1 - Sigma Chi

Greek Life Flourishes at ERAU

When the Sigma Chi Fraternity lost one of their own, the Embry-Riddle students joined together to create a scholarship fund to carry on their brother’s legacy. 

After Timothy Englehardt, a meteorology student and Sigma Chi member, died in a tragic shooting accident in Holly Hill in 2014, chapter members worked tirelessly to establish a scholarship fund that has raised over $50,000.

“The chapter felt as if it was the best way to carry out the tradition of a long loved and inspirational brother,” said Jarrett Starbuck President of Sigma Chi. “That in turn, by making a small contribution to someone we start the ripples that can ultimately make the difference in a community.”

It’s this commitment to upholding philanthropic and leadership standards that earned Embry-Riddle’s Sigma Chi Chapter the J. Dwight Peterson Significant Chapter Blue Award recently. The award is given to chapters that score the highest on an annual report that measures community service, financials, recruitment, chapter operations, risk management and alumni involvement.

For Starbuck, being involved in Greek Life has been key for obtaining leadership experience and making life-long friendships while earning a earning his degree.  

“I was initially interested in joining out of curiosity but then I realized that there was a lot of leadership potential that I could add to my resume,” Starbuck said.

With 491 students involved in Fraternity and Sorority Life at Embry-Riddle, Greek Life is flourishing with opportunities for students to take part in campus life, said Deb Padgett, assistant director of Fraternity and Sorority Life.

“Greek students tend to seek out active leadership opportunities on campus and their average GPA is .4 higher than students who are not active in Greek Life,” Padgett said, adding that many Fraternity and Sorority Life members are also active in SGA Student Representative Board.

And the connections students make often last well beyond their time at Embry-Riddle.

“The friendships when you become a member are for life and the connections students make often help with securing jobs after they graduate,” Padgett said.

Among the fraternities represented at Embry-Riddle is Delta Chi, which celebrated a significant milestone by beginning construction on the first fraternity house on the university’s Greek Row this fall. The first fraternity house on university property represents two decades of planning and will accommodate 24 members-in-residence.  The chapter has raised the majority of funds for the $2.3 million project from alumni and current members and expects the home to be completed by next spring.

“Having a house is a central part of the fraternity experience; it’s a place for brothers to be together and create a stronger brotherhood,” said Ivo Vissers, Vice-President of the Delta Chi Fraternity. “It’s also a great housing opportunity for our brothers.”

When it comes to the selection process for joining a Greek organization, Panhellenic President Kat Boggs advised incoming students to have an open mind and to not be intimidated. For freshman who are joining a sorority or fraternity for their first semester, Boggs suggests making time management a top priority in order to balance course work and extracurricular activities.

“Our Greek community as a whole has gotten very active and for many of us we become a family,” Boggs said. “It’s a sisterhood where we help support and motivate each other.”

More Information

Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach campus consists of 14 national fraternities and sororities that are supported by three governing councils. Recruitment begins Sept. 11 through Sept. 21 for all three councils.

For recruitment questions, e-mail Deb Padgett, assistant director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, at SMITHD25@erau.edu.

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Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world’s largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 80 baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts & Sciences, Aviation, Business, Engineering and Security & Intelligence. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., through the Worldwide Campus with more than 125 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and through online programs. The university is a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. For more information, visit erau.edu, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and facebook.com/EmbryRiddleUniversity, and find expert videos at YouTube.com/EmbryRiddleUniv.