On April 22, 1848, six friends at Jefferson College, in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, gathered in a dormitory room, known to the students as “Fort Armstrong,” in order to establish a secret society. Initially called “The Delta Association,” this organization founded by the “Immortal Six” was based upon the five core values of friendship, knowledge, service, morality, and excellence, would eventually grow into the honorable brotherhood we now know as Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI).
Since its founding over 160 years ago, FIJI has grown from the “Immortal Six” to over 170,000 lifetime initiates, 8,500 undergraduate members, and 142 chapters and colonies across the United States and Canada. With the five core values guiding every endeavor, the Brothers of FIJI are known for being high achievers, particularly Dick Costolo (CEO of Twitter), Greg Schiano (NFL Head Coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Seth Meyers (Cast Member & Head Writer for Saturday Night Live), Morgan Spurlock (Independent Movie Director), and Jack Kerouac (Author). With Brothers like these, no wonder so many men want to wear the FIJI royal purple!
FIJIs place a strong emphasis on serving others and philanthropic projects are a major focus for all chapters, especially when it comes to supporting The Red Cross, their national philanthropic partner. The Red Cross exists to give compassionate care and emergency services to those in need, responding to approximately 70,000 disasters in the United States every year with food, shelter, and medical care, offering CPR, Lifeguard, and First Aid training, and providing more than 40% of America’s blood supply. In lending their support to such an organization, FIJIs are spreading awareness, raising funds, and sponsoring blood drives, helping The Red Cross to save lives in their local communities and across the country.
The mission of FIJI states that it “exists to promote lifelong friendships, to reaffirm high ethical standards and values, and to foster personal development in the pursuit of excellence. Phi Gamma Delta is committed to provide opportunities for each brother to develop responsibility, leadership, scholarship, and social skills in order to become a fully contributing member of society.” These are values that can be applied by each Brother, not just on campus or in the Fraternity house, but long after graduation, as they build their careers and their families, making Phi Gamma Delta truly, “Not for college days alone.”