2006: Reorganization

However, there would be one last and important moment of renewal for the PLT chapter. Following a period of low membership in 2003, local alumni and national representatives decided to close the chapter and recruit a new cadre of young men. At the same time, freshman Ben Portman had seen the values and behavior of Bucknell fraternities, and their commitment to community service, and found them wanting. Ben expressed his desire to start a fraternity that would focus on scholarship, service, diversity, and personal integrity to the Dean of Greek Life, Chip Mararra, who informed Ben that a chapter espousing those values already existed at Bucknell and was recently closed by the alumni.

Like the fortuitous connection following WWII, Ben met with alumni advisor Tom Deans and together they developed a plan to reconstitute the chapter around the core values of PLT and Chi Phi. The ideas that shaped the PLT chapter were again vital and resilient and, most importantly, still timely on the campus.

Formed in 2004, the new group worked to rebuild the image and message of PLT on campus while at the same time developing a distinct vision that reflected their strong personal values. By emulating the 1985-88 chapters, the brothers won the Gehring Award for outstanding national chapter four years in a row, a remarkable achievement for a newly formed group of young men. Fortunate to have strong and committed leadership, PLT quickly achieved parity with other fraternities at Bucknell.

With this firm foundation, the brotherhood has expanded from a group of 17 to its current 86. Continuing the tradition of previous chapters, PLT has developed a sound management model supported by responsive committee chairmen that ensures broad participation by the brothers in chapter operations. PLT members are engaged in all aspects of campus life and consistently attain a GPA of 3.4 or above, despite having a high number of engineering majors. All brothers work to keep the house clean, as the only alumni-owned fraternity at Bucknell. Diversity of membership remains a high priority, and minorities and foreign students are well represented in the chapter, even though the University struggles to recruit a diverse student body.

With an increase in membership has come an expanded commitment to campus and community. The list of these events is extensive and includes: Special Olympics, a chapter event for over 25 years; Educate a Child, a program to encourage children in the Dominican Republic to stay in school; Kicks for CASA, a kickball tournament which benefits Court Appointed Special Advocates; the Mikey’s Way Foundation; Community Harvest, a soup kitchen set up in nearby Milton; Children of the World to which members donated over 100 articles of clothing; Anchor Splash which raises funds for the blind and visually impaired. Also, since 2004, between 10 and 15 brothers have spent spring break working on Habitat for Humanity projects throughout the south, a new Chapter tradition of which they are justifiably proud.

Phi Lambda Theta Chapter - Chi Phi Fraternity
Bucknell University
820 Fraternity Road
Lewisburg, PA 17837

Phone: (570) 231-4758