North Alabama featured for winning 13 consecutive True Merit Awards
“The term ‘true merit’ comes from our creed, which states ‘to foster not partisanship, but the recognition of true merit wherever found,’” said Robbie Thompson of ATO at UNA. “Each year, ATO National Headquarters awards True Merit to only the top achieving chapters across the nation who excel in academics, social service, fundraising and campus involvement.”
The True Merit Award was first established in 1969 as the Chapter Efficiency Award, becoming the fraternity’s first official award, according to ATO’s official website.
In keeping with the spirit of the creed, the True Merit award is awarded to as many chapters who achieve a level of chapter operation that is worthy of the recognition, ATO’s website states. The Top Chapter Award, which was established in 1998, recognizes the best ATO Chapter in the nation.
UNA’s ATO chapter received the Top Chapter award, ranking number one out of all ATO chapters across the country in 2003. UNA’s ATO received the runner up for Top Chapter in 2004.
“We held a strategic planning session with one of our alumni and current UNA geography professor, Dr. Jonathan Fleming, at Indie Spaces where the chapter reviewed past goals, defined core values and established a vision statement of ‘leave a legacy.’” Thompson said. ”From that planning session, the chapter has both tangible and intangible steps to achieve our objectives – one of which is to be the top chapter of the ATO fraternity.”
“I’m really proud of the brothers of ATO,” said Johnna Dixon, a UNA student and member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority. “UNA’s lucky to have students attending who are capable of winning such a prestigious award, especially so many times in a row.”
In pursuit of those goals the ATO’s at UNA have a cumulative GPA of 3.16 and ranked first out of all of UNA’s Greek organizations. The ATO’s were also National Elevate Award Winners (Most Community Service Hours), as well as awards for Financial Management, Campus Involvement, and Leadership Development, according to ATO’s website.
“We look for several qualities in men wanting to pledge ATO. Some of the key attributes are high academic achievement; past involvement with organization, churches, or athletic teams; a drive to serve the community, campus, and the chapter; and also someone who is sociable, likeable, and respectable,” said Thompson about looking for men to “Rush” ATO.
Having quality members is a crucial first step to becoming the top chapter of Alpha Tau Omega in the future.
*Original article credited to The Flor-Ala: http://go.ato.org/15tBDLF