Presented 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 HazingPrevention.org 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 are eligible to apply for the award. And, final approval of the award recipient is confirmed by the National Sacred Purpose Committee.
The winning chapter hosted multiple health and safety related expert guest speakers for their members. These speakers covered subjects such as fire safety, stress management, sexual health, diversity, and sexual assault bystander intervention.
The chapter created programs that provided meaning and purpose to the campus as a whole, especially in health and safety. They hosted four PostSecret U events focusing on mental illness counseling and prevention, as well as providing alcohol-free parties and activities in partnership with the counseling center to educate on impairment under the influence.
In addition to these impressive programs, the chapter created a video related to the “It’s On Us” campaign to bring awareness to sexual assault.
Fundraising was also high on this chapter’s list of accomplishments as they were able to raise over $12,000 in their first annual G.I. Theta Chi event series which benefited the USO. They also raised over $20,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network, and close to $1,000 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in an Out of the Darkness Campus Walk.
It is my pleasure to announce that the winner of this year’s David L. Westol Sacred Purpose Award is Iota Sigma/Towson University! Congratulations, Brothers!
Pictured above is Brother Kevin Reynolds from Iota Sigma/Towson accepting the David L. Westol Sacred Purpose Award at the Theta Session of this summer’s Initiative Academy.