Sigma Pi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the college fraternity. For the literary society, see Sigma Pi (literary society).
Sigma Pi
ΣΠ
Sigma Pi crest.jpg
Founded February 26, 1897 (116 years old)
Vincennes University
Type Social, Secret
Scope International
United States
Canada
Mission statement To advance man's quest for excellence.[1]
Vision statement Sigma Pi men will strive for excellence by living our core values of promoting fellowship, developing character and leadership, advancing heightened moral awareness, enabling academic achievement, and inspiring service.[1]
Colors  Lavender  and  White  with  Gold  as an auxiliary
Symbol Owl
Flag Flag of Sigma Pi.svg
Flower Lavender Orchid
Jewel Emerald
Publication The Emerald
Chapters 124 active chapters, 5 colonies, 45 active alumni clubs, 98 Inactive Chapters[2]
Members 6,000+ collegiate
100,000+[3] lifetime
Headquarters 106 North Castle Heights Ave
Lebanon, Tennessee, 37087, USA
Homepage www.sigmapi.org

Sigma Pi (ΣΠ) is an international social and secret collegiate fraternity founded in 1897 at Vincennes University. Sigma Pi Fraternity International currently has 124 chapters and 5 colonies in the United States and Canada and is headquartered in Lebanon, Tennessee. Like most social fraternities, membership is by invitation and limited to men. Currently Sigma Pi has initiated more than 100,000 men and has 6,000 undergraduate members.

Sigma Pi strives to enhance the collegiate experience by building and supporting chapters and alumni organizations for the purpose of maintaining a fellowship of kindred minds united in Brotherhood. Furthermore, Sigma Pi Fraternity is a men's collegiate fraternal organization that provides training, guidance and innovative opportunities for: leadership development, social and personal development, academic achievement, community service, and heightened moral awareness for its brothers throughout their lives.

History[edit]

Founders[edit]

Sigma Pi Founders 1897.jpg

Founding and early history (1897-1907)[edit]

On January 26, 1897 Charlotte N. Mallote, a professor of Latin and French, spoke to a group of students during chapel hour at Vincennes University about College Fraternities. One month later on February 26, 1897 a new literary society had its first meeting, founded by William Raper Kennedy, James Thompson Kinsbury, George Martin Patterson, and Rolin Roscoe James. The first initiates of the society were Samuel and Maurice Bayard, who were brought into the organization well before it had a constitution or name. The constitution, name, and first ritual were developed at the home of the Bayard’s. The founders soon agreed upon a name, and the society was christened Tau Phi Delta (ΤΦΔ). By the end of its first year in 1898, Tau Phi Delta had 10 members, but the new Fraternity encountered membership struggles at the turn of the 20th century. Many of America’s young men left the states to fight in the Spanish American War. Personal endeavors were paused, as the nation focused all efforts on the war that was raging in the Caribbean and Pacific Oceans. Key members of Tau Phi Delta, William Raper Kennedy, Lee B. Purcell, and Maurice Bayard had all left to participate in the war, leaving Rolin Roscoe James as the sole member by the end of the war. James restored the society by initiating five new members shortly after the turn of the 20th century. These new members pressured James to change the name to Theta Gamma Psi (ΘΓΨ), but James successfully argued to keep the society named Tau Phi Delta. In 1903-1904, the Fraternity had grown so large that it ceased to meet at Vincennes, instead meeting at a small cottage nearby. This structure is considered the fraternity's first chapter house. In 1907, Tau Phi Delta began meeting at the old colonial residence of Judge J.P.L Weems. It was in the Niblack-Weems household that Tau Phi Delta reorganized as Sigma Pi. The home would later play host to the first national congress.[4]

Sigma Pi house at William & Mary est. 1931

In 1904-05, Tau Phi Delta finally began to seek expansion to other universities. Although rejected, a local fraternity at Indiana University petitioned to become the second chapter, and Tau Phi Delta began to engage in talks with other local fraternities at nearby universities. These discussions ultimately ended without expansion. Additional Chapters would eventually be added after Tau Phi Delta became Sigma Pi on February 11, 1907.[4]

Patterson episode: how Sigma Pi got its name[edit]

Robert George Patterson (of no relation to the founder) was only 11 years old in 1896, when he first heard William Jennings Bryan speak. Patterson was convinced Jennings Bryan was the greatest American of his time. Shortly after the president election in 1896, Patterson read Jennings Bryan's autobiography The First Battle, which revealed Jennings Bryan was a member of Sigma Pi, a literary society at Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois. Patterson was determined to attend the college and follow the footsteps of Jennings Bryan. However, Patterson's parents forced him to attend the nearby Ohio State University, prohibiting from joining the literary society that only existed at Illinois College. Patterson still desired to become a member of the prestigious Sigma Pi. He wrote Sigma Pi at the Illinois College to petition for expansion, but was rejected as the society refused to expand. Patterson also contacted another fraternity named Sigma Pi at the University of Toronto to request expansion, but was again rejected.[4]

