Aditya Rengaswamy speaks at Theta Chi Convention
Aditya Rengaswamy speaks at Theta Chi Convention. Photo by William Chiang.

2016 CWRU graduate receives prestigious Theta Chi Fraternity 2016 Colley Award

Newly minted Case Western Reserve graduate Aditya Rengaswamy was in Warsaw during an extensive international “graduation tour” when he received a phone call with some unexpected news: The Theta Chi Fraternity had selected him for the 2016 Reginald E.F. Colley Award, a national honor presented annually to an undergraduate member who best demonstrates distinguished service to his alma mater, fraternity and community. In other words: the top Theta Chi undergraduate in the country in 2016.

Rengaswamy, a Troy, Mich., native and former president of the Beta Nu chapter of Theta Chi Fraternity at Case Western Reserve, had built an impressive resume in his four years at the university. But Theta Chi’s prestigious, highly selective accolade surprised even him.

“This is a huge honor that I did not expect,” said Rengaswamy, who received the award during Theta Chi’s international convention in Atlanta earlier this week. “I am very thankful for the opportunities CWRU has given me. I can’t wait to see where my life takes me.”

Rengaswamy, a 2106 graduate in accounting, will be starting his own limited liability corporation in Miami as a consultant for business development and financial matters, and is looking forward to working with Nick Neonakis, MBA ’02, through his franchise consulting practice.

“When you have your own business,” he said, “you can decide who to work with and how to spend your time. A huge added bonus is that you’re paid for the value you bring—not a flat rate.”

Among his initiatives while at Case Western Reserve, Rengaswamy started a Cleveland chapter of Kids Against Hunger, a national humanitarian group that provides high-nutrition meals. Hundreds of thousands of these meals have been donated to the Cleveland food banks and to communities worldwide. He also has been active in a variety of business start-ups and held leadership roles in many student organizations. For his various efforts, he was inducted into organizations that require vetting, such as the Student Turning Point Society and Wolstein Society.

In his recommendation letter to the selection committee, Robert Widing, dean of the Weatherhead School of Management and the Albert J. Weatherhead III Professor of Management, cited Rengaswamy for his broad contributions, especially in leadership and community service.

“We have not had a student who has been a better scholar, leader, volunteer, innovator, role model and producer than Aditya,” Widing wrote.

According to Widing, Rengaswamy received the Freshman of the Year Award, the Outstanding Student Ambassador Award, the Wolstein Promising Innovation Award and the Dean’s Award in Accounting.

“His leadership in founding and leading the Kids Against Hunger Cleveland Chapter (winning the Service Group of the Year Award in 2014), as president of the Student Turning Point Society and in serving on the Orientation Executive Board has been simply terrific,” Widing continued. “That he also co-authored The Franchise MBA: Mastering the Four Essential Steps to Owning a Franchise (with Nick Neonakis, MBA ’02) and workbook and has been an officer in the FGC Plasma start-up, while serving in high-powered internships and accomplishing the above, is rather stunning.”

Mark Starr, director of Greek Life at the university, described how Rengaswamy evolved as a leader during his four years at Beta Nu.

“The chapter really flourished under Aditya’s leadership,” Starr wrote in his recommendation letter. “He pushed and empowered his brothers to do more and be better as an organization.”