Sigma Tau Gamma
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|Sigma Tau Gamma|
|Founded||June 28, 1920|
University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, MO
|Motto||A Path of Principles|
|Colors|| Azure Blue|
|Symbol||The Chain of Honor|
|Members||70,268 lifetime, |
|Headquarters||8741 Founders Road|
|Website||Sigma Tau Gamma Website|
Sigma Tau Gamma (ΣΤΓ), commonly known as Sig Tau, is a United States college social fraternity founded on June 28, 1920, at the University of Central Missouri (then known as Central Missouri State Teachers College). The fraternity was founded as a result of friendships made while some of the founders fought in World War I in France.
The fraternity went on to create new chapters on the campuses surrounding teachers' colleges (at the time also called "normal schools"). Since the Fraternity's beginnings in 1920, they have since spread to more than 175 university campuses across the United States.
Four of the founders (Emmett Ellis, Leland Thornton Hoback, Edward George Grannert, and William Glenn Parsons) had enlisted and served their country together during the First World War in France. Parsons commented that in founding the Fraternity they wanted to sustain a "sense of service, responsibility, and affection for their companions." These four, together with Allen Ross Nieman, Edward Henry McCune, Carl Nelson Chapman, Buell Wright McDaniel, George Eugene Hartrick, A. Barney Cott, Chiles Edward Hoffman, Rodney Edward Herndon, William Edward Billings, Clarence Willard Salter, Frank H. Gorman, Alpheus Oliphant Fisher, and Daniel Frank Fisher, were the 17 founders of the fraternity.
Several of the founders were members of the Irving Literary Society, but they wanted to create a new fraternity including members of other literary societies. On the morning of June 28, 1920, "at an unusually early hour" according to the original minutes, a list containing the names of about thirty men was posted on the college bulletin board by Emmett Ellis with a request to meet that afternoon.
According to the minutes, "the notice had the proper effect and, as requested, there appeared a goodly number of men to learn what was in store for them." Founder Nieman, who had become familiar with fraternities while attending William Jewell College, was the principal organizer of the meeting. He explained the purpose of the meeting and told them what such an organization could mean to the men of the college. The men elected Leland Hoback temporary Chairman and Emmett Ellis temporary Secretary. They agreed to begin crafting the organization and adjourned until July 7, 1920.
The founders were accompanied by Dr. Wilson C. Morris to present their petition to the faculty, who had been part of Sigma Nu in his college days. Dr. Morris became the Fraternity's first honorary member and served the alpha chapter at Central Missouri as patron, counselor, and advisor until his death in 1947.
A further fourteen members were added in the first year of the fraternity's existence. Founder Edward H. McCune recalled later that, "from the very beginning, Sigma Tau Gamma prospered, both in membership and service. Its challenge to students to live well and promote the spirit of brotherhood was continually being met by those who were seeking membership."
There are a number of public and private ceremonies and rituals in the fraternity, from initiation through to memorials for deceased fraternity members. Sigma Tau Gamma also has a development program known as the "Path of Principles". The first eight weeks of the program challenges associate members to "promote the highest ideals of brotherhood and demonstrate an abiding spirit in which all things in life are done and possible". Content is covered during weekly associate meetings held separate from the chapter meeting.
Awards and scholarships
The fraternity offers scholarships and awards to undergraduates and alumni during the summer convention. The individual awards include the Michael J. Steinbeck Fellowship, which offers assistance in the pursuit of graduate and professional degrees. Chapter awards include the Earl A. Webb Most Improved Chapter Award and the Emmett Ellis Chapter Scholarship Award.
- Colors: Azure blue, white, red, and yellow
- Coat of Arms: The coat of arms was adopted in 1927 and modified in 1954.
- Badge: The badge, which all members may purchase and wear, is the principal symbol of membership. The badge was adopted in 1927 and modified in 2016. The standard gold badge is provided to each new member at the time of initiation.
- Associate Pin: The pin is worn by associate members of the fraternity until initiation. The associate pin is the chapter's property and is returned to the chapter at the time of initiation by the new member.
