At the Balanced Man Celebration at SigEp’s 56th Conclave in Houston, Texas, 23 chapters were presented with the Buchanan Outstanding Chapter Award for achieving sustained excellence in every area of chapter operations. Each of these chapters consistently provides a superior SigEp experience for its members. Silver Buchanan Cups were presented to 16 chapters. Seven chapters received gold Buchanan Cups for earning the award for five or more consecutive Conclaves and epitomize the best of the best.
Here, we highlight some of the many accomplishments of the 2019 Buc Cup recipients.
Silver Buchanan Cup recipients
Since re-chartering less than three years ago, Connecticut Alpha has hit the ground running. The chapter shows its commitment to academics by maintaining a 3.15 GPA minimum and hosting faculty receptions. Brothers are active in campus organizations, and the chapter was named Fraternity of the Year. Members in the Sigma challenge build relationships with alumni, and the Phi challenge brings everyone together for a TED talk. With engagement like this across all four BMP challenges, it’s clear why the chapter’s retention is high.
Despite a challenging campus environment, Florida Alpha is committed to continuous development and a fraternity experience not defined by alcohol. With multiple faculty fellows and weekly discussion groups, the chapter’s programming is consistent and well-executed. Named IFC Chapter of the Year, Florida Alpha has collaborated with every Greek council on campus. The chapter recruits 365 days a year and received nearly 400 BMS applications over the past two years. It’s resulted in manpower over 100 and a GPA above 3.5.
With more than 200 applications each year, Georgia Delta runs a strong Balanced Man Scholarship and maintains a manpower well above 100. The chapter engages potential members year-round while adhering to the University of Georgia’s strict formal recruitment policy. The chapter’s GPA has long been over 3.5, and its high-functioning Balanced Man Program includes active alumni mentors. Chapter success has been supported by contributions from volunteers and parents to renovate the study room and other areas of the chapter’s historic home.
Indiana Zeta was named Valparaiso’s Fraternity of the Year the past two years, and for good reason. The chapter has a substance-free facility and has led the charge to de-emphasize alcohol as the focus of fraternity life. It’s also led manpower on campus four of the past five years and recruits a third of new members using the Balanced Man Scholarship. And with university employees serving as faculty fellows and half its volunteers, the chapter excels at partnering with its host institution.
With brothers in leadership positions in student government, the interfraternity council and other organizations, Iowa Delta stands out on Drake’s campus. Not only has the chapter been substance-free for nearly 20 years, it’s had the highest manpower for the last five years and consistently ranks first or second in grades. In the past two years, brothers have revamped their Brother Mentor challenge, providing greater value to older members. The result: outstanding retention.
Iowa Theta has led all fraternities at its university in GPA and manpower for the past two years and holds a new member GPA over 3.5. The BMP App is the only way these brothers complete challenge activities, and they’ve recently enhanced their Brother Mentor challenge to include training on life skills like applying to grad school, cooking and managing finances. The chapter uses campus resources to conduct violence prevention training and hosts activities to raise sexual assault awareness across campus.
Although it frequently leads all fraternities in grades, Kentucky Beta recently boosted its GPA through a new academic plan. It also recruits half its members using the Balanced Man Scholarship. The BMP is focused on helping members find purpose in college and beyond, including a robust Brother Mentor challenge developed with input from outside experts. These men are leading Louisville’s Greek community and recently hosted nearly 1,000 people for a talk by two mothers who lost their sons to hazing.
Kentucky Epsilon adopted SigEp’s substance-free facilities policy early and reconfigured its chapter home to provide better value for members. These brothers have also mastered recruitment with the Balanced Man Scholarship, bringing in 19 high-quality men in the past year. The chapter holds the top GPA on campus and engages two faculty fellows. School officials have taken notice of the positive impact these brothers are making on campus and the example they’re setting for the larger Greek community.
Louisiana Beta makes use of university resources like the career center and recreation facilities to create strong member development programming. Brothers hold a number of high-profile positions on campus, including student body president. With the top GPA on campus, the chapter is well known as an academic standout. The university’s vice president of student affairs keynoted the chapter’s most recent BMS banquet, and the scholarship has generated nearly 300 applications in the past two years.
Missouri Gamma has mastered recruitment through the Balanced Man Scholarship. Brothers distribute BMS marketing materials to high school guidance counselors in their hometowns and work with the university to send applications to incoming freshmen. These strategies helped the chapter recruit 80 percent of its new members with the BMS. Those who join the chapter, join a culture of excellence: The chapter has the highest fraternity GPA and facilitates a strong Balanced Man Program across all four challenges.
With more than 20 men per year recruited through the Balanced Man Scholarship, the Montana State chapter maintains a 3.0 GPA minimum and a significantly higher graduation rate than the university’s average. The chapter incorporates university resources, like the counseling and career centers, into its Balanced Man Program and completes challenges using the app. The chapter also hosts a lecture series on topics important to brothers and holds engaging discussions among members on a regular basis.
