University President Leo Lambert urged members of Elon University’s chapter of the Delta Upsilon fraternity to be positive leaders on and off campus when he spoke at their Fall Initiation Oct. 27.
Lambert gave members of the fraternity three pieces of advice to carry with them at Elon and beyond: lead with integrity, invest in the university and invest in the Elon community.
“Wherever you are and wherever you go as a DU brother, I ask you to conduct yourselves with the highest standards of human decency and respect,” Lambert said. “Our world needs thoughtful, compassionate, smart and collaborative leaders.”
Lambert said compassion in particular is critical in leadership.
“Look out for each other and others who are less fortunate than you,” he said. “Elon expects this of you and I expect this of you.”
As leaders, Lambert stressed the importance of members' involvement on campus outside of their fraternity.
“Membership in a fraternity isn’t an end point,” Lambert said. “There are many of ways you should continue to experience Elon. Be a multidimensional man at this university.”
Lastly, Lambert encouraged Delta Upsilon members to be stewards of their community not only at Elon, but also in Alamance County.
“There are untold needs to be met just a few steps from our campus,” he said. “Leave this community and every community you live in after Elon, better than you found it.”
While he was never in a fraternity himself, Lambert said he had a special connection to Delta Upsilon.
“At the top of my 'list of DU men I admire' is my son-in-law, David Brown, and the father of my two grandchildren,” Lambert said. “DU is very important in my family, too.”
“Despite being one of the most recent additions to Elon Fraternity and Sorority Life, your chapter has flourished at Elon over the last five years,” Lambert said. “You have much to be proud of, gentlemen, and I am proud of you.”
The president of Delta Upsilon, Drew Adair, said that in light of recent criticism on fraternities nationwide, he hopes that Lambert’s speech will inspire members to act with integrity.
“Whether that be hazing related, partying related, things of that nature, Greek Life is a dominant thing here at Elon, and I think we are doing things and making moves in the right direction for sure," Adair said. "Having events like this with the leader of our university coming to speak to us, I really hope that that inspires people to be the very best they can be.”
Adair said that Lambert’s leadership at Elon has been an inspiration to him as a leader of the fraternity.
“He and I are at similar places, him obviously on a much higher scale, but I look up to him and aspire to everything he’s done when it comes to leaving a legacy behind,” Adair said. “If this is something I can leave behind when I’m done with my job here, I’d be very happy.”
Lambert told the Elon News Network he hopes he is remembered at Elon for promoting a strong sense of community on campus.
“I hope my legacy would be somebody who tried to preserve Elon’s culture and values as a very student-centered university where young people can come and thrive and be transformed, and find significant mentors and to find their place in the world,” Lambert said. “I think that’s the kind of community that we are. Very close-knit, very inclusive.”
Lambert will be stepping down as president of the university when Connie Book takes over the role on March 1.