South Dakota President Jace Jerome Epitomizes Giving Back

Jace Jerome is more than a chapter president. He’s a true campus leader.

Outside of his involvement in the fraternity, he founded a student alumni association at the University of South Dakota.

“With that organization, we really try to bring back alumni to share their stories and show current students how truly special a place that this is,” Jerome said.

He is also working on a website design company with a couple brothers.

“It’s time consuming, but I absolutely love learning,” Jerome said. “That’s why I’m a business major. No matter what you learn, you can kind of apply it. It’s very encompassing.”

Jerome was a recipient of the prestigious Kevin Vasquez Leadership Scholarship this year.

“On behalf of myself and countless others, I am very appreciative,” he said. “I am endeared to the individuals who have given back — the Kevin Vasquez’s and Jerry Stead’s that are helping us have the capacity to grow. It makes me want to have the kind of success that they’ve had, and hopefully we can make the money that they did so we can also give back.”

He also had the opportunity to attend the 2017 Stead Leadership Seminar at the University of California Los Angeles.

“That benefitted me tremendously,” he said. “The opportunity to go to California and collaborate with brothers from around the country and volunteers who signed up because they love Lambda Chi and have for 50 or 60 years … it’s really cool. It’s definitely a collaboration of minds.”

The West Coast was a much different environment than what he’s used to, he said.

“Coming from the Midwest, it really is a rural, homogenous area,” Jerome said. “You don’t realize we are a product of our environment, and it kind of forces you to step out of your comfort zone a little bit, which is great.”

Before he was elected president of Alpha-Gamma, Jerome served as the chapter’s Philanthropy Chair.

“I knew that I enjoyed giving back,” he said. “But when I came in, there were just two major events in the fall. They did a lot, but we were still really lacking because both were within two weeks of each other. Leading up to those and in the spring semester, there wasn’t much philanthropy going on.”

So he developed new fundraisers.

“Fraternity’s are built on traditions, but it’s never too late to start your own,” Jerome said. “With the events we had, yeah were raising a lot of money, but I wanted to get out in the community and actually give back. We have a lot of guys in our chapter who really care about that.”

Giving back has become his life’s mission.

Right now, he said, he’s looking at starting a few different companies, including a web design consulting firm focused on helping out rural communities.

“Out here in South Dakota, half of these businesses don’t have websites,” Jerome said.

He plans to invest whatever money he makes from that into some larger scale ideas focused on the utilization of fitness and overall health in the corporate world.

“I just want to enjoy the process, you know? I’m hopeful and optimistic that it’ll all work out.”

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