The Theta Alpha chapter of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity at The University of Southern Mississippi has a lot to celebrate these days.
The Southern Miss Greek Life organization walked away with 11 awards and five certificates of achievement at the organization’s national conference this past summer in Charleston, S.C., including recognition as one of the top chapters in the nation. Chapter members gathered recently for a banquet on the Hattiesburg campus to celebrate their achievements.
“This recognition is the result of the hard work of our members over the last 10 years. They helped pave the path for where our chapter wants to go,” said chapter president Jerry Ursin, a junior from New Orleans.
The fraternity’s Fogarty Award, named for one of the organization’s founders, is presented annually by category based on the number of Greek Life organizations at the recipient’s school. The Southern Miss chapter also won the fraternity’s outstanding scholarship program award.
“The Fogarty Award focuses on the chapter with the best overall qualities of an ideal chapter, including overall grade point average, philanthropy and how well the chapter is managed,” said senior Marks McWhorter of Jackson, who serves as head of standards for the chapter.
The Southern Miss chapter has had the highest cumulative grade point average of fraternities on campus 14 out of the last 15 semesters. Based on this distinction, Pi Kappa Phi was this year’s recipient of the Lucas Trophy for the fraternity with the highest cumulative grade point average. The chapter has won the Lucas Trophy for at least 14 semesters, including the last several semesters in a row.
Gary Kimble, director of the Southern Miss Office of Conference and Fraternity Housing Operations, received the fraternity’s first Alumnus Advisor of the Year Award. Kimble has served as chapter advisor for seven years.
“It amazes me every day that I get the opportunity to work with such a great group of dedicated students,” Kimble said. “I’ve been working in higher education for a long time, and this is the best group of young men I’ve ever been associated with.”
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.