The Phi Gamma Delta Magazine - Fall 2020

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The Upward March of Humanity: Will We Lead? By Josh Holly (Tennessee 1997), Chairman, Committee on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion


he face of Phi Gamma Delta has changed dramatically since its founding, and for the better. All you must do is look through the pages of this magazine from 75, 50, 25, and even 10 years ago to see how diversity has grown. Our brotherhood today is as strong as it has ever been, and efforts to recruit men who espouse our values - regardless of their race, creed, color or sexual orientation - have powered Phi Gamma Delta to these heights. However, we must also recognize that Phi Gamma Delta has had moments in its history - moments we are not proud of surrounding race and diversity - where it has not fully lived up to those values. As a Fraternity, we operate within the broader Greek community, our host institutions and local communities; our brothers are exposed to the tough conversations happening within society. Courageous Leaders have an obligation to do more than just “participate” or “respond” to queries about these issues: we must lead by example.

In September 2020, the Archons established the Committee on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion with two primary goals: 1) to seek to understand the needs of our brothers of underrepresented identities, our chapters and our campuses; and 2) to make recommendations for actions which the Fraternity should consider increasing diversity in our membership, and to better support equity, inclusion and respect for others within Phi Gamma Delta. Our Committee is comprised of twelve undergraduate and graduate brothers, representing a range of experiences and viewpoints. One of the brothers who has agreed to serve on this committee is Ed Robinson (Bucknell 1986). As a brother of color and Purple Legionnaire at Bucknell, Ed provides a special perspective and offers his thoughts on the importance of Phi Gamma Delta’s efforts.

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"O Captain! My Captain!" By Ed Robinson (Bucknell 1986) The movie Dead Poets Society is set at Welton Academy, a school steeped in tradition and with a proud heritage of producing disciplined robots, stuffed with knowledge (data and formulas). It is an inspirational and transformative story about the dangers of conformity and the struggle to thrive within narrow confines determined by others. It’s a battle between Mr. Nolan, the authoritarian old-guard headmaster, and Mr. Keating, a new English teacher who is also an alumnus of Welton. Mr. Nolan demands that students and teachers adhere to exacting, time-honored learning

regimens. Objectives designed to preserve the school’s reputation for preparing boys to attend elite colleges and universities and satisfy their parents’ (rather than their own) plans for their future. Mr. Keating, on the other hand, encourages his students to light their own candles, find their own voices and become passionate free thinkers, capable of being more than they ever envisioned. Mr. Keating does not dispense knowledge; rather he encourages the boys to experience life by coloring outside the lines. To seize the day (Carpe diem!), knowing that the longer they wait, the harder it will be to break free THE PHI GAMMA DELTA

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