7 VISIONS STAFF Editor in Chief & National Director of Content Luis A. Gonzalez Delta Chapter
Texas A&M University, Fall ‘06
Vice President of Marketing Lateef Ipaye Xi Chapter
University of Oklahoma Spring ‘09
Creative Director Zach Dominguez
Alpha Chapter Texas Tech University ‘10
7Visions is published three times a year by the Department of Marketing and the Omega Delta Phi Content Team. Any letters to the editor, story ideas, or anyone wishing to contribute to future issues please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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TABLE OF CONTENTS Presidential Address
President Tony Pagliocco addresses the brotherhood.
3 Editorâ€™s Corner
End of an Era: A farewell from the Editor
5 Family Reunion in the Windy City Reflections on NLI 2018
8 Chapter of the Year
Pi Chapter at the University of Houston brings home the honors
14 Knights of the Roundtable Awards One of the greatest recognitions given by the Fraternity to deserving undergrads
17 A Night of Knights
Alpha Gamma Celebrates their 20 year anniversary
26 It Takes a Village
Lambda Chapter and University of Washington alumnus Danny Herrera puts higher education at the forefront
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Presidential Section Letter from the President
TONY PAGILOCCO President, Omega Delta Phi Fraternity Inc.
y Fellow Knights: As I stare at an empty Google doc, reflecting on our recent National Leadership Institute held in Chicago, I find myself overcome with emotion as I replay the weekend in my head. Having the opportunity to not only meet new Brothers but also to reconnect with older Brothers is something that I always love but something else I saw made me smile. I was coming down to the main ballroom and I saw various groups of Brothers hanging out, joking around, and I realized that these were all a new generation of Knights, from different regions, getting to know their fellow Knights from all over the USA. I love this because it was a true representation of people getting out of their
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comfort zones while learning from each other how we are different, yet we are the same. I passed through a few of these conversations and was energized by the passion, the excitement, and the discussions going on. Conferences like these are great for our Brotherhood because it reminds us what we are about but also how vast our reach goes across the United States. As someone who attends a good amount of regional conferences, itâ€™s funny to me when I see Brothers Iâ€™ve shared experiences with all in the same place, it also gets me excited about how much potential I see in our organization and in our undergraduate Brothers. The goals we wish to achieve are right in front of our face, but it is up to take the step towards them. It is up to us to be the change and decide
collectively that we are going to achieve what we set out to and we are done letting anything stand in between us and success. As most of us were aware, I was fortunate and honored to get your support to re-elect myself as National President of Omega Delta Phi. Again, let me thank my Brother Clint Beauchamp on running a focused and aggressive campaign, it was great to hear the perspectives and discussions that will shape the future of Omega Delta Phi Fraternity, Inc. In reflecting on the campaign and election process, one thing is evident, and that is we have many Brothers from many different walks of life who love this organization with every ounce of their heart and soul. The fact we can argue, laugh, cry, and celebrate together through thick and thin is a testament to
the legacy we all want to leave to the next generation of Knights. Moving forward with a new administration is an exercise in rapid change and on boarding. I am pleased to see that my new executive team has been moving quickly with their hiring, on-boarding, and goal setting. I am excited for us as we move out of hiring and into action for the Fall 2018 semester. I know that in short order we will have our teams aligned, our goals set, and our road maps set so that we can start executing, delivering, and raising the standards, goals, and size of our Brotherhood. Between the implementation of several new tools and services (Brand Manual, Smartphone Apps, Policy) and the projections for 2019, I can easily say this will be a very busy first semester for these new Vice Presidents and Directors, but I am confident that we are up to the task and we will not let anything hold us back. However, I must take this moment to recognize the members of my 2015 - 2018 administration. My Vice Presidents, Regional Directors, National Directors, and more, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. We had challenges and opportunities face us at every corner but we kept the bigger picture in mind, about not only building a Brotherhood but building a sustainable model for our organization that will allow us to focus on the goals and vision of Omega Delta Phi. Knights, as we move forward, we have work to do. Our success is dependent on us collaborating, executing, and empowering. If we are to graduate successful Knights into the career force, we need to be able to put the effort in now so we can learn and experience how we solve problems and grow as one Brotherhood that lives by the sacraments of Unity, Honesty, Integrity, and Leadership. That is who we are, the Knights of Omega Delta Phi, and now is our time to focus on a combined vision of success and growth. I challenge you to stand with me and do what is needed for us to succeed. Now is the time, no other words can emphasize how critical this moment is. The question I ask to you all, are you read to challenge yourself, accomplish more than you imagined, and grow as a Brother? I hope so, because I am and Iâ€™ll need you there with me. Thank you Knights for your support, letâ€™s make 2018-2019 ours.
National President of Omega Delta Phi Fraternity, Inc.
7 Visions Magazine:
VOLUME 8 ISSUE 2 FALL 2018
The End of an ERA LUIS GONZALEZ Editor in Chief Delta Chapter at Texas A&M As I sit before this computer screen, thinking of everything that I want to convey and get across in my last address as Editor in Chief of 7Visions, my mind wanders and replays memory after memory. 11 and a half years have gone by in which I have been granted the privilege to call myself an Honorable Knight of this great brotherhood. Of course, that privilege came to be because I earned it, and have continued earning it every single day since the Fall of 2006. I’ve given it my all, some think that I’ve given too much, but nonetheless, the impact this brotherhood has had, not only on me but all those brothers around me, is undeniable. When I got involved with the brotherhood, I heard many a things: “It will be what you make of it”, “The men to your right and to your left will watch you walk across the stage diploma in hand, they will baptize your children, they will be there when you bury your kin, and they will be there when you walk down the aisle” “The brotherhood is your familia” and most poignant of all “This brotherhood will change your life”. Well, here i sit, looking back and thinking about how much Omega Delta Phi has really impacted my life and changed it. I like to think that I was already involved, concerned with the greater good of society and my community but ODPhi really brought out in me a love and appreciation for helping and expecting nothing in return. Nowadays in the age of social media, many show up, take some pictures to share on their facebook or instagram, but when they leave, the work remains undone. Omega Delta Phi taught me to appreciate my community and to have compassion and respect for the underserved and those whose needs often go unmet and whose voices go unheard. It reminded us of our oath to uplift the community that everyone else ignores or does not care for, the forgotten ones who live marginalized and who have no one going to bat for them. My old heads would put it in perspective like this “Bryan/College Station is one of the cities with the highest per capita rate of poverty in America, right here in our own backyard. If we don’t get up on Saturday morning or make it out during the week, their
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needs go unmet. If not us, then who?” ODPhi emphasized the importance of true selfless service and of carrying it out for one’s love of the brotherhood, the people in our communities, and the desire for a better future for all involved. Whether it was tutoring ESL students at the high school, building with Habitat for Humanity, or collecting donations for the Smile Train Foundation; if one thing ODPhi brought out in me was my sense of social responsibility, my understanding of the world I lived in and the stark reality some of our most vulnerable populations are living. Whether it was cleaning our highway, collecting donations for Knights before Christmas, shaving our head to raise awareness for childhood cancers through the St Baldrick’s program, or participating in Aggie Relay for Life, my commitment and that of my brother’s was visible through our actions, not our social media posts. We were undoubtedly and, I hope, continue to be a brotherhood that is community conscious and relentless in their duty to serve those who need it most. ODPhi also allowed me the grand opportunity to build relationships, to make friends I would have otherwise not crossed paths with, and to learn to be a compassionate, trustworthy, and devoted friend, in the good and the bad. The camaraderie and the support I found in the Greek community, on my campus and across the nation, is something that I will treasure for a lifetime and that I will continue to cultivate and cherish. But more than anything, and putting these last finishing touches on 7Visions & I am legit emotional. Not so much because I’m done after this and officially retiring from ODPhi after 7 years of service on the NEC but because my brothers entrusted me with a platform to share their stories, their triumphs, their adversity, their resilience, their dedication, their relentless devotion to represent these letters in the best possible light. They entrusted me with the duty to
