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Congress Hotel Deadline on the Horizon

By National News

Will you be joining us in Atlanta?

The deadline for room reservations at the InterContinental is fast approaching! Remember to reserve your room by May 30 at 5:00 pm. You can call the hotel at 404-946-9191 and reference Chi Phi, or use our booking link here.

The 153rd Congress will be hosted at the InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta June 22-24, 2018. For more information and a tentative schedule for the weekend, check out our Congress page. Activity highlights for the weekend include the Trust Dinner (invite only) on Thursday evening, an Atlanta Braves game on Friday, and the Congressional Banquet on Saturday night.

All Brothers and their guests are welcome at events throughout the weekend, but registration is required in advance. Head to Chi Phi Connect today, or email us if you have trouble logging in or establishing an account.

Alumnus Highlight: Alexander Olesen

By Alumni News

Alpha Alumnus Wins Grant to Grow Startup Company

Brother Olesen (inset) created the Babylon Micro-Farm, which, among other things, allows customers to grow their own produce well into winter

Alexander Olesen, Alpha 2017, began formulating his plan for an environmentally friendly and efficient “micro farm” during his Social Entrepreneurship class at UVA back in 2015. Now a fully formed company, his startup – Babylon Micro-Farms – has just been awarded a $10,000 grant from Dominion Energy.

His hydroponic systems scale down the usually industrial-sized farms to a 5×4 foot table – small enough, Alex remarked, that “we used the house to test some of the prototypes in the early days.” Unlike normal plant growth, hydroponic systems rely on nutrient-rich water instead of soil.

Outside of the Chi Phi house, his creation is now in use at several restaurants on Charlottesville and even on UVA’s campus. “There were several brothers involved and we still have brothers regularly interning for us,” according to Brother Olesen, who has kept the project close to home. Now with his additional funding secured, he hopes to expand and make his Micro-Farms available to a wider audience.

Chapter Spotlight: Xi Delta at Florida Institute of Technology

By Chapter News, Philanthropy/Community Service

Xi Delta Celebrates Philanthropy

“The Xi Delta Chapter of the Chi Phi Fraternity had a tremendous year! Although the Greek Life in Florida is under the microscope, we had a great recruitment season and took in 16 New Members. Xi Delta is also hosting our 50th Anniversary this spring, and we look forward to the gathering of Alumni and undergraduates.

The Chapter has continued our tradition of effective philanthropy events, including the 4th Annual Kicking for Kids Soccer Tournament (pictured above), which raised over $1,100 for the local Boys and Girls Club. Our efforts this year included our “America’s Next Top Doge” competition, an event benefiting Brevard County’s SPCA.

We were also honored to host the Southeastern Regional Leadership Alliance for Chapters in the region in mid-February. Finally, the Xi Delta Alumni Association gained 14 members during the Alumni Installation Ceremony, demonstrating a lifelong commitment to Xi Delta and Chi Phi!”

-Mitchel Spalding, Xi Delta 2020, Chapter Zeta

Above: Xi Delta Brothers and Mr. Pickles (right center, sitting like a good boy) with the winners of their Kicking for Kids Tournament.

Below: Two of the lovely participants in Xi Delta’s Next Tog Doge Contest.

Brothers use Spring Break to Make a Difference

By Chapter News, Philanthropy/Community Service

Spring Break took on a new meaning this year

Being a Fraternity Man means more than just partaking in the Bonds of Brotherhood; it means putting others before self, acting out of goodwill and an acute sense of propriety. We were thrilled this spring to see our Brothers acting as True Gentlemen and using their time away from campus during Spring Break to serve others.

Two Brothers from Alpha-Chi (Ohio Wesleyan) traveled with a group of students to Houston, where residents are still confronting the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. The group worked with SBP, a recovery organization founded by an unaffiliated Ohio Wesleyan Alumnus to help recovery in the St. Bernard Parish of Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. Since 2006, the organization has expanded well beyond Louisiana to aid recovery efforts from natural disasters throughout the country.

Dr. Chad Johns, Alpha-Chi 2002, Chapter Advisor and University Chaplain, helped prepare his group of OWU students throughout the semester through team building exercises and other bonding methods to build them up for a week of hard work. Among the students who joined him was the Chapter’s Theta, Evan Hudgens, Alpha-Chi 2019.

Across an ocean, another Brother used his Spring Break to work with a community in the Ekumfi District, Ghana. Evan Schumacher, CMU Colony 2020, along with 39 other Central Michigan students, provided medical care to residents through a local clinic over several days.

