Undergrad Perspective

The following are excerpts of letters written by Triangle undergrads to give an undergraduate recipient view on the Foundation's programs:

Daniel C. Merkel marq03: LEADING FROM BEHIND
Learned Leadership Style is Valuable Lesson

Since joining Triangle Fraternity in the spring of 2003, I find myself learning, teaching and more importantly, growing. I have the pleasure of becoming closer to people than I ever thought possible. This past year, now that I live in the chapter home, my learning, teaching, and growing has sky-rocketed to new heights. Living here has taught me many life lessons, including how one cleans and repairs a toilet after it leaks through a floor, how to deal with people who are at odds, and how to help others. All of these items may be expressed by the growth of my interpersonal skills. Over these past years, I have helped Brothers become more comfortable in professional settings. Meanwhile, Brothers here have helped me willingly and openly to become more socially suave. Admittedly, this is an area that I needed a great deal of help. To that end, I have made leaps and bounds with the help of the people that I have found here at Triangle.

Although I am new in my leadership role at Triangle, I have had the privilege to hold other leadership roles throughout campus. Examples of leadership roles include President of our Engineering Student Council, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, Robotics, and a departmental advisory council. But there are unique differences between leading these organizations and leading Triangle Brothers. Of all the organizations I am part of, the people that comprise Triangle are among the most dynamic, diverse, and driven I have found. It is because of the people that we have here that push this organization to accomplish the many things we have done.

Personally, I have often wondered how to lead such a group. Earlier before the semester started, I was fortunate enough to attend the President’s Leadership Academy. At this event, I learned many ways to take the next step with the chapter. The most successful way was introduced by our second keynote speaker. He called it, “Leading From Behind.” It is a simple leadership style that allows the leader to make use of strong people. To make a long story short, after the weekend at the President’s Leadership Academy, I was able to implement several styles and visions that came throughout the weekend. Initially, the leadership and vision that I am sharing with our chapter is helping to set a positive tone, and I hope that it leads our chapter to grow over the next year.

Caleb White lou02:

“My Triangle vision has been renewed, refreshed, and given a completely new meaning. At all times during my stay I have been comforted, complimented and upheld by my fellow brothers. I have been given a new light, a light which I intend to shine on the world through example, brotherhood, and leadership!”

Matt Wishon ku01:

“My chapter has been going through several changes and I have been fortunate enough to be a part of these amazing changes. I have been challenged to take the things I have learned (from Scobie Leadership School) and the excitement I have gained back to my chapter. Not only have I been challenged to positively change my chapter, but I have been challenged to change myself and to become a better person and leader.”

Mike Meyer marq00:

“Leadership School has had a great influence on the members that were fortunate enough to attend. I was asked to be a mentor for the newly initiated participants. I was able to see the newer members of Triangle really develop their leadership skills over these few days. It was amazing to see how these members’ ideals, skills, and mental attitudes developed. I personally have grown over these past few days and have learned many new things that I will take back to Marquette to help out each member.”

Mike Waid neb01:

"I want to personally thank you for your generous donation to the Triangle Education Foundation. I have had the opportunity to benefit from donations such as yours in several ways including UIFI, Scobie Leadership School, Presidents' Leadership Academy, and National Convention. These experiences have been essential to my leadership of the Nebraska chapter and also my own personal growth. At Nebraska, we have been able to refocus on our core values and mission and use that as a foundation to grow our chapter. In addition, because of our recent success, we also purchased a new chapter home as an environment to foster F, S, & C. Again, thank you and I hope you can continue your support for Triangle as I hope to do when I am able."

Kyle Robertson is01

"Dear Dr. Rust, Thank you so much for helping me invest in my future. I am currently a senior in computer engineering and economics at Iowa State University, with a minor in mathematics. I have found that of all the things I have done during my undergraduate career, being a member of Triangle is definitely the most influential decision I have ever made. I have tried to be extremely involved in Triangle, having served the position of almost every office in the house, most recently president. I have also served our national council on the active advisory board. Never did I imagine that my service to our fraternity would be rewarded in a manner as generous as yours. From the bottom of my heart, and with my sincerest gratitude, thank you so very much.

Upon recognition of my undergraduate degree, I plan to enter industry for 9 months with Digi International in Minnetonka, MN. I have interned there for the past 2 summers while living at the chapter house at the University of Minnesota. I will assume the role of Graduate Advisor for their chapter in an effort to bolster their membership. In the fall of 2005, I will be entering law school to study intellectual property law somewhere on the east coast.

It is assistance from generous people like you that makes it possible. Thank you again!"

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