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Discovering A Brother

Brothers Find Each Other in Navy Officer Candidate School

by Justin Sines
Duquesne University, ‘11

Brother Taylor Dreher (RPI, ‘17) (right) with Brother Christian Reed (SDSU, ‘17) (left).

Brother Taylor Dreher (RPI, ‘17) (right) with Brother Christian Reed (SDSU, ‘17) (left).

Two men find themselves in the dental office during their time at Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island.

They begin discussing college and fraternity life and realize that they are both brothers of Phi Kappa Theta. Christian Reed (San Diego State University, ‘17), and Taylor Dreher (RPI, ‘17), were both candidates for Naval Officers at the time, and, now, they are currently roommates in Pensacola, Florida, in their first phases of flight training.

Reed reminisces, “One day I sat next to Taylor in the dental office and we started learning about each other’s lives back home. Fraternity life came up and I told him I was in Phi Kappa Theta. Without skipping a beat, Taylor extended his hand to me and gave me the grip.”

Brother Dreher recalls his time at OCS as “not being a fun place and the first couple weeks there are especially stressful,” but knows that he made the right decision to continue the tradition of his family. Both his brother, Nathan Dreher, and grandfather, Lieutenant Richard Cappelletti, were his biggest motivators to join the Navy, but says that his father and uncles also served in the military. Dreher states that OCS is “a lot to handle,” but “meeting another Phi Kap […] instantly eliminated that feeling of being alone in a strange place.”

Brother Reed said, “Having a fellow brother in the same program […] has made my adjustment from civilian to military life much easier,” although he has wanted to serve in the military since his eighth grade field trip to Washington D.C. He remembers his intense appreciation for our men and women in military uniform as he toured the Pentagon and as he paid his respects at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Both Dreher and Reed said that their transition into their Officer positions was made easier by remembering the motto of Phi Kappa Theta: “Give, Expecting Nothing Thereof.” Dreher articulates that, “Naval Officers are trained to be servant leaders” and that “every choice [they] make must have the best interest of [their] sailors in mind.” Reed also conveyed the importance of servant leadership in both Phi Kappa Theta and the Navy and his commitment to setting a “high standard of honor, courage and commitment,” and “leading by example.”

It was happenstance that two brothers of Phi Kappa Theta from completely different sides of the country ended up in Navy Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island, during February 2018. It was coincidence they met at the dental office. But it wasn’t by chance that their ties of brotherhood stood the test of OCS and helped them both graduate as Officers and will help them grow in their Navy careers.

Main Image: Brother Taylor Dreher (RPI, ‘17) in his naval uniform on the left and Brother Christian Reed (SDSU, ‘17) in his naval uniform on the right with other brothers from SDSU.

Louisiana State University Christmas Luncheon

Please join your brothers at our 35th Christmas Luncheon to renew old friendships!

The luncheon will be on Thursday, December 13, 2018 at the Court of Two Sisters, 613 Royal Street.

Social hour starts at 11:30 am, with lunch served at 12:30 pm.

The cost is $60.00 which includes cocktails, lunch and wine with your meal.

All monies will be collected at the Court of Two Sisters (cash or check).

If you are planning to attend, please RSVP to gbergeron0520@gmail.com so that an accurate head count can be given to the Court of Two Sisters.


Louisiana State University Chapter Has Always Been Going Strong Despite Closure

by Kathy Jonas
Indiana University, ‘78

Every Christmas, Phi Kap brothers from Louisiana State University get together at the historic Court of Two Sisters restaurant in the French Quarter of New Orleans to celebrate the holiday, each other and their fraternity.

It’s not just a luncheon for a few friends, though. Last year, about 70 brothers gathered at the restaurant, thanks to the work of people like Glenn Bergeron (Louisiana State University, ‘70), who has been running the lunch after taking over from the late Leslie Schouest (Louisiana State University, ‘72), who had the idea back in 1981, with a structured event starting a few years later. “I was Leslie’s roommate and vowed to continue it in his honor following his death in the late 80’s.”

“It was a challenge to get the guys there at first,” admits Bergeron. Today, Phi Kappa Theta members travel from as far as New York and Arizona to attend, while the main nucleus is the Baton Rouge and New Orleans area.

This year’s holiday social is scheduled for December 13. And although the restaurant is known for its Creole-Cajun fare, Bergeron says the preferred menu for the luncheon is more “meat and potatoes” type of food.

One of the topics discussed by Phi Kappa Theta alumni gathering in New Orleans is the possible recolonization of the fraternity, which lost its charter in the late 80’s.

Charles “Mike” Callais (Louisiana State University, ‘84), says the effort is in its beginning stages and last year Robert Riggs, CAE (RPI, ‘02), Executive Vice President of the Phi Kappa Theta Executive Office, came to the luncheon to discuss the possibility.

Brother Callais said, “There certainly needs to be a Catholic presence on campus. For many students, college is the first time they’ve been away from their family. They need something to keep them grounded.”

An active alumni base is important in order to get the process started, adds Callais. “We are making slow progress.” Callais also believes that students would benefit from the opportunity to give back to others. Brother Callais is currently serving a a six-year term with the Greater Lafourche Port Commission, Callais was hammering signs along the highway while talking about the Fraternity. A former CEO of an offshore business, he gives back through his church, Catholic Community Services, the Rotary Club where he has served as past president, and is involved with the Knights of Columbus.

