The 176th Convention of Theta Delta Chi Recap
The Welcome reception was on Thursday night of the Convention, at the Varsity Tavern, just across the street from the Tempe Mission Palms. After the first business session, Theta Delts were able to soak in the atmosphere of what was essentially a rented-out nightclub. There was a taco and nacho buffet with steak, chicken, and plenty of other toppings for everyone in attendance. It was a great opportunity to re-kindle the bonds formed in years past, as well as create new friendships, as the entire weekend was ahead. The good vibes from Thursday night’s welcome reception indicated how the rest of the weekend would pan out. This was the first stop of the night, as most of the brothers retreated to the 414 karaoke bar just a block away. Everyone was able to give their best efforts in creating renditions of their favorite songs (some efforts were more valiant than others).
First & Second General Business Sessions
Day one of the 176th Convention kicked off with the first general business session at 7 p.m. The meeting began with returning to a February Grand Lodge meeting in which there was a vote for the revocation of the Rho Proteron Charge. The vote finished 5 to 1 in favor of not revoking the charter. The other main topic of discussion was Theta Deuteron’s proposal to change the Fraternity’s By-Laws to allow all persons attending MIT to be initiated: whereas previously, the By-Laws stated only males can be initiated. During the second business meeting, this proposal did not pass on the floor.
The second business meeting also consisted of voting for the newest members of the 147th Grand Lodge. Two Undergraduates At Large were inducted–Joshua Thompson, Delta Deuteron ‘24, and Noah Wellborn, Psi Tetraton ‘26. The newly inducted graduate positions as elected by the floor were Stephan Johnson, Gamma Triton ‘92, Jim Leuck, Upsilon Deuteron ‘09, and Juan Alfaro, Xi Triton ‘17. Adam Marks Nu Deuteron ‘99 and James Ambrose, Tau Triton ‘19 both continued their terms of service which will expire at the 177th Convention in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Escape Room/Axe Throwing
Class Axe Throwing was kind enough to allow our conventioneers to attend their facility for a four-hour window of fun on day two of the Convention. Groups were split up, either embarking on an escape room adventure or indulging in some friendly axe-throwing competition. There were two escape rooms–Terminal and Spellbound.
In the Terminal room, your team has boarded a subway car when the car crashes into an abandoned subway station. You explore the station and soon learn of a conspiracy. Your team was tasked with learning the details and stopping the impending result.
Spellbound took place in a cabin once inhabited by a coven of witches tasked with guarding our world from the rise of vampires. Having stumbled upon the cabin, it was up to your team to decipher the clues left behind to find the vampires’ lair and destroy the king.
The escape rooms and axe throwing were great team builders and allowed the conventioneers to become closer through teamwork and competition.
Alumni Minerva Session
Central Fraternity Office staff reviewed some new initiatives from the Grand Lodge with key organizational stakeholders. Advisors & Alumni volunteers from House Corporations and Alumni Associations were in attendance. The first item reviewed was the Charge / Alumni Advisor Support Manual. The document covers advisor responsibilities, a checklist of duties, facilitation skills, understanding the Report of Visitation, and more.
The rest of the session brought everyone up to speed on the new Leadership Coaching Calls and Charge Improvement Plans. Both are Grand Lodge initiatives that alumni can support and play a key role in. Alumni are encouraged to attend the regular meetings for each initiative and are cc’ed on the update emails created during the academic year. One of the number one things identified by Alumni as a subject of interest was helping members plan for the future. Setting action items, goals, and targets is the first step, and having a network to keep them accountable is the second. Interested in how you can be involved with your Charge’s improvement plan for the year? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
During the presentation, Johannes Alvarez-Rivero, Psi Tetraton ‘19, asked a question surrounding encouraging his alumni to attend future Conventions. Many Brothers shared their thoughts which led to an organic conversation about getting more Brothers engaged with the International Fraternity. The next Convention will be in Williamsburg, VA. Start planning your attendance with what will be an exciting time as we hope to welcome back the Noble Epsilon next year.
We are grateful for the attendance, as the session had roughly 40 alumni present, the highest attendance in recent years.