share their journeys, to let everyone and anyone who will listen why Omega Delta Phi has changed our lives and the impact that it has had on us, those who came before, and those who will come after. They gave me an opportunity to showcase how ODPhi through our four values and our commitment to serving the most vulnerable, molds and rounds out already honorable men and makes them even better. I challenge every brother to take up the mantle of this great brotherhood: whether you are an undergraduate, whether you are a pledge or active, inactive, or alum. The oath we made is one that is timeless and one that can’t be turned off when inconvenient or when ODPhi is not a priority. We wear those letters whether we are wearing a shirt or line jacket, a tekee, or a hat. We wear those letters and affirm or invalidate them through our actions, through the way we carry ourselves and the way we allow others to view us. An Honorable Knight is chivalrous, kind, determined, and selfless; being a Knight is a great responsibility and one that we must honor in everything that we do, even when no one is watching. Allow yourself to be guided by those four principles and by the spirit of true brotherhood; be brotherly,
be a man of your word. Better yet, be a man that shows through deeds what the Honorable Knights are all about. That we are a brotherhood founded to provide TO ANY MAN, a diverse fraternal experience which coincides with a higher education. Whether you were activated twenty years ago, two semesters ago, or two months ago; let yourself be guided by the Spirit of the Honorable Knight. Propel yourself, your entity, and your legacy and make it something worthwhile. I’ve met the founders, am on a first name basis with them, I’ve been fortunate to experience ODPhi with some of the most inspiring and passionate men I’ve ever come to know and the brotherhood has led me to relationships and bonds I wouldn’t otherwise have. I worked for them, I built them, I cared for them, and today, I can honestly say that the seeds I sowed have come back to me bountifully. As the great Mrs. Paula Parras (now Macon) said in Milwaukee: ““The vision to provide community and purpose through Omega Delta Phi is ours to live up to. What will your story be?” What will your place in this powerful ongoing movement be? What will
you be remembered as, will you be remembered at all? Right now is your opportunity to write your chapter and to write it so beautifully that there will be no doubt. What will your story be? My story starts at Delta, THE Texas A&M University and it winds through the East Texas Region, through Prairie View A&M, through Auburn University, through Kansas State University. That is a beautiful legacy that I am proud of and that I know will endure through the trying times and through time itself. My legacy is etched in the chapter I’ve written in Omega Delta Phi, through deeds and not merely words. It has been my greatest honor playing journalist and sharing the most inspiring narratives with brothers, fellow Greeks, loved ones, administrators, and anyone that ever clicked on our website links or opened an edition of 7 Visions. I am a better writer, storyteller, and reader for this experience, I am a better brother, a mentor, a leader, and person all around because of the opportunity to serve our beloved brotherhood for 7 uninterrupted years. And as much as I love Omega Delta Phi and everything that it stands for and everything it has meant to me for the past twelve years,
the time has come to pass on the torch. I wish Lateef and his new team the best as they continue this legacy: as they find new means to reach audiences interested in knowing all the great things that this brotherhood is doing nationwide. To Jason, I pass on the torch as National Director of Content and I do so with all the trust I can muster. Thank you for stepping up and taking this on, it’s not an easy job but it is so very rewarding. I was a MAN before I pledged but DELTA made be a better MAN. I have grown and accepted a greater responsibility by swearing myself to live a life of UNITY, HONESTY, INTEGRITY, and LEADERSHIP. I’ve succeeded but I’ve also fallen short, I’ve made mistakes, learned from them in order to become a better version of me because of the community whose needs continue to go unmet and which we must undertake as our own. DELTA has, is, and will forever be my home, where I was made, where I was molded and the chapter who, through good and bad, has always and will always have my back. But 31 years and counting and Omega Delta Phi continues to be a platform for professional and personal development; a movement that has allowed so many of us to thrive and to succeed in so many facets. Omega Delta Phi changed my life. Hell, I would even go as far as to say that it saved it. I hope it has done the same for you and if not, I challenge you to get to work, to give of yourself because that is the only way it works. Take, but also give: your time, your effort, your love, and your appreciation for everything you have learned and stand to learn, for every memory, every experience: the good and the bad. Thank you brothers for this opportunity, for the unconditional love I have been shown across the nation and for sharing with me all the good, the bad, the ugly, the heartbreaking, but above all--- the light at the end of the tunnel, the hope, and the fact that LOVE, bound by brotherhood, is all we need. In everlasting brotherhood,
Luis A Gonzalez One last time, Editor in Chief, 7 Visions Magazine
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A F AM I LY R E UN I O N I N TH E
WI NDY C IT Y REFLECTIONS ON NLI 2018
Another year and summer passed us by and with that, another successful national conference is in the books. This time, the Knights convened in Chicago, Illinois, “The Windy City” for the 2018 National Leadership Institute. Brothers from around the ODPhi nation made the trek, either by driving or flying, to the Hyatt Regency Chicago O’Hare for another milestone in our fraternal history. The brotherhood came together to conduct business and to elect a president for the next three years, with incumbent Tony Pagliocco vying for a second term and with Alpha
alum Clint Beauchamp gunning for his first. The Conference committee planned a well rounded conference where undergraduate brothers were able to mold their skill set as recruiters, as business men running a fraternity, and most importantly, as brothers of this esteemed brotherhood. No theme could have been better for this convention than the rallying cry to “Be Your Brother’s Keeper”, something that the Honorable Knights take to heart and an oath the brotherhood aims to uphold in all facets. At the end of it all, meetings were had, elections were run, dialogue initiated, 7VISIONS MAGAZINE
and the brotherhood revitalized by the spirit of the Knight, the spirit that burns within us all and which keeps us connected to each other. In retrospect, none of it seemed to matter as much as the fact that the brotherhood was in full display in Chicago. Brothers who had never met each other in person were talking as if they knew each other for years. Old friends caught up, reminisced and looked forward to making even more memories, and Knights from near and far came together to celebrate the ties that bind us. NLI or National Convention always has a way of putting into focus what this brotherhood really is, has been, and will be; it has a way of strengthening and reaffirming our values and rallying brothers to be better men, to be better advocates, to be better members of our communities and to really
embody Unity, Honesty, Integrity, and Leadership. ODPhi has taught us, if nothing else, that the man wearing the letters defines them through his actions, not words. And that those actions, that align with the values and essence of Omega Delta Phi, become our legacy. I flew into Chicago on Wednesday and from the moment I got to the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, i started to feel the love. I met brothers who I had not met before, who had just crossed, and I was able to reunite with old faces, brothers who I’ve come to know and who’ve become central to my life and my experience as a Knight of Omega Delta Phi. From opening ceremonies where each entity was able to make their presence known, to working into the late hours of the night making last minute preparations in the presidential suite, to seeing the excitement and anticipation
in brother’s faces as we charged on through the weekend; it all came together so seamlessly and in a way that makes these reunions, conventions so special. This national gathering was important for many a reasons: Mr. Tony Pagliocco secured another term as the National President to this brotherhood that has had a defining role in all of our lives and which has helped shape us into the Men of Vision we are today. The Undergraduates selected a new National Undergraduate Representative to represent their interests in the National Undergraduate Council. It was even more special to see chapters like Xi Chapter at the University of Oklahoma earn the Delta Award for the work they do in bringing about change to their university community through the Tomas Rivera Educational Empowerment Leadership Conference.
