West Liberty University welcomed its first national/international fraternity recently as Phi Delta Theta joined the Hilltop Greek community.
"West Virginia Gamma Colony of Phi Delta Theta is extremely excited about becoming the first International Fraternity on their campus at West Liberty University," said the group's President, Justin de la Cruz, a senior art therapy major from Weirton.
The colonization ceremony took place Saturday, Jan. 16 and was conducted by General Council Member-at-Large Chris Brussalis. WLU faculty coordinator is Anthony Massa, information systems specialist.
Twenty-nine men who were already members of the local fraternity, Delta Zeta Pi, fraternity operating at WLU since 2005, became the new members of Phi Delta Theta, explained Massa.
Family, friends, alumni and fellow members of the West Liberty University Greek community were in attendance at the ceremony, held in the West Liberty University Chapel, to show their support.
In his colonization speech, President De La Cruz spoke to the men about becoming the greatest versions of themselves and spreading this mentality into the Ohio Valley community. The colony members include members from the football, tennis and track and field programs. They are extremely involved on campus through student government and university housing. The new colony also has members who are enlisted in the United States Army.
"West Virginia Gamma is excited to begin their journey toward installation," added de la Cruz, explaining that the first semester is considered the colonization stage, followed by a installation banquet, planned for October.
Phi Delta Theta was built on three pillars established by "The Immortal Six" in 1848 at Miami University, according to its web site.
The pillars are: cultivation of friendship among its members, individual acquirement of a high degree of mental culture and the attainment of a high standard of morality.