Friendship, sound learning and rectitude.

Those are the three founding principles of Phi Delta Theta, a new fraternity chapter being formed on the Missouri Southern campus.

It will join the four active fraternities and sororities on campus – Kappa Alpha Order, Kappa Sigma, Alpha Sigma Alpha and Zeta Tau Alpha. Eli Moran, fraternity and sorority life advisor, says a local community member reached out to inquire about the possibility of adding a Phi Delta Theta chapter.

“The students that are (involved in Greek life) here have their purpose,” says Moran. “But there are other students who aren’t joining those organizations. We got to meet their directors of growth and expansion. They came down here to meet with certain campus stakeholders. It’s really exciting.”

Founded in 1848 in Oxford, Ohio, the fraternity today has more than 191 chapters in the United States and Canada. Its philanthropic efforts are focused on the LiveLikeLou Foundation, providing support to families impacted by ALS. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Lou Gehrig was a member of the fraternity when he attended Columbia University.

Austin Dean, leadership consultant-expansion for the fraternity, is in the middle of an eight-week visit to Missouri Southern to get the new PDT chapter off the ground.

“The first half of that time is heavily recruitment-focused,” he says. “The other half we use to introduce officer positions, do interviews and teach them how to be fully functional.

“After the eight-week process, that’s when we will officially have our induction ceremony. That will give them a ‘colony’ status. They have to show they can function as a fraternity. On average, it takes about 400 days to be officially recognized as an active chapter.”