Meet Our New Province Presidents – Scott Lynch


Scott Lynch

Phi Delt Chapter:

Pennsylvania Iota (University of Pittsburgh)

Graduation Year:


Name of Province:

Delta North

Chapters Within Your Province:

Virginia Tech, University of Virginia, Washington & Lee, Randolph-Macon & Lynchburg College

Why Are You Excited To Be A Province President?  

I want to give back the Fraternity that gave so much to me.  I learned so from undergraduate days, leading our chapter, that prepared me for my career. I hope to instill this in the current undergraduates, ensuring they seize their opportunities and build their skills in preparation for what lies ahead.

What Are A Few Of Your Goals Within Your Province?

  1. Ensure each chapter understands the resources available for them to succeed from my role as Province President, GHQ staff to local alumni and University officials.
  2. Make sure every brother within each chapter understands that they can make a difference no matter the title, it only takes a raise of the hand.
  3. Build the skills and abilities of the chapter leaders.

What’s One Unique Thing That Most People Don’t Know About You?

I have been blessed with jobs that have taken me all over the world from Germany and England to India, Japan and China.

What Is One Highlight Of Your Phi Delt Experience?

The night I signed the bond of Phi Delta Theta with my fellow pledge brothers.  It was just the beginning of a journey but a night filled with joy and accomplishment.

Who Is Your Favorite Famous Phi And Why?

Ironically, I was huge fan of Lou Gehrig before joining Phi Delta Theta – being a fellow brother was the icing on the cake.

What Do You Do Professionally?

I work at SmithBucklin Corporation, an association management company, where I am the President of the American Bearing Manufacturers Association and Executive Director of the United States Apple Export Council.

Meet Our New Province Presidents – Anthony “Pappy” Moscato



Anthony C. “Pappy” Moscato

Phi Delt Chapter:

Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP), Bond #13

Graduation Year:


Name of Province:

Upsilon North

Chapters Within Your Province:

PA Delta (Allegheny College), PA Lambda (Indiana University of PA), PA Xi (Clarion University of PA)

Why Are You Excited To Be A Province President?

First and foremost I’m excited to be a Province President as it will give me a greater opportunity to give back to Phi Delta Theta which has given me so much for the last 29 years.  Also offering guidance to those young men who have followed, this has always been a core value for me from the moment I signed The Bond.  Doing so as a Province President will allow me to meet with and help guide the next generation of leaders of industry, the medical profession, government and all other walks of life.

What Are A Few Of Your Goals Within Your Province?

To help strengthen these young men as Phis and in so doing, strengthen Phi Delta Theta as a Fraternity.  I wish to help make them the best they can be while increasing chapters and chapter size within the province.

What’s One Unique Thing That Most People Don’t Know About You?

I possess a pair of book ends that are purported to have once belonged to the great Bear Bryant.

What Is One Highlight Of Your Phi Delt Experience?

I am certain that if asked that question as a young man, I would have answered in the way any young Phi might, regaling you with stories of any number of days or events that I enjoyed .  Today however, as I have the benefit of some maturity, I have come to see my lifelong journey as a Phi to be more than any one of these days.  I remain close with Brothers who impact my life on an almost daily basis, who are part of what makes my life meaningful. My highlight is this constant, more so than any one beautiful Autumn day on campus or unforgettable experience surrounded by Brothers in my youth, the constant of being a Phi at all times for all times is a remarkable gift granted me by my affiliation with Phi Delta Theta.

Who Is Your Favorite Famous Phi And Why?

I would be remiss if I didn’t say Brother Dino Bello and Brother Bob Blachley.  These two men helped us so much while we were starting the chapter that words cannot express my appreciation and that of the other founders. Brother Bello and Brother Blachley gave freely of their time and treasure, to assist a bunch of college kids, that were strangers to them when the process began.  They instilled in us the true meaning of the bond, brotherhood, and so much more. They were to us living examples of our founding principles.  If though by famous Phi, you actually mean famous, then I would offer Brother James A. Baker, III.  When I pledged, Brother Baker was in the Reagan administration and I greatly admired both he and the President.  Brother Baker’s public service and the commitment to America inspired me, in great part to enter public service myself.

What Do You Do Professionally?

