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ZBT chapter in the running for national fraternity’s top award

Barry McNamara
MONMOUTH, Ill. – The coveted Brummer Cup could be in the future for the men of Monmouth College’s Delta Lambda chapter of the national fraternity Zeta Beta Tau.

“This is an exciting time for the men of ZBT,” said Monmouth Associate Vice President for Student Life Karen Ogorzalek. “They have been selected as one of the top 10 chapters for the 2019-2020 Standards of Excellence performers.”

Later this month, the national fraternity will whittle those top 10 chapters down to five finalists for the Brummer Cup, which is awarded annually to ZBT’s outstanding chapter. The cup was to be presented this year at the close of a three-day national convention in Washington, D.C., but it will now be announced during a three-hour virtual ceremony on July 26, according to Delta Lambda chapter president Rodolfo Garcia ’21 of Chicago.

“It was an all-around team effort,” said Garcia of the Monmouth chapter’s selection.

The Standards of Excellence is an annual benchmarking tool submitted to fraternity headquarters. A chapter must report on a number of areas, including academics, programming, involvement, recruitment, risk management and philanthropy. Guidelines help the chapter align its operations with those of the national fraternity.

Ogorzalek said a “conscientious” effort by the chapter in areas such as recruitment, programming, balancing finances and engagement of both alumni and active members has paid off handsomely.

“They’ve particularly focused on value-added programming and membership,” she said. “I’m very proud of the work they’ve done for the chapter and developing the potential in each member.”

Garcia said it paid off to document the chapter’s good work.

“Since I joined ZBT as a sophomore, we’ve always been a chapter that’s done well but didn’t get recognized, mostly because we didn’t do a good job of documenting our accomplishments,” said Garcia.

To remedy that, Garcia and the chapter’s executive committee created a template to make such documentation easier and more uniform.

“Having that mentality for documentation really set the tone,” he said. “It set the pace for what else we could accomplish as a chapter, and it just strengthened our mindset to be more organized.”

Although their academic year was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic, the men of ZBT still held some philanthropic events, including a Gift of Life Swab Drive to benefit the national bone marrow registry and a partnership with Alfano’s restaurant in Monmouth to benefit Jewish Women International, which supports awareness of sexual assault and other domestic abuse.