Michigan Alpha, the Hillsdale College chapter of the Pi Beta Phi sorority, has been awarded second runner-up for the 2018 Balfour Cup, a national prize given by Pi Beta Phi’s national governing body. Michigan Alpha was selected out of all the Pi Phi chapters in the United States and Canada. The chapter also received second runner-up for the cup in 2017.
“It’s basically a ‘Best Chapter Overall’ award,” said current Michigan Alpha chapter president, Tess Skehan, who received the award on behalf of Michigan Alpha at the bi-annual Pi Phi conference this summer. “They look at all the elements — scholarship, membership experience, improvement, philanthropy, member programming.”
The award was based on the achievements of former chapter president, Elise Farley, and her executive team. Farley described the steps the sorority took in 2018 to ensure it would do well in annual chapter rankings.
“We started a lot of new programming initiatives to help members feel more included and in touch with one another,” Farley said. “We also tried to level-up in our values like integrity and financial value. We lowered our dues and generated a scholarship so that more girls could go to school and still be part of Pi Phi.”
Megan Bowser, chair of the Alumni Advisory Committee for the Michigan Alpha chapter, was at the conference when the cup was awarded. She called the Hillsdale College women of Pi Phi “exceptional.”
“Pi Phi is made up of over 125 active chapters,” she wrote in an email. “To be ranked in the top three chapters internationally is a great honor and the result of hard work, devotion to the ideals of Pi Phi, and strong leadership.”
While Michigan Alpha received a trophy and $250 to donate to the philanthropy project of its choice, the rewards of placing in the top-three are primarily the honor and recognition it has received nationally.
“I’m really, really proud of all the girls at Pi Phi,” Farley said. “Everyone does so much for the chapter and creates the community that is able to win the awards.”
Farley also credits the college for its role in the chapter’s achievement.
“Pi Phi is really trying to adopt the mission of Hillsdale to seek out good things,” she said. “I’d like to thank Hillsdale for giving us those objectives to strive for and an environment in which we can be the women of character that our sorority founders envisioned.”
Madeline Peltzer is a junior studying Politics.