Greekapalooza: Party for a Cause

OU Greeks come together to support The DRCC

Oglethorpe University’s chapter of Chi Phi fraternity raised more than $600 to benefit the DeKalb Rape Crisis Center at their annual charity event, Greekapalooza, on Friday, September 14.

Donations increased almost 100% over last year’s event, in part because Chi Phi offered a free benefit show played by local musicians, the Critty Upchurch Band, who played covers of popular songs at the Greek Row block party.

Edmund Smith, a sophomore brother of Chi Phi, says that donating to support the cause is important, but the bigger goal was to raise awareness for the DRCC. “Though we hope OU students never need it, we want people to know that there is a place they can go for help.”

OU Greeks watch the Critty Upchurch Band at Greekapalooza.

Not only did Greekapalooza raise money to help the victims of rape and sexual violence, it was also the first event of OU’s Fall 2012 Greek Recruitment/Rush. All of the Greek organizations at Oglethorpe attended to show support and to meet potential pledges.

“Greekapalooza is basically a great way for OU’s Greek organizations to come together, fraternize, and unite behind a great cause,” said Chelsea Reed ’13.  “It is the perfect kickoff for recruitment because it shows that Oglethorpe Greeks value community and philanthropy—both on campus and beyond.”

Photos by Robert Findley.

Omicron Delta Kappa National Conference Gathers Student Leaders

Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) is a national leadership honor society. Jef Palframan ’13 is the current student president of Oglethorpe’s ODK Circle, which was founded 36 years ago.

I have to admit that I was a little apprehensive about attending the 2012 Omicron Delta Kappa National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. this past summer. I, like probably every conference attendee, was intimidated about how I would fit in with some the best and brightest students in the United States. The ODK conference was replete with the future innovators, scholars and leaders who will make a difference in the world for decades to come. Fortunately, I can report that the 2012 ODK National Conference was an engaging, motivating event that showcased the quality of leadership that ODK as an organization embodies and fosters.

In all, more than 200 delegates from almost 30 states attended the conference. The national convention is required every two years in order to ratify any changes that the National Board of ODK has approved. ODK National President Betsy Holloway reported that ODK initiated 15 new circles, and 2800 new members. These increases represent the largest growth in the organization’s history. As well, ODK set a new record in fundraising for scholarships for student members, and announced a new partnership with Nationwide Insurance.

Most exciting, the national branding initiative was announced. In the past, national guidance on official representation of the ODK logo has been undefined. The new logo, seen below, is sleek, simple and dignified. We are looking forward to implementing the new logo anywhere we can.

Besides the new initiatives and announcements, the greatest benefit of attending the conference was the opportunity to share the challenges that our respective circles face. Participation, fundraising, and member selection are some of the common challenges for circles across the country. It was invaluable to hear how others have implemented creative and innovative solutions to these challenges. This experience will allow the Oglethorpe Circle of ODK to improve our effectiveness and make our circle even more vital to the leadership culture on campus.

The conference concluded with a celebratory awards dinner that rewarded those members who had made inspiring contributions to their respective communities and ODK at large. This year’s recipient of the Crown Laurel Circle Award was Col. Ralph Hauenstein who was given the award on the eve of his 100th birthday. Col. Hauenstein served his nation in the European theater under General Dwight Eisenhower as head of intelligence. His service to ODK and his nation was rousing and exemplifies the values of our organization.

For those who are unfamiliar with our organization, ODK is the only national leadership honor society in the United States that focuses specifically on leadership. Induction into the ODK circle is considered one of the highest honors that a student can attain while at Oglethorpe University. ODK is highly selective and only the top 35 percent of students based on GPA are permitted to compete for membership. ODK inducts only one to three percent of the student body per academic year. Initiates are drawn from all pillars of campus life according to the ODK charter; those pillars are scholarship, athletics, campus and community service, journalism, and creative and preforming arts. If you are interested in ODK membership feel free to contact me at jpalframan@oglethorpe.edu to learn more.

