56th GA Day 1: Connections, reunions and business kick off the long weekend

Here we, go…

W6M_334856th General Assembly kicked off on Thursday, Aug. 4 as CEO of Lambda Chi Alpha Bill Farkas told a crowd of almost 700 attendees a story of a young man tossed into the larger world of the fraternity, wide eyed and eager that young man gave faith and committed himself to the ideals and ways of the fraternity. That young man would eventually go on to make an impact for the better of our organization.

“If you can’t tell by now that young man was me,” said Farkas. Who then asked that the undergraduates attending would commit their focus and their enthusiasm to the days ahead of them.

W6M_3358Dr. Lori Hart, the kick-off keynote speaker, is an avid participant in the fraternity/sorority community. Lori has served as an active volunteer for Alpha Omicron Pi Fraternity in a variety of roles and she currently serves as the director of prevention education for Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity.

Today Dr. Hart visits close to 70 campuses a year, bringing messages about relationships, alcohol education, and fraternity and sorority life. Campus Activities Magazine has recognized Lori as both “Female Performer of the Year” and “Speaker of the Year.”

An obvious crowd favorite, Hart connected to those in attendance on issues ranging from relationships, alcohol education, fraternity and sorority life and problem solving. “The secret to a long and happy life, lies in the healthy close personal relationships, such as the ones we develop in our chapters,” said Hart.

W6M_3316Attendees then broke out for a range of sessions including a presentation on recruitment with acclaimed co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Phired Up Productions, Josh Orendi.

General Assembly was in session as well, as undergraduate and alumni delegates convened with their committees to begin legislation activities for the coming days.

“Day one was a magnificent celebration of not only brotherhood but of also accountability and an excited eagerness to delve into the business of the fraternity,” said Nick Zuniga, director of chapter services.

“I’m still in awe of the fact that in one day we were able to hear from Dr. Lori Hart and Brother Pete Smithhisler,” Zuniga added. “I don’t think there has ever been a convention that has had two such high caliber speakers to start off day one.”

“It’s been amazing to start, where do we go from here?” he said.

Smithhisler’s outlook and commitment to brotherhood and the ideals of the fraternity are not one to be missed, and are done far greater justice in person, rather than recounted in someone else’s words.

Brother Smitthisler was also surprised by Grand High Alpha Fletcher McElreath with the Ferdinand Van Siclen Parr Award for Commitment from the Chi Psi Fraternity.


Grand High Alpha Fletcher McElreath presents Grand High Delta Pete Smithhisler with the Ferdinand Van Siclen Parr Award for Commitment from the Chi Psi Fraternity

“The missions of The Chi Psi Educational Trust and Chi Psi Fraternity are supported and advanced through relationships with interfraternal colleagues who share our values and believe fraternity can provide the premiere leadership experience on college campuses.”

Smitthisler was awarded the this honor for his contributions to higher education and the lives of countless students across the country.

He joins the ranks of only two other Lambda Chi Alpha brothers to win the award, John M. McCardell (2014) and George Spasyk (1994).

For more photos from day one, click here.

Best of the Web: Day 1


Big thanks to these guys for representing Iota Mu Zeta at General Assembly this week! #ZAX #56thGA #Miami

A photo posted by UE Lambda Chi Alpha (@lambdachi_ue) on

Dr. Lori Hart delivering an awesome welcoming keynote! #56thGA @thecatalystagcy @DrLoriHart

A photo posted by Lambda Chi Alpha (@lambdachialphaihq) on


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