Sam Selley's 100-Mile Iron Phi Journey

Iron Phi
Phi Delta Theta


By Steve Good, Senior Vice President of Growth, Engagement and Philanthropy

As a member of Phi Delta Theta at The University of Michigan, Sam Selley, ’23, was determined to become an Iron Phi.

“I wanted my impact to go way beyond what’s required,” Selley said.

The minimum requirement to become an Iron Phi is to raise $1,000 and complete any athletic endeavor; Selley raised $15,188 by running one hundred miles in one day.

On the morning of August 25, Selley began his one-hundred-mile journey outside of the Phi Delta Theta house in Ann Arbor. He had been preparing for his athletic endeavor since January 2021, regularly running between seventy and 140 miles per week and cross-training with biking and other strength exercises.

His run began at 3:30 a.m., and by noon, Selley had reached his halfway point in his hometown of Fenton, Michigan. After approximately nineteen hours, Selley returned to his starting point right before midnight, completing his one-hundred-mile goal in one day.

Although preparing for the run was rigorous, Selley kept his goal in mind, raising money for the Fraternity’s philanthropy, the LiveLikeLou Foundation. Named after famous Yankee and Iron Horse Lou Gehrig, LiveLikeLou is committed to supporting ALS research and children of families affected by ALS.

“I can persevere, just like our man Lou Gehrig,” Selley would remind himself.

Selley started fundraising in early July and reached his initial goal of $5,000 within the first couple of weeks. Within a month, he met his $10,000 goal and ultimately raised $15,188. Selley attributes his success to a well-done video pitch created by a friend that laid out the goal, combined with working every inch of his network of friends, family, and anyone willing to help beat ALS. He was also doing this to honor a recently diagnosed friend who is a parent of two young children.

Selley’s effort also helped Michigan Alpha become a 2021–22 Iron Phi Chapter, raising $10,000 in an academic year.

“What Sam has done through Iron Phi is incredible, and he made challenging athletic and fundraising goals look easy,” said Phi Delta Theta’s Senior Vice President of Growth, Engagement, and Philanthropy, Steve Good. “His story will continue to be told within the program as Sam embodies everything that Iron Phi strives to represent.”

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