At the 2017 Grand Chapter Conclave in Orlando, 27 chapters were awarded SigEp’s Buchanan Outstanding Chapter Award. Chapters that receive the “Buchanan Cup” are among the top fraternity chapters in the country and excel in every area of operations. Ten of the 27 chapters received Gold Buchanan Cups for winning the award at five or more consecutive Conclaves — representing at least a decade of sustained excellence. In the pages that follow, we share some of the accomplishments of each of these 2017 Buchanan Cup-winning chapters.
Gold Buchanan Cup recipients
California Chi RLC – Loyola Marymount
Recruiting through the Balanced Man Scholarship, California Chi has the highest manpower on campus and a 95 percent retention rate. The chapter operates as a Residential Learning Community despite not having a chapter facility and hosts university-accredited courses designed by faculty members. The brothers also boast the highest GPA on campus with a 3.51 average.
D.C. Gamma – Georgetown*
D.C. Gamma has used an unstructured Greek culture as an opportunity to create something truly different on its campus. It has a well-developed Balanced Man Program that incorporates mentorship as well as six service-learning hours in each development challenge. The chapter also utilizes its BMP and sound mind programming to organize discussions about pressing societal issues, and it is one of the largest fundraisers in the country for Relay for Life.
Illinois Alpha RLC – Illinois
The largest chapter on its campus, Illinois Alpha has won 17 campus awards over the past two years, including Fraternity of the Year. The chapter regularly updates its Balanced Man Program and has a robust Brother Mentor Challenge. The brothers have recruited three faculty fellows to support their Residential Learning Community and host academic presentations inside the chapter house. New members are involved in leadership positions as soon as they join, and individual academic success is recognized and rewarded.
Maine Alpha RLC – Maine*
Maine Alpha is the largest fraternity on its campus and recruits a significant portion of its membership through the Balanced Man Scholarship. The chapter organizes meaningful dialogues with university officials in its substance-free house, and its resident scholar is active in assisting with academic standards. Sigma Challenge participants receive a campus tour with their fraternity and sorority life adviser, and the chapter supports SigEp’s national philanthropic and service-learning partner, Big Brothers Big Sisters, through a charity basketball game between Maine’s varsity team and a Greek all-stars team.
Nebraska Alpha RLC – Nebraska
Organized by their faculty fellow, members of Nebraska Alpha’s Residential Learning Community take service-learning trips to Uganda and Ecuador. Brothers are required to participate in at least two other campus organizations, and several university classes are taught in the chapter’s substance-free house. The chapter is the largest on its campus, and it has strong academic programming and standards.
New Jersey Alpha RLC – Stevens*
New Jersey Alpha was one of only five fraternity chapters across the country to receive the North-American Interfraternity Conference’s Chapter Award of Distinction in 2016. The brothers are also recipients of several campus awards. The chapter has an average GPA of 3.60 and utilizes chapter and university resources to support brothers academically. It has multiple faculty fellows and a resident scholar who host Residential Learning Community events within the chapter’s substance-free house.
Ohio Gamma RLC – Ohio State
A strong Balanced Man Scholarship has helped Ohio Gamma become the largest fraternity on its campus with an average member GPA that is 0.25 points higher than the all-campus average. Its robust Balanced Man Program is updated regularly, and an academic support program and 3.00 minimum GPA standard helps keep brothers focused. The chapter regularly hosts speakers — including high-ranking members of the university administration — in its facility, which is substance-free in all common areas.
Ohio Iota RLC – Toledo
Ohio Iota consistently has the top GPA and manpower on its campus. From 2015 to 2017, brothers in the chapter were leaders in 20 other campus organizations and founded six others. It has a strong Balanced Man Program with deadlines for challenge completion, and many of its members were recruited through the Balanced Man Scholarship. The chapter operates its Residential Learning Community in a substance-free home that has contributed to success in both programming and academics.
Ohio Theta RLC – Cincinnati**
Ohio Theta has an exceptional Balanced Man Program with clear expectations and timelines for each challenge. Its mentoring program includes new-member, chapter and professional mentors. The chapter has four faculty fellows and two resident scholars who lead academic programming and university courses in the chapter home.
Oregon Alpha RLC – Oregon State
Oregon Alpha has the highest GPA and manpower on its campus and has been named Oregon State’s top fraternity nine years in a row. Its Epsilon Challenge includes 50 hours of service learning, and it has substance-free common spaces within its facility. The chapter’s faculty fellow attends lunches weekly at its Residential Learning Community to meet with members. It has a minimum GPA standard of 3.00 and organizes academic competitions among teams within the chapter.
* Chapters that earned their first Gold Buchanan Cup
** Ohio Theta RLC received its 15th Buchanan Cup in a row, continuing its streak as the chapter with the most consecutive Buc Cup wins ever.
2017 Silver Buchanan Cup recipients
Iowa Delta RLC – Drake
Iowa Delta excels in both Balanced Man Program and Residential Learning Community programming.The brothers host a monthly lecture series in their substance-free house. Supported by a faculty fellow, the chapter’s academic support program has helped increase its average GPA every semester during the Buc Cup application period. The chapter has logged 1,200 hours of service with its local chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters and is the largest fraternity on its campus.
Indiana Zeta RLC – Valparaiso
Indiana Zeta has recruited over 40 percent of its recent members through the Balanced Man Scholarship, and this Residential Learning Community has received numerous accolades from the university. Epsilon Challenge participants find a campus mentor who helps facilitate post-collegiate success, and the chapter’s sound body programming includes mentorship on physical health and performance that has been facilitated by a brother on the track team and eight other NCAA Division I athletes.
