Iota Alpha Reinstalled at UNC-Wilmington
Fourteen years after closing in 2007, Iota Alpha Chapter was successfully reinstalled at the University of North Carolina Wilmington at 1 p.m. on December 11, 2021, at the Courtyard Marriott in Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach, NC. International Marshal Alan Copeland served as the Presiding Officer and led the initiation of Iota Alpha’s 36 Rechartering Members:
Ansel Anderson (2025), Patrick Benvenuto (2025), Donny Campuzano (2025), Caden Chipps (2023), Tyler Dameron (2022), Jack Davidson (2023), Logan Dimier (2023), Nick Fairnack (2025), Andrew Hayes (2023), Ronald Jackson (2023), Christopher Janovetz (2022), Alex Jewell (2025), Carson Lorek (2023), Gabriel Lynn (2025), Colby Lyon (2024), Cole McCarthy (2023), Daniel McGeever (2025), Jeffrey McManus (2025), Riley Nance (2025), Obinna Nwosu (2025), Hayden Nyagah (2024), Jake Peterson (2025), Mason Phinney (2022), Ben Poirier (2025), William Rueh (2025), Smith Scholtz (2025), Jacob Schuvart (2024), Grant Shipley (2025), Brett Simmons (2025), Riley Simpson (2025), Grayson Slowey (2025), Matthew Tinnell (2023), Rayhaan Winqvist (2025), Riyaadh Winqvist (2022), Maurisio Zaldivar (2023), and Griffin Zwack (2025).
International Vice President Creig Andreasen and Past International Vice President Al Calarco were also in attendance along with Senior Director of Growth Zack Brown and Director of Engagement Erik VanDenBerghe. They were assisted by Delta Rho/NC State’s Irving Hay (1979) and Robert Updegrave, Jr. (1990) and Former International Headquarters staff member Rob Bergeron (Eta Lambda/Virginia Tech 1989).
Iota Alpha alumni were also present throughout the day to extend a Helping Hand and show support for the new chapter including original Charter Members Matt Britt (2000), Jason Collins (2000), Gerad Johnson (1999), and Sam D. Prestipino (2002) as well as Casey Broadway (2005), Tom Oberleiton (2005), Dustin Dove (2005), Jared Brown (2010), Scott Howard (2003), and Alumni Corporation President and Adviser Abner Diaz-Lao’ (2005).
Following the private Reinstallation Ceremony, a reception was held at Wilmington’s Dockside Restaurant with special guest Lindsey Trione, Assistant Director of Fraternity & Sorority Life at UNC-Wilmington. Zack Brown opened the reception and spoke on the importance of treating new members, brothers, and fellow students with respect, while International Vice President Creig Andreasen hit specifically on Theta Chi Fraternity’s successes and accomplishments during the pandemic. Former Iota Alpha Colony President Gabriel Lynn (2023) thanked guests for attending and reflected on the challenges and successes the group faced as a colony. Abner Diaz provided a perspective from Iota Alpha alumni and explained how proud he and other Iota Alpha alumni were to see the chapter reinstalled.
In recognition of his exceptional efforts and service to reinstall Iota Alpha, International Marshal Al Copeland presented the David E. DeVol Award to Abner Diaz-Lao’.
Brown believes these newly initiated men are in this chapter for all the right reasons. “None of these men had aspirations to join a fraternity when enrolling at UNC-Wilmington,” he explained. “They found each other and wanted to break the stereotypes of fraternities that currently exist on their campus and across the country. These men have committed themselves to doing fraternity the right way.”
The original interest group for Iota Alpha was formed during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 by Obinna Nwousa (2025) who shared mutual friendships with Salim Koroma (Delta Rho/NC State 2022) and Former Field Executive and current Iota Alpha Chapter Adviser Kofi Ladans (Beta Omicron/Cincinnati 2018). The interest group grew organically, leveraging friendship circles and looking for young men who had entrepreneurial spirits, innate leadership qualities, and who wanted to take a chance and start something brand-new on their campus.
With recruitment initiatives in full force and formal recognition processes underway with the university’s IFC and other entities, the group was recolonized on April 24, 2021. The colony began to recruit outside of friend circles and looked outward to campus, promoting a culture of hard work, determination, and going above the status quo of established fraternal organizations on campus. The colony attracted men who may have considered other fraternities during the recruitment process but were discouraged by the treatment of their new members and/or women as well as their low priority on academics.
While functioning as the Iota Alpha Colony, the group recruited 15 new men during fall 2021—the third highest of all men’s fraternities. Iota Alpha Colony participated in multiple highway clean-up initiatives, participated in a Ronald McDonald philanthropy event held by Alpha Delta Pi as part of their annual “Low-country Boil,” developed a partnership with nearby Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune by volunteering with a STEM day camp aimed at children living on the military base, packing food regularly at a local food pantry, and volunteering with the Miracle League of Wilmington marking sports participation accessible to all regardless of disability.
For Colony President Gabriel Lynn, the reinstallation of Iota Alpha Chapter is the result of many months of hard work and determination. “We’ve spent more than a year with this goal in mind,” remarked Lynn. “Achieving this goal was tremendous and having alumni from the original chapter present and seeing them happy meant so much to me. Meeting the Grand Chapter members and International Headquarters staff and seeing their appreciation for the Fraternity gave me so much hope for the future of the chapter.”
Moving forward, Iota Alpha wants to continue their focus on maintaining high-quality membership, but eventually they hope to become the largest chapter on campus. Iota Alpha Chapter has participated in their very first intramural league in Spring 2022 and hopes to take the championship in the final game of the season.
Be sure to follow Iota Alpha on Instagram to help support the reinstalled chapter and keep yourself informed of their progress towards becoming the biggest chapter on campus! Check out this Flickr album to see photos from the reinstallation.