For the first time, the local fraternity has earned Theta Chi Fraternity's "Howard R. Alter Award for Chapter Excellence." The award selection is based on members completing thousands of hours of community service, raising money for local organizations such as the Salvation Army and Priority Children, and achieving the highest fraternity GPA over the previous school year at UM-Flint.
"We're extremely proud to see our hard work and dedication to the Flint community recognized. Often times what we accomplish flies under the radar, so the recognition is definitely humbling," stated Theta Chi President Mike Whalen.
In an age where fraternities aren't always represented positively, the Zeta Tau Chapter is proving the stereotypes of hazing and binge drinking wrong.
In addition to this recognition, the chapter has been selected by the national fraternity to host its first-ever Mid-Year Leadership Conference at the University of Michigan-Flint in late January. The conference annual two-day event is organized by the national fraternity, and hundreds of members of Theta Chi Fraternity from throughout the Midwest are invited. Local hotels, restaurants, and downtown businesses will benefit from the conference according to Whalen.
It seems that even after Zeta Tau Chapter members graduate, they want to keep "giving back."
In December, alumni members of the fraternity created the non-profit Zeta Tau Foundation. It is already collecting tax-deductible donations to provide grants, scholarships, and other financial aid to students at the University of Michigan-Flint, and to assist with educational improvements to housing through educational grants and other financial aid.
"Our motto is 'an assisting hand,' and we try to make it a point to help anyone in need. The Foundation is just another outlet that will allow us to do that," said Wade Merril, Zeta Tau Foundation President.