Below are the brothers, chapters, alumni and volunteers recognized at the 57th Grand Chapter Conclave held in Denver, Colorado July 28 – August 1, 2021. SigEp is proud to support and encourage members and volunteers for demonstrating the values of the Fraternity in their chapter experiences, volunteer involvement and personal lives. To read about all of SigEp's awards -- both those bestowed at Conclave as well as others – click here.
Order of the Golden Heart (OGH)
The OGH is the Fraternity’s highest honor, awarded to alumni who, with great personal sacrifice, have given exceptional service to Sigma Phi Epsilon for at least 30 years. Each nomination is carefully considered by the OGH Nominating Committee and voted upon by the Fraternity's National Board of Directors. | More info
|Ray Ackerman, Oklahoma ’77||Rev. Ray Ackerman has dutifully served as SigEp’s moral compass for more than 40 years, especially in his role as National Chaplain since 1996. Impressed by his character, brothers elected him president of his undergraduate chapter. He inspired the recently reorganized group to focus and set goals, and in the process, becoming campus leaders in philanthropy and earning several Buc Cups. This early leadership set the tone for his alumni journey. After graduation, Ackerman served as a regional director on the Fraternity’s Headquarters staff, further solidifying his reputation as a wise and empathetic advisor. He later began volunteering with his home chapter and has served on the AVC for more than 30 years. A longtime chapter counselor, Ackerman is a model of integrity and brotherly love, sharing life lessons and providing a listening ear to anyone who needs him. “For the brothers of Sigma Phi Epsilon, you have been a faithful shepherd,” Bittman said. “Your voice has been loving and inspiring. Firm and dedicated. It’s been a source of joy and of consolation. And through it all, you have pointed us toward the pursuit of life’s highest ideals.”|
|Chris Bittman, Colorado ’85||As an undergrad, Chris Bittman past Grand President served as a chapter officer and joined SigEp’s Headquarters staff as a regional director following graduation. He went on to start 21 new chapters as expansion director and manage the traveling staff as the director of chapter services before launching a career in financial services. For the past decade, Bittman has shared his financial skills with SigEp, working to manage and grow the Fraternity’s assets as a member of the Investment Committee. He has also served on the National Board of Directors and Educational Foundation Board of Trustees for the past 20 years. He was elected Grand Treasurer for eight consecutive terms before serving as Grand President from 2017 to 2019. As the fraternity movement has evolved, his skills as a consensus builder have helped facilitate some of the most revolutionary changes in Greek life, including the adoption of the Balanced Man Program across all our chapters and establishing substance-free chapter homes. Award presenter Kief surprised his co-presenter with SigEp’s highest honor. “Tonight I get to tell you that you’ve been a SigEp hero to me … and to all of us … for a long, long time,” Kief said. “Tonight we get to place your name where it belongs. Next to Dubach, Freeark and Zollinger … Wheeler, Hasenkamp, Kerr and Doud,” Kief said. “And yes, next to Shawn McKenna and Phil Cox.” “You’ve been there through wins…and losses. Personal triumphs and the depths of despair. You eased those times with your humor. Helped us lighten the burdens. Always knowing that your humor comes from your heart. And your heart beats pure SigEp.”|
|Scott Carr, California-Santa Barbara ’86||Since 2006, Carr has served as alumni and volunteer corporation president for his home chapter. Although the distance between his home and campus has made volunteering a challenge, it’s never deterred Carr. Even when he was just getting his career started and beginning his family, he faithfully made the three-hour drive often and without complaint — and still continues to do so. The opportunity to impact a young brother’s life the way his was as an undergraduate makes it all worth it. Through his patient and heartfelt guidance, California Gamma has consistently won Buchanan Cups for chapter excellence and produced high-quality young men who lead in their communities. A longtime Board of Governors member, Carr has also shared his talents with SigEp on a national level. He’s facilitated at Carlson Leadership Academy and served as a Tragos Quest to Greece mentor. As a member of the SigEp National Advancement Council, Carr has played a vital role in the Fraternity’s fundraising efforts. “You have spent a lifetime repaying a debt of gratitude to Sigma Phi Epsilon,” said Past Grand President and Order of the Golden Heart recipient Garry Kief, Southern California ’70. “But, tonight, dear brother, we hope you see that we are the ones who are indebted to you.” “Your diligence, love and leadership have not merely changed one life … but thousands.”|
|Mike Duggan, Missouri State ’74||Duggan’s promise as a leader was evident early on when he was elected to serve on the Interfraternity Council as a freshman. That promise was further realized when he became a student member of SigEp’s National Board of Directors. He embarked on his journey as a volunteer immediately after graduating and has been actively engaged with his home chapter for more than 40 years. Intent on bringing the chapter back after losing its charter, Duggan took on the role of alumni and volunteer corporation president. His passion soon had other alumni believing the chapter could return stronger than ever. When it did return, he recruited additional volunteers to support the chapter. An early proponent of the Balanced Man Program, he served as balanced man steward for several years before leading a campaign to build a new chapter home. That effort has resulted in a top-notch facility that supports brothers’ academic, personal and professional growth. “You live out SigEp ideals every day of your life,” said Past Grand President Chris Bittman, Colorado ’85. “Brother, today we say thank you for your 50 years of service to Sigma Phi Epsilon. We consider it an honor and a privilege to call you our brother. We will strive to be worthy of your dedication.”|
Presented to a small, highly-select group of alumni who have achieved uncommon success and stature in their particular professions and careers, and have brought honor to themselves and to their Fraternity. | More info
