This year was record-shattering for attendance at High Alpha Summit. Not only were the highest amount of colony and chapter presidents gathered in Indianapolis since the inception of this conference, but a new element was featured for the very first time: the combination of the Neville Advisor’s College with High Alpha Summit.
Though it was a daunting idea at first to combine two of the higher profile conferences provided by Lambda Chi Alpha, it became abundantly clear that the benefits outweighed anything else. The thought in combining the two events was simple: the advisors attending Neville Advisor’s College (many of them High Pis) have a direct impact on chapters and colonies. And who better to pair them with than the presidents of these chapters? By being able to provide a space where these two influential parts of the puzzle could learn simultaneously, the hope is that our chapters became that much stronger.
“With this curriculum, it’s really about being teachers and mentors, versus having a more passive approach, which I think a lot of guys think that that should be their standpoint when they have been out of the fraternity for a while,” said Brian Bodine, AAB member for North Texas University and Tarleton State University and Neville facilitator.
In addition to opportunities for networking between alumni advisors and High Alphas, each group had unique experiences where they were able to share different viewpoints and best practices. For some, this was their first time at a Lambda Chi Alpha conference.
“I never saw it in action [being High Alpha], so to be around almost 200 other High Alphas, and to see how they do things and get more insight, I have a lot more to bring back to my guys back home,” said Bradley Jenkins, William & Mary High Alpha.
Jenkins affirmed that while it was his first time, the connections he was able to establish and the wealth of knowledge provided would make all the difference back home.
“It’s your qualities as a leader that really leaves your legacy as a High Alpha, and no matter what you do on paper, it’s about the impact you leave on your brothers and the way they feel supported by you that really leaves your legacy in that position,” said Jenkins.
While the weekend was jam-packed with programming, providing great things to take back to each chapter, staff caution Neville and High Alpha Summit participants to not succumb to the “Lambda Chi High”, the idea that advisors and presidents want to make high-level changes but do not know where to start.
“Don’t be afraid of the small beginnings,” said Brandan Bonds, Special Assistant to the CEO. “I think a lot of times when we go back to our chapters, we get so much information at an event like this, and we go back to our chapters with what we call “the Lambda Chi high”: where you want to make all of these big changes, but then don’t know where to start.
“You can’t be discouraged in starting small and being okay with that.”
Bonds has attended each High Alpha Summit since its beginning in 2015 and affirms that the caliber of chapter/colony presidents has gotten better and better over the years. Now with the introduction of a joint conference, Bonds, along with the rest of IHQ staff, is confident that Lambda Chi members will benefit for years to come.
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