For this year’s Founders’ Day blog series, we asked each member of the staff to go back to their days as a pledge class remember and learn about Chi Psi’s founders to tell us which one they most relate to. The results are sometimes funny, sometimes inspiring and always educational (about the founders and the staff). Next up, is Graham Davis:
As we look back and reflect on our history leading up to Founders’ Day on May 20th I’ve been taking the opportunity to read through the old catalogs of the Fraternity, specifically the centennial and sesquicentennial (150). If you have these hanging around your Lodge I’d highly recommend having a look as they detail each Alpha’s founding stories in addition to a lot of cool history that didn’t quite make it into The Chi Psi Story. Part of these catalogs, of course, talks about our founders. We’ve been asked to look at these men and figure out who we can relate to and why.
When I started doing some research into the founders I realized that most of the information available online related to the nine other than Philip Spencer show where they are buried and don’t speak too much to how these men lived, so it is up to us to extrapolate from what the Story tells us and build out these characters that we have read about.
Robert H. McFaddin was the second of our Founders to pass when his horse threw him out of his carriage in 1858. At that time he was a very successful planter in Greensboro, Alabama, operating two plantations. What struck me most about Br. McFaddin was that he seemed to be living the good life in Alabama before his departure to Union College. He didn’t necessarily need to attend college with his background and career set up for him but he did anyway. I can relate to this because, while college is now the best way to get ahead, there is a certain curiosity and a particular attitude towards learning that I share with him. Reading all that I can to get ahead professionally and personally is very important to me as it seemed to have been for Br. McFaddin. The drive and hunger for knowledge led me to changing my major three times before I settled on one where I could foresee myself making a difference. Br. McFaddin, had he not been thrown from that carriage, would undoubtedly have continued to grow as a person and as a Chi Psi.
This Founders’ Day, I want to propose a challenge: Reflect on your own purpose, both in college and in Chi Psi. Why did we attend College and what drives us to be better representatives of Chi Psi in our lives? Is it through a love of learning that we advance ourselves or is it through other outlets?
Yours in the Bonds,