This past Saturday Meghan Dubyak ’04, president of the Cornell Panhellenic Council, traveled to Rancho Mirage, Calif. to accept the National Panhellenic Council’s Award for Overall Excellence on behalf of Cornell’s chapter. The award, presented at the council’s Biennial Conference, is the highest honor given by the NPC, an organization that is represented on over 620 college and university campuses.
“I am obviously very pleased that we were presented this prestigious award,” Dubyak said. “It shows the progress we’ve made in following NPC and NPC’s unanimous agreements.”
Dubyak worked with Sarah Pettengill ’04, vice president of finance for Panhel, to put together application materials last April.
“We spent about 6 hours each before we got together. The night before, Meghan and I were up until 4 a.m.,” Pettengill said. “We worked for about 16 hours just on the awards packet. All of the officers put together different pieces.”
The final application included a NPC application as well as the council’s constitution, membership recruitment rules, code of ethics and alchohol-free social activities resolution. Both Dubyak and Pettengill worked together to compile an accurate account of all programing for the past two years using letters from advisors and individual accounts of success within Cornell’s sorority system.
The Award for Overall Excellence is an honor given to only three recipients, each according to the size of their sorority system. Cornell received the highest NPC award for its system of over 10 sororities. Birmingham Southern College accepted the award for campuses with six to ten sororities while New Mexico State took home the award for two to five sororities.
The award ceremony was part of a five-day conference held by NPC that also included delegate voting on resolutions. Dubyak accepted the award from Lynne Chambers, a Chi Omega sorority representative, who co-sponsored the award. There was “no connection to Chi Omega’s position at Cornell,” according to Dubyak, although Dubyak did speak with chapter representatives over the weekend.
Besides applying for the overall excellence award, Panhel also applied for recruitment, scholarship, leadership and public relations.
“We had not won this particular award before,” Pettengill said. “According to our records … we have applied before so it was exciting,” Pettengill said.
As for the future, Dubyak hopes it will “push us to continue to strive for excellence in our programming.”
Indeed, Pettengill hopes the award will allow Panhel to continue with the very programming the award praised them for. “Right now the NPC is doing a lot to work with us. I think the award proved that we are a strong chapter,” she said.
Dubyak acknowledged that all eyes within the NPC will now be turned on Cornell because of the award. “With the award comes a certain responsibility. Cornell is going to be considered in the NPC community at large.”
Archived article by Logan Bromer