Barry McNamara  |  Published May 22, 2023

Top Greek Life Honors

Borst, Simpson named Monmouth College’s Greek Man and Woman of the Year.

BIG MAN ON CAMPUS: Xandru Borst, a leader within his Phi Delta Theta fraternity, was named Monmou... BIG MAN ON CAMPUS: Xandru Borst, a leader within his Phi Delta Theta fraternity, was named Monmouth College's Greek Man of the Year for the 2022-23 academic year.MONMOUTH, Ill. – An “unforgettable” sorority sister and a “dedicated” fraternity brother were named the Greek Woman and Man of the Year at Monmouth College in a ceremony held at the close of the school’s annual Greek Week activities.

Grace Simpson ’23 of Metamora, Illinois, and Xandru Borst ’24 of Schererville, Indiana, earned the honors for their accomplishments with Kappa Kappa Gamma and Phi Delta Theta, respectively.

Trailblazing glue gal

Kappa Kappa Gamma was founded in 1870 at Monmouth College upon six pillars: truth, connection, respect, optimism, knowledge and trailblazing. Simpson’s nominator wrote, “Grace lives by these values,” citing Simpson’s involvement with the founding of Highlander Hub, an on-campus food and clothes pantry, as a prime example.

AMAZING GRACE: Kappa Kappa Gamma leader Grace Simpson (left) receives the Greek Woman of the Year... AMAZING GRACE: Kappa Kappa Gamma leader Grace Simpson (left) receives the Greek Woman of the Year honor at the annual Greek Week banquet. Also pictured is Tori Cook ’24, president of the Order of Omega Greek honor society.Within the sorority, Simpson has served as director of academic excellence and vice president of both operations and internal affairs, navigating her leadership positions “with confidentiality, patience, empathy and passion.”

“Through these positions with the chapter, Grace has become a trusted confidant, an inspirational speaker and the glue that holds so many of us together in our hardest moments,” wrote the nominator.

An environmental studies and sustainability major who plans to pursue a master’s degree, Simpson was also cited for “immersing herself entirely into the Monmouth College experience” through her many campus involvements. Those include serving as the lead fellow of the James and Sybil Stockdale Fellows Program, a service and leadership-focused organization on campus, and as operations editor for the College’s Midwest Journal of Undergraduate Research.

A writing and speech tutor, the Dean’s List student is also a member of three honor societies: Alpha Lambda Delta, Mortar Board and Order of Omega.

Wrote Simpson’s nominator: “To our chapter, she is invaluable. To Monmouth College, she is incredible. To me, and to the rest of my sisters, she is simply unforgettable.”

‘Nothing but his best’

Similar to Simpson, Borst has been an involved leader with his fraternity, serving at various times as its treasurer, social chair, vice president and awards chairman. The Dean’s List student has also served as vice president of finance for the Interfraternity Council, and he received IFC’s Active Member Scholarship this semester.

An engineering major with a focus on electrical engineering, Borst earned academic all-conference honors while playing for the Fighting Scots lacrosse team.

“Balancing the combination of academics, athletics, Greek life and other involvement is often an extremely difficult process,” wrote his nominator. “However, Xandru is dedicated to the things he is involved in and does nothing but his best.”

The Greek Man of the Year wasn’t certain he’d pursue Greek life when he arrived on campus.

“My dad was in a fraternity, but not one that’s here at Monmouth,” said Borst. “I didn’t think I’d have enough time for it, which is why I didn’t join until the fall of my sophomore year. I had some friends who were in Phi Delta Theta, and they seemed to be having a good experience, so I decided I should join.”

“If you go to college, you’re going to make connections to people you never expected. What Greek life does is help you do something with those connections. Without it, I would just know people. But because of the fraternity, I’m able to do something constructive. Xandru Borst

He’s glad he did.

“My freshman year, I lived in the only co-ed dorm, and I made a lot of connections,” he said. “What I would tell someone who’s thinking about a fraternity or sorority is that if you go to college, you’re going to make connections to people you never expected. What Greek life does is help you do something with those connections. Without it, I would just know people. But because of the fraternity, I’m able to do something constructive, like the joint philanthropies I’ve been part of.”

After he graduates next year, Borst hopes to continue working for a company in his home state for which he’s interned.

“I had a really good internship experience last summer in Indianapolis with Eagle Oxide Services, and I’m going back there this summer,” he said. “Hopefully, I can stay with them, and that will be a good starting job coming out of college.”

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