Springfield, Ohio - Wittenberg's Beta Theta Pi chapter won an impressive award this summer at the fraternity's annual convention in Kansas City, Mo. The award was presented to the Alpha Gamma chapter at the 163rd General Convention.
The Sisson award is presented to chapters that excel in almost 20 different areas of fraternal life. Standards include chapter grade point average above the campus all-men's average and strong philanthropic work in the community. President of the Alpha Gamma chapter of Beta Theta Pi Kenneth Spicer said, "A big factor for the Wittenberg Beta chapter has been a core group of strong leaders who have been guided by our active alumni members."
This is the fourth award the chapter has received since the general fraternity began issuing them annually in 1981. The chapter also was honored in 1997, 1998 and in 2000. The Sisson recognizes chapter excellence in areas such as scholarship, risk management, recruitment, new member education, alumni relations, financial standing, philanthropy, campus involvement and ritual performance among others. For philanthropy Wittenberg Betas support other Greek events, work with Big Brothers/Big Sisters and have supported needy families during the holidays. "The general fraternity seemed most impressed with our alumni involvement activities and risk management in social events," Spicer said.
Wittenberg's representatives at the general convention were Robert Baringer '03 from Nashville, Tenn., and Kenneth Spicer '03, from New Carlisle, Ohio. Several alumni were also present, including Jim Patsiavos '52 and Matt Hutchison '00, both from Springfield, Ohio and Justin Good '01, from Brookville, Ohio.
In physical form the Sisson is an encased certificate but has more prestige with the simple recognition and acknowledgment that a chapter obtains. The highest possible award is the Knox Award, but this commonly goes to larger schools and as yet Wittenberg does not have enough members.
The Wittenberg Betas hope to expand their numbers. The 2002-2003 year has 23 returning members, and this year "we hope to initiate strong-charactered men who will help us continue to grow and improve, become more involved with philanthropy and increase the level of brotherhood with our existing members," Spicer said.
Beta Theta Pi is the oldest fraternity west of the Alleghenies and numbers 118,000 members, including some 6,500 undergraduates in chapters on 127 North American campuses. The Betas were first founded more than160 years ago by eight men at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and has members such as a United States Supreme Court judge and several senators.
The fraternity lists its ideals as friendship, mutual assistance, scholarship and trust. The Wittenberg Alpha Gamma chapter was founded on Jan. 18,1867. With a national reputation in the liberal arts and sciences, Wittenberg offers valuable academic and co-curricular options with excellent teaching and personal attention by its faculty.
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