The MU Fraternity Alumni Consortium held an academic achievement ceremony Thursday evening to recognize campus fraternity chapters whose members earned an average GPA that was above that averaged by the entire MU student body.
Nine of MU’s 22 fraternities earned above-average GPAs and thus received commemorative banners at the ceremony, which was held in the Jesse Hall rotunda.
“Your record speaks for itself,” MU Interfraternity Council President Jackson Hobbs said of the chapters being honored. “Fraternities ask more of their members than is asked of the non-Greeks on campus and I am proud to commend the chapters here.”
John Dean, the Fraternity Alumni Consortium’s chair of academic achievement, said the consortium began sponsoring the ceremony three years ago as part of an effort to improve academic performance among the fraternities.
“In forming the Consortium, we developed seven initiatives through which we hoped to address issues with MU fraternities, with academics being number one,” Dean said. “Fraternities are supposed to strive for excellence but we were having a hard time even being mediocre as over three-fourths of fraternities were not making the all-campus average so we decided we needed to do something about that and began sponsoring this program to recognize and encourage outstanding achievement.”
Vice Provost of Undergraduate Studies Jim Spain also spoke at the event, echoing remarks and referencing Thomas Jefferson in his remarks about the importance of the pursuit of academic excellence, particularly within the fraternity system.
“Tonight we are here to celebrate each other’s excellences which is a pretty special thing,” Spain said. “It was the belief of Thomas Jefferson’s that for a democracy to function, the average person needs to be educated and this is the mission of public education and our university. I would like to thank the fraternity chapters present today for being committed to public education.”
Two different banners were awarded at the ceremony, depending on the individual fraternity's level of achievement. Six of the fraternities were awarded black banners, representing their achievement in earning a chapter GPA average that was above the average GPA earned by the campus as a whole. Lambda Chi Alpha, Sigma Chi, FarmHouse, Alpha Gamma Sigma, Phi Kappa Theta and Acacia all either received these banners or retained them from last year.
Alpha Epsilon Pi, Delta Tau Delta and Beta Theta Pi, the three chapters that achieved the highest all-chapter GPAs were awarded gold banners. Beta Theta Pi was also singled out for achieving the highest all-chapter GPA among MU fraternities.
Although all nine of the fraternities honored earned above a 3.0 all-chapter GPA, 33 fraternities are currently chartered to operate on MU ‘s campus, meaning that 24 of them earned an average GPA that was below the all-campus GPA of 2.987.
“We have been doing this for 7 semesters, and one of my concerns is that the same fraternities are the ones who are achieving an above average GPA year after year,” Dean said. “It seems like certain frats maintain an internal culture that allows them to perform at this kind of level but most of them haven’t been able to do that, which is kind of the rub.”