Leadership College Renamed Kleberg Emerging Leaders Institute


Almost every summer since 1990, hundreds of undergraduate and alumni Phis have gathered in Oxford, Ohio, for the Fraternity’s Leadership College. To date, nearly 18,000 Phi Delts have attended. In 2012, the Leadership College was renamed the Kleberg Emerging Leaders Institute when Tio and Janelle Kleberg endowed the program with the Phi Delta Theta Foundation’s first-ever $1 million donation from a living donor.

Each year the institute hosts a variety of programming, often including the Phikeia Educator training track, the Peer Mentor program, the Shaffer Honors College of Leadership, a House Corporation Summit, and many standing Phi Delta Theta traditions. Today, the Kleberg Emerging Leaders Institute is the largest Phi Delt educational conference each year and one of the most impactful for the young and emerging leaders who attend from each chapter.

Tio joined the Texas Epsilon Chapter of Phi Delta Theta at Texas Tech University where he met his wife Janell. They both served in the US Army before embarking on a career of business and civic affairs in Kingsville. A rancher by trade, Tio’s career has centered around the world-famous King Ranch of South Texas.

Tio began serving as a Phi Delta Theta Foundation Trustee in 2000; in 2009, he was named chairman of the Foundation’s “Building on the Bond” Capital Campaign. This laser-focused effort aimed to increase the Foundation’s endowment from just above $5 million to more than $20 million by 2020. The Klebergs helped the campaign meet its goal two years ahead of schedule.

When Tio and Janell agreed to support the campaign, they made a pledge of $1 million—however, for the Foundation to receive the funds, $360,000 had to be raised to support five scholarships of $72,000 each. This creative pledge provided motivation to raise additional scholarship funds while securing the Klebergs’ historic and transformational gift.

Today, Tio and Janell attend the annual conference and not only address the students in a general session, but are active participants in smaller breakout sessions, chapter meetings, and one-on-one conversations.