In 1907, Patterson learned of Tau Phi Delta and wrote them asking if they would "consolidate with us and become a Chapter of Sigma Pi Fraternity." Despite seeking to expand, Sigma Pi did not actually exist; Patterson was its sole member. Tau Phi Delta agreed and planned to consolidate. Patterson himself faked and made up the entire history of his Sigma Pi. Patterson stated it was founded in 1752 at The College of William and Mary and historical elites such as James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis and others were members. He claimed Sigma Pi failed during the Revolutionary War, but was kept alive by passing down its traditions from father to son. According to Patterson, Sigma Pi was revived in 1801 by Payne Todd, step-son of alleged member James Madison. He claimed Sigma Pi was successful until its repression by the Anti-Masonic Party in 1835. Patterson was the first to bring about its public revival since the repression. Under this guise Sigma Pi expanded and added several chapters.[4]

William Jennings Bryan

In 1909, Patterson's lies and fallacies began to collapse. The World Almanac published Patterson's Sigma Pi on its list of fraternities. It listed its founding date as 1752 and William Jennings Bryan as its most famous alumni. Upon hearing this, Jennings Bryan sent letters to inform the magazine of its mistake and denounce his inclusion as its alumni. Jennings Bryan was a brother of the Delta Chi. He never belonged to any organization at The College of William and Mary, just Delta Chi Fraternity and Sigma Pi Literary Society at the College of Illinois. Furthermore, when Patterson submitted materials for Sigma Pi Fraternity's inclusion in William Raimond Baird's 7th edition of Baird's Manual of American College Fraternities, it was rejected. Discussing the request for inclusion, Baird wrote "all statements concerning the alleged origin of this society are inherently incredible." He suggested the story seemed to "be the product of a rather sophomoric imagination." Sigma Pi Fraternity, still unaware of Patterson's lies, appealed to Baird to reconsider. Baird refused and eventually published an article ridiculing Sigma Pi Fraternity to the entire Greek community. Patterson was immediately expelled from the society and all records bearing his name were deleted. Only in the second half of the 20th century did Sigma Pi research and include this incident in its history.[4]

With the expulsion of Patterson at end of 1909, Sigma Pi had 5 chapters: Vincennes University, University of Illinois, Ohio State University, Temple University, and the University of Pennsylvania. At this time the Fraternity redesigned its badge, coat of arms, and ritual, becoming Sigma Pi as it is known today.[4]

Recent history: 1910 - present[edit]

Sigma Pi survived the embarrassment of the Patterson Incident and continued to grow. By 1918 it had 14 chapters in seven states from California to New York. In 1910, Sigma Pi co-founded and became part of the National Interfraternity Conference, now known as the North-American Interfraternity Conference. On July 15, 1911 Sigma Pi's official publication, the Emerald, was first published, although it would not be regularly published until 1914.World War I saw only the Kappa Chapter at Temple University close, although many others operated on a "skeleton" basis. When men returned from the first World War and began to resume and start their education, Sigma Pi greatly expanded. From 1920-1927, Sigma Pi doubled in number of chapters and established a central office in 1926. In 1937, Mississippi State University Chapter was installed, becoming the first new chapter formed from a colony. Before the Alpha-Lambda Chapter, all other new chapters were other fraternities or societies already in existence that agreed to consolidate into Sigma Pi. By May 1940, Sigma Pi had 34 active chapters and 2 inactive chapters. World War II decimated the fraternity, causing it to almost disappear entirely. As all able bodied young men left to fight for their country or to serve in defense plants, few college aged men remained. By the end of the war, Sigma Pi had only 11 active chapters.[4]

Brother Wally Schirra entering capsule Sigma 7 (1962)

Following World War II, many veterans attended college under the GI Bill. Sigma Pi, again, took advantage of the spur in college enrollment. By 1950 Sigma Pi had grown to 53 Chapters, 7 of which remained inactive. Ten years later the Fraternity had grown to 63 Chapters, and saw the merging of a national fraternity into Sigma Pi in 1964. Delta Kappa petitioned to Sigma Pi for membership after an edict from the New York State Board of Regents prohibited any national Fraternity from existing at a state-funded university forcing many chapters to close. Delta Kappa's national structure crumbled after this decision, but chapters in the rest of the country were determined to continue their national tradition. Delta Kappa's individual chapters appealed to the ever expanding Sigma Pi. All but two chapters of Delta Kappa were re-initiated as members of Sigma Pi, growing the fraternity's numbers drastically.

The 1960s proved to be Sigma Pi's largest growth to date, adding 39 chapters, giving the Fraternity 109 total Chapters. In 1984 Sigma Pi became an international organization upon the chartering of the first Canadian Chapter (Zeta-Iota at Western Ontario), ushering the fraternity to change its name to the current title, Sigma Pi Fraternity International. The Fraternity currently consists of 123 active collegiate groups, dozens of alumni clubs, and over 100,000 initiates. Today the Fraternity continues to seek expansion with several newly chartered chapters and developing colonies, as well as reviving inactive chapters annually.[4]

Alpha Chapter at Vincennes University: preserving Sigma Pi's history[edit]

Sigma Pi Centennial Clock Tower at Alpha Chapter (Vincennes University)

