Pi Kappa Phi’s national student of the year was too busy with volunteering to even show up to accept his award this month.
When Chris Cole, a senior majoring in finance and accounting, was announced as winner of the award, he was touring the nation with Push America, an organization that serves people with disabilities. This is just one of the many organizations and activities in which Cole is involved.
On Aug. 20, Pi Kappa Phi announced the recipient of the Dr. Philip M. Summers Student of the Year award. This is the highest award given to an undergraduate member, said Eric Rinebold, director of communication for Pi Kappa Phi’s national headquarters.
“I was pretty surprised,” Cole said. “It’s really humbling.”
Cole was chosen among approximately 50 undergraduate members across the nation, Rinebold said.
“He is an example of what we want our undergraduates to be,” Rinebold said.
His fraternity brothers in Pi Kappa Phi were not surprised when they heard he won the award.
“Chris is awesome, he’s willing to do anything for anyone,” said Jacob Longwell, a junior psychology major and Cole’s roommate and brother in Pi Kappa Phi. “He’s everything a parent would strive for in a kid.”
Adam Timmons, a junior construction management major and Cole’s brother in Pi Kappa Phi, agrees.
“He takes on the qualities that guys see in a leader,” Timmons said.
Along with Push America this summer, Cole was the president of Pi Kappa Phi in 2002, the current vice president for CSU’s Inter-fraternity Council and a member of the Order of Omega, a Greek honors society. Cole also volunteers with special-needs swimming.
With all these activities consuming his time, Cole has still managed to maintain a 3.96 grade point average.
Cole, who plans to go to graduate school after he graduates from CSU this spring, gives credit to his fraternity for the award.
“I can’t take all the credit” Cole said. “I couldn’t have been awarded this without my chapter. The guys were really good. We had a lot of success.”
While Cole was as president of Pi Kappa Phi, the fraternity won CSU’s Fraternity of the Year award for 2002. They also won eight of the 12 awards given through Greek Life last semester, Cole said.
With all of his achievements, Cole maintains a social life and insists he is still like every other college student.
“I go out,” he said. “I like to drink beer like everybody else.”