Energized Gamma Pi Wins Five National Awards

With a caring mentor and inspired student leader, a student organization can make a big difference on campus and in the surrounding community.

Under the leadership of former president Tony Harris '10 (top) and advisor Professor Hilde Binford, Moravian's Gammi Pi won five national awards recently. The music honors fraternity chapter performed and volunteered on campus and at community venues.

Last month, Moravian's Gamma Pi—advised by associate music professor Hilde Binford—was honored with five Collegiate Chapter awards: 1) website of the year; 2) progress; 3) campus/community service; 4) publicity; and 5) music service. Founded in 1995, Gamma Pi is Moravian's chapter of Delta Omicron, the international music honors fraternity.

"We had been working to increase student involvement for the last several years," noted Professor Binford, Gamma Pi advisor for the past three years. "Things really began to change when Tony Harris became chapter president last year. Tony put together many new activities that included more outreach and service."

Harris '10 had been an enthusiastic president from the start—organized, energetic, and people-oriented. After attending Delta Omicron's 2009 Triennial Conference, he was inspired to do even more. Working with Professor Binford, Harris reached out internally and externally to build relationships and increase engagement. The group traveled to network with other chapters, bonded at hay rides, volunteered at Allentown's Symphony Hall, and performed for the public. Harris improved communications through a revamped website and frequent e-mails. "We became more of a family, and changed members' expectations about doing service work," explained Harris, who graduated with a double degree in business management and vocal performance. "Dr. Binford was amazing—she helped us plan events, network, and made sure we got funding when necessary." Gamma Pi showed its appreciation by presenting Professor Binford with a framed award last semester.

Harris, who now lives in Medford, Mass., recently accepted a position with Progressive Insurance. He'll also continue his involvement with Delta Omicron as an elected Province President. "I'm happy—I'll be returning to campus several times a semester as part of my work overseeing chapters in Pennsylvania and New York."

Gamma Pi's new president, Caitlin Worrich '12, is eager to jump in where Harris left off. "We're hoping to do more fundraising and get more involved on campus and in the community," she said. "We’d like to do more music service at local nursing homes, schools, and churches. We already have a few concert trips planned that will be open to the entire campus, and I'm hoping they will be a great success."