2014 Michigan Alpha Alumni President's Report

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Dear Michigan Alpha Alumni Brothers,

I hope this e-newsletter finds you in good spirits and health. I want to briefly update you on the state of the fraternity as well as the Alumni Association's plans for 2014.

At the conclusion of the 2013 Fall Term, the annual changing of the guard in the leadership of the active chapter took place. The actives elected new officers who show much promise for continuing the impressive momentum of Michigan Alpha. I congratulate these new leaders on their election, and look forward to working with them on matters of mutual interest.

Thanks to a very strong 2013 Fall Rush that culminated in the recent initiation of 21 new Phis, the active chapter membership of Michigan Alpha now stands at 90 men. This is the largest active membership roster in decades. The chapter also gained 10 pledges from the 2014 Winter Rush, so the growth trend is continuing. The chapter house is currently close to its capacity with 27 residents, and the outlook for a full house next year is very positive thanks to the fruitful recruitment efforts.

I would like to recognize the successful leadership that immediate past President Patrick O'Conner '15, Internal Vice President Drew Nikolai '15, Social Chair Matt Wiess '15, Treasurer Jordan Liebowitz '15, Secretary Despot Djuric '15 and the balance of the Executive Council (EC) provided during the last year. They have set an outstanding example for the new EC members.

Celebrating Fraternity Milestones

The active chapter membership is building on ten years of progress since Michigan Alpha's refounding in December of 2004 as well as 150 years of history since our original founding in November of 1864. These are definitely landmark dates in our past, but 2014 will be no less significant to the future of the fraternity. This year will feature new and improved programs undertaken by the active chapter; upkeep to our chapter house; active members and alumni opportunities to network and grow together; active members adding their energy and ideas to continue Phi Delt and U of M's commitment to be the leaders and best.

Moreover, this is a year for celebration of our rich heritage and plans to ensure Michigan Alpha's greatest days are yet to come. We are planning a special celebration of the 150th anniversary of chartering and 10 year anniversary of refounding during Homecoming (Michigan vs. Indiana) weekend that starts on October 31. Please plan on joining us, and encourage brothers from your era to do the same. This weekend would be the perfect time for alums to plan reunions with their old friends in the fraternity. If you have suggestions for the commemoration, please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Planning for the Future

Responsible active chapter leaders and generous alums have made it possible for the Alumni Association to make significant improvements to the chapter house during the last several years. These upgrades have enhanced the living environment for active members and maintained the chapter house as a focal point for alumni visitation to campus. The chapter house is a place where both actives and alums can share their brotherhood in PDT.

Building on the triumphs of renovating the North Porch, laying new driveways and installing new main floor windows among numerous other improvements, our chapter house is a leading, if not the best, fraternity residence on campus. But, we cannot rest on our laurels as other U of M fraternities are planning to make major improvements to their houses. Upcoming Michigan Alpha projects for consideration include renovating the South Porch, replacing carpet on the main floor, continuing to work on handicap accessibility of the property, and improving the appearance of the chapter house's exterior and yard. We are also examining ideas for enhancing safety and security systems to protect both the physical structure and its residents.

We are strengthening the governance of the Alumni Association. I am pleased to report that we have added two new members to the Alumni Association Board of Directors: Joe "Rocco" Fattore '80 (rejoining) and Patrick Moore '09. We look forward to their participation, and the wisdom they each bring to the deliberations of our eight member Board.

Recognizing a Winning Team Effort

I want to thank the Alumni Association Board, Chapter Advisory Board, and all alums who support the fraternity with energy or financial donations to the Annual Fund. It is truly a team effort to keep our 110 year old chapter house and soon-to-be 150 year old active chapter in great shape. It is a spot-on demonstration of the fraternity's open motto, "One man is no man."

When I consider the high character of the young men in the active chapter, and the achievements of the alums who have graduated since the refounding, I believe our collective investment in Michigan Alpha is well worthwhile.

Yours in the Bond,

JT 'Tom" Buck '77
President
Phi Delta Theta Michigan Alpha Alumni Association