A big thank you goes out to all volunteers and donors for their work this weekend to raise the total amount raised in the Phi Chapter Centennial Campaign to $1,095,791 with 205 total contributors!
Phi Chapter blog
Phi needs you now!
The responsibility rests on us all to upkeep the House that Brotherhood Built! As many of you are aware, we have launched a full-fledged $1.9 million campaign to renovate our chapter house. There is great news: We already have over a million dollars! All thanks to the hard work of campaign volunteers and to the donors who valued their experience in the fraternity and wanted to share it with future brothers.
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
However, our donor roster only encompasses a small percentage of all living alumni. Recently, you received a letter from brother Rick Buresh challenging you to reach out to your classmates and engage yourselves in the campaign. We want every decade in the fraternity represented in this monumental time in our history! To encourage you, we’ve decided to compile statistics on class participation in the campaign by initiation year. On this page and the Phi Now! page, you can find updated numbers as we continue on our journey to $1.9 million.
Thanks always for your support! Please reach out if you have any questions about the campaign to a member listed below!
Cory Loveless, Class of ’12, Initiation Year ’08
General Campaign Chair
Rick Buresh, Class of ’71, Initiation Year ’68
Campaign Committee Chair
Class Participation by Initiation Year: Class Participation by Year
Initiation Year in the lead: 1970
Current Donor Roster: Theta Chi Donor Roster 6-3-15
Job #1 is renovating “The House that Brotherhood Built.” We’re contemplating more than paint and carpet! Almost nine decades of housing 18-22 year old men has taken a heavy toll on 1307 University Drive. A $1.9 million renovation campaign is underway to support the 4-story overhaul. We’re over 50% there. Make a meaningful gift or 5-year pledge before July 24th to help lead brothers from your initiation year to victory! The winning class and decade in terms of campaign participation will receive a hero’s welcome at Homecoming 2015. Stay tuned for updates. To make a gift, go to http://phionline.org/phinow/ today. AΓΡ, ƩAE and FarmHouse have already invested millions in their chapter houses to encourage brothers to live-in and build membership. At least two other Greeks are considering major projects. As the largest fraternity on campus with our centennial just two years away, the time for Phi is NOW!
Save These Dates:
- 960s Fall Reunion at NDSU, September 10-12, 2015 – Special events coordinated by Mike Morrissey will bring together Phi brothers. Mike’s contact information is: firstname.lastname@example.org or (701) 281-1748.
- Pig Banquet, April 1-2, 2016 - Your last chance to see the chapter house before construction.
- Pig banquet 2017, March 23-25 – Centennial Celebration!
- Theta Chi Donor Roster 5-20-15
Theta Chi Fraternity has named North Dakota State University senior Kyle E. Sebesta as the 2013 recipient of its highest undergraduate honor, the Reginald E. F. Colley Award. The award annually recognizes distinguished undergraduate service to alma mater, fraternity and chapter.
Garret Mueller of Iota Beta Chapter at Missouri State University was named first runner-up and Sterett Seckman of Chi Chapter of Auburn University was second runner-up. The winner and two runners-up each receive academic scholarships furnished by The Foundation Chapter of Theta Chi.
Sebesta, a Civil Engineering major, served his alma mater, community, and fraternity greatly during his time at NDSU as a leader and mentor.
He participated in NDSU’s Summer Leadership Institute as a freshman and later returned as a student leader and facilitated leadership seminars in 2010 and 2012. He was also involved with the Move-In Crew and as an NDSU Conference, Orientation, and Recruitment Leaders that helped students adjust to college life. He also participated in NDSU Transfer Student Orientation. He worked on campaigns for Student Body President and Vice President in 2012 and 2013. In 2012 he served on the Homecoming Planning Committee and ultimately was selected to the 2012 Homecoming Court. In 2013, he was Senior Speak Student for the College of Engineering and Architecture and published advice for incoming freshman in a university newsletter. In 2010/2011 and 2012/2013 he was nominated as a Student Leader of the Year.
Within the NDSU Greek Community, Sebesta participated in a number of events and projects hosted by the fraternities and sororities at NDSU. Sebesta was selected as the 2012 Greek Man of the Year, a 2011 Greek Man of the Year nominee, a 2012 Chapter President of the Year nominee, and was the winner of March 27, 2013’s “Wear Your Letters Wednesday”.