The team of students, along with staff and doctors, diagnosed and treated approximately 734 patients in their time there. Along with treatment for illness, malnutrition, and a variety of other ailments, the group helped educate their patients about Ghana’s national health insurance, malaria, hygiene, and safe sex practices.

For many, Spring Break is all about sunshine and relaxation, but we commend these Brothers who utilized their time off to do some good. Building Better Men comes in all forms, and we look forward to many more Chi Phi Brothers doing just that!

Did you or a Brother you know spend Spring Break making a difference? Tell us your story by emailing us at chiphi@chiphi.org.

Delta Theta Colony to Gain Charter on April 21

By Alumni News

We are happy to announce that the Delta Theta Colony at Clemson University gained approval to Charter during the Grand Council meeting on March 17, 2018!

Delta Theta is set to conduct its Chartering Ceremony in Clemson on Saturday, April 21. While a finalized schedule of events is still in the works, the Chartering Banquet itself will be 6 – 10p.m. at the Madren Conference Center adjacent to the University. Invites will be sent via email to selected recipients, but the Colony has welcomed all Alumni to attend.

You may email Colony Advisor Jonathan “CD” Rawls, Rho Delta 1985, Delta Theta 2017, for more information, or check Delta Theta’s Facebook page and website.

Alpha Hunter Bond, Advisor Jonathan “CD” Rawls, and Beta CJ Connelly.

Philadelphia Chi Phi Club to Host Inaugural Meeting April 11

By Alumni News

Join Chi Phi Brothers from the Philadelphia area for the Inaugural Philadelphia Chi Phi Club meeting. The Club will meet at Yards Brewing Co. at 500 Spring Garden Street on April 11 from 6-9 p.m. Brothers from all Chapters are welcome to attend and partake in good times and Brotherhood. You can RSVP on their Facebook event page here.

Chi Phi Clubs were commonplace in the mid 1900’s, and could be found sprinkled across the country. The purpose of these clubs is to provide an opportunity for fellowship, networking, and socializing among Chi Phi Brothers in a specific region.

Philadelphia once had the oldest operating Club, originally chartered in 1916, which was known as the “Chi Phi Circle of Philadelphia.” Join us in helping re-establish this longstanding Philadelphia tradition!

You can email the Club directly with any questions at phillychiphiclub@gmail.com. Keep updated on their events and Philadelphia area news by liking them on Facebook.

Alumnus Highlight: William B. Fackler

By Alumni News

Dr. William B. Fackler, Gamma 1942, and his wife Marjorie were the 2017 Honorees at the 21st Annual Ely Callaway Golf Event, an event that benefits the West Georgia Hospice. A retired cardiologist, Brother Fackler was the type of doctor who provided hospice care before “hospice” was even a formal concept.

35 years ago, the Facklers opened their home to 50 volunteers who worked for the only eight hospice facilities in Georgia. That day began a new mission for the trailblazing couple: provide the type of support they knew families needed, something especially relevant to the Facklers after losing their 21-year-old daughter Laura in 1979. Mrs. Fackler thus became one of West Georgia Hospice’s first volunteers and was instrumental in sharing a young student’s design for a theoretical hospice facility with Ely Callaway Jr. – a design which he then fully funded.

Brother Fackler and his sons have played in the Golf Event every year since 1996 and even have the distinctions of being back-to-back champions. This year, he was joined at the event by several Chi Phi Brothers from the Gamma and Mu Delta Chapters.

Thank you to Brother Gordon Smith Sr. for submitting this story!

Chi Phis in attendance at the Ely Callaway Golf Event. Left to Right: Gordon M. Smith Sr., Gamma 1957; Gordon M. Smith Jr., Mu Delta 1986; William B. Fackler, Gamma 1942; and Sykes Smith, Mu Delta 1989.

Phi Delta Undergraduate Brother Enters Chapter Eternal

By Chapter News, Media Statements, National News

It is with a heavy heart that we must share the news that Joseph Tanner Wray, Phi Delta 2019, has entered Chapter Eternal.

Tanner was participating in the annual Ace Miller Memorial Boxing Tournament to benefit Golden Gloves, Knoxville Chapter when he collapsed in the ring. First responders rendered assistance before taking him to a local hospital where he later passed away.

He served as the Vice President and formerly was the Historian of the Phi Delta Chapter at University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he was Initiated in the spring of 2017. Tanner had an outstanding academic record as a junior Aerospace Engineering major.

Our thoughts are with Tanner’s family and friends, the Phi Delta Chapter, and the Vols community.

