In the beginning of November 2002, two representatives from the International Headquarters of Phi Gamma Delta (Josh Morita and Scott Yaworski) came to the University of Michigan, looking to re-establish the Alpha Phi Colony. They were aided by a dedicated group of graduate brothers who were committed to seeing the fraternity restored to its former glory.
After visiting sororities to search out the best and brightest of the campus, they held meetings to meet these leaders, scholars, athletes and gentlemen. Josh and Scott found 24 gentlemen who were a “cut above the rest” and they became the Alpha class of the Alpha Phi Colony. Among the Alpha class members were two seniors who had led other organizations on campus and were quite familiar with the Greek system at UM, but never found a fraternity that lived up to their expectations. As President and Treasurer, Brent Jacobs (’03) and Erik Syrjanen (’03) were able to put all the pieces in place and with the help of the Alpha and Beta classes, become a recognized “fraternity” in the eyes of the University’s Interfraternity Council (IFC) within six months; an impressive feat and something that usually takes organizations more than a year. In fact, certain members of both the undergraduate and graduate groups were recognized for this work. Brent Jacobs was awarded the Order of Omega award as a result of the fraternity’s work (again, an impressive feat as most individuals must work over two or more years in order to be considered for the award). Phelps Connell (’49) was awarded the Outstanding Greek Alumnus by the U of M Inter-Fraternity Council and the Phi Gamma Delta Award for Leadership.
During the Winter semester, 9 more pledges were recruited and eventually became full brothers. The following year (2003-2004 school year), the fraternity gained another 30 members despite its strict adherence to its standards and principals. During this time, the Colony also re-inhabited the fraternity house at 707 Oxford and continued to grow as a influential organization on campus.
The following summer (2004), Jeff Chiambretti, Dan McGraw, Matt Curd, and Phil Vlisides went to Ekklesia in Atlanta, GA to present the Colony’s petition to the brothers of Phi Gamma Delta in order to regain status as a Chapter again. The International Fraternity approved the request to receive its charter and the Alpha Phi Chapter was reborn at the University of Michigan on November 6, 2004.
Since that time, the Chapter has won Fraternity of the Year multiple times, continually raised large amounts for philanthropies, competed at high levels in intramural sports, and produced many scholars who have gone on to become leaders and professionals in the world community. The students and alumni have worked together to ensure that a $1.6M renovation of the house was completed and successful. The students put on The Rivalry Run each year, which is a relay that runs the game ball between Ohio State and Michigan in order to raise money for the American Cancer Society. For a current list of the accomplishments of the undergraduate Chapter, please visit their website here.
Please reach out to the Graduate Brothers if you would like to get involved or donate to their causes. We also look forward to seeing you at Pig Dinner each Fall to catch up and see how the brothers are continuing the Fiji tradition every day.