After its founding in 1897, the Alpha Chapter at Vincennes University closed in 1910. It remained dormant for 55 years until 1965 when the Alpha Chapter was re-activated. Grand Sage Frank C. Fryburg (Theta, Penn State University) worked with the students and dean at Vincennes to re-activate the Chapter. However, the North-American Interfraternity Conference prevented its members from opening chapters at 2 year Junior colleges. Honorary Grand Sage Curtis G. Shake (Alpha, Vincennes) was tasked with creating a formal petition to the NIC, which requested special dispensation be granted to Sigma Pi to reopen the Chapter. The petition passed and on February 26, 1965, Alpha Chapter was re-charted. In December 1970, the success of the Alpha Chapter convinced the NIC to allow chapters at all junior colleges. A clock tower on the campus of Vincennes University commemorates the foundation of Sigma Pi. The fraternity’s headquarters were also located in Vincennes at the Shadowwood Estate of Colonel Eugene C. Wharf who donated his estate to Sigma Pi upon his death. In 2003 the Fraternity’s headquarters moved to Brentwood, Tennessee. Despite Sigma Pi’s diminished presence at Vincennes University, the fraternity still recognizes and celebrates the university as its birthplace. The Alpha chapter is still successfully active today, claiming some of Vincennes University's most famous and successful alumni, including three Vincennes University Presidents, as members.[4]

Government[edit]

Sigma Pi has three main subordinate bodies: Chapters, Alumni Clubs, and colonies. A colony is started by a group of men at a university, who are interested in joining Sigma Pi. No man in a colony is initiated, until the chapter is chartered. An active Chapter is composed of at least twenty-five active members and is also in good standing with their respective college or university and with the Grand Chapter. To be in good standing with the Grand Chapter, a Chapter must pay all financial debts, be in good judicial standing, and host all required events. Alumni Clubs are composed of Sigma Pi members, who are no longer undergraduates, but retain their affiliation with Sigma Pi. Alumni Clubs are created by geography or for a particular chapter. All three are important in the continued success of Sigma Pi.[4]

Sigma Pi is governed by its Constitution and Bylaws, as well as the rules and regulations of the North-American Interfraternal Conference. Individual Chapters are also subjected to the regulations of the administration of their school and the local Interfraternal Council. Sigma Pi Fraternity has resolved to hold its chapters accountable for compliance with all Grand Chapter and University policies, FIPG guidelines, new member education policies, minimum standards on chapter membership, and adherence to the governing laws of the Fraternity.[4]

Any man, who meets the requirements, may be offered a bid to membership. Honorary membership may be extended to relatives of members, alumni and members of the faculty or administration of a university. Once accepting membership, all men are governed by the Bylaws and Constitution of Sigma Pi. The Constitution and Bylaws of Sigma Pi are reviewed and may be changed by a favorable vote at a Convocation held biennially. Sigma Pi is ruled by a Grand Chapter, which reflects the structure that governs individual chapters. Individual Chapters and the Grand Chapter are ruled by Robert's Rules of Order.[4]

Grand Chapter[edit]

The Grand Chapter consists of chapter and alumni club delegates, past, present, and honorary Grand Officers, and Founders' Award recipients. The Grand Chapter is headed by the Grand Council. Each alumni club is given 1 vote. Each chapter in good standing is given 2 votes. A colony receives no votes until is it charted and becomes a chapter. Robert's Rule's of Order dictate meetings of the Grand Chapter. The Grand Chapter has full jurisdiction over the Fraternity, elects officers, amends the Constitution and Bylaws and possesses all powers of a legislative assembly. Meetings of the Grand Chapter are held every two years at a Convocation. Each Chapter is required to send one delegate.[4]

When the Grand Chapter is not in session, all governmental power is vested in the Grand Council. The Grand Council consists of 7 officers, who are elected at the Biennial Convocation for a term of two years. Before 2010, the Grand Council previously was concerned with policy creation and the implementation. In 2010, Sigma Pi changed its governance policy, as it decided the Grand Council was too pre-occupied with implementation to be truly effective. The Grand Council has become essentially a Board of Governors. They design end policies based upon dialogue with members. The Executive Office Staff at the Brentwood, Tennessee Headquarters then determines the means by which the policies will be achieved and implemented. Any member of Sigma Pi may be elected to any of the seven positions on the Grand Chapter. Generally candidates have served on the Grand Chapter previously. The Bylaws of Sigma Pi allow the Grand Chapter to maintain two standing committees: scholarship and expansion.[4]

Grand Council structure[edit]

The titles and roles of the government of Sigma Pi at the Grand and Chapter level are summarized below:[4]

  1. Grand Sage (President) - Presides over the Fraternity, as well as acting as Chairman and Chief Governance Officer. He leads the discussions of the Chapter.
  2. Grand Second Counselor (Vice President) - Assumes the role of Sage, when the Sage is absent or unable to perform his duties. He also is in charge of the committees to ensure they accomplish what has been assigned to them.
  3. Grand Third Counselor (Treasurer) - Controls the financials of the fraternity and makes sure all decisions are financially sound.
  4. Grand Fourth Counselor (Secretary) - Controls the minutes of meetings, as well as all correspondence. He also keeps accurate records of membership.
  5. Grand First Counselor (Sergeant at Arms) - Acts as a parliamentarian, risk management, alumni secretary.
  6. Grand Herald (Historian) - Keeps historical records of Sigma Pi.
  7. Past Grand Sage - Provides continuity.

