Greek awards ceremony held at USD The Greek community at The University of South Dakota recently held its annual awards ceremony honoring Greek students and faculty.
Outstanding Sorority President of the Year was awarded to Andrea Walter, daughter of Rollie and Barb Walter of Iroquois. Walter is described by her members as a person of integrity who is always positive and fair, and leads her sorority to do what is right.
During her term as president of Alpha Xi Delta, she improved sisterhood and chapter involvement, while doubling its membership. Furthermore, she is an excellent student who is involved in Dance Marathon, Dakotans, Strollers, and Student Ambassadors.
Jesse Moyer, son of Hoss and Judy Moyer of Rochester, MN, won Outstanding Fraternity President of the Year. He is described by his Phi Delta Theta advisor as a leader that teaches others how to lead. Moyer learned from those who went before him and mentors younger members to follow in his footsteps.
Moyer served his chapter with a seriousness and integrity for the entirety of both his terms.
Outstanding Greek Man of the Year went to Sigma Alpha Epsilon member Rob Sage, son of Jim and Maureen Sage of Sioux Falls. Sage has been an active student at USD, holding leadership positions in Student Association, Interfraternity Council, Student Ambassadors, Dance Marathon, the Orientation Team, and numerous honor societies.
As stated by his nominator, "If Rob is going to join an organization, you can be sure that he is doing it for the betterment of the organization. Whether it be an IFC meeting or a Presidents' Council meeting, you can always count on Rob to say what needs to be said, especially if it is a difficult issue that the rest of us would rather leave alone."
Kristen Olinger, daughter of Chuck and Glenda Olinger of Lennox, earned Outstanding Greek Woman of the Year. As a
member of Kappa Alpha Theta, she has been chapter finance chair, recording secretary and vice president of administration. In addition, this past year she served as the D-Days overall co-chair.
Her nominator wrote that this individual "has been a role model to many people as she exemplifies academic excellence, appreciation of ritual and a sense of sisterhood ? I know that she is incredibly dedicated to everything she takes on. This woman has an amazing passion for helping to improve the organizations she is involved with."
Outstanding Sorority Junior was awarded to Kappa Alpha Theta member Danielle Buttke, the daughter of Brian and Susan Buttke of Corona. Buttke has shown outstanding service to her community and USD.
She has lobbied for more than $25,000 in grants for an education program at Vermillion's Cotton Park, and spent a semester doing independent research in Kenya. Additionally, she has been named a Gilman Scholar and twice won the prestigious Udall Scholarship.
The Outstanding Fraternity Junior went to Robbie Stapleton, son of Bob and Patty Stapleton of Sioux City, IA. Stapleton has been active in SIFE, Dance Marathon, Program Council, the Honors program, Student Ambassadors, and his fraternity Phi Delta Theta.
A faculty member describes him as having creative energy, being entirely unselfish, and a role model for those around him.
The Outstanding Sorority Sophomore award was captured by Danielle Buechler, daughter of Mark and Terri Buechler of Centerville. She was described by a fellow member of Kappa Alpha Theta as "a positive, kind, dependable, and trustworthy character who makes those around her strive to be better people."
She shares her time with her community by participating in Habitat for Humanity, Greek Unity Council, Freshman Greeters, Strollers, as a Sunday school teacher and a volunteer hostess on a children's television program.
Eddie Gerrish, who is no stranger to hard work, was named the Outstanding Fraternity Sophomore. He works tirelessly as president of Delta Tau Delta and is known for his innovative ideas. He was responsible for creating the first comprehensive calendar for all of USD's sororities and fraternities; a project that has now been made a yearly objective by both PHC and IFC.
This son of Ed and Cathy Gerrish of Watertown is a member of the Honor's Program and carries a 4.0 GPA.
Outstanding Fraternity New Member of the Year was given to someone described as an instant leader within Phi Delta Theta. Dustin Adams, son of John and Tracy Adams of Belle Fourche, is already active in many areas, including Program Council, Student Ambassadors and Student Association.
For leading events such as the Welcome Table, campus clean-up with the Eco Club, and a food drive for the local food pantry, Mike Finnegan was named Interfraternity Officer of the Year. The son of Mark and Jeanice Finnegan of Sioux Falls, he is a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and always fulfills his office duties with an integrity that is matched only by his academic achievement.
The Ashley Joslyn Memorial Award, which is presented to one sorority new member that has brought a positive image to USD's campus, was given to Missy Nietert, the daughter of Chuck and Jeanette Nietert of Aberdeen. Nietert has quickly become involved at USD, participating in Student Ambassadors, Panhellenic Council and Strollers. A fellow Alpha Xi Delta member said, "She has made the effort to become involved on campus, within her sorority, within her community, and within the Greek system as a whole.
The Greg Nothdurft Memorial Award was won by Sigma Alpha Epsilon member Danny Geraets, the son of Cindy Mergen and Jerry Geraets of Dell Rapids. This award is open to any Greek chapter member who has had to overcome an obstacle in their life, and yet never lost faith in their fraternity/sorority.
Daniel Letsche, daughter of Martin and Becky Letsche of Marcus, IA, was named Good Will Ambassador for taking Sigma Alpha Epsilon's Philanthropy office to new heights. She more than doubled the amount of service projects completed by her chapter and pushed its members to complete over 1,150 hours of service to their community.
Bryan Benson, the son of Mike and Carie West of Sioux Falls, was given the Atlas Award for going beyond the normal standard of membership for his chapter. Benson has held numerous offices within Pi Kappa Alpha and has served as its voting delegate at three regional and international conventions. Additionally, he has created a new ritual education program and a recruitment committee for his chapter.
Assistant IDEA Director and member of Pi Beta Phi Sarah Hirsch Wittmuss won the Alumni Hall of Fame award. Besides teaching a law class in the School of Business, she has been a constant source of guidance and support to students dealing with the daily challenges of college and Greek life.
Dr. Judith Sebesta of the history department was named Professor of the Year. She has an open-door policy and always warmly welcomes students. She has served USD with unselfish loyalty and dedication for more than 30 years and greatly improved the quality of student life.
Sponsored by the Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council, and Order of Omega, the Outstanding Fraternity Chapter Award was given to Phi Delta Theta and the 2003 Outstanding Sorority Chapter Award went to Alpha Phi. Alpha Xi Delta was named the Most Improved Chapter.