Foundation Awards Record $611,000 in Academic Scholarships

EVANSTON — Supporting academic excellence at the undergraduate and graduate levels, the Sigma Chi Foundation will give out an organizational-record $611,000 in academic scholarship awards for the 2022 to 2023 academic year.

More than 375 undergraduate and graduate brothers, as well as five sweethearts from chapters across North America, will receive awards this fall — another organizational record.

“We are pleased to honor and recognize another deserving group of brothers and sweethearts in support of their academic endeavors,” said Sigma Chi Foundation President & CEO Ashley Woods, EAST TENNESSEE 2000. “Thanks to the contribution of brothers, sweethearts and friends across North America through the Life Loyal Sig Annual Fund, Thomas Cowan Bell Chapter Challenge and Foundation-specific Donor-Scholarship funds, we have recorded another milestone in both awards delivered and overall funding.”

Foundation scholarship awards include the prestigious International Balfour Award, International Sweetheart Award and the Sigma Chi Foundation’s Founders’ Scholarships each netting $10,000 per recipient. Additionally, five brothers with combat experience received the $3,500 Sigma Chi Military Service Scholarship.

At the conclusion of this year’s award cycle, the Sigma Chi Foundation will have awarded $3,219,000 in academic scholarships since the 2015 to 2016 academic year.

Scholarships are reviewed by a group of more than 70 individuals including members of the Foundation Board of Governors and alumni volunteers at large.

The Foundation’s Grant and Scholarship Committee, with support of Foundation Executive Assistant and Scholarship Administrator Heidi Holley in Evanston, reviews recommendations and determines awards via a thorough process.

Click here to view the complete list of 2022 to 2023 scholarship recipients.


Awardees (Listed alphabetically) receive $10,000 each for the present academic calendar year.

Founder Benjamin Piatt Runkle Scholarship, in honor of John and Christine Forst

Christopher Gonzalez, PENNSYLVANIA 2023

A major in Finance and Management at the University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious Wharton School, Gonzalez holds a 3.62 GPA entering his senior year. 

The son of two Mexican immigrants who realized their American dream, Gonzalez has taken the values of hard work and ambition instilled in him by his parents to excel academically, earn multiple scholarship awards and land internships at the Moelis & Company firm in New York and Credit Suisse Securities in San Francisco, where he served as an Incoming Investment Banking Summer Analyst. 

He presently serves the Phi Phi chapter as Quaestor and has given back to the Penn community as a Wharton Undergraduate Cohort director, guiding and mentoring freshmen in the business school, as well as other various organization committees. He plans to obtain his MBA and work in the private equity space with a focus on philanthropy and leadership. 


Founder Daniel William Cooper Scholarship, in honor of Greg and Carol Harbaugh

Kazuma Hirota, TEXAS-AUSTIN 2023

A major in Mechanical Engineering, Hirota holds a 3.99 GPA entering his senior year at the University of Texas at Austin. 

A native of Japan, Hirota has served his chapter as Historian while holding active roles on campus in the Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society, American Society of Mechanical Engineers and as a mentor and research assistant for the Lu Research Group, where he teaches undergraduate research assistants skills such as coding, 3D printing, laser cutting and computer-aided design. He is an author and member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. His research project on the advanced brain-computer interface won both First Place and Audience awards at the Longhorn Undergraduate Research Poster Competition. 

Along with scholarship awards from UT, he helps fund his education as a part-time student software developer for Construction Industry Institute. Inspired by the loss of his father to suicide, he hopes to attain a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science with a long-term goal of developing a robust, wearable EEG headgear for real-time mental health monitoring using machine learning. 


Founder Thomas Cowan Bell Scholarship, in honor of Bob & Sabrina Johnson

Antonio Ortiz-Ulibarri, NEW MEXICO STATE 2023

A major in Agricultural Business and Economics, Ortiz-Ulibarri holds a 3.42 GPA entering his senior year at New Mexico State University. 

Ortiz-Ulibarri has served his chapter as Pro Consul and Quaestor, while holding campus leadership roles as Student Body Vice President and President of the Student Senate, where he has worked directly with the university’s upper administration. Within the community, he has helped oversee large-scale community service events on campus, drawing more than 1,000 of his fellow students. 

He has financed his education through scholarships, financial aid and part-time work including roles as Forestry/Construction Manager and Certified Nurse Assistant while serving as a Production Supervisor intern for Hormel Foods’ Jennie-O brand, the United States’ largest producer of turkey. In the future, he aspires to attend law school and become an agricultural attorney.


