Southeast Missouri State University’s Mu Kappa chapter of Sigma Nu fraternity has been honored with this year’s national Rock Chapter Award, recognizing its achieved excellence in all areas of chapter operations.
To be granted the award, Mu Kappa attained an ideal or a nearly perfect state across a broad range of areas of fraternity operations and maintained a state of excellence for a consistent period of two or more years. The chapter was also recognized for its education program Leadership Ethics, Achievement and Development (LEAD), which helps prepare students for life after graduation.
This recognition marks Mu Kappa’s fourth Rock Chapter Award.
“It truly is an honor to win a Rock Award as it shows a chapter’s constant dedication to Sigma Nu’s values of love, truth, and honor,” said Jack Robertson, chapter president and Southeast senior from Dardenne Prairie, Missouri. “It is a collective effort to achieve such a prestigious award and could not be done without the hard work and dedication of the brothers of the Mu Kappa chapter.”
In addition to the chapter earning the organization’s highest award, Justin Jacobs, past president and current Mu Kappa chapter member, and Southeast senior from Barnhart, Missouri, earned the North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) Undergraduate Award of Distinction.
The award is the “highest honor a fraternity man can achieve as a collegiate member,” said Jacobs, who is one of only nine honorees for the honor across the country.
The NIC Undergraduate Award of Distinction recognizes exemplary fraternity members who have found an outlet for development as leaders and men throughout their collegiate experience and who serve their brothers, campuses and fraternity and sorority communities with humble confidence.
“To receive this honor gives me great pride in the decision to join Sigma Nu,” Jacobs said. “It has helped shape me into the person that I am today. To be chosen for this is truly humbling.”
Southeast President Dr. Carlos Vargas praised Jacobs’ character and academic and personal achievements.
“There is not much Justin has not accomplished at Southeast,” Vargas said. “While Justin’s accolades are extensive, what sets him apart are his character, honor and integrity evidenced in all he does. He is ambitious yet humble and has the respect of both his peers and Southeast’s faculty and staff.”
Jacobs has held multiple leadership positions within the Mu Kappa chapter and currently serves as one of four collegiate members on the Sigma Nu National High Council. In 2019, Jacobs was awarded the Order of Omega’s Interfraternity Council President of the Year.
Jacobs credits the support of his fraternity and the University for his personal, academic and professional success.
“If I had gone to a bigger institution, I wouldn’t have had the same opportunities,” Jacobs said. “Southeast fosters an environment for any student to learn and grow. Southeast has provided me with so many mentors who have pushed me to be the best version of myself. I don’t think I would have experienced this anywhere else.”
In addition to Mu Kappa’s chapter award and recognition, alumnus advisor Chris Foeste is recipient of Sigma Nu’s Chapter Advisor of the Year. The recognition is bestowed upon one advisor across the fraternity’s 279 chapters.
“It’s extremely humbling for someone to recognize your efforts and deem them worthy of such an award because for most of the volunteers and advisors we don’t ever look for such praise,” said Foeste, a 2004 Southeast graduate. “Our reward comes in the education and development of the men and women in our organizations. The men that started the chapter in the early ‘90s set a foundation and expectation for excellence, and I’ve had the luxury of helping advise and mentor many more men that have come through our organization since my graduation that continue to hold up that banner of excellence.”
Sigma Nu Mu Kappa chapter is one of nine fraternities in Southeast’s Interfraternity Council.