During the weekend of April 11-13 2008, I had the privilege of attending the Chi Delta chapter’s 35th anniversary celebration, orchestrated and run by the Chi Delta Alumni Association (the well-organized, Carolina-BBQ flavored equivalent of PUSOG). The anniversary celebrated the continued existence of the chapter, reunitde some of the oldest alumni, and put the younger alumni and active brothers back into touch with those who have drifted apart over the decades.
This event, which was in planning for the past two years, represented an excellent opportunity to meet many of the founding members of Psi Upsilon Chi Delta and Chi Delta Phi, the local fraternity which formed the basis for the Chi Delta. It also served as a shining example of everything to do right in welcoming our own alumni back to the chapter for the Gamma Tau 40th Anniversary, which is just under 2 years out now. The short trip up to Durham gave me new hope and vision for how to do both a one-off celebration and build a lasting relationship with our own alumni.
The weekend itself was packed with organized activity and ample opportunity to mingle. Early risers enjoyed a Saturday morning golf tournament which, despite some threatening weather, had great turnout. As a counterpoint, the traditional Thunderball Foosball Tournament was a surprising success, drawing out so many competitors that several doubles teams (comprised mainly of undergrads) bowed out after witnessing the fierce skills of their elders. Informal mixers on Friday and Saturday nights gave those at Section a great time to sit down and have long conversations, serious and not, between actives and alumni of all ages. Dinner at Bullock’s BBQ, a local favorite, and Sunday brunch in section let the shy folks sit down and chat as well.
The capstone event of the weekend was a cocktail mixer and banquet, held at the Millennium Hotel near Duke Campus. The mixer, featuring a few free drinks and plenty of storytelling, gave way to a delicious dinner with speeches from alumni, CDAA officers and the curent undergraduate leadership. The group (with songbooks for spouses thoughtfully provided) also sang several songs, and had three talented actives sing a new song for the assembled alumni.