SCHOLARSHIPS MEN OF VISION
Miguel Monjaras (Beta Mu)
CARLOS E. CONTRERAS Michael Garcia (Beta Mu)
Javier Candela (PVAMU)
ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE FA. ‘17 Prairie View A&M Colony with a Fall Semester Average GPA of 3.66
Finalist: Alpha Upsilon - University of Florida, Alpha Nu -University of the Pacific, Prairie View A&M Colony
ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE SP. ‘18
The Chi Chapter at University of Texas at Austin earned the philanthropic excellence award for their tireless advocacy of the Austin community and causes near and dear to the brothers at UT. Academic Excellence honors went to my very own Prairie View A&M University Colony and to the Alpha Upsilon chapter at the University of Florida. Most poignant of all to me, anyways, was witnessing upstanding brothers like Ricky Luna from Upsilon, Will Brannon from Auburn Colony, Oscar Veliz from Beta Nu, and Javier Candela from Prairie View A&M Colony all earn the highest distinction awarded to any brother of ODPhi: the Knight of the Roundtable Award. These Knights are all brothers I have come to know well over the years or whom I have worked with closely and seeing them be honored for their selfless dedication to the brotherhood was amazing to see. These Knights have sacrificed, given of themselves selflessly to ensure the brotherhood is represented in the best possible light in their communities. It is these brothers who reassure me and who give me hope that Omega Delta Phi will reach unseen heights, it is these brothers that allow me to confidently pass along the baton after seven years of service on the extended National Executive Council, without any reservations or concerns about what lays before us. I got to ride the L train, see the Bean, the Chicago River, visit the Navy Pier with my chapter bros and the Hill City Knights, toured the city until our legs couldn’t stand it and I got to meet up with my K-State little brother Hector on Sunday who is originally from Chicago as the cherry on top to an already HYPE weekend. For me, its even more special to see so many of the brothers I have established close ties to get to connect and meet each other. It is these very bonds that play such a pivotal role in our lives: it is these bonds that allow us to charge onward towards our goals and which validate the oath we all took to be each other’s keeper and to live lives of Unity, Honesty, Integrity, and Leadership. The truth is that Omega Delta Phi is a privilege and it is one of the greatest honors of my life to call myself an Honorable Knight, a sentiment that I find reflected in the faces of all the bros who attended NLI and even those who were not able to make it. We find ourselves before a great responsibility of living the values and affirming the oath we made to each other, to our community, to our campus, and to ourselves of being the best men we can be. We swore to being honorable, chivalrous men who devote themselves to the issues that afflict our communities and that through action and resolve aim to make a better world.
Alpha Upsilon - University of Florida with a Spring Semester Average GPA of 3.74 Finalist: Alpha Upsilon - University of Florida, University of the Pacific , Prairie View A&M Colony
Xi Chapter - University of Oklahoma
Chi Chapter - The University of Texas at Austin, 1285 service hours , active house GPA average at 42.83 with no active member under 30 service hour requirement Finalist: Chi Chapter - The University of Texas at Austin, Beta Kappa - Western Oregon University
MOST IMPROVED ENTITY
Alpha Kappa CSU Monterey Bay, climbed 30 spots to #13, highest ranking entity for the Pacific Region as well HONORABLE MENTION Alpha Kappa CSU Monterey Bay, Auburn University Colony
REGION OF THE YEAR
Northwest Region ( 3.25 Region GPA for Actives, Highest Average # of Actives for all entities: 13, and 28 Service Hour Average for all actives in the Region) Finalist: Central Plains, Central TX, Northwest Region
DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
Joel-Lehi Organista, Director of Diversity and Inclusion
REGIONAL DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR Jose Fabian Jimenez, Midwest Region
ODPhi has, is, and will continue to be a movement: one that inspires, one that molds men from different walks of life, from different backgrounds to unite behind the mantra of â€œOne Culture, Any Raceâ€? and which has, at least for me, strengthened values that I already held dear. The challenge lies with us: will we continue to advance the purpose of Omega Delta Phi while remaining committed to our values, our mission, and to our goals individually? ODPhi is not a destination but rather a means through which ANY MAN is capable of changing the world and effecting some much needed change in the communities we are part of. But in the end, the brotherhood will remain, unscathed, and as a testimony to the beauty of the bond we share, that we earned, and that we work to preserve and honor each and every passing day. You earn your letters as a prospective member but the key and most important lesson is that you work to continue earning your letters every single day after that. Therein, lies the challenge and our call to carry ourselves as Honorable Knights and to give of ourselves continuously and fervently to this family, this support system that has extended us all which we never thought possible. See you all in Portland next summer!!!
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PVAMU Colony and Alpha Upsilon Chapter Earn Top Scholastic Honors at NLI 2018 Awards Program The Prairie View A&M Colony and the Alpha Upsilon Chapter at the University of Florida earned Academic Excellence honors at the 2018 National Leadership Institute Awards Program in Chicago, IL. For the Fall of 2017, the Hill City Knights earned the highest grade point average, making this the second year running that they are nominated and take home the award. The PVAMU Colony was also nominated for the honor for the Spring 2018 semester but the distinction went to Alpha Upsilon.
Xi and Chi Chapter Awarded Programming Awards The Xi Chapter at the University of Oklahoma was honored by the National Executive Council and the Director of Programming for their tireless support of the Tomas Rivera Educational Empowerment Leadership Conference. The TREE Conference has been a staple on the Norman campus for years now. High school students attend a leadership conference which culminates with a scholarship gala. The Delta Award, highlighting efforts to bring about change to communities in need, was awarded to the Xi Chapter for their coordination of the TREE Conference. The Chi Chapter at the University of Texas earned Philanthropic Excellence honors for their commitment to service and outreach and for having the most service hours in the nation.
