Alumni/Officer Offsite

Offsite Experience Leaves Memorable Impression on Alumni and Undergraduate Officers

Join Us for the 2020 Chapter Officer Offsite, February 14-15. Read below about a recent offsite weekend.

The weekend of January 28-29 was the seventh annual alumni/officer offsite at Falcon Point Ranch. It was the best one yet—we had 20 alumni and 23 chapter officers in attendance. We discussed the status of Gamma Iota on campus, recruitment, how recruitment funds were spent this past year, what worked and didn’t work with recruitment, risk management, and an update on the Shelter improvements and planning for larger-scale projects down the road. It has now been about 15 years since the last renovation, and the Shelter is in serious need of upgrades, primarily due to age and normal wear-and-tear. The $85,000 of improvements this past year were greatly needed and should be sufficient while we undergo the planning for the larger project. Additionally, the chapter updated us on the activity in West Campus with the aggressive remodeling, rebuilding, and new building trend with other fraternities.

I’m sure anyone who was in the Shelter last fall noticed the improvements, including a complete upgrade to the open courtyard, all new furnishings, tables and chairs, refreshed paint throughout the interior and exterior of the Shelter, cleaned and polished floors, and new TVs. Additionally, the Alumni Association retained a consulting firm and architect to begin thinking about long- term options for 2801 San Jacinto. This work has been ongoing since April/May, and hopefully we will have updates to share with the broader alumni group in the coming weeks and months. Here is what our alumni had to say about their experience at the alumni/officer offsite:

“One of the most engaging groups of Texas Delt undergraduates I have been around in 37 years.” – Russell Douglass ’81

“We have separation in age, but a bond that can’t be separated.” – Scott Benkendorfer ’90

“I am always pleasantly struck by the common motives and experiences these young men have with our alumni—current members, five-year, 10-year, 20-year, or in my case, close to 40 years since pledging—the commonalty bond in building quality young men is very reassuring for our future.” – Bill McMeans ’80

“It is always a pleasure to come back and interact with the active chapter. I am consistently impressed with the quality of our officers and their maturity in the way they are leading our fraternity.” – Aaron Trull ’00

“This year was my first to attend the Texas Delts offsite conference. My primary takeaway was that the chapter is in good hands. The young men serving as officers were well prepared for our meetings and the weekend was much more productive than I expected it to be. It is difficult to carve out time from family and business for this event, but I am glad I made the time and I will return.” – Lance Abbott ’91

“The retreat was a great opportunity to meet the current chapter and to also to connect with Delts from different generations. It’s great to see the active chapter is made up of a great group of men and I look forward to getting more involved!” – Scott Thelander ’05, 2004 Chapter President

“It’s an impressive group of officers and Gamma Iota is in good hands with their leadership.” – Rik Lipscomb ’91

“The annual offsites continue to improve with each passing year, and the benefits of these meetings are of increasing value to both the active chapter and the growing number of alumni participants. Gamma Iota alumni can certainly take pride in the quality of the young Delts who take on the many difficult responsibilities of successfully managing a large fraternity.” – James Shaddix ’68

“Great to spend time connecting with younger Delts and see that the chapter is in great hands.” – Brandon White ’06

“Great time at the Delt retreat! Enjoyed visiting with alumni from all pledge classes and really impressed with the current actives. Looking forward to next year!” – Phil Sanger ’02

“I enjoy having the opportunity to go to the alumni/executive retreat to offer the advice and insights I gained during my time at the Shelter. It’s refreshing to meet with the guys and hear what is going on around UT and Greek life at the University. It’s also nice being able to engage and network with fellow alumni, especially at an awesome venue on the coast with plenty of time for leisure activities. The two years I have gone to the retreat as an alumnus, I feel as if I gained just as much benefit as the active chapter through the connections made on the trip.” – Garrett Williams ’15, 2014 Chapter President

“It was a great time seeing the progress of the chapter and working with alumni who have been impacted by our fraternity as much as I have. Looking forward to joining next year!” – David Lutito ’15

“A weekend that was both memorable and productive! Looking forward to coming back next year.” – Matt Asvestas ’16

“This most recent offsite at Falcon Point (Thank you, Russell!) was an amazing opportunity for the alumni to interact with the current and future leaders of Delta Tau Delta. It is clear these young men are facing different challenges than we faced while we were on campus. I was thoroughly impressed with the level of openness and candor between the undergraduates and alumni, and I think continuing this type of collaborative interaction will help guide the organization to a prosperous future.” – Andrew Barnes ’08

“This executive retreat was particularly productive because we not only got to talk about improving Delt, but also network with over 20 alumni as well.” – Chapter President Dax Benkendorfer ’18

“I’ve made more valuable connections in the energy industry in these three days than I have in my two years studying petroleum engineering at UT.” – External VP Nicholas Staviski ’18

