Carroll K. Simons Institute

Carroll K. Simons (1908-2004)

Carroll K. Simons was initiated into the Fraternity on February 10, 1929 at Alpha Epsilon Chapter, Illinois Institute of Technology. Brother Simons was a member of the Fraternity Executive Board from 1946-2004, serving as Grand Alpha,Grand Theta, Grand Sigma, Grand Iota, and Grand Pi. He was a trustee of the Phi Kappa Sigma Educational Fund from 1965 to 2000, serving as Secretary from 1972 to 1990.

“He was just so thoroughly considerate and concerned for each individual guy in the fraternity,” – Paul Jahn (Alpha Epsilon ‘49)

He retired from Illinois Bell Telephone Company, Chicago in 1969. Later in his life, he was the second recipient of the National Interfraternity Conference Silver Medal.

He was also the first recipient of the Lifetime Contribution to Phi Kappa Sigma Award in 2000.

At the 92nd Grand Chapter at Chicago in 2004, the Fraternity named its Outstanding Chapter Award in honor of Past Grand Alpha Carroll K. Simons. The award is given to only the best well-rounded Chapters that establish an excellent record in all chapter operations. The intended result of the Carroll Simons Institute is to provide the necessary breadth of training to our undergraduates to elevate them towards achieving this award.

Over the years, the Phi Kappa Sigma Fraternity has learned that there are two very important ingredients to a membership organization – People and Purpose. The success of our chapters, and ultimately the Fraternity, is only reached by focusing our efforts on the growth and development of our members. In addition to this, there must be a focus on exemplifying the purpose of our Fraternity to unite all Brothers. These ingredients have finally been offered to all of our chapters with the one-two punch delivered by the Men of Honor Leadership Institute and the Carroll Simons Institute.

In the summer of 2013, CSI was introduced as Phi Kappa Sigma’s newest leadership development program to partner with its flagship program of over a decade, the Men of Honor Leadership Institute. Men of Honor emphasizes to members “why” they are a Phi Kap and attempts to strengthen our chapters through self-evaluation and values-based decisions. In a similar token, CSI was developed to create a concept of “how” to strengthen our chapters in the areas of operations and collaboration.

By learning from fellow Brothers, most of which are alumni, who have had exposure to or expertise in the various topics covered, undergraduates would take home an ideal set of operational concepts, but also strong foundational practices that help improve the everyday business of being in a Fraternity.

Knowing that the operations of a chapter are not performed by an individual in a silo, team development was a critical component to the program. With the assistance of Wilson Wong (Alpha Nu, Georgia Tech ’72), a set of team challenges and lessons were established to walk the participants through the Tuckman model of team development – forming, storming, norming and performing. Within their small groups, participants would experience firsthand the stages of team development in the interactive challenges. Afterwards, the group would reflect on what occurred and Wilson would recap the struggles and triumphs experienced, tying it back to the Tuckman model.

The experiential learning provided by CSI will equip the participants with the necessary skills and understanding to achieve a higher level of performance within their respective Chapters.

CSI brings together current and future chapter officers from throughout the Fraternity for a weekend of experiential training in practical leadership and chapter operations. Participants and facilitators, along with staff, will enjoy working with and learning from each other in a setting that promotes teamwork and cooperation.

As a result of CSI, participants have stated that they are better prepared to build high-functioning chapters and carry-out a top quality Phi Kap experience utilizing the best practices throughout our chapters and the fraternal world.

We believe that stronger chapters will lead to increased membership through better recruitment and improved retention. Officers will know and utilize the best methods in fulfilling their duties. Brothers will form a tighter bond to their chapter and to Phi Kappa Sigma. Alumni will recognize their quality experience and be more open to providing support and service in their post-graduate years.

The Carroll K. Simons Institute has been a great success not only for the individual participants, but also the facilitators and staff involved.

Topics covered at CSI included:

  • Alumni Engagement
  • Budget Development and Financial Management
  • Developing an Academic Programs
  • Dynamic Recruitment
  • Event Planning and Marketing
  • New Member Education
  • Philanthropy & Community Service
  • Public & Community Relations
  • Time Management, Delegation and Project Planning