Presidential Scholarship and Untouchable Scholarships Awarded at NLI 2018 Javier Candela, of the Prairie View A&M Colony and current president of the entity, took home the Men of Vision Presidential Scholarship at the 2018 National Leadership Institute. Javier was selected from an array of applicants by National President Tony Pagliocco who personally funded the scholarship through his own fundraising and personal money. Pagliocco wanted to honor a brother that, in particular, goes above and beyond to embody and represent the principles of the brotherhood while at the same time excelling in Academics, Socially, and in his Professional life. Candela has, in the past, received Scholastic Excellence honors from his colony, the East Texas Region, and at last yearâ€™s National Convention in Dallas, TX. This year was also special because Candelaâ€™s efforts led to the colony taking Scholastic Excellence honors for the second year in a row. Candela was also nominated and earned his place as a Knight of the Roundtable for his wholesome embodiment of the values of our esteemed fraternity. 7VISIONS MAGAZINE
THE CARLOS CONTRERAS GRADUATE SCHOLARSHIP
and his influence and the example he sets for those brothers to come after him is special to witness.
“Garcia is professional, dependable, a selfMichael Lee Garcia, from Beta Mu Chapter at starter, and a young man of integrity and Our Lady of the Lake University, was awarded moral character. He is not one to back down for his continued pursuit of higher education. from challenge, either academic or personal.” expressed Jacqueline L. Walter, the Director Garcia was activated as part of the Gamma for the Center for Women in Church and Line in the Fall of 2014 and has served in the Society at Our Lady of the Lake. capacities of Recruitment Officer, Alumni Relations, Chaplain, Treasurer, and President Former National President Jacob Aidan of his entity. Martinez had this to share about Michael: “Michael’s leadership skills are like no He has been bestowed with distinctions at other, he instantly became involved with his university and community such as the Omega Delta Phi and his commitment to his Senior Wings Up Achievement Award, OLLU community is one of his strongest traits. He Achievement Award, Presidential Volunteer has a big heart and spends a lot of his time Service Award, OLLU Service Leader of helping those that are less fortunate”. the Year Award, and the Greek Council Fraternity Man of the Year Award. He “I want to be the best self-representation of was also recently inducted into the ODPhi and show people that we are more Order of Omega Academic Honor than a fraternity and brotherhood which Society for Greeks. impacts the lives of others every single day” Lee Garcia shared. Garcia graduated from OLLU this past Spring and immediately continued Lee Garcia is a candidate for a Masters of to pursue his Masters. Garcia was Business Administration at Our Lady of the instrumental in cementing Beta Lake University. Mu as one of the top chapters
MEN OF VISION SCHOLARSHIP Miguel Monjaraz, Beta Mu Chapter at Our Lady of the Lake University, Monjaraz was selected from a series of qualified applicants who went above and beyond. Monjaraz, however, exceeded expectation and his track record both professionally, academically, and his embodiment of the values of the Honorable Knight are what resulted in him being selected for this year’s award. “Miguel is an outstanding leader who is always willing to do what it takes for our chapter to do everything the right way in order to be the best Greek organization on campus, He is always looking for improvement” said Michael Lee Garcia, the Beta Mu chapter advisor. Monjaraz is pursuing his Bachelor of Science in Psychology with an expected Graduation of May 2019. He is also a member of the greek honor society, Order of Omega and has served as Internal Vice President, Prospective Member Educator, and Vice President. Most notable of all, is how Monjaraz stepped up to fill the role of the Presidency when the office was vacated abruptly.
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2018 ENTITY OF THE YEAR Î
UNIVERSITY of HOUSTON The city of Houston has endured tremendous loss and adversity over the last year; the fourth largest city in America has always shown its ability to bounce back and prevail amidst the most dire of situations. Much like the city itâ€™s located in, the University of Houston is known for its fervent spirit, its ability to demonstrate pride even when being overshadowed by institutions considered more prestigious or renown. The University of Houston says otherwise and has proven so, through the works of the Omega Delta Phi chapter on that campus. Powerhouse Pi, The Republic of Pi, Pi-Town: all monikers used by the Cougars to describe the chapter they swore themselves to. Nestled south of downtown Houston and next to the Historic Third Ward, the University of Houston has grown to its current Lone Star Size laying claim to being the third largest university in the state of Texas coming only third to Texas
and devastation. One must only look back to last August when Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc in the Houston metro area leaving thousands displaced, homeless, and in dire straits. But the great spirit of the great city of Houston bleeds over into the namesake university and thus, the Pi Chapter.
A&M University and the University of Texas. It is here on this campus where in 1997, the Pi Chapter of Omega Delta Phi Fraternity, Inc. came into existence and where it has thrived, faced its share of adversity and challenge, but where the spirit of the Knight has endured for two decades and with no end in sight. This chapter, like the city it is located in, has dealt with its share of tragedy, heartbreak, adversity,
Brothers came together to act quickly and to help the most vulnerable during these trying times. Many lost their homes, among them several of our brothers, fellow Greeks, fellow Houstonians and Galvestonians. The Spirit of the Knight rang true as brothers from the East Texas region came together to rebuild, clear out, and lend a hand in brotherhood and solidarity. It is said that in times of great loss and tragedy, such as Harvey, there are also slivers of hope and light amidst the darkest days. The Houston Astros won the city their first world series and the Houston
Rockets made a considerable run #ForTheCity. Perhaps a little belated but noteworthy nonetheless, is the fact that the Pi Chapter took home the Entity of the Year award at the 2018 National Leadership Institute. This distinction validated the hard work, sacrifice, and the resolve of not only Pi Chapter, but also UH, and the fourth largest city in America. Not even four years ago, the Pi Chapter was facing a crisis which put it at risk of going dormant. The split that happened in 2015 with the University of Houston- Downtown and the main campus cut heavy into its membership and the chapter’s financials were not in ideal shape. But the chapter powered on through and turned things around and has since been a powerhouse chapter in the national rankings. This proves that the knight is darkest just before the dawn but when the dawn arrives, it’s a sight to behold. Fast forward to 2018 and the Pi Chapter is thriving; membership has increased threefold and the chapter celebrated their 20th Anniversary last summer. The Pi
Chapter has continued its support of the Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts (MECA) Center through their signature service efforts: the Easter Eggstravaganza and the PiGiving Thanksgiving Dinner. These two service efforts epitomize the
commitment of the Pi Chapter towards the underserved populations of the city of Houston. It is that great spirit of giving back that sets the Pi Chapter aside from any other organization at UH or in the Houston community. It is this very commitment and obvious dedication to the community that drew the attention of Alejandro Medrano, a neophyte who was activated into the Pi Chapter in Spring 2018 as part of the Alpha Rho Line. “It definitely felt like the chapter of the year award was for our city, every brother was affected by the storm. Brothers’ homes were destroyed, cars were
lost, relatives were displaced, etc. But we still found a way to band together to display brotherhood. As a house we immediately joined this program set up UH Cares to rebuild houses destroyed by the flooding. A few of our guys are construction management majors so they really helped out a lot with those project. The Alpha Rho pledge class helped rebuild the historic Buffalo Bayou Park by clearing debris & dead trees, laying out mulch, and also planting new trees so the park could return to what it once was” expressed Medrano who accepted the award on behalf of the Pi Chapter as he
was one of two delegates in Chicago, on hand for NLI. When asked what emotions took over him when he heard them announce Pi Chapter as the Entity of the Year winner, he said “I felt proud to be from Pi, knowing that we have so much potential left to be filled and I really was just looking forward to the future because we have so much left to do for our community”.
