|Founded||December 10, 1869
University of Virginia
|Motto||Bononia Docet ("Bologna Teaches")
|Philanthropy||A greater cause to Military Heroes|
|Headquarters||1610 Scottsville Road
Charlottesville, VA 22902, United States
Kappa Sigma (ΚΣ), commonly nicknamed Kappa Sig or K-Sig, is an international fraternity with currently 305 active chapters and colonies in North America. Kappa Sigma has initiated more than 290,000 men on college campuses throughout the United States and Canada. Today, the Fraternity has over 196,000 living alumni and more than 16,000 undergraduate members. In 2012, the Fraternity "pledged more men than any other fraternity in history." It is one of the leaders of all American fraternities in terms of pledges and new initiates per year, service hours, and philanthropic donations. Its endowment fund, founded in 1919 is the oldest college fraternity foundation and has donated more than $6.5 million to undergrads since 1948. In 2012 alone, the Fraternity's endowment fund raised over $1 million in donations.
Traditional founding: 1400
Kappa Sigma Fraternity tradition holds that it evolved from an ancient order said to have been founded at the University of Bologna in the Middle Ages. According to some accounts, the order was known as "Kirjath Sepher" and was founded between 1395 and 1400. According to this story, the corrupt governor of the city, one-time pirate and later papal usurper Baldassare Cossa, took advantage of the students at Bologna, one of Europe's preeminent universities which attracted students from all over the continent, by sending his men to assault and rob them; this motivated one of the university's scholars Manuel Chrysoloras to found a secret society of students beginning with five of his most devoted disciples, for mutual protection against Baldassare Cossa.
American founding: 1869-1880
On December 10, 1869, five students at the University of Virginia met in 46 East Lawn and founded the Kappa Sigma Fraternity in America. William Grigsby McCormick, George Miles Arnold, John Covert Boyd, Edmund Law Rogers Jr. and Frank Courtney Nicodemus established the fraternity based on the traditions and of the ancient order in Bologna. These five founders became collectively known as the "Five Friends and Brothers."
In 1872, Kappa Sigma initiated Stephen Alonzo Jackson, who would go on to transform a struggling local fraternity into a strong international Brotherhood. The organization attributes much of its success to Jackson noting that, "Since his death in 1892, the success of the Order is the direct result of Jackson’s devotion 'to make Kappa Sigma the leading college fraternity of the world.'"
In 1873, Kappa Sigma expanded to Trinity College (Now Duke University), the University of Maryland, and Washington and Lee University. The fraternity attributes this growth to the initiation of Stephen Alonzo Jackson in 1872. During his membership, Jackson expanded and revised the ritual of Kappa Sigma. He created the Supreme Executive Committee (SEC), which now serves as the governing body of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity on an international level. Jackson also introduced the idea of a frequent, national convention of all Kappa Sigmas, a practice now continued by the biennial Grand Conclave, and characterized the event as "the finest hour" of Kappa Sigma.
In 1885, the publication of Kappa Sigma's quarterly magazine was commissioned under the name The Quarterly This publication ran successfully for 5 years until it was reorganized to run bi-monthly and renamed The Caduceus, the name it holds to this day.
In 1912, Wilbur F. Denious (who would later become Worthy Grand Master) struck upon the idea to establish a charitable endowment for Kappa Sigma. As a result of the hard work of him and many others, the Kappa Sigma Endowment Fund was established in 1919 "to support the charitable and beneficent purposes of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity."
In 2002, along with Phi Delta Theta, Kappa Sigma ended its involvement in the North-American Interfraternity Conference at the national level due to disenchantment with the strategic direction of the organization. However, many individual chapters remain members of their host university's Interfraternity Conference, but no chapter is required to recognize or be involved with their university's IFC if they should choose not to.
In 2003, the Kappa Sigma Fraternity ushered in an unprecedented era of growth for the fraternity. Kappa Sigma would become the largest college fraternity. It also established incentives to expand Kappa Sigma, and worked to reestablish chapters where they were dormant and establish colonies in new locations. Kappa Sigma annually broke recruiting records from 2003-2012, setting the Guinness World Record with over 8,000 men pledged in the 2011-2012 academic year.