|Romero Britto, Miami (Florida) Renaissance||Britto, an artist and founder of the Happy Art Movement, has exhibited in museums and galleries in more than 120 countries. His art contains a lively fusion of bright colors and whimsical patterns and first gained public attention as part of Absolut Vodka’s widely popular Absolut Art campaign in 1988. Other brands, including Mattel and Coca-Cola, took notice and commissioned works for their own ads. His art is also widely collected, with Britain’s Prince Charles and Super Bowl champ Tom Brady among the many fans who’ve purchased pieces. Britto’s public art installations in New York’s JFK Airport, London’s Hyde Park and other locations around the world have brought joy to millions of people as they go about their everyday activities. His popularity has made Britto the most widely licensed artist in history, with images of his art found on everything from watches to neckties to a limited-edition Monopoly game. “At the end of the day, you can teach someone all kinds of skills, but you can’t teach somebody to be honest or kind — all the beautiful things we want in a friend or a coworker,” Britto said. “Once you have that, people get inspired, and they want to be with you, and they want to promote you.”|
|Jeffrey Dugas, North Carolina ’93||An orthopedic surgeon, Dugas is one of the country’s most sought-after experts on sports injuries and has operated on professional, college and high school athletes. He has innovated the field, developing an alternative to Tommy John surgery that can cut rehab and recovery time in half for athletes sidelined with debilitating elbow injuries. He also volunteers as the team physician for Troy University and as medical director for USA Cheer. In addition to running a thriving medical practice, Dugas is also an entrepreneur. He and a partner founded Dread River Distilling Co., the largest distillery in Alabama. The facility produces a variety of small-batch craft spirits and also serves as an event space. During the pandemic, Dugas shifted from producing beverages to making alcohol-based hand sanitizer and cleaning solutions. He gave the products away to assist local health care facilities and essential businesses. “The foundation of our clinic is focusing on the outcome,” Dugas said. “That sets a bar in our profession, and it’s the same in a chapter on campus. Guarantee the outcome for a young brother who is going to join — don’t settle for anything less than an experience that is so good.” After finding personal commonalities with each other recipient, Dugas said, “It’s amazing how little it takes to find connection between brothers, even though the four of us have never met.”|
|Jim McKelvey, Washington-St. Louis ’87||McKelvey is an entrepreneur best known for founding Square, the company that has revolutionized how small businesses process credit card transactions since its launch in 2009. Today, businesses rely on Square for its innovative card reader, payroll processing and a variety of other services. Due to Square’s phenomenal growth, the company had a difficult time finding employees with technical skills. So, McKelvey founded LaunchCode, a nonprofit offering training and job placement assistance, to bring more people into the tech industry. He’s leveraged his business experience in a role as deputy chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. McKelvey is not only a trustee at Washington University in St. Louis, but also supported his alma mater by providing the lead gift for a new school of engineering named in honor of his father, who was dean of the school for nearly 30 years. He’s contributed his wealth of expertise to SigEp by serving as a guest speaker for chapter events at Missouri Beta and Missouri Gamma. When asked which SigEp cardinal principle means the most to him, McKelvey said, “The one I think most about is virtue. We live in a more and more anonymous world — it’s easy to do things remotely. With the ability to be anonymous comes more responsibility to conduct ourselves as if people were looking. Virtue is even more important as we lose the oversight of others.”|
|Eugene A. Woods, Pennsylvania State ’86||Woods is president and CEO of Atrium Health, a nonprofit healthcare network with more than 70,000 employees and medical facilities in four states. In 2020, Woods oversaw a merger that added Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston–Salem, North Carolina, to the Atrium portfolio. With plans underway to build a second campus of the medical school in Charlotte, Woods is committed to training future generations of medical professionals. A former chair of the American Hospital Association, Woods has been at the forefront of the battle against COVID-19. Under his leadership, Atrium distributed more than two million masks in Charlotte and pioneered the “virtual hospital” concept in which patients with mild symptoms are monitored remotely to make hospital beds available for critically ill patients. Woods also sits on North Carolina’s health disparities and economic recovery task forces and chairs the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Woods said, “The SigEp values are only real to the extent that you use them and live them every single day in real action. When I think of Virtue, I think it’s akin to integrity and not being a bystander. When you see something that’s not right, take a stand.” He pointed to SigEp’s bold 1959 decision to allow membership without racial restrictions as an example of a virtuous stand. “We’re in a time right now when character and how you interact with people who have vastly different views — as brothers, how do we deal with that? It should start from a place of brotherly love — for people who don’t look like you, who don’t share the same views.”|
Honor of Philias
Awarded to chapters or individuals in recognition of their special expression of the Fraternity’s cardinal principle of brotherly love. Recipients may apply for a grant through the Educational Foundation Honor of Philias Endowment to continue the work for which they are being recognized. | More info
In March 2020, New Jersey Zeta brother Tony Whalen, Rider ’97, contracted the coronavirus. Tony, a founding father of the chapter at Rider University, was an active and dedicated volunteer. His willingness to be of service could be seen in every aspect of his life, not just SigEp. He was also active in his local community, serving as a den leader for his son’s Cub Scout pack and in numerous other roles.
