Published: July 28, 2020

Fraternity for eternity

The following article appeared on July 25, 2020, via the Coeur d'Alene Press ( It was reprinted with permission from Mike Patrick, Managing Editor. The article, written by Devin Weeks, features James Trayford (Epsilon Kappa/Idaho 2020).

UI 2020 grad named Theta Chi Resolute Man

Going to college can be daunting, especially when you don’t really know anyone on campus.

At the start of his higher education journey, James Trayford joined the Theta Chi Fraternity at the University of Idaho and immediately knew he was where he was meant to be.

“It’s the place where I found the future groomsmen in my wedding. It’s the place where I have alumni I’ve connected with for advice and mentorship in regards to a career,” Trayford, of Post Falls, said Wednesday.

“Fraternity really transcends college,” he continued. “It’s definitely a lifelong experience. It’s not something you sign up for for a year or two — it’s something you sign up for for life. The friendships, the memories, the connections. They follow you everywhere.”

Trayford, 21, is a 2020 U of I graduate who majored in advertising and minored in marketing. He loves people, and he loves the world of communications and advertising.

Trayford’s innate ability to connect with others led him to flourish in the fraternity setting, as well as thrive in many leadership and advisory roles in his four years at the university. As a freshman, he was elected to serve as the recruitment chairman and was responsible for enlisting new members to Theta Chi. He then was elected to serve as the vice president of health and safety, overseeing wellness and safety programming for members, pledges and the greater campus community.

“Right as I joined, the thing that stood out to me, the word I would use is, ‘belonging,’” Trayford said. “Our fraternity really prides itself on meeting people where they’re at in life and giving people a place to belong on campus.”

This was just the beginning for the Post Falls High School grad, who would go on to become president of his chapter as well as president of the Interfraternity Council, the peer-governing organization for the nearly 20 fraternities on campus.

His ambition and extensive involvement again garnered Trayford accolades within the fraternity community when he earned the Fraternity President and Member of the Year awards. Recently, he was named Theta Chi’s Resolute Man, an esteemed honor reserved for those who represent the bright future of the fraternity.

Trayford described it as the “Eagle Scout” for Theta Chi. This year only about 10 students of 8,500 nationwide earned the Resolute Man title.

“It’s really fulfilling to me to have a recognition through an organization I love and care about that also transfers to a future career,” Trayford said. “It’s really cool to be able to quantify what my experience means and have that recognition that sums it up.”

On Aug. 1, the U of I will be celebrating its graduates with personalized congratulatory videos that each grad will receive via email.

Trayford said he, like many grads, was disappointed to learn live commencement ceremonies would not take place.

“You spend four years working toward something and then you get to the end and it gets canceled,” he said.

But they have come to terms with it, and Trayford said the celebration is not just about the pomp and circumstance.

It’s in the legacy the grads are leaving behind.

“The class of 2020 is unique and special,” he said. “It will be something we’ll never forget, and it forces myself and my peers to think a little harder about the amazing experience we had while we were on campus.”

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