Robert Morrison, 1849
The good man is one who is of strong character, just and generous in his friendship, loyal and upright. Friendship is born between men who share these ideals. Classical authors mention the duties of friendship as being truthfulness, mutual correction, and fidelity. They say friendship’s law will never ask another to do wrong or encourage him in wrongdoing. Every young man seeking membership into Phi Delta Theta will partake in many interactions as well as several activities that will help in fostering this most vital element. He will learn to pick his models and make sacrifices for the greater good of our Phi Delt brotherhood. Mastery of this principle was what brought our Founding Fathers together to form our great fraternity, and today is the greatest lifetime benefit of being a brother of Phi Delta Theta. Friendship is the Bond between all Phi Delt Gentlemen.
The primary reason for attending college is to study and to learn. That being said, scholarship achievement and fraternal living must complement each other. Sound learning, as seen through the eyes of a Phi Delt, does not necessarily mean extraordinary success in scholarship. Rather, it implies continual pursuit of the highest level of truth in every matter and the recurrent demonstration of intellectual curiosity. The good student is one who is excited about learning and is driven toward the accumulation of knowledge. In Phi Delta Theta, we combine such curiosities with a sound worth ethic, where academic achievement becomes our resultant byproduct. Sound Learning is in the mind of every Phi Delt Gentleman.
With four of our “Immortal Six” founding fathers being ministers of the Christian faith, Phi Delt believed then, just as it does now, that strong moral character is a must. Rectitude, in the sense that we acknowledge, includes both the idea of moral integrity and correctness of judgment. Given a list of do’s and don’ts, any man should be capable of veering away from doing wrong. However, a Phi Delt Gentleman is challenged to reach a conclusion as to what is truly a “good” for all-behaviors which will rest upon that which is both true and good. Rectitude is reaching out to other people—a concern for others—that eliminates no one. It is an adult response to love and it is at the same time a rejection of egocentrism and narcissism. Moral Rectitude is in the heart of every Phi Delt Gentleman.