Educational Foundation Introduces First-Ever Celebration of Diversity and the GBT Community
During the Stead Leadership Seminar, taking place on the University of Maryland’s campus, Lambda Chi Alpha’s Educational Foundation hosted the first-ever Celebration of Diversity and the GBT Community reception.
Friends and alumni gathered for a time of celebration and reflection with remarks from College Park Mayor, Patrick Wojahn. Along with Grand High Alpha, Fletcher McElreath, other dedicated alumni issued a charge for all attendees to focus on the importance of inclusion and diversity.
“I’m a brother from the 1980s, an era when no one was “out” at my college,” said alumnus Greg Castanias. “The years have shown that too many of my gay brothers were not able to live authentically, and so I view it as my duty as a straight ally to be as public and as loud as I can in supporting diversity of all kinds within Lambda Chi.”
While many undergraduates of Lambda Chi Alpha understand the importance of recognizing the LGBT community as a whole, the reception allowed alumni to step into a new way of thinking.
“Undergraduates are welcoming and accepting of all walks of life; they’ve been brought up in diverse communities, and as a result, our chapters are more inclusive,” stated Josh Lodolo, Educational Foundation CEO. “It’s time we bring our alumni brothers into the fold and up to speed, and I am honored brothers Christian Berle, Greg Castanias, Fletcher McElreath and Lou Tharp had the vision to make this celebration a reality.”
Members of the Educational Foundation extend their thanks to Berle, Castanias, McElreath, and Tharp for their generous support to make the reception a possibility by underwriting all costs.
“Lambda Chi has a proud history of reflecting its members’ willingness to take advantage of the new experiences college offers which includes reaching out to many different people,” said Tharp. “Many other brothers have grown up with the LGBT community, so including GBT brothers in their college life is a natural extension of their beliefs and Lambda Chi’s principles.”
The reception was a major success and will be included in conference programming for years to come.
“The reception for our gay, bisexual, and transgender alumni and students was a first for Lambda Chi and was a huge success primarily because it proved that we are truly dedicated to inclusion as part of our effort to promote our Core Values,” said McElreath. “Several alumni came up to me and expressed such gratitude that we, as an organization, were finally walking the walk, so to speak.
“As the first openly-gay Grand High Alpha, I was very proud to experience that event.”
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