This summer, the school opened a recently vacated fraternity house for bidding to other student organizations. With Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity (FIJI) being the only other housed Greek organization on campus, the chapter and alumni jumped on the opportunity to apply for the house. Phillip Lloyd Hamilton, the Theta Delta Housing Corp President and South Florida Regional Governor, was contacted by FIU's Vice President of Student Affairs as soon as the property became available. The alumni reacted quickly and contacted Pi Kappa Phi Properties for assistance in assembling the bid and acquiring funds for the property's security deposit. Undergraduate members began to commit to living in the house if their organization was chosen. On June 11, 2014, FIU awarded Pi Kappa Phi a lease over all other competing fraternities.
Following months of preparation followed by weeks of continuous labor, Theta Delta was joined by members from Alpha Chi (Miami), Beta Eta (Florida State), Alpha Epsilon (Florida), and Beta Upsilon (Virginia) as they recognized this next step in the evolution of Pi Kappa Phi's presence in Florida. Among those privileged to speak during the dedication event were Theta Delta Archon Austin Nowak, Theta Delta Founding Archon George Corton, FIU Senior Vice President Ken Jessell, and Pi Kappa Phi Chief Operating Officer Christian Wiggins. Following the recognition of numerous alumni who had dedicated hours of labor and made significant financial contributions to make the property a home for Theta Delta, a special presentation was made by Vilma Perez, mother of Theta Delta brothers Anthony and Jeff Perez.
Vilma founded Anthony's Light Foundation following the unexpected death of her son Tony, Theta Delta's then sitting archon. Committed to spreading awareness about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, to which Tony was lost, Vilma also sought to realize one significant dream her son long held – the acquisition of a chapter house for Theta Delta. As the dedication event's program concluded, Vilma announce her recommitment to a pledge made over six years prior during Theta Delta's last capital campaign - $10,000 from Anthony's Light Foundation to the now realized housing efforts of the Theta Delta chapter. The chapter looks forward to the naming of the Anthony J. Perez Memorial Library in the house during the upcoming 10 year remembrance event for Tony on November 14.
Just two short months since moving in, the property at 10737 SW 17 Street has already become a catalyst for the undergraduate members' recommitment to excellence on their campus and has instilled renewed engagement from the chapter's alumni. Theta Delta looks forward to welcoming the many men that will affiliate with PiKapp at FIU, brothers visiting from out of town, the annual Gear Up Florida orientation in Miami, and hosting other countless Pi Kappa Phi events at the chapter's new home for many years to come.
Photography by Victor Quintana, Beta Eta (Florida State)