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PIKE Chapter earns international award

The Epsilon Kappa chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity at Lamar University received the prestigious Raymond L. Orians Excellence Award, the second-highest international honor bestowed by Pi Kappa Alpha international fraternity.

The Orians Award recognizes the top 25 percent of the Pi Kappa Alpha chapters around the world. The Pikes of LU were one of only twelve chapters to receive this award and were judged based on all 220 Pi Kappa Alpha chapters.

“To say I am proud of these young men and their accomplishment would be an understatement,” said Jack Fitch, video and photography director for the Division of Distance Learning and PIKE advisor. “I am also proudPikes of the recognition for something good and meaningful brought to Lamar University and the entire Greek life system.”

The Orians Award is only given to chapters that meet key requirements, including campus involvement and leadership, community service, academic achievement, an active and engaged alumni advisory board and community service.

“We’re very excited; the last time we won the award was back in the 80s,” said Caeden Pham, PIKE president, senior construction management major. “This brings another aspect to how great LU is by having a top-tier Greek fraternity on their campus.”

Pham and his fraternity brothers worked hard to meet the requirements to win the award. They met the membership requirements of more than 50 members. They received an 80 or above on a consultant visitation assessment that reviewed the management and finances of their chapter; the LU PIKEs received a 90. Additionally, the brothers sent members to PIKE leadership conferences. Twenty LU PIKEs attended a conference in Dallas.

“It’s been a long road but we’re not over yet,” said Pham. “We are going to continue this trend and try and receive the Smythe Award.”

The Orians Award recognizes the top 25% of PIKE chapters; the Robert Adger Smythe Award  recognizes the top 10%.

Alumni Chapter Advisor, Jason Morgan, who pledged PIKE in 1995 at LU, believes the fraternity has the leadership and commitment to achieve the Smythe Award.

“We’re very deserving of this award; we met our obligations; we’re diverse representing about every ethnicity, and we do a lot of philanthropy,” said Morgan. “Plus, we do a good job of keeping each other accountable and a good job of enforcing the international standards.”

LU’s PIKES support multiple nonprofit organizations. Each year they host PIKES for Pups 5K benefiting the Humane Society of Southeast Texas. This year the Beaumont Heritage Society distinguished the entire chapter with the Volunteer of the Year award. And, every year, the PIKES build the LU bonfire.

“All of our members belong to different organizations on campus and 100% of them give to Phi Phi Kappa Alpha Club, an endowment fund that educates PIKE members in leadership training.”

Pham believes the Orian Award reveals the service side of fraternities and hopes it leads others to consider Greek life.

“I hope when people see this, LU’s Greek life will increase,” said Pham. “I hope to see incoming freshman becoming Greek or just doing something more than going to school. Greek life is not just partying and having fun, but there is another aspect to it beyond what you see in movies. What I say is ‘if you go into Greek life thinking I’m going to party, that’s what it’s going to be for you, but if you want to make a change in this world, that’s what it’s going to be for you. It is what you make it.”