In an effort to raise awareness for their new organization and to honor those that Sigma Phi Epsilon brothers feel are not recognized enough for their accomplishments, the fraternity will offer $2,000 in scholarships to male freshmen at Yale, brothers said Monday.
The scholarship, entitled “The Well Balanced Man Award,” will be awarded to three non-member freshmen and one freshman brother. An interview board composed of members will choose the winners based on a loose set of guidelines which includes excellence in three primary areas — athletics, academics and leadership.
“It’s designed to foster great men on campus,” SigEp Recruitment Vice President Ned Stainthorpe ’05 said. “[We’re] not just [looking for] a jack-of-all-trades, but someone who is outstanding in more than just one area. We want to honor the type of people that embody the attitude within our fraternity.”
SigEp President Will Garneau ’05 said the scholarship’s purpose is twofold.
“[We want] to identify kids that already ascribe to our ideals and philosophy and reward them,” Garneau said. “It’s one part recruiting and one part giving back and putting our philosophy out there.”
SigEp brothers said they chose to give the money to freshmen because they are most likely to join the fraternity. The brothers are seeking “great men” they think would fit well in the group.
Scholarship recipients are not obligated to join SigEp after winning the scholarship.
Rick Bennet ’07 said he was not aware that this scholarship was being offered to freshmen. While Bennet did not intend to apply for the funds, he said he supported the idea.
“I think this type of thing is exactly what fraternities should be concentrating on doing,” Bennet said. “It’s a great way to get freshmen guys interested in an organization that can combine fun, fraternity stuff with supporting a good mission and giving back to guys who fulfill that mission.”
Part of the money for this scholarship, which was named after the unofficial motto of the fraternity — “balance” — comes from dues. SigEp alumni from other chapters provided the rest of the scholarship money.
SigEp brothers started the fraternity in late 2002 because they were unsatisfied with the Greek scene on campus. They wanted to find a place that would use fraternity dues for more than just “bland beerpong in basements.”
Garneau said SigEp chapters with more money can afford to give out bigger scholarships as well as extend them to women.
All prospective SigEp members are recommended to the brothers by friends, fellow brothers or certain sororities — the group does not condone the pledging process.
“We aren’t interested in breaking kids down with hazing and rebuilding them in our exact image. We just want to find guys who share our beliefs and welcome them,” Garneau said.
Applications for the scholarship, which are available online, are due Feb. 20. Winners will be announced at a banquet in late March.
[ydn-legacy-photo-inline id=”18272″ ]