I currently serve as one of seven Commissioners of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.  We are the regulatory authority, overseeing the casino industry in the Commonwealth of PA.

Meet Our New Province Presidents – Pete Spina


Peter A. Spina

Phi Delt Chapter:

Iowa Alpha (Iowa Wesleyan)

Graduation Year:


Name of Province:

Gamma East

Chapters Within Your Province:

Hofstra, Rutgers, Princeton

Why Are You Excited To Be A Province President?

As Province President I have the ability to visit different chapters and work with them on an ongoing basis.

What Are A Few Of Your Goals Within Your Province?

Some of my goals include having every chapter in my province practice and perform the ritual at every weekly meeting. I also want each chapter to read The Bond on a monthly basis. Both the Phi Delta Theta ritual and Bond reading is one of the best ways to understand what we are as a Fraternity and what brotherhood is all about.

What’s One Unique Thing That Most People Don’t Know About You?

I am a BIG New York Yankee fan and as Publisher of Sporting News I have spent some great quality time with George Steinbrenner. He is truly a unique individual and when you speak with him one on one, you realize how charming of a person he is. What I enjoy about him most was his winning attitude and the philanthropy he extends to those in need.

What Is One Highlight Of Your Phi Delt Experience?

At Iowa Alpha, we took 25+ under privileged children and 10+ brothers and guests to a dude ranch in Pueblo, Colorado for a week. It was an amazing trip and the children were wonderful and so thankful.

Who Is Your Favorite Famous Phi And Why?

My brother Bob Spina, Iowa Alpha 1965, is my favorite famous Phi because he is one of the most generous people I have ever met.

What Do You Do Professionally?

The majority of my career has been in the Sports Marketing and Advertising/Business Development world.

What Brings Us This Great Distance?

dave_kovacovich_-_head_shotBy David J Kovacovich
January 6, 2013

St. Louis, Missouri
5:00am Central Time

The sun has not yet smiled on the Mid-Western Plains but the airport is filled with men wearing Phi Delta Theta letters over their heart. The Presidents Leadership Conference (PLC) has reached its conclusion, and we are on our way back to our institutions to carry out our leadership mission. Back at my institution, a boy sleeps soundly with his favorite teddy bear under his arm, a little girl dreams of Cinderella, and my wife keeps one eye on her cell phone awaiting my call. It is 3am in California. I do not report to PLC on behalf of a Phi Delt Chapter; I do not work in higher education; I am not a General Headquarters staff member; Nor am I a General Council member. I am simply a man who is proud to be a Phi. At every conference, the undergrads are asked to thank the event faculty for taking time away from work and their families. If the undergrads only knew how grateful we are to have the opportunity to experience the development of their character. Those who do not wear the letters of Phi Delta Theta often ask me why I would travel across the country for a “frat” conference. The answer is simple….

I finished my undergraduate brotherhood experience with Phi Delta Theta in the late 1990s. The experience that I gained from being a chapter president allowed me entrance into the professional field of my choice, a collection of valued lessons to guide my decision making and a large group of friends for life. I left college and began a 15-year commitment to personal and professional development. In my post-graduate life, I had earned exemplary professional accolades, got married, purchased a home, and had welcomed the arrival of 2 beautiful children into this world. Then, I received an email from the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity challenging me to become the greatest version of myself. That was not the message on the cover of our rush manual in the fall of 1992 (designed to resemble the cover of a playboy magazine). The accompanying video explained how we made the hard decision to declare ourselves an alcohol-free housed brotherhood and the new-found mission of our membership. We are now what we had once pretended to be: a character building lifetime commitment. In an effort to honor my commitment, I volunteered to be a faculty member at the Kleberg Emerging Leaders Institute this past summer. This was not your father’s Phi Delta Theta.

These days, I am pleasantly surprised by the character of our undergraduate members.  Our organization is comprised of men who excel academically, men who are committed to their university and the surrounding community and men who have seized the opportunity to be part of something bigger than they alone strive to be. This is not the entitled generation stereotyped in HR case studies. Our membership is committed to deriving maximum benefit from their college experience.

