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Graduating Senior Ritual

March 5, 2013

The author of this blog, Mark Mikelat, Arizona State, is a Golden Council Member of Delta Sigma Pi and a Trustee Emeritus of the Leadership Foundation. He is the founder of Building Aspirations, a small business consulting company and he speaks at colleges about career development.  You can connect with him on Twitter at @MarkMikelat, or subscribe to his enewsletter by texting ‘Mark’ to 22828.

Graduating Senior Ritual

How does a Ritual become a Ritual?  I will tell you.  You see, I helped author one of the Delta Sigma Pi Rituals.  Here is the story about how that Ritual came about.

In the mid-90’s I was a District Director for the Gamma Omega chapter at Arizona State University. A brother at the chapter had a concern that we had no formal ceremony for the graduating brothers.  We had an initiation ceremony, Rituals for starting meetings and even a graveside ceremony.  Yet, we did not recognize the achievement of graduating from college.

Brother Cheri Rieder Szczuka brought this oversight to my attention with the question of “Why don’t we have a Ritual for this?”  My immediate reply was “I guess nobody has thought of it.”  So, the two of us set out to create some history.  Our first meeting was at the Bandersnatch Pub in Tempe, next to the football practice field.  We did not know what we were doing, nor did we really know how to do it, but we both felt a drive to get it done.

With pen and paper, we brainstormed what was to be said and how we were to say it.  We used no reference materials, research, or input. We let the love of Delta Sigma Pi guide us to create the Ritual that we knew that we needed. After two hours and several beers we had completed our first draft.

Cheri then took our draft and submitted this Ritual for closed discussion at the LEAD Provincial Conferences, the proper vetting process before a submittal to the Grand Chapter Congress.  The idea was extremely well received and there was almost no opposition to the perceived need for a Ritual. There was however, passionate and vigorous debate about the format and content of the Ritual. The Alpha Rho chapter at Colorado-Boulder was the most zealous contributor to refining and modifying the Ritual into its final format.

By the time the Ritual was presented at the Grand Chapter Congress for final approval, there was no opposition.  With the pounding of the parliamentarian’s gavel, history was made.  There was now a graduation Ritual that could be practiced at every Delta Sigma Pi collegiate chapter.

I am proud to write this article, not only because I am proud to have served the Fraternity to create what it needed, but also, and perhaps more importantly, to present to all of you, a challenge and an opportunity, to make things better. The business world presents infinite opportunity. You can create something where there was nothing. Your idea can become reality and it can help the business world.  Find your path.  Find your opportunity in the world, take the necessary steps and make it a reality.  A good idea, is a good idea, and with perseverance, dedication and a strong will, your idea can become the world’s reality.

My name is Mark Mikelat, and I am proud to be a Delta Sigma Pi.

Editor’s Note: Only ceremonies listed in the Ritual book are permitted. To conduct additional ceremonies, they must be presented to the Grand Chapter and approved as described here.

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