When Tony became sick, members of New Jersey Zeta AVC swiftly mobilized to assist. They scheduled volunteers to deliver meals to his family three times a day. Another significant aspect of the AVC’s effort was creating a GoFundMe account raising more than $150,000 to help cover medical bills and mounting expenses for the family.
Despite the best efforts of the medical providers and the many brothers who loved and admired him, Tony passed away on March 25, 2020 — one of the first SigEp brothers we know of to die in the pandemic.
The 2021 honorees were members of the New Jersey Zeta AVC at Rider University. In recognition of their compassion and great fortitude, the 2021 Honor of Philias was presented to the members of the New Jersey Zeta AVC at Rider University.
Recognizes brothers who come to one another’s aid in times of trouble; brothers helping brothers. The biennial award provides $10,000 in scholarships to brothers who exemplify the relationship shared by Brothers Clayton and Doud. | More info
In February 2021, SigEp hero, past Grand President and Order of the Golden Heart recipient John Hartman, Missouri ’61, suffered a stroke. In his time of need, two brothers and dear friends stepped in to aid him — Mike Duggan, Missouri State ’74, and Zar Toolan, Columbia ’01. Week by week, every step of the way, Duggan and Toolan worked with the doctors, therapists, social workers and care facilities to help John as he regained his capacity.
The brotherly love that Mike and Zar share for John stretches back decades and spans generations. Through the years, they’ve shared family events and holidays together, started SigEp chapters, mentored countless undergraduates in Missouri and facilitated the Ruck Leadership Institute.
At the 2021 Brotherhood Luncheon, the Clayton-Doud Award was presented to Mike and Zar in acknowledgment of their ongoing love and support of Brother Hartman during his recovery.
Sigma Phi Epsilon Fellow
Awarded to brothers who assume large-scale service learning projects that push service learning to the highest level and solve genuine problems within a community. Fellow projects provide hands-on experiences that teach leadership, mentoring, and how to care about and serve others — all essential steps toward becoming a balanced man. They put into real world practice our cardinal principles of Virtue, Diligence, and Brotherly Love. | More info
Caleb Gipple, Northern Iowa ’21, was awarded the 2021 Fellow Award for the outstanding impact he has made on his local community by helping children achieve success through literacy. Brother Gipple created Reader Today Leaders Tomorrow (RTLT) with the mission to “remove barriers, expand opportunities and empower students in the Cedar Valley, Iowa community.” As RTLT’s programs were implemented, it also created a wonderful opportunity for Iowa Theta to exhibit brotherly love to the local community.
Buchanan Oustanding Chapter Award (Buc Cups)
Recognizes our highest performing chapters, the best-of-the-best SigEp chapters. Chapters are measured in relation to the accomplishments of their peers on campuses across the country. Only the chapters that excel in every area of operations and further the Grand Chapter's priorities qualify for this high honor. | More info
Gold Buc Cups
|Maine Alpha - University of Maine (7th consecutive)|
Maine Alpha has recruited the right way for years. Committed to the Balanced Man Scholarship, they started a second BMS cycle this spring to bring in more members, year-round. Holding the top Greek GPA for 12 straight semesters, they won Chapter of the Year in 2019 and 2020. Chapter members lead in big ways on their campus … as student body president, honor society members and presidents of three club sports teams. With involvement from alumni, volunteers and faculty members, their Balanced Man Program and SigEp Learning Community programming meets the needs of members and emphasizes practical skills. This chapter is hyper-focused on professional development and preparing their men for success after college. They engaged 60 alumni and volunteers in professional development sessions, and 15 percent of their entire membership attended a SigEp Career Coaching session this spring. The chapter sent brothers to Ruck, and when snow prevented them from attending Carlson in 2019, they had a two-day leadership retreat for the whole chapter.
|Michigan Theta - Lawrence Technological University (6th consecutive)|
With forty percent of all freshmen men applying to their Balanced Man Scholarship over the past two years, it’s clear that their SigEp experience is in demand on campus. With a chapter GPA nearly a full point above the all campus average, they’ve held the highest fraternity GPA since 2015 and have won Greek Day the past five years. With a strong Balanced Man Program, they’re successful in developing upperclassmen, enlisting alumni mentors from other SigEp chapters in Epsilon challenge meetings, and their Brother Mentor challenge emphasizes involvement with SigEp before and after graduation. With strong alumni support, the chapter had the most donors among all SigEp chapters in the 2020 Founders Day of Giving. They’ve also sent fifteen percent of their members to the Ruck Leadership Institute, and nearly 30 percent have already participated in SigEp’s Career Coaching opportunity.
