Greeks Kick Off Semester at Convocation

Doing your best to be your best — that was the theme of Penn State’s first annual Greek convocation last night.

The keynote speaker of the evening, Dr. Lori Hart, said that this is what she expects from Greek organizations not only at Penn State, but across the country. And she believes the key to this is friendship.

“No matter when your organization was founded,” she said, “I believe if you look at the history of all 88 of your fraternities and sororities, the one thing that unites us, the one thing that makes us the same, is that all of us were founded on the principle of friendship.”

Hart, who has made a career out of working with Greek organizations across America, explained that the one prevailing worry that incoming freshmen have is where they will fit in in college and who their friends will be. Greek life, as a whole, is the largest organization that can help answer that, she added.

“If we stay true to the basic element of friendship, of genuine friendship, I believe that our community will thrive,” she said.

When Greek organizations get bad press, Hart said, it is usually because members of a troubled organization did not treat someone as a friend. As an example, she cited an article she read about a lawsuit against a fraternity. A brother who got heavily intoxicated was brought home in the back of a truck, fell out, and was picked up and brought the rest of the way home–only to wake up in his own blood and vomit the next day.

Other speakers included the presidents of Penn State’s four Greek councils, Graham Spanier and Mayor Elizabeth Goreham. Spanier, Goreham, Hart and several other members of the Penn State and State College communities were presented with model Greek columns to symbolize their status as honorary members of the Greek community for everything they’ve done to work with Penn State Greeks.

“We just want to let you know that we enjoy having you in our community,” Mayor Goreham said. “You are also families within a larger family of Penn State and State College. We have a good working relationship and we want to continue this and make it grow this year.”

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Matthew D'Ippolito

I'm a senior majoring in print journalism with minors in political science and music technology. I'm from the small town of Pennsburg, about an hour north of Philly. I hope to one day work as a music reporter for Rolling Stone. I am single and looking to mingle.

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