- White Rose: The white rose is the flower of Sigma Tau Gamma.
The fraternity hosts multiple annual events, including:
- The Noble Man Institute: a retreat-based leadership program for newly initiated members of Sigma Tau Gamma;
- The Earl A. Webb academy: a three-day training and networking program for chapter presidents and vice presidents;
- The Endeavor conference; and
- The Grand Conclave.
On June 30, 2011, the Board of Directors announced its partnership with the Special Olympics in 2011, making it the fraternity’s official philanthropy. Each chapter is expected to provide service or funds directly to the Special Olympics.
Sigma Tau Gamma Foundation
Established in 1966, the Sigma Tau Gamma Foundation is its own distinct legal entity, considered a public charity (501c3) by the federal government and is separate from the Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity. It makes use of tax-deductible charitable gift dollars for the development of chapters of the Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity. The Sigma Tau Gamma foundation started "Books for Kids" which raises money and books for public libraries and school districts.
WPN Housing Corporation
Established in 2014, the WPN National Housing Company is a limited liability company established to provide housing assistance and management as it relates to the housing or other forms of shared fraternity living/meeting space for undergraduate members of Sigma Tau Gamma.
- Tommy Armstrong, former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives
- John Ashcroft, former US Senator of Missouri and former U.S. Attorney General
- Bill Bright, evangelist and founder of Campus Crusade for Christ
- Dee Brown, author of Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee
- Geoff Connor former Texas Secretary of State
- Brad Ellsworth, former US Congressman for Indiana
- Captain James A. Graham, Medal of Honor and Purple Heart recipient
- Mel Hancock, former US Congressman for Missouri
- O. Glen Hocker, founder of Dairy Queen International
- James Kirkpatrick, former Missouri Secretary of State
- John (Jack) Link, founder of Jack Link's Beef Jerky
- Andy Mayberry, former member of the Arkansas House of Representatives
- Red Miller, former head coach of the Denver Broncos
- Gil Morgan, professional golfer
- Stan Musial, Major League Baseball Hall of Fame and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient
- 1st Lieutenant Carlos C. Ogden, Medal of Honor recipient
- Thomas Shaw, Episcopal priest of the fifteenth Bishop of Massachusetts
- George J. Trautman III, Lt. Gen., United States Marine Corps and deputy commandant for aviation
- M.A. Wright, chairman of the board for Exxon Oil & Refining Co. and former chairman of the US Chamber of Commerce
- Tim Seip, former member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
- Jack Zduriencik, general manager of the Seattle Mariners
- Bernier, William P. "Our Heritage" page 35. A Chain of Honor, 2nd Edition.
- Bernier, William P. "Chapter Roll" page 120. A Chain of Honor, 2nd Edition.
- "About - North-American Interfraternity Conference". North-American Interfraternity Conference. Retrieved 2017-07-11.
- Anson, Jack L., & Marchesani Jr., Robert F. "Sigma Tau Gamma" page III-136. Baird's Manual of American College Fraternities, 20th Edition: 1991.
- Bernier, William P. "Our Heritage" page 36. A Chain of Honor, 2nd Edition.
- Dinsmore, Keith C. "In The Month of Roses", p. 5. The SAGA of Sigma Tau Gamma, Summer 1970
- Bernier, William P. "Our Heritage" page 37. A Chain of Honor, 2nd Edition.
- "Membership Education". Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity. Retrieved 2017-07-11.
- "Awards & Scholarships". Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity. Retrieved 2017-07-11.
- "Symbols and Traditions". Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity. Retrieved 2017-07-11.
- "Noble Man Institute". Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity. Retrieved 2017-07-11.
- "National Philanthropy". Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity. Retrieved 2017-07-11.
- "About". Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity. Retrieved 2017-07-11.
- "WPN Housing". Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity. Retrieved 2017-07-11.
- Bernier, William P. "A Chain of Honor". Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity, Inc., 2004
- Dinsmore, Keith C. Teacher Immortal: The Enduring Influence of Wilson C. Morris. Warrensburg, Missouri: Sigma Tau Gamma Foundation, Inc., 1984.