Continuing in the philanthropic tradition, Sigma Phi Epsilon honored eight freshmen exhibiting excellence in a number of areas with the Balanced Man Scholarship yesterday.
The Sigma Phi Epsilon Balanced Man Scholarships are distributed annually after a three-step application process to award freshmen believed to live up to Sigma Phi Epsilon national standards of the “Balanced Man.” The 12th annual scholarship competition culminated in a banquet during which the scholarships were awarded to the eight finalists. The Sigma Phi Epsilon brothers, scholarship winners’ families, alumni board members and Suzie Nelson, dean of fraternity and sorority affairs, all joined at the banquet to honor the scholarship winners. The scholarships sought not only to recognize excellence in scholarship, but leadership and athletics as well.
“The point is that we reward freshmen that live up to this standard of balance in leadership, athletics and scholarship,” said Andrew Saal ’06, co-chair of the Balanced Man Scholarship. The scholarships awarded the first-place winner, Nathan Skelley ’07 with $1,000. Second-place finalists Richard Koontz ’07 and Daniel Arras ’07 each received $500, while third-place finalists Christopher Yale ’07 and David Gelinas ’07 received $250 each. Anthony Macaluso ’07, Jamaal Williams ’07 and Andrew Wetzler ’07 received awards of $100 each for honorable mention.
While the scholarships provided a way to recognize the standards that Sigma Phi Epsilon hopes to promote, the application process also served as a way for the fraternity to reach out to the freshman community. The applications were sent out to all freshman males. Of the 100 applications received, 22 were chosen as semi-finalists, requiring them to go through informal interviews.
“[In the application process] we look for well rounded guys, but its also a way for us to get to know the freshman class,” said Chris Welde ’06, co-chair of the Balanced Man Scholarship.
“We are very proud and [we] try to recognize a lot of outstanding leaders. Our purpose is to negate the negative image of the Greek system and show that the fraternity system is not what it was twenty years ago,” said Alumni Board President David Roman.
The finalists in for this year’s scholarships come from diverse backgrounds and have involved themselves in very different activities. Third-place winner Gelinas, for example, started exercising his leadership skills in high school where he was primarily involved in starting a program to help kids stay on track, called “Staying Cool after School.” The program, which he helped found four years ago, is now a national program on both high school and college campuses.
Koontz was captain of his high school track team and is now a member of the Cornell team. Shelley has a black belt in sho-tae-yu, is a member of the Cornell club tennis team and a Meinig Family Cornell National Scholar. Williams played on his varsity basketball team, was vice president of his youth group and traveled internationally to help support summer camps for children as part of the Children International Summer Village organization.
“It was really unexpected and it’s a great honor to be recognized for all the hard work,” said Williams.
Archived article by Carrie Tremblatt