Meet this week's campus celeb, Gabe Lee. He is a sophomore majoring in Business Administration here at UNH. So, what makes him so special? He was recently awarded The Tragos Quest to Greece from the National Chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon. Keep reading to find out more about his involvement as a brother of SigEp, along with all the details you'll ever want to know about this Tragos Scholar!
Name: Gabe Lee
School/Year: Class of 2016
Major: Business Administration (ISM & Marketing)
Hometown: North Conway, NH
Activities/Clubs: Sigma Phi Epsilon, Student Environmental Action Coalition (S.E.A.C), Inactive in College Republicans
I recently heard about you being one of the lucky sixteen Sigma Phi Epsilon brothers to receive the Tragos Quest to Greece award from your National Chapter, can you explain what exactly this is?
The Tragos Quest to Greece is an overseas experience that is really unmatched in the fraternity world. I AM SO EXCITED. It’s a 10-day trip through Greece with fifteen other undergraduate brothers from across the nation, none of which I have met before, along with alumni mentors. Besides that, I really don’t know too much about it. The only information I have from a past Tragos Scholar was something along the lines of “It was the best experience ever, that’s the only way to describe it”. Stemming from our ideals of the Balanced Man ‘Sound Mind in a Sound Body’, I can assume we will focus a lot on that once we are at the sea, and in the mountains of Greece.
How did you get accepted out of 15,000 undergraduate brothers?
I honestly don’t know, it has been the biggest accomplishment of my life thus far. I spent a lot of time on the rigorous application, and have always tried to get the most out of the awesome SigEp Leadership events that I have attended. I am also serving my second term as Vice President of Recruitment, and have found my niche in that. I truly believe in the values of what we stand for and I try as hard as I can to stand by our cardinal principles of Virtue, Diligence, and Brotherly Love every day.
How did you learn that you were one of the lucky recipients of this award? What was your initial reaction?Over winter break I was notified that I was one of 59 finalists in the nation.
A few weekends ago, ten of our UNH brothers attended the Carlson Leadership Academy, held in Stamford, CT. This is an overnight leadership event for current Executive board members, and those who will have a future on Exec, on the East coast. At the end of the second day, there is a huge banquet dinner where various brother, and alumni awards are given out. During the award banquet, a past Grand President announced that they were now going to award 6 brothers on the east coast the Tragos Quest to Greece Scholarship. I obviously went silent; my heart was beating a trillion beats per minute. They awarded these Scholarships by giving a short description of the brother, and then saying his name at the end, typical award format. The first two brothers were announced, I was still silent. It kind of went like this:
1. The announcer (a past Tragos Scholar), started by saying something like “This brother is incredibly passionate (or an ambiguous adjective that could be used for anyone) about SigEp.”2. “He has been on the Exec board since his second semester of his freshman year” This still could be anyone.3. Then he mentioned my major, and I kind of freaked out in my head.3. “He is currently serving as a second-term Vice President of Recruitment.” Then my mind was blown, our District Governor sitting behind me put his hand on my shoulder, I sunk into my chair, and said something like “No Way in Hell.”4. Then he announced my name, I went up and shook the hands of the past Tragos Scholars, I had a permanent smile on my face, and I was the happiest person to ever exist ever.
What about this journey are you most excited for? What are you most nervous about?
There is so much I am excited for it’s hard to boil it down to one thing. I would say I am most excited for traveling through Greece and experiencing it with some of the best SigEps in the nation. I am so excited to learn from these brothers, that I would have never met had it not been for this opportunity. What am I most nervous about? Besides the 12 hour plane ride? Pretty much everything. I have been told it is like trying to drink water out of a fire hose. It is incredibly fast paced, but I couldn’t be more stoked for it.
What made you decide to rush Sigma Phi Epsilon? Do you hold any executive positions?
I decided to Rush SigEp because of the opportunities it had to offer and how it really rejected the “Fray Boy” stereotype. When I looked around at the other Fraternities, I didn’t understand why pledging was necessary. I was confident in myself, and where I stood in my life, why did I need to change? That’s why I picked SigEp. Because it would develop my personality, leadership style, and skills, without ever bringing me down. We have something called the “Balanced Man Program” which replaces traditional pledging. It is a 4-year continuous development program, which really improves you in almost every aspect of life. I knew it would offer me the skills and experience to really flourish both in, and out of college. By far the best decision of my entire life.I am currently holding my second consecutive term as VP of Recruitment.
Has the UNH chapter of SigEp changed since you have become a brother?
The UNH Chapter has changed tremendously since I joined SigEp. I don’t know the fine details of the chapter before I joined, but from what I have heard it was struggling in more areas than one. I joined the chapter when they had 18 brothers. Now, we have 43 brothers (still taking more this semester), we have the highest Fraternity GPA on campus, and we also have the highest Greek Performance & Excellence Score on campus out of every Greek organization. Our improvements and accomplishments are entirely due to the brothers we have in this Fraternity. When you get 43 people together, who truly believe in a vision, things get done well.
Any big plans for the fraternity you would like to share?!
Next year we are actually moving into the Fraternity house on 2 Strafford Avenue, the one across the street from Alpha Xi Delta, and next to AGR. It is the first time we have ever been in a house since coming back on campus in 2007, and we couldn’t be more excited. On top of this, we are also planning on getting chartered by our National Fraternity in October of 2014, after 7 years of being a colony. We also, couldn’t be more excited about this.
Give us one fun fact about you
I like to think that I can rap really well. Me and some of the boys are making a mix-tape soon, so LOOK OUT FOR IT! Its going to be some fire.
Lastly, if you could pick next week’s campus celebrity, who would it be and why?
Amy Conte. She is the kindest, sweetest, most beautiful RA to ever exist in the entire world. She helps people with every aspect of their lives and will put anyone ahead of her.