May 2020
Dear Brothers,

First and foremost I hope that you and your family are safe and healthy during these extraordinary times. Even though all of us are adapting to this new and hopefully temporary environment, the Steering Committee continues to make progress on plans for Theta Tau's new home. We have achieved some key milestones since we last communicated with you. These include:

1. Finalized our lender selection process and achieved terms that will provide a manageable mortgage burden for the Chapter in the future.

2. Obtained an appraisal that was well within the lender's required parameters.

3. Completed the design development phase of architectural and engineering plans. This will allow us to achieve meaningful bids from the various subcontractors.

Even though we've made great progress and I believe we will return to "normal" life soon, it probably won't surprise you to learn that the COVID-19 pandemic is influencing our timeline. At the moment, we anticipate that the chapter will remain in the current house at least through this calendar year as we complete pre-construction tasks, with groundbreaking held in either early 2021 - perhaps in conjunction with Pig Dinner - or, if the pandemic has a greater influence than we currently contemplate, at the conclusion of the coming academic year.

While we are on the topic of construction costs, to those of you who have been able to make a multi-year pledge to this effort, many thanks! The obvious advantage is that it allows you to spread your gift over many years, which means you have the opportunity to participate more meaningfully than through a one-time gift. Should you find that your personal situation allows you to accelerate the timing of your payments, please know that doing so would significantly help us in maintaining our timeline! I would enjoy nothing more than for us to celebrate groundbreaking at next year’s Pig Dinner.

Lastly, while it is unfortunate that this year's Pig Dinner was postponed, there are ongoing conversations with the undergraduates as to when it may be rescheduled. Please keep an eye out for more information in the coming months.

Best wishes for continued health to you and yours.

Charles Worsham ('93)
Campaign Chair

Graduate Profile
Mason Guy graduated in 1993 with a degree in Electrical Engineering, and he continued in that discipline with a Masters, also from Tennessee Tech, in 1996. Now living in Texas, he's a Principal Engineer at Intel, focused on next generation micro architectures and core power and performance competitive analysis.

He and his wife Susanne - who also has 2 degrees from TTU, and a Masters from Saint Mary's - have 3 children. When he's not building Legos, tasting bourbon or painting in watercolors, Mason helps his 2 boys in scouting, where he's an assistant Scout Master and Eagle Scout coordinator. While on Scout camping trips with his troop, he enjoys astrophotography - taking time lapse movies of the night sky.

We visited with Mason to get his thoughts on Phi Gamma Delta and his experience as a member of Theta Tau Chapter:

What was it about Phi Gamma Delta/Theta Tau that appealed to you?

While a freshman, I actually pledged a different fraternity (one across the way which shall not be named), but I dropped out mid quarter (yes, that’s how old I am). While the comradery was fun, they were very one dimensional. A few of my friends from high school (Curt Chaffin and David Speight) and dorm mates (Jeff Hoilman and Mark Kelly) had found the men of Phi Gamma Delta and I was envious of not only their brotherhood, but I got a clear sense that they were part of much more than a group of men who did things. They were part of a group of men getting things done. The whole was so much more than the parts. So I rushed, pledged, (I’ll selectively leave out the parts about pledging again, and again), and finally made it to brother. Coincidentally, I was initiated in Lexington on my actual birthday. It was by far one of the best and most lasting great choices of my life. I will forever be grateful to my bothers for all of the experiences we’ve shared over the last 25 years
What impact did your fraternity membership have on you as an undergraduate?

Being a pledge and then a bother, it was really my first introduction to being responsible for and accountable to others than myself. If I had a job to do and dropped the ball, then there were consequences. The responsibility was motivating. I like to tell this story to any young man considering joining FIJI… Young and dumb, I found it incredibly difficult to speak in front of others. Nervous, shaky voice, sweaty palms, they whole deal. I love to share how the week to week and increasing responsibilities, the organizing, the report outs, etc. provided me with much needed experience of dealing with people (some more difficult than others and truly a diverse range of motivation). I always conclude my story with a testimony that I can directly attribute my early success at Intel and being much more comfortable speaking to both peers and those above me to the interactions with my bothers in the service of my Fraternity. 
Has Phi Gamma Delta been a meaningful part of your life as a graduate?

Not for College Days Alone. Never a more true statement can be made as many of my closest brothers are still in my day to day life after almost 30 years. It’s bonds beyond brotherhood. It’s driving 300 miles to try and lift my spirits after my father died. It’s checking in on my Mom just because they were near. It’s group chats and co-vacations, a random cabin for New Years, and pictures of our kids as they grow up, prayers when there is unspoken hurt, visits and sharing the joys and trials we all go through. It’s venting about something knowing you have a sympathetic ear but then also knowing that this is someone that will tell you to shut the **** up and quit whining. It’s the Back Table. Returning each year to Pig Dinner after some odd 362 days have passed as if nothing and reconnecting to brothers afar and meeting new ones in the chain with an instant connection. The Back Table serves witness and as a testament to Not for College Days Alone. I encourage all my bothers to find your Back Table.
Why do you think Theta Tau remains an important part of Greek/campus life today?

Theta Tau has been tops among all campus organizations for so long, it’s hard to laud them with additional accolades. You often forget that they are young men just like you once were struggling to balance class, activities, homework, and fun. It really is commendable how consistent they have excelled. It makes me think of my own son who is off to college in the Fall. His path will be different than mine. His generation is certainly different than mine. Young men are so connected to information and the world yet so disconnected from each other. They need fraternity more than ever before. Many lack basic interaction skills such as answering a phone call or looking someone in the eye. They need opportunities to practice handshakes and receive and create lessons in responsibility and selflessness. They need to be a part of a whole which is so much more than its parts. I believe that this is Theta Tau’s legacy and future.

What prompted you to support the effort to build a new house?  Why is a new house important for the chapter and/or for graduates?

All of the above. I’m extremely fortunate in my career and have had success well beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I can directly connect this to my time as an undergraduate brother and the experiences I shared with my bothers over the last 30 years. My wife, Susanne, feels the same way and fully supports our financial commitment to the chapter’s new house. It’s been a long time coming and I want to thank all the countless hours that brothers like Billy Leslie and Chaz Worsham have devoted to getting this thing off the ground. I encourage all my bothers to pay it forward to today’s young men who are in need of fraternity and can benefit as we all did.

Many thanks to Mason and Susanne for their generous support of this important project. To join them and all of the other graduates who are helping bring this vision to reality, click here to learn more .
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