Differences between Grand Chapter and chapters[edit]

The government of individual chapters mirrors the Grand Chapter, except the use of the prefix "Grand." Since the Grand Council has essentially become a Board of Directors using policy governance, the traditional roles of each member of the Grand Council are no longer strictly followed. However, in the individual chapters this is not the case; a chapter's executive council follow the traditional duties of their position. Chapters are required to maintain scholarship, recruitment, pledge education, finance, social, and intramural committees. They are encouraged, but not required, to have: alumni relations, public relations, risk management, and community service. Each chapter is required to have an adviser, generally encouraged to be an alumnus or faculty member, but may be anyone. They are free to make any rules that do not conflict with the regulations of Sigma Pi International, National Laws, individual rules of the Interfraternal Council, and their college or university.[4]

Executive Office and Executive Director[edit]

Sigma Pi house at the University of Illinois at Urbana

The Executive Office, located in Lebanon, Tennessee, serves as an information and service center. Information and assistance is available for all phases of chapter operations. All templates of forms and other materials are kept at the Executive Office. All of the Fraternity's publications are prepared and distributed at the Executive Offices. The Executive Office is also the primary record keeper of Sigma Pi. A small museum also exists at the Executive Office. The museum consists of items donated by famous members and artifacts from the Fraternity's history.[4]

As noted the Grand Chapter and Grand Council simply dictate end policies. After dictating end policies, the implementation of those policies falls on the Executive Office. The Chief Executive Officer or Executive Director is responsible for the management of the headquarters, including all staff and operations of the Fraternity. He devotes his time to the interests of the Fraternity. He reports directly to the Grand Sage and is responsible to the orders of the Grand Council. He is required to maintain full and accurate records of the business affairs of Sigma Pi. He gives periodic reports to the Grand Council, Grand Chapter, and Convocations. The Executive Director previously traveled to chapters to advise them personally. But with the large size of the fraternity over the entire country, this became impractical and unhelpful.[4]

Sigma Pi created Educational Leadership Consultants (ELC) to fill this role. An ELC is a young alumnus selected for the position based on his undergraduate education and experience. He undergoes an intensive training period to prepare him for his advising role. He then travels to all chapters in his jurisdiction. He then helps them develop programs to improve their chapter. Executive Director Michael Ayalon announced that the ELC program will be closed on July 1, 2013, at which time it will be placed by a new Regional Director system.[4]

Foundations of membership[edit]

Sigma Pi, like many social fraternities, limits membership to men only. Requirements can vary by campus, depending on the rules of the university or college and the standards dictated by the campus Interfraternity Council. Generally Sigma Pi requires members to be in good academic standing and be active in the campus community. Potential members meet the brothers of a chapter during a process called rush. Following rush, the chapter convenes and votes on potential new members. With a favorable vote by the entire chapter, a potential new member will be offered a bid to join the local Sigma Pi chapter. If accepted, the man begins his pledgeship. Sigma Pi defines a pledge as "a man who has assented to become a member and who has been elected to membership, but has not yet been initiated." During this period the pledge and the Fraternity come to know each other better and mutually reaffirm the decision to become full members in Sigma Pi. During his pledgeship, a man will learn about the Fraternity's history, operations, and reasons for existence. He will also learn how his specific chapter operates and what is expected of him as a brother. A pledge has no right to exert influence on chapter policy or organization until he is granted full membership upon initiation; however, a pledge should still participate in conversations about chapter policy and organization with initiated members. Generally the pledge should speak through his big brother or the new member educator.[4]

Sigma Pi Fraternity International has a strict no hazing policy. Briefly Sigma Pi defines hazing as anything that produces physical or mental stress. A pledge surrenders no legal or social rights, none of his personal or family ties, nor any of his moral or religious ideas or standards, when accepting an invitation to join Sigma Pi. Although not an initiated member, a pledge should not be viewed as less than or unequal to a member. He simply does not know the secrets and rituals of Sigma Pi. His status as a pledge in no way entitles members to treat him any differently than any other member of Sigma Pi.[4]

Although a pledge may not know everything about Sigma Pi, he is still governed by the expectations and rules of Sigma Pi. Some of the important principles, ideals and obligations are expressed below.[4]

Sigma Pi Motto[edit]

Robert Browning, a key influence of the founders

The mother of the first two initiates of Sigma Pi, Samuel and Maurice Bayard, chose the Fraternity's motto during one of the first meetings. There was much debate about the appropriate motto, and no agreement could be reached among the members. Attempting to point the fraternity in the right direction, Ms. Joseph L. Bayard (née Orr) took a volume of Robert Browning's poems from a shelf, turned to A Death in the Desert, reading what would become the motto.[5]

Progress, man's distinctive mark alone,
Not God's, and not the beasts';
God is, they are.
Man partly is and wholly hopes to be.

