Feature Story

Grade A+ Greeks

October 11, 2019 – by Cole Hatcher

Back Row (left to right): Ben Loeper ’20, Jared Hileman ’20, Phoenix Huron ’21, Jack Foley ’22, Joseph Brush ’20, Peyton Larkin ’21, Ryan Hulesman ’21, and Grant Brooks ’22; Middle Row (left to right): Adam Yingling ’20, Jose Matute ’21, Bradley Wolford ’22, Joseph Patterson ’22, Jay Welch ’21, Jack Funderburg ’21, and Chase Dusek ’22; Front Row (left to right): Ben Sobotka ’21, Brody Kannally ’22, Jarrod Ferstl ’20, Eli Rajotte ’20, Jordan Auriemma ’20, and Justin Petty ’22. (Photo by Paul Vernon)

Ohio Wesleyan’s FIJIs Earn National Award for Scholarship

The mascot of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity is the snowy white owl, and it’s especially fitting for the wise members of Ohio Wesleyan University’s Theta Deuteron chapter.

The OWU men just earned the fraternity’s 2018 Jordan Bowl, recognizing them for the having highest comparative scholarship among the nation’s 147 Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) chapters. This marks the Ohio Wesleyan chapter’s second national award in two years. The men also earned the 2017 Owen Cup for most improved scholarship.

“We are absolutely ecstatic to earn another national award,” said chapter President Eli Rajotte ’20 of Portland, Oregon.

“We pride our chapter on developing new members into active members that have a personal understanding of their priorities during their undergraduate years at OWU with scholarship being one of the most important,” said Rajotte, a pre-medicine and pre-professional zoology double-major and chemistry minor.

“National awards are also a great way to support and give thanks to our fantastic graduate chapter as there is a direct correlation between undergraduate chapter success and graduate brother involvement.”

In addition to Rajotte, the nationally honored members of OWU’s FIJI chapter include: Jordan Auriemma ’20, Max Berry ’21, Matt Brault ’20, Nick Braydich ’20, Grant Brooks ’22, Joseph Brush ’20, Duncan Copeland ’20, Jack Dugan ’20, Chase Dusek ’22, Will Efkeman ’20, Aunders Erikson ’20, Jarrod Ferstl ’20, Jack Foley ’22, Jack Funderburg ’21, Jared Hileman ’20, Ryan Hulesman ’21, Phoenix Huron ’21, Brody Kannally ’22, John Keller ’20, Peyton Larkin ’21, Ryan Lesmez ’20, Billy Lewis ’21, Ben Loeper ’20, Billy Luckett ’20, Jose Matute ’21, Wyatt McQueen ’22, Peter Mihok ’20, Sam Miller ’20, Joseph Patterson ’22, Justin Petty ’22, Ben Sobotka ’21, Garret Voigt ’20, Jay Welch ’21, Bradley Wolford ’22, Louis Yank ’20, and Adam Yingling ’20.

Rajotte said OWU’s FIJI chapter emphasizes the importance of academics with all prospective and current members.

“Our minimum GPA for acceptance into the organization is 0.25 higher than the IFC (Interfraternity Council) minimum, which establishes our standard of scholarship from the beginning of any new member’s involvement with FIJI,” he said.

In addition, Rajotte said, the house also has study hours, if needed, as well as helpful and intelligent brothers ready to help anyone who is struggling and a scholarship chairman who makes sure all members are upholding their academic commitment.

“We are very excited about continuing our achievement of scholarship and hope for our win to shed light on the critical importance and impact of Greek life as a whole at Ohio Wesleyan University,” he said.

Nancy Bihl Rutkowski, director of Fraternity & Sorority Life, said the both national awards show the character and commitment of the FIJI men.

“I am so proud of the men of Phi Gamma Delta,” said Rutkowski, who also serves as director of the Student Involvement Office. “This is such an accomplishment and serves to defy some of the stereotypes of fraternity men.

“FIJI’s award also provides the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life with an opportunity to congratulate the entire Greek community for consistently – and for many, many years – attaining a GPA higher than their non-Greek peers.”

In addition to the snowy white owl mascot, all Phi Gamma Delta men also share a collective vision: “To be an active, vital force of men who courageously live our values and make a positive impact on college and community.”

Clearly, the men of OWU’s Theta Deuteron chapter are succeeding in fulfilling this vision. Congratulations to these accomplished brothers!

Learn more about Fraternity & Sorority Life at Ohio Wesleyan at www.owu.edu/greek.