Phi Gamma Delta Founders Day
Six friends at Jefferson College gathered to establish a secret society, initially called “The Delta Association” and now known as Phi Gamma Delta or FIJI. The 5 core values that the immortal 6 established still ring true today 173 years later. With the five core values guiding every endeavor, the Brothers of FIJI are known for being high achievers so let’s take a look at some notable names to join the ranks of brothers;
John. W. (Johnny) Carson
Best known for as being the host of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson! He was not only a television host but also a comedian, writer and producer. All thing which led to his 6 Emmy’s and being inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1987. He also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992. An award that is bestowed to those who have made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interest in of the United States, world peace, cultural, or other significant public endeavors”. After joining the Navy Carson took advantage of the education opportunities by attending the University of Nebraska, where he became a member of Phi Gamma Delta.
An American stand-up comedian, actor, writer, and producer from Indiana. The Hoosier state native has been deemed one of the “clean” comics usually focusing on fatherhood, laziness, observations, and food in his routines. He started college at Purdue University where he joined FIJI, after just one year he transferred to Georgetown University – McDonough School of Business where obtained a degree in finance.
The American investigative journalist. He started his career with The Washington Post and currently holds the title at the Post of Associate Editor. At the early start of his career, he reported on the Watergate Scandal. He continued to write for The Post after reporting on Watergate. Since he has also written 19 books on American Politics, 13 of those books hit the best sellers list.
The form SNL cast member and writer is known as an American Comedian, writer, producer and television host. Most recently known for being the host of Late Night with Seth Meyers, the late-night talk show on NBC. The Northwestern graduate was has gone on to deliver the commencement address at the universities 2016 graduation. His time at Northwestern is also what led him to join FIIJI.
Charles E. Rushmore
An American attorney and businessman, whom the Mount Rushmore is name after. How the monument came to be named after Charles is subject to interpretation, however the United States Board of Geographic Name officially recognized in June 1930. Just 5 years after he made a sizable donation towards the sculpture. FIJI wasn’t the only fraternal organization he was a part of, he was also a Freemason.
As of 2020 Knight was ranked the 26th richest person in the world. The co-founder and chairman emeritus of Nike, Inc. and was previously chairman and CEO of the company. He graduated from the University of Oregon and Stanford Graduate School of Business. While at Oregon he ran track under Bill Bowerman, whom he co-founded Nike with. He was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame for his Special Contribution to Sports in Oregon. He has also been inducted into Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, as a contributor. He was recognized by the hall, by being the driving force behind Nike’s major financial support of U.S Basketball and its Players.
“The Golden Bear”, is a retired American Professional Golfer. He is widely considered one of the greatest golfers of all time. Winning 117 professional tournaments in his career. He took up golf at age 10 scoring a 51 at Scioto Country Club in the first 9 holes he had ever played. He was coached by Jack Grout, a pro who also a coach to other great golfers. While he attended Ohio State University, where he joined FIJI he won the U.S Amateur twice and an NCAA Championship. He started his professional career in 1961 on the PGA Tour. He set a record for lowest final round score in the PGA Championship with just a 64. In 1965 and 1966 he became the winner of The Masters and became the tournament’s first back to back winner and the youngest two time and three time winner. When he won the 1971 PGA Championship, he became the first golfer to win all four majors twice. Since hanging up the clubs on his professional career Nicklaus, is now the head of the world’s largest golf course design companies.
The American businessman & entrepreneur involved in professional auto racing and a retire auto racing driver. Penske is probably most famous for his ownership of Team Penske, DJR Team Penske, the Penske Corporation, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and IndyCar. He was name Sports Illustrated “sports car club of America driver of the year of 1961”. After retiring from his own driving career, he has gone on to create one of the most successful teams in NASCAR and the IndyCar series. He is considering the most successful owner in the Indianapolis 500 with 18 victories. In 2019 he became the owner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, purchasing the 2.5 mile course from the Hulman Family.
The form Racecar Driver and Racing team owner, he has won 1 personal Indy 500 as a driver and as a team owner has won 2 additional Indy 500’s. He attended college at Denison University, where he joined the ranks of FIJI’s brothers. After retiring as a driver, Rahal held many managerial positions with the Jaguar Formula 1 team and was also an interim president of the CART series.
The University of Colorado graduate with a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering and then later earning his master’s in aerospace engineering went on to being a NASA Astronaut, test pilot, mechanical engineer and aerospace engineer. He was one of three astronauts abroad the Apollo 13 Moon Mission launched April 11th, 1970. He is the first to announce the famous words “Houston, we’ve had a problem here”. After his time at NASA he became an executive director of the Committee on Science and Astronautics. In 1970 after his Apollo 13 mission, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Nixon.
This former NFL quarterback started his college football career by walking on to the team at the University Michigan. After turning down two scholarships at Purdue and Kentucky. He joined FIJI while obtaining his Bachelor’s degree in an individualized concertation at Michigan. He started his NLF career during the 1998 NFL Draft. He was began his career with the Denver Broncos, as the third string quarterback. After leaving the NFL 2009 he shifted gears and took on the world of Broadcasting with ESPN covering college football until 2020. He took his seat in the Monday Night Football booth in 2020.
The American writer most known for his titles Stuart Little or Charlotte’s Web joined FIJI while he attended Cornell University. While at Cornell he worked as an editor of The Cornell Daily Sun. FIJI wasn’t the only organization White joined while at Cornell, he also was a member of Alep Samach and Quill and Dagger societies. After graduating he worked for the United Press and The American Legion News Services. He got his first article published in The New Yorker in 1925, then joined the staff in 1927. In 1953 he won a Newbery Medal for Charlotte’s Web.
FIJI has grown from the “immortal six” to over 170,000 lifetime initiates, 8,5000 undergraduate members, and 142 chapters and colonies across the U.S and Canada. With the mission stating that it “exists to promote lifelong friendship, to reaffirm high ethical standards & values, and to foster personal development in the pursuit of excellence” it is no surprise that so many are eager to join the brotherhood that will be part of their lives even after their last day on campus.