In the Spring of 2005, Kappa Sigma Fraternity began fundraising for and construction of a new headquarters. This $6 million project had its grand opening on June 2, 2007. At the 66th Conclave, the Kappa Sigma Endowment Fund was declared to be the only official educational foundation of the fraternity.
Kappa Sigmas are taught to live their lives by the Star and Crescent, which are also the symbols of the Fraternity that make up the official badge:
"The Star and Crescent shall not be worn by every man, but only by him who is worthy to wear it. He must be a gentleman... a man of honor and courage... a man of zeal, yet humble... an intelligent man... a man of truth... one who tempers action with wisdom and, above all else, one who walks in the light of God."
They also follow the four pillars of the Fraternity: Fellowship, Leadership, Scholarship, and Service.
The Star and Crescent is also used as part of the guidelines behind Kappa Sigma's strict no-tolerance anti-hazing policy. The Fraternity takes all allegations of hazing very seriously and routinely revokes charters from guilty chapters which can be as old as 130 years.
Atheists as well as agnostics are ineligible for membership and in at least one situation, Kappa Sigma has revoked a chapter's charter for omitting the fraternity's religious requirements from its initiation.
Kappa Sigma's mission statement is outlined by five points:
- The Fraternity should complement and enhance the educational mission of the host institution.
- The Fraternity should promote the ideal of Brotherhood.
- The Fraternity should actively contribute to the personal growth and development of its members.
- The Fraternity should promote ethical behavior and decision-making.
- The Fraternity should encourage service to others.
The Kappa Sigma Fraternity consists of over 300 chapters and colonies (probationary chapters). Each chapter is led by a five member Executive Committee (EC), each referred to as an officer. These officers consist of the Grand Master (President), Grand Procurator (First Vice President), Grand Master of Ceremonies (Second Vice President), Grand Scribe (Secretary), and Grand Treasurer. Each chapter and colony also has a number of committee chairs that are assigned to specific areas (e.g. scholarship, sports, community service).
Over 1,200 alumni volunteer as advisors for Kappa Sigma.
At the international level, the Supreme Executive Council (SEC) sets policy for the fraternity, disciplines chapters, and approves the formation of colonies and chapter. The offices of the SEC mirror the office of the undergraduate EC and consist of the Worthy Grand Master (WGM), the Worthy Grand Procurator (WGP), the Worthy Grand Master of Ceremonies (WGMC), the Worthy Grand Scribe (WGS), and the Worthy Grand Treasurer (WGT). The WGM, WGP and the WGMC each serve a two-year term, while the WGS and WGT each serve a four-year term with either the WGS or the WGT elected along with the other officers at the biennial Grand Conclave.
There are over sixty districts covering America and Canada divided into five Areas. Typically, districts are composed of all the Kappa Sigma chapters and colonies within a State or Province, or a portion of a State or Province. Each district, composed of roughly 5 chapters each, are overseen by the District Grand Masters (DGM) and Assistant District Grand Masters (ADGM) who serve as liaisons between the undergraduate chapters and colonies and the SEC.
An Alumnus Adviser (an AA) and several Assistant Alumnus Advisers (AAA), provide advice and assistance to each undergraduate chapter and colony. Along with the Alumnus Adviser, there are traditionally one Assistant Alumnus Adviser for each of the four EC positions other than Grand Master. That is, there are AAAs for the undergraduate offices of GP, GMC, GT and GS respectively.
There also exists several committees (each with a volunteer commissioner) under the SEC (e.g. ritual committee, business and finance committee, long-range planning committee). Each committee is made up strictly of volunteers and some contain various targeted subcommittees.
The Undergraduate Advisory Committee (UAC), which is made of one undergraduate from each of the five areas, is charged with representing the their respective area as well as the general undergraduate perspective at all SEC meetings.
