Upsilon Xi

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Upsilon Xi
Official Upsilon Xi Crest.jpg
Founded September 26, 1962; 54 years ago (1962-09-26)
Lee University
Type Social/Spiritual
Motto "Be ready to assist any other brother who has a need"
Colors Black and Gray
Symbol The Crest of Upsilon - The cross stands for Jesus Christ and truth; the lantern, for knowledge
Publication The Black and Gray
Members ~40 collegiate
~900 lifetime
Song “All Hail to Upsilon” sung to the tune of Anchors Aweigh
Headquarters P.O. Box 2396
Cleveland, TN

Upsilon Xi (ΥΞ) is a social service organization founded on the campus of Lee College (now Lee University) in the fall of 1962.


Upsilon Xi was originally conceived in the summer of 1962 by four men: Dr. Duran Palmertree, Dr. James Hubbard, Rev. Dale Huff, and Mr. Duane Lambert.[1] The goal of the club was to develop a culture of excellence involving men bound together in Christian love, centered around the non-negotiables of strong fellowship, dedicated service and solid academic achievement.

On September 26, 1962, Upsilon Xi received its official charter from the Lee administration and became Lee’s first Greek club. Nine were present at that time, the original four founders, and five others: Richard Goodman, Billy J. O’Neal, Jim McClain, Donnie Shoemaker, and Roger Coursen.[2] These original nine "charter members" chose the name "Upsilon Xi." Upsilon is taken from Acts 13:36 and means, “to serve, to render service, to be helpful.” Xi is taken from I Tim 5:10 and means, “to show hospitality.” [3] The original members also chose I Cor 10:31 as their club scripture as they believed it embodied their mission, "Whether therefore ye eat, drink or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."

While many in the Lee College administration viewed the founding of Upsilon Xi with skepticism, the event was met with tremendous enthusiasm among the student body and attracted many of the top students and leaders on campus. Over the next few years, Upsilon became the first Greek club to have a member hold each major office on campus (President of the Student Body, Vice-President of the Student Body, President of the Junior class, President of the Sophomore class, President of the Freshman class). Over the years, Upsilon Xi has attracted and produced several of Lee University’s most successful alumni. This success is further evidenced by a statement made by current Lee University President Dr. Paul Conn at Upsilon’s 30th Anniversary, "It is an unquestionable fact that the men of Upsilon Xi have produced more leading ministers among our denomination, more doctors in the medical and academic field and more success stories within the world of business than any other club, choir or organization on the Lee College campus." [4]

The Upsilon Xi Clocktower


Upsilon Xi operates under a Constitution and set of Bylaws that governs the functioning of the club. The original Constitution and Bylaws were created around the time of the founding of the club and have been in operation ever since. The original Constitution was drafted by Dr. James Hubbard.


Since 1962, Upsilon has sponsored the oldest annual social event on the Lee University campus called, Sadie Hawkins (Sadies.) Sadies is held each year in the fall and includes food, live music, fireworks and a series of bonfires to keep the crowds warm. Upsilon also throws a Block party at the beginning of each school year to welcome new and returning students to campus. Although not a part of the original club’s history, Upsilon members must now go through both a "formal" and "informal" induction in order to become a member of the club. The formal induction consists of a simple, yet solemn ceremony. The informal induction only lasts for 24 hours and includes a secretive event called, “Hickory.” Although the precise nature of Hickory is kept confidential, it is known to be highly consistent with Christian values, beliefs and goals. In late 2006, Lee University overhauled all its Greek club induction processes to ensure that any remaining hazing practices like "grueling physical tasks" or "physically or emotionally degrading" events were eliminated.[5]

Service Projects[edit]

In 1994, Upsilon completed the most significant service project attempted by any Greek Club when over $80,000 was raised to present the “Upsilon Xi Clocktower” as a gift to the Lee University campus.[6] Upsilon has also engaged in some very significant service projects over the years including the "Love Atlanta Run" (1987) and the Ceremonial Mace (2003).[7] In late 2005 and throughout 2006, Upsilon engaged in several significant trips to Alabama and the surrounding regions to assist with the rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita.[8] On April 24, 2010, Upsilon partnered with Operation Compassion to hold a benefit concert entitled "Help for Haiti," to raise funds for the victims of the major earthquake that hit Haiti in January 2010. Through the efforts of Upsilon Xi, $3,000 was raised which provided $264,000 worth of wholesale good to be sent to Haiti.[9] On November 3, 2012, Upsilon Xi contributed $25,000 to the dedication of the North Gate Arch as part of its 50th Anniversary.[10]

50th Anniversary[edit]

Upsilon Xi's North Gate Arch

In 2012, Upsilon Xi celebrated its 50th Anniversary with a number of special activities, events, and honors. Among the most impressive was a congratulatory proclamation from the State of Tennessee that was signed by Tennessee Speaker of the House Beth Harwell, Speaker of the Senate Ron Ramsey, Governor Bill Haslam, and Representative Kevin Brooks.[11] Upsilon Xi also raised $25,000 for the dedication of a new Arch on the Lee University campus (see “Service Projects” above) as part of its 50th Anniversary celebration and completed a two-day, four-event celebration that attracted approximately 400 alumni.