When he volunteered to fill a Port Commission opening, this was said about him: “Mike’s humble leadership and mind for business will be an asset to our board…He is a valued resource in our community, and we appreciate him volunteering his services to the Port Commission.”

Callais readily admits that this leadership mindset might not have been top of mind while in college, but believes it can be reinforced while in the fraternity. “Everybody needs something; they just need help getting it.”

Dealing With "Post Charter Syndrome"

by Nicholas Reid
University of Iowa, ‘21

Brother Nicholas Reid (University of Iowa, ‘21) speaking at the Chapters re-chartering on September 28th.

Brother Nicholas Reid (University of Iowa, ‘21) speaking at the Chapters re-chartering on September 28th.

Initiation.

It is the time that every fraternity brother will remember for the rest of their life.

Eighteen of our Iowa Delta brothers were available to experience it for the first time at the Iowa Delta Chartering this past September.

Members were excited, nervous, anxious and overall cold. It was a cold day.

The initiation was an incredible experience, followed by a resound “PHI” Phi Kappa Theta chant.

After the weekend, the greatest question from brothers was, “Where do we go next?”.

Usually, this can cause an infamous “Post Charter Syndrome” where members become relaxed and aren’t as motivated as they used to be. Thankfully, that is not the problem for Iowa Delta. Brothers immediately after the ceremony were asking what they could do to work harder and help better the fraternity.

One of our brothers, Sam Sharp (University of Iowa, ’21), came up to me directly and said, “I want to be more involved and help this Fraternity in any way I can.”

Nicholas Reid (center) with members of the Iowa Delta Chapter, picking up trash in support of CMN.

Members like that, that will do anything for their brothers, are the reason fraternities will never die away. No other organization is able to create a closeness that arises because of Greek life.

As Iowa Delta advances, we hope to not only advance the Fraternity but the University of Iowa. By becoming the ideal gentlemen we are meant to be, we can create a lasting impact on the people around us, hopefully changing their lives for the better.

We are excited to continue this journey, and we hope that all of you continue to keep updated with us on this blog.

As always, PROUD TO BE A PHI KAP!


About Nicholas:

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Brother Reid is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering with a focus in Business Management. He is the current Vice President of Fraternal, Recharter Head and Social Media Chair for Phi Kappa Theta Iowa Delta. Nicholas grew up in Peoria, Illinois, attending St. Vincent de Paul grade school and Peoria Notre Dame High School. He was involved and active in many things, including scholastic bowl, numerous sports with his primary being soccer, key club and French Club. Nic also received the Presidental Award, National Honors Society, Old Gold Scholarship and an Illinois State Scholar. He is the first person of his family to move out for college, attend a big 10 school and join Greek life. Knowing nothing of what Greek life is about graduating, Nic has since taken a strong passion towards Phi Kappa Theta and bettering himself, along with his brothers. Nic is also involved in Dance Marathon and Intramural Sports, along with numerous service projects through the Fraternity. In his freetime, he loves to workout, play sports, hunt, fish, play video games and hang out with friends.

Servant Leadership Summit 2018

When collegiate members of Phi Kappa Theta think of the National Fraternity, they often picture the four or five staff members who work at the National Office in Indianapolis, according to Robert Riggs, CAE, Executive Vice President.

“In reality, the Fraternity is comprised of all 52,000 alumni spread across the United States,” says Riggs.

The Servant Leadership Summit has been organized to figure out how to match passionate alumni with chapters needing specific guidance and that critical personal touch to improve performance to fulfill the Fraternity motto to “give expecting nothing thereof.”

The 2018 Summit will continue to identify, recruit, train and support performance coaches as a way to directly mentor/coach our chapters in operations, recruitment and development (five areas of development) culture.

Riggs said in 2017 various student and alumni leadership groups came together for a day to build a matrix and criteria to prioritize which chapters needed assistance and in what particular areas that service could be provided.

Some of the areas examined include operations, financial stability, recruitment, structure and the development of leadership qualities to serve the mission. Eventually, alumni coaches, talented in specific areas, will be dispatched to various campuses and chapters to help chapters accomplish their goals and improve in specific areas.

“We brainstormed some new ideas for how we can help chapters increase their value and lower their risk, maintaining operational excellence,” says Steve Bye, (University of Wisconsin-Madison, ‘16), who attended the pilot program in 2017. He adds that he appreciated the opportunity to examine the role that alums can play in this initiative. “It was great to network with other alumni, to learn how they’re organized and how their chapters are doing.”

One of the primary purposes of the initiative, according to Riggs, is to identify and renew alumni who have not volunteered previously, with the recognition that they provide the best example of exactly what the Fraternity means through their example of service and commitment to ideals. Establishing a bond with specific alumni coaches not only helps that particular chapter, but also connects the coaches directly with students and their needs.

“It was very enlightening and encouraging,” said Adrian Gonzalez, Fraternity President, (University of Texas at Austin, ‘78). “It gave us the opportunity to really look at where we are going as an institution.” Seeing all the fresh faces with fresh ideas helped him recognize “that we are heading in the right direction.”

Discover more about becoming a Servant Leader: www.phikaps.org/alumni