Phi Gamma Delta

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Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity (founded 1994 - current)

Fiji's Crest - Photo By: Unknown Artist (2)

Orginally Submitted By Nathan Bryngelson, Drake University, December 3, 2010

Brief History

Phi Gamma Delta, Phi Gam, or more commonly known as Fiji was established in 1848 at Jefferson College, Pennsylvania. A man named John Templeton McCarty, whom had hopes to create a new fraternity, inspired Fiji. John and five other men held their first meeting on May 1, 1848, which soon would be celebrated as the anniversary of the founding of Phi Gamma Delta. Within a month another chapter was put together at Washington College, along with 13 other chapters that were installed in 1848. The first meetings were very secret and took many years before these men wore their badges of Fiji in public. Fiji wasn’t a part of Drake University until November 11, of 1994. The chapter locally is located at 1236 34th Street, Des Moines, IA 50311 and known as the Delta Iota chapter [1].

According to Spurlock (1993), People may be worried about their futures, their jobs, their classes. But they need to look at their friendships. They'll never get this time back. The classes will end, the jobs will change and the future will take its own course. But the friendships they from now will last forever [1]. (Morgan V. Spurlock is a famous producer/actor known for films such as Super Size Me and Where in the world is Osama Bin Laden?)

Fiji At Drake

Fiji's current president is Franklin Peitz, the treasurer is Adam Doyle, followed by the recruitment chairs that are held by Mitch Webster and Paul Copoulos. Next would be the New Member Educator whom currently is Joe Frake, also the Scholarship chair is held by Lucas McMillan, and finally the Alumni position that Ted Brewer currently holds. Fiji is a social fraternity that is known by the symbol of a black diamond with a centered white star. Also, the flower is the purple clematis and royal purple is the color. Last year, Fiji's spring semester all house GPA at Drake University was 3.24 compared to the 3.20 all fraternity average, and 3.09 to the all men average at Drake University. Also, Fiji has a sister sorority known as Alpha Phi, having social events with them, not only limited to this sorority, but with all the others at Drake University [3].

Fiji's Mascot - Photo By: Unknown Artist (5)

According to Cedeno, Phi Gamma Delta does various events throughout the year to give back to graduates that have made a contribution to our house. Each fall we hold a Pig Dinner where 50+ alumni come back for a weekend to reunite and live old times. Last spring we held an alumni BBQ during Drake Relays in which we had upwards of 50 graduates come over to the house to enjoy some food with the undergrads in the house. We also do various other events throughout the year for graduate brothers to get a chance to know the active brothers in the house today [4]. (A quote by a current member of Fiji, Victor Cedeno, speaking about graduate relations.)

Fiji's Five Values

Fiji's founding fathers proposed five values that every Fiji must abide by. The first one is We are united by Friendship. It is the basis of our brotherhood. Because of it, we accomplish far more than we do as individuals. Friendship is the sweetest influence. The next is We promote the pursuit of Knowledge. It is the key to a fuller, richer life. We gain it through education, the harmonious development of the powers of the individual. Followed by those two would be We encourage Service. We have the ability, the opportunity, and the duty to serve our fellow human beings. Our reward is the satisfaction that comes from serving. Next is We believe in Morality. As gentlemen of quality we must do what is right as individuals and as a group. Moral behavior is the basis of our society’s existence, followed by We strive for Excellence. It is attained only when we fulfill our total potential. Mankind benefits when each of us becomes all that we can be. These five values were the very basis that Fiji was based upon [4]

Fiji's Symbol - Photo By: Unknown Artist [6]

According to Dr. Norman V. Pearl (1920) Fraternity is one of the most skillfully devised institutions known among men, whereby a boy at the age of life where he is perhaps at once the most disorganized and the most receptive, is brought into fellowship of kindred spirits, of people who love him, and believe in him, and there by help him to find himself and become the man that the Almighty God meant him to be [4]. (Dr. Norman V. Pearle was a famous author of The Power of Positive Thinking, and graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University as a Fiji.)

Fiji's Symbol - Photo By: Unknown Artist [6]

Fiji's Letters

Fiji has strict rules on whereas their letters may be placed. It is the only North American fraternity that restricts letters to be worn on t-shirts, backpacks, and other apparel. This is to prevent the letters to be worn on something that can be easily destroyed so it only allows letters on seven things. A uniform diamond-shaped member badge, the official seal, the offical flag, a chapter house marker, a memorial to a deceased brother, a certificate of membership, and on an official college ring. Thus phi gamma delta goes by the nicknames Fiji, or Phi Gam [4].

Athletics In Fiji

Fiji competes in almost every intramural team at Drake University including broom ball, lacrosse, 3v3 basketball, flag football, soccer, floor hockey, and many others. Currently Fiji holds the intramural Voltmer trophy, which is won by leading in points of all the intramurals combined competing against each fraternity at Drake. Fiji won All-U championships in golf, triples volleyball, team volleyball and broomball. An All-U championship is when independent champions play a fraternity.

According to Rives(1974) In the air Air Force we say: Integrity first, Service before self, and Excellence in all we do. In the JAG Corps, the three guiding principles are Wisdom, Valor and Justice...All of these tie back to things I lived in the Fraternity [1]. (Lt. Gen. Jack Rives is The Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Air Force.)

Fiji Pledge Day At Drake University - Photo By Unknown Artist (4)

Famous Fiji's

  • Johnny Carson - former host of the "Tonight Show"
  • Tom Yawkey - Pro Baseball Hall of Fame Executive<
  • Donald Trump
  • Tom Ryan - CEO of CVS
  • Calvin Coolidge - President[7]