Chapter executive boards across Beta’s Broad Domain have already taken the reins from their predecessors. To better prepare for their terms ahead, nearly 750 collegians and advisors alike attended the Fraternity’s leadership and education programs this winter, including both Miller Nichols Chapter Presidents Leadership Academy and Keystone Regional Leadership Conference.
Miller Nichols Chapter Presidents Leadership Academy
Some 120 chapter presidents convened in Chicago in early January for Presidents Academy, establishing a skill base to be built upon as their terms at the helm begin. All but one president in attendance were new to their roles, making the event’s impact even more critical to chapter success in 2024.
Breaking the ice, Friday night’s Leadership Challenge brought brothers closer together. Attempting to build a dragon with random supplies – ranging from balloons to plastic cups – presidents overcame limitations set in place to complete the task at hand.
“CPLA was a really great experience. Three days filled with tips on how to be a better leader for my fraternity, collaborating with every other chapter presidents and learning more on the history of how Beta Theta Pi came to be where it is now was incredible to be a part of.”Christian Martinez, Embry-Riddle '24via Instagram
The leadership challenge gave presidents new perspective on how to lead their diverse executive boards and chapters. Furthering their insight, Saturday morning provided an in-depth look at the results of the fall’s Beta Brotherhood Assessment – the Fraternity’s annual membership-wide to better understand the collegiate experience and establish baselines for a healthy Beta culture – guided by Dr. Joshua Schutts, chief research officer of Dyad Strategies.
The weekend not only served as a chance to learn new skills and gain resources to be more successful as the top position with the chapter, it allowed presidents to connect with peers and reiterate they don’t “go it alone.” By night two, new bonds formed between brothers resulted in exploring the city together and connecting over shared Beta experiences.
Other touchpoints for the weekend included a history and lore overview led by General Fraternity Archivist Zac Haines, Miami ’05, as well as a risk management discussion and intentional goal-setting. Presidents continued their education at Keystone just weeks later, building on their learned skills.
Keystone Regional Leadership Conference
Position-specific training remains critical for every chapter to operate effectively. Four cities hosted chapter presidents, vice presidents of recruitment and brotherhood, ritual chairmen, and chapter counselors between two weekends in late January: Atlanta, Dallas, Philadelphia and St. Louis.
Notably, vice presidents of recruitment made the most of their time together by comparing strategies across campuses, and diving deeper into relationship-based recruitment – which has proven effective for chapters like San Diego. Utilizing the results of the Beta Brotherhood Assessment, vice presidents of brotherhood jumped at the chance to share successes within their chapter culture as well as collaborate on areas of improvement.
The role of volunteers and the insight they bring remains a priority of the Fraternity as well. Not only were chapter counselors important to guiding discussion for their own executive teams, a panel of select advisors provided outside perspective for all chapters and tips to improve the working relationship between collegiate brothers and the advisory team.
“It was an educational weekend as Beta officers from 35 chapters met in St. Louis to discuss how to be men of principle! Go Beta!”Mike Wortman, Nebraska '70via Facebook
“The opportunity to learn from so many great brothers, advisors and Friends of Beta is something I will always remember. In only one long weekend of instruction, I learned a considerable amount about Beta and even more about leadership. I am eager to carry these lessons forward in my personal and professional careers.”Adam Wallace, George Mason '25via LinkedIn
On top of intensive position-specific training, all officers reflected and discussed their own leadership journey, and how it would positively impact the time in their role. And, to become more exemplary leaders, brothers dove deeper into interpersonal communication skills, important to have as an executive officer regardless of role.
Rounding out the weekend, officers worked collaboratively to begin creating goals that support Beta’s mission. This included debriefing as a team on Beta Brotherhood Assessment results. Of course, these goals will continue to evolve as more chapter officers – vice presidents of risk management, finance, communication and member education – virtually attend Keystone in February.
The Sons of the Dragon Club, the Foundation’s giving club exclusively for collegiate brothers, soft launched for the year at both Presidents Academy and Keystone, and attracted brothers to join in giving back to the Fraternity.
In St. Louis, nearly $700 was raised for the Beta Leadership Fund (BLF) by the end of Friday night. Inspired by the leadership of the students joining the Club, an anonymous donor onsite pledged to match up to $1,500 in Sons of the Dragon Club gifts dollar-for-dollar.
Kettering A’s Fred Choate ’24, and Dillon Peterson ’27 answered the call and made large gifts of their own to meet the matching challenge. In St. Louis alone, $3,426 was raised for the BLF including the gift match and near 70 brothers were Club members by the end of the weekend.