Two members of Sigma Tau Gamma, the newest fraternity at William Woods University, were honored at the 2016 Grand Chapter, the fraternity’s biennial convention.
Dakota Smith of Montgomery City, Missouri, was an Ellsworth C. Dent “Man of the Year” Award finalist and was inducted into the inaugural Undergraduate Hall of Fame, along with nine other members of Sigma Tau Gamma from across the nation. In addition, Preston Wolfe of Ashland, Missouri, received the Stan Musial and Eric Hillman Sportsmanship Award.
“I am so proud of both of these men,” Lacey Sweeten Randall, director of student involvement at William Woods, said. “They have each maintained high academic and campus involvement standards at WWU, as well as showing great leadership and dedication to their fraternity. It is a great honor to be recognized for their achievements and chosen among every Sigma Tau Gamma in the nation. Especially considering how new this chapter is, I think having two men receive recognition at the national level is outstanding.”
Also attending the convention, which was held June 16-18 at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, were Bridger Pretz of Moberly, Missouri, and Bennett Zink of Iberia, Missouri.
The four young men were among 18 members who participated in the chartering of the Zeta Mu Chapter of Sigma Tau Gamma at William Woods this spring. The chapter was established in the spring of 2015, and Smith was the first founding father and initial president of the chapter.
Smith graduated from William Woods University in May 2016 with a degree in business administration focused in economics and finance. After serving as his chapter’s inaugural chapter president, he remained highly involved in the chapter while also playing baseball for William Woods and being active in the Student Alumni Council, Association of Student-Athletes and University Ambassadors. Smith currently is weighing options for graduate school or beginning a career that will put his salesmanship and finance background to good use.
The Stan Musial Sportsmanship Award and Eric Hillman Athletic Scholarship is presented annually to a member of Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity who has participated in varsity or intercollegiate athletics at his college or university and who most typifies the selfless traits exemplified by Stan Musial and Eric Hillman.
The late Stan Musial, a Pennsylvania native, member of the Baseball Hall of Fame and former St. Louis Cardinal, became an honorary member of Beta Iota Chapter (California University of Pennsylvania) in 1962. Hillman is the founder of Europa Sports Products, the nation’s largest distributor of sports supplements. An initiate of the chapter at Concord College, he is a trustee of the Sigma Tau Gamma Foundation and has funded the Eric Hillman Athletic Scholarship.
According to Erik Kahl, director of collegiate services for the national fraternity, “Preston was selected as the recipient due to his high scholastic achievement, campus involvement, participation in intercollegiate athletics, and role/impact within the newly chartered chapter at William Woods.”
“I was extremely honored that I received this award,” Wolfe said. “I believe it exemplifies the great gentlemen that our chapter at William Woods University strives to recruit, and our constant thirst to be the best we can be, not only at our university but also in the nation. I also believe this award shows the great efforts our athletic program and, specifically, our track program, pushes for success in our athletes, not only on the playing field but also in the classroom and beyond to help us be well-rounded individuals.”
Sigma Tau Gamma is a national college fraternity that was founded in 1920 at the University of Central Missouri. At the time, 17 founding members, including educators and World War 1 veterans, met to create an organization that offered a support system and strong brotherhood.
The fraternity was founded as a society of men who endeavor to pursue the highest ideals of Manhood, Brotherhood, and Citizenship. Its members dedicate themselves to a Path of Principles: value, learning, leadership excellence, benefit and integrity. Their philanthropy is Special Olympics.