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Founding Fathers

Campus leaders expanding Beta’s Broad Domain

Become a Founding Father

Beta Theta Pi establishes or reestablishes chapters on campuses across North America each year. The young men who choose to join and lay the foundation for the Fraternity’s future at these institutions are known as founding fathers. Interested in learning about this exciting opportunity on your campus? Read more below.

What is a Founding Father?

Any enrolled student who joins a new or reestablished chapter of Beta Theta Pi on his campus is a founding father. To be sure, founding fathers enjoy the broad benefits of fraternity life. However, they are also charged with crafting a Beta experience at their institution that bucks the stigma traditionally associated with “frats,” as well as shaping the chapter’s culture for generations to come. If you’re looking to make a lasting impact on your campus while building and refining your leadership skills, becoming a Beta Theta Pi founding father may be right for you.

Founding Father Experience

Being a founding father is a unique experience where you create and manage an organization from the ground up, then proudly look back on the legacy you’ve left for those who become members in the future.

Rather than adapt to a culture that does not align with your beliefs, you have the freedom and responsibility to help determine the direction of a new chapter on your campus. In addition to the numerous programs offered by the General Fraternity, there are several leadership opportunities available, beginning as early as the first term, where you will have a chance to help bring positive change to your Greek community through living the values of Beta Theta Pi.

In terms of time commitment, founding fathers should expect to invest at least five hours each week to Beta Theta Pi, but that may vary given your role. If you are the president or an executive officer, you will have different responsibilities than a committee member.

Beta strives to support and enable founding fathers to be successful. It is the only fraternity to dedicate a full-time chapter development consultant for its newly-established chapters. For the first academic year, a trained Beta staff member will be on campus to oversee the founding fathers’ recruitment, education, and training. Moreover, each chapter has an entire local volunteer advisory team that has completed advisor training and will act as mentors and coaches.

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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Established in 2020, the Fraternity’s Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion counts among its members more than 25 undergraduates, alumni and industry professionals who are committed to ensuring Beta Theta Pi leads the interfraternal world on DEI matters.

The Board of Trustees has charged the commission with weaving its work into the fabric of Beta Theta Pi, initially by drilling down on tactical recommendations related to the language, voices and educational opportunities the Fraternity uses to create a culture of belonging.

While founding fathers are independently considered for membership using criteria related to academic performance, community engagement, extracurricular involvement, willingness to adhere to the Fraternity’s values and more, it is our strong desire to have the makeup of the new chapter reflect the university population in its entirety – not simply those who have traditionally sought out a fraternity experience.

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Men of Principle Scholarship

The Men of Principle Scholarship recognizes outstanding gentlemen, leaders and scholars on campuses Beta calls home. The scholarship is awarded annually to non-Greek male students who possess the qualities and characteristics desired by Beta members. Specifically, a commitment to mutual assistance, intellectual growth, trust, responsible conduct and integrity.

Importantly, applicants are not required to join Beta Theta Pi to be considered for the award. Find links to apply for the Men of Principle Scholarship on your campus in the map below.

Beta has given me a group of men who I can call my brothers and have no trouble confiding in or having fun with. Being a transfer student, I thought it would be tough to find a good group of people I identified with, but as soon as I found Beta, I found a group of people who gave me a home.

Bryan Golombik, Colorado ’21

I am proud to be a Beta because I believe the legacy I have left and the brotherhood I have created are not bound to now but will be with my brothers and me throughout and even after my lifetime. Beta was a place I could call home when I felt like I was far away from home because I had found a group of brothers who excelled in pursuing their life goals, being leaders, playing an active role in their community, bettering themselves every day, and having a great time while doing it.

Rajay Dockery, South Florida ’21

There are many stigmas surrounding Greek life on college campuses, but I am part of a group of individuals that follows and lives the values of the organization and helps break barriers for all. Being in Beta allows me to commit to serving a purpose much greater than myself. I am always proud to wear the letters, as a symbol of everything that Beta represents.

Jairo Becerra, Oregon ’23

I am proud to be a Beta because we exist with purpose. As Betas, we add meaningful action to our values and vision. When I helped found Beta at James Madison, I wanted to change Greek life and create a new space. Before fall 2018, there was no space at JMU for men to find brotherhood grounded in authenticity. A space where men are built rather than taken down, where brothers find fraternity invulnerability rather than hazing, where grades are held high, and values held close. I’m proud to be a Beta because the brotherhood I helped create was the home many men at JMU finally found that they identified with...

John Maiorana, James Madison ’21

Current Expansions

Each year, Beta Theta Pi selects a handful of campuses for expansion. This may include establishing new chapters at North America’s top universities or reestablishing one of many historic chapters where Beta is not currently active. Find a complete listing of the Fraternity’s current expansions here. Use the interactive map to learn more information about each project and see how to refer new members or apply for a Men of Principle Scholarship.

How Can I Get Beta on My Campus?

Beta Theta Pi is very intentional when assessing prospective campuses for new or restarted chapters. The Fraternity cannot afford to invest resources in failed projects. It is unfair to founding members if the organization is not fully supporting them. Our fraternity growth department is recommended or identified when it is slated for evaluation and analysis when a campus is recommended or identified. Specifically, Beta gathers information in the following areas:

  1. Institution Quality
  2. University Support
  3. Alumni/Advisor Support
  4. Campus Culture
  5. Housing
  6. Overall Timing

If the campus is deemed a plausible candidate after assessing the data and critical questions, a site visit is often the next step. There is tremendous value in speaking face to face with university administration, faculty and staff, potential members, area alumni and community members to determine if Beta and the host institution are a good fit.

After further discussion, a campus is approved or denied as an overall prospect for expansion. If approved, depending on the timeline, negotiations with the university begin. If multiple fraternities are interested in expanding, a presentation and selection process may occur to determine which fraternity will be asked to join the community. In other cases, such as a chapter closure, a timeline for return may be negotiated.

The entirety of this process may take months or even years. If you would like Beta to consider establishing at your institution, contact Director of Fraternity Growth Taelor McCarthy.

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