Samuel Romes, LOUISVILLE 2020, accepted the 2020 International Balfour Award (IBA) during the closing moments of the Fraternity’s virtual Grand Council session on Oct. 10.


Given annually to Sigma Chi’s most outstanding graduating senior, the International Balfour Award has been presented since 1930 when Significant Sig Paul Hagemann, WASHINGTON (ST. LOUIS) 1930, was honored following the 1929 to 1930 academic year.


“I feel extremely blessed to be in the company of my fellow recipients and all the former International Balfour Award winners. I’m very excited to serve and give back to Sigma Chi. I can’t wait to support our undergraduate brothers and support their endeavors over the next two years,” Romes said during his acceptance speech.


Romes graduated from the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky, with a degree in chemical engineering. He was involved in several organizations on campus, including raiseRED, the university’s largest student-run philanthropic organization where he served as both team leader and programming director and helped raise more than $690,000 for pediatric oncology and hematology.


While a member of the Fraternity’s Louisville chapter, Romes held the position of Consul and helped his chapter attain top organization and top fraternity awards from raiseRED with $77,000 raised.


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Romes and IBA finalists Wesley Middleton, PURDUE 2020, and Joseph Shaver, GEORGIA TECH 2020, were interviewed virtually by a selection committee. Each of the three IBA finalists, Middleton, Romes and Shaver, were province and chapter Balfour Award winners. 


Romes will join 2019 IBA winner Andrew McMahon, BIRMINGHAM-SOUTHERN 2019, and two undergraduate representatives to serve on the Fraternity’s Executive Committee (EC). He will be on the committee for two years as an advocate for undergraduates.


Notable IBA winners include the late Huntsman Cancer Institute founder Jon Huntsman Sr., PENNSYLVANIA 1959, as well as Krach Transformational Leaders Workshop namesake, 64th Grand Consul and current Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment, Keith Krach, PURDUE 1979. Both men also are recipients of the Significant Sig Award and inductees into the Order of Constantine.