Over the past two years, Nebraska-Kearney has incorporated content experts into its BMP programming and prioritized using the app. Thanks in part to academic coaching by its two faculty fellows, the chapter has had the top GPA for 10 semesters. These brothers are leaders on campus, and several work in the university’s admissions, residence life and chancellor’s offices. Recently, the chapter recruited over 30 members using the Balanced Man Scholarship, and brothers say 365-day recruitment gives them an advantage over other fraternities.
North Carolina Beta
North Carolina State
North Carolina Beta credits its early adoption of SigEp’s substance-free facilities with improving recruitment. Maybe that’s why it’s received over 600 Balanced Man Scholarship applications in the past two years. Despite being one of the largest chapters on campus, members feel close to their brothers. They also have strong partnerships with Big Brothers Big Sisters and Habitat for Humanity. Volunteers are dedicated to these undergraduates’ success, funding a new facility by engaging alumni from throughout the chapter’s history.
Since their campus went substance-free a decade ago, the brothers of Oklahoma Alpha have shown leadership through accountability for member safety. They recently managed the transition from their old home to a temporary stay in university housing and into their brand-new $5 million chapter facility. These brothers are serious about academics, but also like to make learning fun. The chapter holds a GPA over 3.3 and recently implemented a fantasy-football-like program to encourage continued academic improvement.
South Dakota Alpha
South Dakota State
Thanks to the ongoing support of its alumni-volunteers, South Dakota Alpha has developed a strong BMP and Ritual. All male applicants to South Dakota State receive information about the Balanced Man Scholarship. The chapter is highly visible on campus, leading a sexual assault awareness week and hosting a leadership academy that’s open to all male students. In addition, the chapter is involved in the community through its partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters.
With an alumni speaker series, periodic sound mind discussions and strong BMP activities, Washington Alpha excels at creating high-quality member development programming. Feedback from members is incorporated on an ongoing basis to ensure BMP challenges and activities remain relevant. The chapter recruits a large number of quality men, bringing in nearly 50 percent of new members through the Balanced Man Scholarship. Brothers are active in their community and on campus while holding a GPA above 3.3 — the highest on campus.
Gold Buchanan Cup recipients
D.C. Gamma excels in recruitment and retention. Over the past two years, the chapter has held over 100 BMS interviews and retained all but three members. The chapter holds a 3.59 GPA and recently added a faculty fellow. The chapter enlists alumni for career panels and hosts seminars with guest speakers. Although they don’t have a chapter facility or university support, brothers maintain a strong presence at Georgetown through community involvement and campus-wide events.
Each year, Maine Alpha sends over 20 brothers to Carlson. Maybe that’s why it operates at a consistently high level. Each high school in the state receives information on the chapter’s Balanced Man Scholarship. It has the top GPA every semester and won Fraternity of the Year in 2017 and 2018. On top of this, brothers actively fight against tiered membership … members aren’t called “Sigmas” or “Phis,” they’re all just brothers progressing through a well-constructed BMP.
By far the largest fraternity at Lawrence Tech, Michigan Theta has been the manpower leader for over five years. Recruitment with the Balanced Man Scholarship led to the chapter interviewing 34 percent of the school’s freshman men this year. The chapter operates an excellent BMP and consistently audits and improves its member development programming. Named Fraternity of the Year for the past two years, the chapter’s recent top-ranked GPA is its highest ever.
Strong alumni involvement has contributed to Nebraska Alpha’s ongoing success. With a premier environment provided by a $3 million renovation, the chapter’s faculty fellow teaches an honors course in the chapter home each year. She’s also facilitated several international service-learning trips for brothers. Continued development is always a priority: The chapter sent more than 20 brothers to the Rising Leaders program at Carlson and is focused on personal development in all aspects of operations.
New Jersey Alpha
New Jersey Alpha excels at differentiating itself from other fraternities on campus. The chapter recruits 365 days a year and has interviewed over 150 Balanced Man Scholarship applicants in the past two years. The chapter is committed to academic achievement and physical fitness, drawing heavily on content from the Lifetime Responsibility of Brotherhood in developing each of its BMP challenges. In addition, the chapter has a dedicated group of volunteers and recently added a resident scholar.
Boasting consistent growth and the highest GPA among fraternities for over 15 years, Ohio Iota stands out at the University of Toledo. The chapter has been substance-free for more than 15 years and the manpower leader for at least five years. Every high school counselor in the area receives the chapter’s BMS materials. While many groups on campus simply focus on fundraising, Ohio Iota serves the community by holding a winter clothing drive to help area families.
Excellence is a chapter tradition for Oregon Alpha: It maintains a 3.0 GPA minimum and for 50 straight years, has had the top grades among fraternities. Brothers host workshops on topics like alcohol abuse and sexual assault prevention each semester and hold an annual career fair with involvement from alumni. They also raise money to support a local community organization. Recently celebrating its centennial, the chapter is well on its way to raising $2.5 million for the chapter home.