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Phi Delt expands: Fraternity makes a comeback
Kaitlin Doty
Antelope Staff
Courtesy Photo
UNKs Phi Delta Theta Chapter was chartered in 1966 and boasted nearly 1,000 members throughout its 39-year reign. Steve Curtright is working toward bringing the fraternity back to UNK.
Courtesy Photo
Steve Curtright

Steve Curtright is tapping his heels three times to bring Phi Delta Theta back home to UNK because “There is just no place like Nebraska.”

Curtright, the son of a founding member of the 1966 Phi Delta Theta chapter at UNK, could be thinking the words of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:

“There is no past that we can bring back by longing for it. There is only an eternally new now that builds and creates itself out of the best as the past withdraws.”

Phi Delta Theta was chartered in 1966 and was an active, on-campus fraternity that initiated nearly 1,000 members. For various reasons they lost their charter in 2005. Curtright, the current director of expansion for Phi Delta Theta, is currently working toward bringing Phi Delta Theta back to campus, because it was very successful during its time as an active chapter, winning 11 Gold Star awards from the Phi Delta Theta General Headquarters recognizing their excellence in chapter operations.

Also, two of the most recognized Phi Delta Theta chapters in the nation are in Nebraska— at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln and Creighton University.

Members of Phi Delta Theta across the nation recognize and look up to Nebraska Phi Delta Theta chapters, so Curtright feels that the presence of Phi Delta Theta in Nebraska should grow and become even stronger by expanding another chapter to UNK.  

In order to bring Phi Delta Theta back to UNK, Curtright must first gain approval from the Interfraternity Council to expand to campus. Once granted approval, the members of Phi Delta Theta General Headquarters will begin to seek out interest from men on campus. Once a group of men, also known as the founding fathers, are established, the men must work on gaining enough recognition to receive a charter.

Gaining a charter takes a lot of work and a hard foundation must be built.

“In order for a chapter to receive a charter they must pass all examinations, create and live up to academic standards, build programs covering all areas of chapter operations and develop a commitment to service and philanthropy,” Curtright said. After everything has been passed, the expansion and installation is expected to take approximately two semesters.

According to Curtright, campus and Greek life will benefit from bringing Phi Delta Theta back to UNK. “Greek communities benefit greatly from all expansions, regardless of the fraternity. We like to see the Greek system grow by bringing in new chapters.”

He said Phi Delta Theta has many resources and leadership styles that will contribute to UNK’s Greek system.

Phi Delta Theta wants to bring in up-to-date and diverse views for Greeks, Curtright said, such as chapter operations and the best practices to establish a successful Greek colony. The men of this chapter will also contribute by building up the Greek community involvement with events and philanthropies of all Greek chapters and contributing to other campus organizations.   

Curtright expresses much excitement about bringing Phi Delta Theta back to UNK’s campus. “I am most excited because my dad was a founding member of Phi Delta Theta at UNK when it was chartered in 1966.  He loves to talk about his time at UNK and all his stories as an undergraduate member in the fraternity. Also, it’s just so great to be in Nebraska. My travels have taken me to other universities in California to Boston to Florida and Washington. And those places are great, but to me there is just no place like Nebraska” he said.

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