Members of the Illinois State University chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma have much to celebrate after receiving recognition from the board of governors for the international honor society.

The Redbird chapter was applauded for earning the distinguished Highest Honors designation for the 2017–2018 school year. This distinction is the top tier in the three levels of recognition for the parent organization’s Chapter Honor Roll program.

Ashley Hicks, advisor of Beta Gamma Sigma and assistant to the Dean for Student Services-College of Business

“It’s an incentive to keep the chapters active and engaged on campus. It’s based on how active the chapter has been, any growth that the chapter may have experienced with inductions,” said Ashley Hicks, advisor of Beta Gamma Sigma and assistant to the Dean for Student Services-College of Business. Programming, training sessions, participation, and attendance also factor into the designation.

The Illinois State group received a Highest Honors certificate and will be recognized at the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business conference in April 2019. Also, the Illinois State chapter is now eligible to be considered for the Outstanding Chapter of the Year award.

The student organization, which received High Honors the previous school year, has about 125 members in the College of Business. To be inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma, a student must be a sophomore, junior, or senior in the top 10 percent of their class. Graduate students must be in the top 20 percent and have earned at least 50 percent of the credit hours toward their degree in order to receive a membership invitation. The average grade point average for an inductee is about 3.8.

The student organization offers monthly programming for members. “They try to do one (meeting) on professionalism, one that’s on service, and one that’s social,” Hicks said. “Those are the three pillars that they try to hit each semester. I think they’ve done a really good job of engaging students with programs that students want to go to.”

Some of the events held last year included a site visit tour of Caterpillar, which allowed students to learn about business operations, and a senior executive leadership panel, designed to give Redbirds the opportunity to hear about job skills and real-world experiences in different corporations.

The group also reached out to support the community by making holiday greeting cards for nursing home residents and hosting a baby shower to collect items such as diapers, formula, bottles, and baby wash for Home Sweet Home Ministries.

Hicks also spoke highly of the students on the Illinois State Beta Gamma Sigma executive board.

“They’re very invested,” she said. “It makes it easy for me as an advisor because I’m working with the best and the brightest. These are high-achieving students, high-caliber students who have some level of drive and motivation to do well. When you’re working with that type of demographic, expectations are high and they often deliver.”

She went on to praise the students’ level of commitment and their passion for the organization’s activities.

When asked about Beta Gamma Sigma’s goals for this year, Hicks said: “We hope to get Highest Honors again. Now that we know we are able to achieve it, we are going to strive for it every time.”