Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity believes that leadership isn’t positional — it can come from anywhere in the organization. In that spirit, three of the emerging leaders of the Beta Omicron chapter at Northwestern State University are now prepared to utilize that potential to lead on campus. Nich OIivares, Ben Butcher, and Colton Campbell are among the nearly 80 leaders selected from Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity’s 12,500 undergraduate members to participate in Pi Kapp College for Emerging Leaders, an intensive, six-day leadership development experience that empowers participants to create the ideal chapter.
The trio attended the second session of the program June 9-14, 2019 at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. Two other sessions are held in May and July. The program is designed to challenge and inspire participants to become better leaders and better men.
Student participants were assigned to small groups consisting of Pi Kappa Phi members from around the country, led by two faculty. The facilitation team, made up of alumni and non-member friends of the Fraternity, provided a wealth of knowledge to attendees, including decades of higher education and leadership development experience to challenge and support the men.
Olivares says the experience provided a critical opportunity for personal growth.
“Pi Kapp College changed the way I perceived the world around me. I questioned my way of thinking heavily on this trip and learned what my strengths were and how to use them to my advantage.”
Beta Omicron chapter alumnus Lane Luckie served as lead faculty member for this session, while alumnus Wes Breeden will return as lead faculty for the July session.
The week included small group discussion, large group education sessions, a challenge course, unique subordinate rituals, and an insider look at Pi Kappa Phi’s history on the nearby College of Charleston campus. The Fraternity was founded there in 1904, making the physical setting an important element of the program. Participants also spent time bowling with clients of the ARC of South Carolina, experiencing how their values connect to the Ability Experience, the fraternity’s philanthropy, which serves people with disabilities.
As the week progressed, participants were challenged daily to learn and reflect on their own morals and strengths as well as the core values of the fraternity. Campbell said the week of inner-reflection and team-building helped him hone skills in teamwork, building brotherhood, and motivation.
“The most significant lesson I learned at Pi Kapp College is the skill to bring people together as a team to accomplish a mutual goal.”
Campbell plans to immediately work to motivate his chapter brothers to become more involved on campus.
“With my experience I am going to strive to create the ideal chapter while having fun along the way.”
Attending Pi Kapp College for Emerging Leaders is an honor in itself. Students are selected through a rigorous application process, involving interviews and essays. Graduates leave with an increased commitment to acting consistently with their core personal values and values of Pi Kappa Phi, enhanced abilities to develop and enrich relationships as well as a strengthened commitment to respecting the dignity of all people, and embraced belief in aspiring toward the “ideal chapter,” and developing the capability to move a plan into action.
Pi Kapp College for Emerging Leaders has proven to be one of the fraternity’s most impactful ― and most enduring ― leadership experiences. Since its redesign in 2010, nearly three-quarters of all Pi Kapp College graduates have gone on to hold leadership positions in their chapters or campus communities.
The three NSU students were able to attend the program through the generosity of the Beta Omicron Alumni Chapter, which continues to sponsor airfare for NSU participants.