Theta Delts gathered in the gorgeous Organ Hall on Arizona State University’s campus to honor brothers that entered the Omega Charge. Hundreds of our brothers entered the Omega Charge over this past year. Once again, the service was led by the dynamic Patrick Tiernan, Chi Triton ‘99. Brothers Alan Ashworth, Epsilon ‘85, Dave Shin, Epsilon Triton ‘81, and Rob Kirby, Rho Triton ‘90, and Mike Stanley, Rho Triton ‘93 all spoke on behalf of their Charge brothers who recently passed away. The brothers honored with individual remarks were Howard Busbee, Epsilon ‘65, Howard Goldfarb, Epsilon Triton ‘87, Sean Billings, Rho Triton ‘94, and Matthew Poteate, Rho Triton ‘06. It was no doubt that these brothers’ words struck a chord with everyone in attendance, and we will miss all of the brothers of Theta Delta Chi that have passed over the last year.
Before the main event of the Convention–The Grand Banquet–undergraduates attended three Minerva Sessions. One hosted by Aparna Polavarapu, the next by representatives from the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism, and the final session hosted by Xi Deuteron’s own Samuel Gonzalez.
The first Minerva Session hosted by Aparna Polavarapu detailed the work she has been doing with the Rho Proteron Charge at the University of South Carolina and how each delegate can implement it at their respective Charge. Professor Polavarapu spoke about restorative practices and discussed how repair-harm and community-building practices work, as well as how today’s practitioners develop their practices from indigenous teachings. The session ended with a lively Q&A about the specifics of these practices and how they could support other charges.. We are very grateful for Professor Polavarapu’s dialogue.
Ethan Michaud from the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism presented on the organization and what philanthropy events have been hosted in partnership with TDX, as well as possibilities for future events. There have been over 30 unique philanthropic campaigns for the foundation and events in which Theta Delts have raised over $55,000. Undergraduates also shared ideas about what philanthropy events they could host and discussed some obstacles that may arise to navigate them in the future. We are very thankful for this partnership and will continue to find new and innovative ways to raise money for the wonderful organization that is the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism.
Samuel Gonzalez, Xi Deuteron ‘24, and Undergraduate At Large for the 146th Grand Lodge facilitated a presentation on Bros UniteD for the final Mivera Session of the day. Brother Gonzalez created a presentation in which he described what Bros UniteD entails and how each Charge can start its own Bros UniteD program as well. Bros UniteD is an eight-week community-based mentorship program for teenage boys on the autism spectrum. Offered during the fall at no cost to the family, the program’s goal is to provide each “little brother” with a safe, fun environment where they can practice their social and communication skills. The Xi Deuteron Charge has been conducting this program since 2016 and has seen great success. With the insight and passion that Gonzalez has for the program, it was a no-brainer to allow him to share his wisdom with the rest of the undergraduates.
Charitos & Epsilon Triton Reception
Friday Night’s Charitos and Epsilon Triton Reception was well attended. Charitos members, upgraded ticket holders, and special guests rendezvoused at the Showroom at Culinary Dropout. Archival materials were displayed on tables and digitally for guests to enjoy. Donations made during the event were given double donor credit, which helped the donation level climb closer to the goal.
Guests enjoyed appetizers and a host bar while they played ping pong, corn hole, and socialized with new and old Conventioneers. Thank you to our Charitos members for their recurring gifts! Your support helps the organization bring its mission to fruition.
The Grand Lodge, Founders’ Corporation, and Educational Foundation held meetings on Saturday.
The newly elected 147th Grand Lodge met to review their board member agreements and start the early stages of new member onboarding. The board roster is listed above in the Business Session recap. The board will continue to be led by the 67th President Jim Leuck, Upsilon Deuteron ‘09, whose term has been extended by two years.
The Founders’ Corporation held three meetings. The Annual Meeting for all stockholders, the Board of Governors Meeting and the Board of Directors’ Meeting. The Founders’ Corporation reviewed its Fiscal Year ‘23 performance and changed investment allocations. The slates from the respective Nominating Committees were accepted, except for the President. Patrick Tiernan Chi Triton ‘99 was nominated and elected as the newest President. The Board of Directors also approved the LDH award for Ty Lewis, Rho Proteron ‘23. The award recognizes the best undergraduate article submission and includes a check for $250 as part of the recognition.
