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Theta Phi Alpha wins national honors

Contact: Christina Chapple


Beta Epsilon chapter members and alumni at the national Theta Phi Alpha convention

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CIRCLE OF EXCELLENCE AWARD -- Southeastern Louisiana University’s Beta Epsilon Chapter of Theta Phi Alpha received the “Circle of Excellence Award” at the sorority’s national convention in July. Pictured at the conference are, from left, front, are Beta Epsilon alumni Alicia Zabala Palminsano and Alison Davis Bolin, chapter president Ashley Thompson of Mandeville, Jennifer Jaynes of Baton Rouge, alumnus Angie Zabala Palmer; back, Mari Ann Callais, former director of Greek Life at Southeastern and outgoing Theta Phi Alpha national president; alumnus Lindsey Sellers, April Henry of Lacombe, Layne Salvant of Prairieville, alumnus Andrea Bode, Sarah Olivard of Pearl River, Alyse Caliva of River Ridge, and Leslie Trahan, former chapter advisor.

     HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University’s Beta Epsilon Chapter of Theta Phi Alpha sorority was honored with the “Circle of Excellence Award” at the 47th National Convention held in July in Lincolnshire, Ill.

     The highest national award presented to a chapter, the Circle of Excellence encompasses the activities of a chapter for the biennium 2006-08. It is based on overall membership, cooperation with the national organization, scholarship, financial management, and active participation in campus activities.

     The chapter also was acknowledged with the Helen Ryan Quinlan Community Service Award, the highest award for community service, and received a 100 percent rating in other categories, including chapter GPA, cooperation points, pledge sister retention, philanthropy, ritual programming, and financial cooperation.

     “It took many semesters for our chapter to get to this point, we worked very hard to earn this prestigious honor,” said Chapter President Ashley Thompson, a senior elementary education major from Mandeville. "This is a motivation to keep improving."

     In 2006-2008 biennium, Beta Epsilon's members’ cumulative grade point average increased to 3.188, one of the campus’ highest sorority GPAs. The ­­­­52 members performed nearly 2,000 community service hours for its local philanthropy, “Maya's Gift,” which supports St. Jude, and the national sorority initiatives Glenmary Home Missioners, and Camp Friendship, Glenmary’s summer camp for underprivileged children.

     During the two years, two Southeastern Theta Phi Alpha members graduated from the Theta Phi Alpha President's Academy, three students graduated from Recruitment Bootcamp, two students graduated from Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute, and four students graduated from Theta Phi Alpha's Leadership Institute.

     “All of this training has assisted the chapter in achieving our goals throughout this biennium,” Thompson said.

     At the convention, individual student and alumni members were also honored for their contribution to the national organization. Southeastern honorees included Whitney Craig, a senior social work major from Baton Rouge; Melissa Thomas, director of Southeastern Greek Life and a Theta Phi Alpha alumnus, and Andrea Bode, an alumnus who graduated from Southeastern with a bachelor’s degree in English education in 2007.

     “This is a great honor, but we must also remember to thank our alumnae for their hard work, dedication, and loyalty that helped us reach this point,” said Layne Salvant, a junior general business major from Prairieville, the Beta Epsilon chapter’s ritual chairwoman. “We share this honor with all our alumnae of Beta Epsilon who have helped us earn this honor."

     For more information on the Beta Epsilon Chapter of Theta Phi Alpha visit

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