Happy Founders’ Day from sunny Atlanta, Georgia!
I am humbled and honored to have been elected Grand Alpha this past July at our 98th Grand Chapter in Chicago, Illinois. Having served on the Executive Committee for the last ten years (Grand Theta from 2006-2008, Grand Pi from 2008-2010, and Grand Beta from 2010-2016), I can tell you that we have come a very long way together, but I know that our best days are still ahead of us. I am incredibly excited to serve you and the Fraternity for the next two years as we continue to move forward together.
Shortly after being initiated at Georgia Tech (Alpha Nu) in 1999, I began receiving the monthly “Grand Alpha Update” that our Grand Alpha at the time, Dr. Ghery Pettit (Alpha Lambda ‘46), would send to all Phi Kaps. I always appreciated those updates and thought it was important to hear directly from the leadership of our organization about what was going on, what direction we were headed in, and why.
I still feel that same way today. So, the first thing I want to share with you is simple: This message is only the beginning of our conversation. Our leadership team has some pretty ambitious goals for the next two years, and the only way we will get there is together. To that end, I don’t want us to talk to you; I want us to talk with you.
We will be transparent, by communicating with you frequently, and in a meaningful way. You will hear from our Executive Committee every month (if not more often, when we have news to share!) through the rest of our elected term which ends in July 2018. Those updates won’t just come from me, either – sometimes it will be other Grand Officers, when they have something important they want to share with you.
In this month’s update, I wanted to touch on a few different topics:
First, we continue to see great results in the area of chapter expansion thanks to the hard work of our colony members, HQ staff, and local volunteers. Currently, we have active colonies at:
- Oklahoma State University with 17 men
- Texas Tech University with 32 men
- Rowan University (Delta Gamma) with 56 men
- Vanderbilt University (Alpha Iota) 30 men
- Washington State University (Beta Psi) with 68 men
We will also be returning to McDaniel College (Delta Eta) and the University of Virginia (Eta) in the Spring 2017 semester. Do you know someone who could make a great Phi Kap at one of those campuses? Visit http://AlwaysAPhiKap.org/referral and let us know about it! Every new member recruited gets us closer to our Strategic Plan goal of increasing total active undergraduate membership to 2,200 brothers by 2020. (We’re at 1,296 today, up from 1,110 in 2011 when we set our goal, so we’re definitely on our way.)
Now that I’ve mentioned our undergraduate growth goal, you might be asking yourself, “what else is in our 2020 Strategic Plan?” Please visit http://pks.org/2020 to see our Strategic Plan and the current status of each objective; make sure to check back regularly as we will keep it updated monthly through 2020. While you’re there, you can also watch a presentation from a recent “Town Hall” where we shared the Strategic Plan with Chapter Alphas and Chapter Advisors, explaining the purpose and rationale of each objective. I’m excited to share and promote our Strategic Plan publicly, in an effort to be informative, communicative, and accountable to our membership over the coming years.
Along the same lines, I am excited to announce that in the coming weeks we will hold our first annual “State of the Fraternity” address. Much like the annual State of the Union address that the President gives the country, we are going to invite every initiated member, undergraduate and alumnus alike, to a presentation where you can hear directly from our Executive Committee regarding the course we have charted for the next two years, the goals we have set, and how we are planning to get there. The date is still TBD (likely early November) so stay tuned.
Finally, I wanted to say thank you to all of the chapter officers, Chapter Advisors, and housing corporation members who have put effort in to be prepared for our recent risk management policy change to allow alcohol in our chapter houses as of August 1st, 2016. Whether you attended the recent risk management training webinars (which our HQ Staff has done a tremendous job in developing and coordinating), completed the GreekLifeEdu training, or reviewed the new policy with our HQ Staff, I am appreciative of everyone’s efforts. Obviously this is a big adjustment from the substance-free policy of the last 16 years, but I believe that with open and frequent dialogue with our HQ staff, we are well-positioned to make a smooth transition. That being said, I am looking to each and every member to stay safe, make good decisions, and take care of our fellow brothers.
I’m looking forward to being in close communication with our membership, both alumni and undergraduate, over the next two years. Connect with me on LinkedIn, tag me on Facebook, or drop me a line via email, and let’s do great things together.
Mike Palladino (Alpha Nu ’04)