The Educational Foundation conducted a meeting of the full board. The regular business was handled, which included reviewing grants and plans for archival materials. The board approved grants for the Rho Proteron, Lambda Deuteron, and Rho Triton Charges. The support from the Educational Foundation allows our groups to take on study room renovations, programming costs, book scholarships for potential new members, and more. The Grand Lodge also gains Convention support through grants to host the Minerva Programs and Omega Service and offset undergraduate delegate travel costs.
PGL Reception/Grand Banquet
The Convention culminated with the PGL Reception, followed by the Grand Banquet. Conventioneers gathered outside the Palm Ballroom and were treated to a cash bar, charcuterie boards, and a live performance from Cierra June–a very talented performer and singer with the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism. The conversations lasted around an hour before all delegates were allowed in the ballroom and found their seats.
We are grateful to have had Arizona Secretary of State and Theta Delt from the Epsilon Triton Charge, Adrian Fontes ‘93, to open the Convention with a few words. We were lucky to have three speakers; Johannes Alvarez-Rivero Psi Tetraton ‘22, James Ambrose Tau Triton ‘18, and Carter Bertsch Upsilon Deuteron ‘26. Everyone looked forward to the announcement of this year’s award winners, which was well worth the wait for the ceremony. This year’s winners are as follows:
Brandon Cain, Xi Deuteron 2022
Caleb Peare, Upsilon Deuteron 2024
Andrew Dever, Upsilon Deuteron 2025
Abdi De Leon, Mu Triton 2025
1847 General Awards
Aidan Zuercher, Iota Triton 2022
Jacob Griffiths, Xi Deuteron 2024
Maxwell Barton, Beta Deuteron 2024
Carter Bertsch, Upsilon Deuteron 2026
Larsen Memorial Scholarship
Spencer Callaway, Sigma Deuteron 2026
Charlie Dentz, Sigma Deuteron 2026
Charlie Dentz, Sigma Deuteron ‘26, Carter Bertsch, Upsilon Deuteron ‘26, Abdi De Leon, Mu Triton ‘25, and Adam Marks, Nu Deuteron ‘99. Brother Marks is the head of the scholarship committee. Each of these delegates was awarded a scholarship at the 176th Convention.
Gamma Triton took home this year’s President’s Cup as they were able to both maintain and go above and beyond their own standard, leading to strict adherence to the ritual which included every member memorizing the Preamble. This also led them to win Chapter of the Year at Michigan State University. Congratulations to the men of Gamma Triton!
Dr. Richard E. Wood Ritual Improvement Cup
The first ever Dr. Richard E. Wood Ritual Improvement Cup was given to the Epsilon Triton Charge for their steps taken to incorporate the ritual into their everyday lives. Not only are they a Charge that is on the rise, their commitment to the ritual and exploration into a greater understanding of the ritual is something that both the undergraduates and alumni have developed. Carter Bertsch, Upsilon Deuteron ‘26, Richard Wood, Gamma Triton ‘73 and Jim Leuck, Upsilon Deuteron ‘09 presented the award to members of the Epsilon Triton Charge.
Suraj Mukkamala and Charles Cuneo, delegates from the Xi Charge at Hobart College, posing with their Taking Charge Award given by representatives from the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism. The Charge made a big impact with their color run fundraiser in the previous year.
Luke Rizzo, Beta Deuteron ‘25
Luke Rizzo, Beta Deuteron ‘25 receiving the Undergraduate of the Year recognition from Graduate Treasurer of the Grand Lodge James Ambrose, Tau Triton ‘18, and President of the Grand Lodge Jim Leuck, Upsilon Deuteron ‘09.
Doug Kwikkel, Beta Deuteron ‘81
Doug Kwikkel, Beta Deuteron ‘81 receiving the Alumnus of the Year recognition from Graduate Treasurer of the Grand Lodge James Ambrose, Tau Triton ‘18, and President of the Grand Lodge Jim Leuck, Upsilon Deuteron ‘09.
