Building Courageous Leaders

"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.” 
- C. S. Lewis

We are compelled by the above quote from author C. S. Lewis. In Phi Gamma Delta we talk frequently about our values of friendship, knowledge, service, morality and excellence. But it is one thing to talk about values and another altogether to act on those values when they are tested. It is true in life and in fraternity that so many problems could be averted if someone – whether a formal leader or a bystander – had the courage to assert his values, or the group’s espoused values, at the testing point.

Each of us is certain to confront many testing points in our lives. Some will be minor decisions, while others will have a profound impact on us and on others. Likewise, chapter leaders will face many testing points that will impact the future of their chapter, their brothers, and sometimes the Fraternity at large.

Building Courageous Leaders means that our brothers will understand and embrace the values of Phi Gamma Delta; will recognize when those values are being challenged and understand the implications of a particular choice; and at that testing point, will know how to confront and lead others in an ethical, productive way.

How Does Phi Gamma Delta Develop Courageous Leaders?

 We Have Identified Three Elements of Courageous Leadership:

  1. Understanding and committing to our values
  2. Recognizing the testing points - times when our values are challenged
  3. Applying our values at the testing point and confronting the issue

 Educational Programming

These concepts will be built into many of the Fraternity’s existing programs, including the Academy, Hazing Prevention, Health & Safety Education, Member Education, Risk Management Education, chapter discipline and more. As appropriate and needed, they will form the basis of new programs.


The Leadership Institute

The Leadership Institute is an exciting program that supports the Building Courageous Leaders initiative. This five-day experience is designed to help brothers become values-based, courageous leaders. The inaugural Institute was conducted in June 2016 with 80 undergraduates in attendance. Beginning summer 2017, the Institute became available to at least one brother from each chapter (150+) every year.

Brothers who attend the Institute will return to their chapters prepared to educate their brothers on what it means to Lead with Courage. The Leadership Institute is provided at no cost to the attendees, thanks to the generous support of the Phi Gamma Delta Educational Foundation.


Recognize a Courageous Leader

Do you know a brother who has made the choice to follow the values of Phi Gamma Delta instead of taking an easier path? Did they make the right choice instead of the easy choice? Did they take a firm stand when confronted with a challenge? These are examples of Leading with Courage.

 Share Stories of Courageous Leadership

If you know someone who has faced a testing point and made a courageous choice, you may recognize their act of Courageous Leadership. Submit their story of Courageous Leadership for inclusion in the Good News Friday Letter, The Phi Gamma Delta Magazine or on social media.

 Courageous Leader Award Nominations

The Courageous Leader Award (CLA) was established in 2019, and was awarded for the first time at the 2020 Academy. The award is given to individuals who courageously live the values of Phi Gamma Delta. All graduate and undergraduate brothers, new members and friends of Phi Gamma Delta are eligible. For more information, visit the CLA page at www.phigam.orgCourageousLeaderAward.

Nominations received by October 31 will be awarded at the following Academy in early January. However, we accept nominations year-round.

Nominate Someone Today!


 Back to the top

If you need to report an incident, click the link below:

Incident Report Form