From August 4th to the 9th, brothers traveled to Albuquerque, New Mexico for Phi Delta Chi’s 70th Grand Council. The conference is held every two years and brings together brothers from across the country to conduct the business of the fraternity. This year we sent 22 brothers to represent our Alpha Psi Chapter and the University of the Pacific.
Brothers drove and flew in from Stockton, Sacramento, and Southern California for the weeklong event. As we arrived at the hotel, the lobby was already filled with brothers in letters. We even saw some familiar faces from last year’s conference in Tampa, Florida. After we checked in and registered, we were ready to kick off Grand Council.
The first official day started early with a formal meeting. At formal business meetings, the Grand Council elects the new Executive Officers, amends the constitution, bylaws, and rituals, and helps arrange plans to improve our fraternity. This year I was given the opportunity to serve as our chapter’s delegate, where I learned more about the fraternity’s operations. It was amazing to be surrounded by brothers full of passion, whose main goal was to better our fraternity. For the next part of the day, we split up and served on different reference committees and attended officer training courses. These sessions lasted throughout the week and were individualized to help improve our chapter’s goals. We were able to learn and take back new ideas, while also helping other chapter by sharing some of our programs.
Although it sounds like a lot of business, Grand Council was also filled with fun activities throughout the week. An ice cream social was planned for the chapters to showcase their individual scrapbooks. Everyone got the chance to visit the various displays and buy all the Phi Delta Chi swag they wanted. Per tradition, one Alpha Psi brother also chose to get a Phi Delta Chi tattoo. Brother Katelyn Fischer added a unique twist and tattooed the fraternity’s motto, “Alterum Alterius Auxilio Eget”. Other brothers also decided to play tourist by riding the Sandia Peak Tramway in Albuquerque, a tram that soars to an elevation of over 10,000 ft above sea level. While these activities kept us plenty busy in the day, Albuquerque’s nightlife did not disappoint. Thanks to the host chapter’s planning, Phi Delta Chi brothers took to the busy college town night life and spread the distinct Phi Delta Chi brotherhood through various bars and a few clubs in the area.
The final night was saved for everyone’s favorite event, the annual Awards Banquet. It has been 35 years since our chapter was awarded the coveted Emory W. Thurston Grand President’s Award, but for the past three years we have come close and maintained a steady 4th place throughout the nation. As the top chapters were called off in the countdown, we eagerly waited to hear our chapter name. With the anticipation nearly pulling us off our seats, when Amy Valdez finally announced Alpha Psi as the winning chapter, screams of excitement and tears of joy filled the faces of our brothers. As we made our way up to the stage, everyone showed their respect with a standing ovation. While the Thurston Cup was our most cherished award that night, our chapter is also proud of our 100% Dale W. Doerr Achievement Award, 1st Place Professional and Service Projects Award, 2nd Place Prescott Scholarship Award, 3rd Place Chapter Publication Award, and 4th Place Albert Prescott Leadership Award that helped us win the title.