The Sacred Purpose Blog

Congratulations to the brothers of Beta Phi chapter at the University of Nevada-Reno for winning the inaugural David L. Westol Sacred Purpose Award.RE_2014_thetachiconvention_-522 - Sacred Purpose General Session - Paul Norstrem Presents Dave Westol Award to Beta PhiThe quality of award applications submitted this first year were truly outstanding. We could not be more proud of what our undergraduates have accomplished during the first semester of our Sacred Purpose movement.

The winning chapter hosted two health and safety related expert guest speakers for their members. The first speaker explored the important topics of sexual harassment, discrimination and sexual assault prevention. The second expert speaker discussed mental health among college students with a special emphasis on depression and stress reduction.

For their campus-wide program, the chapter worked in conjunction with a prominent advocacy group called Zero Fatalities to raise awareness on the dangers of drinking and driving. By reserving space in a large auditorium, the event attracted 130 students from every corner of their campus community.

In addition to these impressive programs, the chapter cultivated relationships with the campus Health Center, the Title IX office, Zero Fatalities, and the Department of Public Safety.Beta PhiBeta Phi 2Presented annually, the David L. Westol Sacred Purpose Award goes to the chapter that most exemplifies the spirit of our Sacred Purpose movement. Launched in the fall of 2013, the Sacred Purpose movement is the modern expression of our motto— the Assisting Hand. The Sacred Purpose offers programmatic support at the chapter and international levels that concentrates specifically on health and safety related topics. The movement called for the creation of new leadership positions that help us better care for and understand one another.

The award is named in honor of David L. Westol, Beta Zeta / Michigan State 1973, whose volunteer and professional career have been devoted to the health, safety, and protection of fraternity and sorority members. After graduating from Michigan State in 1973, Dave worked for his alma mater as Assistant Director of Student Activities and Advisor to Fraternities. He was admitted to the Michigan Bar in November 1979 and became an assistant prosecutor for the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney in Kalamazoo County, MI.

From 1975-1980, Westol served as a Regional Counselor for Theta Chi before being elected to the Grand Chapter as National Vice President in 1980. He remained in that role until completing his maximum second term in 1988. In December of that year, he was named the Fraternity’s Executive Director and held that position for 18 years. Today, he is the founder, owner and CEO of Limberlost Consulting.

Westol’s interfraternal career is equally impressive. He was elected to the board of directors of the Fraternal Information and Programming Group (FIPG) in 1993 and has served continuously on the board since that time. He has also served FIPG in the roles of Director of Policy Interpretation and Administrator since 1996. In July 1998, he was elected to the Fraternity Executives Association (FEA) board of directors and served as president from 2002-2003. He has also served on the board of directors for and on the Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values (AFLV).

Dave has become a ubiquitous figure at fraternity and sorority leadership development events. He has performed his signature anti-hazing presentation “Hazing on Trial” over 1,800 times since 1981 and has spoken on more than 350 campuses and at over 200 Greek leadership events. Dave has served as a faculty member for AFLV, the Northeast Greek Leadership Association, the Southeast Interfraternity Conference and the Fraternal Risk Management Trust, (FRMT) Inc. From its first session in the early 1990s through 2010, he was a faculty member for “Risk Management on the Road,” an annual traveling consultants’ workshop for women’s national fraternities and sororities.

In 2012, Dave was named a recipient of the North American Interfraternity Conference’s Gold Medal, the most prestigious honor in the interfraternal world. Brother Westol is one of only four Theta Chi members to have received the Gold Medal.

The Dave Westol Sacred Purpose Award consists of an engraved crystal trophy bearing the chapter’s designation and the university or college name. The award handsomely displays the Sacred Purpose logo as its primary visual element.

The award also prominently features one of Brother Westol’s favorite quotes. Authored by Edwin Markham, the quote eloquently captures the spirit of the Sacred Purpose movement.

“There is a destiny that makes us brothers
None goes his way alone.
All that we send into the lives of others
Comes back into our very own”
Edwin Markham 1852-1940

All active chapters and colonies were eligible to apply for the award. Applicants are nominated by the International Headquarters staff. And, final approval of the award winner was confirmed by the National Sacred Purpose Committee.

Two Theta Chi parents share how Sacred Purpose is making a difference at Gamma Lambda/Denver and the greater University of Denver community.

Phyllis Watwood serves as the Health and Safety Adviser for Gamma Lambda and is the mother of their Vice President of Health and Safety, Matt Watwood. She shares,

“…I did not want my son to join Theta Chi…I did not want him to join a fraternity. I thought that his time on campus would be better spent in other organizations. As so often happens when you look back on your path of life, you see that those choices that you made were the exact correct ones: Being that his dad passed away six months later and that he’s an only child, that brotherhood, that Fraternity, has helped Matt immensely. I’m sure…I’ll never know how much it has helped him.”