Student Athlete Recognized with Alma Lux Award

Posted by: Jean Lloyd - April 26, 2018

Charles Samuel (Wittenberg University, 2019), a student-athlete who served Iota Beta Chapter as president, is the third Delt to receive Wittenberg University’s prestigious Alma Lux recognition in three years. Presented to a male member of the junior class at the Honors Convocation the Alma Lux award is based on character and integrity, service to the community, concern for others and high level of scholarship representing standards of excellence on campus. Students and faculty nominate the Alma Lux finalists and a campus-wide election determines the recipient.

Samuel accepted the award in early April following a speech by Lucas George (Wittenberg University, 2018) who was the 2017 recipient. Adam Barstow (Wittenberg University, 2017) received the award in 2016. Charles Rodeheffer (Wittenberg University, 2019) was also among the nominees this year. George said Samuel’s leadership inspires Delts to embrace campus leadership roles and exemplify Fraternity values and he was impressed by Samuel’s mature leadership as a sophomore. “Charles showed immense growth and was constantly working to be an effective leader within the chapter. I was proud to help mentor in this role and be a consistent source of feedback for him. Knowing all of the work he puts in on a day to day basis, nothing made me happier than to pass down the Alma Lux award to a true brother and true friend,” said George.

As a biology major with a minor in neuroscience, Samuel has a clear academic focus, but his leadership extends across campus. He is a research assistant, a lab assistant and a member of Beta Beta Beta, a society for students dedicated to improving the understanding and appreciation of biological study and extending boundaries of human knowledge through scientific research.

He also volunteers as a campus orientation assistant and as a peer mentor and is vice president of public relations for the Interfraternity Council. He serves as a resident advisor, a member of the Security Advisory Committee, Student Athletic Advisory Council, Tigerthon, Young Life, Housing Advisory Committee, Fall and Spring Dance Concert and the Wittenberg track and cross-country team.

Lured to Wittenberg from his home in Lihue, Hawaii by a coach and track and cross-country opportunities, Samuel found a small school atmosphere at Wittenberg which he loves. “I thought Ohio was conservative, but it's a liberal arts campus, and so people are very much open-minded to different ethnicities and different sexualities and different beliefs. It's a very good place where people can converge with different beliefs and still be cohesive,” Samuel said.

He never planned to join a fraternity. He and his friends from high school were turned off by movie portrayals of Greek life. Once on campus though, he started to realize joining a chapter could be a way to find a home and family away from home. “When I was going through the recruitment process, I was looking for people who could help me, not just academically and socially, but family-wise. When I came to the members of Delt, I realized that I could have that. I was able to have, not superficial conversations, but more of those deep personal conversations,” said Samuel.

As a chapter leader, Samuel was instrumental in continuing to raise the bar for the chapter. He is proud to see the chapter advance in what has been a five-year climb based on the Fraternity Awards/Accreditation Report and he sees the momentum continue under the current chapter president.

Last May, Samuel had the opportunity to attend Delt’s Presidents and Advisor Retreat (PAR) with Chapter Advisor Jon Duraj (Wittenberg University, 2009). As a pre-med student, Samuel said he is always studying, but he found PAR to be a good break and an opportunity to connect with his chapter advisor.

“It was a good moment for us to think about the problems in our chapters and think about short-term solutions and long-term solutions, and how to effectively bring change to the chapter. I think we did a good job when we got back to the chapter with developing our ideas and developing it with our executive board so that they can succeed well in their roles. I loved PAR, and I loved the ideas that I got from it, and from all the facilitators. I'm very appreciative of it,” said Samuel.

With the MCAT around the corner in June, Samuel’s focus is on attending medical school in the future. He hopes to go into orthopedics, specializing in children.

The next Presidents and Advisor Retreat is scheduled for May 18 - 20, 2018 at the Fisher-Nichols Memorial Headquarters in Fishers, Ind.

Charles Samuel at Weaver Chapel after accepting Wittenberg University's Alma Lux Award