Click here for COVID-19 updates affecting the campus community

COLUMN: Cooper Rush's other team is the best kept secret at CMU


Cooper Rush is on pace to be the greatest quarterback in Central Michigan University history.

Fans are looking forward to potentially witnessing Rush break Dan LeFevour’s records as the all-time passing leader in touchdowns and yards.

Football isn’t all that Rush has done well during his time at CMU. He is also a member of Gamma Iota Sigma, a professional fraternity focused on engaging students interested in working for the insurance industry. Many of the members like Rush and myself are actuarial science majors, and we meet every week with guest speakers from the most successful insurance companies in the state.

Our chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma at CMU is one of the Top 5 chapters in the country, out of more than 70 chapters nationwide. We reached superior status for the first time two years ago, which is our version of a point system that draws analogies to the Associated Press Top 25 poll.

We’re also a self-funded chapter of 40 students. Other superior chapters have anywhere between 110 to 600 members, and have enough money to fly their members to conferences and other events around the country for free. Our chapter is outperforming everyone else with the limited resources we have. In this wacky upside-down world, MAC schools and small liberal arts colleges beat up on ACC, Big Ten, SEC, and Big XII schools for fun.

Last month, the Nu chapter attended the international conference held in Columbus, Ohio where members listened to keynote speakers and attended chapter management sessions. We had a chance to face off against four of the other superior chapters for the Bowers Award. It is the most prestigious distinction in Gamma Iota Sigma, which is awarded to the best chapter. The National Championship trophy of insurance fraternities, if you will.

This year, however, our chapter came up short. Time to rebuild for 2017 glory. Our draft picks? 20 new members. Our offseason? Planning future socials, workshops, speakers, volunteering events, and programs for the spring semester. Our front office changes? Just had elections this month. Our officer board is doing everything possible to make sure our chapter stays competitive with other programs across the country when we meet again in Dallas for the 2017 conference.

Don’t just take my word for it — I’ve seen Rush excel in an area where competitiveness is measured in exams, internships, and certifications.

“The (GIS group members are) really trying to help each other out whether it’s with classes or preparing to enter the actuarial world,” Rush said. “It’s very similar to a team in that way. I think that was the most beneficial thing to hear how it works in the real world, and I got some great insight.”

The season isn’t over yet for CMU’s football team. It’s not over for Gamma either. My goal as president for the Spring 2017 semester is to put next year’s officers in the best position to succeed, and continue our reign as an elite chapter. I’m aiming for the Bowers Award. Just like Rush, I have every intention of helping my team, my chapter, realize its full potential.

Not everyone can be the star quarterback of the football team, but anyone can be the star of their RSO or fraternity if they have the aptitude and passion. What legacy do you want to leave behind at CMU?

My enthusiasm for Gamma has enabled me to create a high school outreach program for students across the state who want to learn more about insurance.

If you care about these types of things, then join us on Tuesdays at 6 p.m. in Pearce 225. Be the best team player you can be on and off the field. We might not be able to slap a sticker on the side of your helmet, but we’ll be able to provide free pizza and pop.