I will take you through the halls of UMD and show you the continuing the tradition of the Alpha scholarship program. With your busy life you may have forgotten your education roots. Take my hand and see the goals, dreams and needs of those who continue to join Alpha while they endeavor to get an education to secure their future. The university system is huge and the student must devote his time in the trenches until sanctioned with a degree ….
The state of the Greek system on the UMD campus has changed dramatically over the years. There were a handful of local social fraternities when Alpha Nu Omega was formed in 1959. At that time only local fraternities were allowed at UMD. Alpha outlasted them all based on the underlying principles on which it was founded plus the support of the Alumni Association, especially through its scholarship offerings.
Eventually a number of national social fraternities were allowed to be established on campus, while Alpha has remained the lone local social fraternity. Times got tough and Alpha went through some lean times with a minimum of members that kept it hanging on. But with the help of some new dynamic members and the support of the Alumni Association, the fraternity is now in much better shape with strong leadership and academics. They remain a respected presence in campus life.
Alpha is still the only fraternity on campus to offer scholarships to its members. Each spring the selection process begins anew handled by the current Alpha Scholarship Committee consisting of the Scholarship Chairman Tom Kraus along with associates Mike Dean, Dennis Johnson and Chad Roberts. Because of our joint scholarship arrangement with the University, UMD prepares and collects scholarship applications from active members, also getting their GPAs and their letters of recommendation. Each year the Foundation notifies a UMD representative and the Scholarship Committee how much money is available for scholarships from our fund interest. This is then matched through UMD's Reaching Higher Program.
The representative from UMD also participates on the Alumni Scholarship Committee in selecting recipients who have applied from our active chapter. The Committee reviews applications and transcripts and conducts interviews. The recipient and the amount of each scholarship given are decided by that Committee to be applied in the next academic year at UMD.
Tori Seymour, the Greek Life and Leadership Coordinator at UMD, is the current University representative on the Alpha Scholarship Committee. She submitted the following about her relationship with Alpha and the status of the University:
I have had the pleasure of interacting with Alpha Nu Omega men in several different ways -- as an undergraduate, alumna and now in a professional setting. Alpha Nu Omega has a long-standing presence at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) and has been the constant and backbone of the Greek Life community. This past semester (Spring 2020) UMD moved to an online format in the middle of the semester, leaving students to pivot and adapt quickly. Facing a variety of unknown variables active members of Alpha Nu Omega were able to obtain a 3.49 average semester grade point average (GPA) and a 3.04 cumulative GPA.
This past year I represented Greek Life and partnered with the UMD Alumni Relations Office to create the application, selection rubric, and responsible for awarding the funds for Alpha Nu Omega Alumni Association scholarships. We were able to partner with several Alpha Nu Omega Alumni Association members to help read applications and select a winner for each of the available scholarships. It was a pleasant experience working with Alpha Nu Omega Alumni. They made the process easy and a positive experience for both myself coordinating the scholarship application and for active members applying for the scholarships.
As the Greek Life Advisor at UMD, I see firsthand how scholarships help students. Students are responsible for paying $496 per course credit; which does not include fees or textbook costs. There is also the financial burden of paying for basic needs like rent and food. Every dollar of scholarship money contributes to alleviating the financial stress of getting a college education and allows students to focus more on academics.
Tori Seymour Greek Life and Leadership Coordinator University of Minnesota Duluth
Tori Seymour and Jason Golde
This spring, the University Foundation determined with interest and matching funds we had about $7000 to apply to this year’s scholarship recipients. Because of the needed isolation from the virus, personal interviews were curtailed, but the Committee awarded scholarships to the following members:
John L. Banks III Award – Lucas Koecher (current president) in the amount of $2765
Daryl B. Knodt Award – Eric Franzwa (current vice-president) in the amount of $2080
Warren Orrick Award – Thiago Augusto Kono (current secretary) in the amount of $2080
It should be noted that the total amount of the scholarships are the equivalent of only 50% of the current UMD yearly tuition of $13,681.
The current recipients have expressed their thanks for the opportunity of receiving their awards:
Eric Frazwa #409
I have had the honor to receive the John L. Banks scholarship as well as the Daryl B. Knodt scholarship throughout my time as an active member, and as Vice President of Alpha Nu Omega. To date, the Alumni Association has given over $100,000 to students who are in need and also to those who make a difference within the organization and the greater community. This coming school year will be my last, as I am wrapping up all required courses for my major. I am incredibly grateful for all of the generous donations that members of the Alumni Association have put forward to aid me and my fellow brothers, past, present, and future. Please know that your contributions are a great aid to us. Your donations have allowed us to worry less about our finances, and focus more on our surrounding community, all while expanding the ever growing bond that I share with all of my brothers in Alpha Nu Omega.
Lucas Koecher #410
I am currently the President of the Active Chapter and I am a recipient of Alpha Nu Omega scholarships for the years of 2019 and 2020. In total, I will have received $6,500 in scholarships from our great fraternity. This has meant the world to me both financially and mentally since I was taking student loans almost exclusively to pay for college. However the ANO scholarship means a lot more than just helping with college, it has inspired me to work much harder in school and in continuing to build our presence on campus and in Duluth. You all have invested in my future, and in turn, I feel great pride and inspiration for investing myself in ensuring a bright future for both our organization as well as everything we stand for.
Thiago Augusto "August" Kono #413
The Alpha Nu Omega Scholarship has been a tremendous help with my financial situation. I'm going to graduate late and the Alpha Nu Omega scholarship has relieved a lot of the financial stress that can go with that. I've also been able to focus on my studies and dedicate time to Alpha Nu Omega and my community instead of being forced to work full time. I'm very grateful for all the help this scholarship has given me.
Going forward, unfortunately, with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, campus life at UMD is basically in lockdown. Most classes will be online, and social activities and sports events with fans are essentially curtailed. This does not bode well for rushing and pledging, but the Active Chapter is inventive and looking at alternatives to increase membership. The current members are very close and most actually live together in two rented houses. This allows joint efforts and common COVID-19 sequestering for members on a much higher scale. The chapter will have about a dozen members going forward this year and fortunately only three are scheduled to graduate.
Our Alumni Association is offering assistance to the active chapter wherever possible, but we cannot make a virus go away. And we cannot cover all the massive student loans that are a fact of life for many Alphas. We still offer a mentoring program using the varied expertise of alumni. We have also helped them create their own website that can help in their recruiting efforts during this time of social distancing:
But truly the main way we can all help is to continue to donate to our Scholarship Fund to provide increasing amounts for our scholarships. Our Alumni dues mostly also go to the fund, but they have also helped the Active Chapter with purchasing recruiting items and other projects.
My Scholarship Spirit time is fading. If your spirit is already rekindled, you can share it by donating to the Alpha Scholarship Fund through the Alpha Alumni Association website. There are already a number of easy payment methods listed by clicking the icon link below. We invite you to provide an extra donation to the fund for your many years of neglect. Remember, all dues and donations are tax deductible because we are a 501(c)(3) organization.
Click on this Icon to View Donation Options
Otherwise, prepare for a visit from the last spirit – The Spirit of Scholarship Yet to Come – who will soon be coming…..
Contact the Alpha Alumni Association:
Alpha Nu Omega Alumni Secretary
28W181 Belleau Drive
Winfield, IL 60190 Alpha Alumni Email
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