The Emory chapter of Alpha Tau Omega (ATO) has received the 2013 Chapter Award of Distinction from the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC).

The NIC recognizes an undergraduate chapter of any fraternity that is “highly functioning, in compliance with NIC Standards, seeks to educate others about the benefits of a values-based fraternity experienced and works to maintain a healthy relationship with their [national or international] organization,” according to an Apr. 2 NIC press release.

In addition to annually awarding an outstanding fraternity chapter, the NIC recognizes an undergraduate fraternity member, interfraternity council, fraternity community and alumnus who maintain involvement in the fraternity members’ lives. Fraternity chapters are nominated by the fraternity’s national office to become eligible for the award.

College sophomore and ATO President Brian Diener wrote in an email to the Wheel that he believes the award is the result of efforts of both current and past members and ATO presidents.

“The very achievements and goals that are being recognized within this award were taught to others and me as part of ATO’s culture,” he commented. “That being said, there is nothing more motivating for our chapter than knowing we are one of the best fraternity chapters in the country.”

This year, ATO helped start a new philanthropy event called the Dooley Games, which aims to bring together different student groups who compete in field games to benefit the Jones Boys and Girls Club of Atlanta.

“Emory continues to be proud of its ATO chapter,” University President James W. Wagner said in the NIC press release. “The chapter sets a high standard for itself and works ably to meet that standard.”

In the NIC press release, NIC President and CEO Pete Smithhisler said the NIC awards aim to “recognize outstanding achievement and to publicize best practices among its members.”

“This year, we had many qualified nominations and we are proud to honor these individuals and chapters for their accomplishments,” he said.

The NIC will present the award at the NIC Annual Meeting in St. Louis on Apr. 14.

–By Jordan Friedman