Celebrating our virtue, diligence and brotherly love throughout the fall offered us the opportunity to shine the light on what’s great about SigEp. We celebrated successful chapter operations amidst adversity, devoted volunteers helping to keep chapters moving forward, and our brothers and chapters working tirelessly to aid their community and campus through the pandemic.
While such recognition is usually presented at Carlson Leadership Academies in February, with not being able to gather in person this year, we took the opportunity to recognize great work as it happens throughout the entire year, virtually!
Throughout the fall, we awarded 20 recipients through surprise and specialized video presentations and acknowledgement on social media. We are so proud of their accomplishments, especially in a time of disconnect, stress and overwhelming uncertainty. Learn more below about the amazing work each of these chapters, brothers and volunteers did to make SigEp a success on their campus and in their community.
We will continue these virtual recognition celebrations this spring by presenting our top volunteer awards (Distinguished Alumnus and Exemplary Service awards) virtually through surprise ceremonial broadcasts. And we will continue to acknowledge our devoted AVCs, volunteers and outstanding undergraduate brothers and chapters’ achievements in an ongoing fashion through video and social media presentations.
If you work with an outstanding brother or volunteer, or want to acknowledge the hard work an AVC or chapter has put in this year, please nominate them for a SigEp award. Help us recognize those that are going above and beyond, and encourage others to emulate their successes in 2021.
These chapters have focused efforts on a particular area of chapter operations and successfully improved their academic performance, new member recruitment and retention, chapter finances, development through the BMP and refined executive role leadership. These Excelsior-winning chapters were diligent in their work — they adapted their processes and succeeded expectations in one of the most challenging semesters in SigEp history.
Colorado State SEC
Colorado State SEC created academic teams to hold each other accountable and provide healthy competition. They also recruited a live-in resident scholar who holds study hours and helps reinforce an academics-focused chapter culture. As a result, they’ve seen their new member GPA increase by a staggering 1.13 points and their chapter GPA go back above the all-campus average. Additionally, they now only have 1 member on academic restrictions, a dramatic decrease from over half the chapter a semester ago.
Mississippi State SEC
Mississippi State SEC instituted a new Vice President of Scholarship position to help brothers academically. He discussed study methods and recommended outside academic resources at chapter meetings, even creating major-specific group chats so younger members could learn from older brothers in their major. As a result, the chapter’s GPA rose from 3.01 to 3.53 in just one semester and the new member GPA increased by over a full point in that same time, from a 2.83 to a 3.87.
Virginia Xi – Old Dominion
After being on the brink of academic turmoil, the Virginia Xi chapter at Old Dominion University implemented a new accountability system requiring brothers to attend library hours, meet with professors and pre-plan their workload. Over the past 2 years, their chapter GPA has increased by over 1 full point and they were recently awarded the “Excellence in Scholarship” award by Old Dominion’s Fraternity and Sorority Life office.
D.C. Delta – American
In reflecting on the state of the world, campus and Greek Life at American University, the chapter instituted a series of reforms including changes to recruitment, internal operations and member education. Because of these improvements and their ability to better serve their members and campus community, D.C. Delta’s leadership is now in a position to accomplish their goals with motivated members.
Indiana Zeta – Valparaiso
Indiana Zeta expanded its leadership from 8 to 20 men resulting in a noticeable, positive change in how effectively and efficiently events are planned and tasks completed — all while providing a high-quality experience for members. When brothers expressed concern around mental health during COVID as well as a need to focus on diversity and inclusion, the chapter adapted by identifying leaders who could provide applicable programming and resources to members
Tennessee Kappa – Tennessee-Martin
In the spring of 2019, this chapter facing financial difficulties, accruing over $8,000 in debt. Through aggressive savings and cost management, a renewed focus on recruitment, and a new agreement with GreekBill, they were able to pay off that debt. Additionally, the chapter built better standards for financial controls to ensure that future chapter leaders remain good stewards of the chapter’s money.
Ohio Nu – Cleveland State
Ohio Nu at Cleveland State revamped their BMP, providing multiple activity options for each of the development areas, to better cater to the specific needs of their members. They also continued to innovate throughout the pandemic, ensuring that all activities within the app could be completed virtually. In fact, they never missed a week of challenge meetings, continued hosting development events and engaged highly successful content experts. With their focus on improvement, they saw a 30% increase in members using the BMP app.
One of SigEp’s newest chapters, the Missouri SEC at the University of Missouri continued to innovate and remain focused on recruitment despite the setbacks caused by COVID-19. They used the BMS as a lead generation tool and interacted with potential new members through Zoom, recruiting new members before the school year began.
Wisconsin Theta – Wisconsin-Platteville
Wisconsin Theta found creative ways to show potential new members the value that SigEp can provide. They effectively used the BMS, emailed all students on the Dean’s List, sold how the SigEp network can lead to professional connections, and actively sought non-traditional students. All of these efforts led to the highest recruitment in their chapter’s history, yielding a 100% growth while holding a chapter GPA of 3.53.
