The first-year freshmen experience, for many students, relies on their involvement in on-campus activities. These activities develop friendships through common interests and creates a routine for those experiencing life on their own for the first time. Noah Ditzler (Butler University AA, ‘2020) had his eyes fixed on one specific activity: joining a Fraternity.
Although he longed to be a part of these coveted groups on the Butler University campus, the existing fraternities didn’t seem to be the right fit. Nevertheless, Ditzler went through his spring recruitment hopeful that he would be surprised with a bid. Recruitment came and went without the ending he’d hoped for. The bittersweet feeling of knowing he had not given up his character to be a part of a specific group began to feel like a burden, until he stumbled across the Lambda Chi Alpha website. Then, an inquiring phone call with the Director of Expansion, Brett Baker (East Tennessee State IO, ‘03) was the push he needed to create his brotherhood on his own.
“On that call, he told me everything I could dream of in an experience. It was such a big decision, but I knew if I didn’t do this, I would regret it for the rest of my life. It was on that call, instantly, I had subscribed. I couldn’t say no, I was totally in” says Ditzler.
He wanted to develop a group of value-based men who represent the campus in an honorable and respectful way. It was that same goal that lead Warren Cole (Boston University A, ‘09), our founder, to create Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity in 1909. Unknown to Ditzler, his great grandfather, George Ditzler (Indiana University AO, ‘26), had the same vision as he was a member only 17 years after Lambda Chi Alpha was founded.
When Ditzler learned that his great grandfather was a member during his associate membership, it changed the way he viewed his Lambda Chi Alpha journey. He explains, “I just assumed there wasn’t much Greek involvement throughout my family, my grandparents never really talked about it. I asked my grandparents, “Do we have any family members that were in Greek life?” They said, “Yes, your great grandfather George was a Lambda Chi Alpha at Indiana University.”
Questions about George’s life and his Lambda Chi Alpha experience were the topic of conversation at family gatherings – their uncanny similarity began to make their connection feel even stronger. George owned four businesses in his lifetime, Ditzler has dreams of pursuing entrepreneurship in the future. He was involved in music and variety shows in Bloomington, Ditzler is a part of an acapella group on campus. Lastly, but certainly not least, they knew Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity was the place for them.
“Going into it [initiation], I was thinking, ‘this experience is shared.’ It’s been the same ritual for over 100 years and to know that I went through the same experience, emotions and lessons that George did was the coolest thing to me. It blows my mind.”
Now, the group has a total of 41 members, and their first bid was signed only in November. At least half the men had no intention of joining Greek life, but chose to become a Brother because of the culture Ditzler cultivated for the colony. A framed photo of George and his chapter Brothers now sits on his desk as a symbol of how far they’ve come. Honorable and hard-working men seem to run in the family.
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