Founder James Parks Caldwell Scholarship, in honor of Joe & Judy Durzo Scholarship

Luke Schwetschenau, SAINT LOUIS 2023

A major in Investigative and Medical Sciences on a pre-medical track, Schwetschenau holds a 4.0 GPA entering his senior year at Saint Louis University.

Within his chapter he has held the roles of Consul and Recruitment Chairman and has served on campus as a lab assistant, tutor, SGA advisory board member and mentor of new students through the Oriflamme program. He is a member of the school’s Honors Program and Medical Scholars Program and is a recipient of the Saint Louis Interfraternity Council’s Outstanding Service Award. 

To help fund his education, along with academic scholarship support, he has served as a lifeguard, swim coach and teaching assistant. In the future, he plans to attend Saint Louis University’s School of Medicine with a career as an orthopedic surgeon as his long-term goal.


Founder Franklin Howard Scobey Scholarship, in honor of John & Nancy Peterson

Eric Szczepkowski, CLARKSON 2024

A major in Engineering and Management, Szczepkowski has a 3.95 GPA entering his junior year at Clarkson. 

Szczepkowski is actively involved within his chapter and on campus, holding the roles of IFC Representative, Scholarship Chair and Assistant Magister for Iota Zeta and serving as a senator for the Clarkson University Student Association and member of the school’s honors program. He was selected to attend the Horizons Huntsman Leadership Summit in Summer 2022. 

He has received the school’s Presidential Scholar Award on three occasions and is a recipient of the Clarkson University Leadership Scholarship and Iota Zeta Academic Scholarship. Szczepkowski has served as a project management intern for companies in Madrid, Spain and Rochester to further gain experience and work in international business upon conclusion of his academic studies.


Founder Isaac M. Jordan Scholarship, in memory of John Thumel, NORTHWESTERN 2015

Porter Windell, MONTANA STATE 2024

A major in Architecture with a minor in Environmental Design, Windell holds a 3.68 GPA entering his third year at Montana State University. He is a second-year recipient of a Founders’ Scholarship award. 

Growing up in a single-parent household, Windell 

has completely financed his education through the Pell Grant and savings via employment from the age of 14. He presently works as a server and assistant in the Industrial Arts Lab on campus, where he helps students with 3-D imaging software, 3-D printers and laser cutting machines. 

In the community, Windell participated in a traveling community service program that included tutoring fifth grade students and highway cleanups in Montana. In the future, he hopes to become a licensed architect and study abroad with Montana State’s Engineers Without Borders program to visit struggling global communities and improve their infrastructure and quality of life.


Founder William Lewis Lockwood Scholarship, in honor of Chuck & Kim Watson

Cooper Yancey, LOUISVILLE 2024

A major in Economics with a double minor in Philosophy of Politics, Yancey holds a 3.73 GPA entering his junior year at the University of Louisville. 

Within his chapter, Yancey has served as IFC Representative, Public Relations, Philanthropy and Social Chairman. Among his campus roles he serves as SGA Senator, President of the Student Marketing Association and as Student Representative for the Mooradian Decanal Review of the University of Louisville’s College of Business. Within the community, he is active within raiseRED, the largest student-run philanthropic organization at the University of Louisville, raising funds for pediatric cancer and research. As Sigma Chi’s fundraising team lead, he helped the chapter raise $91,000 for raiseRED and an additional $9,500 for Huntsman Cancer Institute. 

Yancey has placed on the Dean’s List each semester and has been selected to the school’s honors program. Funding his education entirely himself and through student loans, he averaged 30 hours of weekly night shift work at UPS as a freshman. In the future, he hopes to go into business law.

2022 to 2023 military service scholars

Awardees (Listed alphabetically) receive their designated amounts for the present academic calendar year.

$3,500 AWARDS

Sgt. Beau Andrea, SOUTH FLORIDA 2022

A major in Information Science, with a concentration in Information Security, Andrea holds a 3.55 GPA at South Florida. He was honorably discharged as Sergeant from the United States Army, where he served for more than five years, including a nine-month tour of duty in Iraq.

Andrea received 15 awards during his enlistment including the Joint Service Commendation Medal. He enlisted as a Military Police Soldier but worked through a selective process to become a team leader guiding military working dogs. As Sergeant serving the Military District of Washington, he conducted various explosives missions for the United States Secret Service and Department of State with Military Working Dogs, serving the President and Vice President of the United States and other principals.

