ALMA — In recognition of the group’s efforts to volunteer, fundraise and raise its membership on campus, the national Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) organization in November named the Alma College Zeta-Delta chapter of TKE its top chapter nationwide.
The recognition — out of 216 large-, medium- and small-sized colleges throughout the United States — was earned after group members completed more than 1,400 volunteer hours in and around the local area, raised more than $10,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and grew their membership base to 54 total members since the start of the academic year.
“At the beginning of the year, we were given goals from the national TKE organization, and we decided as a group that we would try to crush those goals as soon as we could,” said Ty Kennard, a junior from Harbor Springs, Mich., who is the Alma College chapter president. “I was so proud of the way our brothers stepped up, with so much enthusiasm, to help these noble causes.”
Among the many charitable efforts the TKEs have made locally this year include volunteering at the animal shelter, youth sports leagues, community cafe and theater. Those efforts help aid the overall Alma College goal of improving its students’ sense of purpose and place, said Jason Beaudoin, the group’s vice president.
“We’re trying to be a leader for all of the fraternity and sorority organizations on campus,” said Beaudoin, a junior from Petoskey, Mich. “We hope that by setting an example, others will follow. It also helps position Alma College as a leader in the local community. We hope that these organizations come to associate TKE with Alma College and that the college can lead the way on local issues.”
The local TKE chapter has also devoted considerable time to fundraising in support of St. Jude, a pediatric treatment and research facility located in Memphis, Tenn., which partners with the national TKE organization. In the fall academic term, the TKEs put on a talent show and a hair-cutting drive that drew significant attention, while other fundraising activities are planned for the winter term.
“It was sad to see my hair go, but when you walk into class and people are asking what happened, you’re able to tell them about St. Jude and what a wonderful cause it is,” Kennard said. “That makes everything worth it.”
Word is getting out on campus about the benefits of being involved in TKE, say group members, who estimate membership to now encompass roughly 10 percent of the male student population at Alma College.
TKE is a men’s social fraternity with a mission “to aid men in their mental, moral and social development for life” and do so through the essential elements of “love, charity and esteem.” For more information on the national TKE organization, visit tke.org.
Alma College has five sororities and five fraternities, including TKE. Each offers multiple avenues for leadership through work, service, academics and athletics. For more information on fraternity and sorority life at Alma, visit alma.edu/student-life.