Published: February 7, 2024

Delta Phi Chapter Reinstalled at North Texas

By Greg Rush, Director of Communications

DENTON, TX – Theta Chi Fraternity is proud to announce the reinstallation of Delta Phi Chapter at the University of North Texas on November 18, 2023, after a four-year absence. The chapter was reinstalled with 42 Rechartering Members at UNT’s Center for Fraternity and Sorority Life. Attendees included International Secretary Al Copeland, International Historian Jim McMahon, and IHQ staff members Sr. Director of Growth Zack Brown and Growth Specialist Angel Rodriguez.

Delta Phi’s 42 Rechartering Members are Anthony Aguilar (2027), Ryan Amaro (2027), Kayden Bryant (2025), Henry Burvee (2026), Parker Campbell (2025), Kevin Cao (2026), Samuel Feeney (2025), George Form (2025), Jaxton Garrett-Spring (2027), James Garza (2024), Jack Gourgues (2026), Garwin Hansen (2027), Antonio Jefferson (2025), Zenford Jones, Jr. (2027), Gabe Lampa (2026), Gregory Little (2026), Eric Manuel, Jr. (2025), Adam Miller (2025), Liam Murphy (2026), Omar Najm (2025), Juan Nunez (2025), Mercer O’Connell (2026), Patrick Overton (2025), Joshua Patterson (2025), Ethan Phillips (2025), Ryan Rich (2025), Tyler Rodriguez (2024), Armando Sanchez, II (2026), Jonathan Shonkwiller (2027), Peyton Stanley (2027), Nathan Stiltner (2026), Brendan Swancutt (2027), Jason Talley (2024), Braden Thornton (2026), Stephen Thrasher (2026), Geohvanny Vargas (2026), Camilo Vasquez (2025), Trung Vu (2025), and Cameron Young (2025).

The colony/chapter advisory board includes Armando Vazquez (Delta Phi/North Texas 2008), Nicholas Romero (Delta Phi/North 2011), James Guillory (Theta Rho/McNeese State 2003), Jeff Hough (Sigma/Oregon State 1989), Tim Neary (Gamma Zeta/Oklahoma State 2019), and Ed Coker (Delta Phi/North Texas 1982).

Delta Phi's return began during fall 2022 when then-Growth Specialists Zach Russell and Dylan Inman arrived at the University of North Texas to meet with campus administrators and other students to identify high quality men to aid in the reestablishment of Theta Chi.

Zach and Dylan started out by laying the foundation within the community by visiting the IFC, each sorority on campus, the Dean of Students, and by coordinating closely with the Center for Fraternity and Sorority Life and the International Headquarters. Next, Zach and Dylan tabled in UNT’s student union and began reaching out to students through social media. Henry Burvee and Joshua Patterson signed their bids at a tabling event, then began to spread the gospel of the burgeoning new fraternity amongst their peers, and over the course of a month, eight more men signed up to become members.

Whether through mutual friends or relatives, many of the colony members had connections to Theta Chi brothers from other chapters including Delta Mu/Texas and Iota Kappa/Northern Arizona. These brothers spoke highly about their Theta Chi experiences in their own chapters. These connections, in conjunction with the good impressions left by Theta Chi alumni and International Headquarters staff, reassured the group and removed any doubts as they applied for recolonization with Theta Chi. 

In addition, the Fraternity’s maxim, “Alma Mater First and Theta Chi for Alma Mater,” its motto of An Assisting Hand, and ideals such as Truth, Temperance, and Tolerance all played a part in their decision to join Theta Chi. They truly hoped to become promoters of knowledge, advancers of culture, and builders of character in both their classrooms and future careers via the teachings of The Resolute Journey, Theta Chi’s pledge education program. During the initial stages of the colony, several of the Rechartering Members had previously pledged other organizations but withdrew their interest prior to initiation due to dissatisfaction with their experiences. Many factors led the men to start their own organization on campus—one they could shape, mold, and lead themselves while engaging men of the quality they sought. As the staff-led expansion period concluded, Theta Chi moved forward at North Texas on November 6, 2022, with 10 men.

