RMU Greek Life celebrates achievements with annual Greek Excellence event

Soundharjya Babu, Contributor

MOON TOWNSHIP— The fourth annual Greek Excellence celebration took place on Sunday, recognizing accomplishments of various fraternities and sororities.

The event recognizes student and alumni leaders who show dedication to community service as well as other accomplishments.

The event featured opening remarks from President Howard and Karina Fry, president of the Greek Honors Fraternity, Order of Omega. Fry was also awarded Greek Woman of the Year for being actively involved on campus while maintaining academic excellence.

“I am beyond honored,” said Fry. “As president, I had no idea this was actually coming, I didn’t even know I was nominated.”

Along with Greek Woman of the Year, Greek Man of the Year went to Dillan Gaydos from Phi Mu Delta for his leadership positions on campus, including vice president of member development, LEAD Community Adviser, and Global Village program coordination.

Karina Fry is an active member of about eleven to fourteen organizations on campus with a cumulative GPA of 3.76. Coming from a small town, Greek Life was never in the picture for Fry. But her initial decision to join a sorority has personally impacted her, helping her gain confidence and a support system.

“I have two brothers, so giving myself 60 sisters is one thing I’ve always wished for,” said Fry.

This network of support is prominent throughout the event.

Fraternity of the Year, Delta Tau Delta, had a member pass away a couple years ago from a car accident. They have built a sign on the road in memory of him.

“They were going to teach future members of the impact he had in a year and a half,” said Scott Irlbacher, director of special programs and student community standards.

Irlbacher also created a new award for 2019, the Greek Alumni of the Year, which was awarded to speaker Richard Archer. Archer previously helped out a student from Nepal who could not pay for the tuition to come to Robert Morris.

“When I learned about the story with Archer, it instantly clicked,” said Irlbacher.

Academic accomplishments were also honored, with Phi Delta Theta receiving the Fraternity Academic Excellence Award, and Delta Phi Epsilon receiving the Sorority Academic Excellence Award.

Amber Antle, member of Delta Phi Epsilon, shared her experiences with Greek Life. Delta Phi Epsilon also received the Community Service and Philanthropy Award, by hosting events such as the male beauty pageant for the cystic fibrosis foundation, as well ANAD, a body positive week to raise money for eating disorders.

“It means so much to me that we do these community service and philanthropy events, and to see that they mean that much to the university as well is huge for me,” said Antle, who is also the National Panhellenic Council President.

To Antle, her involvement in Delta Phi Epsilon has been important for her time in RMU. As a transfer student, it helped her gain a sense of community in a new school.

“I said I’m going to take a leap of faith and see what happens, and it has easily become one of the most important things of my entire life and it constantly pushes me to strive to be the best version of myself,” said Antle.

Delta Zeta, recipient of the Sorority of the Year award, have also been involved in community service projects, focusing on the charity Variety, serving children with disabilities. Aside from raising money, Delta Zeta provided children with bikes for those who can’t walk kids or iPads that speak for children who cannot speak.

Maliya Morris is the president of the Theta Beta chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority who received the Outstanding Programs Award for community service and hosting programs.

“I take this award very personally, because I am the programming chair as well as president,” said Morris. “Just being able to see the hard work that we put behind the program come to life is amazing.”

Delta Sigma Theta hosted Black Panther-themed events, promoting values such as political awareness, international awareness, economic development, education, as well as physical and mental health.

The excellence celebration was created to give Greek Life members individualized attention to their accomplishments. Scott Irlbacher ended this ceremony with his closing remarks. He emphasizes the importance of teamwork and support in the Greek Life community.

“It’s about support,” said Irlbacher. “They have chapters from other schools across the country so they have members of the same group who made the same commitment. They have this great network of support that stays with them until they die.”