A LEADing Brotherhood
Texas A&M Interfraternity Council’s LEAD Program helps emerging leaders from 18 fraternity chapters build knowledge, skills, and a network to help them guide campus Greek experiences.
By Dorian Martin '06
The LEAD program fosters leadership and personal development among fraternity members, helping them become responsible and engaged leaders within their Greek community and beyond.
Division of Student Affairs
Max Rothschiller ’22 was determined to enhance his Texas A&M experience by participating in fraternity life. Rothschiller pledged Alpha Sigma Phi as a freshman, which not only gave him an immediate close brotherhood, but also a pathway to numerous personal growth opportunities. One of those key formational experiences was the Interfraternity Council’s Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) Program.
This program taps emerging leaders from across Texas A&M’s 18 fraternity chapters. These Aggies are committed to developing their personal knowledge and skills in areas such as recruitment, budgeting, and marketing that will help them have a greater impact on Texas A&M fraternity life. The seven-week program also provides a fraternal network that supports participants as they advance into fraternity and other leadership roles on campus. “The LEAD program has a strong precedent of preparing members to become chapter presidents and council officers,” said Shanté Hearst, director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, which is part of Texas A&M’s Department of Student Activities. “More importantly, LEAD teaches these young men how to work with diverse leadership and communications, which is a skill they will need to lead in their professional industries.”
Building Social Capital
Rothschiller’s journey to the LEAD Program began when he was elected Alpha Sigma Phi’s vice president of finance shortly after joining the fraternity. In that role, he worked with Omkar Suktankhar ’20, the fraternity president, who encouraged Rothschiller to apply for the LEAD Program.
As part of the application process, Rothschiller and other interested fraternity members had to submit a resume, meet the GPA requirement, and have strong chapter involvement. Additionally, each candidate must describe why they want to be part of the LEAD Program and describe their passion for Texas A&M’s Greek community.
Once he was selected, Rothschiller found that the LEAD Program quickly expanded his network across Texas A&M’s Interfraternity Council (IFC). “It was great meeting guys in the LEAD classes who I knew I was going to be with as we rose in the leadership ranks of Greek Life,” Rothschiller explained. “The program also helped me learn more about fraternities and prepared me to step into leadership roles on campus so I could help change Greek Life for the better.”
He also appreciated learning about the intricacies of planning a philanthropic event, which increased his knowledge about logistics, recruitment, and marketing.
Rothschiller soon applied those lessons when he moved into Alpha Sigma Phi’s presidency. During his presidency, the fraternity more than doubled in size, was named IFC Chapter of the Year in 2021 and 2022, and received the national Pi Phi Pi Silver Cup.
As a senior, the Plano, Texas native wanted to play a greater role in Texas A&M’s fraternities and was elected as the IFC executive vice president. His duties in that role included orchestrating the Spring 2022 LEAD Program. “I think that the knowledge gained from running my own chapter gave me more to give back to these younger leaders,” he explained.
He initially focused on expanding the number of LEAD participants and increasing participation from each of Texas A&M’s fraternity chapters. Rothschiller also tried to deepen the experience through reorganizing LEAD’s curriculum to give participants a more thorough understanding of IFC as well as a hands-on immersive experience working in small groups to plan a philanthropic event.
Rothschiller, who earned a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Distribution, proudly noted that the LEAD participants came up with numerous philanthropic ideas that they can implement with their chapters. These emerging fraternity leaders also gained a better understanding of the steps they need to take to bring an event into reality.
Becoming a LEADing Professional
Recently promoted to a project planner by Trinity Industries, Rothschiller credits his LEAD experience and fraternity leadership roles with providing a boost to the early stages of his career. “The skills I learned through the IFC LEAD program such as networking, leading and executing projects, and public speaking have helped me tremendously in my early career,” he said. “The opportunity to connect with and learn from so many like-minded fraternity men at Texas A&M was an invaluable experience that has helped me transform into a leader in all aspects of my life.”
Being involved in LEAD also helped him improve his interpersonal skills and ability to collaborate “Meeting a brand-new group of guys in my own fraternity and then being in a class with another group of guys from different fraternities required me to learn how to work collaboratively,” he said. “There’s no competition; you’re all there to get the same thing done.”
Rothschiller’s experience underscores the wealth of leadership experiences that can come with pledging a Texas A&M fraternity. And as interest in Aggie fraternity life expands, IFC President Troy Cavazos ’24 wants to encourage more emerging fraternity leaders to consider applying for the LEAD Program. “LEAD helps participants begin to realize what being an Aggie Greek means and how being an Aggie Greek is different than being a Greek at any other school,” said Cavazos, a Sigma Chi member who has been a peer facilitator in the LEAD Program. “These young men bond together because we share the Core Values of Texas A&M and want our fraternities to thrive.”
To learn more about how you can support Texas A&M Interfraternity Council’s Endowed Scholarship Fund, contact Reagan Chessher at firstname.lastname@example.org or 979-458-1689.