October 22, 2009

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Fraternities and sororities at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) have recently received honors for their continued success in academic, community, and alumni efforts.

"WPI's fraternities and sororities represent some of the strongest chapters of their 16 national organizations (13 fraternities and three sororities)," said Emily Perlow, associate director of student activities and Greek life programs. "We challenge chapters to exceed their organizational best each year, and I believe it is the push for continual improvement, reinforced by dedicated alumni volunteers who work with the chapters, that makes the WPI fraternal community one of the most solid in the country.

"The number of awards that WPI chapters bring home from fraternity and sorority conventions each year, is a testament to their strength," Perlow added, "having risen to the top, in comparison with chapters of their respective organization from all over the country."

This year's highlights include:

  • WPI's Phi Kappa Theta chapter won the Founder's Cup, which is annually awarded to one of 50-plus national chapters of the fraternity. The award goes to the top chapter in the nation, and is based on five developmental areas: fraternal, intellectual, leadership, social, and spiritual. The chapter previously won the award in 1981, and a mere three years since the chapter's revitalization in 2006.  
  • The Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity was one of 10 – out of 280 nationally – to receive the Top TKE Chapter Award, which is given to chapters that receive four out of the national fraternity's six excellence awards. The chapter must also be in good standing with the Offices of the Grand Chapter. WPI's chapter won five excellence awards in the categories of recruitment results, chapter size, community service, alumni relations, and extracurricular activities.  It is featured in the summer 2009 issue of The Teke magazine and on the website www.tke.org.
  • WPI's Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity won the Tozier Brown Public Affairs Program Award.  Chapter members spent a combined 1,000 man hours on their North American Food Drive, collecting a total of 145,960 pounds of non-perishable food. The brothers visited more than 10,000 homes throughout the city of Worcester. The donations they gathered helped to feed more than 5 percent of the city's population
  • Amanda Gurnon '09 received the national Phi Sigma Sigma sorority Beverly Parkes Collegian of the Year Award. The honor is presented to a collegiate member who, in her activities and character, personifies the ideals of Phi Sigma Sigma. The candidate must be in good standing with her collegiate chapter and university, and give evidence of forwarding the three goals of Phi Sigma Sigma: advancement of womanhood, lifelong learning, and philanthropic service.

During her time at WPI, Gurnon balanced numerous activities and offices: president of the Skull Senior Honor Society, president of the WPI chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, captain of the track and field team, member of several honor societies, and recipient of three awards for sorority leadership. In addition, Gurnon completed her Interactive Qualifying Project in Cape Town, South Africa, where her team worked to improve living conditions for those who worked as traders in makeshift settlements.

Gurnon is profiled on Phi Sigma Sigma's website, and said that her involvement in the sorority influenced a balance in her life at WPI between academics, relationships, athletics, philanthropy, and professional goals, noting, "Phi Sigma Sigma's values align perfectly with mine, so my involvement in the sorority has definitely reinforced all my best qualities and, I believe, helped me to achieve even more."

The following is a complete list of this year's awards:

Alpha Gamma Delta Sorority

  • Jewel Chapter Award
  • 5 Star Chapter Award

Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity

  • Tozier Brown Public Affairs Program Award

Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity

  • The Founders Cup
  • Intellectual Development Award
  • Fraternal Development Award
  • Spiritual Development Award

Phi Sigma Kappa Fraternity

  • President's Special Achievement Awards in Scholarship
  • President's Special Achievement Awards in Website

Phi Sigma Sigma Sorority

  • Beverly Parkes Collegian of the Year Award – Amanda Gurnon '09
  • Collegiate Chapter Membership Recruitment Award
  • Collegiate Chapter Scholarship Award
  • Scholarship Achievement Award, Summa Level
  • Housing Corporation Achievement Award
  • Phi Sigma Sigma Foundation Scholarship: Kelly Pastor '10
  • Outstanding Faculty Advisor – Helen Vassallo
  • Outstanding Greek Advisor – Emily Perlow

NOTE:  Three members were inducted into the Sigma Society, which honors academic achievement and campus involvement: Julie Marquis '10, Elizabeth Schreiber '10, and Kelly Pastor '10.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity

  • Chapter Achievement Award
  • Outstanding House Corporation Award
  • Outstanding Eminent Treasurer Award – Brian Almeida '09
  • Outstanding Chapter Advisor Award – Richard M. Hooker
  • Outstanding Eminent Archon Award – Kevin Wilson '09
  • Housing Award

Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity

  • Phi Beta Kappa Wheelhouse Award (this award recognizes those chapters who excel in academics with a GPA above 3.15)

Theta Chi Fraternity

  • 2008-2009 Chapter Achievement Award (Recognizing Significant Achievement and Performance in the Following Areas: Scholarship Programming, Community Service and Philanthropy Planning, Alumni Programming, Chapter Finances, The Ritual, Theta Chi Procedures and Involvement, Campus Involvement, and Social Programming )

Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity

  • Excellence in Recruitment - Results
  • Excellence in Recruitment - Chapter Size
  • Excellence in Involvement - Community Service
  • Excellence in Involvement - Alumni Relations
  • Excellence in Achievement - Extracurricular Activities

Zeta Psi Fraternity

  • Phi Alpha Award – Anthony Richardson '09, for outstanding service and leadership
  • Chapter Advisor of the Year – William Shaw '01
  • Silver Circle – Evan Pressman '84, for 25 years of service