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Each Sorority and Fraternity Life Council Represented in 2023 Torchbearer Class

At the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, the highest honor a graduating senior can receive is to be named a Torchbearer. Since 1968, the Torchbearer has been a symbol of the university’s Volunteer Creed, which states 

“One that beareth a torch shadoweth oneself to give light to others.” 

This year, for the first time in Torchbearer history, each of the four Sorority and Fraternity Life councils have representation in the eleven students receiving this honor. The National Pan-Hellenic Council, the Panhellenic Council, the Multicultural Greek Council, and the Interfraternity Council are all represented among the activities and leadership experiences of the 2023 Torchbearer Class. 

The students representing Sorority and Fraternity Life are: 

Jordan Brown, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., National Pan-Hellenic Council

Juliet Gear,
Chi Omega, Panhellenic Council

Michael Rodriguez, Beta Upsilon Chi, Interfraternity Council

Diego Lourenco, Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity, Inc., Multicultural Greek Council

Lourenco is also the first member of the Lamba Theta Phi chapter to be named a Torchbearer in the award’s history, an important milestone for the Latin and Hispanic student community. 

“The representation of all four councils in this year’s Torchbearer class shows that academics don’t suffer when students are part of fraternal organizations on campus,” says Hunter Carlheim, assistant director of the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life. “Approximately 26% of the student body is a member of a fraternal organization under one of the four councils, and whether a student is a general member, a chapter officer, or an officer of one of the councils, everyone in Sorority and Fraternity Life gets leadership experience and gets to develop transferable skills they will carry into their careers and life after college.”

Sorority and Fraternity Life is celebrating its 150th anniversary since being founded at UT. And with that celebration comes a long list of accomplishments and traditions of excellence within its organizations and members. In the last five years, sixteen members of Greek-letter organizations have been recognized with Torchbearer awards, joining an exclusive group of around 700 Torchbearers recognized by UT over the last 90 years. And, for the past 30 years, at least one Sorority and Fraternity Life member has received a Torchbearer award each year. 

To learn more about these four students and meet the rest of the 2023 Torchbearer class, visit For information about Greek-letter organizations and the governing councils, visit