On behalf of the Grand Council, Happy Founders’ Day! On behalf our families, Happy Holidays! I am certain a number of our members, myself included, have pondered what our founders were thinking that cold December day in the library alcove at CCNY. We have certainly been blessed by the tireless efforts of a few; not the least of which includes Loren Mall, who has researched the artifacts available in an effort to bring clarity to our mission. It seems the best we have to work with is the document that has successfully transcended the 112 years as our guiding manuscript – The Ritual.
As members, we have spent various times reading, discussing, questioning, and hopefully, living our lives by the words we have taken an oath to support. If you are reading this message, it is likely you represent the exact type of man our founders sought to join their effort. I will take the liberty in this message to speak to these themes – without which, it is unlikely we would have ever met, much less become brothers.
I remain honored, as do all of the members of the Grand Council, to serve this organization and assist in its perpetuation – after all, this is exactly the oath we took when we joined. The Grand Council continues to focus and spend considerable time on this effort. Our most recent plan, Vision 2025 is an example of our belief that we are charged with impacting the next phase in Delta Sigma Phi history.
As we gathered in celebration this year at the 57th & Biennial Convention in Orlando , we had much for which to be thankful. We concluded the Convention and returned to our daily lives; but I am happy to report we have continued to develop more reasons to celebrate. Our undergraduates have taken the themes and the tools made available in Orlando and delivered one of our most successful fall campaigns in history. Was this by accident? Did Delta Sigma Phi get lucky? Was this by design?
Our diligent and hardworking Staff, in conjunction with hundreds of volunteers in the months leading up to the Convention, developed three themes representative of our mission. These themes have and are meant to connect The Ritual to our current efforts and plans. Leadership, Loyalty and Legacy are our current themes developed to help us remember, convey and perpetuate our mission. Let me take a moment to emphasize why these three simple, yet elegant, words must remain in the forefront of our thoughts:
• Leadership: This is the core of our mission. As we have each learned in our journey, Delta Sigma Phi is here to build better men. We are members of an organization committed to positively impacting our members, our communities and the world. We have numerous members who have, and continue to provide, examples of this behavior. Was this by accident? Did Delta Sigma Phi get lucky? Was this by design?
• Loyalty: Life would be easier, likely much easier, if we merely enjoyed our time in the fraternity and left it when college ended. There would be fewer personal conflicts, no requests for investments or time, and nothing but fond memories to reflect upon while strolling down memory lane. Fortunately, an increasing number of our members have not subscribed to such an idea of membership. We have seen a dramatic increase in the number of selfless men committed to our cause and willing to make significant personal sacrifices on our behalf. These acts of kindness are absolutely necessary if our mission is to remain relevant. Are these random acts by astute and mature men an accident? Did Delta Sigma Phi just get lucky again? Was this by design?
• Legacy: It has been said publicly on many occasions where Delta Sigs gather that our relevancy must be accompanied by the appropriate amount of velocity. This statement of fact was first coined by our current Secretary-Treasurer – Tom Archer, Virginia ’87. Tom has served our organization in ways many will never know, or comprehend. I want to share a story with the entire membership to make a point about our need to stay focused on Legacy. Tom’s father, retired Chief Judge of the United States Appeals Court – Glen L. Archer, passed the day prior to the start of the 2011 Convention. The other members of the Grand Council communicated with Tom that we could cover his responsibilities and to feel free to lead his family through these tough times. Tom’s response, “…I will be there. I need to be with my brothers more than ever right now.” Was this response an accident? Could Delta Sigma Phi mean this much? Could such a legacy be part of a larger plan?
It is my hope each of you now see and feel the common theme. 112 years ago our founders did not gather by accident, they did not get lucky and they absolutely designed a path for a future group of men, similarly committed and inspired to carry on these values.
I want to personally thank each of you for the sacrifices you have made to contribute to these 112 years of growth and impact. I believe we should all be very proud our current velocity is increasing our relevancy to levels previously unknown – for that your Grand Council is incredibly proud and indebted.
On this 112th celebration of our brotherhood, I am remain humbly…
Christopher S. Edmonds
Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity