Band of brothers

Students are typically the beneficiaries of scholarships, not the benefactors. However, Kappa Sigma fraternity is challenging that perception by establishing a scholarship, making them not only students, but donors.

Kappa Sigma has been part of the U of L since 2004, and was officially chartered as Omicron-Xi in 2006. The fraternity currently has 42 active undergraduate members who aim to enhance their university experience through their involvement with the fraternity.

When Elijah de Guzman, one of Omicron-Xi's founding members, passed away suddenly, the fraternity wanted to honour his memory.

De Guzman graduated with a bachelor of fine arts in new media in 2007 and was known to be a hardworking student and a dedicated brother to the fraternity.

"Eli really embodied what Kappa Sigma is about," says Zack Moline, the chapter's grand master of ceremonies. "He was a dedicated student, but he was also involved in the community, both on and off campus. He was very active within the fraternity during his time as a student and he maintained close ties with Kappa Sigma as an alumnus."

Although de Guzman's life was cut short, his brothers from Kappa Sigma are helping to ensure that his memory lives on. The fraternity established the Elijah de Guzman Memorial Award, aimed at helping students who demonstrate academic determination and a strong sense of citizenship.

"Eli completed his education at the U of L, but didn't have the time to put it to full use," says Kappa Sigma Grand Master Ryan Walker. "This award will help another student with his or her own education, and in that way, Eli's memory continues to make a difference."

The award also enables Kappa Sigma to embody the four pillars that are the cornerstones of the fraternity.

Elijah de Guzman (BFA ‘07), a founding member of Kappa Sigma’s Omicron-Xi chapter, passed away as a result of a drowning accident in July 2009.

"The four pillars are scholarship, fellowship, leadership and service," explains Walker. "Eli's scholarship represents each of these elements: it encourages academic study; it recognizes a brother we've lost; it sets an example to others; and it betters the community in which we live."

The de Guzman family is honoured by the dedication Kappa Sigma has demonstrated to Eli's memory and believes the award truly reflects Eli's legacy.

"As a parent, it makes you proud when your children are the recipients of scholarships," says Eli's mother Enonie. "Our family is happy that Eli's name can be attached to a scholarship that will benefit other students."

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