Claire Griffiths, ’20, and Jen Brennan, ’20, met in their first year when they lived on the same hall. But they never expected to be trailblazers in the Robins School together.

“Being president of a business fraternity is a really large job,” Brennan said. “It felt really nice to know that there was someone else doing the same job as me, and she was feeling the same way, nervous but excited.”

Griffiths, a business administration major, is the current president of Alpha Kappa Psi, and Brennan, an accounting major, is the current president of Delta Sigma Pi.

Alpha Kappa Psi was originally founded on the Richmond campus in 1955, but left in 2004. It was re-chartered in 2010, and is currently run by an executive board comprised of student members. The University of Richmond’s Rho Omega Chapter of Delta Sigma Pi was established more recently, on April 20, 2013, and is also run by an executive board.

The two were voted into their current offices last fall, and before returning to campus knew they wanted to make working together a priority.

“It felt really good, it showed that people have faith in me and can trust me with such a large organization,” Brennan said. She immediately looked to her friend Claire, who felt the same way. The two connected in New York during winter break to plan for the upcoming year.

“We are active and engaged in the business school and the community,” Griffiths said. “And that’s something we are trying to work on together.”

Griffiths and Brennan want to bridge the gap between the two fraternities and focus on camaraderie rather than competition.

Which they agree, has been easier because of their friendship.

“It definitely helps when you have an easy path of communication with another leader,” Brennan said.

This year, the two organizations are sponsoring more events together, and trying to take competition out of the rush process.

“These are both great organizations,” Brennan said. “We want to work together. We shouldn’t be totally separate entities since we both share the same goals.”

“There’s more of a bridging of the fraternities now,” Griffiths said, “looking at all that we are doing together and how far we’ve come.” 

Both organizations focus on professional skills and networking to prepare students for the workplace.

“We focus on confidence,” Griffiths said. “It’s a safe space where we can remind one another, ‘You’re smart, you deserve to be here.’”

Dean Bagranoff knows the pair, and has seen them lead throughout their time in the business school.

“When I earned my undergraduate business degree many years ago, I was one of three women in the graduating class,” Dean Bagranoff said. “Today women are leading, in record numbers in our government and in our business schools. We are delighted that our two school-wide business fraternities have capable, dynamic leaders in Jen Brennan and Claire Griffiths.”

Griffiths and Brennan hope younger members of the fraternities will be inspired by their friendship, and continue to work together in the future.