CARMEL, IN – Theta Chi Fraternity is proud to announce Hunter N. Smith of Gamma Phi Chapter at Nebraska Wesleyan University as the recipient of the 2021 Reginald E.F. Colley Award. Brother Smith is Gamma Phi’s third Colley Award recipient. The Colley Award is Theta Chi’s most prestigious collegiate honor and annually recognizes distinguished service to alma mater, Fraternity, and community.
Brother Smith served Gamma Phi Chapter as President for two terms and as Scholarship Chairman. He also served on its Standards Board and Public Relations Committees. He was one of eight members tapped for Theta Chi’s inaugural Chapter Presidents Advisory Council in 2020. This past spring, he was recognized as a Resolute Man.
Smith led Gamma Phi in raising over $15,000 for philanthropic causes, including the USO, American Cancer Society, Junior Achievement, and the Nebraska Strong Initiative. Smith personally supported the Nebraska Strong Initiative by raising $4,800 for local flood victims in one weekend.
Smith expanded a partnership with FoodNet to deliver leftover food from the NWU dining center to local food pantries and missions. He created a partnership between Meals on Wheels of Lincoln and the Gamma Phi Chapter to create a weekly schedule and delivery route for Theta Chi brothers to deliver meals to community members. He also established a partnership between NWU and the local United Way to open a food pantry for students and members of the community.
Smith established a ‘4.0 Luncheon’ to bring alumni brothers back to Lincoln to have a meal with the brothers that earned a 4.0 GPA and also worked with the Alumni Association in 2020 on a capital campaign for house renovations.
Under Smith’s leadership, Theta Chi was named the 2018/2019 NWU Greek Chapter of the Year. One year later, Gamma Phi received the 2019/2020 Howard R. Alter, Jr. Award for Chapter Excellence, which recognizes the top chapters in Theta Chi.
Within NWU, Smith received the Emerging Greek Leader Award, the Most Outstanding Chapter President Award (twice; the first NWU student to have been recognized with this honor), and was named 2020/2021 Greek Man of the Year.
Smith was highly involved on campus with NWU’s Student Affairs Senate, as a student member of NWU’s Board of Governors, and the only student member of NWU’s Academic Affairs Strategic Planning Committee. He was also involved with NWU’s baseball team, Student Captain of NWU’s Ambassador Team, NWU College Democrats, Student Education Association of Nebraska. He worked as an Admissions Department Intern all four years at NWU. Smith also spent several months working as a Field Organizer for Kate Bolz for Congress in 2020 and spent many summers working as an electrical apprentice in his hometown.
In 2019, Smith received the Summer Fulbright Scholarship to study ‘Education for Transformation’ at Queen’s University Belfast in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
A member of Order of Omega Greek Honor Society, Blue Key Honor Society, and Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society, Smith graduated with a 3.95 grade point average while majoring in history and minoring in political science. He is currently teaching history and serving as an assistant football coach at Waverly High School just outside of Lincoln, NE. Smith plans to start a Master’s program in 2022 in either Educational Leadership/Administration or in Public Policy with an education emphasis.
Dr. Darrin Good, President of Nebraska Wesleyan University, shared, “Hunter has a genuine hunger for developing a depth of knowledge and a theoretical foundation for public policy, especially in education. He has then applied his knowledge, experience and leadership skills to improve student experiences on our campus as well as making profound improvements in his fraternity.”
Smith remarked, “During my four years as a collegiate member of the Fraternity, I fully credit Theta Chi for my growth as a man and as a brother. Theta Chi presented me with numerous opportunities to grow my leadership skills while maintaining the responsibility of offering an Assisting Hand to others. Theta Chi allowed me to become more confident in my leadership skills, but more importantly, the diverse perspectives and viewpoints within Theta Chi taught me how to become an empathic leader.”
First presented in 1929, the Colley Award is named for Reginald E.F. Colley, a World War I veteran and past member of Theta Chi’s board of directors, the Grand Chapter. As a member of Phi Chapter, Brother Colley developed a celebrated reputation as a campus, community, and civic leader. He graduated in 1915 and eventually headed overseas to fight for the U.S. Army on the Western Front. Brother Colley died at the age of 39, but his legacy of leadership continues to inspire future generations of talented Theta Chis. Today, the Colley Award is treasured as the Fraternity’s most prestigious collegiate honor.
Founded in 1856, Theta Chi Fraternity is a men’s collegiate fraternity with more than 196,000 initiated members and has established 244 chapters. Theta Chi’s mission is to develop college-age men into successful students, good citizens, lifelong brothers, and resolute leaders.