"We strive to be an elite organization committed to providing a stepping stone from the classroom to the business world through networking opportunities and the development of professional skills."
Pi Sigma Epsilon is the nation’s only co-ed fraternity specializing in marketing, sales, and management. It was founded on May 14, 1952. Today, May 14 is known as Founder’s Day and is celebrated by chapters nationwide. While the idea of a co-ed fraternity may seem odd to some, PSE first admitted women in 1974. New chapters are added every year, and PSE has grown into a highly competitive national organization dedicated to giving its members their business advantage for life.
The University of Northern Iowa’s chapter is known as Epsilon Theta, and is the only chapter in the state of Iowa. A relatively young chapter, Epsilon Theta was founded in 1996. The chapter started as a “colony,” and so began a period of great growth and success for the new group. Led by the chapter’s first President, Scott “Reggie” Leibfried, and the chapter’s first faculty advisor, William “Gary” Wolfe, the chapter did a lot of things right early on. The chapter’s most successful, early project was selling ads for a coupon book on campus. The chapter worked with local businesses to get the deals for the coupons and then teamed up with a distributor to print and distribute the coupon books. The chapter also garnered national attention for the large contingent that they brought to the National Convention, a tradition that Epsilon Theta carries on to this day.
Unfortunately, after the initial success, Epsilon Theta saw a downturn in participation and excitement. Membership dwindled, and the chapter was on the verge of losing its charter. However, in the fall of 2008, things began to turn around. A new 26 member recruiting class, energized by the chapter leaders who had returned from the National Convention, began to make the chapter great. This was epitomized at the 2009 National Convention when the unheard of group from Iowa captured the Lewis F. Gordon Top Gold Chapter award, the highest honor a PSE chapter can win. The chapter won the award again in 2011, but this time people were not surprised.
This once unknown group from Iowa has become one of the consistent top chapters in the country. An 85-member strong organization, PSE at UNI has become quite the force on campus as well. The 2010 recipient of the Top Student Organization within the College of Business Administration, PSE also won the coveted Top Student Organization award for UNI’s entire campus.
Still, the chapter stays grounded to its roots. Epsilon Theta’s second President, Scott Sernett, continues to play an active role in the chapter as the Senior Alumni Advisor. Matt Monaghan, a 2011 graduate from UNI and a key member of the group that brought home both of Epsilon Theta’s Top Gold trophies, serves as the chapter’s primary Alumni Advisor. Additionally, the chapter is glad to have the support of Dr. Matthew Bunker and Dr. Steve Corbin as the faculty and professional advisors, respectively. It is widely acknowledged that the chapter’s recent success would not have been possible without the support of these men in their advising roles.
The chapter continues to grow, and members constantly are looking to the future. New projects are welcomed with enthusiasm. PSE at UNI is a perfect example of the great things that can happen when 85 like-minded people work together towards a common vision. That vision in UNI’s chapter, along with PSE nationally, is to give members their business advantage for life.