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Major Robert Anderson ’89 Learned Confidence and Leadership from Phi Delt

For Major Robert Anderson, the decision to join the Greek system at The Ohio State University was practical. “After the second quarter of my Freshman year at The Ohio State University I realized I needed to get more involved in campus activities. The Greeks I met in classes where interesting people and I got along with them very well. They recommended I participate in Spring Rush. Out of all the houses I visited I was offered three bids and accepted Phi Delta Theta because my values and beliefs aligned with the brothers of Ohio Zeta.”

That practical decision led to an amazing journey of public service and brotherhood, and Brother Anderson hasn’t looked back.  The brotherhood of Ohio Zeta impressed upon him virtues that he longed to emulate. “The brotherhood exhibited traits of Honor, Courage, and Commitment inside the house and on campus. I believe the greatest attribute which attracted me was the Esprit de Corp the brothers shared. This was the primary reason I joined the house.”

These virtues have shaped Robert’s life in ways he couldn’t imagine.  He believes that he learned more about life off campus, living at the house, than he ever would have on campus.  For instance, it was the confidence he learned in the Phi Delta Theta house that helped him enlist in the Marine Corps, and then work toward becoming a Marine Officer. “The brothers didn’t preach the traits of leadership, but lived them by example: Justice, judgement, dependability, initiative, tact, integrity, enthusiasm, unselfishness, courage, loyalty, and endurance.”  Brother Anderson has used these traits of leadership serving across the globe in Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq as a United States Marine.

He fondly remembers the seasons of the fraternity year.  “Fall was Rush and Buckeye football…and Spring was all about Greek week.”  The tight-knight group of Phi Delts in those years were a “band of brothers” who found themselves united in brotherhood despite their differences.

Having retired from the Corps, Robert still finds himself busy.  He met the love of his life, Mary, and now serves as a consultant for IBM, saving just enough time for “as many rounds of competitive golf” as humanly possible.

He still keeps up with his Phi Delt brothers through social media, and has maintained a close friendship with brother Donny Martin.  Whenever he finds himself tailgating for the Buckeyes, the Phi Delta Theta brothers pick up where they left off.  His wife Mary marvels at how close they all seem to be, and that closeness has been a gift to brother Anderson, and one he wants others to experience. “Every young person I meet, who is going to college, I recommend they look into the Greek system because of the positive impact it had on my life.”

When asked how life at Ohio Zeta has changed his life, Robert offers this final reflection, “The traits that where initially instilled upon me at the fraternity and later burned into my soul by the Marine Corps have made me into the man I am today. I am very proud that I am a Phi Delt and a Marine.”