Phi Kappa Theta Wins Prestigious Founders Cup for Sixth Time
In a nod to its commitment to core values, Phi Kappa Theta, a longstanding fraternity at WPI, was awarded the prestigious Founders Cup last month for a sixth time. The Founders Cup is awarded every two years to the chapter that best exemplifies the national fraternity's values and its core development areas—fraternal, leadership, spiritual, societal, and intellectual—throughout the year while going above and beyond even those expectations.
“I am beyond grateful and thankful for this wonderful achievement. I am proud of our chapter members and the work that they put into this past year to make this goal a reality,” says WPI Chapter President Brandon Persons ’22. “They are an amazing group of guys to lead as president.”
In addition to the Founders Cup, the fraternity took home five other awards from the Phi Kappa Theta National Conference in New Orleans: Spiritual Pillar Award, Fraternal Pillar Award, Societal Pillar Award, Leadership Pillar Award, and Gold Chapter Award. “The awards are amazing and the recognition for WPI is also fantastic,” says Persons, who attended the event. It is not only recognition for the WPI chapter of Phi Kappa Theta but also for the way that the Greek community challenges us to live our values.
“Our values are what define and drive Phi Kappa Theta - MA Lambda Chapter at WPI. Each of our brothers strives to live by, exemplify, and uphold our chapter's values: passion, dedication, leadership, integrity, and humility, within their daily lives both on campus and within the community,” Persons says. “Without our values, our chapter would not be able to foster the exceptional men that leave WPI every single year from Phi Kappa Theta - MA Lambda.”
Some examples of the fraternity’s outreach include its participation in the national Walk to End Alzheimer’s and helping local nonprofits such as the Boys and Girls Club as part of Phi Kappa’s Work on Worcester project. In addition, the group picks up trash in Elm Park, annually, hosted and trained a guide dog for the Guide Dog Foundation in 2018. The brothers are currently training another dog, Leo.
Dean of Undergraduate Studies Art Heinricher is the fraternity’s advisor and says serving in that capacity has been a gift. “The members are truly committed to the mission of the fraternity. They truly believe in the values of integrity and humility,” he says. “They have also taught me a great deal, one chapter meeting at a time, one trustee meeting at a time, about what it means to ‘lead through influence.’”
In addition to the Chapter awards, WPI and Phi Kappa Theta alum Matt Runkle ‘11 was selected as Phi Kappa Theta’s national fraternal president. Last year, alum and trustee Phil Ryan ’65 ‘95—who has served WPI’s Board of Trustees and was the university’s interim president from 2013-2104—was recognized at the national level with the Man of Achievement Award. The fraternity hopes to honor Ryan locally in the new academic year, as he was unable to travel at the time to receive the award in person due to COVID.