Scholastically, Sebesta maintained a 3.898 Grade Point Average, well above NDSU’s All Men’s Average of 2.810 and the All Fraternity Average of 3.031. He made the Dean’s List in the College of Engineering and Architecture every semester in college and was also admitted to Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society which is composed of the top 10% of the Senior Class. He was also a member of Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society and Order of Omega. He participated and served in the American Society of College Engineers, Institute of Transportation Engineers, where he organized a spring break trip for fellow students to tour four major airports to learn about airport engineering from top professionals in the field.
Service to others was a critical component of Sebesta’s time at NDSU. He became a member of the Blue Key Honor Society and served as Alumni Secretary as well as the Producer of Bison Brevities 2013, raising nearly $2500 for charity. He is also the Planning Committee Chair for the Blue Key Honor Society 2014 National Leadership Conference where he has invited over 70 participating colleges and universities and is scheduling nearly a dozen guest and keynote speakers.
He also found the time to work with two NDSU Faculty Members to found and charter the NDSU-Fargo Lions Club. As a Founder and Charter President, Sebesta increased membership from 8 to 50 in ten months. The Lions Club was nominated in 2010/2011 for NDSU Student Organization of the Year.
He participated in a number of activities in the NDSU/Fargo community including: Special Olympics, Fargo Marathon Kids’ Run, Pray for Grey Foundation Benefit, Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast, Miracle Network Phone-A-Thon, MLK Jr. Day Service Plunge, TNT Gymnastics Open Gym, Hoops for Hannah Spaghetti Feed, Dorothy Day Food Pantry, Fill the Dome Food Drive, Dance Marathon, Relay for Life, and several blood drives. He was also involved in a number of NDSU homecomings and commencements.
Brother Sebesta’s leadership potential was recognized within Phi Chapter as he was elected Recruitment Chairman, Vice President, and ultimately, Chapter President. As a senior, he was elected to serve as Chaplain to aid the chapter in remaining true to Theta Chi’s values and principles.
He lead countless committees and chapter retreats and assisted with updates to the chapter’s alumni database. He started an annual award for Phi Chapter Alumnus of the Year at Phi’s annual Pig Banquet event.
Sebesta participated in a number of regional and national Theta Chi leadership events including attendance at the Mid-Year Leadership Conference in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 as well as the 2011 Deranian Presidents Conference and the 154th National Convention in Orlando, FL in 2010
Phi Chapter President Daniel Kvasnicka noted, “What amazes me is his work ethic with everything he does for the Fraternity. He pushes himself and his brothers to constantly be thinking of how the chapter can be better.” Kvasnicka added, “Leading the way with recruitment (recruiting over 20 men while Recruitment Chairman), Kyle is continually searching for men who have shown potential to be great brothers. Although I was someone who vowed never to join a fraternity, I am so grateful he recruited me to join as a junior.”
Phi Chapter voted Sebesta as the 2010/2011 Chapter Member of the Year, the 2010/2011 Scholar of the Year, the 2011/2012 Chapter Member of the Year, 2012/2013 Scholar of the Year and won the “Slugger Award” for Highest GPA with the most credits on three separate occasions.
Past member Theta Chi Fraternity’s national board of directors, the Grand Chapter, and Phi alumnus, Dr. Jim Hardwick, acknowledges the significance of the Colley Award recognition. “To be recognized as a leader among leaders attests to the commitment that Kyle has made to the mission and success of Theta Chi Fraternity and North Dakota State University.” Hardwick continued, “The first time that you meet Kyle Sebesta, you are impressed with his genuineness as a person and his passion as a community and campus leader. He is a mission-centered student leader who challenges members to live the values of the organization.”
Hardwick also noted, “Past Colley Award winners are recognized as successful leaders who continue their selfless service after college in their professions, communities and congregations. Kyle Sebesta exemplifies the standard of lifelong excellence in the leadership identified in past award winners.” He continued, “The fact that Kyle is the second undergraduate from Theta Chi Fraternity at NDSU to receive the Colley Award in the past three years is a testimony to the outstanding leadership culture in the fraternity chapter.”
As the 2013 recipient, Sebesta joins three other recipients from Phi Chapter member: 1934’s Roman E. Meyers, 1941’s Maj. Gen. Larry F. Tanberg and Cory Loveless, who received the Colley Award in 2011.
Cory Loveless noted, “I have had the pleasure of knowing Kyle throughout his time as an undergraduate, and I have seen him develop into the student leader he is today. His commitment to his academic pursuits, his dedication to his fraternity, and his character that upholds our shared values in Theta Chi makes me immensely proud to be his brother.” Loveless continued, “As a past Colley Award Recipient, it means a lot to see another Phi chapter brother win this award. While the award recognizes a single undergraduate, it carries more weight with me that my chapter continues to develop more young leaders to perpetuate our great fraternity. Kyle represents the best of Theta Chi in my eyes, and I am very proud of him.”
