As a Phi Psi, I learned curious and consistent questioning of my assumptions

By: Patrick McClory, Valparaiso ’02

When I heard that Phi Psi was looking for alumni coaches for its first Professional Development Conference, I knew it was something I wanted to help with.

As an undergraduate at Valparaiso’s Indiana Epsilon Chapter of Phi Psi a few years back, I would’ve said that I had it all figured out already. I think that most young men find it easy to come to a point where they feel they’ve answered life’s biggest questions deeply and thoroughly. It took me many years throughout my 20s to get to the solid grounding of who I was and what I wanted out of life.

In this critical area, I think Phi Psi is positioned to help brothers early on. The Professional Development Conference was going to be focused on a lot of the judgment and skill areas to help make that happen and I thought I could be of help.

The focus of fraternities has changed a lot in recent years. Coming to college, I had a somewhat negative impression of Greek life in general. After meeting Ben Nicol and hearing his philosophy about what being a Phi Psi really stands for, and seeing him live it out, I was convinced! Joining was a way that could help me advance academically and professionally — not just socially.

Looking back, I’d say that if it weren’t for Phi Psi, I wouldn’t have learned to incorporate the practice of curious and consistent questioning of my assumptions in pursuit of my goals.

And more than that, I think the Fraternity offers every member an opportunity to not only see beyond himself in coming to understand the experiences of his brothers but that over time it offers a far greater context for living. For me, Phi Psi has served as both practice for the ‘real world’ and as a base to come back to over time!

That’s something I wanted to get across to the undergraduates attending the Professional Development Conference. I think that in a time when millennials are seeking opportunities to grow beyond themselves in a way that is congruent with their values, Greek organizations have a great platform to stand on to communicate and then help them live out that vision. There’s a fundamental shift in terms of the utility of Greek life and the historical opinion, perspective and even presentation as such in the public media.

I wouldn’t be where I am today without Phi Kappa Psi, and I’m eager to pay forward some of the very best in personal and professional advantages I experienced.

Learn more about the Professional Development Conference and ways to get involved.