At Wabash College, most students join a fraternity. It is one of the quickest ways that students can meet their fellow students and become an active part of the Wabash Tradition. Former Dean of Students Norman Moore once said that "fraternities are the lifeblood of Wabash College." In many ways, that remains the case today.
Tau Chapter Rush Chairs
Feel free to contact the Rush Chairs for questions regarding joining Beta at Wabash.
Connor Rice '17 - CWRice17@wabash.edu - (317) 797-0123
Macallister Norton '17 - MLNorton17@wabash.edu - (317) 354-5464
What is Rush?
Since each fraternity has a maximum number of people it can have, they select their new members through a system called "rush." The fraternities invite all incoming freshmen to low-key activities and parties so that you and they can meet and get to know each other. If a fraternity thinks you would be a good match, it will extend to you a "bid," which is an invitation to you to become a pledge (or associate) of that house. Some fraternities will ask you to either accept a bid immediately while others will allow you to "think about it" until the first week of school. Make sure you understand their policy.
Rush begins each year with Honor Scholarship Weekend, where over 500 high school seniors visit Wabash for three days of testing and visiting the school. Each fraternity holds rush events during this weekend as well as the rest of the school year, summer, and the first week of the Fall Term. This is a great opportunity for prospective students to familiarize themselves with the campus, experience the different fraternities, and meet current students. This is also your opportunity to consider the fraternities and which one, would be the best fit for you. Be aware that most "bids" are extended to students before the Fall Term begins.
If you are unable to visit the College during this time and are interested in joining a fraternity, it would be a good idea to contact the rush chairmen of each fraternity. [more below]
You might find yourself asking, "Why Beta?" The answer is simple: Beta Theta Pi develops men of principle for a principled life. A few testimonial letters from parents and a newspaper article below show just how important Beta Theta Pi truly is.
A letter from Connie and Victor Althoff, Parents of Austin Althoff:
"We are so proud that Austin chose to join Beta Theta Pi Fraternity.
"We did not realize at the time just how much the fraternity’s basic beliefs and philosophy would impact him and play such an important role in the young man he is becoming!
"Beta Theta Pi has been an instrumental part of Austin’s college career. Beta Theta Pi has encouraged him to take pride in his learning and keep academics his number one priority. The fraternity takes great pride in being one of the top academic Fraternities on campus. As a freshman, the fraternity gave him immediate access to friendships with his upper class brothers. These young men were willing and able to help and assist him academically, socially, and with general overall college challenges of being a freshman.
"Fraternity life gave him a great group of friends from day one, eliminating that loneliness that students can often experience. He now has a second family for life! The network of Beta brothers will be a source of help and support as he moves forward in his career.
"Austin was given opportunities and encouraged to seek leadership roles, which in turn have helped him increase his skills and confidence in becoming a future leader.
"The Fraternity's high standards of moral conduct and being a responsible citizen have greatly influenced Austin’s plans and goals for his future. Beta Theta Pi encourages all the brothers to be active and to become involved in the house as well as multiple school activities. We are also quite impressed with the fraternity’s community involvement and how they teach everyone to give back, not just take.
"His time at Beta Theta Pi has been extremely beneficial to him, and challenging at the same time. We could go on and on about what a wonderful and special place the Beta Theta Pi fraternity is, but the bottom line is, Austin’s fraternity family is a true blessing in his life!"
A letter from Tom and Jodi Campbell, Parents of Scott Campbell:
"It has been an honor to call our son, Scott Campbell ('14) a Beta. This organization of high standards and excellence has helped him become a gentleman, a leader and a scholar.
"First and foremost, we are proud of the lifelong friendships he has made with other men of strong character, and we are positive that the network of the Beta Brotherhood will continue to help him in the future.
After becoming a Beta, Scott was immediately encouraged to become involved in various activities. Through these activities he has not only had the opportunity to have fun and become a contributing member of the larger community, but he was also given many opportunities to enhance his leadership skills. He has served anywhere from the President of the Hockey Club to the President of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity on the Wabash campus.
Becoming a Beta also means strong scholarship. Scott has accumulated a 3.818 GPA over the last two and a half years. We are positive that the high expectations that come with being a Beta has helped him reach this level of success. Being involved, leadership and academics in the Beta Brotherhood is exactly what we had hoped for, for our son, Scott. He is happy and he loves it. What more could we ask for?"
Wabash Student's Life Saved by Brothers
by Frank Phillips, The Paper of Montgomery County
October 12, 2010
"A Wabash College student's life was saved by men from his fraternity.
It was Friday, October 1, when Mark DePrez, a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity, began feeling ill and decided to go to bed. DePrez is diabetic but assumed his physical ailments were caused by a virus. He did not realize a "perfect storm" was developing that threatened his life.
"There was a kink in my insulin pump, my blood testing meter was giving inaccurate results —everything was going bad at the same time," DePrez said. Fortunately for DePrez, who is a junior, his fraternity brothers kept looking in on him each hour. "They called EMS and help put me in a wheelchair so they could get me out of the building," DePrez. "I was taken to the hospital and stayed there until my mom arrived." DePrez's blood sugar count was 1176. The medical staff later told DePrez many people become comatose when their blood sugar reaches that level. DePrez and his mother, Mary DePrez, credit Mark's friends with saving his life.
Mary DePrez takes up the story:
"(Mark) has worn an insulin pump since he was 11 years old and while he struggles occasionally with this disease, we have never had any serious issues from it until last weekend," Mary wrote in a letter to Wabash President Pat White. "As a mother of a son with this issue, I always feared him going off to college and would joke with him that I needed to approve of his roommates to insure they would look out for his safety in case his blood sugar dipped seriously low or high. "Little did I know that would actually be the case. And little did I know that the brothers he has in the Beta house would be the ones to save his life.
"Friday night after dinner Mark started vomiting and thought he had a case of food poisoning after dinner at Subway. He called us at 11 p.m. wondering what he could do to stop the vomiting he was experiencing every 20-30 minutes. Of course, my first response was to ask how his blood sugar was. He said it was running a little high, but nothing out of line. He was giving himself extra insulin and doing frequent blood tests (all the things he should have been doing). My next concern was that he would become dehydrated. I told him to get ice chips and try to sip on those and maybe some type of light beverage as well. His roommate contacted me in the morning to say Mark was sleeping but had been up on and off all night with nausea. The boys were re-filling ice and drinks for him and checking on him every hour or so. "At 10:30 a.m. the phone rang and it was Mark. He was not himself, slurred his speech, and told me how awful he felt. I knew immediately that his blood sugar was either dangerously high or low and told him to get help immediately and get to the ER. He said he couldn't get off the couch but would find someone in the house. Luckily, a few of his brothers had already called EMS after checking on him right before that and realizing that he was 'out of it.' They called me to tell me that they were with him waiting for EMS to get there. EMS arrived, took him to the Crawfordsville hospital and eventually transferred him to St. Vincent's in Indianapolis. "Mark is back at Wabash, healthy and fine. I give full credit to the Beta Theta Pi men who followed the Gentleman's Rule: 'The student is expected to conduct himself at all times, both on and off the campus, as a gentleman and a responsible citizen.'"
The Beta Theta Pi fraternity brothers who helped save Mark's life included Ben Burkett, Brady Hagerty, Mark Noll, John Jurkash, and John Pennington. The students stayed with Mark while at the local emergency room; traveled to Indianapolis to be with him and his mother; and stayed in contact with Mrs. DePrez while she was en route from her home in Fort Wayne.
Editor's Note: Since this article was written, Mark has graduated from Wabash College and has joined the work force as an Administrative Associate at Wealth Advisors Group in Ft. Wayne.