West Liberty University welcomed its first national/international fraternity recently as Phi Delta Theta joined the Hilltop Greek community.

From left: first row: advisor Dolph Santorine, Social Chair Doug Walters, Vice President Shaun Krago, Tyler Self, Tony Massa, Justin de la Cruz, CMU, Brandon Galici, Brian Thompson, Jeff Holbrook, second row: Kyle Lutz, Dylan Donovall, Nick Preston, Allen Yoho, Alex Hayden, Zachary Kirkwood, Ryan Moore, Nelson Arroyo, Justin Caldwell, Brandon Pethtel, Frederick Cochran, Joshua Lanham, Jay Roberts, Andrew Arensberg, Evan Newman, Tommy Martin and Stewart Lane. Missing from photo are Ryan Asbury, Tannon Mossor, Michael Vani, Taylor Rice, Charles Wyle II and Devin Harrison.

From left, first row: advisor Dolph Santorine, Social Chair Doug Walters, Vice President Shaun Krago, Tyler Self, Tony Massa, President Justin de la Cruz, Member-at-Large Chris Brussalis, Brandon Galici, Brian Thompson, Jeff Holbrook, second row: Kyle Lutz, Dylan Donovall, Nick Preston, Allen Yoho, Alex Hayden, Zachary Kirkwood, Ryan Moore, Nelson Arroyo, Justin Caldwell, Brandon Pethtel, Frederick Cochran, Joshua Lanham, Jay Roberts, Andrew Arensberg, Evan Newman, Tommy Martin and Stewart Lane. Absent are Ryan Asbury, Tannon Mossor, Michael Vani, Taylor Rice, Charles Wyle II and Devin Harrison.

“West Virginia Gamma Colony of Phi Delta Theta is extremely excited about becoming the first International Fraternity on their campus at West Liberty University,” said President Justin de la Cruz, senior art therapy major from Weirton.

The colonization ceremony took place on Saturday, Jan. 16 and was conducted by General Council Member-at-Large Chris Brussalis. WLU faculty coordinator is Anthony Massa, information systems specialist.

Twenty-nine men who were already members of the local fraternity, Delta Zeta Pi, a strong fraternity operating at WLU since 2005, became the new members of Phi Delta Theta, explained Massa.

Family, friends, alumni and fellow members of the West Liberty University Greek community were in attendance at the ceremony, held in the West Liberty University Chapel, to show their support

“The Greek community at West Liberty is taking great strides in growing the presence of national/international organizations on campus. Currently, Chi Omega and Alpha Xi Delta are the other international organizations on the campus,” said Massa.

In his colonization speech, President De La Cruz spoke to the men about becoming the greatest versions of themselves and spreading this mentality into the Ohio Valley community. The colony members include members from the football, tennis and track and field programs. They are extremely involved on campus through student government and university housing. The new colony also has members who are enlisted in the United States Army.

West Virginia Gamma is excited to begin their journey toward installation, added de la Cruz, explaining that the first semester is considered the colonization stage, followed by a installation banquet, planned for October.

Phi Delta Theta was built on three pillars established by “The Immortal Six” in 1848 at Miami University, according to its website.

The pillars are: cultivation of friendship among its members, individual acquirement of a high degree of mental culture and the attainment of a high standard of morality. For more information, visit Phi Delta Theta’s webpage, or contact de la Cruz at [email protected]