2011 Colley Award Recipient Cory Loveless (r) visits with Kyle Sebesta in 2012
to congratulate him for his nomination to NDSU’s Homecoming Court
Phi Chapter alumnus member Ben Buresh commented, “Kyle exemplifies leadership by working with his brothers to get things done while maintaining harmony in the chapter. His pragmatic style has been critical to Phi chapter’s success, both as president and as a member. I have no doubt that the skills Kyle has developed will serve the chapter in his final year as an undergraduate and himself as he enters the work force.”
The Colley Award applications were reviewed by a committee composed of top Theta Chi alumni from around the country, primarily consisting of past Colley Award recipients. The committee reviewed hundreds of pages’ worth of applications submitted by applicants from around the country. The committee was chaired by Theta Chi National Vice President William W. Palmer.
“With so many applications this year, it was a challenging process. But the results speak for themselves: The “Best of the Best,” and in a few instances, barely a razor-width of difference in the vote count among the top candidates,” Palmer said. “Our country and our beloved Fraternity are indeed lucky to have such young men as our future leaders and decision-makers.”
Arrangements will be made to present the award to Sebesta in person. Information about the award presentation will be made available on Theta Chi’s website, www.thetachi.org, later this semester.
First presented in 1929, the Colley Award is named for Reginald E.F. Colley, a World War I veteran and past member of Theta Chi’s board of directors, the Grand Chapter. It is interesting to note that brothers Colley and Sebesta share the same alma mater. As a member of Phi Chapter, Brother Colley developed a celebrated reputation as a campus, community and civic leader. He graduated in 1915 and eventually headed overseas to fight for the U.S. Army on the Western Front. Brother Colley died at the age of 39, but his legacy of leadership continues to inspire future generations of talented Theta Chis. Today, the Colley Award is treasured as the Fraternity’s most prestigious undergraduate honor.
In June, we sent out a survey (to the alumni list serve) to get your feedback on alumni programming at Phi chapter. So far, we’ve gotten some great feedback with over 40 responses. We’ll leave the survey open to keep that anonymous communication channel available, or you can always contact the alumni council at email@example.com with any feedback. In the meantime, we’d like to share with you what we’re hearing.
First, we wanted to know a little about who was providing feedback. As of July 12, we have about 40 responses, and participants are skewed heavily to the 2000’s era. We need to keep in mind that this feedback isn’t necessarily representative of our entire alumni base, but we still received some very good feedback.
Of the participants, 30% haven’t been back to Pig Banquet or Homecoming in the last 5 years. The reasons cited were mostly time constraints and distance. There’s not much we can do about the distance, but we’re open to exploring the idea of changing Pig Banquet dates from year to year to make it easier for people to make it. This year’s banquet is already set for March 29th, but we’d love to hear from you about dates that work best.
We asked about preferences for a Pig Banquet venue, and the feedback was pretty mixed. There wasn’t a strong preference for which formal venue to book, but there was a bit of a debate between formal venues versus informal venues. Hotel banquet halls are great venues for this event, but they can be cost prohibitive for some of our younger alumni and undergrads. We’re exploring ideas to mitigate that, and we’d love to get more feedback on the venue question. For now, we’ll continue to host an informal meal at the chapter house for lunch and a formal meal for dinner.
For Pig Banquet entertainment, you’re telling us that you want to hear updates from the active chapter, stories from alumni, talks from campus officials, and you want us to keep it short. We’re trying to get the NDSU archivist to speak briefly, and we’ll see if we can get updates from the active chapter and bring back the rocking chair symposium for a second year.
The question that probably had the most concensus was the question about attending additional alumni gatherings outside of Homecoming and Pig Banquet. There is certainly demand for additional gatherings, but the challenge is going to be finding people in different geographic areas who are willing to sponsor these events. The alumni council is at your disposal to help coordinate the logistics, so if you’re interested in putting something together, please let us know. You can reach the council at firstname.lastname@example.org or just contact a member directly.
Participants were happy with what we do for homecoming. This year we will be changing things up anyway, because NDSU is moving the parade to Friday night downtown. We will still have an open house from 9 am to 11 am where you can socialize, show your family around the house, and get information about the state of the Capital Campaign. Then you can head up to tailgating where we’ll have a clearly marked spot for Theta Chis to enjoy some good food and beverages.