Frank J. Ruck Leadership Award
These brothers stepped up, showed up and worked to make an impact on their campus and in their community this year. They successfully engaged their alumni base and encouraged all members of the chapter to play a leadership role in campus organizations, local non-profits, and community outreach and pandemic preparedness. These men work to continually improve their community — no matter what they’re up against.
Arkansas Epsilon – Arkansas Tech
Always stepping up to help out, this chapter has made both a physical and intangible impact on their campus and in the Russellville community. These brothers are mentors to the younger generation in town, eager to work with residents with disabilities at a local nonprofit, and tirelessly devoted to the upkeep of their campus and community’s environment.
Ohio Pi – Wright State
With the university president as their faculty fellow, this chapter takes community relationships seriously. Holding top roles and in nearly every campus organization, these brothers embody outstanding leadership on their campus and in their university’s community.
Danny Thirakul, Cal-State Sacramento
A young leader with an extensive background in local government and higher education policy, Danny Thiraku honed his skills to pivot California Theta’s Balanced Man Scholarship and recruitment plan to entirely virtual. Engaging the entire chapter and local alumni, he led the chapter to exceed their BMS applicant goal and recruit stellar men to California Theta within just 6 months of becoming a brother.
Blaine Smith, Memphis
This brother is devoted to the betterment of Tennessee Beta and the Greek community at Memphis. Bringing the Order of Omega back to campus and leading the chapter, alongside serving on the IFC and other campus organizations, he’s committed to continuously improving his leadership and creating opportunities for the men in his chapter and students around the campus community.
Talent Power Award
Tackling the challenges of 2020 became second nature to these chapters and their recruitment efforts. They addressed critical topics like inclusivity and diversity while pivoting events and tactics to carry out successful recruitment plans. They actively recruit new members 365 days a year and run highly successful balanced man scholarships on their campuses. These chapters are diligent in making SigEp a safe, honorable, and successful organization on their campuses and attract the right men to join them in their efforts.
Kentucky Beta – Louisville
Breaking down the barriers holding them back, Kentucky Beta acknowledged and addressed sensitive issues and devised a plan to increase inclusivity and recruit a group of young men that reflects the diversity of their campus. Leaning on the Balanced Man Scholarship to carry their recruitment through the pandemic, the chapter is offering more members an amazing SigEp experience at Louisville.
Tennessee Epsilon – Tennessee Tech
Throughout 2020, the chapter has pivoted their recruitment plan and planned safe activities to engage potential new members and conduct a successful BMS. Their dedication led them to surpass their recruitment goal this fall and set a new standard for year round recruitment.
Outstanding New Volunteer
These men are newer to the volunteer ranks but have jumped in to help AVCs and undergraduate brothers through this difficult year. They are reliable and proactive volunteers that bridge the gap in communication and expertise to our young men across the country. Our AVCs are thankful for their work, and the undergraduates look up to them as insightful mentors.
Stephen Crowe, Westminster ’14
AVC Treasurer with Pennsylvania Lambda – Westminster
Stephen steered the finances of Pennsylvania Lambda AVC back on track in just a year’s time, allowing the chapter to fund improvements to their home and provide an enriching experience to the men of Westminster. He’s a strong mentor and collaborator who’s not afraid to jump in, solve problems and set the chapter and AVC up for great success.
David Denner, Missouri S&T ’76
AVC President with Missouri Gamma – Missouri S&T
Passionate about the chapter’s officer retreats and scholarship program, this AVC President has successfully guided the men of Missouri Gamma through the substance free facility transition and has helped the chapter operate safely during a global pandemic. He’s devoted to volunteer recruitment and retention and his efforts have made a crucial impact on the undergraduates and the AVC.
AVC Member and Resident scholar with Colorado Gamma SEC – Colorado State University SEC
Eagerly stepping up to help during a complicated move-in process, Jorge proved he was a reliable, insightful and proactive resident scholar and newly elected AVC Director. Bridging the gap between undergraduates and alumni with a positive and proactive attitude, he’s a catalyst of change that shifted the SigEp experience from an idea to reality at Colorado State this semester.
Nolan Spaenhower, SIU-Edwardsville ’19
Balanced Man Steward with Illinois Eta – SIU-Edwardsville
This new volunteer knows the impact SigEp can make on a brother and has modeled the way for the rising leaders and executives in his home chapter at Illinois Eta. He helps young chapter leaders understand their roles and establish effective operations and ambitious initiatives while devoting time to continuing his leadership development with the AVC and the national organization.
Scott Van Vooren, North Carolina-Charlotte ’94
Chapter Counselor with Pennsylvania Tau – West Chester
As the chapter counselor of Pennsylvania Tau, Brother Van Vooren is a valued leader, dependable mentor and vital liaison with university administration at West Chester and volunteers in the AVC. He’s devoted to timely and thorough communication with all stakeholders and has been extremely informative and reliable during the pandemic.