Founders’ Day Reflections – Sam Bessey

It’s the season for Founder’s Day gatherings, and I’m lucky enough to attend three of them this year.  I was sorry to miss Eta Delta’s banquet this past weekend where they celebrated 90 years at University of Oregon, but I hear that 88 Brothers enjoyed the evening.  I’m off to Chicago this weekend to celebrate Chi Psi’s founding at a dinner at the University Club, and I’ll do the same in New York at a luncheon at the Cornell Club on Thursday 26 May.  Both those events are sponsored, in part, by The Chi Psi Educational Trust and will serve to launch renewed Alumni Clubs in those cities.  From coast to coast and in between, Chi Psis are gathering to honor the past, celebrate the present, but focus primarily on the future. 

A question I like to ask at these gatherings is “What would your life be like without Chi Psi?”  Answers vary, but the question consistently produces great dialogue.  That question was posed in a slightly different way by former Governor of Minnesota Arne H. Carlson, Theta `57, at Alpha Nu’s Founder’s Day dinner on 5 May. Over 90 Brothers attended what is among the Fraternity’s best annual events, and I was privileged to take part in the program, too. 

Alpha Nu has had a difficult year, and we came close to losing it.  Following the lead of the Governor, Nu alumni officers decided Founder’s Day business as usual would send the wrong message, and the usual reports and presentations were scrapped.  In their place a panel discussion was held regarding how and why the Alpha declined, what had been done to address the problems, and most importantly what was being planned for the future to guide the Alpha back to a position of prominence at University of Minnesota.  It was a great decision, and the Fraternity is stronger for asking and answering the difficult questions we did that day.

How would Br. Carlson’s life have been different without Chi Psi?  What message was sent through the panel discussion?  What does the future hold for the Fraternity?  All good questions, and Br. Carlson is waiting to answer them for you.  Please give a listen to his Founder’s Day remarks here.  Happy 170th Chi Psi!

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One response to “Founders’ Day Reflections – Sam Bessey

  1. Pingback: Convention changed my life | Updates from the Road·

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