41. Phi Beta Delta: Latitude and Longitude

Our Phi Beta Delta shield shows the Earth with its lines of latitude and longitude. Any location on Earth can be located by longitude and latitude, including the location of our Phi Beta Delta chapters. Each chapter has its own latitude and its own longitude. If a ship's captain wants to know where he or she are on a map, these are the "coordinates" they need to know.

What that value is depends of course on where we begin -- on where zero longitude is. For centuries the line passing through the old Royal Astronomical Observatory in Greenwich, England, has been the one chosen as zero longitude. Located at the eastern edge of London, the British royal observatory is now a museum. A brass band strip passing through its yard marks the "prime meridian." Quite naturally, many people get photographed as they straddle it -- one foot in the Earth's Eastern Hemisphere, and the other in the Western hemisphere.

Your chapter may not need to fix its latitude and longitude in a literal sense, but it certainly needs a plan and program and to know where it is and where it is going. If you don't know where your chapter is going, it is unlikely to get there. All of us need to know, in a metaphorical sense, our coordinates.

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