Phi Delta Theta is a fraternity for life. As such, we are committed to recruiting the men of highest moral character on every campus across the US and into Canada. As alumni, it is incumbent upon us to support our Fraternity’s direction. We should be humbly aware enough to admit that ‘what is’ is as important as ‘what was’ and continue with the mission to recruit members for life. If nothing else, it should be our duty to help young people avoid making the mistakes we may have through our mentorship.

As a faculty member, I have had the opportunity to help our emerging leaders and incoming presidents understand the role that our cardinal principles will play in their development as students, professionals, husbands and fathers. We have explored the transferable social skills that will differentiate our membership from other students as they enter the professional world. The process of teaching serves as a continual reminder of our principles and is never an exhaustive experience. I learn as much as I share with the undergrad members of our Fraternity. I have never been more confident in the future of Phi Delta Theta!

At Phi Delta Theta, we understand that friendships built in the principles of The Bond have lifelong dependency. We understand that learning and educating does not end at graduation. We understand that decision making is the key to success and the right decisions are rooted in our cardinal principles. We understand that hazing serves no purpose except to devalue those we have deemed worthy of wearing our letters over their heart. We understand that the feeling you get from helping others is far more enjoyable than the feeling you get from over-consuming alcohol.

So when my neighbor (who spent just 2 years in active fraternity experience) asks me how the “frat” event was…? I will simply reply, “You wouldn’t understand”!

David Kovacovich (Arizona State ‘97) served as Chapter President and IFC VP of Fraternal Affairs during his undergraduate journey at Arizona State University. Brother Kovacovich has been a faculty member for the Kleberg Emerging Leaders Institute and Presidents Leadership Conference. He currently serves on the Phi Delta Theta Educational Committee. 

The New Normal and Social Enterprises: How Philanthropy and For-Profit Business Has Merged to Improve Primary and Secondary Education

Jesse MoyerBy Jesse Moyer, South Dakota ’03, Province President, Zeta Province

If you’re up on current events, you’ve probably read about or heard the term, the new normal. Apparently, there’s a sitcom on NBC that goes by that name. Arne Duncan, the Secretary of Education in the Obama Administration, also references the new normal in many of his speeches. While I am sure NBC’s show is pretty funny, it is Secretary Duncan’s definition of the new normal I would like to focus on. Basically, when Mr. Duncan mentions the new normal, he’s talking about doing more with less. More – and better – education using less money.

In the case of KnowledgeWorks, the foundation I work for, doing more with less means achieving the same (or better) educational results for more students and communities with fewer resources. I mention better results for students and communities because that’s what KnowledgeWorks is all about. We support the work of three education-focused organizations, New Tech Network, EDWorks and Strive. These organizations provide innovative tools, training and assistance to school leaders, teachers and community stakeholders with the goal of improving learning outcomes for all students.

Now, you might be thinking to yourself, “How are they supposed to execute more work with less money?”  Let me explain.

Private foundations achieve results through giving away money and are funded by their own money. Think Rockefeller, Gates, Buffett, etc.

When I tell people I work for a foundation, most people think of a private foundation, a nonprofit organization that has a principal/endowment fund managed by its own trustees. Typically, private foundations maintain or aid charitable, educational, or other activities that serve the public good through the making of grants to other nonprofit organizations. These organizations in turn deliver the programs or services. Some examples are Habitat for Humanity, Red Cross, and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Public charities achieve results through delivering programs and are funded by their own money AND grants from private foundations.

KnowledgeWorks is a public charity; we derive our funding from our principal/endowment fund and grants from other private foundations. This financial model works well when grant money is plentiful and the stock market is on the rise. Unfortunately, over the last several years the stock market has dipped and grant money has become scarce. As a result of this new normal, KnowledgeWorks has created two additional funding streams:

  • A fee-for-service model –  Our clients (schools and communities) pay us for our services.
  • Public/private partnerships – We work with our clients to find business partners or corporate foundations willing to fund our work on behalf of our clients.

The addition of these two funding streams has allowed KnowledgeWorks to also become a social enterprise.

KnowledgeWorks is also a social enterprise.  A social enterprise is created when a public charity establishes an income generating business and re-invests “profit” back into the business instead of paying shareholders, which is a for-profit business practice.  The work of the business must maximize improvements in human or environmental well-being and it must have a 501(c)(3) tax status.

