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Lofty Words and True IdealsThe Brotherhood of All Men

Alpha Chi Rho brothers will recognize the title of this piece as coming from the Landmarks, the basic principles on which the fraternity is based. The Landmarks are lofty words and true ideals, the sort of things that can easily be said but not done or, worse, done without really meaning it. It struck me recently that the Phi Phi Chapter at Penn, though, is living the Landmarks.

Corresponding to Penn’s Homecoming a few weeks ago, Phi Phi had special events to celebrate the centennial of the chapter house. Decades of Phi Phi’s shared in the festivities; it was a heck of a lot of fun!

I chatted with Brothers from the ‘50s to recent grads, and undergrads. We are a truly diverse bunch. In fact, we would be the envy of many a corporate HR rep. But – despite ages that ranged from 19 to 92 – there was some remarkable consistency in character: these were all good guys.

Well – hurrah for us; we deserve a pat on the back! But that’s not what I think is important.  It’s not the what; rather, it’s the how that counts. The unusual result was not achieved through some sort of mandated program nor artificial quotas. The result emerges from our culture… from living the fourth Landmark:

Judgment not by externals, but by intrinsic worth; no one is denied membership in Alpha Chi Rho because of race, creed or nationality.

What struck me is that no one seemed to notice! To an outsider, we’re “diverse” but to us, we’re just us, a group of men demonstrating emphatically that we – in the words of the first Landmark - are prepared to realize in word and deed, the Brotherhood of all men. I’m pretty proud of that.