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A Look Back at His Phi Phi Years and Where He is Now

The summer of 1995 was an important one for David Lelong ’98. It was the summer before his sophomore year—the summer that he decided to pledge Phi Phi in the fall.

“I had gotten to know many of the members over the summer, and they quickly became some of my good friends,” he explains.

Drawn to the fraternity for its diversity, David was impressed by not only the character of the brothers he met, but also how interesting each individual was. Standing out among others, Phi Phi easily dispelled the myth of a singular identity within a fraternity.

“While most people think of a fraternity as a group of guys all cut from the same cloth, what I loved most about Phi Phi is the wide range of backgrounds,” he says.

While living in the house, David was never lonely, always able to find a brother to share a meal or simply hang out with.

“What stands out most is how there was always something going on or to get ready for—whether it was a pledge event, just shooting pool before dinner, setting up for or cleaning up after parties, or going out with other brothers,” he recalls. “Living in the house was great!”

Social scene aside, David took away many important lessons that have served him well since graduation.

“Phi Phi taught me how to be around and get along with people of different backgrounds that you see constantly,” he says. “It was a great foundation for life after college.”

Now, as a successful marketing professional, David is grateful to have that experience guiding him in his career. He runs an online marketing company and lives in Brooklyn with my wife who is an interior designer. In their free time, they enjoy traveling. One of their favorite getaways currently is skiing in the Dolomites in Italy.

While his years at Penn may seem like a lifetime ago, David still tries to maintain the friendships that were developed at Phi Phi.

“It was much easier to get together with my brothers right after college, especially since so many of us were living in NYC, but now that almost 20 years have passed and people have moved away, it requires some extra coordination,” he says.  

Still, David enjoys reconnecting with his brothers at the annual Homecoming events, which he faithfully attends.

Never forgetting the impact that Phi Phi has had on his life, David is proud to be able to support the chapter, hoping to continue the tradition of diversity and brotherhood.

“Phi Phi made it so much easier for me to meet people when I was at Penn,” he says. “I want to do my part to make sure it can continue to help others make their college lives more meaningful as well.”