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excellence 2016

2016 Excellence Award Winners

Published On: 2017-06-19

In the spring of 2016, an Awards Committee was created to review, improve and simplify the overall process of awards. The committee identified multiple phases for the review. One of the first phases was to streamline the presentation of awards throughout convention weekend. We are excited to announce the 2016 Excellence Award Winners. A reception for those chapters and clubs to receive their awards and take pictures with Fraternity officers will take place following Opening Dinner and General Session on Friday evening at convention. These awards will also be announced during Recognition Lunch and Dinner by Chapter on Saturday where the winners will be asked to stand.

Alumnae Excellence Award Winners | Collegiate Excellence Award Winners

Alumnae Excellence Award Winners

Excellence in Chapter Support
Large Club: Bostonian, Massachusetts Alumnae Club

  • Encourages all collegians, especially seniors, to continue their lifetime commitment by hosting professional guidance, skills programs and networking events.
  • Actively participates in Massachusetts Gamma’s events such as initiation, ice cream socials, a campus-wide Arrowspike volleyball tournament, the chapter’s Champions are Readers® (CAR) program and the groups partnered together for Fraternity Day of Service and Founders’ Day.
  • In order to promote a good school-life balance, the club hosts study breaks and provides educational opportunities and ways to contribute to the community outside the classroom.

Excellence in Chapter Support
Small Club: Inland Empire, California Alumnae Club

  • Provides ongoing support by demonstrating proper social media etiquette, attending Founders’ Day and initiation in shifts to ensure alumnae are always present. Members also serve on Alumnae Advisory Committee (AAC) and Chapter House Corporation (CHC).
  • Recognizes the chapter member’s scholastic achievement each term and provides goodie bags for New Members after recruitment and pledging.

Excellence in Communication
Overall Winner: Phoenix, Arizona Alumnae Club

  • Provides consistent and ongoing communicating to members 21 times each year. Communications includes a monthly and special editions of an electronic newsletter, an annual paper mailing and three electronic invites sent specifically to launch Angel Affair for Literacy fundraiser and the Founders’ Day celebration.
  • Implements a variety of social media platforms to communicate with members. Increased Facebook posts by 11 percent and Instagram followers by 21 percent over the last year.

Excellence in Community Service
Large Club: Arlington Heights, Illinois Alumnae Club

  • Members create blankets for Project Linus, a national organization that distributes blankets to children while in the hospital or a shelter. Members use remnants to make scarves and mittens for Maddie’s Mitten March, an organization that distributes winter clothing throughout Illinois.
  • Members volunteer as marshals at the community Santa Run which benefits a local food pantry. Afterwards members packed meals for Panhellenic’s “Feed My Starving Children” event.
  • Throughout the year, members collect school supplies for students at an adopted bilingual school. They also raised funds through their Founders’ Day Raffle and at various club meetings for Arrowmont and Pi Beta Phi Elementary School post-fire rebuilding funds.

Excellence in Community Service
Small Club: Arrowhead-West Phoenix, Arizona Alumnae Club

  • Uses member survey data to determine how to connect with community leaders, identify local needs and provide positive volunteer sisterhood experiences.
  • In honor of Pi Phi’s 150th, members collected teddy bears and filled 150 “Angel Bags” of toiletries for the Victim Advocate Unit.
  • Members gather to knit newborn caps and blankets for the local Children’s Hospital, even providing knitting lessons so additional members could participate.
  • Held its annual “Angel High Tea & Treats” fundraiser to support community projects. The event includes a literacy advocacy program and highlights the club’s other initiatives. 

Excellence in Literacy Initiatives
Large Club: Indianapolis, Indiana Alumnae Club

  • Held two new Fraternity Day of Service projects: Schools on Wheels, providing tutoring services and school supplies to homeless children and a Dr. Seuss®-themed reading celebration at an inner-city school, complete with gift bags, dessert and a visit from the Cat in the Hat®.
  • The club’s largest book donation was held at The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and included the Ring Ching Roadshow, local publicity and the Speedway’s President attending.
  • Members volunteer hundreds of hours at the Scholastic Books Warehouse Sale to receive book vouchers valued at $6,000. Books are distributed to more than a dozen schools and agencies.

Excellence in Literacy Initiatives
Small Club: Naples, Florida Alumnae Club

  • More than 90 percent of the club’s members participate in one or more literacy service projects, including “Reading Counts” fairs and the “Just Book It” Fraternity Day of Service event.
  • Adopts a Title I school to provide 1,200 new books and 600 backpacks. More than 40 members assist with the activities and the event receives excellent newspaper coverage and billboard publicity. Revised its fundraiser to be a “Non-Event” dinner and silent auction, which raised more than $5,000 for literacy initiatives.

Excellence in Membership and Recruitment
Large Club: South Coast, California Alumnae Club

  • Communicates with all members in the club's zip codes through mail, texts and email.
  • Introduced a new local dues policy to attract recent grads, while a welcome bag and handmade holiday wreaths were provided to new club members.

Excellence in Membership and Recruitment
Small Club: Lake Oswego-Dunthorpe, Oregon Alumnae Club

  • Engaged membership with the theme "The Sisterhood of Traveling Tray" to celebrate the club's 50th anniversary and increased dues paying members by more than 12 percent.
  • Publishes a yearbook/directory, which includes photos of most members and the club’s website shares member's personal news as well as club and chapter news.