|Nebraska Alpha - Nebraska-Lincoln (13th consecutive)|
Sought after by potential new members for the experience they provide, Nebraska Alpha is a source of pride for its alumni. Nearly 50 new members joined last summer … in a pandemic — their most in five years, and over 130 undergraduate men call this chapter home. More than 10 volunteers actively serve the chapter by facilitating Balanced Man Program challenge meetings, and the chapter partners with a personal trainer who provides Sound Body sessions and mental health seminars. They are incredibly active in their community through volunteering at an after-school program and providing care packages for frontline healthcare workers, and they’ve also had an impact on the world through annual international service trips. There is a culture of leadership in this group — brothers hold positions in the IFC, Order of Omega, honor societies and athletics teams. With a $3 million house renovation recently completed, the brothers are set up for success in their living-learning environment, and they’ve built a culture of success grounded on SigEp’s values that has proven to be sustainable.
|New Jersey Alpha – Stevens Institute of Technology (7th consecutive)|
SigEp is synonymous with leadership and making a positive impact on their campus community. When the pandemic started, the chapter leadership didn’t miss a beat in taking operations virtual — then advised other chapters on how to succeed in the new landscape. They launched a leadership academy open to all students to attend, and brothers lead exam review sessions for the entire campus community — serving more than 2,000 students per semester. While they provide value to the whole student body, chapter members also have access to incredible development opportunities, with Brother Mentors hosting daily virtual programming on topics like personal finance and mental health. They’ve been recognized on campus with awards celebrating academic achievement, programming and hazing prevention. Sixty-five percent of chapter brothers attended SigEp’s Career Coaching sessions this spring, and the chapter had two brothers selected for the Tragos Quest to Greece in the past two years. Thanks to the AVC’s investment in the chapter facility, and dedicated mentorship for each chapter officer, the brothers are set up for success for years to come.
|Ohio Iota – University of Toledo (10th consecutive)|
The demand for the SigEp experience is strong on their campus — proven, as they received over 200 BMS applications this year. They keep their brothers progressing through BMP challenges in the BMP App, and they’ve held the highest fraternity GPA for 38 straight semesters. They’ve sent 11 brothers to the Ruck Leadership Institute in the past two years, and they’re clearly committed to bettering themselves and the Fraternity. Receiving every Greek Standard of Excellence award on campus in the past two years, they have two brothers in the top senior honor society, which only selects 13 students each year. In addition to engaging both the vice president of student affairs and the dean of students in chapter programming, they lean on their 25-member AVC for mentorship and support as they raise the bar for other fraternities on campus.
|Oregon Alpha – Oregon State University (9th consecutive)|
With a huge sphere of influence on campus through partnerships with the university, they host annual, campuswide events on topics like alcohol and drugs, mental health and suicide prevention, diversity and inclusion, hazing prevention, and academic success. Recognized by the university as an affiliated housing program, they’ve shown a commitment to high standards and a high-quality living-learning environment. The chapter has implemented the BMP App for all four challenges, and each chapter officer benefits from volunteer mentorship. Their GPA is a bar-setting .3 above the IFC average, and they’ve held the top fraternity GPA for four straight terms. The chapter’s presence and leadership on their large campus is clear — they’ve won the most outstanding fraternity award for 12 out of the last 14 years.
Silver Buc Cups
|Alabama Beta – University of Alabama|
Using their position as part of an influential Greek system — one of the largest in the country — Alabama Beta makes SigEp’s values well-represented on campus. Through a strong Balanced Man Scholarship — which brings in 50% of their new members — the chapter has maintained a manpower of over 150 high-quality men. They’re recruited over 50 new members in each of the past two years … and even more throughout the pandemic than the year before. With strong alumni involvement and an effective partnership with the university, this chapter leverages volunteers and educators to provide an outstanding Balanced Man Program for its members. Their membership is involved in more than 50 unique student organizations. Recently accredited as a SigEp Learning Community, the chapter GPA is .1 higher than the all-Greek average…an achievement they maintain while providing a compelling, developmental fraternity experience that rises above the stereotypical Greek culture on campus.
|California Psi – Pepperdine University|
Standing head and shoulders above other chapters on campus with the top manpower of all fraternities, their broad impact is a testimony to the power of SigEp done right. Quadrupling the reach of their Balanced Man Scholarship in 2020, with 200 applications, their manpower is over 70. They’ve received 14 Greek awards over the past 2 years, including Fraternity of the Year, and they maintain the top fraternity GPA. Most IFC officers are SigEps, and other members hold leadership positions in student government and throughout campus. They’ve accumulated over 10,000 service hours that impact the campus as well as their broader community. During the pandemic, they made their Balanced Man Program entirely virtual, maintaining all four challenges and providing strong member development. With strong volunteer support, they’ve found sustained success.
