Belmont ATO gains national recognition
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Belmont ATO gains national recognition

Belmont’s Alpha Tau Omega chapter was nearly named Chapter of the Year and received several other national awards at the fraternity’s national convention in St. Louis earlier this month.

At the national awards ceremony, officers from the ATO Iota Phi chapter were recognized as the runner-up to Emory University in the fraternity’s chapter of the year competition. They also received five other awards, including their twelfth consecutive True Merit award, which goes to chapters with high GPA’s and that exhibit remarkable service and philanthropy.

While the chapter’s officers weren’t shocked they received some recognition at the ceremony, they were taken aback when named the second-best ATO fraternity in the country, said Robert Keller, a Belmont junior and the chapter’s vice president.

“When they announced our name, we were shocked,” he said. “That was a big surprise.”

Chapter president and senior business management major Taylor Dillon said the award was reflective of the group’s goals and work of the past year.

“It was just this great feeling of pride and accomplishment,” Dillon said about when he went to accept the award.

Since the fraternity came to Belmont in 1999, the Belmont chapter has had considerable national recognition for a chapter of its age. Once they became eligible, recognition as one of the organization’s True Merit chapters has become expected. The group was also the runner-up chapter of the year in 2009 and have placed in other awards for scholarship and recruitment since they were created.

“For us, we at Belmont just really focus on what’s important,” Dillon said. “We focus on that brotherhood and having fun with each other, but also making an impact on the Belmont community, the Nashville community, and even the world.”

This year, Keller said the awards reflect the quality of the chapter’s leadership, who he said were in the right positions at the right times.

“You don’t always get that,” Keller said. “We were really reinvigorated this year.”

While proud of his chapter’s work, Keller was quick to recognize the work and awards that other Belmont sororities and fraternities accomplished on campus.

“It’s not rare for Belmont Greek organizations to get these types of awards. We are very blessed with good people.”