Written by Nick D’Addabo (Alabama, ’09), Chapter Leaders Day Chairman
At the beginning of 2020, I wrote about the fifth industrial revolution where the world focuses on doing good and maximizing utility with the power of the technology that the 2010s created. I had no understanding of the magnitude or role that virtual connectivity would play just a few short weeks after I summarizing last year’s CLD recap. For our undergraduate members, in-person connectivity at pivotal points in their lives were severed.
Planning for CLD programming started in August when the CLD planning committee was faced with a challenge that we had not encountered in years prior. Would we host a 2021 CLD program? We realized that this year, more than any other, we’d need to support our undergraduate leaders with a curriculum that helped them navigate the challenges they were having while living, leading, and recruiting in a virtual and uncertain world. So, we did what Sigma Alpha Mu has been able to do best over these last fifteen months – we pivoted and adapted.
This year’s CLD was a two-day virtual event that allowed us to bring more than 300 leaders and advisors from chapters around North America together in one location. We hosted the event on a best-in-class system called Socio.
We designed custom boxes that were shipped out to all CLD registrants to maintain the brotherhood and uniqueness of the program, and we won the NIC Laurel Wreath Award. The Award recognizes unique programs, community outreach, or influence in the fraternal world. We had tremendous support from our volunteer facilitators who joined us from various industries and campuses across the country. Our facilitators helped guide conversation around navigating a virtual world from their experience across several industries, allowing undergraduate members to develop their communication and recruitment strategies. Breakout sessions by chapter size provided the opportunity for chapters from the west coast and east coast to interact.
We concluded the weekend by inducting participants into the Fleur-de-lis Society. This year, however, the 2021 inductees will have faced one of the most challenging and uncertain battles in leadership that our Fraternity’s history has seen. Our facilitators have gained a new perspective on how to help address those challenges, and our Committee is more empowered and equipped to be a part of navigating our undergraduate leaders through any challenge that is thrown at them.
I am proud to report that the same dedicated members from the 2020 CLD Committee once again ran the show this year. Special thanks to Octagon Counsul Fra Benji Bearman, Fra Terrance Brown and Fra Chris Landry for their dedication and incredible efforts put into 2021’s programming. Our regional events would also not be possible without the volunteer facilitators that execute the curriculum; a heartfelt thanks for giving up their time to help ensure that each chapter of Sigma Alpha Mu was afforded the opportunity for this type of education. Finally, CLD and all other educational programming would certainly not be possible without the support, oversight and financial commitment of the International Fraternity from Andy Huston, Michele Peterson, Kelby Dolan, Fraternity professional staff, The Octagon, and the Sigma Alpha Mu Foundation’s donors. We thank you and wish you a safe and healthy remainder of your summer as we move closer each day toward the light at the end of this historic pandemic.
This program is supported by grants from Sigma Alpha Mu Foundation and the Endowment Fund.
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