University recognizes nine 'Chapters of Excellence' in Greek community
Tuesday, April 4, 2006
University's fraternities and sororities excel in 'Greek Pride' initiative
University Park, Pa. -- As Penn State's fraternities and sororities continue to engage in the "Greek Pride: A Return to Glory" initiative to transform the experience and image associated with Greek life at Penn State, nine chapters have been recognized for taking the lead in setting high standards for the University's Greek community.
President Graham B. Spanier recognized the nine Chapters of Excellence on April 2 during an event at Schreyer House on the University Park campus. The Chapters of Excellence include three Interfraternity Council fraternities (Acacia, Beta Sigma Beta and Sigma Phi Epsilon); four Panhellenic sororities (Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Omicron Pi, Kappa Kappa Gamma and Zeta Tau Alpha); and two National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations (Kappa Alpha Psi and Zeta Phi Beta).
"As our student leaders, Greek members, alumni, national representatives, staff and University leaders work collaboratively for the betterment of the Greek experience at Penn State, these chapters help us to focus on what we look like when we are at our best," said Vicky Triponey, vice president for Student Affairs. "Rather than focus solely on what is wrong, we are trying to help identify and reward those things that our chapters do well and help them to reach their full potential."
The recognition comes after Penn State's fraternities and sororities completed an annual review process demonstrating their progress in achieving reasonable expectations. Eight individual panels composed of members of the University community, current Greek students and Greek alumni reviewed the chapters annual reports with the goal of providing support and suggestions to help each chapter grow stronger. A total of 81 chapters were eligible to participate in the process and the review panels determined that 65 of those chapters demonstrated satisfactory progress toward meeting the minimum and reasonable expectations.
In addition to the annual reports, 27 chapters applied for consideration for the Chapter of Excellence designation, demonstrating how they surpassed minimum expectations through community service and philanthropic endeavors, educational programming sponsored by chapters for members' enrichment and the establishment of strategic plans identifying the direction the chapters will take in the coming months.
"I am excited to be able to congratulate the men and women who have worked hard over this past year and demonstrated the outstanding work that Greeks do at Penn State," said Kevin Kerr, director of fraternity and sorority life. "We are hopeful that these chapters will be pioneers and role models as we move forward with our ambitious plans for enhancing the Greek experience at Penn State."
The "Greek Pride: A Return To Glory" initiative was established in April of 2004 to develop a collaborative and collective long term vision between Greek students, alumni, national Greek organizations and the University. Through a series of summits and strategic engagement of key stakeholders, a 10-year commitment and plan was created to improve and enhance Greek leadership, service and academic excellence. Titled "The Dream Statement," the plan was formally initiated in 2005 when 300 members of the community attended the Greek Pride Signing Ceremony and the "Engage the Future" student summit. Ultimately the effort is intended to build a stronger and healthier Greek community at Penn State.
Approximately 4,000 students comprise 86 chapters of fraternities and sororities at Penn State, making it one of the largest Greek systems in the nation. With Greek life a significant factor in the lives of many students, faculty and alumni, the Greek Pride steering committee -- composed of 23 students, administrators and Greek advisers and current leaders within the Greek community -- hopes to re-engage the core values within each chapter and strengthen relationships with stakeholders across the community.
More information about the Greek Pride initiative can be found online at http://www.sa.psu.edu/greekpride/