Traveling the Country with Chi Psi’s Founders

Derek Taylor, ΠΔ ’09
Alpha Visitor 

In 1841 ten young men came together and founded a fraternity around brotherhood. It was the first fraternity founded on such an ideal.  Today, Chi Psi is certainly not the only fraternity that exists to create lifelong friendships; however, I believe our founders would be proud of the strength and consistency of our bonds across the nation.

I was once told that the Alpha Visitors are the young men whose fingers are firmly on the pulse of Chi Psi. This Brother was and always is kind with his words and maybe was being extra kind on that day.  However, I understood those words as both a compliment and a privilege. We, at the Central Office, are fortunate we are able to do our part to keep “purple unmingled and gold untarnished.” We Alpha Visitors are fortunate that we get to experience what Chi Psi has to offer at most of our host institutions, if not all.

If Philip Spencer or any of our founders were alive today I would hope they’d be able to experience all that Chi Psi has to offer; I would want them to “feel the pulse of Chi Psi” for themselves. If our founders were alive today I would want them to have the opportunity to travel around the country visiting all of our Alphas.

I think the first place we would go would be the West Coast. We would stop first at Delta Delta for a quick game of volleyball on their front patio. I’m sure we will have to teach them all how to play, but I bet Patrick Upshaw Major would be a boss on the volleyball court.

In Boulder, Colorado I would have to call Joe Hughes and let him know he is going to have company; something tells me he wouldn’t mind the surprise. We would take our founders to Japango, an all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant. I would love to see the reactions that you inevitably get when we put a few slabs of raw fish in front of ten men from the early to mid-19th century. Once we awoke from our food comma sure to ensue after a sushi buffet, Joe Hughes and the brothers of Psi Delta would guide us on a hiking expedition of the flat irons.

In order to get to our next stop we’d need to get on a plane or two. For a time reference, our last founder passed on July of 1903, the Wright brothers achieved powered flight in Kitty Hawk, NC on December 17th of 1903. This would truly be an experience for our Founders.

We’d visit Nu, Iota, Zeta Delta, and Epsilon as we traverse throughout the Midwest. In Oxford, Ohio we would grab a bite to eat at Bagel and Deli with the brothers of Rho Delta.

Next we are off to familiar territory for our ten Founders, the Northeast. First stop would be Alpha Psi. We would tell them of the tragedy of the Cornell Fire. Watching tears roll down their faces as they learn of the devotion and sacrifice those brothers displayed on that night. I would hope that in this moment we would realize our Founders’ are proud of not only everything our fraternity has endured, but how we have carried ourselves throughout it all. Next a more familiar form of transportation, a train to Hamilton College for a quick visit with our brothers at Alpha Phi before their return to Union.  Can you imagine walking the grounds of Union College with Philip Spencer, Samuel Taber, James Duane, and the rest of the crew?

In the Southeast we would attend a Clemson football game with the brothers of Chi Delta. We would watch a Carolina vs. Duke Basketball game at Cameron Indoor Stadium. In Athens, Georgia, we would conduct initiation for the men of Alpha Delta as we watch and listen to William Force Terhune conduct our Ritual the way he intended when writing it. In Sewanee we would visit with Michael Hurst, Todd Falls and Jimmy Wilson then go rafting with the undergraduate brothers. They would of course end their trip at the Central Office in Nashville, Tennessee.

I can only imagine that as our Founders are traveling across the country the song “Meandering” would be playing somewhere in the background.  By traveling to see every Alpha in Chi Psi I would hope our Founders would tell us that Chi Psi’s bonds are just as strong today as they were 171 years ago. Having our Founders experience Chi Psi at every Alpha would be a treat not only for them but for all Chi Psis alive today. Plus with all ten of our founders traveling the country, we Alpha Visitors could take a vacation!

Happy Founders Day Everyone!!!!! I hope you enjoy it with those whom you hold dear.

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