A Legacy of Leadership

Danny Heitman
Sep 21, 2022

When Daniel Sandweiss handed over his gavel at the close of Phi Kappa Phi’s national convention in Orlando, Florida, he had lots of company as a past president. Five other past presidents attended the gathering at the Omni Resort at ChampionsGate – a happening so memorable that staff at the national office knew a picture was in order. The only challenge was assembling the previous leaders to get the shot.

Within Phi Kappa Phi, past presidents tend to be among the most enthusiastic – and widely circulating – attendees. Relieved of the responsibilities of leading the convention, they can mingle at will with the many Phi Kappa Phi friends they’ve made over the years. Put simply, they move around a lot, which is apparently why one past president, Gypsy Denzine, prefers tennis shoes while working the convention floor. These aren’t people who rose to Society leadership by standing still.

Even so, we managed to gather five past presidents at the Omni for a portrait. Each wears the Society medallion recognizing their service in Phi Kappa Phi’s top elected post.

Counting Sandweiss, Phi Kappa Phi had a total of six past presidents in attendance at the 2022 convention. Their presence underscored the long tradition of past presidents remaining active in the Society even after their term of service is over.

Phi Kappa Phi’s governance structure encourages this kind of participation. After they leave the presidency, past presidents remain on the Board of Directors another two years to help advise the new president. (President-elects also have a two-year term on the board to help prepare for the top post.)

“I was extremely fortunate to succeed Missy Hopper and to benefit from her mentorship and support over many years, including the last two while she has been past president,” Sandweiss said, also crediting Lora Becker, who succeeded him, for her counsel. As Sandweiss put it, “whatever good has come from my presidency could not have happened without this effective and truly enjoyable collaboration.”

As Hopper cycled off the Society’s governance board in Orlando, she pledged to stay involved in Phi Kappa Phi. Obviously, that’s something the Society’s past presidents love to do.

To learn more about the Society's leadership, click here.