Winter 2015 Quill & Scroll Cover Story
Concerted Effort to Grow KDR
By Joseph S. Rosenberg, Xi Alpha ’96
At the end of the 2007-2008 academic year we had 712 undergraduate Brothers within the Fraternity. We began a concerted effort to grow the National Fraternity, both internally and externally.
Education and mentoring were the key components to address the area of internal growth for the Fraternity. We completely revamped the Education Consultant program, overhauling the criteria we use in selecting the staff, in the training that they receive before beginning to work with the chapters, in the frequency with which they work with the chapters, and in the resources made available to them to work properly with our undergraduates. Additionally, we took a hard look at our education programs themselves. In collaboration with the Education Committee, the mission of our education philosophy was reviewed and revised to address key areas of focus to make KDR more relevant on college campuses. After a careful review of our programs we discontinued the Wilderness Institute, which only focused on a small group of Brothers, and developed the Consuls Academy, an educational program exclusively for the newly elected Consuls. The Consuls Academy is held every year in January before the start of the spring semester. This allows the Consuls to obtain the training and develop the skills they need to be successful leaders on their respective college campuses and to effectively lead their chapters.
After addressing areas of improvement to assist our internal growth we developed an ambitious external growth program within our strategic plan as well. The plan focused on recolonization of key chapters that were closed; it also looked to develop new chapters that were either geographically accessible to existing chapters, or in the Southern and Western regions of our country. To date, we have successfully recolonized our Gamma Beta Chapter (Virginia Tech), Xi Alpha Chapter (Temple University), Omicron Alpha Chapter (Rutgers University), Sigma Chapter (Oregon State University) Theta Alpha Chapter (Slippery Rock University) and Iota Chapter (Bucknell University). The focus on the external growth has been driven by the concepts of Dynamic Recruiting, and through providing the recruits a sound educational program that details the steps they need to take each week of the recolonization process.
We are pleased to report the results of our hard work to expand of the undergraduate population within the National Fraternity is a growth rate of 134% (1,669) from our 2007-2008 level of 712 undergraduate Brothers.
This growth has allowed us the flexibility and ability to further improve our staffing, office operations and educational programming for our Brothers. Earlier this spring semester we chartered our third chapter in Texas at Angelo State University. Our Eta Gamma Chapter at Angelo State was another step in focusing on our growth South and West which is in line with the growth patterns of college undergraduates nationwide. In keeping with our commitment to recolonizations at key chapters that meet the criteria we have established for growth, we are in the process of recolonizing our Lambda Beta Chapter (James Madison University) and Omega Alpha Chapter (Virginia Commonwealth University). It is expected that we will be chartering both of these chapters this upcoming fall semester. We also are currently working on preparing for recolonization efforts at Lambda Chapter (University of California at Berkeley) and Omega Chapter (Indiana University of Pennsylvania) during the 2015-2016 academic year. In addition we are in discussions with the administration at Lafayette College regarding a possible timetable for the recolonization of our Rho Chapter.
The men at the Lambda Beta Provisional Chapter are a great representation of the undergraduates we are attracting to the Brotherhood of Kappa Delta Rho. The grade point average of the Lambda Beta Provisional Chapter is above a 3.0; they have members involved in all facets of campus life, ranging from the band to student government, to athletic teams. Their Consul, Robert Sullivan is an exceptional student with a sharp focus on what the men of Lambda Beta need to accomplish this year. He is expecting that by the end of the academic year they will have grown to 75 men and submitted their petition for charter status to the National Board of Directors.
This growth does not happen in a vacuum and can only occur with an exceptional staff trained in the concepts of dynamic recruiting and committed to expanding the Brotherhood. It is through the dedication of Brothers such as Daniel Brookman, Tau Alpha ‘07; Shane Henry, Zeta Beta ’09; ,John Reynolds, Epsilon Beta ’09; Bryan Field, Beta Gamma ’11; Brad Ostermann, Beta Gamma ’12; Ben Leahy, Beta Gamma ’14; and Vaughn Emmons, Sigma ’13, serving as Educational Instructors and doing the heavy lifting by recruiting exceptional student leaders to become Brothers of Kappa Delta Rho.
As a result of these recent successes, we have been able to increase our commitment to internal and external growth and hire for the first time a Director of Growth. This position is responsible for coordinating external growth of the organization, for working closely with those chapters with under 20 members to improve their recruitment and increase their size by 40%, and for simply being a resource for our other chapters to improve their own recruitment efforts. After a nationwide search we hired Kathryn Planow to be our first Director of Growth. Before joining the staff of KDR she was the assistant executive director at Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority and previously the Associate Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life at Longwood University.
Our goal is to grow the National Fraternity to have, sustain, and maintain at a high level of service 2,500 undergraduate Brothers within 50 chapters. This will require some hard work but we are confident that it can be achieved. It will raise the average chapter size of a chapter of Kappa Delta Rho to 50 undergraduates. We are not that far from this goal. We believe the key is to continue to live our values and recruit like-minded undergraduates who place honor above all things.
You can download an electronic copy of the Winter 2015 Quill & Scroll that includes all of our feature stories by clicking HERE.