If you are a Sigma Chi, there is a one-in-126 chance that you spent last week in Muncie, Ind. All told, 1,946 brothers descended upon Ball State University to attend the 2014 Balfour Leadership Training Workshop (LTW) from Aug. 1 to 3, 2014.
This year’s Balfour LTW took on a different format than past workshops. While previous workshops have stressed interaction between like officers of different chapters—for instance, bringing together Consuls from different chapters, while Quaestors from separate chapters worked together, recruitment chairmen met in their own location, and so forth—this year’s Balfour LTW stressed a closer interaction between undergraduates of the same chapter, in order to allow brothers to more clearly formulate their goals for the upcoming school year, and to hold one another accountable to reaching them.
“Meeting together as a chapter allowed the officers on our executive board to focus on improving our organizational and general planning skills,” said Tyler Greenlaw, MAINE 2016, a first-time Balfour LTW attendee who was recently elected his chapter’s recruitment chairman. “Balfour Leadership Training Workshop does exactly that: it trains leaders. And it does it efficiently.”
The workshop also offered compelling speakers who spoke to the Sigs in attendance. At the workshop’s closing session, Michael Zibilich, LOUISIANA STATE 1970, shared his heart-wrenching story about learning in April 2012 that his son, Keller Zibilich, LOUISIANA STATE 2015, had committed suicide, and how Keller’s tragic death had inspired the Louisiana State chapter to work with the Sigma Chi Foundation to create Sigma Chi Lifeline, the Fraternity’s newest resource for promoting mental health awareness and suicide prevention. Afterward, Brian Rashid, BUTLER 2005, delivered the workshop’s keynote address, talking about the importance of chasing one’s dreams and not settling for what is comfortable in life.
Also at Balfour LTW’s closing session, Adrian Avila, NEW MEXICO 2014, earned the distinction of being recognized with Sigma Chi’s International Balfour Award, honoring him as the Fraternity’s most outstanding graduating senior. In his acceptance speech Avila, a psychology and history major who earned a 3.95 GPA, thanked his chapter brothers for supporting him in all of his endeavors.
Ten chapters accepted the James F. Bash Significant Improvement Award for having earned substantial increases on their 2014 Peterson Significant Chapter Award applications, relative to the scores they earned on their 2013 applications. The winner of this year’s Bash Awards are the chapters at Ohio State University, Beloit College, Duke University, the University of Richmond, Eastern Illinois University, Austin Peay State University, McGill University, Syracuse University, the University of South Florida, and Western Michigan University.
Finally, 87 chapters won Peterson Significant Chapter Awards, including six that won Peterson Significant Chapter Gold Awards for earning scores between 97 and 100 percent on the award application. Click here to view the full list of Peterson Award winners.