December 9, 2014: Boone, N.C.—In accordance with Phi Kappa Tau’s expansion schedule, the Fraternity has colonized a group at Appalachian State in Boone, N.C. On Nov. 22, 56 men went through the Colonization Ceremony and took the Oath of Associate Membership.
“Appalachian State is a mission-driven institution,” said Director of Expansion Alex Koehler, Mount Union ’07. “Students there already believe in learning, leading and serving. The union we have created with Appalachian State has built a venue for men to turn their values into action.”
Expansion consultants Tommy Reisinger, Kent State ’12, and Logan Lukacs, Baldwin Wallace ’10, arrived on campus in mid-October to help with the colonization effort, but the ball began rolling before that. Colony President Robert Purcell, Appalachian State AM, and other students began recruiting men to join their interest group at the end of the spring semester.
“Above all, I formed the group because I saw it as a once in a lifetime opportunity to make an impact on the campus of Appalachian and in the community of Boone,” Purcell said.
Prior to Reisinger and Lukacs getting to Boone, the interest group had already started to bond. Since the beginning, the men have been participating in community service events and brotherhood activities, especially ones outdoors.
“The majority of our recruiting as an interest group took place outdoors, whether it was backpacking, hiking or hanging out at nearby cabins because so many of us share similar passions and respects for the outdoors,” Purcell said. “On any given day you can find Phi Taus engaging in outdoor activities here in the Appalachians ranging from hiking and fishing to alpine skiing and snowboarding at local mountain resorts.”
The benefits of all the time together were evident from the first time the expansion consultants met with the interest group.
“They already had a good brotherhood started, so they were a step ahead,” Reisinger said.
Leading up to the official colonization, Reisinger and Lukacs were able to help recruit additional members through one-on-one meetings and recruitment events, including a billiards night, dinners and soccer games. The colony is well rounded with members involved in a variety of organizations, such as the ski team, student orientation and Hillel.
“Everybody has their own style but we all mesh together,” said Colony Vice President Brandon Dylewski, Appalachian State AM. “We all take pride in being gentlemen as well as being the best we can be. I believe that each of these men are men of character on our campus.”
The colony is already building its reputation through community service and philanthropy. From volunteering for Sigma Kappa’s Halloween philanthropy event to participating in a blood drive to helping Alpha Phi with Operation Christmas Child, the men are committed to living their values.
“It is important to remain involved on campus from an organizational standpoint and we are doing so by participating in events hosted by other student organizations,” Purcell said. “We also hope to serve as a bond in the community to bring unity and cooperation amongst other organizations in greek life.”
Having a core group in place allowed the expansion consultants to spend a good portion of their five weeks on campus developing the members and preparing them to successfully take on the challenges of the colony process.
“With their momentum and dedication to being different, I truly believe that this group has the potential to help raise the bar for fraternities at Appalachian State,” Lukacs said.
Now that they are officially a colony, the men could not be more excited about what’s next.
“The gift of Phi Tau is such a privilege,” Purcell said. “To be the first men of Appalachian State to receive the gift is truly an honor.”
Appalachian State colony members at the Colonization Ceremony.