Positive Momentum

Bob Marchesani


We are halfway through my term as National President! I want to reflect on where things are with the Fraternity, what things have gone well, and where things need to improve.

First, Phi Kappa Psi’s general sense of energy and positive momentum is encouraging. We had a good year of normalized performance in all sectors of the Fraternity – undergraduate operations, alumni engagement, and finances (all the funds that underpin the success of the Fraternity – the Foundation, Permanent Fund, and Canonsburg Corporation). Thank you to all the staff and countless volunteers for a well-done job.

Our expansion efforts continue to pay off with re-chartering achieved at the University of Oregon and plans set to recharter at Illinois State University. Plus, we have active colonies at the University of Kentucky, Miami University, The College of New Jersey, Ohio State University, and Vanderbilt University. Exciting colony opportunities in the works will see Phi Psi returning to campuses with inactive chapters and planting the Fraternity flag at some tremendous new campuses.

The Fraternity’s Strategic Plan, rolled out at the 2022 GAC, drives most decision-making on the prioritization of resources and the Fraternity leadership team’s attention. Our professional Headquarters staff and a cadre of elected and appointed officers will execute the plan’s implementation. Thank you to all the Brothers who have answered the call to serve the Fraternity by leveraging their considerable talent.

Despite the successes, we still have challenges. You can help. We continue to have a gap in the level of alumni and adult volunteers serving as house corporate officers, chapter level advisors, and alumni association leaders. To get more involved in Phi Psi, please get in touch with Matthew Bratsch Rowan ’11, the Fraternity’s Director of Volunteer Engagement, at Matthew.Bratsch@phikappapsi.com.

Keeping with this issue’s theme of connection and with our Fraternity’s Strategic Plan, increasing alumni engagement, in general, continues to be a goal for Phi Psi. Engagement is one of those tricky words that can mean something different depending on the person. To me, from an alumnus’ perspective, these questions can say a lot about your level of engagement as a Phi Psi alumnus:

  1. Do you say, “I am a Phi Psi,” or do you say, “I was a Phi Psi?”
  2. Are you connected with Phi Psi Brothers from your era in school and your chapter in general with brothers in the area where you live?
  3. Are you reading this message? Do you read or at least review most of each issue of The Shield? Do you read Fraternity communications sent by U.S. Mail or electronic mail?
  4. Do you financially support your chapter, the Fraternity, and the Phi Psi Foundation?
  5. Do you designate Founders Day in any way – even simply remembering that February 19 is the date Phi Psi was founded in 1852?
  6. Do you regularly or occasionally attend Phi Psi events in your area or your chapter?
  7. Are you or have you been a volunteer for the Fraternity at the local or national level?
  8. Have you attended one or more biennial conventions of the Fraternity – the Grand Arch Council?

To be candid, less than five percent of our alumni brothers can answer most of the questions above in the affirmative. However, imagine if we can increase that rate by several percentage points. Think of the influx of talent and funding that would be available to advance Phi Psi. Please increase your engagement in Phi Psi and encourage other alumni brothers to do the same. The Fraternity needs you and as many alumni brothers as possible to be actively engaged.

Phi Psi’s new undergraduate members of the Fraternity’s Executive Council – the District Archons – have been elected, and you can learn about them in the Chapter News section of this issue of The Shield. However, I want to recognize and thank the outgoing group of Archons for their service and dedication to Phi Kappa Psi. They were outstanding representatives of undergraduate and alumni members in their respective districts. Thank you, Jack Kalina RIT ’19, District I; Philippe Boulas Case Western Reserve ’20, District II; Sam Wertz Indiana ’20, District III; Brendan Lohan Ole Miss ’19, District IV; Jake Ryan Kansas ’20, District V; and Connor Yowell Oregon State ’19, District VI.

Lastly, I encourage all brothers to attend the 2024 Grand Arch Council that will take place July 10-14, 2024, in Minneapolis. The GAC was initially scheduled in Minneapolis in July 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic changed those plans. Minneapolis is not only an excellent place for us to meet and conduct the business of our Fraternity, but also a city that offers a lot of exciting things to do and see. I invite you to attend the GAC, whether it will be your first or 21st convention.

I am always proud to be a Phi Psi and particularly proud to serve as your National President.

Bob Marchesani, S.W.G.P.