In an effort to highlight the people who are leading graduate chapters across the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to the brothers of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc.’s Tau Chi Sigma Chapter in Bronx County, New York and did an interview with Gregory J. Adegbola the President of the chapter.
The position of president of a Black fraternity chapter is a highly respected role and there is a special pride that one takes. Adegbola, who works as a Director of Facilities for KIND (Kids In Need of Defense), has been in the position of President for 11 months.
We interviewed Adegbola, who is a Spring 1998 initiate of his fraternity and talked to him about his position, goals, future and what it means to hold this type of leadership position in the digital age.
Read the full interview below.
What motivated you to take on the role of alumni chapter president?
I am pleased to announce that Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. established a new alumni chapter in the Bronx County area of New York City after 108 years of existence. The Tau Chi Sigma Alumni chapter which was founded on September 23, 2022, has 14 charter members, and I am honored to be a founding charter member and serve as the first chapter president. My brothers elected me unanimously due to my leadership skills and vision, but I recognize that strong leadership requires a solid team. Our executive board and membership body are exemplary. I was motivated to become the first chapter president, despite the challenges that come with being the first, because I wanted to set an example for my fellow brothers on how to lead and support one another effectively. My goal is to establish a strong foundation for future members to build upon and create a positive impact in the Bronx Community through our efforts. In the next 50 – 100 years, my hope is that Tau Chi Sigma will thrive as a chapter with a strong culture, exceptional leadership, and a commitment to making a difference in our community.
What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the local community or the broader Black community?
The power of young people to create positive change in our society is undeniable. In the Bronx, we are committed to working with schools and engaging with the youth. Through our adopt-a-school program, we will aim to build meaningful relationships with students and staff, providing impactful activities that inspire them with the positive contributions of our diverse group of black men. We understand the importance of forging connections and building relationships within the Bronx community. By participating in decision-making conversations and highlighting the good that exists within the community, we aim to strengthen the black community. As a Bronx Alumni Chapter, we have already fostered strong relationships and look forward to further building upon them. Together, we can be a part of the change needed to make a difference.
What made you want to pledge Phi Beta Sigma?
Joining Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. was a defining moment in my life. In the great Spring 1998 (shout out to #TheGreatSp98) I sealed my legacy as a then 17-year-old Solo by joining the Radical Rho Xi Chapter at the State University at Oswego. As the first person in my family to join a Greek organization, this experience held a special meaning for me. I recall the Sigma’s were always approachable and down-to-earth. I was inspired by their dedication to community service to the campus community and how they were also doing impactful programming. A turning point for me was witnessing the support and bond between the Upstate, New York chapters during my first Blue and White Weekend at Oswego. I watched as the room was filled with Blue and White, and seeing the brothers showing love to each other as they gripped and hugged one another was dope to me. In addition to that, I loved seeing the sisters of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. supporting the Sigma’s. When I saw the Sigma’s and Zeta’s all strolling together and learned about them being the only constitutionally bound brother and sister organization, I knew then, without a doubt, that I wanted to join and become a member. I come from a close-knit family, and to see the unity and bond between these two organizations was amazing.
What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?
At Tau Chi Sigma, we strive to embody our three core principles, known as our tenets. Our “Culture of Brotherhood” fosters a deep sense of accountability, honesty, constructive criticism, and love for one another. This creates an atmosphere that feels like a true family, where new members are welcomed with open arms. Our “Culture of Impact” is centered around making a meaningful difference in the Bronx community through programs and services that leave a lasting impression. Lastly, our “Culture of Excellence” inspires us always to be our best and hold ourselves to a high standard in all aspects of our chapter. We pay close attention to details and aim to provide the highest level of quality in everything we do from our social media posts, branding, meetings and our business dealings whether internally or externally.
How is your chapter providing for the undergraduate chapters you support?
As we are a new alumni chapter, we do not currently oversee any collegiate chapters. However, we do support our younger brothers of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., in the New York City area (shout out to Blu York), whenever an opportunity arises.
How do you approach fostering a sense of unity and camaraderie among alumni members, and what strategies have you found effective?
