Class of 2017: Chase Ginther's courageous leadership bettered IFC
To truly experience Virginia Tech, students are encouraged to reflect on their strengths, map their own journey, and create the future they imagine. Chase Ginther has done just that.
In a matter of days, Ginther, of Midlothian, Virginia, will walk across the commencement stage to accept his degree in statistics and computational modeling and data analytics from the College of Science. He’ll close a chapter in his story that he describes as “the most transformative years” of his life.
“My studies have been rigorous and have certainly prepared me to get a job in the field of data science, but I think the most important things I have learned have been outside the classroom,” Ginther said. “I’ve learned that everyone brings a unique perspective to the table and that there is always something to learn from someone.”
Ginther served as the president of Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity as well as president of the Interfraternity Council (IFC). For him, these roles defined what it means to be a leader.
“When you try to lead everyone in the same way at once, leaders often fail,” Ginther said. “But when you cater your leadership to the needs of the people you lead, leaders are more successful. These are the skills that I am going to carry with me all through my life.”
Byron Hughes, director of Fraternity and Sorority Life at Virginia Tech, has had the pleasure of knowing Ginther for the duration of his college career as advisor to Ginther’s fraternity. The two have worked closely together throughout Ginther’s presidencies, and Hughes has witnessed first-hand Ginther’s strength as a leader.
“Chase believes that fraternities should be a value to Virginia Tech and society, and he has led the way within our IFC fraternities to have real and challenging conversations about who belongs in the community and who doesn’t,” said Hughes. “This courageous move is not often taken by IFC fraternity leaders throughout the country because it means disappointing people. He has maintained the respect of IFC fraternity leaders because they believe he makes decisions that are in the best interest of their experience and of Virginia Tech.”
Fraternity and sorority life offers a unique pathway to forge lifelong friendships and find “home” here at Virginia Tech, and for Ginther, it’s also the means by which he prepared for a life of courageous leadership. It’s not surprising that what he’ll miss most about college are living in community and facing challenges.
“During my time here, I felt there was a new challenge every day to conquer, and I looked forward to that,” said Ginther. “The Virginia Tech community is something I do not think I will ever experience anywhere else.”
“His ambitions are truly based in leaving the community better than he found it,” said Hughes.
Although feeling a bit anxious and strange graduating earlier than many of his friends, Ginther is ready to write the next chapter of his story and eager for his future as a data scientist at Nielsen in Tampa, Florida. He’ll assume his new role in late January, and while he’ll miss his collegiate home, he’s looking forward to escaping the Virginia winter.
Written by Tiffany Woodall