Active Chapter President's Report

Successful Winter-Spring Terms, Great Momentum for 2011-2012 Year

 

 

By Will Hardenbergh '13

[Posted July 1, 2011] On behalf of the active chapter membership, I would like to thank our alums who have been generous in donating their money, time and moral support to Michigan Alpha. Your backing is critically important and tremendously appreciated.

I especially wish to thank the leaders of the Alumni Association/House Corporation and the Chapter Advisory Board for donating countless hours of your time to help the active chapter stay focusedon the right direction while also keeping our historic 108-year-old chapter house in outstanding condition.

It is clear that fraternities with strong alumni participation and support enjoy a significant advantage over other houses. Based on what I've seen and heard as president, I think Michigan Alpha's alums are best in the U of M Greek System.

There is no question in my mind that a big part of Phi Delta Theta's success on U of M's campus has been made possible because of our alums. The active chapter is mindful that your support must be earned every year – we take nothing for granted.

I am pleased to say that the fraternity is continuing to grow and improve. Michigan Alpha is fulfilling its mission to be a leader in the U of M Greek System while making a positive impact on the campusand the Ann Arbor community.

It is my hope that you will find our achievements worthy of your continued support and make you proud to say you are a Michigan Alpha alum. The following outlines highlights of the first half of 2011.

Intramural Sports

PDT was highly competitive in the Fraternity League, making the "A" team playoffs in volleyball, wallyball, water polo and broomball. Our collective efforts resulted in a 3rd place finish in the Fraternity League for the 2010-2011 year.

With many veteran athletes returning this fall, we expect to be in the hunt for an IM Sports Championship. Given that PDT finished among the top 3 in the Fraternity League for two straight years (2nd place during the 2009-2010 year), we have solidified our reputation as aggressive competitors.

Grade Point Average

During the winter term, the chapter maintained a GPA of 3.27, which places us above the all-fraternity campus average of 3.17, all-men campus average of 3.19 and overall campus average of 3.24.Even more impressive was our freshman class GPA of 3.34 that soundly beat the all-male freshmen average of 3.16.

Winter Rush

The chapter placed a renewed emphasis on winter rush, and our hard work paid off with one of the largest pledge classes for that time of year in the history of the fraternity. We recruited an excellentpledge class of 14 men who are all assets to our fraternity.

The majority of the pledges are from the state of Michigan, but the class features diversity with men hailing from as far away as Sweden and Portugal.

Total Membership and House Occupancy

After the 2011 graduation, our active membership totals 56; this places us close to the all-fraternity average of 62 members. It has never been our goal to be the largest fraternity on campus, as we believe that one of the hallmarks of Michigan Alpha's historic success is the opportunity for men to participate in multiple activities and leadership positions.

Most importantly, we have achieved a size that allows us to know every member of the fraternity -- a feat not possible in some houses that strive to be the biggest in numbers rather than best in quality.

A testament to our close-knit philosophy is the fact that 52% (29 men) of our total membership will be living in the chapter house during the 2011-2012 year. In some "big" fraternities, less than half of the members ever live in the chapter house even one year – they never really get to know the majority ofthe members.

In addition to keeping busy with activities in the chapter, Michigan Alpha members are involved in campus activities such as the Hockey Club, Crew Team, Rugby Club, ROTC, Investment Club, Debate Club, Michigan Triathlon Team, Snowboarding Club, Fishing Club and many other organizations.

Social Events

In January, we held our annual ski trip which gave brothers stories to last the rest of the year if not longer. During February, we hosted a date party formal, and throughout the balance of the semester we hosted multiple mixers with sororities such as Delta Gamma, Pi Phi, Chi O, Alpha Phi, AD Pi, Zeta and D Phi E. In summary, we had a good time...

Philanthropy

Michigan Alpha's commitment to philanthropy remains solid as we held three large philanthropy events during the winter semester. In the middle of March, the brothers paired up with the ladies of Delta Gamma to host the Banta Bash, which honored the memory of George Banta, Sr. and raised money for charitablecauses.

Later in March, we co-hosted with Ann Arbor Active Against ALS, the 3rd Annual Boxcar Derby that brought children and their parents from all around Ann Arbor to South University to race and promote awareness of ALS. The event continues to grow, and this year we raised more than $4,000 to fight LouGehrig's disease.

We finished the semester by partnering with Phi Sigma Rho sorority to participate in Relay for Life, which benefited the America Cancer Society.

Awards

Michigan Alpha's progress has been measured by numerous awards during recent years, and 2011 continued this trend. The U of M Interfraternity Council presented the chapter awards for OutstandingAchievement in Philanthropy and Outstanding Involvement with IFC.

The PDT General Headquarters named Michigan Alpha as the top "Iron Phi" chapter among all Phi Delt chapters in the nation in recognition of our successful athletic-based fundraising to combat Lou Gehrig's disease.

Upcoming Events and Alums Always Welcome to Visit

During the fall semester, the active brothers look forward to seeing alumni visit the house on football game Saturdays or any time for that matter (although the house has a security system and the doors arelocked most of the time, please knock and someone will let you in).

Come by the house, meet the guys, and share some of your stories. Remember, this is still your house on campus.

I encourage you to attend the Homecoming Open House on the morning of October 29 before Michigan takes on the Purdue in the Big House. Also, mark your calendar for the Founders Day Dinner that will be held in March of 2012.

As always, proud to be a Phi!