The feedback on the Arrow was that it has been much better over the past few years, but we need to be more punctual with its arrival (or you don’t get it at all). We’ll do our best to get the Arrow out in record time this year. If you’re not getting the Arrow, that means we don’t have your correct address – please visit www.phionline.org/update-information/ to provide your current contact information. Several participants volunteered to write articles, and we’ll be putting them to work over the next few semesters.
Overall, the feedback we’ve received through the survey has been positive, but we know there are always things we can do to improve. So thanks to those who have provided feedback, and if you disagree with anything in this letter, please make your voice heard by contacting the council or by filling out the survey.
The URL for the survey is http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VYM2TBK.
Dear friends of phi chapter,
Hope you are having a good summer! We waited a long time for it to arrive, so get out and enjoy it!
First, thanks for visiting the website. I hope you’ll come back often to check for updates. Feel free to subscibe to the RSS feed (http://phionline.org/feed/).
Phi chapter had a fun and productive semester, and I’d like to highlight a few things.
The semester started out with a strong spring recruitment. We initiated 12 men, bringing our total to 30 new guys for the school year, and our total membership to 85. With the enthusiasm of our new members, the future looks bright. We even have the honor of calling the New Greek Man of the Year, Alex Fausti, our brother.
Speaking of awards, phi chapter had a fruitful semester. Joining Alex were Greek Man of the Year, Kyle Sebesta and Mr. NDSU, John Narum. Alex Hoffman made some noise in the Mr. NDSU competition as well.
As you all know, NDSU won its second National Championship in as many years. Fargo had a strong presence in Frisco this year, and it was great to see so many Phi brothers at the game.
This year, term was held in Valley City, ND. As usual, good times were had by all.
Over the last several months, we’ve had the opporunity to work with alumni to identify the needs of the chapter house for our chapter’s next hundred years. It has been exciting to be part of that process, and it’s exciting to imagine the possibilies!
That’s all for now, but check back for updates.
Greetings to all,
Now that we’re all breathing a sigh of relief that the world didn’t end in 2012…welcome to 2013! This year is going to be a fun and exciting year for Theta Chi, and here’s why:
NDSU National Championship
I don’t really need to elaborate on this one. What a great football season and Championship game in Frisco, TX. It was fun to see so many of you there!
As you may know, this is my favorite time of the year! I hope to see all of you at this year’s banquet on March 23rd. We’ve got a great banquet lined up this year and lots to discuss at the annual meeting!
As always, the festivities will start at the house with the pig carving, alumni meeting, and then the banquet at the Radisson in downtown Fargo. Please RSVP as soon as possible at http://phionline.org/pig-banquet/.
Gather at Chub’s Pub Friday evening
Social at the house at 11:00am
Pig served at noon
Alumni meeting at 1:30
Social at the Radisson at 5
Meal served at 6
Thanks to Jack Haines, we have a custom made gun with Theta Chi engraving, commemorating the Centennial of Phi Chapter. It is quite an exquisite piece so please take a look and get a ticket for a chance to take it home with you! Tickets will be available before and during Pig Banquet, or you can purchase online at http://phionline.org/gunraffle/. You don’t need to be present to win.
We’ve got a very special year coming up in 2017. This will be the centennial of Phi Chapter so the alumni council and the active chapter have many things going on, even now, that are in preparation for this momentous occasion. I would encourage you get involved in any of the efforts working toward the goal of making history. We are all going to benefit from the efforts put toward this occasion.
Have an enjoyable and safe remainder of 2013,
Dennis Agnew 1487
The brothers of Phi chapter are pleased to announce a collective grade point average of 3.01 for the fall semester of 2011.
The Maxim of Theta Chi Fraternity is “Alma Mater first, and Theta Chi for Alma Mater“. Phi chapter has a number of different resources that are available for active members to perform well in the classroom. A chapter library houses an impressive number of class notes, old editions of textbooks, and worked examples for brothers to utilize. The current scholarship chairman, brother Dan Kvasnicka, works with the active undergraduates to establish study hours for the brothers who receive under a 2.5 grade point average. There is also an established academic policy that ensures accountability among brothers.
Our chapter is proud of this achievement, and hope to continue our academic success.
As undergrads, we spent much of our time creating memories. As alumni, we take advantage of events like Homecoming and Pig Banquet to share those memories. To get you primed for Pig Banquet this year, I contacted alumni from various eras to share some of their memories from their college days. It was fun to see how some things have changed, but we’ve clearly done a good job passing down our core values as a brotherhood through the years.
