Fresno State’s Greek system is garnering international recognition – the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity received the 2013 Chapter Award of Distinction, and student Michael Eberhard collected the 2013 Undergraduate Award of Distinction.
“It’s kind of like winning the Super Bowl of fraternities, I guess you could say,” Eberhard said.
Both international honors are firsts for Fresno State, said Eddie Dominguez, Greek adviser in Fresno State’s Student Involvement office.
The North-American Interfraternity Conference Award of Distinction is awarded in four categories: undergraduate, chapter, alumni and council. Fresno State’s lota Beta Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity was selected for its efforts to educate others about the benefits of a value-based fraternity experience and to maintain a healthy relationship with their international and national organization.
Last year, the chapter was also awarded the Robert A. Smythe Outstanding Chapter Award, the international fraternity’s highest chapter award. Fraternity members have volunteered more than 13,000 hours of community service and have raised nearly $50,000 for various nonprofits.
“I think that these awards can kind of show that we do have chapters at this university that are doing it right and are representing Greek life the way it’s supposed to be represented and are committed to service and all that good stuff,” Eberhard. “I think that’s one of the biggest things we’re proud of. “
Chapter president wins individual award
Eberhard, a senior majoring in social work from Paso Robles, was honored with the Undergraduate Award of Distinction, awarded to a fraternity member who has found in his experience an outlet for developing as both a leader and better man.
Eberhard has served as Inter-Fraternity Council president, chapter president, student government senator and honored as Greek Man of the Year.
“Mr. Eberhard is in the top one percent of all fraternity leaders I have ever known in my 40-plus years in student affairs,” said Paul M. Oliaro, Fresno State vice president for student affairs.
Oliaro was one of the individuals who nominated Eberhard for the award.
“This is the first time a fraternity man from Fresno State has won,” said Breanne Scogin, coordinator for Leadership Programs. “We have nominated in the past, but never won.”
Pi Kappa Alpha and Eberhard were be presented with their awards at the North-American Interfraternity Conference on April 14 in St. Louis.
“I really care about Greek life here,” Eberhard said. “I think it’s one of the greatest experiences a student can have. It’s really helped me develop as a leader. It’s helped me get involved on campus.”
Founded in 1909, the North-American Interfraternity Conference is the trade association representing 75 international and national men’s fraternities and works through advocacy, collaboration and education to ensure that fraternities can operate in an environment conducive to their success.
“We’ve seen what we are capable of and there’s pressure to sustain that success and make sure we’re still doing stuff to make sure our chapter is in the right place,” Eberhard said.
For more information, contact Jameson Root, director of student affairs at Root@NICindy.org.
Science & Culture Editor, Jeff Smith contributed to this article.