Grand Chapter President Tom Jelke (Florida International 1990) congratulated the UT Martin Sigma Phi Epsilon chapter for earning an Excelsior Award for Finances via video message. The award is the culmination of the diligent work of the undergraduate Executive Committee members to improve the chapter’s financial footing.
In the Spring of 2019, the chapter was in a severe budget crunch. It was more than $8,000 in debt to the national organization for programming and insurance costs, and other areas of spending were out of control. Chapter revenue was also down, with some members missing their payment plan installments.
“We knew things had to turn around, and I’m impressed with how they went about it,” said AVC President Stephen Yeargin (2006). “There was never a request for money from our alumni organization; they wanted to solve it on their own.”
Through hard work, better budgeting and financial controls, the situation improved. Buoyed by a strong Fall recruiting class, revenue rebounded and the Executive Committee was able to get ahead on planning smarter expenses. With greater transparency, members began taking their financial commitment more seriously.
A little over a year later, the debt was paid off and committee budgets were replenished. The chapter is now on sound footing for the future.
“It is a great way to end the year on a positive note,” said Chapter Counselor Logan Wilson (Memphis-Lambuth 2017). “I’m proud of them.”
It is is the chapter’s third Excelsior Award, receiving its first in 2003 and most recent in Spring 2020 for Recruitment.
The Excelsior Award recognizes chapters that show excellence, best practice or movement “upward and onward” in a specific area of chapter operations: recruitment, member development, volunteer engagement, academics, finances, member safety, standards and accountability, housing or chapter leadership.