It’s that time of year again; brothers near and wide will be convening at the 2018 National Leadership Institute in Chicago, Illinois starting Thursday. The HYPE will descend upon the Windy City and the conference committee has a great convention planned for all delegates.

Our 7Visions blogger wanted to delve into the excitement brothers are expressing regarding this year’s conference and so we asked brothers what their most memorable moment at a National Leadership Institute or National Convention has been. This is what some of these Knights had to say.

  • “I would say my first Nationals in San Antonio 2015. I was neo back then and I was able to meet 3 out of the 7 Founders who started ODPhi and a Charter member. It was amazing meeting them and conversing with them. Also, it was my first Nationals and I was experiencing what I was told when I was recruited. That I would meet bros from different states, backgrounds, age, and ethnicities, bond like true brothers. I was able to see the brotherhood in wider aspect. Ever since then I’ve always encourage our neos to try to attend big brotherhood events like Nationals, NLI, or Regionals” said Hedgar Giron, from the Beta Alpha Chapter at Northeastern Illinois University.
  • JJ Chapa, chairman of the National Alumni Association and Alpha Chapter alum expressed the following: “The best memory of nationals that I have is when i got to catchup with Dwight Christopher Forbes, Abel Mendoza and Joe Cereceres at Nationals In San Antonio. It was great being around many of the founders and just talking like we did in years back. Their vision on leadership is priceless. We are lucky we can still talk with our founders and that they make a committment to stay engaged with our brotherhood”.
  • “I went to nationals right before my first semester as a brother and I guess seeing the hype and chapters winning awards made me motivated to help my then colony strive and prosper” said a brother who wished to remain anonymous.
  • “My favorite memory is from 2017 Nationals in Dallas, when all the brothers came together to celebrate our 30 year anniversary and the fact that without necessarily knowing each other personally, the bond between us was evident. The camaraderie was obvious as well as the passion everyone has for our fraternity” expressed Tau chapter alum Rogelio Ferretiz.
  • “My most memorable moment at NLI/Nationals was in Tucson in 2014. I hadn’t been in the organization for a year and we made arrangements to go very late. I reached out to the internal network of brothers (who I knew no one from) and a brother from the Merciless Mu chapter reached out to help me find a place to stay. I didn’t know what to expect, especially from the chapter with merciless in their name, but the kindness, selflessness and brotherhood I received unconditionally made my entire nationals experience” said Luis “Rico” Feliciano, alumn of the University of Florida’s Alpha Upsilon chapter.
  • “My most memorable moments at NLI and Nationals were two: First in 2012 in Lubbock for the 25th Anniversary, my colony presented for chapter status and we earned the letters of Beta Alpha and I received the prestigious Knight of the Roundtable Award. In 2015 in San Antonio, now as Regional Director, I saw one of my colonies become Beta Iota chapter (UIC) while Alpha Alpha chapter at Northwestern University and Alpha Omega chapter took home some hardware (awards). It was great to see chapter I worked with get rewarded for their efforts” said Beta Alpha alum and NLI Conference Chairman Denny Esquivel.
  • “My favorite memory would be 2013 Nationals in Milwaukee. I had the pleasure of meeting Paula Parras Macon, the only woman affiliated with our fraternity. It was amazing to hear her story since it’s been so long since anyone had heard from her. Since then, it’s been great having her around, most recently our 30th Anniversary Conference in Dallas” said National Vice President of Marketing and University of Oklahoma’s Xi Chapter alum Lateef Ipaye.
  • “My favorite memory was the Omega Ceremony at the 25th Anniversary Nationals in Lubbock. I was in awe at the solemnity and unity of the moment” shared candidate for National President and Alpha Chapter alum Clint Beauchamp.Brothers old and new are excited to make more memories with the other Honorable Knights they call brothers and knowing that no matter the location or the reason, the bond shared is truly special.