Making a name for the fraternity brothers

By Farah Bassyouni Apr 8, 2022


Last Tuesday, April 5, the first-ever academic excellence banquet was held to acknowledge fraternity brothers’ scholarly achievements. Fraternity brothers have worked hard this past fall to receive a certificate at this event. 

FIJI, TKE and Theta Chi were present at the banquet. Fraternity members have a leadership role in the university and should use that platform to their advantage as it has helped fraternity brothers in the past. 

“Part of the mission of the Interfraternal council is to improve the image of Greek life on campus,” sophomore Joshua Sims said, who is interfraternity council vice president.  

One way the Interfraternity council is improving the image of Greek life on campus is by acknowledging academic excellence in the fraternity. The men of the council are committed to building a universal application of the five core principles: accountability, integrity, unity, open-mindedness and service. 

Associate Dean of Students Kevin Carey was the keynote speaker. Carey talked about the importance of academics in the fraternity. 

We hope that this event encourages students to keep up the great job they have been doing and incentivize more students to follow in their footsteps,” Sims said. 

The five brothers from the FIJI chapter who received the academic excellence award were Arnav Agarwal, Liam Bivona, Leonardo Reyes, Joe Stearns and Jason Wilkening. 

The eight brothers from the TKE chapter who received the academic excellence award were Brennan Barrett, Jacob Bickett, Padraig Fitzgerald, Jake Garcia, Cade Herrmann, Jackson Joyce, Daniel Maisch and James Petros. 

Receiving the award tonight was an incredible honor,” Bickett said. Bickett also received Emerging Leader of the Year at the Do Well & Do Good Student Involvement Awards.   

“Being recognized among members of the fraternity community who all manage many organizations and still excel academically was a great privilege,” Bickett said.

Bickett said that the support he has received from TKE is incredible. 

“If I am ever stressed regarding school, I know I can rely on my fellow brothers to hear out my frustration and to be supportive,” Bickett said.

Theta Chi took the most awards home of all the fraternities. 19 brothers from Theta Chi chapter received the academic excellence award. 

“It is nice to be recognized for my hard work in the classroom while being involved elsewhere on campus, too,” Mustafa Bakirdan said. 

Bakirdan can say that he feels proud to be recognized by Theta Chi. 

“I’m glad my fraternity recognizes academic achievement because although we put hard into our chapter, it feels rewarding to be recognized for the reason we are at this school,” Bakirdan said. 

The audience was filled with the faculty members each brother invited that have helped them during their time at IWU. Bickett invited professor Marc Tiritilli who is an instructor and instrument specialist in the Physics department. 

“Working with professor Tiritilli has been an incredible experience, he has pushed me beyond my set major of Finance and into other studies and has been a big reason for my success,” Bickett said.

Bakirdan invited Action Research Center (ARC) director Deborah Halperin with him. 

“She helped me greatly in my first semester with just getting through the semester by being someone to talk to,” Bakirdan said. 

Bickett said that “being the first annual banquet is the first step in establishing the reality that the fraternity community supports, acknowledges and uplifts its members towards academic achievement.”

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