Greek Awards night of celebration, reflection

Greek Man and Woman of the Year highlighted a night of recognition.

Members of the Alpha Tao Omega fraternity celebrate after one of their members was named Greek Man of the Year on Sunday in Willey Hall during the Greek Awards ceremony.

Members of the Alpha Tao Omega fraternity celebrate after one of their members was named Greek Man of the Year on Sunday in Willey Hall during the Greek Awards ceremony.

Nickalas Tabbert

 

As she heard her name called throughout Willey Hall, Becky Mohn shook her head. She didn’t believe she had won.

Sunday night, Mohn and Joe Sandbulte were named Greek Woman and Man of the Year — two awards at the annual University of Minnesota Greek Awards ceremony.

Winning 2012 Greek Woman of the Year was the reward for three years of hard work for Mohn, a Kappa Alpha Theta senior.

Mohn was chosen out of four finalists for the award given for high involvement at the University as a greek community member. Her service as a student senator and with Rho Lambda and Order of Omega — greek leadership organizations — were described as some of the assets she brings to the greek community.

“This is one of the biggest awards a fraternity man or sorority woman can win,” she said. “It embodies what it is to be a well-rounded person … one where people look at you and say ‘I want to be a better greek because of them.’”

 Mohn said she didn’t know she won the award until her name was called but was suspicious when she saw two women from her sorority head to the podium.

 “I was in disbelief. I did not suspect that I would win,” she said. “Any of the other girls could have won.”

Fellow chapter members Katie Kolberg, vice president of programming for the Panhellenic Council and Laura Moorhead, PHC’s vice president of member development, presented the award.

Mohn was nominated by her chapter to apply for the award. She filled out an application in early March and met with a panel of judges to become a finalist.

The award is for seniors who positively represent their chapter and the greek community, are active in community service and have strong academic standards. A maximum of five finalists were allowed for each category of the Greek Man and Woman of the Year Award.

Individuals and chapters undergo the process to be chosen for a range of greek awards, like The Unsung Hero award, given to the greek member who hasn’t received recognition for his or her work, and the Outstanding Community Service Program award, given to the chapters who excel in fundraising and time spent volunteering.

Sandbulte, an Alpha Tau Omega senior and marketing director at the Minnesota Daily, where he has no contact with editorial content, said he felt pats on the back as house members realized he was the winner.

He has served as president for his chapter, the Interfraternity Council and the Order of Omega in his four years as a greek member.

The hour-long event included Spring Jam results and the release of Homecoming 2012 pairings. Space Jam was the overall competition winner and received a trophy. Pairings that won individual events like the dodgeball tournament or the Ballyhoo dance competition also received trophies. The theme for this year’s Homecoming is “Legendary U.”

Amelious Whyte, chief of staff to the vice provost for student affairs, said alumni who are active in the community volunteer to be judges.

The awards have been held since at least the late ’90s, he said, but there have been changes since then, including recognizing honorable mention candidates and having the finalists for Greek Man and Woman of the Year stand before the audience.

The Office for Fraternity and Sorority Life may make some changes for next year’s event, Whyte said.

“It is one of the few opportunities we see the community in one room,” he said. “Are there other things we should do with that time?”

In previous years, the Greek Man and Woman of the Year finalists used to stand in front of the audience while the winner was announced, Whyte said.

Mohn was pleased with how the evening unfolded.

“I like greek awards because when one chapter wins, the whole community wins,” she said. “It’s one of the few times we come together as an entire community.”