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Saturday, May 8, 2021

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Smart recieves The Order of the Golden Heart Award. Smart recieves The Order of the Golden Heart Award.

Rod Smart Wins Highest Fraternity Award

Director of Development for SDSU - Imperial Valley is honored by Sigma Phi Epsilon.
By Alyson Faucett

Rod Smart, Director of Development for San Diego State University’s Imperial Valley campus was awarded the highest possible honor for a Sigma Phi Epsilon alumnus – The Order of the Golden Heart.

During the 53rd biannual Grand Chapter Conclave in Grapevine, Texas, Smart was inducted into The Order in front of 1,600 of his peers for his unrelenting hard work and loyalty to Sigma Phi Epsilon.

Reserved for fraternity brothers who have dedicated a lifetime of service, The Order of the Golden Heart has only been awarded to 151 of Sigma Phi Epsilon’s 300,000 lifetime members. Smart said he was motivated to become a contributing lifelong member by the people he met along his journey.

“I’m proud of the alumni who have been involved for 60 years,” said Smart, who has been a devoted member for 38 years. “They are the men who should have gotten the award.”

A brotherhood

As an undergrad studying Business at Sacramento State University, Smart traveled to the Conclave in St. Louis, Missouri as his chapter’s president in 1975. On the plane, he sat next to a Sig Ep alumnus who pointed out several other brothers who were traveling to St. Louis for the same purpose. It was that day he realized Sig Ep is more than a college experience, it is a brotherhood that lasts a lifetime.

Smart volunteers within the Sig Ep organization as much as possible and also supports his community through volunteering as a Little League umpire, serving on his local hospital’s foundation board of directors and he supports other local charities.

Smart is proud that the actions and the legacy of his fraternity have provided the opportunity for numerous men to make tremendous impacts in their local communities.

“What men are able to give to their community, because of what they learned as undergrads makes a difference,” Smart said. “It doesn’t just stop once you leave college.”

Advice: give forward

Smart’s best advice for a young college student looking to make a difference is: “not to give back, but to give forward.”

“Encourage other people to continue after you, because you’ll get more from it than you could ever give back,” Smart said.

He has accomplished this by starting Sig Ep chapters across the country and continues to help out with the SDSU chapter.

An outstanding chapter

Sigma Phi Epsilon at SDSU was also awarded at the Conclave for being one of the nation’s most outstanding chapters, an honor given to them for the last 10 years. Smart is extremely proud of the SDSU chapter for accepting nothing less than excellence.

“These Sig Ep men are engrained to help out,” Smart said. “They are giving back more than they could have ever taken.”