ATO receives national honor in WashingtonBy Jennie Kushner | 04/10/2011 11:20pm
Alpha Tau Omega fraternity will receive an honor that only three other fraternities nationwide will accept this year.
On April 10, the Beta Delta chapter was recognized with the Chapter Award of Distinction at the Interfraternity Council annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
The Award of Distinction honors chapters that are highly functioning in compliance with NIC Standards, seek to educate others about the benefits of a values-based fraternity and work to maintain a healthy relationship with their national organization.
Gentry McCreary, director of Greek Affairs, said he is proud of the distinguishment of the fraternity.
“The NIC Award of Distinction only goes to the top fraternity chapters in the United States,” McCreary said. “Alpha Tau Omega’s receipt of this award is a testament to the incredible work that chapter has done on our campus. Simply put, they’ve done things the right way.
“They have raised the bar for all fraternities on our campus, and they are very deserving of this recognition,” McCreary said. “They are a credit to the University of Alabama.”
The three other schools receiving the award are: Farm House at Iowa State, Sigma Phi Epsilon at Illinois University and Beta Theta Pi at University of San Diego, according to public relations chairman Will Pylant, a freshman majoring in political science.
NIC President and CEO Pete Smithhisler said this year was a competitive choice for the committee.
“The growth in the fraternity movement is clearly being accompanied by unprecedented achievement in the classroom and within our communities,” Smithhisler said. “We point to our Award of Distinction winners and are very proud of the example they set for our movement.”
Chapter President Mark Foley said he is proud of his chapter and thinks the foundation laid by previous members of the chapter is an attribute to the current successes.
“This award represents the culmination of years of hard work by our current and past members,” Foley said. “I specifically want to thank last year's executive committee for their unparalleled effort in helping this fraternity reach its potential.”
Last August, the Beta Delta was named Top Chapter by the national Alpha Tau Omega board.
Foley said the chapter will continue to strive for success.
“This chapter will continue to strive to be among the best in the nation,” he said.
ATO currently has the highest GPA — 3.24 in the fall semester — among UA fraternities with more than 60 members, according to Pylant.
Members of ATO are involved in Capstone Men and Women, the Student Government Association, the Blackburn Institute, the Anderson Society and other honor societies, Pylant said.
"I feel that we have something very unique at the Beta Delta chapter,” Foley said. “We place an emphasis on scholarship, fellowship and character. Our members embody these ideals and grow up to become community leaders"