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On the Spot with Phi Mu Delta President Jon Brown

Phi Mu Delta President Jonathan Brown, from Stratham, New Hampshire, is a senior in his last semester. He is a civil engineering and international affairs dual major, as well as minoring in Spanish. After trying out various student clubs and organizations at the University of New Hampshire, Brown joined the Phi Mu Delta fraternity with hallmates from Hunter Hall.
“We had many a long night that first semester sophomore year discussing the direction the organization was heading in,” Brown said.
His first leadership role in Phi Mu Delta was that of vice president of membership development.
“When I came into that position, I wanted to make sure that the guys coming into the chapter took us seriously from the beginning and have a clear idea of who we were as an organization. Give them a great introduction to the chapter. I did that for both semesters I was in that position,” Brown said.
Brown also studied abroad in Spain his junior year after his stint in that capacity and, upon his return, found another position that needed filling.
“Last fall, my first senior year, we needed a vice president of finance because one of the members had resigned so I ended up stepping into that position and learning a new facet of the organization I never thought I would have to,” Brown said. Brown is in his fifth year at UNH but this current semester will be his last.
After two semesters undertaking this responsibility, the members elected him to be president with a majority vote. There were two other members run ning for the position with Brown. While he didn’t know the tally of the votes, “I was told it was obvious who won,” he said.
Brown served a total of eight semesters, the longest membership of any of the presidential candidates. He speaks highly of his fellow Phi Mu Delta members and the Executive Board.
“I’m lucky that my Executive Board is great and very helpful. Someone is always very helpful,” Brown said.
As an example of this sentiment in action, he recounted a recent group outing, a hike up Mount Major in Alton, New Hampshire.
“Our vice president of membership development, JT (Joseph) Couch, he didn’t want us to just go on a hike, he wanted it to have some significance to the brotherhood, so I’d say about on each third of the way up, we would have talks about our values,” Brown recalled. “‘What is the definition of brotherhood to you?’ Talk about service. ‘What’s a random act of kindness someone has done for you and, in turn, you for someone else?’ Making sure that everyone is involved. We will perform best when everyone knows what everyone wants.” Brown takes leadership, brotherhood and service seriously.
“You get out what you put in. The reason this organization means so much to me is because I’ve been willing to let this become my main focus.” In discussing his own role, Brown knows that forward thought is important.
“You need to be willing to give people ownership of things,” Brown said. “The leader of any position always needs to have that 1000-foot view. Always be thinking a week ahead of everybody else who is involved, so I try to teach guys how to do that.”
Brown also commented on his hopes for the future of Phi Mu Delta.
“We have a weekly chapter meeting where we go over events. This year, and starting last year as well, we’re trying to do more fellowship and mentoring during meetings. Integrate the general members more in the meetings and give them a voice. One of the pillars of our organization is democracy,” Brown explained.
Service events are another major tenant to the fraternity’s operations.
“We raise money for Saint Jude’s Children Hospital and the New Hampshire Food Bank.”
On top of all of this, Jon is busy preparing the next generation of Phi Mu Delta members.
“My mission is to help prepare the next wave of people as best as we can now,” Brown said. “We’re looking to do elections, probably by the end of next month. Even though terms don’t officially start till January, we want to give ourselves more time to fully prepare these guys to step into their new roles.”
Brown stresses that, aside from work and academics, Phi Mu Delta is his top priority.
“This has become my home,” he said. “MUB 12A [the fraternity’s meeting place] is my new home.”

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