Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity has selected The University of Tennessee’s Zeta Chapter as the winner of the Robert Adgar Smythe Award as the Most Outstanding Chapter in the Fraternity. The university’s Zeta Chapter received this honor at the fraternity’s international convention held Aug. 2 through Aug. 6 in Orlando, Fla.
“The fraternity has been giving this award out since the ‘60s,” Nolan White, Zeta’s chapter president, said. “It is a coveted honor we have been lucky to receive five times.”
The Chapter was the First Place Winner of the Continuing Education Award for its sponsorship of an educational speakers program, an etiquette class, a cooking class for seniors and a seminar on how to dress for success, as well.
White, Paul Levy, David Mann, Nick Distretti and Chapter Advisor Daniel F. McGehee attended the convention.
“All fraternities are concerned about their public image. Several years ago, Zeta Chapter concentrated its efforts on its internal image to strengthen the members,” McGehee said. “The proof is in the pudding.”
White accepted the Chapter Excellence Award for Zeta, as well as the 100+ Man Chapter Award, International Work Day Award and the Pi Kappa Alpha Educational Award. The fraternity recognized Zeta’s Phi Phi Kappa Alpha Club, which supports the Educational Foundation’s program of scholarships and grants for student members, recognizing chapter members for their 100 percent participation in educational programs.
UT’s Zeta Chapter won the Smythe Award in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006. The International Fraternity grades chapters on four major cornerstones, including membership, operations, brotherhood and leadership.
“It was a lot of hard work to be selected for the Smythe Award, and it is very special to me as president,” White said. “The committee looks at how the chapter rates on campus in terms of chapter size, how many guys pledge, how many we initiate. They look at grades pretty hard, and then the committee compares to the other chapters on a national level.”
“Fraternities, especially, are seen as the party groups,” McGehee said. “Having fun is certainly a part of college life, but that is truly a small part of the experience.”