SRU to welcome Theta Chi fraternity back to campus in fall

Theta Chi members David Price and Riley Keffer

David Price, ’78, and a former Theta Chi brother and Riley Keffer, a junior secondary education major from Grove City, point out the bricks donated by Theta Chi alumni in the courtyard of the Russel Wright Alumni House. Keffer is leading efforts to bring the social fraternity back to SRU after a 25-year hiatus.

April 24, 2017

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - The return of a social fraternity to Slippery Rock University this fall is reminiscent of turning the ignition of a fondly remembered classic car. All it takes is a single spark to ignite pride and restore fond memories.

For the first time since the late 1980s, the Theta Chi fraternity will be accepting new members to join its SRU colony, which is a precursor to becoming fully recognized as a chapter.

Ten members - including lead organizers Riley Keffer, a junior secondary education major from Grove City, and Marshall Tuten, a sophomore economics major from Slippery Rock - are needed to "recolonize."

"It's a rare occasion, so it's exciting for the campus," said Jayne Piskorik, program coordinator for Greek life and student organizations. "We're hoping that their presence will reinvigorate the Greek life on campus by breaking stereotypes and focus on academics, service and risk management."

Theta Chi was approved to colonize by SRU's Interfraternity Council last September, becoming the first organization to meet such approval in more than a decade. There are currently seven fraternities and six sororities at SRU comprised of nearly 400 students.

Theta Chi met the council's approval, according to Piskorik, based on aligned values and the fraternity's initiative to attract members who are engaged as student leaders.

"We're looking to not be the typical fraternity that people think of when they think of Greek life," said Keffer, who also is a member of the University Program Board and was recently elected vice president of financial affairs for the Slippery Rock Student Government Association. "We also want to be involved with many different clubs outside of our fraternity and to be a part of the leadership on campus within those organizations."

Theta Chi may be new to current SRU students, but will seem very familiar to many alumni. A Theta Chi chapter existed at the University from 1964-89. Among the 160 engaged alumni are David Price, '78, who serves on the fraternity's alumni recolonization committee.

"The key is having the brotherhood of the past," said Price, who was the first minority student to join Theta Chi's SRU chapter in the 1970s. "Just having that unified force of the seniority of alumni connecting with the neophytes will help how they are formed from here out."

Backing Theta Chi's return are donations totaling at least $12,000 to help subsidize alumni events and dues for new members, which can be a hurdle, particularity for growing new chapters.

"It's not just joining a club," Price added. "They are joining an elite force of men who believe what Theta Chi stands for and making something (the national fraternity and SRU) can be proud of."

Founded in 1856, Theta Chi is one of the oldest men's college fraternities in North America. With 148 active chapters, it boasts more than 8,000 undergraduate members and it aims to provide its members with an enjoyable and fulfilling collegiate experience that also prepares them for rewarding, successful lives after graduation.

Students interested in joining Theta Chi for the fall 2017 semester can contact Keffer at: rxk1023@sru.edu.

For more information about Theta Chi, visit: https://www.thetachi.org/.


MEDIA CONTACT: Justin Zackal | 724.738.4854 | justin.zackal@sru.edu