Worthy Master Reports on a Strong Year for Delta
Ross McSwain ’13
Strong brotherhood? Check. Successful social and philanthropy events? Check. Functioning Chapter house? Check (at least by undergrads’ standards of “functioning”!). True Merit Award? Yes! After such a successful year, I am proud to be Worthy Master of the Delta Chapter of Alpha Tau Omega. The Delta Chapter has come a long way in recent years, so when I took over from former Worthy Master Aaron Bernstein (’12) in January, I knew my job would be even more challenging. How do you improve on such a strong year? Well, through a strengthened focus on our philanthropy and recruitment, we’ve managed to do just that.
With 16 brothers graduating this May, we knew recruitment needed to continue to be a major focus. In the fall, we had taken four new members, the Alpha Pi pledge class. As spring rush arrived, we approached the two-week process with enthusiasm. We engaged with the pledges well and enjoyed getting to know many new potential Taus. We ultimately extended 15 bids, and 12 were accepted. With the new members gained this academic year, we were able to nearly break even and maintain the size of the Delta Chapter despite an outsized 2012 graduating class.
While last year’s philanthropy was an improvement over previous years, we made it a goal to set our sights even higher. We wanted to reach out to the larger UVa and Charlottesville communities, as well as potentially benefit a different philanthropic group that would be closer to and more meaningful for our brotherhood. Under our philanthropy chair, Kevin Vincenti (’14), we founded a new philanthropy, Taus For Paws. Taus For Paws benefitted the Charlottesville SPCA, an organization for which several of our Brothers foster dogs, and one with which everyone in Charlottesville is familiar. The event took place in Mad Bowl and featured eight dogs brought out by the SPCA for students, members of the UVa faculty and administration, and local residents to pet and marvel at their cuteness! We made $1,900 for the Charlottesville SPCA through the event, which publicized our name to a much larger market and will certainly be a consistent success for the Delta Chapter in the future.
Lastly, we had another very successful year in the UVa community beyond 125 Chancellor Street. Brothers continued to be heavily involved around Grounds. ATΩ Delta is represented in the Jefferson Society, University Judiciary Committee, The Cavalier Daily, and even clubs like the Salsa Club. We also have brothers in Phi Eta Sigma, Alpha Epsilon Delta (pre-med), and Beta Gamma Sigma (business). Many brothers also participate in service organizations like Madison House, UVa Athletics Tutoring, Alternative Spring Break, and Air Force ROTC. Furthermore, Brothers go out and compete in Intramural sports like Frisbee, Soccer, and Softball. One of our pledges, Kyle Sheppard (’15), had a batting average of .800 on the season! ATΩ Delta has great visibility around Grounds due to Brother involvement in this wide range of activities.
We had a lot to live up to at the beginning of this semester. Through great recruiting efforts and a spectacular philanthropy event, we have made even better progress than we had hoped. I know I speak for all the active Brothers in saying that we are certainly looking forward to continued growth and success in the future!