By Samuel Thurman
As AGS members flocked through the doorway of Creveling Lounge, beneath the balloon archway, and on to their respective tables, I gained some perspective from a few select members on what AGS means to them. For most, transcript notation and scholarship qualification were the main reasons members cited for initially joining. It hardly came as a surprise as they were my reasons as well but as the banquet proceeded, my understanding of what it means to be part of the AGS society began to manifest.
Throughout the course of various honors, speeches, and recognitions, the WOW factor was brought up quite a few times as a distinguishing characteristic of Alpha culture. The WOW factor which seems to be somewhat analogous to continuously “raising the bar” in order to shock and awe extraneous perspectives, is recognized as a combination of smooth inter-chapter relations, innovation, diversity, going above and beyond, and “doing [one’s] absolute best” (Matthew Sprott). Yet this prestige has the potential to delve much deeper, beyond conduct and recognition, into the very manner in which we view ourselves.
Former AGS president Jermaine Ee seems to understand this. After toying with the emotions of the anxious Tournament of Roses interns, Jermaine elucidated what he considered to be possibly the most essential characteristic of AGS: fellowship. Fellowship is much more than social cohesiveness necessary to sustain a functional club. It is what allows us to do more and to be more. A society in which outstanding merit, boundless dedication, and selfless service, are both recognized and rewarded. A society whose member’s dreams are both heard and encouraged, in which the relationship between the student and professor is sacrosanct, and hopefully, a society which allows us to look back reminiscently upon our own actions and think WOW.
Consider yourself fortunate to be constantly surrounded by a diverse plurality of peers united in the goal of self betterment. Through sharing the journey, we remind one other to enjoy the journey rather than fixate on the future. As the next generation we have the opportunity to uphold the core values of AGS through being actively engaged in the present. Don’t give yourself the opportunity to stray from the present and think how you could have done better. Honor yourself, your peers, and your professors in committing to the perpetual pursuit of excellence, knowledge, and wisdom and the WOW’s will inevitably follow.