Brendan Ruppert of Haymarket, Va., and Arianna Orpello of Boothwyn, Pa.both May graduatestook top honors at West Virginia Universitys recent Greek awards banquet.

Ruppert, a political science major, was named Greek Man of the Year for his work as president of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. His other leadership roles ranged from alumni relations chair to continuing educator. He also served as an executive board member on the Interfraternity Council and was Greek chair of the College Republicans.

Rupperts career plans involve moving to Memphis, Tenn., and working at Pi Kappa Alphas international headquarters.

To me, the best thing about being Greek at WVU is having the chance to have an impact regardless of your affiliation in the system,he said.As Greeks, we have had a great deal of success fostering networks. This has been a wonderful journey.

Orpello, an advertising major and three-year chair of WVU s Greek Programming Committee , was chosen as Greek Woman of the Year for her leadership in Chi Omega sorority. She has held many leadership positions, including social chair, and served on various committees.

Besides her participation in Chi Omega, she has been an active member of the Diversity in Media Association, Advertising Club, American Advertising Federation and Kappa Tau Alpha journalism honorary. Her honors include making the Deans and Presidents Lists at WVU for the past four semesters.

Being Greek makes your college experience unforgettable,she said.Being a Chi Omega has made me the person I am today, and I am grateful for its friendships and inspirations.

Orpello graduated magna cum laude. She will begin the MBA program at WVU in the fall and would like to pursue a career as an account manager in an advertising agency somewhere on the East Coast.

Other Greek awards went to Chi Omega, Betty Miller Outstanding Sorority, and Sigma Chi, Joseph C. Gluck Outstanding Fraternity. Chapters are selected annually for the awards based on academic, leadership, philanthropic and educational programming, as well as dedication to current members and alumni, said Ron Justice, assistant dean of students.

The two organizations were also honored for best philanthropy. Each group raised more than $4,000 for its designated philanthropy. Chi Omega granted a wish for the Make-A-Wish Foundation while Sigma Chi made a substantial donation to the Childrens Miracle Network.

More Greek award recipients are listed below:

Sorority awards

  • Outstanding academic achievementKappa Kappa Gamma
  • Most improved chapterAlpha Phi
  • Panhellenic Council scholarshipsLindsey Spada of Newark, Del., Alpha Phi; Bethany Williams of Charleston, Delta Gamma
  • Excellence in educational programmingSigma Kappa
  • Excellence in leadership developmentKappa Kappa Gamma
  • Outstanding academic achievementBeta Theta Pi
  • Most improved chapterPhi Sigma Kappa
  • Excellence in educational programmingBeta Theta Pi
  • Excellence in leadership developmentPhi Sigma Kappa
  • Intramural championsPhi Sigma Kappa

Greek life provides lifelong friendships, networking opportunities

Even though the academic year is over, Greek pride shines year-round with 15 fraternities, eight sororities, and seven historically African-American fraternities and sororities on the WVU campus.

Fraternities provide a network of friendship,said Knute Scholl, president of Sigma Chi fraternity.You pledge with guys who become your best friends, and you make contacts that not only help you down the road, but last a lifetime.

He added,I cannot count the number of alumni who have returned and told me that the reason they received a big job was because they were in a fraternity and stood out.

Orpello said she couldnt imagine her WVU experience without the support of her sorority sisters.

The best thing about being Greek is all of the lifelong friends that you make as well as the community contributions,she said.

* WVU Greeks academically competitive

WVU s 1,400 fraternity and sorority members are campus leaders, community volunteers and scholars.

Jordan Workman, former WVU student body president and a May graduate, has served as president of Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity. He has been involved with the Greek system since his freshman year.

We have an academically competitive fraternity, and that helps tremendously with the overall grade point average for our house,he said.

Phi Sigma Kappa also has a substantial scholarship systemfinancial awards offered to brothers who excel not only academically, but also in their leadership roles, he noted.

The rewards range anywhere from $300 to $1,000 and are given each year at our Parents Weekend event,Workman said.Last year, out fraternitys foundation contributed $14,000 in scholarship money to the brothers.

*Members contribute to the community

Besides academics, community service is another important aspect of WVU s Greek system. Workmans fraternity, for example, does one major project each year that benefits community organizations.

This year, we worked to raise money for the WVU Foundation Vision Enhancement Technology Center,he said.In past years, we have helped the animal shelter and several other groups. Our fraternity also has concentrated this year on taking a group of brothers every Friday to Kaleidoscope. We usually bring anywhere from three to seven members.

Orpello said Chi Omega has granted three wishes to children of the Make-A-Wish Foundation since she joined the sorority.

WVU Greek life on the Net: .