It was a battle on the hardwood. The Georgetown College Tigers were taking on the University of the Cumberlands Patriots. Two top NAIA, Mid-South Region rivals going head-to-head.

I’ll admit, NAIA basketball doesn’t draw the largest crowds, but a group of Phi Taus took this opportunity to embark on a road trip. You might think these brothers were a group of undergraduates, but you would be wrong. In addition to myself (a loyal Georgetown alumnus), the group consisted of Foundation Trustee Buzz Green, Ole Miss ’66, CEO Tim Hudson, Truman State ’97, and National Service Advisor Doug Sitzler, Miami ’06 (a proud graduate of Cumberland and one of the honorary initiates during our Centennial Celebration).

The Tigers could not overcome the excellent three-point shooting from the Patriots that day, but the experience was what mattered most. During our time on the Georgetown campus, we walked over to the Phi Tau house where I intended to share a few stories from my undergraduate days.

When we arrived at the front doors (still adorned by a large painted Coat of Arms), we were greeted by a delegation of chapter members, led by Chapter President Corey Goad, Georgetown ’15. They welcomed us and took us on a tour, and as we walked through the hallways, Corey talked about his vision to grow the membership and improve the chapter.

I met Corey two years ago when he was a freshman. The chapter wasn’t performing up to standards, and it was evident that a strong leader was needed to right the ship. I could tell right away that Corey was a dedicated individual — a man of character.

Two years later, as I listened to Corey talk about his vision, I noticed that there was something different about this young man — something distinct.

Since joining Phi Tau, Corey has availed himself of a multitude of leadership opportunities. He has attended Regional Conferences (three years in a row) and Presidents Academy, and served as a delegate to the 2016 National Convention in Sacramento, California. On campus, he has made a name for himself as a resident director and as a delegate to the Student Government Association. These opportunities, coupled with the priceless experience of being the “CEO” of a growing fraternity chapter caused this man of character to develop into a man of distinction.

Corey’s story is not unlike my own. Without Phi Tau, I wouldn’t be where I am now. Little did I know that when I knelt in the lobby of the Delta Theta house, the acceptance of our values — our Cardinal Principles — would alter my life and develop me into the man I am today. Without Phi Tau, I would not have a strong network of brothers, not only from Georgetown but Ole Miss, Truman State, Miami and countless other chapters from coast-to-coast. I venture to guess these two points are true for you.

Developing Men of Character into Men of Distinction: It’s more than just a slogan; it is who we are.