The first question I asked was what guys did when they would hang out at the house. Technology has changed, but the spirit of OX pastimes spans generations. Substitute an Xbox console with a deck of cards, and a Tuesday afternoon at the house in 2010 might look a lot like a Tuesday afternoon at the house in 1970.
One of the best parts of living in the house is the fact that there is never a dull moment. Amidst all the pranks between brothers, the most popular activities were video games, playing Settlers of Catan (a board game), poker, and going to Buffalo Wild Wings on Sundays for the college night. -Cory Loveless ‘12
During the day it was a lot of hanging out and watching Giada or ESPN. Other than that we would have big Risk games or watch movies at night. There was also always a video game that everyone was playing in the house. Some would come and go but one that has always been there was Mario Kart. There was some pretty intense competition going on and I was never able to compete seeing as how I sucked but it was always fun to spectate. -James Clysdale ‘11
Lots of whist, lots of time spent feeding fish in my giant aquarium – a weekly “don’t miss” event! -Josh Scraper ‘06
We played a lot of Whist and Pinochle. Tiger Woods PGA golf just came out and was popular when I was an active. We played a lot of Volleyball, roller hockey, and softball for sports. I remember watching season one of Temptation Island in Prust and Proulx’s room when I was first active. Wild hockey playoffs brought a lot of actives over to the house to watch as a group too. -Lance Minnichsoffer ‘06
Eating Betty’s leftovers and cooking the largest, hottest batch of wings ever with Rook-dad every Saturday night at 2am! Working out at the BSA. Playing “Unreal tournament (original)” and getting fragged every 5 seconds so other brothers could feel good about their gaming skills. Planning and executing pranks and getting pranked. -Pat Miller ‘05
In between plotting the next raid on the KD’s (aka Operation Tenfold), watching my roommate go “Red Rooster,” or gathering many of Fargo’s couches/recliners for lawn lounging in the spring, house life was laid back. If you wanted to do something, someone else was probably up for it. -Randy Severance ‘04
At the time, that’s when Nintendo 64’s were just coming out so there was a lot of James Bond and Super Mario Cart played. Also, lots of pinochle games on 2nd landing. I can remember that we would set up a card table on 2nd landing, grab a couple beers, and play pinochle until all hours of the night. Lots of gathering in the TV room watching educational programs like VH1 Pop-up video!! In the TV room, 75% of what was talked about was lies but always made the group laugh. Remember, before the house was renovated due to the fire, the only cable TV was in the TV room! Way, way back in the day, we used to do things like Wednesday night jammy-jams, which consisted of basically inviting a whole bunch of people over to the house and the whole house turning into room parties. It was originally set up that everyone would show up in PJ’s but after a couple weeks, it just turned into a weekly Wednesday night party. -Dennis Agnew ‘99
Many things were done during the free time at the house. One activity that was always comical was pouring water out the front of the house onto some unsuspecting victim (douching). We would spend a lot of time watching Jeopardy and other shows on TV. One of my all-time favorite activities during the spring time was driving around in the ’81 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme and hitting water puddles on campus, again wetting unsuspecting victims. Students on campus began to listen warily for the sound of the Cutless Supreme! Playing pinochle in the house was always a treat as well. I remember one time where we obtained a stuffed
Canadian goose that had a broken leg. We set it up in the middle of University Drive and sat for hours watching as people were honking their horns trying to get the goose to move off the road. Finally, someone came back, opened their door and stole the Canadian goose. Fun times, always great memories! -Jerry Specht ‘99
There were a lot of poker games going on in the office on second floor. One of the other things that I remember was packing into Brian Larson (Jr) and Emery Jackson’s second floor room watching Smokey and the Bandit without the sound as we all knew
every word. This was almost a weekly event. -Bryan Schulz ‘91
In the late 80’s, free time was spent watching MTV in the TV room, which was on main adjacent to the library. Aside from that, foosball, pinochle in the office, and playing ball in the yard were popular. But much of the time I remember was just sitting in various rooms visiting with other Brothers. We had over 100 actives and there were always so many guys around to visit with. It truly was a social Fraternity. -Paul Germolus ‘89
Cards… some even played when we were supposed to be at finals. -Rocky Bertch ‘75
During those years, we spent time watching TV mostly in the TV room on main (the current office), although a few of the brothers had TV sets in their rooms. Most of the brothers were avid card players. Pinochle was originally the game of choice, but Bridge took over in the 1970-71 school term. Card games occurred in the evenings and frequently before noon and evening meals. -Brad Westrum ‘73
There were always card games such as pinochle and an occasional poker game. I remember the TV room being crowded every
afternoon for Star Trek. -Bob Stein ‘70
Ma Stock, Iris Gust, Betty Heuer, and Aaron Lockwood have kept us well fed over the years. For the next question, I asked what the most popular meal was in each era. I expected some consensus answers, but I got a variety of answers, particularly from guys in Betty’s era. I was sure that everyone from Betty’s era would say their favorite was taco Wednesdays with cinnamon rolls. But with each answer that came in, I found myself saying, “oh yeah, I forgot about that!”
