students on current campuses and inspire top leaders to bring Phi Delta Theta to new campuses.