By applying these commercial strategies to generating new income and investing that new income to expand/scale our work, as opposed to returning that profit to shareholders, we have transitioned from an operating foundation to a social enterprise, while still maintaining our 501(c)(3) tax status.  As I mentioned before, operating as a social enterprise allows us to reinvest the money we make back into our work instead of returning it to our stakeholders.

In addition, operating the way we do allows us to cultivate relationships with federal, state, and local leaders in order to further our work instead of being mandated to cumbersome procurement processes.  It also allows us to influence state and federal education policy as partners.  In short, KnowledgeWorks operates as a social enterprise by ‘doing charity by making money’, rather than ‘doing charity while making money’.

How applying for-profit business practices in a non-profit setting can provide a fulfilling life purpose and career.

My job entails three main responsibilities.  I work with our program teams and operating subsidiaries to systematize their cultivation, relationship management, and business processes in order to reduce risk in our organization, enable our operating subsidiaries to scale on the national level, and increase efficiency.  As part of this effort, I am charged with creating, administering, and maintaining our CRM platform, Salesforce.  The second part of my job involves operationalizing the cultivation and relationship management processes by building and maintaining relationships with federal and state education leaders, business and funding partners, and policymakers.  Finally, I manage all of our policy-related social media including the World of Learning blog and the @KWPolicy Twitter account.

For me, personally, this has been a great experience because I get the best of both the non-profit and for-profit worlds.  I get to work for a great non-profit organization that allows me to go to work every day knowing that I contribute to the greater good of society.  I’m also privileged to impact the social issue of education, which I care very deeply about.  Even though I work in the non-profit sector, through my role on the National Advocacy and Partnerships team at KnowledgeWorks I have been able to learn and apply business cultivation principles from the for-profit world as a way to expand the number of schools and communities in which we work.

My career in the non-profit sector began when I was working for the Fraternity as a Leadership Consultant and Director of Chapter Services.  This job allowed me to begin my career with an organization that contributes to something bigger than myself…to the greater good.  Once you have a job like that, it is difficult to imagine working for an organization whose purpose, even if it isn’t the core purpose, is to answer to, and make money for shareholders.  That’s why it was, and is, important to me to continue working with a non-profit.  Frankly, it’s easier to get out of the bed and go to work in the morning.

Looking for Some Heroes

By Dr. Sparky Reardon 

“This is your brain.  This is your brain on drugs.”

Years ago, in an effort to fight drug usage, those words were blasted relentlessly on television screens.  The commercial first showed an egg (This is your brain) and then showed an egg perfectly frying in a skillet (This is your brain on drugs).  I think I know what the government was trying to convey with this public service announcement, but I have to agree with the comedian who said, “Yeah, and there’s some stoned guy out there thinking, ‘That egg sure looks good.’”

I don’t expect fraternity men who haze to read this blog and change what they are doing.  So, if you are a hazer and are looking for arguments, ideas, or faults in what I say, stop reading.

This blog is intended for men of character.  Men who believe in the teachings of the Bond.  Men of substance.  Strong men, courageous men.  Men of action.  Men of strong faith. Men who might be heroes.  Men of character.  So, if you think that you might fit one of these categories, read on.

I had the privilege to hear fellow Phi Gary Bender (Wichita ’62) speak at convention a couple of years ago, and he ended his talk with a quote that has stuck with me.  He said, “Fame is a vapor, popularity is an accident and money takes wings. The only thing that endures is character. Reputation is what man thinks us to be. Character is what God knows us to be. Reputations are chiseled on our tomb stones, character is what the angels of heaven say before the throne of God. If God knows he can trust you, He will enlarge your territory.”

Wow, that’s a powerful statement.  Character is what compels you to contribute, to challenge, to grow, to change yourself and others.  Character is the quality that determines whether you address the wrongs in your chapter whether they be apathy, alcohol abuse, drug usage, a culture of violence, poor scholarship, or HAZING.

If you are a man of character, you should be compelled to stop hazing in your chapter if it exists.  Here are some tips.

Align yourself with other like-minded men of character.

These might not be your best friends, but you know who they are by their actions and words.  Have a meaningful discussion about how the new members are treated in your chapter and what you think about hazing.  Select only men of character to be your Phikeia educators.