Aaron apparently makes really good enchiladas. Betty gets rave reviews for chicken tortilla soup, everything at Monday night meal, Christmas ham with Betty’s special sauce, sausage McMuffins, and Italian dunkers.
I don’t recall one thing in particular but I can tell you that everything she cooked, I thought was very tasty! You can tell that by the photos of my last 2 years in college. I had gained my junior and senior years 15 lbs! -Dennis Agnew ‘99
Iris served some more unconventional favorites:
Iris Gust was the cook at the house while I was there and I was always able to get her to make anything that I asked for and I wasn’t even the Steward. On Fridays she would make “Horny Burgers” – not really sure what was in it but it looked something like a BBQ. This didn’t sit well with many of the other guys in the house as they didn’t like them and I caught heck at many Sunday Night meetings. Iris also made Chicken Cordon Bleu almost every Monday night for Formal Meal. Horse [things] and Cheese was also a big favorite for lunch – they were these 8” sausages and mac and cheese. -Bryan Schulz ‘91
Horny Burger was LEGEND – not because of the taste, but more so because of its fearsome reputation for culling the weak, and laying waste to the intestinal tracts of the unwary. -Paul Germolus ‘89
Before Iris, Ma Stock was the cook:
I don’t remember a particular favorite meal, but I do remember Ma Stock was a great cook. Evening meals were also entertaining. I remember that the “head” of the table was a coveted position. The head started the dining and also had the power to levy fines (usually under protest) on others at his table. I was one of a number of bus boys in the house. If we bussed tables and washed dishes, our meal was free.
Each quarter (no semesters back then), we had a “scholarship” banquet. This was held on a Monday night. Of course, each Monday night meal was formal, as all the brothers wore coats and ties. At the scholarship banquet, everyone who earned a 3.5 or above the previous quarter ate at the “steak” table, and everyone between a 2.0 and a 3.49 ate roast beef, and those brothers who dropped below 2.0 ate at the “bean” table. I remember those at the bean table always commenting on how great their beans tasted. -Brad Westrum ‘73
What set OX apart from other fraternities when you were active?
I was recruited by a group of Theta Chi’s and I did not investigate many of the other chapters. After I joined, I was fortunate to find out that Theta Chi had a rich history at NDSU. I think that what set us apart from other fraternities at the time was the amount of involvement among the members and the size of our chapter. -Cory Loveless ‘12
Aside from being the biggest we were always the ones who seemed to be leading the pack. Whether it was Student Body President or President of Habit for Humanity there was always a T-chi in charge. -James Clysdale ‘11
The active chapter members and alumni, integrity, excellence, respect, basically the morals of the fraternity and the willingness to extend a helping hand. -Lance Minnichsoffer ‘06
We were the most well rounded group on all of campus, and had a bond that others couldn’t match. -Josh Scraper ‘06
Without a doubt, the dedication and passion that the Theta Chi’s had for the organization set them apart on campus. It was also the most diverse fraternity in many ways, but at the same time, it was a group of men with the same core values. -Randy Severance ’04
The positive, quality guys that got involved on campus and in the city. -Pat Miller ‘05
When I first joined the house, Theta Chi was by far the most active fraternity on campus. Student government, the Spectrum, Bison Ambassadors, Blue Key, IFC, etc. I was always impressed at how involved so many of the members were. The fact that Theta Chi was a social fraternity and not focused in one direction or the other appealed to me also. I don’t like to be pigeon holed and I think a social fraternity is a great way to diversify the interests of your group. -Dennis Agnew ‘99
I truly believe that the “brotherhood” of Theta Chi was the most influential on campus. Not only were we close as a fraternity, but there were many of us that were involved in Student government and other organizations on Campus. We were the largest (and best) fraternity on campus. –Jerry Specht ‘99
