In my opinion, the Gamma Zeta Chapter took another big step forward in re-establishing itself as a fraternity of leaders in terms of social responsibility, scholarship, philanthropy, and brotherhood.
I am proud of the undergraduate membership which committed themselves to using our current suspension sanctions from the University as motivation to change the House for the better. Nearly every day of this last school year, they proved, by example, that they want to build upon our proud, 120 year old legacy and not just borrow from it.
- We were the first fraternity to host University Chancellor, Dr. Phyllis Wise, to a formal dinner at the Chapter House in January.
- The entire membership completed a 4 weekend off site leadership workshop under the supervision of ATO National and the PLAID Consultancy.
- They have made a renewed and expanded commitment to community service, including a couple young men joining Dr. Seth Berl ’78 in Honduras for his annual Spring mission trip. Here’s a link to a series of blog posts from undergrad participants Joe Pearson and Paul Jaroslawski as well as Dr. Berl and Dr. Tom Sullivan ’78 who also participated.
- Scholarship and House GPA continued to improve with Fall ’14 showing ATO now in top ten among all fraternities and its newest Pledge Class ranking second among all fraternity new initiates.
- In what is becoming a model for other fraternities on campus as well as with our National fraternity network, our Mentoring and Career Development program continues to evolve and show the membership the life-long value of our brotherhood. Thanks to our alumni , there now are more than 80 Mentor / Mentee pairs communicating regularly on topics of class selection to Summer internships, full time employment after graduation and providing practice through a mock interview day.
- The physical plant itself received greater respect in terms of significantly reduced day to day damages while completed Dining, Chapter, and Study Room renovations from the Summer were well maintained. Knowing how precious we all hold the Chapter House, this should be seen as a big sign from the undergraduate members that they do value these improvements, appreciate keeping room and board fees attractive from a price standpoint, and why it is worthy of further contributions/investment from Alumni. Here’s a report from Cary McMillan and Neil Bresnahan, ’80’s who visited the house last fall.
- The undergraduate officers are required to submit an annual “True Merit” report to ATO National at the end of each school year. They did a fantastic job on this report and we’re optimistic that they will be recognized appropriately. Here is a link to the submission if you are interested in reading more details about 2014/15 accomplishments as written by them.
None of this progress, however, would be possible without the tireless efforts of the Alumni Board of Trustees, House Corporation, and Alumni Relations volunteers. They deserve our sincere thanks for guiding this transformation over the last three years. I am proud to be associated with each and every one of them.
Last but not least, please allow me to thank all parents for their patience, commitment, and support. Like you, we want to provide the best college experience to your sons, a value for your money, and help prepare them for a bright future upon graduation.
We have just one more Fall’15 semester to serve our suspension. I am confident that we will complete it successfully, continue to grow from it, and again be recognized as the top fraternity at Illinois at the end of the day.
Happy and safe Summer to you all.
Gamma Zeta ’77
Chairman, Board of Trustees