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Grand Alpha Dave Smith shares his thoughts on the latest happenings around Phi Kappa Sigma and the interfraternal community at large.


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Happy Holidays

Posted By Mike Palladino, Tuesday, December 20, 2016



As the year draws to a close, I wanted to reflect on all that we have accomplished together as an organization over the course of 2016.  I had initially thought about sharing some of those highlights with you in this month’s Grand Alpha update, but then I had a better idea: how about you hear from the entire Executive Committee instead?

I am excited to announce our inaugural holiday thank you, where you will hear from each of our Grand Officers about some of this year’s biggest accomplishments.  I am looking forward to that message from the Executive Committee becoming an annual holiday tradition, as we celebrate Fraternity accomplishments each year that are only made possible through our members’ efforts.



If you check out our YouTube channel where that video is posted, you might also notice a second video, which is a professionally-produced introduction to Phi Kappa Sigma.  That’s a small teaser of some bigger news that we are going to be sharing in the Grand Alpha update in January, so subscribe to the channel and stay tuned!



As we wrap up 2016 and look to kick off 2017, I am excited to see everyone at our 17th annual Men of Honor program on January 5th in Asheville, NC!  And speaking of Men of Honor, would you consider making a year-end gift to the Phi Kappa Sigma Foundation? Your generous contribution to the Foundation helps fund educational programs like Men of Honor, the Carroll K. Simons Leadership Institute, scholarships for undergraduates, and more.


Thank you again for all that you have done to help make 2016 a success for Phi Kappa Sigma.  Best wishes to you and yours for a safe and happy holiday and New Year!


Mike Palladino (Alpha Nu ’04)
Grand Alpha


2020 Strategic Plan

Tags:  Grand Alpha  Holiday  Thanks  Video 

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A Time to Give Thanks

Posted By Mike Palladino, Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, November 23, 2016


I always try to take a moment during Thanksgiving to reflect on what I’m thankful for, whether it is family, career, fraternity, or friends.  I wanted to use this month’s Grand Alpha update to give thanks to all of the volunteers who contributed to Phi Kappa Sigma’s success in 2016; we are primarily a volunteer-driven organization, with brothers contributing in a multitude of ways.  Every day, an incredible number of Phi Kaps give their time, energy, and support to the Fraternity by serving as Chapter Advisors, volunteering with Housing Corporations, being involved with Alumni Chapters, donating to the Foundation, serving as members of international committees, and more.  I am sincerely thankful for everything that our volunteers do to support Phi Kappa Sigma and our members, and we wouldn’t be where we are today without you.

Along those lines, the positive impact of our volunteer support is clearly visible at our annual Men of Honor Leadership Institute.  The Men of Honor program is Phi Kappa Sigma's flagship leadership development program, hosted each January since 2001, and made possible by generous funding from the Phi Kappa Sigma Foundation and strong participation from volunteer facilitators.  The purpose of the program is to help Phi Kaps refine their leadership skills and affect positive change in their Chapters through facilitated interpersonal and communication training.  Every year, over a hundred (or more) Phi Kaps from all over the country attend to learn from headquarters staff, volunteers, and each other via facilitated leadership training.  Our 17th Men of Honor will be taking place at the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly retreat facility outside of Asheville, NC from January 5th-8th, and I would love to see you there.  I truly believe that the Men of Honor Leadership Institute is one of the best things we do as a Fraternity, and if you have never been, you’re missing out on a powerful experience.  To support this belief in the value of the Men of Honor program, I have asked the headquarters staff to extend the registration without a late fee until November 30th.  Register today at:

Finally, as I mentioned in last month’s update, don’t forget that we are working to return 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 or any of our others?  Visit 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.

Best wishes to you and yours for a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday!


Mike Palladino (Alpha Nu ’04)
Grand Alpha


2020 Strategic Plan


Tags:  Grand Alpha  Thanks 

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Welcome and Happy Founders' Day!

Posted By Mike Palladino, Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, October 19, 2016



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 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 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's Signature

Mike Palladino (Alpha Nu ’04)

Grand Alpha

Tags:  Expansion  Grand Alpha  Strategic Plan 

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