Alpha Gamma Rho receives top accolade at national convention

Current and alumni members of Iowa State University's Alpha Gamma Rho - Eta Chapter gathered for a group photo at the National AGR convention held at the end of July. The fraternity brought home several awards, including the Maynard H. Coe Award, given to the top chapter in the country.

By Whitney Baxter

For the ninth time in its history, the Iowa State University Alpha Gamma Rho – Eta Chapter earned top chapter in the country honors.

The fraternity received the Maynard H. Coe Award during the National Alpha Gamma Rho convention at the end of July in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The award, presented every other year, recognizes a chapter that has consistently maintained a high level of chapter operations.

“Our members have worked very hard for this honor, and it is well deserved,” said Brad Skaar, chapter advisor and associate professor of animal science.

A brotherhood of young men interested in agriculture, Alpha Gamma Rho consists of students from a wide variety of majors in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Nathan Behrends, chapter president and senior in agricultural studies, said the fraternity participates in several community service, leadership and philanthropy activities throughout the year.

“Just being recognized for the work we do is humbling,” Behrends said.

In addition to their efforts to better the community, the AGR brothers put a strong emphasis on bettering themselves. Seniors mentor incoming freshmen to help the younger students have a successful transition from high school to college. The chapter also brings in speakers two nights a week to provide professional development and networking opportunities.

“My leadership has been taken to a whole new level because of AGR,” Behrends said.

“Being involved in the chapter really gets you out of your comfort zone,” added Spencer Collins, chapter vice president of activities and senior in agricultural studies. “It has made me grow as a person, and I’ve developed many friendships in the house.”

Those friendships extend into life beyond Iowa State. The chapter has a large network of alumni, many of whom stay involved in the chapter in various capacities. One of those individuals is Tim Heiller, a 1990 animal science graduate. Heiller was inducted into the National AGR Hall of Fame at this year’s national convention. He often attends church with the brothers on Sundays, then takes them out to dinner afterward.

Other awards earned by Alpha Gamma Rho – Eta Chapter at the 2022 National Convention:

Highest Honor:

  • Housemother/House Director Management Award
  • Chapter Crescent-Single Issue
  • Outstanding Community Service & Philanthropic Efforts Award
  • Lifelong Membership Development Award
  • Living the Promise and Values Award
  • Recruitment Excellence Award

High Honor:

  • Academic Excellence Award
  • Committed Alumni Corporation
  • Housemother/House Director Social and Cultural Development Award

Honorable Mention:

  • Crescent Awards-Best Feature Story
  • Continued Alumni Engagement Award

National AGR Grand Noble Ruler: Greg Nickerson (’81 agricultural journalism)

National AGR Hall of Fame Inductee: Tim Heiller (’90 animal science)

National AGR Board of Directors Elect: Jim Borel (’78 agricultural business)

To learn more about Alpha Gamma Rho, visit their website.