Chapter Award of Distinction

The Chapter Award of Distinction recognizes the undergraduate chapter which is highly functioning, in compliance with NIC Standards, seeks to educate others about the benefits of a values-based fraternity experience, and works to maintain a healthy relationship with their inter/national organization. Click here to nominate a chapter for a 2016-2017 NIC Award of Distinction.

The 2016 recipients are:

Alpha Tau Omega

Belmont University
Since its chartering in 2000, this chapter has set its sights on greatness. As one nominator said, “They promote the best of ATO and represent the best of what fraternity is about.” In the last year alone, the men dedicated themselves to helping others, serving more than 11,000 hours in their local community and raising more than $36,000. The chapter’s membership continues to grow as does its connection to lifelong brotherhood. The men implemented an alumni relations plan so successful it resulted in the chartering of a new alumni association. Their hard work pays off, as this is the only Alpha Tau Omega group to be honored with the True Merit recognition—the organization’s highest category of chapter—every year for the entire life of the chapter. “The men work hard and, from undergraduate generation to generation, have successfully passed on and strengthened the chapter’s culture of excellence,” said a nominator.

FarmHouse Fraternity

Kansas State University
“When I think of what fraternity looks like—what fraternity means and does for men, I think of FarmHouse at Kansas State University,” said one of this chapter’s nominators. Academically, the chapter has consistently been among the top performers on campus and in Farmhouse nationwide, maintaining a GPA above 3.29 for 15 years. They “take learning seriously” and have created an environment “where academic progress can be made on a daily basis,” with a 24-hour quiet study wing in the chapter house. “They continue to raise the bar and succeed, but they do it with class, dignity, inerfraternalism and humility,” said another nominator. This year, the chapter rallied behind a 9-year-old local boy with cancer, raising funds for his care along with the Fraternity’s national philanthropies of the Leukemia Lymphoma Society and Be the Match. In its recruitment video, one member said the chapter is “a community of men who can push you to be a better man in every aspect of your life,” and the university agrees, recognizing FarmHouse with the President’s Award given to the top chapter in the fraternity community.

Sigma Nu

Butler University
This chapter demonstrates enduring excellence, being recognized by Sigma Nu as a Rock Chapter two consecutive times. This prestigious award honors chapters that have achieved excellence in all areas of operations and maintained a nearly perfect state across a broad range of fraternity operations for a multi-year period. One area of focus for the chapter is mentoring youth in the community. Throughout the year, all brothers mentor kids in the U.S. Dream Academy program, which relies on the chapter’s volunteer and fundraising efforts. Members are also involved in College Mentors for Kids as both individual and group mentors.

Sigma Phi Epsilon

Stevens Institute of Technology
From leading Stevens fraternities in academics for the last four years to serving as 10-15% of the campus’ Resident Assistants and 20% of the orientation leaders, the chapter “stands out from the average in nearly everything it does,” said one nominator. As a result, Sigma Phi Epsilon has awarded the chapter the Buchanan Cup at its last four Conclaves—the highest award a chapter can receive. The men excel in providing a valuable experience for brothers, dedicating much of their programming and development to the ideals and values of the fraternity. One of the chapter’s most impactful initiatives to date was the development of “LIFT,” which trains area Sigma Phi Epsilon chapters on leadership, individual fitness and teamwork. The men have even helped Sigma Phi Epsilon pilot national educational programming and were selected to do so because “they provide distinct development challenges for every phase of a man’s college career and … facilitate a culture of participation and deep buy-in.”

Theta Chi

Missouri State University
This chapter shows sustained success as a past NIC Award of Distinction honoree in 2008, 2012 and 2014. Further, the chapter has been honored by Theta Chi with the Howard R. Alter, Jr. Award for Chapter Excellence—the highest award for Theta Chi chapters—a record 12 times, most recently in 2015. It was also named Fraternity of the Year at MSU. The group boasts the top fraternity GPA on campus—3.18, and its “programming has amplified the individual excellence of its members, resulting in the election of the student body president, orientation leaders, IFC executive board members, and SGA cabinet members.” In a chapter leader’s own words, “We understand that as an organization we must live by the idea of never being satisfied and never settling for mediocrity. In doing so, we have established a chapter that produces better men, ultimately preparing them for the future.”