This staff includes the Executive Director, Mitchell Wilson, as well as multiple program directors and administrative assistants.
Also based out of international headquarters are the Area Recruitment Managers (ARM), who are in charge of recruitment goals and provide recruitment assistance to chapters in their respective geographic area.
While most activities of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity occur at the undergraduate chapters, the Fraternity oversees four international programs or campaigns.
Greater Cause program
The Greater Cause program is designed to record the activities and reinforce the concept that Kappa Sigma members should play an active role in their communities. Specifically, the program aims at raising $25 for and dedicating 25 hours per year towards charitable causes for each member. The program also aims at having 100% of the eligible chapter members registered to vote. Every chapter organizes its own charitable events, usually donating the proceeds to a local charity.
Some of the bigger events that chapters organize are the "Catch-A-Dream Charity Classic Football Game" organized by the Delta-Chi Chapter at Mississippi State University, and the "Apple Cup Run," jointly organized by the Beta-Psi Chapter at the University of Washington and the Gamma-Mu Chapter at Washington State University. Or, the "Governor's Cup Ball Run," jointly organized by the Mu-Eta Chapter at the University of Louisville and the Beta-Nu Chapter at the University of Kentucky, who in 2010 will hold its 16th Annual Run. The Chi-Omega chapter at the University of South Carolina raises money annually for the Ray Tanner Foundation, which benefits economically and medically disadvantaged children in South Carolina, and the Columbia metropolitan area. The Kappa-Pi chapter at the University of Central Oklahoma hosts the Bath Tub push that benefits the Veterans' Families United Foundation,
Champion Quest program
Kappa Sigma's Champion Quest Program is a "results-driven" recruitment initiative aimed at increasing the number of men added to the Kappa Sigma each year.
The fraternity attributes its success to "its pursuit of Jackson's Dream", a reference to the dream of the influential member Steven Alonzo Jackson, and notes that the campaign has "yielded six consecutive years of record-setting membership growth and elevated Kappa Sigma to new heights, as the most preferred college fraternity in North America."
Brothers in Action program
Brothers in Action (BIA) is the "official membership development program of Kappa Sigma Fraternity" which seeks both individual and chapter development through goal setting and through emphasizing the four cornerstones of Kappa Sigma: Fellowship, Leadership, Scholarship and Service.
The Brothers in Action program begins with the "BIA for Pledges program" and continues throughout your involvement with Kappa Sigma, including opportunities for personal growth and development at the various leadership conferences and conclaves.
Military Heroes Campaign
During the 66th Grand Conclave the Fraternity announced a new charity entitled the "Kappa Sigma Fraternity Military Heroes Campaign". The effort focuses service and donations towards soldiers disabled or killed in the line of duty. The Supreme Executive Committee determines how the contributions will be distributed to support these Patriots and Veterans. In recent years The American chapters raised money for the Fisher House Foundation whereas the Canadian Chapters raised money for either the Fisher House Foundation or one of the two other approved Canadian Armed Forces organizations and specifically The Valour Place.
Kappa Sigma Endowment Fund
In 1919, the Kappa Sigma Endowment Fund was established "to support the charitable and beneficent purposes of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity". The Endowment Fund's first donors contributed $101 as the foundation for the fund's assets. Currently, the Endowment Fund has two primary recognition levels for donors, the One of Jackson's Men program - for donors who contributed $1000 or more to the Endowment Fund, and the Heritage Society for planned gift donors.
The Endowment Fund assists with the educational and leadership programming at each Conclave and Leadership Conference. In addition, each year, the Endowment Fund awards $250,000 in scholarships to undergraduate members. These Scholarship and Leadership Awards are presented on Founders' Day (December 10). To date, the Endowment Fund has contributed over $4.5 million in scholarships since 1948.
The Endowment Fund sponsors leadership conferences each year held in conjunction with Kappa Sigma's biennial Conclave and Regional Leadership Conferences. In 2011, the 68th Grand Conclave was held in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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