The North American Interfraternity Conference announced on July 15 its 2021 Laurel Wreath Award winners, recognizing Greek-letter individuals and groups for their unique programs, community outreach or influence within the fraternal world.


Sigma Chi International Fraternity is among the seven recipients of the award this year and earned the honor for its Distance Leadership Certificate course, which was developed and is administered through the Sigma Chi Leadership Institute. The program is designed to help students gain the knowledge and skills to navigate industries reliant on remote work and digital leadership across blended platforms. They also learn how to manage and motivate virtual teams, as well as how to make the most of online communications tools.


“The Distance Leadership Certificate was in development well before the global pandemic descended on the world — its outcomes for our brothers were meant to ready them for a future workplace where remote leadership would someday be a staple of culture,” says SCLI Chairman and 68th Grand Consul Mike Greenberg, ILLINOIS WESLEYAN 1982. “The need for this learning became critical by the time we launched it in January [2021], and the feedback from our eight pilot chapters has been empowering. From virtual communication to maximizing productivity in a digital world, they are now equipped with skills that make them more marketable in their upcoming internships and job interviews.”


The Distance Leadership Certificate course is part of Sigma Chi’s Transformational Leader Program, which debuted June 26 during the 83rd Grand Chapter in Scottsdale, Arizona, and is the International Fraternity’s overarching leadership development program for all undergraduate and alumni members.  


Sigma Chi previously earned Laurel Wreath Award honors from the NIC in 2019 for its Strong Arms mental wellness and emotional health program, in 2018 for the Preparation for Brotherhood pledge education program, in 2015 for the Crossroads drug and alcohol education program and in 2011 for the Mission 365 recruitment training program.


Sigma Chi Fraternity Executive Director Michael Church, ILLINOIS 2005, says that winning again in 2021 is for Sigma Chi affirmation that the Fraternity remains one of the industry leaders in providing personal and career development opportunities to its members.


“At the heart of our mission as a Fraternity is to prepare our men for success in their world, and we take that responsibility seriously. This example of the vision and execution by the [SCLI] is exactly the kind of transformational leadership that is needed in order to enable us to deliver on that promise.”


Sigma Chi is one of the largest collegiate fraternities with undergraduate chapters at 237 universities and colleges and more than 355,000 all-time members. Sigma Chi provides a welcoming environment for young men of different temperaments, talents and convictions to enjoy a unique lifelong bond that extends far beyond college. Through world-class leadership training, extensive mentoring programs and a strong focus on academic achievement, Sigma Chi sets itself apart as the preeminent collegiate leadership development organization, challenging members to live by its core values and exemplify Character-in-Action™ in every aspect of their lives, and the lives of others.