While most students came back to school early last weekend to settle back into their home away from home and reconnect with their friends after winter break, three newly initiated members of Theta Xi were attending the Rising Stars Leadership Academy at the YMCA Trout Lodge campsite just outside of St. Louis, Missouri. The Academy, funded in part by donations from alumni as well as from the national organization, has been put on for the past 13 years to help educate new members and develop them as leaders of their initiation class as well as leaders of their chapter.
During the long weekend, brothers Parratorre, Geldmyer and Bibat met with members of the national board of alumni who offered their advice and guidance on how to truly embody the characteristics of a leader and what it means to be a man of Theta Xi. Guest speakers were invited to offer additional advice, and open discussions amongst other new members were seen often just by walking around the facility. Through team-building exercises including rock climbing, our newly initiated brothers met with other new members of Theta Xi chapters from around the country, including Texas, Pennsylvania, and California. They bonded over the experience and thrill of becoming an initiated brother and were eager to share all that they aspired to do for the chapter and how they could give back to the organization. It was exciting to hear the motivation in their voice and see the fire in their eyes on the way home from the retreat, as all three were eager to get back and share what they had learned with the rest of their brothers.
Their newly inspired passion for the traditions of the fraternity and the values we strive to live by has been passed on to those that they have spoken to about their experience, and the house as a whole has benefited from what they have to say. We look forward to these new members becoming leaders and contributors to the house, as all three have stood up for various committees since returning to school and have even expressed interest in standing up for executive board positions next semester. Equipped with the skills and knowledge that they learned at the Rising Stars Academy last weekend, they will be well-prepared to assume more responsibility within the fraternity.
Written by: Ryan Feeney