Greeks gather to commemorate 100 years

Kerry Donlon

After storing away their Greek Week chariots, representatives from each of Villanova’s sororities and fraternities gathered at the Villanova Conference Center to celebrate and recognize the achievements of the Greek community. Last Sunday’s Greek Awards Banquet was planned by Panhellenic and Interfraternity Council Scholarship and Recognition Chairs, Rob Bramante, Jessica Murray and Mary Hohenstein. This year’s banquet marked the beginning of a yearlong celebration of 100 years of Greek Life on Villanova’s campus.

Interfraternity Council President, Tom Porac began the afternoon’s presentation and awards ceremony by giving the State of Greek Life Address. In his address, Porac noted the improvements Greek Life has undergone during the past year. During this time, the IFC has established a judicial board and has encouraged all campus fraternities to plan special events and philanthropic activities.

Campus sororities have also made great strides in the past year, as a record number of women participated in formal recruitment in January.

Porac declared these improvements are due to the fact that the Greek community has, “…dedicated leaders, established ideals and committed service to our community. This is truly what sets us apart from other universities, our dedication towards what our chapters stand for and the willingness to follow through with them.”

Beta Theta Pi member and ’94 graduate, Mike Okenquist, who discussed the history of Greek Life on Villanova’s campus, made the afternoon’s keynote speech. Okenquist stressed the importance of appreciating the shared heritage of Greek Life on Villanova’s campus and the value of maintaining a sound reputation through each chapter’s actions, in hopes of creating a Greek identity that can, “…be a source of pride for future Villanova students.” Father Stack spoke as well and encouraged Greeks to maintain a strong Greek community as the chapters on campus can make a difference in the quality of student life at Villanova.

Prior to the afternoon’s events, each chapter completed an awards application detailing the chapter’s philanthropic contributions, programming and scholarship amongst other categories. Award winners were chosen by an awards selection committee and were not revealed until the day of the banquet.

Phi Sigma Kappa won three awards: IFC involvement, chapter of the year and an honorable mention as Greek Man of the Year nominee, senior and former chapter president, Mark DeCicco. Mike Askin, Phi Sigma Kappa president, was honored to receive Chapter of the Year, “Our chapter of Phi Sig, here at Villanova, will be just six years old this Saturday and I think this award is a great gift to our founders because it shows everything we have accomplished.” Delta Tau Delta also won three awards, for philanthropic dedication, campus involvement and recruitment.

Beta Theta Pi received recognition for outstanding scholarship and new member programs.

Greek Week Champion Sigma Alpha Epsilon was awarded outstanding risk management for their efforts in showing concern for the safety and well being of their members. Former IFC President, Jamie Miller was named Greek Man of the Year.

Zeta Psi, founded on Villanova’s campus last year, was awarded most improved chapter.

For the sororities, Greek Week Champion Delta Gamma was named Chapter of the Year and received an award for its risk management program. Former chapter President, Erin Hoodlet, was named Greek Woman of the Year and she later stated, “I was both surprised and very honored to receive the award considering the incredible women I was up against.” Alpha Phi was recognized for exceptional chapter scholarship and philanthropic achievements benefiting cardiac care.

Pi Beta Phi was awarded most improved chapter and former Panhel President and chapter Vice President, Megan Hillebrand, received an honorable mention as a Greek Woman of the Year nominee for her service to the Greek community.

Alpha Delta Pi won the outstanding campus involvement award for participation and leadership in a wide variety of campus activities.

Chi Omega’s recruitment program received an award for the chapter’s enthusiasm throughout the recruitment process.

Delta Delta Delta’s innovative approach to formulating an exciting and informative new member period received this year’s new member program award.

Lastly, Kappa Kappa Gamma was recognized for outstanding Panhellenic involvement.

With the semester quickly drawing to a close, the Greek community is looking forward to next fall, during which many events will be planned to continue the celebration of 100 years of Greek life on Villanova’s campus.