University continues to partner with Greek community

February 18, 2005

University leadership is partnering with the Penn State Greek community as they work toward realizing their collective Greek Pride Dream Statement. In part because of University support and alumni engagement, recent positive changes within the Greek community continue to be seen throughout the system.

Penn State's support of the Greek community reflects national trends to support and develop the Greek experience. Penn State President Graham B. Spanier was part of a joint effort nationally between Greek executives and other college presidents, and reiterated the need for University leadership to support Greek organizations in their document, titled "A Call for Values Congruence."

Since February of 2004, Penn State, along with more than 300 other stakeholders, have been dedicated to re-engaging core values throughout the Greek community. Through a University-wide initiative dubbed Greek Pride, eight action teams are guiding positive change and leadership, including the University Partnerships team, chaired by Vicky Triponey, vice president for Student Affairs.

Gathering input and council from various University divisions has been critical to the success of the Greek Pride initiative. Recent additions to the University Partnerships team include representatives from the Penn State Alumni Association, University Advancement, University Relations and Off Campus Living, all of whom have provided valuable assistance in developing relationships between the Greek community and Penn State leadership. Increased staffing within the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life also has been helpful in reconnecting the University with Greek alumni and national representatives. Kevin Kerr, the new director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, and new Greek adviser Nathan Leopard, recently joined the existing staff members of Jared Brown, Jane Neitz and Jean Welling. The office now has a strong team of professionals working closely with Greek students and leaders. Each chapter has a staff member who works individually with the chapter, its leaders, advisers, and headquarters staff and volunteers. In addition to increased staffing in the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, the University has pledged its commitment to the Greek community by welcoming Stuart Spisak in September 2004 as the special assistant to the vice president. Stuart's work in engaging Inter/National headquarters, alumni and students has proved to be a critical piece in building partnerships on behalf of the Greek community.

The University recently approved a set of supports and rewards for chapters meeting and exceeding minimum expectations. These rewards, to be announced formally in the coming months, not only will help chapters further achieve excellence, but also will demonstrate the University's commitment to the Greek community.

Other accomplishments realized through meaningful collaborations with University leadership include the Greek Newswire, established in November 2004 with support from the Office of University Relations. In addition, a national reception was held recently in Hollywood, Calif., to build relationships and solicit national support for the Greek Pride initiative; and Spanier and Triponey will be hosts for a reception Feb. 23 in Indianapolis for Inter/National Greek Headquarter representatives. "We are confident that these upcoming events will not only result in a positive environment for our Greek community, but keep us on the path toward positive change and excellence that was initiated through the Greek Pride initiative," stated Kerr in a recent presentation to the Penn State Board of Trustees.

The University Partnerships Bold Idea Action Team continues to identify opportunities to strengthen the Greek community through positive relationships with the University. For more information about the University Partnerships Bold Idea Action team, visit the Greek Pride Web site at http://www.sa.psu.edu/greekpride for meeting dates and upcoming events. For more information on the "A Call for Values Congruence" document, see http://www.naspa.org/communities/kc/page.cfm?kcpageID=84&kcid=6

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 20, 2009