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Changing The Future

Monday, November 20, 2017   (0 Comments)
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Brother Paul Allen – Making A Difference – And Encouraging Others To Do The Same

By Jeff Jowdy
University of Georgia, ‘83
Foundation Chairman

templeIf you were to ask our collegiate brothers who the most famous living Phi Kap brother is, chances are the answer would be quick and enthusiastic: Paul Allen (Washington State University, ‘75)!

It’s fitting then that Brother Allen was named a 2017 Phi Kappa Theta Man of Achievement. He has a long history of encouraging his Fraternity brothers to leave a positive mark on the world.

"Our motto – ‘Give, Expecting Nothing Thereof’ - comes from the Bible but has universal application, regardless of your beliefs,” Brother Allen shared during his acceptance address. "We’re in what I believe to be an era of unprecedented opportunity but equally a time of enormous challenges that require creativity and commitment to action.

"Each of us will feel called by different causes and opportunities to serve. As Phi Kappa Theta’s emphasis on servant leadership reminds us, each one of us has the opportunity to do something that will make a difference,” he reminded the audience.

Brother Allen is the founder and chairman of Vulcan Inc., which manages his various business and philanthropic efforts. His multibillion-dollar investment portfolio includes technology and media companies, and real estate holdings. He owns two professional sports teams, the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers. He’s part-owner of Major League Soccer’s Seattle Sounders FC, as well. He also is the founder of Allen Institute for Brain Science, Institute for Artificial Intelligence, Institute for Cell Science, and Stratolaunch Systems.

It’s telling that with such a long list of professional affiliations, Brother Allen’s Twitter profile first and foremost highlights his service to society: "Philanthropist, investor, entrepreneur, author, Seahawks & Blazers team owner, guitarist, neuroscience supporter, space pioneer & Microsoft co-founder.”

temple"How often do you get to introduce someone whose work and vision has literally changed the world? Paul’s vision and generosity have opened the door for hundreds of us to enjoy the camaraderie that he treasured so much from his days at Phi Kappa Theta,” Colby Larson, President of the Washington Alpha Delta Chapter at Washington State, said in his opening remarks. He added that Brother Allen stays connected to his Fraternity family by helping in the recruiting program and bringing members to a Seahawks game each year.

The honoree encouraged those in the audience to be optimistic and persistent.

"I can tell you from personal experience, the success I’ve had was without question rooted in not accepting the status quo,” he said. "You have to think out of the box about what solutions should exist, and what change is necessary, and then try to make it happen - often in the face of skepticism and doubt.”

"Our commitment to the Phi Kap motto shouldn’t end on graduation day,” he stressed. "Once a Phi Kap, always a Phi Kap. And if your journey is like mine, during your time in the house, you will find your own passions and commitments. In the company of your brothers, that will only be a challenge, but it will be rewarding and at the same time, tremendous fun.”

Brother Allen practices what he preaches, of course. He was a part of an alumni initiative to re-charter the chapter in 1993, and in 1996 his incredible generosity allowed the building of a new chapter house that is widely acknowledged as one of the nation’s finest fraternity houses.

templeJoining Brother Allen at the 2017 Man of Achievement dinner in Washington D.C. were Phi Kap brothers and former chapter presidents Bert Kolde (Washington State University, ‘76) and Mike Flood (Washington State University, ‘72). Brother Kolde serves in several roles, including as vice president of Vulcan; Brother Flood is vice president for the Seattle Seahawks.

"The three of us met when we were Phi Kaps, Brother Allen said. "Amazingly, it was over 40 years ago, though to us it certainly doesn’t feel anywhere near that long. We’re still great friends. Bert and Mike are two of my closest advisers, and we still get together with our Phi Kap brothers at Seahawks games and other events. Mike and Bert being here tonight is a confirmation of the power of the Fraternity ideal.”

Watch Brother Allen’s speech from the 2017 Biennial Convention in Washington D.C. below:



Top Image: Brother Paul Allen (Washington State University, ‘75) (center), flanked by Brother Mike Flood (Washington State University, ‘72) (left) and Brother Bert Kolde (Washington State University, ‘76) (right). The three brothers have remained connected far beyond their time in college.

Middle Image:
Brother Paul Allen (Washington State University, ‘75) (right), speaking with Brother Kyle O'Malley (Washington State University, '17) (left).

Bottom Image:
Brother Mike Flood (Washington State University, ‘72) (left), Brother Paul Allen (Washington State University, ‘75) (center) and Brother Bert Kolde (Washington State University, ‘76) (right) outside the Washington State University chapter house dedication on September 28, 1996.

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