The Brotherhood! If you saw one Theta Chi walking or doing something on campus there were always three or more with them. We were very proud of wearing our letters or jackets. We were also very active on campus – be it Inter Fraternity Council; intramural – we were a force to reckoned with; Bison Ambassadors; and many other clubs and organizations on campus. We always had great Rush events – All Star Wrestling on the front lawn, the great drop from 4th Floor back fire escape – TV’s, furniture, water melons, blow-up dolls filled with Jell-O, and many others. –Bryan Schulz ‘91
As then, as I’m sure it is now, TC always conveyed the image of being the leader on campus. We were big, our men were extremely active in all manner of campus activities, and we earned the respect of our peers. That also made us a target. Whether it was fielding the student body president, homecoming king, Bison Brevities winner, or having the highest number of pledges for Rush week, we always knew that, to stay on top, we had to work harder than everyone else, and do so in a manner that extolled the virtues that we swore to live by. Whether we knew it or not, those lessons being learned helped pave our way after we left NDSU. –Paul Germolus ‘89
Dominance in intramural athletics (one year we got 1st in basketball, 1st in football and 1st and 2nd in softball), participation in Blue Key, campus government, campus commitees, Rahjahs, being able to use ladders to climb into second story windows of Morrill Hall and knowing various Deans and administrators on a first name basis. –Rocky Bertsch ‘75
Having gone to ND State College of Science and UND my first two years, I was astounded at the level of immediate acceptance by the brothers. This made me feel like I had “come home” even though I was a newcomer. –Bob Stein ‘70
What set us apart? Where do I begin? We were just cooler than all the other frat guys. Seriously, I think we felt that we were a closer knit group than others on campus. We stuck together. We took pride in being a Theta Chi. We were competitive about being the best. That competitive spirit came out in intramural activities. Most of the brothers were from small Class B North Dakota communities where they had a chance to compete for their local high school teams. We always had large sign ups for basketball (usually fielding at least three teams), flag football and softball. Our intramural teams were often led by some great athletes from the eastern part of North Dakota (Red River Valley Conference guys), but the “West River” brothers did pitch in and help. I remember we had some great bowling and billiard teams. We. also, had teams for broomball, hockey, wrestling, and archery. – Brad Westrum ‘73
What was your favorite tradition from your era?
It was very common for actives to visit sororities in the early hours of the morning to get nachos. I remember that one active, Dean Derfus, once visited every sorority on campus in a single night to get nachos. Some loyalties were betrayed, but brother Derfus came home a very happy man. –Cory Loveless ‘12
Thanksgiving dinner was huge. Our cook would make a huge meal with all the best things that Thanksgiving has to offer. We would all pack in the basement and have one last meal together before finals. After dinner we would all just spend the next hour not moving. –James Clysdale ‘11
Too many to count! The annual ice fishing tournament that Pat Tobkin started “The B.S.O.B.L.” (Biggest SOB on the Lake!) yielded some fantastic memories and hefty car repair bills. Our retreats never failed to amaze me. There was a new favorite memory at each one (Year of the Fratwich comes to mind). Trips back to each others’ homes – “Woogie’s Western Weekend”, “Lumberjack Days”, “Larson’s Turtle Mountain Tours”. -Josh Scraper ‘06
The basic tradition of pledging and initiation made a big impression on me. I also remember all of the guys sitting around, singing some of the most “interesting” songs I’d ever heard — that was one of my favorite traditions. –Randy Severance ‘04
I’m not sure where we get our pig from these days, but it used to come from an alumnus near Buxton. We would rent a van or two and head up there with a group of Alumni and Actives to “pick up the pig”. The pig would actually be already sent off to be cleaned, so it was purely a socializing activity between Alumni and Actives. He would at least show us his pigs. Sometimes, we’d stop at a small town bar outside Buxton before heading back. –Matt Olson ‘03
Other traditions mentioned from the 2000’s were initiation, weekends at cabins, road trips, bar crawl, serenading the bride at OX weddings, and casino trips to Mahnomen.
