International Balfour Award

EVANSTON, ILLINOIS — The Fraternity has named the following finalists for the 2024 International Balfour Award (IBA): David Cathey, TEXAS TECH 2024; Joseph Gassensmith, BALL STATE 2024; and Colby Hebert, LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE 2024. The honor is presented annually to the person believed to be the Fraternity’s most outstanding senior based upon his success in academics and campus, community and Sigma Chi involvement. 

The finalists will be interviewed by a selection committee during the 2024 Krach Transformational Leaders Workshop at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, and the winner will be announced at the conclusion of the event on Aug. 3. 

Cathey will graduate from Texas Tech University with a degree in biology and a minor in chemistry and general business and will return to Texas Tech for the university’s medical school program. Drawn to helping others, Cathey’s volunteer and work efforts were concentrated in the medical field. He helped administer COVID-19 tests and vaccinations, taught EMT and EKG courses and worked in various clinics, among others. On campus, Cathey served as the vice president of judicial affairs for the Interfraternity Council at his college and participated in a published research paper to study the biological mechanisms underlying fertility and conception. In his chapter, Cathey served as Pro Consul and risk manager, and attended the Horizons Huntsman Leadership Summit.  

Gassensmith will graduate from Ball State University with a degree in urban planning and development and a minor in real estate development and intends to pursue a master’s degree in public administration. Gassensmith served in numerous capacities outside of his chapter, culminating in his service as student body president. He also served as a 2024 student representative to the nominating committee to Indiana’s Commission for Higher Education. Professionally, Gassensmith will begin work with HNTB Corporation in Indianapolis as an environmental planning consultant. He previously worked with Arbor Homes LLC as a national purchasing, architecture, production and land entitlement intern and with the city of Noblesville, Indiana, as a planning and field inspection intern. Within his chapter, Gassensmith served as Consul and held several other positions. 

Hebert will graduate from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a degree in political science and a minor in history. On campus, Hebert sat on a handful of committees, served as student body president and vice president and, within his own chapter, held various leadership roles that contributed to chapter growth and achievements. As an undergraduate and finding himself called to public service, Hebert interned with the president of his college system, interned with Louisiana Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Kim Hunter Reed, and worked on the campaign for a political hopeful. After the election season, Hebert served as a staff assistant to the newly elected governor’s transition team for health care policy. 

Before being named IBA finalists, Cathey, Gassensmith and Hebert were province and chapter Balfour Award winners. 

The 2024 IBA winner will join the previous year’s honoree and two undergraduate representatives to serve on the Fraternity’s Executive Committee. The IBA winner will serve on the committee for two years as an advocate for undergraduates. 

The winner and runners up also will receive a scholarship from Sigma Chi for their postgraduate education thanks to support from In Hoc Napa Valley and Significant Sig Brandon Chaney, INDIANA 1993.