At the Arete Awards Luncheon at the Grand Chapter Conclave in Orlando, Fla., brothers were recognized for achieving excellence in their careers, their chapter housing initiatives and, in the case of one brother, commitment to servant leadership.
Sigma Phi Epsilon Citation recipients
Three distinguished alumni were recognized for their examples of consistent excellence and remarkable achievement in the workplace.
Following an introduction by 2015 Citation recipient Charlie Amato, Sam Houston State ’70, the Citation was presented to Keith Bruce, Ilinois ’87.
Over his 30-year career, Brother Bruce has managed sponsorships and operations for the Olympics, FIFA World Cup and NCAA Final Four, among others. Just a few years out of college, he was promoting nationally known events such as Formula 1 auto racing and the Virginia Slims tennis tournament. This led to a job with Gatorade, where he oversaw the brand’s pro and collegiate sports partnerships and Gatorade’s iconic ads starring Michael Jordan. In his role as CEO of the Super Bowl 50 host committee, he was responsible for everything from planning events for fans to managing game-day security and stadium logistics for one of the most successful sporting events in American history. Bruce was recently named president of QuintEvents International and its joint venture with Formula 1, F1 Experiences.
The afternoon’s next Citation recipient, Dr. Bob Hartsook, Emporia State ’70, was introduced by Dr. Ed Hammond, Emporia State ’66, a 2001 Citation recipient.
Brother Hartsook is an experienced administrator in higher education, having worked at Colby Community College, Washburn University and Wichita State. He also holds a law degree from Washburn. While serving at Washburn and Wichita State, Hartsook managed successful fundraising campaigns, including a record-breaking $100 million capital campaign at Wichita State. He later began his own consulting firm, Hartsook Companies, which has advised nonprofits for more than 30 years and helped them raise more than $200 billion. He recently published his seventh book on fundraising and has partnered with several universities to conduct research on philanthropy and establish degree programs in fundraising.
Rick Bennet, Central Missouri ’70, a 2005 Citation recipient, presented the final Citation to Dan Hicks, Arizona ’84.
Brother Hicks got his start as a sports journalist at radio and TV stations in his hometown of Tucson, Arizona. At 26, Hicks was tapped to join the team covering sports at CNN. Just three years later, he was recruited by NBC Sports, where viewers have enjoyed his in-depth knowledge of sports and superb play-by-play analysis for the last 25 years. He’s best known as one of the network’s lead Olympic analysts and for co-hosting its PGA coverage. Hicks, who has traveled the world as an announcer at the winter and summer Olympic Games, is nearly as big a fixture at the pool as Michael Phelps. For the last 17 years, he’s also served as co-host of the network’s popular Emmy Award-winning PGA golf coverage.
The Colorado Gamma and Minnesota Alpha AVCs were both recognized for recent housing initiatives that left their chapters better housed and better positioned for future success.
Originally built in 1930, the Colorado State chapter house required extensive updates to serve the needs of today’s college student. Recognizing this need, alumni came together to develop a long-term fundraising and renovation plan. Volunteers conducted a successful capital campaign and oversaw construction of the new $2.7 million home, which was completed in the spring of 2016. When the chapter returns to campus in 2018, it will find a chapter home equipped with high-speed Internet access, study rooms and a marquis library that can double as a classroom.
The Minnesota Alpha AVC is nearing the finish line on the first extensive renovation of the chapter home in 25 years. This fall, brothers will return to the home to find the bedrooms and common areas redone with new drywall, paint, lighting and flooring. Member safety will be enhanced by a new fire alarm system and sprinklers. In addition, meeting space has been enlarged to accommodate the chapter’s growth. Since purchasing and repairing the badly damaged house in 1992, volunteers have shown great care and commitment to maintaining the home. This latest renovation is further evidence of their dedication to and skill at sound property management.
From its earliest years, Sigma Phi Epsilon has counted on each member to contribute to the success of the Fraternity and society in general. The distinction of “Fellow” is reserved for undergraduate brothers who successfully complete a 500-hour or 60-day service learning project before graduation.
“A Fellow is a servant leader, a brother who has applied his skills and talents in an effort to improve a community in a very meaningful and sustainable way,” said Scott Dudis, Ohio State ’09, before presenting the distinction at Conclave.
As the founder of Pay It Forward Toledo, Jack Sample, Toledo ’17, has created a connection between his university and the neighboring community. Embracing the mantra “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” Sample initially organized an on-campus event that encouraged students to participate in random acts of kindness. He later shifted his focus to helping students make a positive impact on the community. Today, Sample has built partnerships with a homeless shelter and an elementary school, and the student volunteers of Pay It Forward Toledo have given more than 1,100 service hours to these groups and on campus. Now that Sample has graduated, several chapter brothers have stepped forward to help lead the organization and continue his mission of helping others.