Ohio Northern University is adding another honor society to its already impressive roster of 28. Ohio Northern has an honor society for just about every academic department, but was lacking on the athletics side. To fill this spot, ONU applied to be a member of Chi Alpha Sigma, a student-athlete honor society. ONU was approved to be a member of the Ohio Omega chapter of Chi Alpha Sigma earlier this year.

The crest of Chi Alpha Sigma. ONU will be the 18th Ohio school to have a chapter. (Graphic / Chi Alpha Sigma)

Chi Alpha Sigma is a nonprofit organization created to give recognition to student athletes who have excelled in the classroom. It was created in 1994 by the DePaw head football coach, Nick Mourouzis. To get inducted, students need to have a GPA of 3.4 and be in their junior year or fifth semester at a qualified university. Then, a character reference must be submitted by their respective coach. 

The athletic department had felt that it was time to recognize student athletes that have excelled in the classroom. Tom Simmons, ONU’s Director of Athletics, stated, “I had seen that there were other academic honoraries, and we wanted to pursue something like that.” The project to bring this honor society to ONU was started by Michele Durand and Dr. Mark Cruea, who will also serve as the club’s advisor. Chi Alpha Sigma already has chapters in 17 Ohio schools, making ONU the 18th.

Athletic Director Tom Simmons on why ONU decided to add XAΣ. (Audio / Cole Zaferakis)

This honorary group acts as a badge of honor to future employers displaying how one managed to balance the workload of school and athletics. The benefits of Chi Alpha Sigma go past being just an award to display, a big emphasis is creating connections for the future. Dr. Cruea has emphasised this point:

(Video / Cole Zaferakis)

…some of the benefits that come with that are making connections for networking…

As for the future, Dr. Cruea plans to get the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, or SAAC, involved in the first induction ceremony. The first members inducted will then run the following ceremonies years to come. The plan is to have the first induction ceremony in March, either virtually or in person depending on how the next few months pan out with COVID-19.

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