Brendan McPherson '05
First Deke in the history of the fraternity to receive the
North-American Interfraternity Conference
Award of Distinction
Brendan McPherson is the first member of Delta Kappa Epsilon, in the history of the fraternity, to receive the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) Undergraduate Award of Distinction. Brendan learned of the honor at the Delta Psi chapter scholarship banquet held April 10 at Indiana University.
In the fraternity world, this is the pinnacle award for a student, presented by the international membership organization to which all fraternities belong, and the Bloomington Herald-Times newspaper profiled Brendan as a result of the award.. Thousands of undergraduate fraternity men are eligible. Brendan was one of seven finalists from an initial field of 57 candidates nominated by university administrators, fraternity headquarters, and alumni corporations in the U.S. and Canada. From that field of seven finalists, five received the award, Brendan among them.
Presented annually to individuals and groups for recognition of overall leadership and excellence in the advancement of fraternal ideals, the custom designed crystal and brushed stainless steel trophy, formerly known as the Iron Man Trophy, will be presented to Brendan by the NIC at a date and event to be determined by Delta Kappa Epsilon (Deke). The Iron Man Trophy was presented by the NIC from 1942 through 1971 and again beginning in 2002.
A group of 14 Deke alumni and students, I.U. professors and administrators, employers, co-workers, and friends, nominated Brendan for the award in February. The nomination contained 14 letters of support, an outline of Brendan's achievements as a student and as a leader of I.U.'s Deke chapter, and material that supported the chapter's success under his leadership as president during the Fall, 2004 semester--the first semester the five-year-old chapter lived together under one roof in a chapter house.
"In the fall semester, our chapter moved into a house together for the first time and experienced new problems that had never been dealt with by a president. Brendan, through hard work and commitment, tackled every one of these issues while assuring that brotherhood was at an all-time high. The policies and ideas he developed during this period ensured that the Delta Psi chapter will be a thriving and safe fraternity, and one that contributes to the community," said current chapter president Karl Hagedorn '06 in his recommendation letter.
Deke International Executive Director David Easlick, in his letter of recommendation, wrote, "Brendan McPherson, throughout his four-year career as a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon chapter at Indiana University, has defined the word "active." In his first two years, he played a strong supporting role. In the last two, his leadership has made the difference in the direction and success of the chapter."
Pete Smithhisler, vice president for media and community relations at the NIC, said, "The NIC’s Awards of Distinction recognize the people and groups who make a difference for fraternities. These men advance the ideals of fraternity in their daily lives. They are committed to brightening the future of fraternity and ensuring that fraternities are living to their espoused mission and values. These men are proud of their fraternal involvement and willingly sacrifice their own desires for the good of the whole…they are selfless. For these men, the ritual of the fraternity is more than a ceremony to be endured…it is a way of life, a daily habit. They are vigilant in the fight to advance the fraternal ideal."
Brendan, the son of Mike and Jeannie McPherson of Overland Park, Kansas, graduated from Indiana University on May 7 with degrees in finance-real estate and entrepreneurship. He will matriculate at the University of Kansas Law School this fall, and he is the first Delta Psi Deke to be invited to join the board of the Ruby Cup Foundation, furthering the goal of integrating the chapters and alumni of I.U., the University of Illinois, and DePauw.
The North-American Interfraternity Conference represents 66 fraternities with 350,000 undergraduate members on over 800 college campuses. The mission of the NIC is to advocate, promote, and enhance the excellence and effectiveness of the men's college fraternity movement.
Delta Kappa Epsilon is a social fraternity founded at Yale University in 1844. More than 70,000 men have been initiated into DKE, including newspaperman William Randolph Hearst, financier J.P. Morgan, Senate Majority Leader Henry Cabot Lodge, Yankees’ owner George Steinbrenner, Composer Cole Porter, Chase Manhattan’s Irving Chase, Proctor and Gamble’s James Gamble, and the Wrigley Company’s William Wrigley. Four current U.S. congressmen and four current state governors are members of the fraternity, as are five presidents of the United States. Rutherford Hayes, Theodore Roosevelt, Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush have been active members.