The colony members established positive relationships with the other UNT fraternities and sororities and became an important part of the UNT Greek community. The colony members were multifaceted, with members also being involved in hall council, student government, the public relations student society, Phi Theta Kappa honors society, the American marketing association, hotel association, intramural basketball, club sailing, and the guitar club. The group also excelled in community service and philanthropy. Prior to the Recolonization Ceremony, the group won Delta Gamma’s Anchor Splash week in support of their Service for Sight program and they also organized their own G.I. Theta Chi philanthropy week in support of the USO. The colony also excelled in recruitment, quadrupling their chapter size in eight months. The group showed a significant a commitment to the Sacred Purpose Initiative by partnering with ItsOnUs to facilitate sexual assault prevention workshops, and from Livergy, a local foundation which provides education on the ongoing international opioid crisis. 

International Secretary Al Copeland spoke highly of the proceedings sharing, “Installations are always a good day for Theta Chi. We get to see the results of the hard work and dedication of our new brothers firsthand and celebrate their success with them. We see brothers from neighboring chapters and local alumni come to lend the Helping Hand for the ceremony. In the case of a Reinstallation like Delta Phi, we have the pleasure of welcoming back alumni from the chapter's earlier days as well. I also enjoyed seeing my longtime friend and brother Josh Harkins pin the Badge on his nephew, Jason Talley. Several of the new initiates invited their families to the Reinstallation Banquet after the ceremony, and it was a pleasure to be able to meet parents who support their son's decision. I was particularly impressed with the dedication and passion from our new chapter. Their excitement was contagious, and I look forward to watching Delta Phi's growth over the next year.”

During the banquet the Fraternity presented Chapter Adviser Armando Vazquez (Delta Phi/North Texas 2008) the David E. DeVol Award. Brother Vazquez shared, “I see big things from the group. We had the challenge of going from interest group to colony to a chapter but accomplished it in record time. We will soon have the chapter house to fill along with finalizing our plans for spring and fall rush – but these guys do not cower to any challenge and instead hits them head on. I only see us becoming bigger and stronger. Plus, we hope to sweep the Greek Awards this next spring which will show IFC and UNT Greek life that we are here to stay.”

Sr. Director of Growth Zack Brown remarked, “There were a lot of parents, significant others, and friends from the community who showed up to welcome these new brothers. Something unique about Texas Theta Chis is the way the other chapters in the state all support each other. Theta Eta/Sam Houston State came, all wearing cowboy hats of course, and Delta Mu/Texas made an appearance for the new initiates as well. We had a great time seeing the men of Delta Phi grow and develop, especially since they always outperformed their peers on campus operationally.” 

Jack Gourgues (2026) was initiated alongside his father, Brian Gourgues (2023). Brian is a 2000 alumnus of Northern Arizona University, currently working for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as an attaché to the U.S. Consulate in Lagos, Nigeria. After a close association with Delta Phi during their colony period, he helped them reach their goals and efforts for reinstallation by assisting with the construction of the chapter’s first set of tall, wooden letters by providing access to tools and supplies for their woodworking projects. He also helped plan the group’s 2023 summer hiking trip to New Mexico and Colorado

Josh Harkins (Delta Mu/Texas 1999) attended the day’s events and said, "It’s always great to be present when we initiate men into our brotherhood. It’s especially fulfilling to bring a chapter back to life or start a new story. This time, I had the rare privilege of being able to watch my nephew Jason Tally (2024) go through our Ritual and pin him with our Badge. It was a special moment for us as uncle and nephew – and now brothers. It was made more special by using the Badge my parents had ordered for me following my own initiation in 1996."

Reflecting on the full journey to reinstallation, Rechartering President Joshua Patterson said, “Delta Phi is lucky to have a rich history at the University of North Texas dating back to 1954. From philanthropy, to membership, to extracurriculars, and academics, the chapter has always been a contender for the best on campus. The colony process was one which seemed to be tedious and long, and yet one which, in retrospect, was a whirlwind for all involved. Even without currently having a chapter house, the men were able to recruit and educate a group larger than the average membership of UNT’s campus-based fraternities, and they did so in less than a year. This achievement should speak well of the group's character and role on campus. We are here to carry on the legacy which is left to us by bettering our campus, our community, our brothers, and in doing so, ourselves.”

Jason Talley (2024) stands in front of his uncle, Josh Harkins (Delta Mu/Texas 1999) (right), and International Secretary Al Copeland (left).

The future of Delta Phi Chapter is bright and will continue to add value to the North Texas community.

Congratulations to our new brothers, Welcome Back, and Go Mean Green!

Follow the current exploits of the chapter via their Instagram and click the name below to send notes of congratulations to Chapter President Joshua Patterson.