Not many things bring me to tears, but as I look at the 108th anniversary of Pi Kappa Phi, I well up.
I can only hope that my life’s work, Pramek, brings the same level of principle to people who will never know my Fraternity’s path.
The mistakes of young men learning their role, and the public perception of a Fraternity, should never be a broad stroke as men over a century ago had an ideal, worked tirelessly toward it, and pushed men of every background to be a little bit better…be a little more honest…and to bring forth the idea of chivalry and the concept of a Southern gentleman…and live the idea of common ideas that create Brotherhood.
I look no further than my father who was a Pi Kapp and lived the ideals in his own life.
We take it seriously, even when the world doesn’t know who we are, our Brothers do.
I’ve watched young men pass the rite of passage, and I’ve stood head bowed as rites of a different passage were given over caskets of those taken too early.
Ideas are ageless…be it an 18 year old confused by the speed of college, to a 34 year old man who has traveled the world achieving his dream. Those ideas are universal to free men, as we all are at our core – excellence, leadership, scholarship and the drive to know more, and compassion on those who are less fortunate than us.
And might I say, a really good time amongst those who we have common purpose with.
Somewhere, in the great heaven we have not known and will one day see, I can only believe there are men who look upon the men who came after them with a sense of excitement, hope, compassion, understanding, and most importantly, a feeling of expectation that we who came after will further their dreams, be they small or large, they are always larger than a single man.
I can’t say that on December 7th of 1996 I would know that the concepts of an idea of three men in Charleston, SC in 1904 would change the path of my life when I was initiated…but all these years later, I know what they built made a difference in me, and I have strove to make that same difference in others.
God bless Pi Kappa Phi, and long live Eta Delta.