The Second Annual Greek Banquet began Greekfest 2003 with over 700 in attendance.
The banquet is a time when chapter and individual awards, and recognition are given to the Greek community. Before any awards were given, Chancellor Nick Dunagan began by welcoming everyone to the banquet.
He was followed by Judith Hill, senior Communications major from Union City, who spoke about Alyssa Ray, the benefactor of Greekfest 2003. Hill, the president of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), has been working to help fund-raising efforts for Alyssa, a young girl with autism. Hill gave a brief overview of what autism is and what it is like to live with the disorder. She also encouraged everyone to particpate in the events of the week to help give support to Alyssa and her family.
Next, Landon Loveall gave thanks to everyone who stood by the brothers of Alpha Gamma Rho after their loss of brother, Will Clanahan. And in honor of Clanahan, a donation was made to “Ag in the Classroom” by the Interfraternal Council and the National Pan-Hellenic Council.
The keynote speaker for the evening was Leigh Perry, associate director for development at Murray State University.
Perry compared the Greek chapters to the series, Harry Potter. She stressed the importance of teamwork and getting rid of the “dead weight” in the chapters. She finished by quoting a character in the Harry Potter series by saying, “It is our choices that show what we are.”
Individual awards being given included, the emerging leaders and the university service awards. The emerging leader award is given to individuals who have shown a great amount of leadership ability in their chapter and around campus during their first or second year in the Greek community. This year, 32 of these awards were given. The university service award is given to individuals who have been in leadership and have actively participated in community service for their chapters and UTM. This year, 36 of these awards were given.
The first chapter award of the evening was the citizenship award given by Vishenia Huery, UTM’s student conduct officer.
The award went to the sisters of Gamma Kappa Pi and the brothers of Omega Psi Phi.
Academics are always a priority among the Greek community.
The chapters with the best GPAs were the sisters of Alpha Delta Pi and the brothers of Sigma Phi Epsilon. Also earning recognition in the area of academics, were the chapters with the most improved GPAs, the sisters of Delta Sigma Theta and the brothers of Phi Sigma Kappa.
The all-sports awards are divided up into three categories, the bronze, silver and gold awards. Finishing the year in the bronze category were the brothers of Phi Sigma Kappa. The silver category included, Zeta Tau Alpha, Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Gamma Rho, Alpha Tau Omega, Sigma Phi Epsilon and Sigma Alpha Epsilon. The gold category included Alpha Omicron Pi and Kappa Alpha Order, and the overall winners, Chi Omega and Pi Kappa Alpha.
The Interfraternal Relations awards are given to chapters that demonstrate a maximum effort to better relationships between the Greek chapters and the external communities that come in direct contact with the Greek community. This year’s runner-ups were Kappa Alpha Order and Zeta Tau Alpha and the winners were Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Chi Omega.
The coveted Chancellor’s Cup Award given to the chapter that has clearly shown overall excellence in most every aspect of fraternity management and life, such as scholarship, community service, campus leadership, etc. This year’s award was given to the brothers of Alpha Gamma Rho.
All of the Greek organizations at UT Martin have worked very hard to raise money and awareness for their philanthropies and donate their time to various charities. Every chapter was given recognition for the work that they do.
Gamma Sigma Alpha, the Greek academic honor society, presented 100 invitations to the Greek community at the banquet, while Rho Lambda, the Panhellenic honor society, presented 40 invitations. Order of Omega, Greek honor society for the top three to five percent of Greek leaders, presented 28 invitations to join.
The Karen Young Wright scholarship was awarded by the Alpha Delta Pi president, Tamara Oudman, on behalf of their adviser, Karen Wright.
This award is given to a member of the Panhellenic community that shows leadership skills, contributions to her chapter and Greek community. This year’s recipient was Holly Hardin, a member of Chi Omega.
The Distinguished Service Award is given to a faculty or staff member of the UT Martin community that has promoted and supported the Greek community. This year, Dr. David Coffey, assistant professor in the History and Philosophy Department, was honored with this award.
Probably the most anticipated awards given at the banquet were the Greek Man and Woman of the year.
This year’s Greek Man of the Year went to Ben Thornton of Alpha Gamma Rho.
However, there were three Greek Women of the Year, Whitney White of AOPi, Jenny Beth McCullough of Chi Omega and Patrice Boyd of Delta Sigma Theta.
The banquet came to a close as the 2002 council officers gave their remarks and the 2003 council officers were sworn in.