The Delta Tau Delta (Delts) fraternity on the campus of Sam Houston State University was honored with the Hugh Shields Award for Chapter Excellence last week.
The Hugh Shields Award, established in 1965, was named after the first executive vice president of the fraternity. The award is given to chapters who deserve recognition for overall excellence.
The award makes their chapter one of the top 10 in the country, this is the first time they have achieved this honor in 30 years, the last time they did being in 1989.
Junior Construction Management major Brady Smith is the president of the fraternity, and has been pleased to see the growth of the chapter in his time at SHSU.
“Our executive board last year was top notch,” Smith said. “We had a great executive board, but internally, our brotherhood is really good right now, and I’m very proud of that.”
The honor is awarded through outstanding achievement among multiple criteria, including academic excellence, recruitment excellence and community service hours.
For most people, academics is not the first thing that comes to mind when you say the word fraternities, but for the Delts, academics are a major point of emphasis. Despite the award, Smith does see further room for improvement among the Delts when it comes to academics.
“Academic excellence was not on par with where we want it to be,” Smith said. “I stressed this in my president’s speech, that I was going to focus on our academics.”
The chapter has a large presence in campus involvement as well. Smith emphasized how important it is to recruit guys who were very involved in high school, because they were more likely to be highly involved on campus once they got to college as well.
“Anybody who was very involved in their high school is going to be very involved in college,” Smith said. “And those guys are going to be our leaders on campus and our leaders in the fraternity.”
Despite the recognition that this chapter just received, Smith thinks that the SHSU Delts are capable of much more success under his leadership
“I know where we are now, and being higher than that is hard,” Smith said. “If we are top two on campus (among fraternities) in GPA, I will be very happy.”