Kappa Sigma achieves Founders’ Award

By Sophie Foster

News Co-Editor 

The Kappa Sigma Omicron Phi chapter of Washington College, received a Founders’ Award of Chapter Excellence at the fraternity’s leadership conference this summer, marking their second consecutive year of earning this commendation.

According to a news release from the Kappa Sigma international website, the Omicron-Phi chapter also earned a Chapter Intramural Achievement Award, an Outstanding Single Military Heroes Campaign Event Award, and a Silver Bowl Chapter Award. Individual brothers of WC’s chapter were also recognized: seniors Lenny Brogen, Jonah Nicholson, and David White earned Outstanding Grand Master, Outstanding Grand Procurator, and Outstanding Grand Scribe awards, respectively.

The chapter, which was established at the College in April of 2007 and is based in Dorchester House, earned the Founders’ Award five times in its fifteen years of existence, according to Social Vice President of the fraternity senior Dylan Snow.

Snow, who defines the Founders’ Award as “a general overall chapter excellence award,” said that earning this recognition was “validation that [the chapter is] doing something right.”

“We try to have a well-oiled machine,” Snow said, “[and we] keep pushing ourselves to do better.”

The Founders’ Award is given to 29 of the fraternity’s more than 300 chapters, according to the Kappa Sigma website. They earn points for different endeavors — namely, according to Snow, recruitment, fundraising, operations, and communications.  

According to Snow, some of the work they were recognized for includes their semiannual pancake breakfast fundraiser each semester, which typically amasses six or seven thousand dollars; efforts to grow and maintain membership; devotion to academic success, which, this year, meant the chapter had a higher average GPA than the College’s men’s average; and individual charitable work.        

According to Snow, some of the work they were recognized for includes their semiannual pancake breakfast fundraiser each semester, which typically amasses six or seven thousand dollars; efforts to grow and maintain membership; devotion to academic success, which, this year, meant the chapter had a higher average GPA than the College’s men’s average; and individual charitable work.

“It’s all about the energy,” Snow said, adding that fundraising and connection on a small campus is about “getting to know people [and] putting yourself out there.”

According to Health and Safety Co-Chair of the fraternity senior Matt Brader, another component of their success has hinged on getting back into the swing of things since the pandemic interrupted normal operations.

“We’re excited to continue our fun events, such as Pancake Breakfast, and growing from there to keep on excelling,” Brader said.

According to Snow, the chapter intends to continue that growth from their past year by doing “bigger and better [work] each year.” Snow identified a desire to increasingly raise more money, host more events, and recruit more members.

         “It starts with the people we’re recruiting,” Snow said. “We look for leaders on campus.”

The chapter also has programming encouraging its members to study, take challenging courses, meet scholarship requirements, and maintain their GPAs, according to Snow. The fraternity itself also offers awards and dues discounts to members that succeed academically.

“Since its inception, over $4.5 million in scholarships have been awarded by the Kappa Sigma Endowment Fund to brothers who excel in academics, campus involvement, and leadership,” the fraternity’s website says. Three members of the Omicron-Phi chapter currently hold these scholarships, according to Snow.

According to the fraternity’s website, Kappa Sigma is “committed to fostering a close cooperative partnership with all colleges and universities where its chapters exist.”

Snow said that connection to the campus community is equally important to the members of WC’s chapter.

“I just want people to know that we’re a welcoming, safe, inclusive space for anybody,” Snow said, calling their chapter “a place for people to find community.”

Snow wants students to see Dorchester House as a place they feel comfortable. According to Snow, this sense of community and camaraderie is integral to their success on a small, liberal arts college campus. Brader echoed this sentiment. “Being a chapter at a small school, we are very proud and overjoyed to have our efforts recognized at a national level,” Brader said.

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