Chi Psi Founders: Committed to Values, Vision, Relationships and Innovation

Donald Beeson, Σ ‘ 82
Associate Executive Director 

Visionary leadership is based on a balanced expression of core values, clear vision, empowering relationships, and innovative action.  When all these pieces coalesce around a good idea, the possibilities are limitless.

We know the founders of Chi Psi were looking for a higher ideal than any existing society at Union was offering.  They explicitly stated they were seeking “high-minded, whole-souled, honorable men, kind and sociable.”  What I’m sure they couldn’t have conceived is that those simple tenets would form the basis for one of the most enduring institutions in higher education.

Over the past 171 years, higher education has transitioned from a handful of schools educating men from the most elite families in the classics, to a broad array of inter-disciplinary institutions accessible to anyone meeting an institution’s requirements for admission.  While little remains of the 1840s-era institution, Chi Psi has endured, grown, adapted, and remained as relevant now as we were in 1841.

I wish the founders could see that their commitment to values, vision, relationships, and innovation have outlived almost every collegiate tradition, and have offered opportunities for thousands of men from a variety of backgrounds and cultures to develop deep and abiding friendships, enriching their lives and making them better citizens of the world.

170th Annual Convention in Ann Arbor, MI, August 2011

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