Spotlight: Brian Bender

“I became friends with one of the guys I met over my April Visit Days when he was a sopho­more. At the time, I didn’t know that he was a Phi Delt. It just sort of worked for me; it felt really good meshing with all the brothers and they were all really accepting of me,” senior Brian Bender explained, when asked about his first encounter with Phi Delta Theta [Phi Delt].

For Bender, the decision to become a part of Greek life came in the spring of his first year at Col­gate. With a solid foundation of friends already in the fraternity, the transition was easy for him.

A biochemistry major who ac­tively participates in music groups such as the wind ensemble, is the President and Stage Manager for the Colgate orchestra and plays several instruments, Bender still finds time for “quality bro time.” One of his favorite things about Greek life is the feeling of brother­hood that comes from living with 30 of his fellow Phi Delt members.

“It’s a lot more welcoming of an environment than a dormi­tory where you don’t necessarily know everybody,” Bender said.

Another factor that drew Bender to Phi Delt in particular was the focus on philanthropy at the fraternity. The brothers hold pumpkin-carving in the Fall and Easter egg-dying in the Spring for the kids of Hamilton. Now, as President of the fraternity, Bender finds further responsibilities, fitting weekly meetings with administrators and participation as a director on the Alumni Board of Directors into his already busy schedule.

Aside from Greek Life, Bender has had a full experience at Colgate. He has spent two sum­mers on the campus, doing research and experiencing life on campus and around Hamilton in a very different environment than one sees during the school year. For his senior year, he focuses on activities with friends.

“Every weekend I try something new. You would think that after three years you’d have tried almost everything, but there’s more beyond just the small town,” Bender shared.

While Bender does not advise jumping in Taylor Lake, he does advise making the most of one’s experience at Colgate. Whether this involves going abroad or finding a lecture that sounds interesting, he urges actually trying things out.

“You don’t want your four years to blow by you without taking advantage of everything that Colgate has to offer,” Bender advised.