Knights of the Roundtable
The 2018 National Leadership Institute allowed us to celebrate the accomplishments of our entities and brothers from near and wide. As is tradition, during the awards program ttgraduate Affairs and the Regional Directors selected this yearâ€™s class of Knights of the Roundtable. The Knight of the Roundtable distinction is awarded to brothers who wholeheartedly and unequivocally display the sacraments of Unity, Honesty, Integrity, and Leadership while at the same time furthering the mission of our brotherhood. The Knights of the Roundtable are brothers who have had a profound impact to their chapters, colonies, fraternal family, and greater community. These seven men were nominated by the Regional Directors and were asked to submit a letter of intent, a recommendation letter, and their professional and fraternal resume. The Undergraduate Affairs team made their selections out of a pool of worthy candidates. The Knight of the Roundtable Award is the highest distinction awarded to members of Omega Delta Phi Fraternity, Inc.
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me how to succeed and give back. I began to feel a giant passion for my fellow brothers and the will to strive to be the best. Through the efforts of my pledge class, our alumni and even the new members who came after me, the house grew into a powerhouse of exceptional young men” explained Medrano. Medrano might make light of his success as a student, as a member of the community, as a Knight of Omega Delta Phi but it is notable and commendable that he does everything with a very heavy uncertainty that weighs down his dreams and those of the countless other DREAMER’s living in limbo due to their immigration status.
Esteban Medrano Epsilon Chapter, Arizona State University
Medrano is the perfect example of why the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program works and should continue. The DACA program was put into place by former President Barack Obama as a way of giving undocumented youth the opportunity to defer their deportation and to secure a renewable two year work authorization which allows them to work, attend colleges and universities, and give back to the communities they have been part of, many since they were toddlers. As a DACA recipient, Esteban does not qualify for any state or federal assistance in the pursuit of his studies. Just recently, the state courts overturned Arizona’s in state tuition legislation which allowed students such as Esteban the opportunity to pay in state tuition. Students like Esteban are now faced with having to pay a rise of 150% in tuition and fees. “Esteban is a compassionate, hardworking, and motivated individual. Despite his background, he has been fighting to achieve his goals in life and strives to always do his best. It is programs like CCLI where Esteban inspires and motivates high school students to pursue higher education, while instilling in them the legacy of Cesar Chavez- “Service to Others” explained Epsilon alum, Chapter Advisor, and former Knight of the Roundtable Rogelio Ruiz.
Medrano has faced struggles that many others would bow out to but his relentless spirit, coupled with his desire to dream big, and his innate ability to live by the sacraments of Unity, Honesty, Integrity, and Leadership have equipped him with the means to leave a mark on ASU, on Epsilon Chapter, and in his community. He carries the mantle of the DREAMER movement and does so in a Esteban was activated into the Epsilon Chapter in Fall of 2015 as part of the Beta Beta line. Since way that ensures that no one in their right mind would deny such promising, talented, then, he has made remarkable strides to uphold the values of the fraternity while playing a key upstanding, and dedicated individuals, an role in seeing Epsilon thrive. opportunity to remain in the only country they know and which they have come to love During his time as an active member, Esteban has served in the capacities of Internal Vice President, Vice President, and ultimately President of the chapter. He volunteers his time with the as their own. Banner Health System and the Valley Vista Sports Medicine center as well as the Actives program at a community church. Medrano also completed the Cesar Chavez Leadership Institute program Medrano is a DREAMER, an Honorable Knight of the Roundtable, and a community during the Summer of 2014 and has served as a facilitator in subsequent years. He is also very conscious, action oriented force to be involved on the ASU campus as a first year student success coach through a program that aims reckoned with. to retain students and ensuring success of first year and transfer students who come to ASU. Esteban Medrano is not only a DREAMER in the sense that he dreams big and works tirelessly to represent himself and the Brotherhood in a positive light. He is a DREAMER in the figurative sense as well due to the fact that his spirit and his resolve have been no match for the trials life has presented him, many out of sheer casualty and of no fault of his own. Medrano has overcome many obstacles to be able to pursue his Degree in Biomedical Science at Arizona State University but he has not let the trying circumstances he has been dealt to deter him from following his big dreams.
“When I first joined the Epsilon Chapter, I found myself with a group of gentlemen who showed
Outside of the brotherhood, Candela was very involved as a neophyte with the newly established Independent Greek Council and serves as President of the American Institute of Architecture Students. Candela has also worked throughout his college career to be able to provide for himself and his educational expenses. He is a well known barber and provides his services to his community, his brothers; while developing his entrepreneurial skills. During summer breaks, Candela has interned for several companies which developed him professionally and gave him the opportunity to preview his profession. “Everything I’ve mentioned above ties into my final point about why Javier should be selected as a Knight of the Round Table which is despite all of the not so ideal circumstances Javier has had to face, when I asked him what his thoughts were if we should just give up and shut down the colony after being unable to recruit last spring, he hit me with a hard no. Mr. Candela will go down in my book as one of the best brothers I have ever come across” explained Gamez.
Javier candela Prairie View A&M University Colony
The armor of a Knight is often tested through adversity and challenge; but they never back down or shy away from a fight. Javier Candela knew that joining Omega Delta Phi would be a challenge but since day one as a Prospective Member of the Alpha Line of Spring 2016, his devotion has been unquestionable. Candela is a senior, double majoring in Construction Science and Architecture at Prairie View A&M University, a Historically Black College or University located right outside of Houston, TX. Candela has received many awards from his University, his college, and from the brotherhood due to his scholastic aptitude. Candela was activated as part of the Unbroken Alpha Line of Spring 2016. The legacy he has weaved at PV is pronounced and his impact on the colony cannot be denied. Being a culturally based Greek organization that is not D9 at a HBCU brings about many challenges. The support from the administration is nonexistent, the rules and regulations firm, and the resources available to them scarce. But organizations such as ODPhi, KDChi, Sigma Lambda Gamma, and Sigma Lambda Beta do with what they have and are able to operate, against the odds. This dynamic could not be more of a drawback but Candela has led his colony brothers to action, rather than just complaining about the cards they were dealt. Faced with the decision to cut their losses and close up shop, Candela remained adamant that the award winning colony would not cease to exist on his watch. “Javier isn’t only a president on paper. He carries himself with great poise among his peers, has great interpersonal communication skills which have allowed him to be effective in running a 2-man show on his campus, and to top it all off, his grade point average is off the charts. He is what I would call the perfect model of what every brother should be like” explained East Texas Regional Director William Gamez. PVAMU polices dictate that Greek Organizations on campus can only have one intake cycle, to be held each Spring semester and with strict deadlines as to when it can begin, be held, and end. This rule presents an additional challenge to organizations like ODPhi which require a constant flow of new membership in order to be able to sustain itself. This Spring, Candela served as Prospective Member Educator to the Beta Line which also provided him the opportunity to become a big brother.