Excellence in Programming
Large Club: Northern Virginia Alumnae Club

  • Members virtually “visited” Monmouth (Holt House), Greece (olive oil tasting), Los Angeles (angel exchange), Japan (origami) and St. Louis (convention) with the theme “Around the World in 150 Years.”
  • Based on a survey, the club changed its “meetings” to more casual “meet-ups” and incorporated easy service and philanthropy activities. They also upgraded some favorite events such as the fall potluck, Beaux & Arrow party and Founders’ Day with guest speaker Sis Mullis.

Excellence in Programming
Small Club: Pensacola, Florida Alumnae Club

  • Attracts new members by revamping programming and relocating interest group activities based on where prospective new members are located. New interest groups, include “Cultured Carnations” (cultural events), “Upward Arrows” (professional networking) and “Angels & Cherubs” (playgroup).
  • Distributes “Pocket Founders” for members to include in social media posts to share their travels, hobbies and interests with other Pi Phis.

Collegiate Excellence Award Winners

Excellence in Academic Mentoring Programming
Kansas Beta, Kansas State University

  • Develops individualized study plan for each member, including counting tutoring sessions and professors’ office hours as study hours in order to customize plans.
  • Juniors and seniors volunteer as tutors and peer mentors to provide struggling members a comfortable environment to receive help.
  • All members are engaged in an Academic Resource Table document to help choose classes or professors and find study buddies.

Excellence in Alumnae Advisory Committee Service
Winner: Minnesota Alpha, University of Minnesota

  • AAC offers creative and simple solutions when members present them a concern. They make personal sacrifices to support the chapter at all times, amplifying the servant leadership model.
  • Conducts an AAC panel at one chapter meeting per semester to offer information, answer members' questions, provide advice and offer fun facts.

Excellence in Community Service/Philanthropy Projects
Texas Eta, Texas A&M University

  • Members volunteer as tutors and mentors at an English as a Second Language (ESL) school for adults. Volunteers post pictures on an Instagram page to highlight the joy and challenges of ESL students and increase the awareness of their needs.
  • Each week members participate in the CAR program by tutoring first through third grade students.
  • Chapter includes awareness and education of Read > Lead > Achieve initiatives as part of its fundraising events and is a leader in both community service hours and Foundation donations.

Excellence in Fraternity Heritage Programming
Iowa Gamma, Iowa State University

  • Incorporates Pi Phi songs into chapter meetings throughout the year and takes the time to highlight the meaning behind the lyrics and how each song came to be written.
  • The chapter’s Loyalty Day dinner featured a program on women’s suffrage leader Carrie Chapman Catt. On Founders’ Day the chapter featured 1800’s costumes and honored 12 members exemplifying the values lived by each founder.
  • To celebrate Pi Phi’s 150th, members held an “Archives Party” where they displayed photos and documents, created a photo booth and planned a “History Find” game. 

Excellence in Legacy Consideration
Missouri Alpha, University of Missouri

  • Chapter pledged 20 legacies during fall 2016 due to the focus of members learning the names of legacies and placing emphasis on welcoming all legacies during recruitment.
  • Members who are legacies shared their connection to Pi Phi during Spirit Week.

Excellence in Literacy Activities
Arizona Alpha, University of Arizona

  • Members champion literacy advocacy and increase Pi Phi’s visibility in the Tucson community by working at bookstores, building bookshelves at Make Way for Books, assisting with children’s book fairs and installed a neighborhood Little Free Library.
  • Celebrates Read > Lead > Achieve Month with daily Storytime and Skits at a school, in addition to a six week CAR program and Fraternity Day of Service events.
  • The Tucson Festival of Books named the chapter a Contributing Sponsor due to the money they donated to the group through major fundraisers and a Local Impact Grant.

Excellence in Panhellenic
Georgia Alpha, University of Georgia

  • Consistently maintains an elected position on the Panhellenic Executive Board and a number of members are on Greek Leader committees and Order of Omega.
  • Active contributor of time and donations to the University of Georgia Food Pantry, a service project that has been developed and maintained by the Panhellenic community.
  • Members championed the success of the newest National Panhellenic Conference member group on campus, Delta Phi Epsilon. The chapter invited the women to join them in a sisterhood event and also invited them to their health and wellness event, “FIT and Phierce.”

Excellence in Primary Recruitment
Arkansas Alpha, University of Arkansas

  • Members focus on recruiting based on Pi Phi values by writing a 30-second speech about a Potential New Member (PNM) highlighting her leadership roles and philanthropic service.
  • The chapter reviews the leadership roles and philanthropic efforts of each PNM during their PNM Review. Every chapter member is also actively engaged in her assigned recruitment committee. Members are assigned a recruitment committee to ensure engagement and participation from all members.

Excellence in Recruitment COB
California Gamma, University of Southern California

  • PNMs experience Pi Phi’s values promoted at casual Continuous Open Bidding (COB) events such as yoga, dinner at the house, as well as an event showcasing annual philanthropy participation.
  • New Members joining during the COB process feel welcome at their chapter home and excited about chapter meetings by reviewing Pi Phi core values and practicing conversations that would help members identify the values of the PNM.

Excellence in Risk Management/Legal Programming
Ohio Epsilon, University of Toledo

  • More than 700 students attend the chapter’s annual "Mock Car Crash.” The event kicks off with a “Mock Party” and an individual pretends to drink and then drive, killing a member of the Greek community. 
  • Students participate in the “Mock Trial” and at the end of the trial, parents of a student who died in a real-life car crash, share their powerful story of when their son passed away in a similar situation. 
  • The program has had a lasting impact on the campus’ culture around alcohol consumption and drunk driving. Each year the chapter seeks feedback and improves the program the following year.