|Colorado Delta – Colorado School of Mines|
Excelling through strong recruitment and partnerships with the university and volunteers. Winning Chapter of the Year and holding the top Greek GPA 3 out of the past 4 semesters, they also beat their recruitment goal each semester during the past two years — growing despite the pandemic. They partner with professors to hold exam review sessions, enlisted the Dean of Students as their faculty fellow, and held a joint speaker series with a sorority that brings in alumni to host talks on relevant topics. Their efforts have paid off — their GPA is .2 higher than the all-campus average. They’ve also leaned on SigEp’s programs for success, with 14 brothers participating in Career Coaching sessions this spring and one member selected for the Tragos Quest to Greece.
|Connecticut Alpha – University of Connecticut|
Holding the top GPA among fraternities for seven out of the last eight semesters, Florida Alpha has won IFC Chapter of the Year every year since 2016. At the beginning of 2019, the chapter had over 80 members — and at the end of 2020, they celebrated a manpower of 125, growing by more than 50%. They accomplished this growth through a strong Balanced Man Scholarship, receiving 190 BMS applications in fall 2020 through their virtual scholarship effort. They maintain strong partnerships with alumni and the university, leading to high-quality Balanced Man Program sessions with content experts — and an incredible experience for their brothers. Invested in improving themselves through SigEp’s programs, they sent 27 brothers to Carlson in 2020, had multiple Ruck Scholars and one Tragos Quest to Greece Scholar, and two dozen of their brothers have taken advantage of SigEp Career Coaching sessions with alumni.
|Florida Alpha – University of Florida|
In a challenging Greek culture, Connecticut Alpha represents SigEp well. This chapter excels through the involvement of volunteers — the AVC has furnished the chapter home with tables, chairs, technology and workspaces that are conducive to an enjoyable living-learning environment. Alumni and volunteers are paired with each member of the Epsilon challenge, providing mentorship in pursuit of personal and professional development. The chapter has a strong commitment to developing its brothers. More than 20 members have taken advantage of SigEp Career Coaching this spring, eight attended Ruck Leadership Institute in the last two years, and one is a Tragos Quest to Greece Scholar. The chapter has also held the top GPA for large chapters the past four semesters, and they quadrupled their Balanced Man Scholarship applicants year-over-year, which resulted in the chapter recruiting more men this year than last.
|Indiana Zeta – Valparaiso University|
In spring 2020, Indiana Zeta, recruited more than double the average number of new members on campus. With the largest manpower among fraternities, their Balanced Man Scholarship accounted for more than 60 percent of all new members. They’ve won highest new member GPA, highest fraternity GPA and Fraternity of the Year. They’ve held the largest philanthropy on campus for years, and brothers serve in key leadership positions across campus. They expanded their member development programming to promote mental health, and have engaged volunteers in fresh ways over the past two years. Despite the pandemic, they persisted in providing a high-quality virtual experience when many other chapters on their campus stopped operating.
|Iowa Delta – Drake University (4th consecutive)|
Academics, leadership and member development … Iowa Delta succeeds in every area. Heavily invested in the Balanced Man Program, every member uses the BMP App and benefits from quality content provided by experts and university partners. They’ve invested in diversity, equity and inclusion, creating a chair position who helps educate members on this important topic. 35 members are trained in violence prevention, and brothers are involved in a men’s mental health organization and peer academic advising. Successful in holding members accountable, their GPA last year was nearly .4 higher than that all-male average — leading to the top fraternity GPA. 2021.
|Iowa Theta – University of Northern Iowa (4th consecutive)|
Even during the pandemic, Iowa Theta heavily invested in its Balanced Man Scholarship and nearly doubled their number of applications compared to previous years, expanding their partnership with the university to reach all incoming students. Thanks to an involved AVC, more brothers were able to live in SigEp homes on campus, and they reached less-engaged alumni on Founders Day of Giving through an undergraduate call center, finishing in the top five among SigEp chapters in BOTH dollars raised and number of donors. The chapter invests in accountability, using the BMP App to provide constructive feedback for brothers who fall behind. They are among the largest chapters on campus and hold one of the highest GPAs.
|Kansas Alpha – Baker University|
Kansas Alpha is no stranger to winning awards, and we’re here to present them with another one. Of the 26 fraternity awards presented on campus over the past two years, this chapter has won 19 of them. This is a testament to their success in providing an outstanding SigEp experience. Leaning on six different university partners to provide BMP challenge content, these brothers are balanced men leading in their community. With many brothers who are Division 1 athletes, chapter members also lead the IFC and raised more than $11,000 for charity, through partnerships with local businesses. With significant investment and involvement from alumni, they also led a safe return to campus by establishing a full set of safety protocols before moving back into their chapter home last fall.
