Awards Recognize RU Greek Life Achievements
Leadership. Friendship. Tradition. Scholarship. Those were just a few of the buzzwords at Muse Banquet Hall at the 2011-12 Radford University Greek Life Awards ceremony April 24.
The annual ceremony recognizes the hard work and achievements of the university's 22 fraternities and sororities over the previous year, said Robert Marias, assistant director of student activities for RU Greek Life. Having recently completed his first year at Radford, Marias said, he took great pride in serving as this year's master of ceremonies.
"Both individuals and chapters honored tonight have shown themselves to be not only leaders on campus but leaders throughout the greater community," he said.
Outstanding Chapter of the Year awards went to Theta Chi (Intrafraternity Council), Delta Zeta (Panhellenic) and Delta Sigma Theta (National Panhellenic Council). The three chapters share a bond, Marias said. "The chapters are well balanced in all areas of the Greek community. They strive for excellence in community service, leadership, scholarship and campus involvement."
Kappa Sigma and Alpha Sigma Alpha were crowned Greek Week Champions, with Kappa Sigma also taking the Greek Intramural Cup.
Notable individual awards went to Brian Kincaid, Delta Rho, Greek Man of the Year; Brandi Steele, Delta Zeta, Greek Woman of the Year; LaNeisha Furlow, Delta Sigma, Chapter President of the Year; and Kira Scafidi, Sigma Kappa, Officer of the Year.
Elizabeth Heinz, Zeta Tau Alpha, won the Ritual Award, and Jared Fraser, Theta Chi, took home the Inspiration Award. The Outstanding Community Service Award went to Delta Sigma Theta, and the Outstanding Philanthropy Award was bestowed on Sigma Pi.
Mark Shanley, RU's vice president for student affairs, addressed the group, saying he was energized walking into the banquet room and sensing the enthusiasm of the vibrant group of men and women. "There's nothing more that we desire than for the Greek system to be the most proud element of the university community," Shanley said. "I've challenged the Greek system to live up to the values and standards that are so inspirational in your national founding documents."
Calling his challenge "a transformational one," Shanley said the goal is to redefine the Radford experience and promote both university and Greek pride through a "leadership imperative."
"There is a return on investment," he said. "There is a direct correlation between the amount of time, energy and support that the university provides to its Greek system in terms of advisory support with the actual performance and behavior of the fraternity and sorority system."
The Distinguished Service Award went to Edward D. Jervey, faculty advisor for Alpha Sigma Tau since 1961. After retiring in 1991 as an RU professor, Jervey remained active in RU Greek Life, offering his insight and guidance. In honor of his ongoing commitment to the Greek community, the Jervey Award was created to salute the sorority that best promotes the spirit of unity across organizations. This year's winner was Alpha Sigma Tau.
Jervey presented the Hurlburt Award, named for iconic Dean of Students Bonnie Hurlburt, to Kelsey Tarpley of Zeta Tau Alpha. The honor goes to a graduating senior sorority member who best represents her organization and makes significant contributions to the RU Greek community. Jervey applauded Tarpley's accomplishment and recalled the contributions made by Hurlburt.
Other honored recipients included Misti Pinkston-Allen, Delta Sigma Theta, Chapter Advisor of the Year; Drew Dodson, Phi Sigma Sigma, Faculty Advisor of the Year; Daniel Brookman, Kappa Delta Rho, Greek Alumnus of the Year; and Mary Roberts, Zeta Tau Alpha, Faculty Member of the Year.
Shanley said he sees a bright future for Greek Life at RU, adding that his vision for the RU Greek community is to branch out from the traditional internal focus by looking toward the broader community. "I can think of no group on campus that is more readily identifiable and holds the standards and values that are more conducive to that leadership imperative than fraternities and sororities," he said.