History of Kansas Zeta
Phi Delta Theta at Southwestern College was founded in 1995 through a local Fraternity, Theta Phi Delta. With almost fifteen years of history at SC, Kansas Zeta has initiated 152 brothers. Kansas Zeta has had several proud years; in 1998 the chapter won the Kansas City Trophy, the Fraternities highest award. At Southwestern College the chapter has produced athletic All-American's, RA's, Ambassadors, Orientation Leaders, Student Foundation members, captains of several sport teams, Student Government Association Presidents, Vice Presidents, Treasurers, Secretaries, and Senators. Members of Kansas Zeta after graduation have become leaders in the business world, military, medical field, education, and communities.
History of Phi Delta Theta Kansas Zeta at Southwestern College
*Note – Most of this information is provided by #142 Jordy Train, based on stories from alumni and yearbook research. This information is integral to the history of PDT. Some of it is good, some of it is bad, but all of it is who we are and the power of brotherhood. Alums, if you see anything incorrect you can yell at Jordy at Jordy.Train@sckans.edu, or www.facebook.com/jtrain54. Again, the goal of this history is to provide perspective.
Theta Phi Delta
In 1967, the men of Holland Hall grew tired of the social climate on campus, and decided together to form “an experiment in living,” a local fraternity by the name of Theta Phi Delta. More information about Theta Phi Delta will hopefully be brought to the chapter’s attention.
Throughout the ‘60s and ‘70s, Greek Life thrived on Southwestern College’s campus. It was a great time to be a Theta, a Beta, or a Pi Delt. Sadly, as it seems, all of these organizations were local societies and had no national office to guide them. Consequently, the 1980s saw a lot more of the negative frat stereotypes come out, resulting in a number of Greeks to be booted off campus. The remaining group, Theta Phi Delta, still hung on.
In the fall of 1992, President Jason Wilson, a sophomore at the time, was called into the Dean’s office to discuss the Theta’s future on campus. Basically, it was left to a simple choice: either affiliate with a national fraternity, one that could instill rules and help guide the on-campus group through its leadership changes, or disband. Not wanting to see the 25 years of the Theta’s dominance on campus fall by the wayside, Wilson led the charge to colonize a chapter with Phi Delta Theta and served as President until mid-way through the 1994-95 school year. He eventually was named Bond #1 of the chapter. On April 8th, 1995, Kansas Zeta was officially chartered by Phi Delta Theta at Southwestern College. Bond #10 Lloyd Bradshaw served as President until November of 1995, and the chapter stood at roughly 23 members.
1995-96: Tragedy Strikes
Throughout the school year, a normal amount of recruits were brought in and the group stayed at 20-25 members. In November, Bond #13 David Battin took over as President of the chapter. On April 16th, 1996, just a few days after celebrating one year with Phi Delta Theta, a house fire took the lives of #10 Lloyd Bradshaw and #20 Brandon Harris. A kitchen appliance was left on all night and caused the cabinets to catch fire. Both men died of smoke inhalation. To this day, there is still a memorial event in the honor of Bonds 10/20 every spring.
1996-97: Year of Growth
Bond numbers 46-61 were initiated in the fall of 1996. This is the largest initiation class (16) in the history of the chapter, bringing the chapter size to 35 members. #29 Matt Scholfield was also elected President in November.
1997-98: The Kansas City Trophy
The second largest pledge class in Kansas Zeta’s history (11) joined the ranks in the fall, bringing the chapter to the largest it has ever been, 42. #29 Matt Scholfield also became the first and so far only Phi to serve two terms as President, beginning his second term in November. It was a year of many firsts for the chapter, as this was the first year the group applied for General Headquarters Awards. Four awards were won, including the GHQ Trophy, Community Service Citation, the Gold Star, and the Kansas City Trophy, the best award the chapter is eligible for.
1998-99: Housing Conversation
To our best knowledge, this marks the first year that Kansas Zeta began serious discussions with the school in regards to getting a fraternity house. Bond #46 Chris Ford became President of the chapter in November, and the following year would make for his Leadership senior project a detailed plan why Southwestern would benefit from providing the Phi Delts with a house. This year also marked a special event in the fact that #21 Kyle Woodrow and #22 Stosh Seller finished the year with their degree, meaning the last of the Founding Fathers had finished their time as actives. Brother Woodrow and brother Seller still hold the record of initiating the most actives (58) during their careers with the chapter. Awards won: Biggers Ritual, GHQ Trophy, Community Service Citation, Gold Star, KC Trophy Honorable Mention.
Not too much stands out about this year at first glance. Numbers held steady at an estimate of 38 members, and talks of a house continued. Bond #87 Shane Alford was named Homecoming King, #54 John Nelson graduated and was awarded with a selection to be one of six Master Builders, and #63 Troy Lucas became the fifth President of Kansas Zeta. The only award won this year was a third consecutive GHQ Trophy.
2000-2001: Bond #100
Just six years after being chartered, Kansas Zeta initiated Bond #100 Scott Ross on April 17th, 2001.