The Gallant Failure

The Gallant Failure

The Brock University Colony of Beta Theta Pi was a short-lived venture in 1978 and 1979.

It is unfortunate that this attempt to expand did not succeed.

The long-delayed growth of Beta Theta Pi in Canada might have come about five or six years earlier if the Brock colony had worked out.

The Brock story, however, is not just a story of failure.

If it were, there would be little point in recounting it. This event is important because of the great dedication to Beta shown by those who attempted to colonize at Brock University.

These men blazed a path for future colonization attempts.

The lessons they learned, the hard way, could benefit future colonizers in Canada. Every pledge at Brock heard the poem The Bridge Builder.

Maybe none of them realized that their role in the growth of Beta in Canada was to be precisely that of the old man in the poem who told the passer-by:

He too must cross in the twilight dim, Good friend, I am building this bridge for him. The story of Brock, then, has its sadness.

The Gallant Failure But there is still room to be grateful that the Betas in the Brock venture, by their life and actions, added to the collective knowledge and experience of the Fraternity.

Their experiences became an integral part of the Canadian expansion successes of the 1980s and 1990s.

The bridges they built were successfully traversed by four new Beta chapters chartered in Canada during the next decade and-a-half.

Brock University is located in St. Catharines, Ontario, a little more than an hour’s drive (on a good day) from Toronto, and quite close to Niagara Falls.

It is a fairly new university, one of a number of schools created in the 1960s to meet the demand for higher education among the members of the “baby boom” generation.

Given its relatively short existence, The Gallant Failure Brock does not share the kinds of roots and traditions that mark most of Canada’s Beta campuses.

By the late 1970s, all of these “new” universities were suffering from a strong case of financial indigestion.

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