From the Executive Director: We're Changing to Better Serve You

Dr. Bradley R. Newcomer
Oct 20, 2023
On March 21, 2022, Phi Kappa Phi staff members joined some of the Society’s top leaders for a solemn ceremony honoring lives lost to COVID-19. As part of the program, we planted a young pond cypress as a living memorial, an event I wrote about in my summer column last year.

The sapling looked a bit like the Charlie Brown Christmas tree of the famous yuletide TV special – thin, spindly, and quite bare. But our memorial tree quickly grew, and it’s thriving in spite of some challenging seasons. After last year’s winter, our cypress was brittle and brown, without the slightest hint of green. A few of our staff members wondered if the cypress had survived.

But slowly, little shoots of new growth emerged, and now the tree sports a bright green canopy for staff and visitors to enjoy.

A landscaper had told us to expect nothing less from the pond cypress, a tree known for its resilience in many kinds of conditions.

Each day, our memorial tree reminds Phi Kappa Phi staff of an abiding reality: Life favors those with an ability to adapt. It’s a lesson we’re keeping close to heart and mind at our national office, where we’re embracing a number of changes to sustain and grow Phi Kappa Phi and better serve our members.

We’re deeply investing in new technology to improve how we track our members, support our chapters, and engage with our community of stakeholders around the world. We’re creating a strategic plan to help advance the Society’s mission.

We’re also creating new opportunities for our donors to deepen their engagement with Phi Kappa Phi. Our Benefactor program, an enhanced donor tier we unveiled earlier this year, is an important part of the effort.

As Phi Kappa Phi’s executive director and CEO, I’m privileged to participate in chapter functions in many places. Those events remind me that Phi Kappa Phi is always at its best when we connect with each other.

Luckily, all of us have several ways to make those connections. First, I invite you to participate in Phi Kappa Phi at the chapter level, which is the heart of our Society. Secondly, take advantage of Forum, our award-winning magazine, and our online Link community at They’re great venues for learning what other members are doing – and important opportunities to let us know about you. Because membership is the lifeblood of Phi Kappa Phi, please take a couple of minutes to keep your membership current through our convenient portal at

At, you’ll also find some great tools to engage with the Society as a donor.

As always, I welcome your ideas about how the national office can better serve you. Please feel free to reach me at