|Kentucky Beta – University of Louisville|
Leading the way on campus in member development, Kentucky Beta utilizes extensive volunteer involvement in the Balanced Man Program where brothers benefit from alumni who facilitate every professional development BMP session. Alumni are regularly involved in challenge meetings, and the involved volunteer group mentors every executive officer and committee member. They’ve even enlisted their school’s head football and basketball coaches as well as a U.S. Congressman to provide BMP programming! Committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, the chapter has expanded their partnership with Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Incorporated to host seminars promoting dialogue around race, in addition to adjusting their recruitment processes after an internal diversity audit. They’ve been recognized with four straight Outstanding Member Development awards from the FSL office, as well as four consecutive Outstanding Communication awards for their mental health seminar.
|Kentucky Delta – Western Kentucky University*|
Kentucky Delta has taken excellence to a new level over the past two years. With the highest manpower on campus, they’ve doubled Balanced Man Scholarship applications, receiving nearly 150 and gaining 10 new members in the process. Winning most on-campus chapter achievement awards, they’ve also achieved the top fraternity GPA for the first time. With brothers serving as student body president, IFC president and in many other campus leadership roles, they’ve expanded their reach on campus. They’ve rethought their Balanced Man Program and are focusing on helping brothers build skills and understand themselves rather than just learning information, and have incorporated diversity, equity and inclusion into the program. With the help of the AVC, they’ve invested in creating a high-quality living-learning environment with multiple study spaces and plenty of supplies for collaboration and learning. They’ve also had multiple Ruck Scholars and a Quest Scholar.
|Kentucky Epsilon – Murray State University|
Excelling due to their accountability and involved volunteers, Murray State has a manpower over 70, with nearly half of new members recruited through the Balanced Man Scholarship in the past two years. Their new member GPA was an impressive 3.8, and they’ve held the highest fraternity GPA for 17 straight years! The chapter created an incentive program for 4.0 GPAs, and the standards board has maintained 100% dues collection while encouraging and checking in on brothers. When everyone was sent home at the start of the pandemic, chapter officers called each brother weekly to make sure they felt connected. Success is maintained through volunteer and faculty involvement in executive board meetings and the annual transition retreat.
|Louisiana Beta – Louisiana State University|
Louisiana Beta consistently rises above the stereotypical fraternity experience at their university. Expanding their Balanced Man Scholarship efforts by marketing the application at high schools around the state and region, they’ve recruited over 100 men, year-round, over the past two years — compared to 65 in the previous two … growing recruitment efforts by more than 50%. Receiving the Outstanding Chapter Award on campus, their university administration also nominated them for the North American Interfraternity Conference’s Chapter of Distinction honor — awarded to the top 5 fraternity chapters on the continent. By partnering with a faculty fellow, weekly office hours and mentoring are provided to all brothers, and the chapter has incorporated diversity, equity and inclusion education into their Balanced Man Program. The chapter has invested in brotherhood, adding gaming consoles, new TVs and a pool table to their beautiful chapter home. Their parents club incentivizes academic achievement, and a chapter Facebook group facilitates networking among alumni and undergraduates.
|Minnesota Alpha – University of Minnesota|
By recruiting year-round, Minnesota Alpha has maintained a manpower over 100 while creating a personalized Balanced Man Program that caters to members’ individual needs. Their chapter home promotes academic success, with large study spaces that served brothers well as classes went virtual. The standards board facilitates an academic mentorship program for brothers struggling with grades, and chapter officers work closely with AVC members to set and achieve goals. Their faculty fellow hosts professional development workshops, and alumni served as content experts for BMP challenge meetings. The strength of this alumni support was also shown in the 2019 SigEp Founders Day of Giving, when the chapter took home first place for most dollars raised. Driven to impact their community, the chapter raised nearly $40,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters, as well as providing holiday gifts for a family struggling with illness.
|Mississippi Beta – Mississippi State University|
Mississippi Beta experienced explosive growth over the past two years. Through an outstanding Balanced Man Scholarship process that garnered 548 applications — a quarter of all incoming male students — the chapter interviewed 210 applicants — 10 percent of all incoming men. In the past two years, they have doubled in size … with a focus on recruiting quality men ready to live the SigEp values. With an emphasis on academic success, the chapter holds a 3.5 GPA and received both the Excellence in Scholarship and Best Virtual Academic Programming awards. Leaning on outside experts such as professors, alumni, volunteers and parents, their BMP is outstanding and creates an incredible environment where brothers can develop together. Thanks to their AVC, the chapter has endowments to send brothers to SigEp leadership programs — 8 brothers attended Ruck, 22 received Career Coaching and one brother was selected for the Tragos Quest to Greece.
|Missouri Eta – Missouri State University|
Hands down – Missouri Eta is one of the best student organizations on their campus. Thanks to dedicated volunteers, every chapter officer has a mentor, and biannual transition retreats connect undergraduate leaders and alumni. Their chapter home has two conference rooms and multiple dedicated spaces that brothers can use to study and connect, and their chapter GPA is over 3.5. With 85 percent of new members coming from the Balanced Man Scholarship over the last two years, the chapter has grown by nearly 50 percent to a manpower of nearly 150. They won nearly all chapter awards in 2019, including Chapter of the Year, and last year they were one of 5 student organizations — and the only Greek chapter — to receive an award for excellence in all areas.