Work overtime to develop Phikeia programming that builds men up, not breaks them down.

Frederick Douglass once said, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” Don’t concern yourself with what others will think of you.  If you conduct positive Phikeia programming, in a couple of years, the other fraternities will be emulating you.  Be courageous and creative.

Have the courage to confront the hazers in your chapter.

Anyone who hazes is a coward.  There I’ve said it.  Don’t be afraid to gently confront a brother who wants to haze and ask him to explain his motivation for hazing.  Be unwilling to accept “tradition”, “it was done to me”, etc.  I have often found it impossible to reason with someone who is committed to hazing (especially when using words of two syllables or more!), but give it a try.  Confront hazers with like-minded brothers by your side.  Confrontation is not a bad thing.  If you see a situation that is dangerous (especially involving alcohol), confront quickly, forcefully, and physically if you have to.  You won’t get in trouble for doing the right thing.

Rely on GHQ, Province Presidents, University Officials, and Alumni.

First realize that these are not bad people or people out to get you.  No one gains when a chapter closes, goes on probation, or when a Phikeia is injured, or leaves with ill feelings toward the fraternity.  People who go to Alcoholics Anonymous know that the first step is realizing that there is a problem, standing before others and saying, “Hello, my name is XXX and I am an alcoholic.”  If you want to get well, be willing to admit, “My chapter’s name is XXX and we are a hazing chapter.”  Doing this puts you on the right track. Please know that there are many people willing to help you.  All you have to do is ask.

And, finally,

Look in the mirror and ask yourself, “Is this a man of character at whom I am looking?”

If the answer is yes, you have no choice.  You have to stop hazing.

Dr. Sparky Reardon is the Assistant Vice Chancellor/Dean of Students at the University of Mississippi. He has worked in higher education for 34 years. His primary areas of responsibility have included advising fraternities and student government, leadership development, crisis intervention, organizational discipline and teaching. He has a M. Ed. from Delta State University and a B.A.E. and Ph.D. from Ole Miss. Brother Reardon has spoken to thousands of students at numerous universities, conferences, and conventions. For this, Phi Delta Theta recently honored him with the Legion of Honor Award. He has also been awarded the Robert Shaefer Award for significant, long term service to Greek Life. In 2008 the Ole Miss senior class honored him with a scholarship in his name and in 1995 he was awarded the initial Thomas Frist Award for his outstanding service to students. He has appeared in the History Channel‟s “Frat Boys”, a history of fraternities in America. He enjoys Ole Miss sports, reading, cooking, and traveling.

The True Purposes of Higher Education and the Emerging Role of Fraternities in Accomplishing Those Purposes

By Dr. Donald Eastman – President, Eckerd Colllege

As delivered by Dr. Eastman at the 2012 Kleberg Emerging Leaders Institute

I am delighted to be with you tonight – and I hope perhaps to stimulate your thinking about both the true purposes of higher education and the emerging role of fraternities in accomplishing those purposes.

My remarks will be relatively brief, for two reasons:  First, I simply want to kindle your thinking about this topic, not to do it all for you.

Second, recent findings from cognitive research show that after 9.6 minutes of listening to a talk, the old guys begin to nod off and the young guys begin to engage in sexual fantasy – and I want to keep both of these responses under control.

Just so you know where I am coming from, let me say this:  I graduated from college in 1968, a time in which my classmates were being drafted to fight and die in Vietnam, a war I opposed from the start.  My university and the country were still essentially segregated, and our school days were full of demonstrations and chanting and marches and civic disobedience and, occasionally, violence.

But my fraternity chapter provided diversity, debate, affection, and opportunities for thoughtful discussion and leadership that made a great difference in my life, then and now, and it has provided enduring friendships that are still strong.  I am here tonight because I hope your experience is and will continue to be as rich and rewarding as mine.

As you know, these are tough times for American higher education – particularly public education.

State governments all across the country have cut their universities’ budgets again and again over the past decade:  In Florida, public university support is now 40% less than it was five years ago.  In many, if not most states, support for public higher education is often a lot less than it was ten years ago, and both tuition and enrollment have continued to increase, often dramatically.  And, of course, many of these states were not funding higher education at an adequate level before they began these dramatic cutbacks.

