Posted by:Nick Hoke | Published: May 9, 2018

Kappa Theta/SUNY Geneseo Installed

Geneseo, NY - On April 22, 2018, Theta Chi Fraternity installed the Kappa Theta Chapter at SUNY Geneseo in Geneseo, NY. This is the Fraternity’s tenth active chapter in the state of New York.

During the fall 2016 semester, the International Headquarters was working with the school in hopes of building a colony after receiving an invitation to expand to the Geneseo campus. While on an early campus visit, Director of Recruitment and Expansion Taylor Dahlem (Zeta Rho/Kentucky 2015) met with Ryan McMillan, a SUNY Geneseo student intrigued by the opportunity of starting a fraternity. From that point on, Dahlem worked directly with Ryan to start building the group from the ground up.

Since this was the first time Theta Chi had been to Geneseo—a campus with a heavy local fraternity presence--constructing the group did present it challenges. McMillan attended Theta Chi’s Recruitment Book Camp in January 2017 and took the knowledge back to Geneseo to build a group of motivated men to help start the colony. Working mainly with Dahlem, the men formed a group that would rival most staff-led expansion projects. The men applied for colonization in late spring 2017 and were colonized in early September.

Over the next two semesters, the colony focused on building the group in order to charter by the end of the school year. They knew that once they reached 39 men, they would be able to submit their petition for Grand Chapter approval.

The reinstallation ceremony was held at Sturges Hall on the SUNY Geneseo campus. It was presided over by International Chaplain Creig Andreasen (Alpha Pi/Minnesota 1990) and included assistance from Chief Operating Officer Ray Vanlanot (Alpha Iota/Indiana 2008), Taylor Dahlem, Field Executives Matt Lynch (Zeta Pi/Old Dominion 2016) and Mitch Nolan (Delta Psi/Kansas 2017), alumni from Zeta Beta/Adrian, and collegians from Gamma Pi/Buffalo and Eta Chi/George Mason. The banquet that followed the reinstallation ceremony was also held at Sturges Hall.

Guests at the banquet included those listed above along with Associate Dean of Students for Fraternal Life and Off-Campus Services Wendi Kinney, and President of the SUNY Geneseo Intergreek Council Anna Gilbert. Speakers at the banquet included Creig Andreasen, Ray Vanlanot, Taylor Dahlem, Matt Lynch, and Wendi Kinney. During the banquet, local chapter awards were presented to the following brothers:

  • The Assisting Hand Award - Andrew Solowski (2019)
  • Senior of the Year – Ryan McMillan (2018)
  • Scholar of the Year – Tyler Waldriff (2020)
  • Brother of the Year – Michael Disla (2020) and James Howell (2019)

“When I was thinking about what we have accomplished, I realized the easiest way for me to describe it is to say that we are gardeners,” stated Chapter President Toby Wirth (2020). “We have done the dirty work (tilling the land, setting the soil, putting down the seed, etc). While this work is arguably the most challenging, it is of no surprise that it is extremely rewarding. Yes we have started the garden, but we here today have only watched the seedlings break through the soil. It is up to those that will come after us to help the plants blossom.”

Founded in 1856, Theta Chi Fraternity is a men's collegiate fraternity with more than 188,000 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.