Phi Delta Theta returns to campus

The fraternity disbanded in 2016 due to recruitment issues.

by Jordan Willauer

After a brief stint off campus, a fraternity is currently in the process of reestablishing itself at the University of Minnesota. 

The Phi Delta Theta fraternity will return to the University this year after being shut down in 2016 due to low membership. 

The fraternity currently has one member and is working on recruiting new members at the same time that many existing fraternities and sororities at the University are in the midst of their own recruitment processes. 

Jacob Skraba, a senior studying architecture, is aiding the launch of the fraternity as the founding member of the chapter. 

“To be able to join something and start it and impact the future members and organization really interested me,” Skraba said of why he wanted to join the fraternity.

Landon Killion and Andrew Norrie are two expansion consultants from the fraternity’s national chapter who are working at the University as coaches and mentors in hopes of reinvigorating the fraternity.

Norrie said he hopes energy from new recruits, support from alumni and learning from past years’ mistakes will make the fraternity more successful in its new life on campus.  

“We learned what to do [and] what not to do,” Norrie said.

The national chapter wanted to reestablish the fraternity at the University in 2017, but decided to wait until 2018 to provide additional recruitment support from the national chapter, said Alex Atkinson, director of expansion for the fraternity’s national chapter. 

“[Phi Delta Theta] is going to be new on campus, so it’s going to have that new car smell,” Killion said.  

Killion said he hopes the opportunity for members to offer input regarding building their own fraternity will boost recruitment.  

“This is a founding father experience, it’s not your typical fraternity experience,” he said. 

Phi Delta Theta was established at the University in 1881. The fraternity was shut down in the 1990s, partly because many members left the University to fight in the Gulf War, according to previous MinnesotaDaily coverage. 

The chapter was reestablished in 2008 before closing again in 2016. 

“Our legacy and long-standing history at the University of Minnesota is one that we are very excited to reinvigorate,” Atkinson said.