Civil Rights Reporter, Cronkite Award Recipient Jim Purks Enters Chapter Eternal

By Alumni News, National News

James H. Purks III, Alpha-Alpha 1959, Delta Pi 2002, entered Chapter Eternal on February 20 at the age of 81.

Brother Purks was Initiated into the Alpha-Alpha Chapter at UNC in 1956 as a legacy, his father being a member of the Gamma Chapter at Emory University. He entered the journalism field after his graduation in 1959. He worked for several newspapers and the Associated Press, traveling the south and following the Civil Rights Movement. Several times, Brother Purks interviewed Civil Rights leaders including Martin Luther King Jr. He was perhaps most well known for his first-hand coverage of the September 15, 1963, bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, which killed four young girls.

Brother Purks interviewing Civil Rights leaders, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Most of Brother Purks’s notes and memorabilia from his time as a reporter now reside in various Civil Rights museums. His donations came with the hope to draw the spotlight to those who work to unite people, not divide them.

Following his career as a field reporter, Brother Purks began working in government as press secretary for the Secretary of State of Florida and US Senator Richard Stone. He served as an Assistant Press Secretary for President Jimmy Carter during his administration. Brother Purks went on to work in corporate America, which, according to his associates, he absolutely hated. He desired to serve people in need, and soon found his way into a position at United Way.

It was this desire to help those in need that led Brother Purks to his next career – as the Reverend Deacon Jim Purks of the Episcopal Church. Brother Purks was a member of the Order of Saint Luke, an Anglican healing order, and was active in their work with HIV/AIDS patients and survivors support groups, as well as serving as a Hospice chaplain. In addition, Brother Purks was involved with Habitat for Humanity in Americus, Georgia, even collaborating with the organization’s founder, Millard Fuller on two books.

It was his proximity to Americus and Georgia Southwestern State University which led him to keeping even busier, this time in his role as an advisor to the GSW Colony of Chi Phi, helping them on their way to becoming the Delta Pi Chapter in 1999. The Brothers of Delta Pi elected him an honorary member of the Chapter in 2002.

Brother Purks accepting his Cronkite Award at the 150th Congress from Executive Director Michael Azarian

Brother Purks and his life’s work were formally celebrated by the Fraternity during the 150th Congress in San Francisco in the summer of 2015, when he received the Walter L. Cronkite, Jr. Congressional Award. The Cronkite Award, named for another famed Chi Phi journalist, is the highest honor the Fraternity can bestow upon an Alumnus. Since its establishment in 1990, only 18 Chi Phi Brothers have received this honor. During the presentation, Executive Director Michael Azarian said he looked at Brother Purks as “an example of life long commitment to the Badge, to humanitarian service, and to spiritual development. He exemplifies the purpose of [the award].”

Our condolences go out to Brother Purks’s family and friends, the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia, and the members of the Alpha-Alpha and Delta Pi Chapters.

Colonel W. D. Gardiner Enters Chapter Eternal at Age of 101

By Alumni News

We are saddened to learn that William Douglas Gardiner, Lambda 1939, has entered Chapter Eternal at the age of 101. Brother Gardiner was a distinguished Cal Alumnus, supporter of the Lambda Chapter, and veteran of the US Army.

Brother Gardiner served 31 years in the US Army, retiring in 1973 as a Colonel

Brother Gardiner was born July 12, 1916, to Murray Starr and Belle Marsh Gardiner in Idaville, Indiana. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1939 and began working for an electric utility company. After Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the Army and his brother Murray joined the Marines. He married Christine Johnson earlier that same year.

He graduated from Officer Candidate School and served in the US Army for 31 years. Brother Gardiner went on to obtain a master’s degree in business from Columbia University during his time in the Army. He was a veteran of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, including 13 years of overseas duty. In 1973, he retired at the rank of Colonel as Inspector General at the Army Supply Depot, Oakland, California.

Brother Gardiner was as busy as ever in retirement, where he did everything from mentoring students at a local high school to writing Three Wars and Rusty Muskets, a biographical piece reflecting on his 31 years of service. He even continued playing golf until the age of 95 – making five holes in one during his many years. He also made trips from his home in Medford, Oregon, to visit his alma mater and Lambda Brothers. He reflected fondly on one such trip, saying “I’ll always remember the fun time at the 2013 Homecoming, when I was a mere 97 years young, and [Lambda] arranged for me to lead the Cal Band in the front room. If I may say so, the Band sounded as good in 2013 as it did when I attended the 1938 Rose Bowl.”

He is survived by his son and daughter, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and his many Brothers of Chi Phi.

Brother Gardiner (center) with Lambda Chapter Brothers who surprised him in Medford, Oregon, for his 100th birthday in 2016

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