Hackettstown, N.J., October 20, 2016 – Keith Bassford felt that he wanted to provide an additional option for Greek Life at Centenary University. Not being an athlete, he still yearned for the benefits of being part of a larger organization or a “team.” As a result, he spearheaded an initiative to start a chapter of the first national fraternity on campus Alpha Phi Delta (Epsilon Iota Chapter) and serves as the President.
Bassford is a Criminal Justice major from Clifton, N.J. with aspirations to become a civil or corporate lawyer. One year ago, he consulted with his sister who is a student at Pace University who put him in touch with the Alpha Phi Delta Chapter. Alpha Phi Delta appealed to Bassford because it was a smaller fraternity and he felt like he could make a positive impact on campus while connecting with fraternity brothers on other campuses.
He learned what he needed to do to start a chapter on the Centenary campus. As a result of his dedication, Centenary’s Alpha Phi Delta chapter has 20 members. Bassford was recently recognized for his efforts with the Pioneer Award at Alpha Phi Delta’s national conference in Maryland. In addition, he is the fraternity’s Assistant District Governor of New Jersey. In this role, Bassford acts as a liaison the fraternity brothers and chapters within New Jersey. Bassford is not the only Centenary student to hold a national position with the fraternity. Zack Sjosward, also from Clifton, is the national delegate for the Undergraduate Coordinating Committee.
“I am very proud of this Chapter and its accomplishments in such a short period of time,” says Christopher Mancusi, Chapter Advisor and Former National President. “The Pioneer Award is bestowed upon key individuals to ensure that the Chapter is developed. I cannot think of a more worthy person to have received this other than Keith. We have 1,100 undergraduates nationwide and Keith would be considered in the top 1%, as far as leadership initiative.”
As part of Alpha Phi Delta’s philanthropic efforts, the Chapter is participating in a walk for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation at Rutgers University later this month. Their chapter has also worked with the United Methodist Communities at Bristol Glen Nursing Home facility to host a “prom” for the residents. The fraternity members helped with the planning and execution for the fun evening and have plans to spearhead this initiative again.
“The administration at Centenary University has been so receptive to our efforts to help establish this chapter as a whole,” says Mancusi. “As a result, the leadership opportunities will be abundant and Keith, Zack and the other members will be beneficiaries of that.”
Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary University is an independent, coeducational liberal arts and career studies university distinguished by an accomplished faculty, small class size and diverse student body. Centenary is the only baccalaureate and master’s degree granting institution in northwest New Jersey.
Centenary University’s main campus is located in Hackettstown, N.J., with its equestrian facility in Washington Township (Morris County). The Centenary College School of Professional Studies offers degree programs in two locations: Parsippany and Edison, and at corporate sites throughout New Jersey. The School of International Programs recruits international students for study at Centenary and Centenary students for study abroad.