Everybody wants colleges and universities to, in Senator Lamar Alexander’s words, “cut costs, reduce tuition, and improve quality.” And politicians across the political spectrum have ideas about how to do that.  Senator Alexander, for example, former Governor of Tennessee and Secretary of the Department of Education, has frequently touted the benefits of a three-year degree program. Others talk about saving money through  more accountability, larger classes, more part-time and non-tenured faculty, fewer on-campus amenities, and particularly what so many pundits  and politicians and trustees think is the magic potion to control costs – on-line courses.

It is now almost universally accepted that on-line learning is just as effective as live classrooms with live professors, a whole lot less expensive, and inevitable. This idea has, of course, received widespread financial support from such icons as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, among others, and has been embraced by politicians and trustees who believe the failure to board the on-line train is evidence of professional protectionism by college faculty and administrators.

Perhaps you read about this exact scenario playing out last month at the University of Virginia, one of the world’s great public universities, when the Board of Trustees fired the president for being reluctant to demand that the faculty substitute on-line courses for their classroom teaching.

While UVA’s fiasco has been at least temporarily resolved, these battles are being fought in every state in the country, and the stakes for the form and support of higher education in America are very high.

At the same time, however, both private and public colleges and universities are enrolling more students than ever, and clearly people are paying higher prices than ever.

I understand the frustrations of politicians and parents and students about college prices and the inclinations of some of them to propose quick fixes.  But for a first-rate college education, such fixes are not readily available:  Despite the financial benefits, traditionally-aged students do not want to graduate from college in three years.  They do not sign up for on-line courses if they can help it.  They do not like large classes.  They are frustrated by part-time faculty and courses taught by graduate students. (By the way, it is estimated that 70% or more of the undergraduate courses now offered at major public universities are taught by graduate students and temporary or part-time faculty.)

The unhappy truth is this:  It still takes just as many people to play a Mozart quintet (that would be five) in 2012 as when it was first played in 1780.  There has been no improvement in efficiency in the intervening 230 years, nor is there likely to be any.

You could, of course, omit an instrument or two, a violin here, a clarinet there – who would know? Well, those who know Mozart’s music would know. They wouldn’t think it was simply bad; they would think it wasn’t Mozart. And they would be right.

In the same way, most of our courses in higher education still require the same things Socrates required – an instructor, students, and a gathering place – actual or virtual. These elements are pretty much essential, if you are going to do it right.

The diminished funding of higher education is a bad thing for a lot of reasons – but the most important is that our future as the freest, most prosperous country on earth depends on it. Thomas Jefferson made this very point when he founded the University of Virginia 200 years ago. There is no question that the United States has both the best universities in the world and the best system of higher education in the world.  Senator Alexander says that the greatness of our colleges and universities is largely the result of three things:  the $100 billion a year in federal financial aid that supports need-based aid and loans; the $30 billion a year in federal research funding, mostly through the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense; and our long American tradition of institutional autonomy. Unlike most countries in the world, we have almost no national colleges or universities, except for the five service academies.

Now, in the context of the state, national and world-wide economic downturn, which may not show great improvement for decades to come, undergraduates at American universities – especially public universities – are in a particularly difficult situation.

For public universities, educating undergraduates is only one of the many things they do, some of which are much more consequential to many of their constituents than undergraduate education.

Let me give you just four examples of those “other businesses.”

  • First, the big universities are engaged in graduate education programs, training MA’s and PhD’s in a variety of disciplines. Many professors spend more of their time with their graduate students than they do with undergrads.
  • Second, the big public and private universities are engaged in publicly funded research, to the tune of several hundred million dollars a year, and just as much non-funded research and scholarship. There is no question that this research has been essential to the economy and quality of life of our society.  Much of what we now know as the Web, the iPhone, iPad, and Google, as well as the miracles of modern medicine, has resulted from research at universities. Google, for example, was the result of a digital libraries research grant from the National Science Foundation given to Stanford University in the mid-1990s.  GPS’s were created by research at MIT, Harvard, and UC-Berkeley, funded by the Department of Defense. All of the key elements of the iPod – LCD monitors, lithium batteries, micro hard drives and microprocessors – were developed by federally-funded research at research universities. And so on . . . .
  • Third, the big universities are engaged in mammoth intercollegiate athletic businesses – with budgets often exceeding that for their undergraduate teaching. At schools like Ohio State, Michigan, Texas, Florida, and Georgia, those budgets exceed $100M per year. This is a very large entertainment enterprise and obviously has great PR impact – positive and negative. Big-time intercollegiate athletics are a source of great pride and community- building, but very few schools break even on what they spend on such teams – and almost none of it has anything to do with a high-caliber undergraduate education.
  • And fourth, the big universities are engaged, particularly the land-grant universities, in serving the agriculture and the agri-businesses of their states.  And, Colleges of Engineering, Business, and Medicine, among others, often have fundamental connections and obligations to entities outside their universities.

