Salisbury, MD - On March 10, 2018, Theta Chi Fraternity installed the latest chapter in the Kappa series -- the Kappa Eta Chapter in Salisbury, MD. This is the Fraternity’s fifth chapter installed in the state of Maryland.
The idea to start a chapter in Salisbury came from Jacob Fisher (Iota Sigma/Towson 2018), who transferred over from the University of Maryland during the fall 2015 semester. Upon arriving on campus, he realized he missed the Fraternity and quickly worked in recruiting men to help start a chapter. He was able to amass 12 men he had met on campus and in classes, and introduced the idea of starting a new fraternity at Salisbury. Even though the men had never met one another, they were intrigued and decided to hop onboard with the idea. Field Executive Jermaine Merritt (Epsilon Tau/Stephen F. Austin 2015) was dispatched to Maryland to help the interest group in building a basis to transition into a colony. In May 2016, Chief Operating Officer Ray Vanlanot (Alpha Iota/Indiana 2008) travelled out to Salisbury to lead the colonization ceremony that saw 13 men become pledges of the Fraternity.
Over the next school year, the colony gradually grew while building a foundation to become a successful chapter. Even though the men faced challenges along the way, they were able to attain more men in efforts to hitting their goal to install. By the end of the fall 2017 semester, they submitted their petition for installation to the Grand Chapter. Their petition was approved and the Kappa Eta Chapter was installed on March 10, 2018.
The installation ceremony was held at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center in Salisbury, MD. It was presided over by Chief Operating Officer Ray Vanlanot, with the assistance of Director of Recruitment and Expansion Taylor Dahlem (Zeta Rho/Kentucky 2015), Field Executive John Schoenle (Delta Pi/Indiana State 2017), and collegians from Iota Sigma/Towson. Following the installation, a banquet was held at Poplar Hill Mansion in Salisbury. Attendees for the event included those listed above along with parents of the new brothers.
At the banquet, Ray Vanlanot remarked about the integrity of the group while John Schoenle spoke about how, through the situation they faced on campus, the experience has forged the men into leaders. Both past President Eric Lopez, and current President Kevin Bedwell, spoke to their excitement on becoming a chapter and promoting Theta Chi in Salisbury.
“Installing as the Kappa Eta Chapter culminated two years of hard work and strife our members endured together,” stated chapter President Kevin Bedwell. “The sense of satisfaction and accomplishment we felt that day is something each of us will remember throughout our lives, and we are proud and honored to finally be able to call ourselves brothers of Theta Chi."
Founded in 1856, Theta Chi Fraternity is a men's collegiate fraternity with more than 185,000 initiated members and has established 236 chapters across North America. Leadership development, personal development, and service to alma mater are fundamental to Theta Chi Fraternity's mission.