By Myron Mathis Columnist
It’s that time of the semester again, a time for Greek Life hopefuls to rush their preferred fraternity or sorority. As someone who did not originally intend to join Greek life, I can honestly say that it is much more than its stereotypes. Greek organizations develop character, leadership skills, service skills, moral support and unmatched networking capabilities. Greek letter organizations have played an integral part in the lives of people of importance in the U.S. The first was established on December 5, 1776 and called the Phi Beta Kappa Society.
Fraternities have been around since our nation’s inception and some of the most important fraternity members are former presidents. Let’s take a look at some of the presidents and what fraternities they belonged to: Rutherford B. Hayes (Delta Kappa Epsilon), James Garfield (Delta Upsilon), Chester Arthur (Psi Upsilon), Theodore Roosevelt (Delta Kappa Epsilon/Alpha Delta Phi), William Howard Taft (Psi Upsilon), Woodrow Wilson (Phi Kappa Psi), Calvin Coolidge (Phi Gamma Delta), Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Alpha Delta Phi), Harry Truman (Lambda Chi Alpha), John F. Kennedy (Phi Kappa Theta), Gerald Ford (Delta Kappa Epsilon), George H.W. Bush (Delta Kappa Epsilon), Bill Clinton (Alpha Phi Omega) and George W. Bush (Delta Kappa Epsilon). A few presidents belonged to fraternities that are on Hofstra’s campus, such as Ronald Reagan (Tau Kappa Epsilon), William McKinley (Sigma Alpha Epsilon), and Dwight D. Eisenhower (Tau Epsilon Phi). Some other notable fraternity men are ESPN sports analyst Adam Schefter (Sigma Alpha Mu), sport commentator Marv Albert (Sigma Alpha Mu), and commissioner of the NBA David Stern (Sigma Alpha Mu).
The strength and fortitude of these successful men show how Greek life supports members to hold a council position and lead other young men and women, Greek and otherwise. We are challenged to do our part in philanthropic endeavors. Lessons on how to deal with time management and multitasking are a part of our daily lives.
From the moment someone puts on their letters as a brother or sister of a Greek organization until the end of their life, every action they take reflects their organization. Being a part of something much bigger than you is life changing. Fraternities and sororities help people find themselves and face their innermost desires, fears and ambitions.
In the words of author Marianne Williamson, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, rather that we are powerful beyond measure.” All anyone can do is try to be the best version of themselves, and Greek life challenges us to do just that.