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These same sentiments are echoed by those who’ve had the fortune of working with Candela and who know firsthand his tenacity, his leadership, and his resolve against the most dire of situations. He stops at nothing, does not give up easily, and is willing and ready to answer the call, especially when all hope seems lost. Candela has led the charge and is well respected in his colony, his region, and by those who have mentored him and seen him thrive. “Javi is an emblematic leader, he is not scared to tackle on tough challenges. He is a go getter. But most importantly and notably, he is a man of his word in a time when words don’t always align with actions. Javi commits to something and makes it happen, he is compassionate but fair and a complete embodiment of what an Honorable Knight should be” explained his big brother and PVAMU Founder Victor Garcia. Candela lives and breathes ODPhi, he knows that the letters never define the man wearing them but rather, the man wearing them, through is deeds, defines the letters. His actions, rather than his words, have earned him in all ways and without hesitation, the title of Knight of the Roundtable.
CARLOS PEREZ Beta Delta Chapter, University of Nevada, Reno
Carlos is going into his sophomore year at the University of Nevada, Reno after being activated during his first semester of freshman year. Being so young did not deter Carlos from giving it his all and his hard work and dedication to the Beta Delta chapter and his academics is more than evident.
“Being surrounded by brothers of Omega Delta Phi Fraternity has helped shape me into the person I am today and continues to have a positive influence on me which has, in turn, helped me become a model citizen in my community” he explained. Though young and many would say, inexperienced, Perez has laid claim to his place in this Roundtable of Honorable Knights. He has shown valor, devotion, and commitment to living the mission and values of the brotherhood he swore himself to.
With only his Prospective Member semester under his belt, Carlos took on the three vital positions at his entity. He served as Recording Secretary, President-Elect, and Prospective Member Educator. Perez is described as generous and kind, passionate, and selfless. “Carlos is an intelligent, selfless, and passionate young man that any program would benefit from” shared his high school teacher Tiffany Merlino. As a prospective member, Perez made the College of Engineering’s Dean’s List all the while he was going through his new member training. “I am honored and thrilled to have the chance to continue bettering my chapter, bettering the communities around me, and continue shaping individuals into Men of Omega Delta Phi” shared Perez. This upcoming school year, Perez will serve as the President of the Beta Delta chapter and he has many aspirations for his entity’s success
“I am content with my life knowing I’m a part of a brotherhood that instills a moral code of inclusion. We are a band of brothers who strive to make people of all races and ethnicities, sexual orientations, creed, religion, ability, etc. feel like they have a place to be themselves. In a time of hate and harsh political climate, people from underrepresented backgrounds need each other more than ever. Knights will always strive to offset the inequalities that keep us from navigating our world freely” explained Luna. Luna takes to heart the mission of inclusion and diversity that Omega Delta Phi strives to live up to. It is because he knows what is at stake for other students such as he, who needed a support group, who needed advocates, who needed a guiding light as they navigated the intricacies of higher education as a member of underrepresented groups, especially those that are first generation. “An advocate for all students pursuing higher education, Ricky took special interest in the success of cultural organizations and worked with these organizations to break down barriers, internal and external, at the university in his leadership roles” explained Assistant Director for the Center of Fraternity and Sorority Life at Washington State University Nicholas Hudson, Ed. D.
RICKY LUNA Upsilon Chapter, Washington State University
Ricky Luna began his undergraduate career at Washington State University and since arriving at the Pullman campus, has woven a legacy worthy of remembering. Activated in the Spring of 2015 as part of the Chi Line, Ricky has blazed a trail for himself and for the brotherhood on the campus of Wazzu. Throughout his time as an active, Luna has served in numerous capacities within the Upsilon chapter. More notably, he served as Recruitment Chairman, Corresponding Secretary, and ultimately President. Luna has also dedicated his time and effort to serving as President of the United Greek Council, which ODPhi is part of at Wazzu. As president of the council, he spearheaded efforts to get the University to earmark resources and campus space for a Multicultural Greek plaza. Previous to his presidency, Luna served as Vice President of Recruitment. Luna also participated in the NASPA Undergraduate Fellows Program and has been honored with several awards for his dedication to his organizations and his campus community. At Washington State University, he was honored with the ARETE Award for Council Member of the Year, the President’s Award for Leadership which is a distinction reserved for students who further leadership and engagement at Wazzu. Most notably of all, however, was Luna’s Marilyn Fordham Fraternal Values Award which is bestowed to members of undergraduate sorority or fraternity life who live the fraternal values but use those values to effect positive change in their organization, their campus, and community. Luna received this award at the Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values. Luna has accomplished all of this, all while pursuing his degree in Sociology and Human Resource Management and maintaining a formidable grade point average and working.
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Hudson expanded “He has worked towards a more inclusive and equitable community out of a deep desire to build a world that is accepting of all. His selfless acts exemplify the memory and legacy social justice advocates who came before him and those who continue in the struggle to build a more just equitable society. Ricky exemplifies what a fraternal values student should be”
accountable to membership responsibilities. In his term as president of the colony, the chapter earned top billing in scholastics in the Central Plains region, won Chapter of the Year in the Central Plains Region, and he won Brother of the Year at their Regional Conference in the Spring. “I praise my brothers for believing my words and trusting me with the direction we wanted the chapter to go in. I hope I set a standard that brothers can mirror but also improve upon. With all the challenges the Beta Nu chapter faced, Veliz saw a need for a culture change that needed to take place to ensure the survival of ODPhi at Oklahoma State. In only a few semesters, the Beta Nu chapter has seen its presence grow, its membership double, and its efforts reach a level they never could have imagined. Veliz is credited with much of this change in direction and with having to make tough decisions that led the chapter to its current state.
OSCAR VELIZ Beta Nu Chapter, Oklahoma State University
Oscar graduated this spring from Oklahoma State with a Bachelors in Industrial Engineering and Management. “Under his watch, the chapter added 25 new brothers, raised over $4,000 and was heavily involved on campus in organizations such as SHPE (Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers) and he worked for the TRIO Student Support Services organization that serves first generation low income students. His leadership, integrity, strong work ethic, and positive attitude has allowed him to become the type of active brother all undergraduate brothers should aspire to be like” said Jesus Raygosa, Director of the Student Support Services organization Veliz worked for.
