Reaffirming My Faith in the Fraternity World

Despite belief to the contrary, it has never been easy to be a member of a Greek-letter organization. Anti-fraternity sentiment has been around since about the time of the founding of the first chapter of the first fraternity.

I like to tell the story about how amazing it is that Kappa Kappa Gamma and Pi Beta Phi are part of the GLO landscape today because they were forced off the Monmouth campus in the infancy of both organizations. Luckily, each had established subsequent chapters and thus was able to survive the loss of the Alpha Chapter at a time when power was typically vested in that Alpha Chapter.

Document from Monmouth College students’ attempt in the late 1870s to keep on wearing GLO pins. The organizations were ultimately forced off campus until the 1920s when inter/national organizations were allowed on campus.

The fraternity system has been under scrutiny these past months; the scrutiny is justified and the actions of a few cannot be brushed asided. There are no excuses when a member dies. It is against every principal and belief we have. And we are all touched and damaged by the actions of a few.

That’s why it was so refreshing and so uplifting to read the bio of each and every winner of this year’s crop of NIC Awards. I suggest you go do the same. The undergraduate winners are outstanding and it warms my heart to see them honored for their service. I hope they will continue to make the fraternity world proud of their efforts. Be sure to check out the other winners, too. A special shout-out to my friend Mari Ann C allais, a Silver Medal Recipient!

Undergraduate Award of Distinction


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