So, big universities have a much broader portfolio and a much more complicated set of missions than liberal arts colleges do – but much of what they do, indeed most of what they do, has little or nothing to do with undergraduate education.  Nevertheless, more than 80% of the undergraduates in this country are enrolled in our large public, research universities.

In contrast, small liberal arts colleges have a very different approach to higher education – primarily because their only business is the education of 18-22 year old full-time students.  Consequently, such schools are able to focus their attention on undergraduates, within and outside the classroom, in a way that most research universities simply cannot.  At my college, for example, all students have a close relationship with a faculty mentor; the student-faculty ratio is 13 to 1, and all classes are taught by professors, not substitutes; the average class size is 18 students; and nearly everyone has an internship, studies abroad, and lives on campus.

My point here is that, as state support for the large research universities continues to decrease, the out-of-class, residential, student life experiences that play such an important role in what we all think of as “college” will increasingly have to be developed and carried out by such extra institutional, long-term organizations as fraternities and sororities if they are to be provided at all. The same out-of-class academic and social growth and development that happen in the residential liberal arts college setting can also happen at the big universities perhaps only if fraternities and sororities make it their mission to make it happen.

I do not mean that ΦΔӨ should not continue to be a “social” fraternity:  In fact, I mean that we need to employ the full dimension of that word, “social.” Indeed, social and emotional intelligence is just as – if not more – important than academic intelligence – more important for jobs, and for success and happiness in life. Understanding how to live and work with people, many of whom are different from ourselves, is an essential 21st century skill. Whether that difference is that the other is from some country town we never heard of, or that the other has different gender or skin color or religious or sexual orientation than we do, fraternities may be the last best place for learning these essential skills.

Social intelligence means knowing how to work in groups, with both efficiency and respect. It means knowing how to meet and present the self to strangers, how to treat colleagues, how to follow, and how to lead.

Such social skills require mentors and advisors and alumni supporters – and it is clear that the big universities are going to be doing less and less of this, just as they are cutting back in every other aspect of support for undergraduate education, which makes it so important that fraternities do more and more.

So there it is:  I believe thoughtfully organized fraternities can satisfy an enormous need in the undergraduate experience that is simply no longer going to be addressed by big public universities.

The historical emphasis of fraternities such as ΦΔӨ on building positive relationships, on courtesy and good manners, on social grace and high morals, on community service and philanthropy are not, in any sense, the add-ons of a good college education:  They are what a college education is all about. In our culture, the preferred manner of turning 18 year-old adolescents into 22 year-old adults is college – and what that means has less to do with whether one majors in chemistry or art than with whether one has learned how to make good decisions and how to be a responsible citizen.

I now believe that, given the changes in public support of higher education, it will be up to such organizations as fraternities to maintain the true mission of higher education.

I challenge you current students to consider these issues and the rest of us to assist and support you in that effort.  If you young men and those who follow you are going to have the opportunities my generation had in college, you – and we – must work harder and smarter than we did than when we were in college.

As you know, these are also tough times for college graduates, and the better prepared you are, the better your social and academic preparation has been, the better your prospects for the future will be.  I believe in being prepared. I believe in working hard. I believe, perhaps more than anything, in what my athletic coaches called, “hustle.”

You may have heard what I call the “hustle” parable:

Every morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up.

It knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed.

Every morning in Africa a lion wakes up.

It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve.

So, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a lion or a gazelle –

When the sun comes, up you’d better be running.