Oscar Veliz ventured out into Oklahoma State University after high school and after growing up in the Metroplex. He completed his first semester, made the Dean’s List but he felt something was missing. Veliz took an interest in joining a newly established organization on campus: a historically Latino fraternity with multicultural membership that had just been founded at OSU. Veliz became a member of the Charter Line and was activated into the Oklahoma State Colony. Through his tireless dedication to advancing the reach of the OSU Colony, the chapter earned their Beta Nu chapter letters and excelled after having struggled to hang on by a thread only two years earlier. Veliz saw a need for an overhaul of the colony operations: members were struggling with recruitment, finances, and holding members
With a clear idea of what direction his entity should go towards and with the willpower and ability to inspire those around him, Veliz was able to secure a new opportunity for the Beta Nu chapter. He carried the weight of the chapter and shouldered the challenges that faced them before starting to see the hard work and resolve pay off. At Oklahoma State University, the first incantation of ODPhi had not weathered the storm and Beta Nu did not want this to be the case this time around. In a matter of semesters, the Beta Nu chapter has become the poster child of success, hard work, and commitment for the Central Plains Region. Lauded by OSU, the Multicultural Greek Council, and the Stillwater community, Beta Nu has become the standard. Veliz may very well not been the only architect of this massive comeback but what cant be denied is his ability to inspire those around him to want to be better and to actually seek it out. As a charter class member, he led his cavalry of Knights to the promised land and now, his legacy at Oklahoma State and at the Beta Nu chapter is one that will never be forgotten.
Adrian ’s mission to continue to support the growth, expansion, and legacy of Omega Delta Phi Fraternity, Inc. through tireless support and involvement is more than apparent. As a transfer student full of uncertainty but with a clear idea of what he wanted to accomplish, Naranjo knew he wanted to join a fraternity since he was in high school. Naranjo joined the ranks of the Beta Beta chapter in Fall 2016 after juggling university level coursework, working night shifts, and going through his prospective member process. After a brief bout of disappointment stemming from having to be inactive during his neophyte semester due to academics, Naranjo bounced back and came back stronger than ever. He attended national conference and was inspired and willed to action by all the brothers he met there who gave him guidance and recommendations as to how he could improve his own entity. “I feel that my continuous growth is thanks to Omega Delta Phi and my achievements, in spite of my rocky start, are a testament of my success. I never imagined that I would be nominated for this great honor” shared Naranjo. Naranjo has also been heavily involved in other aspects of campus life at CSUDH. Within ODPhi, he served in the capacity of Internal Vice President, Chaplain, Social Chair, Prospective Member Educator, and he will serve as Beta Beta chapter’s president this upcoming school year. He successfully completed the Passport to Leadership program which is a career readiness program in which students learn requisite competencies that broadly prepare college graduates for a successful transition into the workplace. “Being selected as a Knight of the Roundtable would pay tribute to his years at CSUDH and would solidify him as one of our finest. His service and dedication, both to the university and the community at large are an inspirational beacon to all those who follow in his footsteps. I feel that the Toro community has genuinely become a better place through Adrian. His fraternity has built a confident man of character who celebrates Brotherhood and is making a difference in the world around us. Adrian is who you want representing Omega Delta Phi Fraternity as a Knight- hands down” shared Troy R Bartels, Leadership and Student Engagement Coordinator at CSUDH.
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ADRIAN NARANJO Beta Beta Chapter, California State University - Dominguez Hills
Gabe Rojas- Westall was activated into the Alpha Alpha Chapter at Northwestern University during the Winter of 2017 as part of the Chi Line. He is currently majoring in Computer Science Engineering as a part of the Class of 2019 at Northwestern. Rojas-Westall has served the brotherhood in the capacities of Internal Vice President and Service Chair in his short time as an active brother. He also took on the responsibilities of Multicultural Greek Council delegate. As a delegate, RojasWestall advocated for more representation of MGC orgs on the Northwestern Campus while also pushing for more funding, marketing, and recruitment resources for the organizations usually relegated to getting scraps, if any funding at all. He represented the council as a Senator in Student Government where he was able to secure funding for NU’s Latino student organization, Alianza. As Service Chair, Rojas- Westall led the charge in the 2018 Cesar Chavez Day of Service, now a staple of Alpha Alpha chapter. The chapter held a day of service in honor of the Civil Rights and Farmer Worker’s Rights advocate Cesar Chavez. Service partnerships were established with non profit organizations and faith based organizations in the Chicago area such as Ebenezer Church, Alliance for the Great Lakes, Evanston Public Library, and TPAN. The efforts led by Rojas-Westall resulted in the largest marketing campaign this signature event has seen, and resulted in over 100 sign ups, 65 volunteers, and 350 total hours of grassroots community service.
GABE ROJAS WESTALL Alpha Alpha Chapter, Northwestern University
At the 2018 Midwest Regional Conference, Rojas-Westall was awarded the Neo of the Year award by his region and led his Alpha Alpha chapter to the Scholastic Achievement Award for Best Overall Academic Standing in the Midwest. Northwestern University awarded the Alpha Alpha chapter the Standards of Excellence Award for their Community Involvement at NU and in the Evanston community. “I love ODPhi. And I know that sounds kind of cliché, but I don’t know how else to put it because what I feel for this extraordinary organization is so abstract, as is love. It’s my home away from home, my second family, and is made up of some of the best friends I’ve ever had” explained Rojas-Westall. How we exist with people should be guided by Unity, Honesty, Integrity, and Leadership, but really, if you’re going to become brothers with a group of men, all those values should exist naturally. It should be effortless to show the ones you love that you care” “Everybody’s experience is different, as all people are different, but for me, ODPhi has been asking about a family member whose passed away. It’s been about helping a brother who is failing a class. It’s been about asking about depression and anxiety. It’s been about dealing with a long-term relationship breakup. It’s basically been about everything that a person either doesn’t want deal with or is afraid to. And that’s because ODPhi is awesome. I’ve made ODPhi real through love, and therefore something that will last all of us a lifetime of brotherhood” he finalized.
WILLIAM BRANNON Auburn University Colony
In one of Auburn University’s most hallowed traditions, an eagle soars through Jordan Hare Stadium prior to each kickoff and the battle cry of the Tiger faithful roars through the Plains. “War Eagle” is the call to action, the cry to victory, success, the battle cry that defies adversity and challenge and that embodies the heart of the Auburn family. This battle-cry is one that permeates the deeds of William Brannon, a proven and true Auburn alum who succeeded in weaving a legacy worth taking note of and which, long after he leaves the small Alabama college town, will be carried on. This is the legacy he has written and which he has had on Auburn University and the family built by the Tiger faithful. William completed his Bachelor of Science at Auburn University this past spring and graduated with an exemplary cumulative GPA. He minored in Business and Engineering Technology and was also heavily involved on campus. William has the distinction of having founded the Auburn University colony in the Spring of 2016. William fought hard to lead the charge to bring the first culturally based fraternity and Greek organization to the Plains. Brannon
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served as President of the Latino Student Association for two terms and also served on the AUTogether Committee, formed to increase levels of equity and diversity at the Auburn campus. In the brotherhood, Brannon served as colony President, as Prospective Member Educator, Standards Officer, and Academics Officer. Brannon’s younger brother, Alex, also a student at Auburn University became a legacy as part of the Charter Line. His Assistant Regional Director Luis “Rico” Feliciano expressed himself in this manner “A knight strives to excel in academics and work towards their goals with a precise diligence that exemplifies their dedication to their craft and their goals. William is exemplary, he is fully committed to the values of ODPhi and I can imagine no other brother from the Southeast who is more deserving of being a Knight of the Roundtable”. Through many challenges and adversity, the Auburn colony excelled under Brannon’s leadership. The colony has remained steadfast in their goal of recruiting new members to add to the legacy of Auburn colony and providing other men from underrepresented groups the opportunity to have a diverse fraternal experience at the Alabama campus. “The decision to pursue Omega Delta Phi came to be perhaps, the best decision I made during my time as an undergraduate, both
for my own personal development and my community. Adversity seemed to come from every corner the entire time, but as a colony we decided that we would always strive for success. Despite these difficulties still remaining, the Auburn colony has been able to fight its way through them and prosper under my leadership” he finalized. Brannon is off to Stanford University in California where he will continue his studies in pursuit of a Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics. He leaves behind an undeniable legacy of resilience, hard work, and one need not look any further than the Auburn Colony of Omega Delta Phi to see it for oneself.
