Undergraduate Award of Distinction

The Undergraduate Award of Distinction seeks to recognize fraternity men who have found in their experience an outlet for developing as both a leader and a better man. The recipients are those who embody the values of their fraternity and expect the same from those with whom they associate. Click here to nominate an individual for the 2016-2017 Undergraduate Award of Distinction.

The 2016 recipients are:

Ryan D’Ercole

Sigma Phi Epsilon
Christopher Newport University
While Ryan says he joined an “already high achieving chapter,” as president he had the vision and follow-through to take the organization to new heights. He worked with the university to secure new housing for the chapter, including its accreditation as a Sigma Phi Epsilon Residential Learning Community. Under his leadership, his chapter was recognized with Sigma Phi Epsilon’s highest honor, the Buchanan Cup, as well as seven university awards including Fraternity of the Year. Beyond the chapter’s success, as one nominator said, “Ryan is a positive change agent on his campus,” leading a campaign to combat sexual assault as well as developing a program on global competency. Ryan will continue his fraternal leadership as a Regional Director on Sigma Phi Epsilon’s staff upon graduation.

William Marcus Gibson

Theta Chi
The University of Alabama

Leading in the face of adversity shows true character, and Marcus has proven to be a strong and principled leader, navigating challenges as chapter president. Marcus stood up and “took strong action to eliminate hazing from all facets of the chapter life and held members accountable for living in accordance with the ideals of Theta Chi Fraternity,” said one nominator. Further, when a brother committed suicide, Marcus “demonstrated an ability to turn tragedy into hope” by organizing a memorial service. He led his chapter’s participation in the Tuscaloosa Out of the Darkness Community Walk in support of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, raising more than $30,000. Marcus earned both the Reginald E.F. Colley Memorial Trophy, the highest undergraduate honor in Theta Chi, as well as his campus’ Greek Man of the Year award.

Peter Inge

Alpha Tau Omega
The University of Alabama

“As a member of ATO, I’ve learned what true integrity, leadership and service look like,” Peter said. “It is altruistic and not meant for self-glorification, but rather for the advancement of all who surround you.” Peter’s leadership—in his chapter and on campus—focused primarily on the advancement of others. He founded an investment banking organization to help business school students land internships on Wall Street, and he led another organization focused on the development of ethical leaders—all while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. Awarded the Thomas Arkle Clark Award, Alpha Tau Omega’s recognition for its top undergraduate, “Peter is an effective leader, high caliber student with a conscience that guides him outside of conventional thinking,” said his nominator.

Agassy Rodriguez

Lambda Theta Phi
University of Florida

Agassy committed himself to the success of his chapter and the Hispanic-Latino community at University of Florida. As his nominator said, “Agassy has taken the values and skills that he has learned from being a brother to cultivate students at our university, helping many students find their place at UF.” Dedicating himself to mentoring first-generation, low-incomes students, all 25 of his mentees persisted to their second year at UF. As the internal programming director for Hispanic Heritage Month, he led the implementation of the largest student-run celebration of Hispanic-Latino culture in the nation. Described as a “trailblazer,” Agassy was also a long-standing leader within the Student Government and played a critical role in the development of a party to elect the university’s first Latina student body president, helping to unify the community.

Nick Sweetman

Delta Sigma Phi
Arizona State University

A “true fraternity man strongly committed to advancing an impact-driven Greek experience, both on campus and across the country”—that is how one nominator described Nick Sweetman. Whether in his IFC positions as vice president of finance or president or in his role as the undergraduate director of Delta Sigma Phi’s National Council, “Nick is the type of person to not only challenge himself, but others, to live by the values and standards of their organization.” He worked to advance his campus’ interfraternal community forward in many ways, but his landmark contribution came through chairing the Greek Housing Committee. Nick worked tirelessly with stakeholders to provide a more desired Greek housing model to ASU even though he will graduate before the project is complete.