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Phi Mu Delta recolonizes ONU chapter with fresh start

National fraternity Phi Mu Delta is the first to recolonize on campus, according to Phi Mu Delta executive director Tom Murphy.  After a three year hiatus, Phi Mu Delta feels that the time is right to return to the ONU campus, beginning a recolonization effort that will ultimately cost millions of dollars to complete.

Phi Mu Delta has received support from alumni and the university in their endeavor.  Their alumni network reportedly raised $15,000 for the fraternity. A portion of that was given away in the form of nine $500 book scholarships to ONU students.  

The supportive alumni and an invitation from the University to return were some of the reasons Phi Mu Delta is recolonizing.  Others had more to do with timing and getting a fresh start. Most of the members of the previous Phi Mu Delta class have graduated, creating conditions for a fresh start. Too, the sensitivities caused by the fraternity's departure have faded.  

"There's been enough time in absence," said Murphy. 

Recruiting for the fall class has already been completed, resulting in a first class of eighteen men. Murphy expects that number to increase as the fraternity becomes reestablished.  

Plans to house the chapter in Affinity are already in the works for next spring, provided there are enough members to fill an Affinity building. These measures are only meant to be temporary as plans to renovate the Phi Mu Delta house on the fraternity circle move forward.

While no definite time frame is set for construction or completion of the renovation effort, Murphy was able to give an estimate of the cost and schedule. He marked the project's cost at 1.2 million dollars.  

He also estimated that the project would be finished within three or four  years, stating that most of that time would be for fundraising and other logistics while the construction itself might only last one year.  However, Murphy was confident in stating that "the men who join now will live in a beautiful, brand new home."  

He was similarly confident in Phi Mu Delta's ability to fill a unique role on campus.  With four other fraternities already established, Murphy says that Phi Mu Delta's niche will be that of intimacy.  "There are five hundred members across the country," said Murphy. "I know all of them by name."  

Phi Mu Delta also expects to play a significant role in campus philanthropy.  Historically, Phi Mu Delta has been involved with the "Up 'til Dawn" campaign for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.  Murphy expects Phi Mu Delta to resume their role in that event, as well as in their previous work at the Ada food pantry.  

Philanthropy and the benefit that Phi Mu Delta can bring to the Greek community was stressed. Murphy emphasized that parties and not even Greek Week are important in the fraternity's function.  "That's not what it's about," said Murphy.  Instead, the improvement of self and society were put in highest esteem. "When we gather a group of men with a common goal, we can change the world," said Murphy.  

While such a statement is highly idealistic, Murphy's ideas of "changing the conversation about Greek life" may well be attainable. In lieu of parties and recruiting extravaganzas, Phi Mu Delta's representative asserts that the fraternity will be training young men to function as better members of society, equipped with the values and skills to enter a multicultural world.

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