Fraternity proves competitive on national scale

Aug 14, 2012 | General News

A founder’s award is the greatest recognition a chapter of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity can receive, and Tech’s chapter brought one back from Washington, D. C., this summer.
There are three founders’ awards given to Pi Kappa Phi chapters every year named after the three founders of the fraternity, Lawrence Harry Mixson, Simon Fogarty Jr. and Andrew Alexander Kroeg Jr.
Heath Garner, archon of Tech’s chapter of Pi Kappa Phi, said, “Fogarty goes to what the national council believes is the most outstanding chapter at a campus with 9-12 (fraternities on campus). We are the middle tier.”
Archon is the title Pi Kappa Phi gives their president.
“We went to D.C. for Supreme Chapter,” Garner said.  “They bring together all of the chapters, and we have a legislation to vote on the rules for Pi Kapp. We also got to be around Pi Kapp’s from all over, and they give out awards for outstanding achievement.”
Tech’s chapter holds the designation of being the youngest chapter to receive the Fogarty award, he said.
“It was great to see how much work our founders put into our organization and how we have continued to grow as a fraternity,” Garner said.
This doesn’t go to say the chapter doesn’t have areas it needs to improve, he added.
“I think this is a great start,” Garner said. “The one thing I don’t want to do is for us to get complacent. The reason I say this is a start is because we need to continue to excel. We need to grow in the areas we are good at, and work harder on those we struggle with.”
He said this shows a lot for Tech’s Greek life as a whole.
“It shows that we are not only competitive on campus with philanthropy and overall excellence, but it shows that we are competitive on a national scale,” Garner said.
The Fogarty award wasn’t the only award Tech’s chapter brought home. One student was also awarded Vice Archon of the Year, which is awarded to the most outstanding Vice Archon in the nation.
Jason Greer, former vice archon, said he could not believe he had actually won.
“I was at work, and my phone would not stop vibrating,” he said. “ I went to the bathroom, and I had eight text messages and two voicemails. I thought someone had died. I checked one of the messages and it said, ‘Congrats on Vice Archon of the Year.’ I thought, ‘Oh, wow, I actually won it.’”
Barry Morales, faculty adviser and chapter adviser of Tech’s chapter of Pi Kappa Phi, said he attributes winning the Fogarty award to winning a compilation of other awards in several areas. Morales was awarded the Adviser of the Year award in January.
“You have to have accomplished a number of service requirements and achieve a certain standard of excellence to get this award,” he said.
Morales said Tech’s recent alumnus, Clint Carlisle, received the Dr. Phillip M. Summers Student of the Year Award, which was awarded to the overall most outstanding student member of Pi Kappa Phi. He also said the current vice archon, Tyler Wagnon, recently took part in Gear Up Florida, a bike ride across Florida designed to spread a message of acceptance and understanding on behalf of people with disabilities.
“Those things add up to the fact that we had so many guys involved,” Morales said.
“We have set a high standard for ourselves. We wanted something different on campus, and that is why we started Pi Kapp here.”
Will Dearmon, Interfraternity Council president and Student Government Association president, said this shines a good light on Tech.
“It speaks not only highly of the group but also about Tech that a student organization received such a high national honor,” he said.
Dearmon said it is warming to know Tech is producing such excellence.
“This speaks very highly of the Greek system,” he said. “They compete with the other fraternities, and they do campus giveback and other philanthropy projects with us. I can’t want wait to see where the Greek system is in five to 10 years. The systems as a whole benefits from accomplishments like this.”
Written by Austin Vining