In recognition of its exceptional work over the past year, a University of Toledo fraternity received top honors last month.
The University’s Epsilon Epsilon chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha was given the Smythe Award — one of the highest national honors the fraternity can receive — for the second year in a row. The award, named for one of the fraternity’s junior founding members, is granted to the top 10 percent of chapters. The fraternity has more than 220 chapters internationally.“The Smythe Award recognizes all our hard work we’ve done the past year, especially the work put toward bettering the UT community,” said Brandon Alves, executive board member for Pi Kappa Alpha and third-year pharmacy student. “When we’re classified as the top 10 percent, it’s basically saying of all those chapters, we are the elite based on a variety of factors, including campus presence, community service, athletics, anything really that would make an organization great.”
He attributes the win to the many accomplishments the fraternity has garnered this year; these include top honors at Homecoming, Songfest, Greek Week, and receiving the Dean Parks Award for campus community involvement.
“I think our enthusiasm for making this a better community is what sets us apart at UT,” he said. “I think we have a really strong common bond to help each other and that reflects in our competitive attitude toward bettering campus.”
In addition to receiving honors on campus, the fraternity puts a lot of work into its philanthropy: Children’s Miracle Network. Each semester members host Pike Pretzels, a fundraising event featuring music and soft pretzels, to raise money for the organization.
Additionally, UT’s annual RockeTHON benefits Mercy Children’s Hospital, which is a member of the Children’s Miracle Network. For the past several years, Epsilon Epsilon has been the top fundraiser, contributing more than $15,000 this past year.
“We are looking forward to taking the momentum from this impressive achievement into continuing to better The University of Toledo and the community around it,” Alves said.