“The retreat was once again a success. It was very exciting to see the alumni turnout reach an all-time high.” – Internal VP Griffin Anderson ’19

“The most valuable part of the weekend for me was listening to all these accomplished alumni talk to us about how they got where they are now using what they learned during their time as Delts. But most surprisingly, that they are still close with a lot of guys from the pledge classes.” – Treasurer Michael Boodee ’18

“I thought this weekend was really beneficial for the whole executive board to hear what thoughts alumni had for us. I really liked our discussion on recruitment and the unique perspective that many alumni working in sales brought. I also thought the executive board benefitted by aligning our focus with the alumni.” – Assistant Treasurer Adam May ’18

“It was so special to meet and interact with older Delts who had been in our shoes years before. This fraternity has undoubtedly impacted the lives of many over the years, and I am fortunate to experience this unrivaled brotherhood every day.” – House Manager Jeremy Martens ’18

“The retreat was a great experience, getting to meet so many distinguished alumni members and discuss the future of Delt. I think the weekend was a great success and only hope that more alumni members can attend in the future.” – Assistant House Manager Robby Loving ’19

“Going into the weekend, I knew I was in for a good time, but after getting advice from distinguished alumni, having amazing food, skeet shooting, and overall just having a blast, I can say that it exceeded all expectations.” – Alumni Relations Chairman Trent Koen ’18

“The most prevalent thing I took away from the retreat was that Delt really can be a great network for the future. Hearing all of the alumni talk about their careers and businesses, and how involved they were with other former Delts across many pledge classes, was eye-opening in that respect.” – Pledge Trainer John Novak ’16

“The thing that stood out to me the most was the large distribution of age within the alumni who attended. Seeing guys who I knew in school when I was a pledge, along with members of pledge classes of the ’60s, taught me a lot about the lasting impact that this group can have on a person. Thank you for all you and the other alumni do to help out the active chapter. I’m looking forward to working with you all thought the upcoming year.” – Pledge Trainer Adam Lowell ’18

“This weekend really exposed and emphasized to me the valuable network within the Delt chapter. I was amazed how many of the alumni conducted business together and who were willing to help a brother out.” – Honor Board Chairman Will Davenport ’18

“Here’s my favorite quote from the alumni weekend: ‘If we could weave this web, we could create something great.’ This was in reference to creating a tighter professional network between alumni and the active chapter, and it made me realize just how meaningful this connection could be for everyone involved.” – Social Chairman Nico Steimer ’17

“Meeting with alumni of Delta Tau Delta was truly a memorable experience. Not only did I witness the immediate friendship and respect between the alumni and actives, but I also saw the willingness to offer guidance and help from alumni to actives. The fraternal bonds through Delt are everlasting and can make a big impact on one’s life if they utilize what is given to them.” – Social Chairman Liam Ben-Joseph ’18

“I had a wonderful time at the executive retreat. It was a relaxed environment in which I learned a lot from older Delts who have been out in the real world and have real, hard-earned experience to give and share. It felt good to let the alumni know what’s going on at Delt now and to hear possible improvements that young, inexperienced men like myself would never think of. The ranch house was excellent and the food was phenomenal. It was definitely worth my time and I would try to come back as an established alumnus.” – Philanthropy Chairman Andy Poss ’19

“This was my first year attending the executive retreat and I enjoyed meeting many alumni who care as much about this fraternity as I do, if not more.” – Recruitment Coordinator Kyle Varni ’18

“One thing that was eye-opening to me was how many alumni put in so much time and effort to improve Delt’s standing at UT. I had no clue we had such a strong network of alumni doing so much to improve the housing situation. It confirmed my belief that taking a leadership role in this fraternity is bigger than just me.” – Recruitment Capitan Will Thomas ’19

“The hospitality was incredible and the leadership from the alumni made the future of Delt seem brighter than ever.” – Recruitment Captain Alec Jenkins ’18

“It was so refreshing to see all these alumni who still care so much about our fraternity. They all wanted to help us with our careers and networking, which was incredible.” – Recruitment Captain Reagan Francis ’19

“As a recruitment captain, it was really interesting to see where previous Delt pledge classes came from compared to the cities and schools we currently target. From what I gathered, older pledge classes had a lot of small-town guys, which was eye opening because we don’t put much emphasis on that now.” – Recruitment Captain Brendan Legas ’19

“Having alumni with that much experience there was very helpful to us as officers, and I think the chapter will see the benefits of this experience as we move forward with the ideas discussed that weekend.” – Recruitment Captain Charles Mize ’18

“Offsite weekend was an eye-opening experience. It was nice to get to collaborate with Delt alumni and have open conversations about the future of the chapter. More so, it was awesome to hear from those who came before us and have gone on to do great things in the world.” – Recruitment Captain Tripp Arnold ’19