A NIGHT OF KNIGHTS
ALPHA GAMMA CHAPTER CELEBRATES 20TH ANNIVERSARY On July 21, 2018, ODPhi Alpha Gamma chapter celebrated their 20-year reunion with a resounding success. Approximately 60 brothers and their guests joined in the celebration at The Social Club, a special event ballroom in Edinburg, Texas. Classes represented at this gathering spanned from the Founding class of Spring 1998 to the most recent class, Alpha Kappa, of Spring 2018. To commence the festivities, guests were served dinner at 6 p.m. As guests entered, our photographer (Manny Montemayor, Fall â€˜98) took pictures in front of a one of a kind banner with the fraternity logo. After dinner, brothers brought the thrill of Las Vegas with a casino set up that lasted until 9:30 p.m. There were roulette tables, black jack, craps,
and slot machines set up in order attract different tastes. Throughout the night, prizes donated by the brothers were raffled. The items In 2015, University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College were consolidated to create the University of Texasâ€“Pan American included gift cards to restaurants, the spa, and a fishing trip to the Gulf. The grand prize of a weekend getaway to South Padre Island was reserved for the drawing of brothers who ended with over $500 of poker chips.
Multiple levels of sponsorship were created to encourage brothers to donate. Scarlet Level was the highest distinction for brothers donating $300 or more. Next was Black Level for brothers donating $200 and Silver Level for those donating $100 for the event. After the casino, we recognized brothers who donated their time and money to make the event possible. The names of brothers in the Black and Silver level were recognized, while the Scarlet level sponsorship awarded brothers with the opportunity to share a few words. Thirty brothers donated at the Scarlet level and nearly all of them gave a heart-felt message at this time. A moment of silence was given for our fallen brothers of Omega Chapter, Gabriel Gonzalez (Fall ’98), and Sergio Torres (Spr ’06).
en ve be e a h s h er broth ranks of t 0 0 3 e Over ed into th chapter. t a activa ha Gamm Alp
Following the speeches, an amazingly well choreographed step show was performed by Luis “Goose” Guzman (Fall ’06), David Guzman (Fall ’07), Emiliano Jimenez (Spr ’16), and Ray Gonzalez (Fall ’16).
Finally, at 10:30 p.m. the brothers raged the night away with music provided by radio personality DJ Josh Lopez (Fall ’11). Open bar was available until 1 a.m. when the event ended. Not a dime was spared for this event. The minimum cost to attend was $50 per person. The main people organizing this event were Joe Ben Elizondo (Fall ’99), Roger Salinas (Fall ’06), Edward Gaitan (Fall ’05), Luis “Goose” Guzman (Fall ’06), Louie Serna (Fall ’06), David Guzman (Fall ’07), and Ralf Valdez (Spr ’08). The effort put forth to organize this event was well worth the twelve months of planning. It enabled us to reconnect with old brothers, make new connections, and include our significant others in the fun. We impatiently await for the next reunion! Joe Ben Elizondo.
a amm ha G in the p l A he ng om t the servi ers fr urrently y, Navy, h t o r c b m r e e r A v Twel have or a d Forces. orce. me ir F ter chap States Ar nd the A a d , e C t i M Un US
it takes a
Brother Danny Herrera knows that it takes a village to educate the future of tomorrow. Herrera, a University of Washington graduate and alum from the Lambda Chapter, knows what is at stake across the educational landscape in America. With the current state of education in the United States and the continued mantra that “education is freedom” and that “education is the greatest equalizer”, Herrera, like most teachers in America, have had to step into overdrive to fill the needs of the children he teaches in the Yakima Valley of Washington State. Herrera teaches third grade at an elementary school in his hometown, he has served as an educator and has kicked off his fourth year of teaching. As such and due to the fact that upon asking his students if they had traveled anywhere during summer breaks and getting answers limited to California and Mexico, Herrera wanted to show his students that there was a world outside of the Yakima Valley and the State of Washington. Herrera consulted the help of his fraternity brothers from around the nation; he wanted to start a project that would allow his students to see the endless possibilities at their disposal. “Attending college gave me the opportunity to see the country, to travel. College pennants represent different institutions of higher learning all over the United States; the possibilities are endless” explained Herrera. It is this desire Herrera had for his students to see the possibilities that lay before them and to be able to
program with Scholastic Books. The popular book fair company is offering $1 books for students and Herrera is looking to get his students set up with new books for the school year, one per month. Brother Herrera is taking donations to be able to sponsor one student for the academic year and to ensure that they receive one new book per month. Anyone interested in making a donation, sponsoring a student or more, direct any and all correspondence and questions to Danny Herrera, McKinley Elementary, 621 S 13th Ave, Yakima, WA 98902. It is this fervent passion for his profession, for the students he has taken under his wing and whom we will mold into the future generation, that allows Herrera to get up everyday. He knows what is at stake and he knows that he can’t afford to fail his students because so many are already falling through the cracks.
relate to his story of hard work, dedication, and perseverance that allowed him the vision to complete this project.
It takes a village and in this case, a village of Honorable Knights that will get the job done and inspire the next generation to accomplish their wildest dreams.
Brothers from near and wide sent in university pennants so that Herrera could include on his US Map and to give his third graders a glimpse of the world around them. Brothers from Texas to Florida to Columbia to the neighboring Washington State University and University of Washington as well as our founding chapter at Texas Tech and the chapter where the real history began, Texas A&M University; all these institutions were represented and gave Herrera’s third grade class a glimpse of the expansive network he earned through his involvement with the brotherhood. “It grows as it goes. All I had to do was write a post on Facebook talking about my story and it took care of its self. I had brothers asking me for my address and if I have received a pennant from their university” he shared. Herrera has even bigger plans for this school year, he is asking for donations to be able to get new books for his students through a
Last year all of Danny’s students received UW bracelets