Updated: Aug. 14, 2014 at 1:32 p.m.
Two fraternities earned top honors at national conferences this summer.
This month, Sigma Chi earned the J. Dwight Peterson award for the fifth year in a row at a leadership conference, which considered details like the size of the fraternity and the success of its philanthropy. Beta Theta Pi also received two awards, including the national organization’s highest honor, at its conference.
Sigma Chi president Eric Estroff said the chapter’s success in philanthropy last year helped the fraternity win the award. Last fall, Sigma Chi raised more than $80,000 for cancer research through its philanthropy initiative “Derby Days,” and landed corporate sponsorships with companies like JetBlue Airways, Uber and L’Oreal.
“We made it more about the cause,” Estroff said. “At times, it was about raising the money and having a big party and some field games. We changed the way you looked at philanthropy.”
Sigma Chi spokesman Michael Church said $80,000 is among Sigma Chi’s highest philanthropy totals at a national level, and he said the GW chapter has shown a “consistent level of success” since it returned to campus six years ago. Church said Sigma Chi’s joint philanthropy effort with Sigma Phi Epsilon last spring also helped the chapter gain national recognition.
Beta Theta Pi earned the Knox and Sisson awards, which considered fraternity size, member GPAs and participation in leadership training.
The chapter’s president, Matt Zahn, said national awards can be a “good metric” for how a chapter is performing overall. It was the chapter’s first time earning a Knox award, the national organization’s top honor. The chapter has won Sisson awards six times.
“I’d say that national awards are a good way to assess how you’re doing and where it is that you need to improve. Different organizations pride themselves on different values and beliefs,” Zahn said in an email. “These awards are one way to measure how a chapter is doing in living and promoting these values on their campuses.”
University spokesman Kurtis Hiatt declined to provide a list of other chapters on campus that earned awards this summer.
Did your chapter win a national award this summer? We want to know about it. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This post was updated to reflect the following corrections:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that it was the sixth time Beta Theta Pi had won a Knox award. It was the first time the chapter had earned the award. The Hatchet also incorrectly spelled the name of the Sisson award. We regret these errors.