National recognition energizes Greek life

Representatives of all eight Hanover Greek houses

A robust Greek system has flourished on Hanover’s campus for almost 170 years. In recent years, the College’s Greek community has annually encompassed more than 50 percent of the student body after formal recruitment.

Since 1853, Greek organizations have enhanced the Hanover experience through leadership, social, philanthropic and extracurricular opportunities. Through the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic presented unique challenges for these organizations. The Greek community, however, successfully navigated the pandemic, creatively continuing to hold campus activities, sponsor philanthropic endeavors and recruit new members.

These efforts were recognized on the national level as Hanover’s Greek student leaders were, once again, able to attend their respective conventions and conferences. Representatives from each of Hanover’s four fraternities and four sororities attended national events through the summer months. Seven of the College’s Greek chapters were honored for pursuits ranging from overall chapter excellence to recruitment, retention, service and philanthropy.

“This is the first time in a few years there has been this much excitement in the Greek community from being able to attend those conferences in-person,” said Kara Busemeyer ’22, assistant director of fraternity/sorority life.

Phi Mu was among just 25 percent of the sorority’s chapters to earn Philomathean Society honors for overall excellence during the 2020-22 biennium. Hanover’s Rho chapter was also recognized at the convention in Phoenix for reaching 100 percent participation in support of a Phi Mu Foundation campaign.

Chi Omega earned the sorority’s Chapter of Excellence Award and Kappa Alpha Theta received the Bronze Kite Award for commitment to service, education and personal excellence. Both organizations were honored at national gatherings in Phoenix. Alpha Delta Pi collected the sorority’s alumni association and housing corporation awards during their convention in Orlando, Fla.

“Multiple chapters received national awards this year, which is a great representation of what we do at Hanover and the expectations we have for Greek life,” stated Kate Donovan ’23, a member of Phi Mu and president of Panhellenic Council. “Our chapters are highly respected at the national level, so receiving the national recognition for our efforts is a huge boost for our chapters.”

Phi Delta Theta earned five honors at the fraternity’s Kleberg Emerging Leaders Institute in Oxford, Ohio. Hanover’s Indiana Epsilon chapter collected the Outstanding Chapter Excellence Award Silver Star, Hayward S. Biggers Excellence in Ritual Award, Chapter Growth Award for Excellence in Recruitment, Chapter Growth Award for Excellence in New Member Retention and Excellence in General Headquarters Reporting Award.

Sigma Chi received two awards at the Krach Transformational Leaders Workshop in Bowling Green, Ohio. The Chi Chapter earned the Peterson Significant Chapter Blue Award and an honor for excellence in scholarship. The Peterson Award, sponsored by the Sigma Chi Foundation, is the fraternity’s highest honor and recognizes excellent performance in all major areas of operation and programming.

Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) earned the John Templeton McCarty Chapter Proficiency Award during the fraternity’s national gathering in Washington, D.C.

“I think it is amazing some of the awards that our fraternities and sororities have earned,” said Josh Jones ‘24, member of Lambda Chi Alpha and president of Interfraternity Council. “It reflects the hard work and devotion that these chapters have dedicated to their brotherhood/sisterhood at a campus and national level.”

The opportunity to connect with peers from across the U.S., plus the breadth and depth of the summer honors, have not only provided validation of each individual chapter’s work but also energized the College’s entire Greek community.

“You can see the lasting effects and motivation those experiences have left on our Greek members,” added Busemeyer. “I think this year will bring many exciting things back to the Greek community through events and collaboration between the chapters.”

“Having the opportunity to bring back new ideas and information allows the chapter to feel like they belong to something bigger,” noted Donovan.