Five ideals[edit]

Sigma Pi Fraternity promotes five basic ideals, which a brother considers to be of extreme worth. Each ideal is mentioned in the Creed of Sigma Pi. Each ideal represents goals which every member is encouraged to strive toward in their own daily life.[6]

  1. The First Ideal: To establish a brotherhood.
  2. The Second Ideal: To establish and maintain an aristocracy of learning.
  3. The Third Ideal: To raise the standards of morality and develop character.
  4. The Fourth Ideal: To diffuse culture and encourage chivalry.
  5. The Fifth Ideal: To promote the spirit of civic righteousness and quicken the national conscience.

Creed[edit]

By committing to Sigma Pi, Brothers also strive to follow the five ideals as expressed in the Sigma Pi Creed. It is the guide and ideal around which a brother patterns his life.

I Believe
in Sigma Pi, a Fellowship of
kindred minds, united in
Brotherhood to advance Truth
and Justice, to promote
Scholarship, to encourage
Chivalry, to diffuse Culture, and
to develop Character, in the
Service of God and Man; and
I will strive to make real the
Fraternity's ideals in my own
daily life.[7]

Ten obligations of members[edit]

Sigma Pi demands its members have a reasonable amount of interest and participation in its affairs. Sigma Pi's expectations are summarized by the 10 obligations. All brothers are expected to regard each obligation with utmost seriousness and strive to work towards their fulfillment. If properly followed, these obligations help make Sigma Pi chapters run effectively and efficiently as well as making Sigma Pi men outstanding members of their communities and society.[4]

  1. The First Obligation: Give proper attention to the interests of Sigma Pi.
  2. The Second Obligation: Regard the Fraternity with a spirit of sincerity and respect and give earnest considerations to its teachings and ideals.
  3. The Third Obligation: Meet Financial Obligations Promptly And Fully.
  4. The Fourth Obligation: Cheerfully perform tasks that may be assigned for the good of the Fraternity.
  5. The Fifth Obligation: At all times be a gentleman and use moderation in all things.
  6. The Sixth Obligation: Strive at all times to cooperate for the good of the Fraternity.
  7. The Seventh Obligation: Work diligently to maintain good scholarship.
  8. The Eighth Obligation: Participate in worthy college activities.
  9. The Ninth Obligation: Profit by associations with men in a spirit of fraternalism.
  10. The Tenth Obligation: Be an exemplary Sigma Pi and citizen.

Expectations of membership[edit]

Sigma Pi has several expectations of members to help them gain the most from their membership in Sigma Pi. These expectations are expressed below.[4]

  1. I will respect the dignity of all persons, and therefore, I will not physically, psychologically, or sexually abuse any human being.
  2. I will respect the rights of property, both others and my own; therefore I will not, nor will I tolerate, the abuse of private or community property.
  3. I will pay all of my financial obligations in a timely manner.
  4. I will not use nor support the use of illegal drugs.
  5. I will not abuse nor support the abuse of alcohol.
  6. I acknowledge that a clean and an attractive environment is essential to both physical and mental health; therefore, I will do all in my power to see that the Chapter property is properly cleaned and maintained.
  7. I will confront the members of my Fraternity who are violating the bylaws and policies.

Philanthropy[edit]

Sigma Pi encourages a fraternal culture that promotes its ideals by philanthropic events for its members and the communities in which its chapters are located. Each Chapter is required to complete regular philanthropy events and participate in Sigma Pi's Altruistic Campus Experience (ACE). The ACE project is in addition to each Chapter's normal philanthropy events that it holds throughout the year. Finally, Sigma Pi's Educational Fund provides assistance to students to cover the costs of college tuition.

General philanthropy[edit]

Every two years at the Biennium Convention, Sigma Pi selects a new charity as the official philanthropy of Sigma Pi. At times Sigma Pi will select more than one charity. Usually Sigma Pi selects charities created by or for brothers and their families. By doing this Sigma Pi hopes to turn tragedies into rallying points to help promote a cause that has affected brothers and their families.

Medal of Honor Recipient Brother Major General James Livingston meeting with troops.

At this time Sigma Pi focuses its philanthropic efforts on two organizations for the next two years; the Amazing Day Foundation, and Donate Life America. Additionally, Sigma Pi requires each individual chapter to sponsor philanthropy events throughout the academic school year. Sigma Pi even encourages Chapters to participate in Philanthropy events that occur during breaks and summers. The Fraternity currently allows each individual Chapter to assist any charitable cause as they see fit.

