TROY Alumni Association charters Alpha Tau Omega Alumni Chapter

Faith Byrd, Director of Alumni Affairs, charters ATO Alumni Chapter on March 4. The chapter becomes the Alumni Association's 68th chapter.

Faith Byrd, Director of Alumni Affairs, charters ATO Alumni Chapter on March 4. The chapter becomes the Alumni Association's 68th chapter.

The Troy University Alumni Association officially chartered its 68th alumni chapter on March 4 as it welcomed the Alpha Tau Omega Alumni Chapter.

Faith Byrd, Director of Alumni Affairs, chartered the chapter and installed the new officers during a ceremony on the Troy Campus.

The Kappa Beta Chapter of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity was founded at TROY in 2005 and has since garnered national attention through its annual Walk Hard event, a spring break trek from the University’s main Quad to Panama City Beach that raises fund to support Jeep Sullivan’s Wounded Warrior Outdoor Adventures, based in Bonifay, FL. The chapter also has the nation’s longest consecutive streak winning the fraternity’s prestigious True Merit Award.

The idea for an ATO alumni chapter grew out of discussions about the importance of remaining connected to one another following graduation, as well as offering support to the active members of the fraternity.

“A lot of us got together and realized the chapter is still fairly young, having been founded in 2005, but there is no excuse for us not to have an official way to get together,” said Gus McKenzie, who will serve as the new alumni chapter’s president. “It was a way for us to unite and support the chapter as one operating body, but also to facilitate staying together as alumni.”

McKenzie, a member of the 2015 pledge class and a 2019 graduate, hopes that the alumni chapter will help to grow connections both for ATO alumni and active members.

“I hope that the alumni chapter keeps guys connected to each other both personally and professionally. We have guys who are in all aspects of business, higher ed, doctors and lawyers. Not only does that help in keeping those people connected for the brotherhood but they can continue to work to grow their careers together as well.”

Josh Marvin, a 2021 TROY graduate with a bachelor’s degree in communications and a minor in global business who will finish his MBA in general management in December, was a part of ATO’s Spring 2018 pledge class. He will serve as the alumni chapter’s vice president.

“A large part of why I wanted to help charter our alumni chapter was because of the fruit I saw in connecting active brothers with graduated brothers,” Marvin said. “I was in college with great fraternity guys; but some of the greatest people I met in college were ATO alums. They mentored me, and I looked up to them as older brothers.”

Marvin said he hopes the alumni chapter will help strengthen those connections in the future.

“My hope is that this alumni chapter will be a focal point in collecting contacts and mentors for the actives in hopes that TROY ATO will continue creating well-rounded professionals and, at the end of the day, overall good men who see the fruit in giving back,” he said.

Kyle Shook, a member of the 2015 pledge class and a 2019 graduate, will serve as the chapter’s treasurer.

“I think in large part it was the person who asked me if I wanted to be involved – Gus McKenzie,” Shook said. “We were pledge brothers and so he and I already had that deep connection having gone through ATO and Walk Hard together. ATO was so impactful in my college experience and therefore in my life after college that I recognized that this was a great way for me to stay involved and reconnect with guys from my pledge class and guys that were brothers during my four-year span. But, also it seemed like a really neat way to give back to the chapter that made such an impact on my life.”

Shook hopes that active ATOs will see the alumni chapter as an opportunity to continue those connections after graduation.

“I really hope that this alumni chapter shows the fraternity that your involvement with ATO doesn’t have to just totally end following your college years. I really would like to see this show our actives that they can stay involved and stay as an active part of ATO.”

Those interested in learning more about becoming a member of the ATO Alumni Chapter should contact McKenzie at jmckenzie@troy.edu or by phone at 334-372-5752.

Left to right are: Kyle Shook, alumni chapter treasurer; Gus McKenzie, alumni chapter president; ATO Walk Hard Director Nick Marshall; Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor; ATO fraternity President Jackson Ward; Josh Marvin, alumni chapter vice president; Faith Byrd, Director of Alumni Affairs; William Filmore, ATO alumnus.
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