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Founders’ Day 2020: A Letter from Aaron Otto and Rod Arnold

It was 130 years ago that our founding fathers met on a Wednesday night and signed a membership document creating the Delta Chi Fraternity at Cornell University.
On October 13th every year, our members reflect on all we have to be grateful for as a direct result of membership in Delta Chi. However, October 13th was just the first day for the Fraternity. What would have happened if our founders took the rest of the academic year off and instead tried to survive off the momentum of their single-day accomplishments? Like signing a bid card, the establishment of the Fraternity was only the first step, not the last.

These are unusual times. We are a social organization operating during social distancing mandates. While we all need to look outside the box for creative ways to fulfill our shared goals and values, we are not all that different from our founding fathers. We cannot rest on our past accomplishments to get us through this global pandemic. Instead, we must press forward and continue using new methods of introducing the Brotherhood of a Lifetime to the many individuals who are hungry for connection and relationships during their undergraduate years. We believe that while many campus-involvement activities are restricted or outright unavailable, Greek life continues to be the vehicle to promote community service, philanthropy, and brotherhood.

It is impressive to hear the many creative ways our chapters and colonies are stepping up and living our shared values. The founders would have been impressed by our members’ resourcefulness and the resources the Fraternity has made available to undergraduate leaders and advisors to help members thrive in a temporarily socially-distant world.

Now, more than ever, Delta Chi needs you. We must recommit ourselves to living our values on a daily basis and upholding the 10th Basic Expectation, which requires a lifelong commitment to the Fraternity. We must continue to strengthen relationships with our brothers by checking in on them and doing small things, such as setting aside time for coffee or a meal. We each must be willing to speak, take chances, and offer new ideas for ways to live our Core Values in a pandemic world. Ultimately, we each must do exactly what our founding fathers did; work harder the next day.

As Sir Winston Churchill said in 1942, “This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” The founders did not consider the October 13th signing as a task completed. It was the first step.

As we look back 130 years later, we too must each work toward building Delta Chi every day, especially now when things are most difficult. Thank you to every member for your continued efforts to ensure that that we have a strong fraternal experience to pass along to future generations so that 130 years from now, Delta Chi remains an organization dedicated to providing opportunities for personal growth, education, and justice. Happy Founders’ Day!


Aaron Otto, “AA”
53rd International President

Rod Arnold Signature

Rod Arnold, President and Chairman
The Delta Chi Educational Foundation Board

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