Four members of the Beta Omicron Chapter were awarded scholarships at the 6th annual Beta Omicron ‘Extra Mile’ Scholarship Banquet on Sunday, April 14, 2013. Morgan created the program to inspire students to pursue excellence in academics, campus and chapter leadership, service, and employment.
Jake Bryan, Sean Austin, Kolt Kays, and Scott Mayeaux were awarded $3,800 in scholarships at the 6th annual event, held Merci Beaucoup Restaurant in historic downtown Natchitoches, the site for the inaugural scholarship banquet in 2008.
The Morgan ‘Extra Mile’ Scholarship Program is funded by and named for Beta Omicron Chapter alumnus David D. Morgan. An entrepreneur, an insurance executive, and a leader within his industry and his fraternity, Morgan has spent a considerable portion of his life helping others to be successful.
Whether through the offering of insurance products to association members across the country that help provide a greater peace of mind, or through his volunteer work with several Pi Kappa Phi chapters, Brother Morgan’s commitment to helping people (especially his Pi Kappa Phi brothers) is a trademark of his personality.
Instilling the lessons he learned growing up in Louisiana – lessons of hard work, industriousness, and self-determination – into the heart of this new initiative, the Pi Kappa Phi Foundation created the scholarship program in 2008. In the time since, the program has furthered the academic pursuits of more than 40 students in awards upwards of $26,000. It remains the only program of its kind among Pi Kappa Phi’s 179 chapters.
Recipients are selected through a rigorous application process that awards points for campus and chapter leadership, grades, employment, and a series of essay questions. This program seeks to recognize the effort and seriousness that a student displays in pursuit of academic excellence. But just as important as a student’s scholastic prowess, however, is their commitment to applying themselves in the classroom and in life outside of the classroom by going the ‘extra mile.’
Senior Scott Mayeaux credits leadership programs like the “Extra Mile” inspires personal growth. “I am confident, proud, and passionate about the things I become a part of, all because of Pi Kappa Phi,” he said. “It has taught me the vital skills that I need to go out into the world that awaits.” An established leader on campus, senior Jake Bryan said the “Extra Mile” Scholarship challenges the Fraternity’s members to start preparing for success today. “I’ve learned more about leadership and conducting business than any other opportunity up until this point in my life.”
Underscoring the purpose and mission of the program, Beta Omicron Chapter alumnus and re-chartering archon Wes Breeden delivered the keynote address. He currently serves as Regional Vice President for Association Member Benefit Advisors. His primary role is meeting the needs of the company’s clients as well as developing leaders within the company. Breeden shared the defining qualities of successful individuals and described his journey from the classroom at NSU to the board room in a corporate setting. Drawing on a lifetime of inspirational influences, he recalled several people who shaped his outlook. One of his strongest points of advice centered on taking action, not making excuses or settling for mediocrity. “My grandfather was a farmer and he used to tell me since I was a little kid, over and over and over, if you can get up in the morning and put your boots on and go to work, you have half the world beat.”
Robert G. Crew was named Beta Omicron Chapter Alumnus of the Year for personal achievement, outstanding service to the Fraternity and community, involvement in the life of the university, and serving as a model for lifelong brotherhood.
Dozens of active members, alumni, and representatives from Northwestern State University were in attendance for the catered dinner. Special guests included: Dr. Randall J. Webb, President of Northwestern State University; Robert Crew, Beta Omicron alumnus and Executive Assistant to the President; Dr. Chris Maggio, NSU Assistant Vice President for External Affairs; Mrs. Frances Conine, NSU Dean of Students; Dr. Margaret Kilcoyne, Director of the NSU School of Business and past Beta Omicron Rose Court member; Reatha Cox, NSU Director of Student Life and First Year Experience; Natalie Laurence, NSU Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life; Greg Burke, NSU Director of Athletics; Mike McConathy, NSU Basketball Head Coach; Brittany Godsey, NSU Women’s Basketball Asst. Coach; Dr. Bill Smith, NSU Dir. of Marketing and Branding; Tom Whitehead, NSU Professor Emeritus of Journalism; Doug Ireland, Beta Omicron alumnus, Chapter Advisor, and NSU Sports Information Director; Dr. Michael Land, Beta Omicron alumnus, Academic Advisor, and NSU Professor of Microbiology; Lane Luckie, Beta Omicron Alumni Association/ Housing Corporation President; Wes Breeden, Beta Omicron alumnus, re-founding Archon, and keynote speaker; Alan Pasch, Beta Omicron Alumni Association/ Housing Corporation Dir. of Housing and NSU Director of University Facility Use; Shayne Creppel, Beta Omicron Alumni Association Director of Alumni Events; and Chad Hancock, Beta Omicron Alumni Association member.
At the close of the evening, the members of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity recognized a special guest at the banquet, Mrs. Blanche Watkins. She is the mother of NSU Dean of Students Frances Conine, who is Beta Omicron’s first chapter mother since re-chartering in 2000 and a longtime friend of Pi Kappa Phi. Mrs. Watkins is the wife of the late John Watkins, who served as archon of the Omicron Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi at the University of Alabama. In the time before his passing, he could still recall fond memories and love for Pi Kappa Phi. Mrs. Watkins was presented a bouquet of red roses, the Fraternity’s flower, in honor the decades of support she has shown Pi Kappa Phi and in memory of John Watkins.