Within Sigma Chi he has served his chapter as Magister, Historian and Assistant Magister. Following graduation in December, Andrea plans to utilize his degree to work within the rapidly growing world of cybersecurity and technology.


Sgt. Mark Eagleton, OKLAHOMA 2023

A major in accounting, Eagleton holds a 3.58 GPA at the University of Oklahoma. Prior to attending college, he was honorably discharged as Sergeant from the United States Marine Corps, where he served for four years, including two tours of duty across the Middle East and Asia.

As an older active brother within the Beta Kappa chapter, and a Sigma Chi legacy, Eagleton serves as a member of the chapter’s executive team and as a leadership mentor during the Preparation for Brotherhood program, utilizing his experience during his service to encourage young men to achieve their goals.

He has earned mention on the Dean’s and President’s Honor Roll and has been honored with six scholarship awards, including this one. Upon graduation in the spring, he plans to pursue a master’s in accounting and earn a CPA certification.


Sgt. Benjamin Hanks, WILLAMETTE 2018

A 2018 Psychology graduate at Willamette and Master of Arts graduate at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon, Hanks is presently attaining his Doctorate in Psychology with long-term goals including work to improve mental health treatment among veterans.

Hanks was honorably discharged as a Sergeant from the United States Army, where he participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom from both Kuwait and Baghdad. He received multiple awards, including two Army Commendation Medals, during his service. During his service, he was stationed in Germany and also spent 14 months in the United States Army National Guard working for the 187th AVCRAD aviation unit out of Fresno, California.

During his two years at Willamette, Hanks served his chapter as Kustos, Judicial Board President and Community Service Chair. As alumni, he’s served as Chapter Advisory Board Member. A now four-time recipient of the Military Service Scholarship, Hanks has been actively involved volunteering within the homeless community in Oregon and regularly facilitates outdoor activities and mental health education for veterans through the Source One Serenity organization. He also provides therapy services for students and young adults at the Chemawa Indian school in Salem, Oregon.



A 2011 Criminal Justice graduate at Southeast Missouri State and Master of Public Administration graduate at Liberty University, Lee is presently pursuing a master of National Security Policy at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Administration.

Actively serving the United States Army as a Special Forces Non-Commissioned Officer, Lee was hand selected to serve as Operations Sergeant for the 3rd Battalion, where he plans, coordinates, resources and executes training for five Companies and 18 Special Forces teams (approximately 535 soldiers) as well as deployments in support of global requirements. The 10-plus-year veteran has served within three combat zones, leading soldiers both American and foreign during deployments to Kenya, Somalia and Afghanistan, and earned more than 18 military awards and honors including the Bronze Star.

SFC Lee aims to further his leadership experience as a Special Forces Operational Detachment Team Sergeant when the calls of freedom arrive somewhere on the planet with long-term goals of becoming the U.S. Army Special Operations Command’s Command Sergeant Major and a college professor.


Capt. Taylor (Jeff) Lockwood, SOUTH FLORIDA 2014

A graduate of both South Florida and Liberty University, Capt. Lockwood is presently attending Harvard University, where he is pursuing a Master of Arts in International Relations to further help contribute towards solutions on the international stage.

In his eighth year of active-duty service with the United States Army, with six deployments during his career, Lockwood has spent the majority of his service in the airborne and special operations communities. He has led troops in combat in two war zones as well as complex operating environments within Asia. After serving in Afghanistan, he was selected to serve as the first-ever intelligence officer in the 1st Battalion, 5th Security Forces Assistance Brigade, a unit created by the Army specifically focused on training and advising foreign security forces. Lockwood has been honored with more than 20 awards during his service including the Bronze Star and Meritorious Service medals.

At South Florida, Lockwood served the Theta Beta chapter as Consul, Quaestor, Magister, IFC Representative, Philanthropy Chairman and Assistant Magister. He was an intern at J. Dwight Peterson International Fraternity Headquarters and served as an undergraduate representative on a number of International Fraternity committees. As an alumnus, he has served as a program facilitator, chapter advisory board member and on a number of international committees.

He has volunteered for the United Nations’ Tanzania Development Program, the United Nations’ Ocean Action Campaign and as a volunteer consultant for a private nonprofit intelligence firm countering human trafficking in the United States.