|Missouri Gamma – Missouri University of Science and Technology|
When the pandemic hit, Missouri Gamma know it had to adjust its recruitment practices, and in 2020, they started their first ever Balanced Man Scholarship cycle...which brought in nearly 100% of their new members, one of the largest groups in their history. Through their successful Balanced Man Program, the chapter’s Brother Mentors help lead the chapter and mentor younger members, and each officer also has a dedicated alumni mentor, ensuring the chapter leadership has direct, year-round support. Academically, the chapter’s most recent GPA is an exceptional 3.75, and they’ve been recognized on campus with awards in community service, philanthropy outreach, and academic goal setting. They make an important impact on campus through programs like Sexual Assault Awareness Week, and the chapter is the overall campus intramural champion, the first time a fraternity has achieved this feat!
|Missouri Zeta – Southeast Missouri State University|
Missouri Zeta is clearly committed to both Sound Mind and Sound Body. They are the overall intramural champions for the past two years and also received the 2020 Academic Excellence Award on campus. They have brothers in leadership positions within the IFC, student activity council, and honor societies, and they engage university partners — including the university president — throughout their impactful Balanced Man Program facilitated through the BMP App. Their AVC is in the middle of a capital campaign to raise $2.3 million for a new chapter home and has provided over $500,000 in scholarship endowments. This year, the chapter focused on inclusion during recruitment and they were able to increase and welcome more new members from diverse backgrounds.
|Nebraska Gamma – University of Nebraska-Kearney|
Setting the bar on their campus in every way, Nebraska Gamma, has received numerous campus awards including the top fraternity GPA 14 semesters in a row. They’ve focused on continual growth, recruiting year-round and recruiting more than 70 percent of their members through the Balanced Man Scholarship in the last two years. They engaged university partners to achieve success — every semester, the chapter gives an award to a faculty/staff member of the semester. And this partnership has paid off, with the university approving a new chapter home. With a focus on personalizing the BMP, the chapter has invested in adding more challenge activities. They’re also active in the community, with brothers coaching children with developmental disabilities and teaching professional skills to middle schoolers.
|Ohio Pi – Wright State University|
Nothing could stop Ohio Pi, despite the pandemic. When they couldn’t hold in-person activities, they recruited, gave bids and engaged members entirely virtually … staying connected to each other when they needed it most. And in the past year, to continue to find men of excellence to join the chapter, they conducted more than 10 times the number of Balanced Man Scholarship interviews compared to the previous year. Leaning on a supportive university administration, the chapter marketed the BMS as part of the school’s common scholarship application, so everyone on campus who applies for a scholarship is considered for the BMS. And in a testament to the chapter’s desire to lead in their community, the brothers recruited the university president to be their faculty fellow.
|Oklahoma Alpha – Oklahoma State University |
With a focus on recruiting a high quantity of quality men, Pennsylvania Beta Beta grew in the pandemic, with more than 75 percent of their members recruited through the Balanced Man Scholarship. Their GPA is consistently above the IFC and all-campus averages, and they’ve been named the top fraternity on campus four years running. Invested in improving themselves through SigEp’s programs, they sent many members to the Ruck Leadership Institute and had a brother selected for the Tragos Quest to Greece. Brothers are leading through student government and many other influential student organizations. With an outstanding BMP, the chapter implemented "Sound Mind Hours" to discuss mindfulness, current events and mental health, in addition to an Arts Appreciation Week, “SigEp Teaching SigEp” events, and tens of thousands raised for charity. The chapter is supported by a dedicated AVC that hosts interview and resume workshops.
|Pennsylvania Beta Beta – Drexel University|
Oklahoma Alpha leans on their exceptional new facility to create an outstanding environment and experience, as well as a positive presence on campus. With multiple faculty fellows and resident scholars who support their Balanced Man program, they host an accredited university course in their chapter home. The brotherhood is successful and involved — with members engaged in over 100 different other campus organizations, and brothers named as IFC leaders and even homecoming king. Thanks to strong support from volunteers, leaders receive constant mentorship, and seniors have a 100% job placement rate through the SigEp network. Their experience is highly sought after — their manpower is highest in the chapter’s 101-year history with 150 brothers.
|South Dakota Alpha – South Dakota State University|
South Dakota Alpha wins nearly every award in their Greek community… and for good reason. Honored for outstanding chapter operations, community service programming, involvement, member development, scholarship, highest GPA and the outstanding chapter, their impact on campus is clear. They recruited more men in the pandemic than the year before, doubled Balanced Man Scholarship applications and 65% of their new members for the year came from the scholarship process. Invested in member development, 100% of members have a deployed challenge in the BMP App, and one third of brothers attended a SigEp Career Coaching session to network with alumni. Thanks to a decade of fundraising by the AVC, the chapter has a brand new $1.7 million facility that opened on June 1.
