Over the weekend of January 10-12, 2014, Pi Kappa Phi members from Northwestern State University joined others from around the nation to take part in the Fraternity’s Mid Year Leadership Conferences. More than 1,400 students, staff and volunteers attended the conferences, which were held in Baltimore, Md.; Charlotte, N.C.; Dallas, Texas; and St. Louis, Mo. Student leaders from the Beta Omicron chapter, along with alumni volunteers, attended the Dallas event.
Started in 1983, Mid Year Leadership Conference — then known as Archon/Vice Archon Conference — was held over two consecutive weekends in April and was intended exclusively for archons and vice archons. More than 20 chapters participated in the event, which was held at the National Headquarters in Charlotte, N.C. The inaugural A/VA Conference received such positive response from participants that the fraternity promised to continue and expand it.
Today, Mid Year Leadership Conference is Pi Kappa Phi’s officer training institute and is held annually in January. Each chapter sends a minimum of eight delegates, each who follow one of 10 unique educational tracks. In addition the seven officer position, offered tracks include Push America chairmen, risk management chairmen and standards board chairmen.
The theme for 2014’s Mid Year Leadership Conference is “Courage.” Newly elected officers will be challenged to think about how they will demonstrate the courage to make positive choices, act on their values, and develop a commitment to excellence. “Courage” was intertwined throughout the weekend during the General Sessions, Breakout Sessions and, of course, at the College Night Banquet. NSU students Kyler Halbert, Manton Capers, TJ O’Rourke, Scotty Davis, Anthony Hunter, Zack Cockerham, Austin Craft, and Jayson Freemyer all attended.
An impressive line-up of speakers presented at Mid Year Leadership Conference in Dallas. Pi Kappa Phi alumnus Tyson Wooters (Alpha Omega) spent four years as the University of Oregon’s Duck mascot. Now, as a CAMPUSPEAK presenter, he draws on his very unusual experience to fire up student audiences looking for a fun, meaningful message about student empowerment and leadership. His keynote engaged student leaders to define membership, ownership, stewardship, and leadership within their chapters. Rounding out the weekend in Dallas was Pi Kappa Phi brother and 2012 Paralympic athlete Evan Austin (Eta Beta-Indiana State.) Evan spoke of his time as a member of the 2012 Paralympic swim team and his experience in London. Evan encouraged brothers to take ownership in Push America and make a difference in the lives of others.
Beta Omicron played important roles at multiple conferences that weekend, serving on the faculty and inspiring students to create a plan of action for their individual roles. Alumnus Lane Luckie returned as a facilitator for the Risk Management track at the Dallas conference, while alumnus David Hogan served as a facilitator in the Chaplain track. At Mid Year in St. Louis, alumnus Wes Breeden led the Archon track, while Shayne Creppel underwent training to facilitate the Ladder of Risk program next semester. Alumnus and Push America staff member Nick Breaux served as a faculty member for the Push America Academy.