TROY - A Troy University fraternity is once again the top chapter in the nation.
The Kappa Beta Chapter of Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity was recognized with the national organization's 2016 Top Chapter Award during the ATO's 82nd Biennial Congress in Charlotte, N.C. in August. A year ago, the chapter celebrated its 10-year anniversary at TROY.
"(Winning the award) shows there's no limits here at TROY, and it demonstrates what a group of people - especially fraternities and sororities - are capable of achieving," said chapter president Blake Swicord.
Swicord credits the chapter's relatively swift rise to the recruitment process and the quality of TROY students who pledge ATO. The chapter recruited more men than any other campus fraternity last year.
"We've been able to recruit a lot of people with great leadership potential, and they've been great leaders for us," he said, noting the chapter's success is due to the quality of recruits.
Its signature event, Walk Hard, has become a national model for philanthropy amongst ATO chapters, and this year raised $28,000 for Florida-based Jeep Sullivan's Outdoor Wounded Warriors Adventures, a non-profit aimed at providing outdoor activities to wounded veterans. Chapter members backpack from Troy to Panama City Beach's Pier Park to raise money for the philanthropy.
TROY Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr. has long advocated the growth of the University's Greek system.
"Some of the greatest leaders in America's modern history have been Greeks - men and women who have achieved at the very highest levels of government, business, and industry," he said.
"I am really proud of what this represents - being competitive with their brothers from America - for us to have the best chapter in America is certainly one of the high points of the Greek system in the history of Greek life at Troy University," Dr. Hawkins said. "I want us to use it, not rest on our laurels, and challenge ourselves to be the best we can be because I know all our Greeks can achieve at this level."