In October 2013, Phil Caulkins and Will Pope, students at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, were invited to a wedding of a friend of theirs from Young Life. At the wedding they met Anthony Harb from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. As they introduced themselves Phil and Will shared about their involvement in Young Life at UTC. Anthony was encouraged to hear about the Christian community the two guys were a part of and he began to share with them about the community of brothers that had changed his life at UTK.
The men in BYX at University of Tennessee had played a significant role in leading Anthony to the Lord as a freshman, and he became the president of the chapter less than two years later. Anthony shared the vision of BYX with Phil and Will and encouraged them to consider establishing a BYX chapter at UTC.
These two friends left that wedding dreaming about the possibility of a new chapter at UTC. During this time, unbeknownst to them, a group of their friends on campus were praying about and discussing the possibility of starting a Christian fraternity at UTC. When these friends heard that Phil and Will had talked with a guy from UTK about BYX, they pulled them into the conversation, and, from that point, the momentum has only continued to build.
For nearly 30 years, the vision of Beta Upsilon Chi has spread from one college campus to another as men who have experienced the life-changing power of brotherhood and unity in Christ have shared their experiences with friends from high school, Christian summer camps, and other areas of connection. Over the past ten years, we’ve seen unprecedented growth as we have established BYX chapters on 20 new campuses. As men across the country have caught this vision it has proven to be a wonderful blessing in their lives, and the lives of their brothers in Christ.
We desire to see BYX chapters established on more campuses because we believe lives are transformed when young men live in Christ-centered community with other men. We believe God has used this vision to grow men into godly leaders in their universities and, ultimately, in their families, churches and careers. We believe God has used BYX to change men’s lives and we believe those same men are in the process of changing the world. This reality motivates us as we continually look to start new chapters on campuses across the country.
In April, President & COO Jason Hoyt and I will take a trip to initiate our newest chapter at The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga (UTC). A remarkable group of young men have come together to establish this chapter. In addition to submitting what is arguably the best phase two video to date, they will also start out as the largest new chapter in recent history with 30 founding fathers. Our plan is to initiate the brothers of our new Alpha Lambda Chapter on April 15. Three days later, they will experience their first event as they plan on having a joint formal in Chattanooga with our brothers from The University of Tennessee-Knoxville.
The next prospective chapter on deck is The University of Kentucky. We have been working with a handful of guys at UK for almost a year and the momentum has just recently begun to build. There are currently 13 young men on campus that are trying to recruit a few more founding fathers before they shoot their phase two video. We hope and plan to initiate this chapter prior to the fall semester rush or at some point during the fall to get them ready for rush during the spring of 2015.
Two prospective chapters that are still very much in the discussion for a 2014 initiation are The University of South Carolina and Kansas State University. The process of recruiting 15 founding fathers on these two campuses has proven to be a difficult task up to this point, but there are still 5-10 young men on each campus that are still in the process of recruiting the necessary guys to establish a new chapter. Please be praying for favor for our men at USC and K-State, and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any contacts on these two campuses.
We are excited about the four prospective universities that we hope to initiate by the end of the year. At the same time, we have been in conversations with students and ministry leaders on the campuses of Miami University (Ohio), University of Minnesota, Penn State and Elon University.
While we are currently working with more prospective chapters at one time than ever before, and while we are talking with several other students on potential campuses, one thing remains clear: our current members are our absolute best resource as we look to start new chapters. The road to establishing a BYX chapter can be difficult, but having founding fathers that are connected to current members goes a long way in helping guys persevere through the journey.
With that in mind, if you have a friend on a campus that could use a BYX chapter, consider reaching out to him and asking him to pray through the opportunity. Nearly every chapter we have started has been the result of a current BYX member that has shared the vision with a friend. Michigan is a chapter largely because Ryan Johnson from Kansas shared the vision with Reid Compagner. The next chapter to be initiated at UTC is the result of Anthony Harb of Tennessee sharing the vision with some of the prospective founding fathers at a wedding in Chattanooga. You could be the next guy to inspire a friend to take the torch by starting a new chapter that could impact the lives of countless young men on a college campus!
If you know someone who might be interested in starting a new chapter, contact Brian Lee email@example.com or direct them to contact us through our website.