Greeks at UNK Raised $50,000 for More Than 20 Causes

Tracy Lungrin
Greek adviser and leadership coordinator, 308.865.8519

The annual University of Nebraska at Kearney Greek Awards Night and fashion show last week reported on the funds raised by fraternities and sororities to support various charitable causes, as well as honored outstanding members of UNK Greek organizations.

In all, UNK fraternities and sororities raised more than $50,000 for over 20 charitable causes this past academic year. In addition, the students donated more than 10,000 community service hours to over 30 causes, according to Tracy Lungrin, UNK Greek adviser and leadership coordinator.

Top individual awards presented during awards night included Greek Man and Greek Woman of the Year, Chapter Adviser of the Year, Alumnae of the Year and Outstanding Professor.

Kendra Francke, an Alpha Omicron Pi from Waverly, and Brian Hying, a Sigma Phi Epsilon member from York, were the recipients of the Greek Man and Greek Woman of the Year Award. In making the announcement, Lungrin said, “These two individuals exemplify commitment to excellence, leadership and an unwavering belief in and adherence to their fraternal values.”

Francke was named Greek Woman of the Year based on her involvement in Panhellenic Council, as president and social chairman, and sorority recruitment counselor. In addition, she helped plan and implement the Loper Block Party and Pack It In Purple for the Storm games, all while being a member of national honor society Phi Eta Sigma, the UNK Honors Program, a campus Diplomat, a Chancellor’s Ambassador and an Outstanding UNK Senior.

“This woman defines Panhellenic spirit,” Lungrin said. “She has modeled in every way that working together to better our Greek image and visibility will only pay off in the recruitment of more quality members.”

Hying received the Greek Man of the Year award based on his involvement as the Inter Fraternity Council (IFC) president and director of public relations. He is the vice president and risk management chair for his fraternity, and a member of Epsilon Pi Tau industrial distribution honor society.

“He’s not flashy, but rather he is stable and strategic,” Lungrin said. “He did an exemplary job of stabilizing IFC during a very rough transition year.”

Chi Omega adviser Shari Anderson of Minden and Delta Tau Delta adviser Dusty Newton of Kearney were recognized as the Chapter Advisers of the Year.

“Shari has made every effort to not only fill the roles and responsibilities which she took on but to go beyond what was expected,” Lungrin said. “During her first year, she could be seen at the Chi Omega house nearly every day of the week, making an effort to pull together the chapter and structure a stronger sisterhood while making strategic improvements along the way.”

“Dusty is outstanding, because he does not expect any praise for the work that he does. He merely wants to improve the lives of everyone who passes through the Delta Tau Delta doors,” Lungrin said.

The Alumnae of the Year Award was presented to Alpha Tau Omega alumnus Don Briggs of Kearney and Gamma Phi Beta alumnae Mary Mach of Fairbury. Briggs has been an active member of his fraternity for more than 50 years.

“Through thick and thin, he has been with our fraternity guiding students along the way and acting as a mentor,” said Eugene Bickelmier of Columbus, Alpha Tau Omega president. “He shows up for every Monday meeting eager to meet any new members, and he continues to give insight to the older members.”

Mach has volunteered time to improve the Gamma Phi Beta chapter by painting the chapter room and lounge, and facilitating a workshop for better communications between new members and current members, according to Alexis Luther of Lexington, president of Gamma Phi Beta.

“She has modeled that a sorority experience is a lifetime membership, and she makes every member of our chapter excited about our future as alumnae,” Luther said.

The Outstanding Professor Award was awarded to Dr. Chris Jochum of Kearney, who teaches Spanish in the UNK modern languages department.

“This year’s award recipient was selected because he relates well to his students, and he makes his discipline fun and interesting,” Lungrin said. “He is readily available for his students when they need additional help, and he makes a point of knowing his students personally.”

Other awards presented to the fraternities and sororities, and the recipients, include: Chapter Improvement, Alpha Tau Omega; Chapter House Improvement, Sigma Phi Epsilon; Scholarship Programming, Alpha Phi and Sigma Phi Epsilon; Outstanding Community Service Award, Gamma Phi Beta and Pi Kappa Alpha; Outstanding Philanthropy, Sigma Phi Epsilon; Outstanding Community Service Project, Lambda Theta Nu and Delta Tau Delta; Outstanding Chapter Involvement, Phi Gamma Delta, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Alpha Phi and Lambda Theta Nu.

The Greek awards event included a fashion show held in conjunction with The Buckle clothing. A “Dollar Drive” was held throughout the show to raise funds for the United Way, The Buckle’s philanthropy.

“The Greeks did a ‘Dollar Drive’ by contributing dollars to their favorite Greek fashion model that evening and raised $500,” Lungrin said. The UNK Greek Top Models of the fashion show were Phi Gamma Delta J.T. Jelkin of Kearney and Chi Omega Paige Wewel of Denver, Colo.