Jake Bryan of Pollock, Sean Austin of DeRidder, Kolt Kays of Zwolle and Scott Mayeaux of Alexandria are recipients of the 2013 awards established by Pi Kappa Phi alumnus and business executive David D. Morgan Sr., who created the program to inspire students to pursue excellence in academics, campus and chapter leadership, service and employment.
The recipients of the “Extra Mile” Scholarships were awarded $3,800. Recipients must be actively involved in organizations other than Pi Kappa Phi, must be a sophomore, junior or senior members of Beta Omicron and maintain a grade point average of 2.75 or higher.
Morgan, an entrepreneur, insurance executive and leader within his industry and fraternity, funds the scholarship program.
“Brother Morgan has spent a considerable portion of his life helping others to be successful,” said Lane Luckie, Pi Kappa Phi alumnus. “Whether through the offering of insurance products to association members across the country that help provide a greater peace of mind, or through his volunteerwork with several Pi Kappa Phi chapters, Brother Morgan’s commitment to helping people, especially his Pi Kappa Phi brothers, is a trademark of his personality. Instilling the lessons he learned growing up in Louisiana – lessons of hard work, industriousness, and self-determination – into the heart of this new initiative, the Pi Kappa Phi Foundation created the scholarshipprogram in 2008. In the time since, the program has furthered the academic pursuits of more than 40 students in awards upwards of $26,000. It remains the only program of its kind among Pi Kappa Phi’s 179 chapters.”
Recipients are selected through a rigorous application process that awards points for campus and chapter leadership, grades, employment and a series of essay questions. This program seeks to recognize the effort and seriousness that a student displays in pursuit of academic excellence. Just as important as a student’s scholastic prowess, however, is their commitment to applying themselves in the classroom and in life outside of the classroom by going the “extra mile.”
Mayeaux, a senior majoring in criminal justice, credits leadership programs like the Extra Mile with inspiring personal growth.
“I am confident, proud, and passionate about the things I become a part of, all because of Pi Kappa Phi,” he said. “It has taught me the vital skills that I need to go out into the world that awaits.”
An established leader on campus, Bryan, a senior majoring in health and physical education, said the “Extra Mile” Scholarship challenges the Fraternity’s members to start preparing for success today.
“I’ve learned more about leadership and conducting business than any other opportunity up until this point in my life.”
Underscoring the purpose and mission of the program, Beta Omicron alumnus and re-chartering archon Wes Breeden delivered the keynote address. He currently serves as regional vice president for Association Member Benefit Advisors. His primary role is meeting the needs of the company’s clients as well as developing leaders within the company. Breeden shared the defining qualities of successful individuals and described his journey from the classroom at NSU to the board room in a corporate setting. Drawing on a lifetime of inspirational influences, he recalled several people who shaped his outlook. One of his strongest points of advice centered on taking action, not making excuses or settling for mediocrity.
“My grandfather was a farmer and he used to tell me since I was a little kid, over and over and over, if you can get up in the morning and put your boots on and go to work, you have half the world beat,” Breeden said.
Robert G. Crew was named Beta Omicron “Alumnus of the Year” for personal achievement, outstanding service to the Fraternity and community, involvement in the life of the university, and serving as a model for lifelong brotherhood.
Dozens of active members, alumni, and representatives from Northwestern State University were in attendance for the catered dinner.
At the close of the evening, the members of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity recognized a special guest at the banquet, Blanche Watkins, mother of NSU Dean of Students Frances Conine, who is Beta Omicron’s first chapter mother since re-chartering in 2000 and a longtime friend of Pi Kappa Phi. Watkins is the widow of the late John Watkins, who served as archon of the Omicron Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi at the University of Alabama. In the time before his passing, he could still recall fond memories and love for Pi Kappa Phi. Mrs. Watkins was presented a bouquet of red roses, the Fraternity’s flower, in honor the decades of support she has shown Pi Kappa Phi and in memory of John Watkins.