ACE: Altruistic Campus Experience[edit]

The Fraternity's "ACE" (Altruistic Campus Experience) Project is the first fraternity or sorority campus service program for chapters specifically designed to benefit their host institutions. The program is designed to improve the campuses, on which Chapters are located, thereby improving the collegiate experience for the entire college or university. The ACE Project is unique to Sigma Pi. No other collegiate Greek organization has undertaken a similar initiative.[8] ACE's primary goal is to "not only help the school, but also to help boost the pride our members have in their campuses, and leave a possible legacy for the future."[9]

The ACE Project began in the fall of 2002 when Former Executive Director Mark Briscoe re-evaluated the role of Greek life on campus. Briscoe presented the idea during the 2003 Mid Year Leadership Conference, which is held annually in St. Louis, Missouri. The ACE Program was approved. After completing ACE's logistics and participation requirements, the program was kicked off in the Fall of 2003. Said Briscoe, "We are not going to bounce basketballs to raise money for books. We are going to really get involved with what our colleges and universiites need by volunteering labor where they need it. This program is conducted in the spirit of altruism, and as our campuses improve, we will all share the benefits of a better collegiate experience."[9]

Chapters first gather resources and then meet with an administrative campus official. Every project is unique to the individual campuses of each Chapter. Chapters are asked to determine a campus need and work to fill that need. The university must be aware of and approve the project prior to beginning the project. After achieving approval, the Chapter works to complete their project, finishing with a presentation to the administration on the entire process. The project is then reported to Sigma Pi International's headquarters.

Educational fund[edit]

Beginning in 1947, Honorary Grand Sage Byron R. Lewis (Member of both the Alpha and Phi Chapters) donated several monetary gifts, recommending that the money be used to begin an educational fund. In his name the Byron R. Lewis Educational Fund was established. It's stated goals were to: "supplement the work of colleges in the educational development of students; to assist needy and deserving students to complete their education; and to aid aged or disabled former students who are in need or worthy of assistance." In 1992, the fund was renamed the Sigma Pi Educational Foundation. Any Sigma Pi member in good standing may become a member of the Educational Foundation by contributing an annual 100 dollar membership fee or $5,000 in lifetime gifts. In 2000, the Foundation's assets were worth more than 2.3 million dollars. The Educational foundation's growth supports Sigma Pi members in their continuing quest for education. At the 2012 Convocation in San Antonio, Texas, Sigma Pi unanimously voted to collect 5 dollars per undergraduate member per year specifically for the educational foundation.[10]

Publications[edit]

Sigma Pi has several publications, which aid its operations. Each serves a specific purpose within the Fraternity that helps Sigma Pi excel in all facets of membership. Sigma Pi has promotional literature to help promote Greek Life in general but also membership in Sigma Pi. Sigma Pi also produces manuals that aid the pledge education process, as well as all ritual information. Sigma Pi finally produces a magazine to keep alumni members informed. These publications are all written, edited, and updated at Sigma Pi's Headquarters in Brentwood, Tennessee.[4]

The Emerald of Sigma Pi[edit]

Commonly referred to as The Emerald, the magazine is published three time a year. It is sent to initiated members, libraries, Greek advisors, other Greek organizations, and any other subscribers. Louis L. Moore (Kappa, Temple University) edited the magazine's first issue, which was published July 15, 1911. Due to the lack of financial support, The Emerald was not published again for nearly 3 years. Luther C. Weeks (Eta, Purdue University) published three issues starting in October 1914. Weeks' Emerald created the standard for its publication that still exists today. The Emerald is designed to inform members of the progress and circumstances surrounding Sigma Pi on a national and chapter level. Many of the articles are produced by individual chapters and brothers. Each Chapter's herald writes a brief article with pictures detailing its activities. Each chapter's essay is published. Alumni are also encourages to write brief articles about their life progress. The Emerald helps keep alumni connected to Sigma Pi, which asks for membership that lasts a lifetime.[4]

The Keryx[edit]

The Keryx was created in July 1931 to be the esoteric publication of Sigma Pi. It has been printed in many different formats over the years. Its purpose is to bring news of important matters and activities relating to the Fraternity's welfare to every initiated member. It may include financial statements of the Grand Chapter, Convocation proceedings, and reports on Grand Council meetings.[4]

The Manual of Ceremonies[edit]

The Manual of Ceremonies is the printed book, which contains the rituals of Sigma Pi. Each Chapter is only allowed to have six copies of The Manual of Ceremonies. It is the chapter's duty to safeguard this publication and make sure only initiated members see it.[4]

I Believe - The Sigma Pi Pledge Manual[edit]

First published in 1940, the I Believe is distributed to every man who pledges Sigma Pi and pays his pledge deposit. The I Believe contains information on the history of fraternities in general, general etiquette, the value of membership in Sigma Pi, Sigma Pi's ideals, history, and government among many other topics. The I Believe is invaluable in the education of new members on everything Sigma Pi. It is the comprehensive and complete guide to everything a new member must know before becoming an initiated member in Sigma Pi.[4]

Who's Who in Sigma Pi[edit]

Who's Who in Sigma Pi is a directory of every member of Sigma Pi. It is published at least once a decade, but all records are kept on computers for viewing at anytime by Executive Office Staff or initiated member through the MySigmaPi online portal. It has both alphabetical and geographical information on members. Geographical information can be sorted by region or chapter.[4]

Song book[edit]

Sigma Pi's first song book was created in 1920. The first publication, entitled Songs of Sigma Pi, was published in 1922 and was widely successful. The song book was not reprinted until 1968, when Sigma Pi Sings was published. It includes all the songs that the Fraternity considers important with lyrics and sheet music.[4]

Chapters and colonies[edit]

Over several years, Sigma Pi has been able to grow the number of chapters at an accelerated rate. The Sigma Pi Executive Office has been committed to not only recruiting quality men to formulate new chapters but also to provide continued support to these chapters through their "Colony Development Department". Their "Colony Development Consultants" have been able to work with colonies on the road to chartering and have developed a formula for success that has been instrumental in the establishment of many new chapters.[11] Sigma Pi continues to develop colonies at major colleges and universities, as well as lesser known schools. Sigma Pi also emphasizes re-activating dormant chapters.

