Filling the Empty Nest

Posted by: Justin Pyles - December 15, 2015

Many describe being a chapter advisor much like the role of a “dad.” When Mike Hart’s (Bowling Green, 1983) own children left for college, he decided to reach out to his alma mater’s chapter, which was under an alumni supervisory committee. Hart felt strongly about keeping the Delta Tau Chapter stable, and he and his wife, who were experiencing their first onset of “empty nest syndrome,” yearned for youth interaction.

Mike Hart

“As an alumnus of the Delta Tau Chapter, I received a letter at home informing me the chapter was under national review,” Hart explained. “My wife knew how much fraternity had meant to my student life and urged me to become involved.”

Hart graduated from Bowling Green State University (BGSU) with a Bachelor of Science in business administration. In 1983, he was selected as “Senior Man of the Year.” He was a pledge educator twice, recruitment chairman and was very active during his time on campus.

Just a few years ago, Hart was informed the Delta Tau Chapter was under review, with a mere seven members and no shelter or permanent meeting location. It was very important to him that his fraternity didn’t disappear at BGSU.

“I met with the president of the chapter, at the time, and spoke with the current chapter advisor,” said Hart. “I found what was left of the chapter to be a group of fantastic individuals, who really wanted to see the chapter remain vibrant and strong.”

Hart, along with the undergraduate members, decided to work hard and diligently seek quality men to join the chapter. A drive was also mounted to find permanent shelter in the campus’s new fraternity row. This challenging journey began more than three years ago.

“After a lot of hard work and determination,” Hart said, “our chapter size, including new members, has grown to nearly 50 men, from the seven when we first started down this path. As for shelter, ground has been broken on the new fraternity row, and the Delta Tau Chapter plans to occupy its permanent residence in fall 2016.”

Hart sees his role as an advisor for the Fraternity much like that of a coach, giving good advice and being there to remind the group’s members of the things they should do and discourage the things they shouldn’t. He is also regularly in touch with the chapter president.

“Most of all, I see my role as providing the members guidance in what the Fraternity believes and how these beliefs impact what they are considering,” Hart said. “Our presidential leadership has been fantastic in taking this chapter to the next level.”

Hart has truly witnessed a culture change at the Delta Tau Chapter. Throughout his leadership as an advisor, he hopes to show the chapter’s members how the Fraternity has impacted his life and show them how the fraternity experience continues after graduation.

“I’m proud to be a Delt, and I want the chapter’s members to develop this same sense of pride,” he said. “I want the members to have a great experience and to build forever friendships. I want the alumni to be proud of their heritage and to share their experiences with the actives and those students considering membership in Delta Tau.”

Guiding the Delta Tau Chapter through this transition has been rewarding for Hart. He has not only led the men toward success, but he’s also fulfilled much of his “empty nest” feeling.

“I derive great satisfaction from the reinvigoration that has taken place at Delta Tau and plan to be a part of its continuation,” said Hart. “When I say I’m going to spend some time with ‘the boys,’ I will be doing just that at the new shelter next fall, but it’s been my pleasure to watch this chapter grow in such a short period of time.”