|Virginia Pi – Christopher Newport University|
Virginia Pi is building balanced leaders through its exceptional programming. They engage university partners, who host sessions on resume writing, job searching, mental health, financial literacy and more. Their AVC runs an annual transition retreat and alumni serve as consistent mentors for chapter officers, in addition to providing a robust networking program. This chapter has been honored with campus awards for excellence in leadership, scholarship support, innovation, academics, and member development. Holding the highest fraternity GPA for two consecutive years, their chapter average is nearly 3.7! Congratulations to this well-rounded chapter that is committed to campus and alumni involvement.
|Washington Alpha – Washington State University (4th consecutive)|
Washington Alpha recruits year-round and has a manpower well over 100. Committed to Sound Body, they consistently win intramural championships. They’ve been honored with back-to-back Chapter of the Year awards and swept the Greek awards program. Their chapter GPA is over 3.6, and in spring 2020, they recorded the highest Greek GPA ever on campus. Undergraduates want the SigEp experience on their campus — in the first round of recruitment, more than half of all potential new members listed the chapter as their first choice — out of 26 fraternities. And they don’t stop at formal recruitment … this chapter had quality men join nearly every month in the last two years!
|Wisconsin Theta – University of Wisconsin-Platteville*|
Wisconsin Theta recently recruited the most members in chapter history. Thriving through the pandemic, the chapter leadership responded quickly to continue providing value for members in the new environment. Their safety protocols were shared as an example with other chapters on campus and other SigEp chapters, and they sent a quarter of their members to the Ruck Leadership Institute. Leveraging a strong relationship with the university, the administration turns to the chapter whenever there is a need in the community. The chapter develops exceptional members, including the student body and IFC presidents. Their strong Balanced Man Program teaches brothers practical skills they’ll use for the rest of their lives. Their success has been recognized by the university — they’ve won Outstanding Greek Chapter for 11 of their 20 years in existence.
Awarded to Alumni and Volunteer Corporations (AVCs) that have undergone major improvement projects on chapter facilities. Projects can vary from cosmetic updates to major renovations, from safety upgrades to new construction; what remains consistent is the hard work, thoughtful approach and brotherly love that goes into maintaining facilities capable of developing high-achieving balanced men. | More info
|South Dakota Alpha AVC||A commitment to the SigEp Learning Community ideal has been the driving force for SigEp’s South Dakota Alpha Chapter at South Dakota State as it recently completed a build of its first chapter facility. For years, the chapter has engaged a faculty fellow to support members as they progress through the Balanced Man Program. Now, with a brand-new 13,500-square-foot facility, the chapter finally has a space to support impactful programming that focuses on leadership training, academic support, healthy masculinity and mental health. With 20 beds, a resident scholar apartment, and several devoted learning spaces throughout, the South Dakota Alpha facility will serve as a model for other Greek organizations on campus and SigEp chapters across the country. This has all been made possible through a generous alumni base, whose self-led fundraising campaign raised over $700,000. For its work providing the chapter at South Dakota State with a new home that models the way for the ideal SigEp Learning Community|
|Iowa Gamma AVC||Following a difficult membership review, the Iowa Gamma chapter at the University of Iowa found itself with fewer than five members at the start of the 2016-2017 academic year. The chapter facility that had been continuously occupied by Iowa Gamma members for nearly 100 years was in disrepair. Over the course of the next three years, the AVC worked tirelessly to ensure the chapter facility would become one that the alumni base and rebuilding chapter could be proud of. Following a restructuring of the AVC that included both new and existing volunteer leadership, a $1 million capital campaign was successfully executed with the help of Pennington. The campaign led to a complete renovation of the chapter’s historic home that was completed in the fall of 2019. The facility features 31 beds, a resident scholar suite, a new kitchenette, dining area and several multipurpose conference rooms. Now, the chapter has grown back stronger than ever, to over 100 members and counting.|
|Florida Epsilon AVC||Previously unhoused, the Florida Epsilon AVC at Florida State University had an opportunity to purchase three adjoining residential houses in late 2016, with the intention of later building a new state-of-the-art facility. After a successful fundraising campaign, the AVC was able to demolish the existing structures and begin its new build.In the fall of 2020, the new $3 million chapter home was completed and now features a library that can accommodate full chapter programming, several multi-purpose study spaces, a large resident scholar apartment, and a basement parking garage. The 32-bed facility now rivals any Greek facility on campus and the chapter, a newly accredited SigEp Learning Community, has set the standard for what a SigEp chapter should be.|
|Kentucky Delta AVC||Our Kentucky Delta chapter at Western Kentucky University is consistently in the running for the Reed Morgan Award for best overall fraternity on campus, recently winning the award in 2021. However, for years, there wasn’t a facility to match the caliber of the chapter. The chapter’s facility was a large residential home that was repurposed into a fraternity house. The house was old, floors were settling and safety was becoming a concern for members. The AVC knew drastic action needed to be taken and developed a plan to tear down the home and completely rebuild a new facility. Raising funds through local alumni events, the AVC was able to kick-start the new build. Completed in the summer of 2020, the chapter’s new facility has 20 beds with educational spaces to host events led by its long-time faculty fellow. A fire sprinkler system has been installed, alleviating much of the safety concerns that existed in the old facility.|