Texas Gamma, Texas Tech's chapter of the Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women, received the Balfour Cup, the fraternity's highest and most prestigious honor.
The Texas Gamma Chapter of the Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women at Texas Tech University has been named the best Pi Beta Phi chapter in the nation. The chapter received the Balfour Cup for the 2016-17 academic year, the fraternity's highest and most prestigious honor.
Texas Gamma was named a Chapter of Excellence along with 10 other chapters. The winner of the Balfour Cup was selected from those 11 fraternities.
Laura Ragsdale, a senior journalism major from Dallas and president of the Texas Gamma chapter of Pi Beta Phi, said she could not believe it when they were announced the winners of the Balfour Cup.
"Winning the Balfour Cup was a goal our chapter made from the beginning," Ragsdale said. "So, when they called our name, it was crazy. We could not help but cry tears of joy because we were so excited our dream had come true."
The Texas Gamma chapter served a total of 3,000 hours of community service overall this academic year. Members raised more than $14,000 for the Pi Beta Phi Foundation through the chapter's fundraising.
"Texas Gamma embraces the Pi Phi member experience while also seeking to make a difference in its local Panhellenic and campus community," said Paula Shepherd, president of Pi Beta Phi. "We also are proud of the chapter's efforts to extend its philanthropic work beyond the Texas Tech campus to make the world we live in a better place."
Winning the Balfour Cup gives the chapter extra motivation to win it again next year. Ragsdale said the members of the chapter are hard-working individuals who are true to themselves. They push each other to be better and to be selfless.
"I think because we now know we are able to win the Balfour Cup, we are motivated to win it again," Ragsdale said. "Members of the chapter know they can do it, so we will strive to do it again."
Thornton said the award is not only a wonderful achievement for the Pi Beta Phi chapter at Texas Tech; it represents Fraternity & Sorority Life as a whole.
Ragsdale said winning the Balfour Cup shows how Fraternity & Sorority Life makes a local impact.
"Winning the Balfour Cup shows Fraternity & Sorority Life is good for the community," Ragsdale said. "It shows that Texas Tech makes it known that we are here to make a difference in the community."