Barry McNamara  |   Published July 07, 2016

Great Greek grades

Monmouth’s fraternities and sororities have stellar academic year
Monmouth College students who were active in fraternity and sorority life had a stellar 2015-16 academic year, posting cumulative grade-point averages of 3.14 in the fall semester and 3.18 in the spring. Both marks were about two-tenths of a grade-point higher than the all-campus average.

A total of 76 percent of Monmouth Greeks earned a GPA of 3.0 or higher for the spring semester, and 46 percent made the Dean’s List for either the fall or spring semester, or both, which requires a minimum GPA of 3.5.

“Fraternities and sororities are values-based organizations, so students often have to meet certain qualifications, such as a minimum GPA, in order to receive an invitation for membership or to maintain their membership,” said Billy Bernard, associate director of student involvement and fraternity and sorority life. “Each of our organizations provides academic initiatives, such as designated study times, academic goal-setting and incentives for earning Dean’s List, and they work very closely with members who want to improve their classroom performance.”

Greek students were leaders in many distinctive Monmouth programs: 40 percent of last year’s Summer Opportunity for Intellectual Activity participants were Greek; fraternity and sorority students made up half of the Midwest Journal of Undergraduate Research’s editorial board; and one third of Honors Program participants were Greek.

“Several of our organizations provide monetary scholarships for academically driven individuals, which helps offset tuition or the cost of membership dues,” Bernard noted. “Our members recognize academics as a shared value between all organizations, so we have seen them commit to focusing on their classroom work and also holding their friends accountable to do the same.”

A further accountability factor came from the Panhellenic Council, which is the College’s governing body for women’s fraternities. Each of the women’s organizations embarked on an academic initiative during the 2015-16 academic year by setting an all-sorority GPA goal and asking each chapter to commit to raising their collective GPA.

The council also sponsored several academic-focused events throughout the year, including a brunch with faculty members and advisers, sponsored community-wide study times and invited speakers to each Panhellenic meeting to discuss academic success.

Perhaps as a direct result, the women of Alpha Xi Delta had the highest GPA of any fraternity or sorority for the past academic year, leading the way with a 3.31 mark in the fall and 3.37 in the spring for its 62 members. Pi Beta Phi and Kappa Kappa Gamma – known as the “Monmouth Duo” because the Alpha chapters of both organizations were founded at Monmouth in 1867 and 1870, respectively – also had a strong showing, posting a GPA of 3.14 or higher both semesters.

Bernard said the Panhellenic Council is in the process of developing a fraternity and sorority academic magazine, which will launch in 2017.

To learn more about fraternity and sorority life and how to participate in fall recruitment, visit the Fraternity & Sorority Life website.
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