I believe it is our shared understanding of the chapter’s new and evolving culture. Our chapter’s DNA lies in being true to ourselves. Like-minded brothers naturally gravitate toward one another. For example, I have found that when we have chapter meetings, it’s not uncommon for conversations to extend well beyond the scheduled time due to our deep connections and enjoyment of each other’s company, and the same for virtual meetings. As a charter member and president, I always emphasize to new brothers who transfer that this is their chapter and their home, and their input is valued. We strive to empower all our members and ensure that everyone has a voice in decision-making processes. Additionally, I make it a point to regularly reach out to fellow brothers to check in on how they are doing and to foster stronger relationships. Brotherhood and sisterhood are the defining characteristics of Greek organizations, and at Tau Chi Sigma, we prioritize meaningful connections and fellowship above all else. Our community service efforts are only enhanced by the strong bonds we share as brothers in this chapter.
What advice would you give to aspiring leaders within your fraternity/sorority who may aspire to take on roles of leadership within alumni chapters?
As a leader, it’s essential to stay true to yourself. Honesty and confidence are key qualities when leading a team, especially when admitting uncertainty. Recognizing the unique talents of each member and delegating tasks accordingly is crucial. I’ve noticed that my brothers are always eager to contribute and be involved in the decision-making process. Being a leader means standing shoulder-to-shoulder with them, leading by example, and being transparent, honest, and proactive in communication. It’s also important to identify and nurture new leaders within the chapter you are leading, as they may bring fresh perspectives and ideas. Ultimately, as a leader, it’s important always to keep the best interests of the chapter and its members in mind while being decisive and confident in decision-making.
How has mentorship helped you get to where you are today? Are there any specific people in your org who have made a significant impact on your life as mentors?
Having mentors within the organization is incredibly valuable because, as with anything in life, it’s always beneficial to have experienced individuals who can offer guidance and insight based on their own time in the Fraternity. Personally, I’ve been fortunate enough to have several mentors who have been instrumental in my development within Sigma. These include my brothers Curtis Banks and Ben Alston. Some of my chapter bros and fellow charter members, Victor Shai Ajayi, David Barron, and Mark Cornelius, as well as our International President, Bro. Chris V. Rey. It’s truly wonderful when brothers are willing to take time out of their busy schedules to listen, offer advice, and provide support. Thanks to my mentors, I now have a better understanding of how to navigate and thrive within the fraternity.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
I know that Watch The Yard is important for anyone interested in the Black Greek community. They offer a variety of content, including high-quality videos and coverage of neophytes crossing, and graduations, as well as highlighting major accomplishments from local to national levels ranging from great things collegiates are doing all the way to entertainment and politics. The authenticity of their perspectives on Greek Life is what sets them apart, and they provide exposure to all D9 Greeks across various platforms. Whether you’re a current student or an alumni, Watch The Yard captures the essence of Greek life at all levels.
Looking back at it, why do you love being a member of your org?
Being a member of my organization is truly fulfilling because of the relationships I’ve built. I am married to a Zeta (#DoveLove- Hey Lydia). Some of my fraternity brothers and sorority sisters have become my closest friends, even considered family by my children who call them uncle and aunty. I have gained Sigma mentors and big brothers who offer invaluable guidance and support. This is especially meaningful to me since I didn’t have much male influence in my life growing up. It’s amazing to have that now. What I appreciate most about my organization is that the organization as a whole share a desire to make a positive impact on the world while surrounded by people we truly care about. This is what makes our work truly meaningful.
Lastly, what does brotherhood mean to you?
Brotherhood means, forming enduring connections with brothers who share similar values. Being part of a Greek organization, whether it be a fraternity or sorority, is akin to being in a family. You may not get along with everyone, but you will care for them, nonetheless. Some brothers will become close friends and you will cultivate strong relationships with them, while with others, you will collaborate and maintain a respectful rapport. However, at the core, we are all members of the same organization, tasked with carrying out the mission set out by our founders, and in our case, it’s “Culture for Service and Service for Humanity”.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Gregory J. Adegbola for his work as the President of the Tau Chi Sigma Chapter which has a legacy that spans back to 2022.
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