Fraternal Life at NJIT: Meet Bernard Wylie

Bernard Wylie, president of Iota Phi Theta, says that fraternal life at NJIT has given him close friends and better grades.

Bernard Wylie has eight brothers, all of whom attend NJIT. So Bernard never lacks for companionship – always has a brother to study with, a brother to socialize with and a brother to watch over him.   

The eight are not his biological brothers, but his fraternal brothers. Bernard belongs to and is president of Iota Phi Theta, a social-service fraternity at NJIT. But in Bernard’s estimation, the bonds between him and his fraternal brothers are thick as blood. 

“The nine of us are so close,” says Bernard, a junior majoring in computer engineering, “that I think of them as my blood brothers, like my biological brothers.”

Being a member of Iota, Bernard adds, has myriad benefits. It has improved his social and his academic life. And it has moreover given him the chance to participate in and enhance campus life.  Last year, for instance, Iota hosted 41 campus events such as stroll dances, touch football games on the green, game nights in the campus center and fundraisers and benefits all over campus.  Belonging to Iota has additionally and mercifully had an escalating effect on his grade point average. Each week, Iota hosts two study periods -- Mondays and Wednesdays at 9 p.m. in Redwood Residence Hall -- study periods that Bernard tries never to miss. His GPA is thus up.

And, as if all that weren’t enough, Iota has a strong fraternal alumni network -- one that will help current Iota members find good jobs after they graduate. Iota, a predominantly African-American fraternity founded in 1963, has 250 chapters across the country, with thousands of alumni.    

“We are always in touch with our alumni brothers,” says Bernard. “They help us plan our social service work at NJIT and after we get our degrees they will help us find good jobs. It’s a strong network. As I mentioned, we are like blood brothers.”

(By Robert Florida, University Web Services)