James Benedict, Moorhead State, was the first man to receive the Ellsworth C. Dent Man of the Year Award. In 1966, the inaugural award was given based on the qualifications that “one must be of a rare breed of man. He must be a scholar, a leader, one of strong conviction.” Many Sig Tau greats have followed James Benedict such as Past National Presidents W.P. “Buz” Barlow, UW – Oshkosh; D.W. Cole, Truman State; Greg Rumpf, Truman State; Tom Morgan, Southeastern Louisiana; and Chris Mauer, Southeastern Louisiana. In the Centennial year, another great young Sig Tau joined the ranks of the Dent Men of the Year – Paul J. Hawron, Henderson State.
From a small town in Texas, Hawron was homeschooled and the youngest of 12 children. He found himself on the campus of Henderson State University and soon after found himself a brother and Re-Founding Father of Sigma Tau Gamma.
When Hawron started his collegiate career, he was heading home each weekend and focused on his academics. Yet, out of his desire to be polite, Paul finally agreed to meet with then Recruitment and Growth Coordinator, Angel Gonzales, Washington State.
After a few weeks and many meetings with Angel, Hawron attended a brotherhood event where he accepted his bid.
“On the surface, none of us had anything in common. But what we did have in common was the same shared goals and Principles and that we all identified ourselves within the organization,” he said.
Paul’s commitment to traveling home each weekend soon transformed into a commitment to being a Re-Founding Father and putting everything he had into the newly formed chapter.
Hawron’s quick immersion and dedication to the fraternity did not stop on campus. He was quick to become involved on a national level. During his time as an active member, he has attended Endeavor Minneapolis in 2017, Webb Academy in 2018, Grand Conclave Phoenix in 2018, Endeavor Atlanta in 2019, and served as an undergraduate facilitator at Noble Man Institute in 2019.
At his first national program, seeds of achievement and distinction were planted as Hawron recalls watching 2017 Dent Man of the Year, Joshua Moore, Purdue, speak to those in attendance at Endeavor Minneapolis.
“I didn’t fully understand the process of the national awards, but the thought of being Dent Man of the Year was always in the back of my mind,” he said.
The stature of the great men who came before Hawron, including the first to bestow the title of Dent Man, is not something that he takes lightly. To Hawron, even simply being in the company of these men is an honor.
“I have looked up to them greatly for their contributions to the Fraternity and who they are as people.” He believes that being listed with these men is not only an honor, but “a responsibility and a challenge to be at the same level as them.”
He believes that holding such a distinguished title means that he must set an example for others and contribute to the fraternity, just like the men who came before him have.
The inaugural qualification of “one must be of a rare breed of man. He must be a scholar, a leader, one of strong conviction,” rings true 54 years later. For Hawron, it was Sig Tau that helped him become the type of man worthy of this qualification.
“Everyone who comes through the Fraternity gets something different out of it; but the Principles are a part of all of our lives,” Hawron said. “The Fraternity provided a new direction to who I am and allowed me to design what that looks like.”
The direction for Excellence that Hawron created when he joined Sig Tau was evident to many during his undergraduate career, “He truly is the complete package: ambition balanced with care and compassion; intelligence edged with humor, and scholarship enhanced by strong interpersonal skills,” as Assistant Vice-President for Student Engagement, Verónikha Salazar Ed.D, noted in his Dent Man of the Year recommendation letter.
He was a Re-Founding Father, a chartering president, and was constantly driven by his love of learning and dedication to the Henderson State community. During his undergraduate years, he logged over 100 hours of service, maintained a 3.94 GPA, and was the 2019 recipient of the Principle of Learning Award.
Now, Hawron continues his education at the University of Arkansas and hopes to continue to give back to the Fraternity through his time and treasure. To be able to give others the same positive experience and opportunity he had is important, “The gesture of giving back, even in small ways, sets an example for others,” Hawron said. “The value brothers get from the Fraternity isn’t without someone working very hard and brothers sharing those Principles of the Brotherhood by giving back.”
Hawron’s personal growth within the Principles of the Brotherhood doesn’t end with his undergraduate career, “Having a strong conviction and caring about others is an important detail as we seek excellence. I never want to forget about having a purpose for what I am doing and caring for others.”
ABOUT SIGMA TAU GAMMA FRATERNITY
Founded at the University of Central Missouri on June 28, 1920, Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity celebrated 100 years of brotherhood in 2020. In the last 100 years, the organization has called 193 campuses home and has more than 73,000 initiated members. With a current presence on 79 campuses from coast to coast, our membership includes nearly 2,500 undergraduate men. The Headquarters, which is home to the Fraternity, Foundation, and WPN Housing Company, is located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Visit https://sigtau.org for additional information.