Hanging out at Chubs (still do), spring time in the front yard with couches and all sorts of antics, singing to the sororities after Monday night meals, chapter meeting critic, semester opening Johnny Holm concert, initiation week, “Risk Management” parties with 800 of your closest friends! I’m sure there are many more I’m missing but I can’t think of them right now. –Dennis Agnew ‘99
My favorite tradition was going to the various Sorority houses and stealing composites. Of course, this always worked against us as well. Another favorite is Theta Chi members being a bus-boy at one of the sorority houses for their formal night meal. I did this with Andy Rogers at the Alpha Gamma Delta and it was always a great time! -Jerry Specht ‘99
I think the singing to the Sororities was always a big hit. We would have most of the house together and travel from house to house singing and if by chance we could get a composite while we were there that was always a plus. Also sitting around with other Brothers just BS’ing was always fun. -Bryan Schulz ‘91
No single tradition can claim that spot in my mind. The University and the house were steeped in so many rich traditions. The best part of them all – they were usually an annual event, so you got to live it 4 or 5 times during your college career. Some that stand out in my mind are: every football game in the old Bison stadium, the fall dance with Johnny Holm, Bison Brevs practice and competition with a sorority, Homecoming, every term party, Monday night meal with the dream girl, Fall woodcutting, Rush week, Initiation, and the Active Chapter meetings. –Paul Germolus ‘89
I thought it was going to be painting the cannon. But then I found out that simply meant drinking a lot of beer and then running across the street and dumping a pail of paint on the cannon, and that wasn’t nearly so meaningful. Actually, I was (and still am) impressed with the level of pride and discussion that revolves around the activation number. I think that is unique to this chapter. –Bob Stein ‘70
Lots of wonderful traditions… from pinnings to engagements to singing at weddings. I don’t know if you would call “scumming” a tradition, but it certainly was noteworthy. In hindsight, most actives looked back on scumming and laughed about the crazy things they were “asked” to do. –Brad Westrum ‘73
Community service and philanthropy have been very consistent from generation to generation. Fargo’s flood problems are apparently not a recent development, as most guys mentioned flood fighting together. We got a lot of years out of the fall kickoff dance with the Johnny Holm Band, and we’ve had a long relationship with the YWCA, Children’s Miracle Network, PBS, meals on wheels, and the Highway Cleanup program. the active chapter has added open gym for kids, the Week of Giving, and the Special Olympics to the list ways OX extends the helping hand.
I put together several events with the Big Brother/Big Sister program where we would go together with a Sorority and take all of the little brothers and sisters that hadn’t been matched yet out for a day of fun. We did Christmas parties where Brother Mike Barsness played Barney Claus and gave each of the kids a gift, played games and had lots of food. We also took the kids to the Shrine Circus and other events. I think that several of the Brothers ended up joining the Big Brother program and adopted a little brother. – Bryan Schulz ‘91
I hope you enjoyed reading these trips down memory lane as much as I enjoyed compiling them. These anecdotes only scratch the surface, but they illustrate how much Theta Chi has meant to all of us. In conclusion, I think Brothers Schulz and Severance said it well:
To this day, I see how many opportunities and connections Theta Chi helped create in my life. I see it not only within our fraternity, but also extending to the entire Greek community. I hope the traditions and values of Theta Chi continue to offer a great experience to our young men at NDSU. –Randy Severance ‘04
I seriously think that I am where I am today because of the GREAT OPPORTUNITIES that Theta Chi gave me the fortune to EXPERIENCE! I made so many great lifelong friends that I still keep in touch with today! -Bryan Schulz ‘91
Schools and local businesses continue to fill Sandbag Central with volunteers willing to fill thousands of sandbags daily. But you will have a tough time keeping up with one fraternity from NDSU. The Theta Chi’s are on a mission to break a record, and they have the sore backs to prove it.
In the middle of the hustle and bustle of Sandbag Central, you will find one driven and dedicated volunteer group. Since the doors opened more than a week ago at Sandbag Central, the men of NDSU’s Theta Chi Fraternity have not only showed up in force. They have not missed a day of volunteering.
“Even though it’s not our home community, we go to school here and we are all students at the University. It’s important for us to be here to help.”
More than 70 members of the fraternity have showed up to fill bags. The goal is to put in 500 volunteer hours, all this from students who grew up outside of the area.
“I am somewhat proud of the town that I live in so it is a way to protect it and a way to give back to the community that has given me a place to live.”
And there is a little incentive for the Theta Chi Fraternity, the President of NDSU has promised a dinner at his house for the most successful sandbagging group.
“Fargo is a lot different then the cities, I’ve come to notice, and it is just a tighter community and I like that. And it is like if they are going to be that tight, why not give back?”
This same fraternity volunteered close to 400 hours last year. This NDSU group started here in Fargo back in 1917, wearing its traditional color red today, hoping to help hold back the Big Red.
Fargo, ND (WDAY TV)
Here is a link to the video & article