Georgia Alpha RLC – Georgia Tech
Georgia Alpha practices year-round recruitment and has recruited over 90 percent of its new members through the Balanced Man Scholarship. For the last four semesters, the chapter’s average member GPA has been at least 0.20 points higher than the all-campus average. Their Residential Learning Community programming includes a “Brothers Teaching Brothers” peer-learning experience, and many chapter members are leaders on campus.
Iowa Theta RLC – Northern Iowa
A recently accredited Residential Learning Community, Iowa Theta utilizes chapter and university space to host academic programming and holds the highest GPA among fraternities. Areas of the chapter home are substance-free, and two faculty fellows advise the chapter. Brothers are in leadership positions throughout campus, and they consistently recruit half of their members through the Balanced Man Scholarship.
Kentucky Zeta – Morehead State
Kentucky Zeta implemented the Balanced Man Program several years ago and is working toward accreditation as a Residential Learning Community. It has the highest average GPA of any fraternity on campus and utilizes university resources as well as its faculty fellow to support BMP challenges and Sound Mind and Sound Body programming. Half of their membership has been recruited through the Balanced Man Scholarship.
Louisiana Beta – Louisiana State
Louisiana Beta recovered as an even stronger chapter after a recent membership review. The brothers expanded their Balanced Man Program by utilizing campus staff to educate brothers on personal finance, health, fitness and academic success. The chapter holds the top GPA on campus and recruits a significant proportion of its new members through the Balanced Man Scholarship.
Michigan Beta RLC – Western Michigan
Michigan Beta is the largest chapter on its campus and set a record for recruiting the most men in the school’s history. It maintains a culture of academic excellence with a required minimum GPA of 2.95. The brothers collaborate with their faculty fellow, who helps them select courses that align with their interests and presents from his own research on alcohol and drug abuse. The chapter has well-developed Balanced Man Program challenges that utilize university resources, and it recruits over 30 percent of its members through the Balanced Man Scholarship.
Michigan Theta RLC – Lawrence Tech
Michigan Theta has the highest GPA on campus and a strong Balanced Man Program with 20 brothers completing the Brother Mentor Challenge during the Buchanan Cup review period. The chapter’s Residential Learning Community benefits from two engaged faculty fellows, and members receive support through structured academic improvement plans. Nearly half of all brothers attended the Carlson Leadership Academy in the last two years.
Missouri Eta RLC – Missouri State
Missouri Eta has recently completed a new substance-free facility to support their Residential Learning Community. The chapter was named organization of the year by Missouri State, and faculty fellows advise brothers on each of the Balanced Man Program’s challenges. Rising leaders are invited to officer retreats, and service learning with the chapter’s community partner is built into its BMP.
Montana Beta RLC – Montana State
Montana Beta has the highest GPA and boasts the largest membership of all fraternities on campus. Brothers host faculty lectures in their substance-free facility and have an extensive academic support program. Their faculty fellow leads a monthly dinner where brothers can share personal struggles and support one another. More than 75 percent of chapter members are recruited through the Balanced Man Scholarship.
North Carolina Mu RLC – Elon
North Carolina Mu has the highest manpower among Elon fraternities and has received SigEp’s Donald C. McCleary Award for member development for the past two years. The chapter has consistent involvement with a local community organization and won organization of the year on its campus. Part of the chapter’s prominence is due to its Residential Learning Community events, which are open to the whole campus.
Oklahoma Alpha RLC – Oklahoma State
Oklahoma Alpha has excelled in its Balanced Man Program implementation with strong objectives and clear timelines in all four challenges. The chapter has a high overall GPA with a minimum standard of 3.00 and frequently hosts academic programming for members through its Residential Learning Community. The chapter has also helped other organizations improve sexual assault awareness and education, and many brothers are in leadership positions across campus.
Pennsylvania Tau – West Chester
Pennsylvania Tau has the highest GPA and manpower on its campus. Its brothers consistently apply for and are accepted into the Ruck Leadership Institute and the Tragos Quest to Greece, and one member recently received SigEp’s highly selective Ruck Leadership Award. The chapter’s GPA is 0.20 higher than the campus average, and the group was recognized as the school’s Fraternity of the Year in 2015.
South Dakota Alpha – South Dakota State
South Dakota Alpha has a robust Balanced Man Program and a well-executed recruitment plan. The chapter has an engaged faculty fellow and is breaking ground on a new chapter home. Each month, a different brother facilitates a discussion on a relevant topic at its “Saturday Night Club.” Four volunteer mentors advise the chapter on each of the BMP’s challenges.
Texas Alpha – Texas-Austin
Texas Alpha retained 95 percent of its seniors over the last two years and has achieved academic success on campus. The chapter reimburses members for half of their expenses at a nearby tutoring center, and the brothers are pursuing Residential Learning Community accreditation. They have an engaged faculty fellow as well as designated substance-free spaces. After implementing the Balanced Man Program several years ago, the chapter built a Brother Mentor Challenge that includes a lecture series, a senior experience trip and an AVC networking dinner.
Virginia Pi RLC – Christopher Newport
Virginia Pi runs a robust Balanced Man Program that includes a Brother Mentor Challenge partly responsible for an 89 percent retention rate. It is the largest chapter on its campus and has the highest GPA as well as a substance-free chapter home. The Residential Learning Community is supported by three faculty fellows, and 95 percent of chapter members hold leadership roles in other campus organizations.
Washington Alpha RLC – Washington State
Washington Alpha operates a strong 365-day recruitment program and recruits over half of its membership through the Balanced Man Scholarship. It has two faculty fellows and a resident scholar who provide academic programming and support in the chapter’s substance-free Residential Learning Community. The chapter has had the top GPA among 26 fraternities for the last two years, and it awards nine scholarships to high-performing brothers. The chapter has hosted a “Man Talk” series, with speakers including the men’s basketball coach, diversity office staff members, athletic director, a local attorney and police department staff.