Steve Ross, founder of the Zionsville Student Rights Union and a 2009 graduate of Zionsville Community High School, is at it again — but this time he’s going Greek. Ross, along with five other Zionsville grads and 10 additional Indiana University students, recently founded a fraternity at Indiana University.

“My mom was in the founding class of the Phi Mu sorority at IU,” he said in reference to why he wanted to start a fraternity. “I was talking to her on the phone one day and she said something to the effect that she wished I could be part of a founding class like she was. This was when the light bulb turned on: I should found my own colony.”

In late January, Ross initiated contact with Alex King, director of field operations for the Alpha Delta Phi International Fraternity, with the intention of starting a colony at IU.

“Steve connected with our history and wanted to start a chapter,” King said.

Now, less than two months later, the Alpha Delta Phi Fraternity, Indiana Affiliate, stands 16-men strong, officially recognized by both the International organization and the IU Interfraternity Council.

Ross said he went through the formal Greek rush. He said every house had its strengths but he wanted to take strengths from various organizations and put them together to create a hybrid of tradition and innovation.

“I enjoy starting new things and starting a Greek organization is one of the more valuable things you can do at the university level because it could last a century. Some fraternities are more than 100 years old and this is something that I could leave as a long-lasting legacy.”

Some other Zionsville alums, including 2009 valedictorian Chris Mattson, 2009 Senior Class President Daniel Violi, Cory Kirkham, Nate Lawrence and Payahm Mansoori, helped found the fraternity.

Violi, vice president of programming for the fraternity, said he thinks Ross is one of the more mature people he’s ever been around.

“He’s determined and pretty persistent,” he said. “He’s a model leader.”

The founding fathers of the fraternity are young, mostly freshman.

“We may be young, but that simply means we have more time,” he said in reference to his strength. “We have three more years to make this fraternity great, and that’s what we intend to do.”

Alpha Delta Phi International is an elite fraternity, with chapters at only the most prominent universities in North America. Founded by Samuel Eells at Hamilton College in 1832, Alpha Delta Phi is the fourth oldest continuous Greek-letter fraternity in the United States and Canada. Eells’ vision for the fraternity, in his words, was to “(look) to the entire man, so as to develop his whole being — moral, social, and intellectual.” The fraternity continues this tradition to this day, through its chapters and affiliates throughout North America.

Ross said his biggest concern right now is getting their name out in the Greek community and recruiting new members. They are also working on what they can do as a frat to have events and support the school and the community.







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