On Saturday March 5, the West Virginia Beta Chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity was rechartered at a banquet that marked the group’s official return to West Virginia University. Recolonizing as a Sigma Epsilon Chapter in 2012, an initial group of 12 undergraduates made it their goal to restore the West Virginia Beta charter. The diligence and dedication put forth throughout the chartering process was celebrated at the banquet, where the theme was “The History of SigEp West Virginia Beta.”
Prior to the banquet, the chapter’s Ritual team, with the help of Grand President Rick Bennet, Central Missouri ’74, performed the Renaissance of Brotherhood Ritual for Faculty Fellow Albert Berrebi, West Virginia Renaissance. Berrebi, a professor and assistant vice president of research at the university’s Centers for Neuroscience, had served as a faculty fellow for nearly two years prior to his initiation.
The evening began with a few words from West Virginia University President E. Gordon Gee. Gee spoke about how SigEp can play a leading role in combatting the issues that fraternities face on college campuses today.
Bennet spoke next and discussed the future of West Virginia Beta. He challenged the undergraduates to reflect upon three questions: “What is the value that West Virginia Beta adds to West Virginia University? How will I personally step up and challenge inappropriate or risky behavior when it happens? And how will we become the best student organization at West Virginia University?”
After dinner, Order of the Golden Heart recipient Avery “Ave” Gaskins, West Virginia ’52, was asked to speak about his experiences as an undergraduate and his key role in the rechartering. Gaskins is one of two West Virginia Beta alumni to be honored with the Order of the Golden Heart and one of about 160 recipients out of over 300,000 brothers nationwide.
To cap off the evening, the undergraduate chapter was presented with its official charter. It was a fulfilling conclusion to an event that was over four years in the making.
Since rechartering, the chapter has consistently held the highest Greek GPA on campus and has also exceeded the Fraternity’s national average.