I have only been to Fayetteville once, but I have never been in the fall. Man it was so much better this time with all the leaves changing color. Being born and raised in a flat state, Oklahoma, I really admire and am consequently intensely fascinated with hilly terrain. Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas have an immense amount of hills, so not only were my dreams fulfilled, but I also got my needed calf workout in.
So I flew into town by mid-afternoon and was picked up by three studs, Myles, Benjie and Graham, who volunteered to drive me to campus. Thanks guys, it was a blast. I was then dropped off at the famous and historical BYX house called the 1915 – one of the BYX Xi Chapter’s houses that pledges allegiance to one of the founders named Matthew Bakke. This chapter has a Hogwarts-esque house system that is really cool.
I had nothing really planned before attending the pep rally that night, so I hung out with Weston White, their VP of Social, and he showed me around Fayetteville for the Fayettechill experience. One of those experiences was going to a barber shop. Normally I wouldn’t ever cut my hair on a work visit, but I had never had a barber shop experience, so it worked out. Trust me, it needed to happen; my mom has been telling me to cut my hair since May.
The pep rally was a blast Friday night; indeed, the Arkansas BYX guys know how to have some fun. I had no clue what I was doing, but as long as I walked in the parade and whooped and yelled pig sooie several times, then I would fit in. I also got to wear my flannel, which made me really happy.
The reason I came to Fayetteville for the whole weekend should be duly noted. I came up here because it was the Xi Chapter’s 10th Anniversary Legacy Weekend. So not only did I come up for my national advisor visit, but several alumni from the past 10 years, including a lot of the founding fathers, came up to celebrate the history and growth of their BYX chapter.
Saturday morning we had an early tailgate before the homecoming football game. Arkansas knows how to throw a good alumni tailgate. There was Chick-fil-A breakfast, a lot of hydrating substances like orange juice, some cinnamon rolls and several fruit trays. They didn’t serve the one that was accidently dumped on the ground. Although it was pretty early, about 45 of Alumni and many brothers came out and had a good time.
The football game was actually way more chill than I was expecting. Even the BYX guys I was with were shocked at how relaxed the student body was; I heard it normally gets pretty cray. But I still got to experience all the football traditions as well as more woo-ing and pig sooieing until we left after halftime. The rest of the day entailed eating lunch, hanging with the bros, getting a campus tour, and preparing for the Alumni Banquet that night.
Side note, and something I should definitely not forget to mention is that Alex Mark, the current president of the Alpha Chapter at the University of Texas, graced us with his presence this weekend. He and another UT BYX member, James Bussman, just came down to hang out, which was seriously an added bonus to this weekend. I have already enjoyed working with Alex this semester and was happy to spend more time with him as well as connect with James. I am excited to see what ideas they can bring back to their chapter for their big 30th anniversary legacy weekend next year.
The Alumni Banquet went extremely well. I found out that Hayden Summerhill, the current secretary, had been working with the fellow alumnus Brandon Edwards and others to plan this legacy weekend since February. Well, this hard work and planning paid off! Upwards to 50 alumni showed up to the banquet, there was a solid slideshow with pictures dating back 10 years, great speeches, fun prizes and some amazing cake. Overall, the event was excellent and definitely a great start and model for this chapter and our BYX chapters around the nation to look at for future exceptional Legacy Weekends and alumni relations.
The rest of the night involved more exploring around Fayeteville, the best place being Mt. Sequoyah with Alex Mark and Weston White, eating pumpkin seeds at the “K-Life” house and getting killed by Alex in Super Smash Bros N64 several times.
Sunday was the final day for Legacy Weekend. The guys split up into their respective founder’s houses and met up to eat an early lunch at a specific location with alumni and fellow house brothers. I chose to eat with the Cooper house at Noodles.
Legacy Chapter followed the impressive banquet from the night before. I got to share my heart and BYX story briefly, while mentioning expansion and our Project 40 initiative. Then the four head-house founders came up and gave some encouraging and challenging words to the chapter, as well as some hilarious stories, continuing and reiterating some things that were mentioned at the banquet.
I had actually been praying for God to fill the gaps where I had cut out what I normally teach on or talk about (I had to for time reasons), and He totally provided through each alumnus that got up and spoke. Each talked about a specific topic that I had taken out of my speech, like commitment and the importance of cell groups and spiritual sharpening, so I thought that was really awesome how the Lord moved.
Well, we ended the Legacy Weekend with a bunch of massive group pictures outside and a bunch of hugs. Well done guys. The 10th Anniversary Legacy Weekend for the Xi Chapter was a hit.
Monday was the final day packed with individual meetings until I left around 5 p.m. I met with current officers, guys who were running to be officers, the whole kabang. Each of these guys has a phenomenal heart for the Lord and for BYX. I couldn’t express enough how blessed I was to hear their stories and how God has molded them in their college and BYX experience and their goals and vision for their future and the future of their chapter. These guys are influencers, and I look forward to continuing my relationship with them and their chapter.