Theta Chi's return to the University of Richmond officially began this past weekend. Twenty-two undergraduates officially became new members at the Omicron colonization ceremony, held on Sunday, April 22, at the Cannon Memorial Chapel on campus. Earlier that morning, a brunch was hosted by the Omicron alumni at the Heilman Dining Center.
Associate Executive Director Ben Hill served as presiding officer and was joined by Otis Brown (Omicron/Richmond 1953), Steven Farbstein (Omicron/Richmond 1983), John Girardi (Omicron/Richmond 1966), and Ray Heath (Eta Kappa/James Madison 2000). Brother Brown is also a member of the University of Richmond board of trustees. The ceremony concluded with a reception at the colonys lodge.
Plans to bring the chapter back to Richmond were put into motion by Robert Lee, who contacted the International Headquarters in October 2010. Lee was introduced to John Girardi, Regional Director TJ Dolan and past Leadership and Education Consultant Jason Carmichael (Gamma Chi/Randolph-Macon 2008), who advised him on how to build an interest group. Lee recruited his roommates, Calum Mackay and Ryan Dickerson, and together they recruited additional members.
Independent of Lees efforts, two other undergraduates Ryan Johnson and Stefan St. John also saw a need for a new kind of fraternity at Richmond. In January 2011, they contacted the Headquarters and were introduced to Lee and his group. The two merged and continued recruiting through the spring and fall semesters. In October 2011, an official interest group received formal recognition from the International Headquarters. Omicron had been inactive since 1996.
In addition to the new members, approximately 20 Omicron alumni and representatives from Nu/Hampden-Sydney, Gamma Chi/Randolph-Macon, Zeta Beta/Adrian, Eta Kappa/James Madison, Eta Lambda/Virginia Tech, Theta Xi/VCU, Iota Alpha/UNC-Wilmington, and Iota Lambda/Longwood attended as well.
Established in 1830, the University of Richmond is a private liberal arts university on the outskirts of Richmond, VA. U.S. News & World Report listed it as the nations No. 27 best liberal arts college, and Bloomberg Businessweek ranked its undergraduate business school No. 12. Of its approximately 3,000 undergraduate students, 36 percent were members of a Greek-letter society. The University of Richmond is home to seven NIC-affiliated fraternities and five NPC-affiliated sororities and womens fraternities.
Want to bring Theta Chi to a new campus? Check out our Expansion page to learn how, or e-mail Director of Recruitment and Expansion JD Ford.