Aidan Connolly, Iota Omicron (Iona), has been named the 2023 recipient of the Howard H. Baker Leadership Award. This award is named in honor of Howard H. Baker, Alpha Sigma (Tennessee), who served as a United States senator for Tennessee from 1967-85 and as senate majority leader from 1981-85. Each year, this award recognizes a student member of Pi Kappa Phi who has exemplified the most outstanding leadership and involvement in his campus and community organizations independent of his chapter of Pi Kappa Phi.
Connolly graduated from Iona University in 2023 with a dual bachelor’s degree in economics and entrepreneurship. During his time at Iona University, he was involved in a diverse array of activities outside of Pi Kappa Phi; Student Government Association, residential life, club sports, theatrical arts and volunteer work within the Office of Mission and Ministry. In addition to his involvement, he served in leadership roles such as Student Government Association president and senior resident assistant.
For his contributions at Iona, he was recognized with the Joseph E. Powell Award (Commencement Distinction), an award presented by the Division of Student Life to the graduate who best exemplifies the high qualities of spirit, dedication and generosity which characterized Joseph E. Powell, an Iona graduate. In addition, he was recognized during both his junior and senior year with the Maroon and Gold Award (Student Engagement Excellent in Mission Award), an award which honors a member of the community who demonstrates mutual respect, spirit and a committed desire to make Iona University a better place for all.
Apart from his involvement on campus, he is a member of the Pi Alpha Society, having cycled Journey of Hope North Route in 2021 to raise funds and awareness for The Ability Experience. According to Aidan, “A crucial aspect of being a brother of Pi Kappa Phi is the idea of striving for excellence through taking on personality responsibility as a leader on and off campus … it is our integrity, our degree of accountability and our willingness and desire to be excellent in the face of defeat that makes Pi Kappa Phi a place I am proud to call home even after my undergraduate years have come to an end.”