First Legacy Duo at Beta Sigma Chapter

Dec 12, 2023 | 7 Visions Magazine

As the brotherhood enters 37 years of existence, the wheels of tradition, history, and LEGACY continue to turn. For long-established chapters such as Alpha, the bloodlines of the brotherhood have become intertwined with the familial bonds between sons and fathers, uncles and nephews, and blood brothers. In the heart of Downtown Houston, along Main Street, a father and son can now lay claim to not only being father and son, but now also brothers in the bond, bound by honor, pride, and unmistakable hype. From Alpha Chapter to Beta Sigma Chapter, the bonds of blood have now been traced over with the bonds of the brotherhood of Omega Delta Phi.

Armando Rodriguez considers himself “non-traditional” in the full sense of what that means in a college setting- the 50 year old became one of the oldest prospective members to go through the intake process and complete all requirements for activation into Omega Delta Phi. In Fall 2019, Rodriguez joined the ranks of the Beta Sigma Chapter at the University of Houston- Downtown. Four years later, his son Sebastian Rodriguez would join the same chapter and would bring a story of perseverance, persistence, and mentorship full circle.

Rodriguez is an educator in the Galena Park Independent School District in North East Harris County. He grew up in the area and his career has brought him to his alma mater to serve the very community he came up in. His journey through the University of Houston- Downtown led him to Omega Delta Phi and it’s a decision and responsibility that he does not take lightly.

UHD is largely a commuter school nestled in the heart of the fourth largest city in America and much like the community it serves, the university has been trying to blaze a trail for itself, away from the pull that the main campus has. The university has led efforts, in recent years, to brand itself as a self-sustaining campus with its own traditions, its own identity, and its own campus life.

Many students attending UHD are non-traditional students; in the sense that they aren’t 18 to 21 years of age, are parents, married, or have stepped away from their educational journeys. Rodriguez was 50 years old when Omega Delta Phi caught his eye and he was inspired by the organization’s mantra of service and Brotherhood. 


“My experience was a traditional experience. My brothers never held back. It was hard being a single parent, a full time student, and doing a full ODPhi prospective member process” he explains.

Fast forward to 2023, recruitment season is in full swing and Rodriguez sees a familiar face show up to Recruitment week events at UHD. But it came as no surprise to him because he had always exposed his son to the brotherhood and now, it was paying off in that Rodriguez didn’t have to guide Sebastian to ODPhi because the younger Rodriguez came looking on his own.

“I was about fourteen years old. I remember my Dad talking about this club he wanted to join and that it was about having brothers who have your back” he recalls.

The younger Rodriguez had been around brothers since the age of 14 when his father joined the chapter at UH-Downtown. But it wasn’t until he set foot on that campus, for his orientation, that he was truly introduced to Greek Life in its full splendor.

“The guys just kept it real by not just showing their brotherhood in pictures on a board but by laughing and displaying true brotherhood amongst themselves” he explained.

Both Armando and Sebastian have found a new appreciation for the principles they learned to enhance during their pledge ship. Armando has furthered the reach of the fraternity and its values and has taken those lessons to the Galena Park campus that he graduated from in 1987. Rodriguez has led the efforts of the Young Knights Leadership Academy, a fraternal concept created by Alex Alvarez, to curb dropout rates and increase leadership and mentorship opportunities for young men.

“The positive things are that this organization is giving back to the community and giving these young men a chance to be with positive, male, role models because many don’t have that.  The challenge is getting the parents of Latinos to realize that education is a weapon” expressed the senior Rodriguez. 

Being the first father/son legacies at their chapter, or in layman’s terms, the first father and son to earn full fledged membership in the same fraternity, is something that brings utmost pride to both men.

Armando recalls how excited he was for Sebastian to pursue his baseball career at the collegiate level. From the age of three, Armando had cultivated a love and appreciation, reverence even, for the sport. Sebastian turned down scholarship offers to baseball programs and he did so to his father’s amazement. Sebastian wanted to go to college but he wasn’t so sure he wanted to continue playing the sport he had grown to love and had excelled in. To his surprise, Armando ended up on the very same campus he had gone to- the University of Houston- Downtown.

Again, Rodriguez’s father encouraged his son to check out the baseball program at UHD but his son’s eyes were set on something else. Interest meetings for both the baseball program and the fraternity were held at conflicting times, and Sebastian was going to have to choose.

“He broke my heart again when he said he didn’t go to the baseball meeting…..but I was amazed and shocked when he said he went to the ODPhi one!!!!  I didn’t know how to feel.  Weeks and weeks later, I realized that for the first time my son made a decision on his own.  When he crossed it was one of the proudest moments in my life!” stated Rodriguez.  

It is this shared experience that Sebastian has a deep appreciation for because it embodies the very reason why the brotherhood carries such significance in the members who truly delve into their membership in ODPhi.

“We all, including my Dad, went through the same process. We stand together and no one brother is better than another” said the young Rodriguez.

He also reminisced on the special role his father has played in his life. “My father is a caring, funny, and loving person. He has been there for me my whole life and guides me in the right direction to be the best version of myself. He is my number one supporter and I got his back for life”. 

And as much as the brotherhood means to him- and the role he continues to play in it as an alumnus, the one role Rodriguez Sr will not allow himself to falter on is his role of father.

“Please cherish every moment because you will never get it back. I mean: record every first step, at bat, recital, smile. And even just take a moment to stare at them” he replied when asked what advice he had for brothers entering this new phase of their lives, also as father figures.