Juan Alfaro Xi Triton ‘17
Juan Alfaro Xi Triton ‘17 and newly elected Graduate Secretary of the Grand Lodge, accepts the award for President of the Year given to Aidan Morgan, Xi Triton ‘23.
Justin Shirk, Nu Triton ‘00
Justin Shirk, Nu Triton ‘00 receiving the Theta Delt of the Year recognition from Graduate Treasurer of the Grand Lodge James Ambrose, Tau Triton ‘18, and President of the Grand Lodge Jim Leuck, Upsilon Deuteron ‘09.
The Sigma Triton Charge
The Sigma Triton Charge at Penn State University took home the Victory Cup at the 176th Convention. Pictured are the Charges delegates Jason Dietz ‘01, Nick Wehner ‘25, and Jonathan Feldman ‘25. The Victory Cup is given to the Charge with the highest score on the Record of Visitation during the year.
Dr. Richard E. Wood, Gamma Triton ‘73
Graduate Treasurer of the Grand Lodge James Ambrose, Tau Triton ‘18, and President of the Grand Lodge Jim Leuck, Upsilon Deuteron ‘09, present Dr. Richard E. Wood, Gamma Triton ‘73 with the Theta Delta Chi Achievement Award. This award is only given on special occasions and recognizes brother Wood’s support of Theta Delta Chi and professional achievements over the years.
Pictured are Lambda Deuteron Brothers Mehul Thakur ‘24 and Brian Bibonimana ‘23 with the Guy C. Pierce Improvement Cup.
Undergraduate of the Year and current president of Beta Deuteron, Luke Rizzo, poses with alumni advisors Ron Hallenbeck and Doug Kwikkel, and CFO staff members Nick Flores and Drew Johnson. All members of the Beta Deuteron Charge.
Epsilon Triton undergrads and recent alumni pose with the Graduate Attendance Trophy and the Dr. Richard E. Wood Ritual Improvement Cup.
Pictured left to right are the Xi Deuteron brothers who attended the Grand Banquet: Russel Liu, Samuel Gonzalez, Diego Mesquita, and Larry Sarchin.
Undergraduate delegates, alumni advisors, and CFO staff members
Undergraduate delegates Luke Rizzo, Blake Kroth, and Evan Avitia with Beta Deuteron alumni advisors Doug Kwikkel, Ron and Pam Hallenbeck, and CFO staff members Nick Flores and Drew Johnson.
Undergraduate of the Year– Luke Rizzo, Beta Deuteron
Alumnus of the Year-Doug Kwikkel, Beta Deuteron
President of the Year– Aidan Morgan, Xi Triton
Theta Delt of the Year– Justin Shirk, Nu Triton
Theta Delta Chi Achievement Award– Dr. Richard E. Wood, Gamma Triton
Charles P. Schmid Loyalty Cups
Highest Number of Donors – Delta Deuteron (53 donors) Nu Deut (47) Epsilon (46)
Highest Percentage of Donors – Rho Triton 8.37% Upsi Deut 7.37% Nu Deut 7.13%
Douglas G. Southern Development Award – Bob Freeman Nu Deuteron
Glenn Marston Travel Cup-Chosen @ Convention-Theta Deuteron
Graduate Attendance Trophy-Chosen @ Convention-Epsilon Triton
Bruce R. Trefz Service and Philanthropy Cup– Upsilon Deuteron
Guy C. Pierce Improvement Cup -Lambda Deuteron
Dr. Richard E. Wood Ritual Improvement Cup – Epsilon Triton
President’s Cup – Gamma Triton
Victory Cup – Sigma Triton
Certificates of Excellence
Risk Management – Sigma Triton
Programming – Upsilon Deuteron
Inter-Charge Relations – Omicron Triton
Recruitment – Omicron Triton
Campus Involvement – Upsilon Deuteron
NME – Tau Triton
Hospitality – Beta Deuteron
Social Media Marketing – Tau Tetraton
Leadership – Mu Triton
Tyler Lewis Rho Proteron