Notable alumni[edit]

Government, military, law and politics[edit]

Name Original chapter Notability Reference
Mike Beebe
MikeBeebeGovernorCropped.jpg
Alpha Pi, Arkansas State University Former Attorney General and current Governor of Arkansas. [12]
Curtis Shake
Judge Curtis Shake.jpg
Alpha, Vincennes University Indiana jurist, politician, and 72nd Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court, and the presiding judge of the IG Farben trial, one of the Subsequent Nuremberg Trials [7]
Jere L. Beasley
Jere Beasley.JPG
Delta-Psi, Troy University Lieutenant Governor, State of Alabama [13]
James R. Bullington Alpha Delta, Auburn University U.S. Ambassador, Country of Burundi; Peace Corps Director, Country of Niger [14]
Sir Baron Walter Downing de Skiodung-Erlach Kephart Delta, University of Pennsylvania Danish Royalty [13]
Herbert H. Kerr Delta, University of Pennsylvania Director of Health Services Division, US Department of Health Education and Welfare [13]
Ray D. Free Pi, University of Utah Major General, United States Army Reserves; Past Commander of the 96th United States Army Reserve Command (Gt. Douglas, UT); President, Reserve Officers Association (1969-70) [13]
James E. Livingston
Livingston JE.jpg
Alpha-Delta, Auburn University Brigadier General, United States Marine Corps, Awarded the Medal of Honor, Purple Heart and the Silver Star, [13]
James M. Lyle
James Lyle.jpg
Alpha-eta, The College of William and Mary Major General, US Army; Commanding General, US Army Cadet Command [13]
Howard E. Milliken
WmHMilliken.JPG
Theta, Penn State Mayor, City of Harrisburg, PA (1940-48); Recipient, Seibert Memorial Prize [13]
William R. Peers
General William R. Peers (ca. 1967).jpg
Upsilon, UCLA Lt. General, US Army. Investigator, US Army War Crimes Investigation of the My Lai Incident of Vietnam; Author of The My Lai Incident [13]
George K. Sisler
George K Sisler.jpg
Alpha Pi, Arkansas State University Medal of Honor winner, member of the USA 1st Special Forces [13]
Ian Edward Nugent Iota Iota, Montclair State University Noted Philanthropist & Senator [13]

Science, technology and exploration[edit]

Name Original chapter Notability Reference
Paul W. Richards
Paul Richards.jpg
Beta Theta, Drexel University Astronaut, STS-102. [15]
William D. Mensch Kappa, Temple University CEO of Western Design Center, Inc. and inventor of the microprocessor for the Apple MacIntosh II computer (the Motorola 6800 as well as the MOS 6502). [16]
Walter Marty Schirra, Jr.
Mercury Astronaut Wally Schirra - GPN-2000-001351.jpg
Alpha Mu, New Jersey Institute of Technology Astronaut: Project Mercury, Project Gemini, and Project Apollo. [17]
Maurice Cole Tanquary
Tanquary 3641572132 5f18e2b13e o.jpg
Alpha, Vincennes University Explorer, Crocker Land Arctic Expedition, North Greenland [13]
Arthur W. Turner Sigma, Iowa State President, American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers; Head Researcher, USDA [13]
Max Ellis Alpha, Vincennes University Explorer, Leader of the Gimbel Scientific Expedition to British Guiana [13]
Chauncey Guy Suits Tau, University of Wisconsin Co-founder of the National Academy of Engineering, Director of General Electric. [18]
Luther S. West Mu, Cornell University Scientist-Consultant, World Health Organization, United Nations; Chief of Medical Entomology Section, Division of Parasitology, Army Medical School, Army Medical Center [19]

Sports, journalism, business, arts and entertainment[edit]

