Sending a child to college can be a challenging and stressful time in a parent’s life. Your son will encounter many opportunities to become involved outside of their classroom experience. It is important that you be educated about the enriching experience that your son will find by joining Beta Theta Pi.

Beta Theta Pi is dedicated to building Men of Principle for a principled life. Membership in the Fraternity enhances each brother’s collegiate experience through intellectual, social and moral growth. The Fraternity promotes high standards of moral conduct and responsible citizenship as outlined in the Men of Principle initiative. To that end, Beta Theta Pi provides comprehensive volunteer and staff support, numerous merit scholarships and leadership development experiences for more than 1,600 undergraduates annually.

Parent Testimonial

I feel honored to share my feelings about Sean’s association with Beta Theta Pi. Perhaps it’s best to start off by saying Mark Twain may have changed his statement: “Be Good and You Will Be Lonely” had he been privileged to meet some of the Virginia Gentlemen I have met at 129 Chancellor Street. Truly, UVa’s Beta house has a special group of good men who convey a body that is purposeful and appealing in comportment. I’m thankful that Sean has been a part of this group for he has found friendship, an opportunity to serve, and an opportunity for gratitude.

I really didn’t have any concerns about Sean joining the fraternity for he was excited and impressed by the people he initially spoke with. I did, however, have concerns about the amount of time he was pouring into things for the fraternity after being selected President; but, those concerns were laid to rest when I realized that his commitment to his studies at the University remained steadfast and strong. Associating with gentlemen who seriously attend to their education – classroom, social, and community – was a reaffirmation of those very things in him. As far as positive changes that I have seen in Sean I would have to say that he is more lighthearted… he has more of a spring to his step and that I do attribute to his association with Beta. I support the Men of Principle Initiative for I find that nothing succeeds in teaching and leading like a good example. Having the courage to put forth a high set of standards and attempting to abide by them is an honorable and good task for our nation’s young people. I’m gratified to see it on the fraternity grounds of our institutions of higher learning.

If Mark Twain were in my seat, I think he would have to say: “Be Good, Find Like-Minded Good Men and You Will Not Be Lonely”. Sean has been fortunate to find good men with whom to associate and call friends.

– Diane Douglass, mother of Sean Douglass, University of Virginia

Parent Q&A

What concerns did you have when your son told you he was thinking of joining a fraternity?

Initially my concern was due to my ignorance about fraternities…is this going to be like “Animal House” will he be with a bunch of losers or preppies getting drunk and flunking out of a highly expensive school? or is he going to be getting swatted with a board and asking for more so he can be a part of the group?

How have those concerns changed since that time?

Well I’ve learned a lot about this fraternity. They aren’t a bunch of losers partying, drinking, or flunking out. It was my ignorance that was causing my fears. It’s a big step to send your child off to college, not really knowing what they’re doing, not being responsible for what they get themselves into, and not being able to protect them from getting hurt…all those things you’ve done their whole life!

In your opinion, what is the most impressive aspect of Beta Theta Pi?

The most impressive is the fact they are proud to have the highest GPA average. They set the highest standards to achieve, maintain and push themselves and each other to succeed. They support one another and become close friends (and brothers). I’m sure lifelong friends.

How has Beta added to your son’s college experience?

It has added a social/peer group that is positive. Outside the classroom, a positive professional influence…that aren’t necessarily in his “circle” regarding his major. Many of Nick’s classes are in the same building and that would be his social/peer group those just in his field of study, but the Betas are the highest achievers across all the majors so it gives him a much wider group of friends.

Have you seen positive changes in your son since joining Beta? If so, what are they?

When Nick left for college it was a time when he wasn’t sure how to separate from the family. Those growing pains of being a teenager getting his independence but still being dependent. I was so thrilled when I received the invitation to the Mother’s Tea, it was a big turning point for us. The group places an emphasis on family, building up from the foundation we’ve established in them from their early years. And the chapter’s advisors help them realize that their families are still a priority in their life.

Why do you support Beta’s Men of Principle Initiative?

I support the Beta’s because they’ve proven to me to be an asset in my son’s life. As a parent we raise our children to be a good person, we try to instill those behaviors that will help them succeed, and give them a set of rules to adhere to as they grow up. Honestly we do our best and pray God will protect them as they grow up and take those steps away from us. Since we can’t be there to make everything better I think the men in this group are drawn to each other because of the way we raised them…and they fit together with the same basic values they’ve always had.

What would you say to other parents who were in your shoes?

Take a deep breath, research the group in question, then realize that they will make the best choice for themselves. If there is a red flag that comes up in your research discuss it with them. I didn’t find any red flags when I did my research… Fraternities have been in many movies not always portrayed in the best light… but that was the entertaining part of it. The national conferences they have the opportunities to attend help them see a “bigger” picture of what it truly means to become a brother…the alumni who still come and give their life experiences only add to the education of our sons! These alumni are the outstanding people of our time, it gives these young men the ability to connect with, interact with, and strive to become the outstanding men of the future!

– D.J. Orlando, mother of Nick Orlando, John Carroll University