Greek Affairs Welcomes Two New Organizations

The Office of Greek Affairs is excited to announce the expansion of Oglethorpe University’s Greek community. Two new organizations (Kappa Sigma Fraternity and Epsilon Iota Psi Local Sorority) join our five existing organizations (Alpha Sigma Tau Sorority, Chi Omega Fraternity, Chi Phi Fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity, and Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority). Both of the endeavors to bring these organizations to campus have been supported by the Office of Greek Affairs, Department of Campus Life and the Office of the President.

Oglethorpe's Kappa Sigma Fraternity

After a year of being an active member of our fraternity community Kappa Sigma officially became our third fraternity on April 21, 2012. This endeavor was lead by 34 men who will have the honor of being known as the founding fathers of the Sigma Beta chapter of Kappa Sigma on our campus.

Oglethorpe's Epsilon Iota Psi Sorority

During the 2011-12 academic year, several women worked together to form Oglethorpe University’s first African American local sorority, Epsilon Iota Psi (Ei Psi). On April 25, 2012, 22 women became the founding sisters of this sorority. This endeavor to  create a new sorority has been a rewarding experience for these women and has allowed our sorority community to grow and continue to thrive.

If you have any questions about Oglethorpe’s vibrant Greek community or how to join any of our Greek organizations on campus, please contact me at bberris@oglethorpe.edu or at 404-364-8383.

Oglethorpe University Ranked Among Top 50 U.S. Liberal Arts Colleges

Independent news magazine Washington Monthly has released its annual list of Top 100 Liberal Arts Colleges in the nation, and Oglethorpe University comes in at #49!

The magazine rates and ranks colleges in three different categories: social mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs) and service (encouraging students to give something back to their community). Within the service category, OU was ranked #9 for providing a high number of staff supporting community service, the number of academic courses that incorporate service, and for providing scholarships for community service.

Members of the incoming class sort and pack book donations at Books for Africa.

Oglethorpe provides numerous volunteer opportunities for its students throughout the year. Most recently, 350  freshman and first-year students participated in the annual Orientation Day of Service alongside faculty, staff and community volunteers. The group was spread out across Atlanta, volunteering with nine different nonprofit organizations. Five groups’ efforts went to environmental stewardship, lending a hand to Grant Park Conservacy, TREES Atlanta, Southwest Atlanta Growers Cooperative, Crop Mob Atlanta and Park Pride. Three groups volunteered at nonprofits that focus on homelessness and hunger issues: Furniture Bank of Metro Atlanta, Senior Citizen Services of Atlanta and the Atlanta Community Food Bank.  And, one group of 80 students helped to sort and pack books at Books for Africa.

Oglethorpe freshmen assemble beds at the Furniture Bank of Metro Atlanta.

Earlier this month, Oglethorpe also was named to Forbes magazine’s list of top colleges in the nation, and for six consecutive years has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement.

Incoming Freshmen Issued Passport to College Life

Fresh faces!

The university’s annual OU Passport summer orientation event held recently on campus gave incoming freshmen a taste of what their new and exciting college lives will be like this fall!  The new Petrels met with their academic advisors to register for their first college classes and received a warm welcome and academic advice from  Provost Denise von Herrmann.

Smile for your Petrel Pass!

A 21st century version of a scavenger hunt (for QR codes!) provided a fun activity for the new students to learn their way around campus.  Tours of the residence halls offered a peek into their new “homes away from home” and a chance to start planning how to decorate. Smiles came across their faces as the newly issued and still warm Petrel Passes were placed into their hands for the first time.

A passport to Oglethorpe!

Parents and students alike picked up Oglethorpe t-shirts at the bookstore where students also could get a copy of the common reading book, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, that will be discussed by the entire class at various times during their freshman year. Toward the end of the day, Petey the Stormy Petrel mascot joined the crowd on the quad to enjoy some Rita’s Ice and help wrap up a very busy and exciting day.  We’re looking forward to welcoming more incoming freshman for the second OU Passport on July 13!

Visit the Flickr album to see more photos from throughout the day.

Welcome, Oglethorpe University Class of 2016!

Time to show your Petrel spirit!