Name Original chapter Notability Reference
Jeff Arnett Eta Theta, University of Tennessee Current Master Distiller at Jack Daniel's. [20]
Frank Broyles
Frank Broyles.jpg
Alpha Sigma, University of Arkansas Former NCAA football player, coach, broadcaster, athletic director for the University of Arkansas. [21]
Daniel Gerson Mu, Cornell University Screenwriter
Jeff Gossett Beta Gamma, Eastern Illinois University Punter for the Oakland Raiders.
Tony Romo
Tony Romo before 2008 Pro Bowl.JPEG
Beta Gamma, Eastern Illinois University Quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. [22]
Will Demps
WillDemps.jpg
Alpha Omega, San Diego State University Former NCAA football player at , NFL safety for the Houston Texans, Baltimore Ravens, New York Giants and current free agent. [23]
Hugh Taylor Alpha Pi, Arkansas State Wide Receiver, Washington Redskins (holds Redskins' all-time scoring and pass-receiving records) [23]
James Avelar Beta-Omicron, Cal State-Long Beach Fullback, St. Louis Rams (former NFL Player) [13]
Guy "Red" Mackey
Guy Mackey 1963.jpg
Eta, Purdue Legendary Boilermaker football player, three sport varsity letterman (football, basketball, track), Mackey served as athletic director of Purdue (1942-1971) for which he was honored as the namesake of Mackey Arena at Purdue University. [24]
Josh Covert Alpha-Pi, Arkansas State University Former NFL Water/towel Boy [13]
Frank Spaziani
Frank Spaziani 2012 02.jpg
Theta. Penn State Former NCAA football player and former head football coach of Boston College (2009-2012). [24]
Peter F. Yelverton Epsilon-Theta, Elon University Video Editor, The Golf Channel [25]
Chris Fiore Alpha-Upsilon, University of Rhode Island Actor, TV-show Baywatch, Lucky Numbers [25]
James Goss Alpha-Rho, Missouri State Senior Vice President of The Inspiration Network, formerly Director of Creative Promotion at NBC Universal. [25]
Albert E. McKinley Kappa, Temple University Editor, History Magazine [25]
Nelson Farris Beta Omicron, Cal State-Long Beach Director of Nike. [25]
Herman Fisher Theta, Penn State Co-founder of Fisher-Price. [26]
Lewis Grizzard Beta Zeta, University of Georgia Syndicated columnist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, author, and humorist. [27]
W. M. Kiplinger Gamma, Ohio State Founder of Kiplinger, a Washington, D.C.-based publisher of business forecasts and personal finance advice, available in print, on line, audio, video and software products.
Tracy Lawrence
CountrySingerTracyLawrence.jpg
Epsilon-Kappa, Southern Arkansas University Country music star. [21]
James Reston Phi, Illinois University VP, Executive Editor and Staff Member of The New York Times, Winner of the Pulitzer Prize [28]
Alex Mihailovich Eta Rho (Founding Father), Carleton University Canadian television News Anchor and Reporter

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The Mission and Vision of Sigma Pi Fraternity". Retrieved 2008-07-22. 
  2. ^ "Sigma Pi Fraternity Chapter Listing". Retrieved 2012-05-15. 
  3. ^ The Fraternity continues to seek expansion with several newly chartered chapters and developing colonies.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai I Believe. Brentwood, TN: Sigma Pi Fraternity, International, 2010. Print.
  5. ^ "The History of Sigma Pi Fraternity". Retrieved 2009-04-23. 
  6. ^ "The Ideals of Sigma Pi Fraternity". Retrieved 2008-07-22. 
  7. ^ a b "The Creed of Sigma Pi Fraternity". Retrieved 2013-01-25. 
  8. ^ "Sigma Pi Fraternity >> What is ACE?". Retrieved 2008-07-22. 
  9. ^ a b "Sigme Pi Fraternity >> The Ace Project". Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  10. ^ "Sigma Pi Educational Foundation >> About Us". Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  11. ^ Past Expansion
  12. ^ Duffy, Joan (2007-01-18). "Mike Beebe's ascension makes him our Arkansan of the Year.". Arkansas Times. Retrieved 2007-07-27. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Sigma Pi Fraternity (2010-06-06). "Famous Sigma Pi Alumni". Retrieved 2012-05-15. 
  14. ^ "United States Ambassador to Burundi". 2012-09-21. 
  15. ^ "Astronaut Biography of Paul Richards". Retrieved 2011-05-25. 
  16. ^ The Western Design Center, Inc. (2008-06-06). "Executive Biography of William Mensch". Retrieved 2008-08-21. 
  17. ^ "Sigma Pi Alumnus Veteran Astronaut Walter Schirra Dies" (Press release). Sigma Pi International. 2007-05-03. Retrieved 2007-07-27. 
  18. ^ Ketchum, Paul (February 1938). "Chauncey G. Suits". The Wisconsin engineer 42 (5): 88. Retrieved 2008-08-21. 
  19. ^ Sigma Pi Fraternity (2010-06-06). "Famous Sigma Pi Alumni". Retrieved 2012-05-15. 
  20. ^ "No. 7: A master of his craft". 2009. Retrieved 2009. 
  21. ^ a b "North-American Interfraternity Conference - Greeks in the News". 2007-12-07. Retrieved 2008-10-10. 
  22. ^ "Tony Romo Website". 
  23. ^ a b "Greeks in Professional Football - Greeks in Professional Football". 2007-12-07. Retrieved 2008-10-10. 
  24. ^ a b . Purdue University http://www.purduegreeks.com/famousAlumni.php. Retrieved 15 May 2012.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  25. ^ a b c d e "Sigma Pi Famous Alumni". 2012-05-15. Retrieved 2011-05-15. 
  26. ^ "Herman G. Fisher - tracking the world". 2009-09-23. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  27. ^ Ruppersburg, Hugh (1992). Georgia Voices, Volume Two: Nonfiction. Athens and London: University of Georgia Press. pp. 556–557. ISBN 0-8203-1433-1. 
  28. ^ Dunlap, David W., "Sally F. Reston, Journalist and Photographer, Dies at 89", The New York Times, September 24, 2001

External links[edit]