Key Accomplishments[edit]

  • In the history of the Church of God denomination, only Upsilon Xi has had a member of its fraternity serve as the General Overseer (the highest office in the Church of God). Dr. G. Dennis McGuire was elected General Overseer at the 70th Church of God General Assembly (2004) [12] and again at the 71st General Assembly (2006).[13] Dr. Raymond Culpepper was elected General Overseer at the 72nd General Assembly (2008)[14] and again at the 73rd General Assembly (2010).[15]
  • During the 14 years from 1998–2012, Upsilon Xi has continuously placed at least 3 members on the Church of God Executive Committee and “Council of 18.”
  • During the 19 years from 1988–2007, 9 Upsilon men won the “Lee University Distinguished Alumni of the Year Award” (The highest honor Lee University can bestow upon one of its alumni).[16]
  • During the 20 years from 1981–2000, 9 Upsilon men won the “F.J. Lee Award” (The highest honor Lee University can bestow upon one of its current students.[17]
  • During the 10 years from 2000-2009, 52 Upsilon men and women graduated “with honors,” including 19 who graduated Summa Cum Laude.[18]
  • During the 11 years from 2000–2010, 7 Upsilon alumni have served terms on the Lee University Board of Directors, including 3 Chairmen (Dr. Raymond Culpepper, Mr. Darrell Rice, and Mr. Gary Sharp).[19]
  • During the 10 years from 2001-2010, alumni of Upsilon Xi have contributed just shy of $400,000 to Lee University[20]
  • As of 2010, Upsilon men and women accounted for over 20% of the Lee University Athletic Hall of Fame, having 10 alumni inducted out of Lee's 47 total members.[21]

Upsilon has sought to be the most progressive Greek Club at Lee University. Upsilon was the first to hold a social event, the first to undertake a major campaign of service, the first to elect a black President, the first to own an internet domain name, the first to print a formal alumni directory and the first to create an alumni association (the UXAA).

The Upsilon Xi Alumni Association (UXAA)[edit]

The UXAA was organized in the fall of 1998 as a 501-3c non-profit organization. Upsilon Xi was the first Greek Club to start its own alumni association. The mission statement of the UXAA is, “The Upsilon Xi Alumni Association exists to glorify God by fostering a cooperative and closer relationship among its members, look after their common interest and welfare, initiate educational, research, and other programs for the benefit of its members, and undertake fund raising and other philanthropic activities for the benefit of Lee University, Upsilon Xi, the Alumni Association, and any other brothers who have a need.” The official website of the UXAA is:

A Few Notable Upsilon Xi Alumni[edit]

  • Col. Dale Bain - US Army (retired)
  • Jim Basket - 3-term City Commissioner and Mayor Pro Tem of Decatur, GA
  • Kevin Brooks - Current 4-term State Representative for Tennessee District 24 (2006–present)
  • Matt Brumlow - Successful Actor based in Chicago, Il
  • Javen Campbell - Actor/Vocalist – Named one of the "Top 10 to watch in 2010” by the Gospel Music Channel"
  • Larry Carpenter – 2007 NAIA National Athletic Director of the Year, Lee University
  • S. Todd Culpepper - Executive Director, International Affairs Council
  • Dr. Raymond Culpepper - Former General Overseer of the Church of God
  • Vernon Darko - President & CEO of EquipXp
  • Dr. Steve Dorman - Dean of the University of Florida College of Health and Human Performance
  • Rick Folino - President and CEO, Financial Quest Services
  • Junus Fulbright (deceased) - Former Member of the Church of God “Council of 18”
  • David Griffis – Currently the 1st Assistant General Overseer of the Church of God
  • Dr. Robert Herron - Vice President, Southeastern College, Lakeland, FL.
  • Keith Jeffords, M.D., D.D.S. – World-renowned surgeon based in Atlanta, GA
  • Dr. Bobby Johnson - Associate Professor, University of Utah
  • Dr. Douglas Leroy - Director, Church of God World Missions
  • Dr. Loran Livingston – Prominent Minister and former member of the Church of God "Council of 18"
  • Jeremy McCoy - Concert bass guitar player for Epic Records artists' The Fray.
  • Dr. G. Dennis McGuire – Served 2 terms as General Overseer of the Church of God
  • Dr. H. Douglas Morris - Nuclear physicist, Laboratory of Cardiac Energetics, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.
  • Dr. Ray Newton - Organic Chemist, Eastman Kodak Corporation
  • Dr. Randy O'Bannon - Director of Education & Research, National Right to Life Educational Trust Fund
  • Dr. Robert O'Bannon – Prominent educator and speaker at Lee University (retired)
  • Col. Benjamin Perez - US Air Force Chaplain (retired)
  • Dr. Mark Pitts - Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon in Frederick, Md.
  • Darrell Rice - Chairman of the Lee University Board of Directors
  • Samuel Robeff - Member of the Lee University Board of Directors
  • Gary Sharp – Member of the Lee University Board of Directors
  • Mark Smiling, J.D. - Attorney in Tulsa, OK.
  • Martin Smith – Manages 23 hospitals as President of Division III Operations for Community Health Systems
  • Charles Tilley - Owner and CEO, Vanguard Entertainment Agency and "Atlanta Fest" (2nd largest Christian music festival in the world)
  • Roby Walker - Chief Operations Officer, Joyce Meyer Ministries.
  • Chad Guyton and Jayson VanHook from Four Voices
  • Chad Madden and Brian Sanders - Members of "Voices of Lee" who came in third place on NBC's "The Sing-Off"
  • Rich Wilkerson Jr. - Prominent Young Adult Pastor in Miami, FL; National and International Speaker


External links[edit]


  1. ^ The History of Upsilon Xi:
  2. ^ The History of Upsilon Xi:
  3. ^ Upsilon Prilosophy:
  4. ^ Prominent Alumni of Upsilon:
  5. ^ Lee University Clarion - November 1, 2006:
  6. ^ Upsilon Xi Clocktower project:
  7. ^ Ceremonial Mace:
  8. ^ Evangelical News:
  9. ^ Help for Haiti:
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ A Summary of the History of the Church of God 1886 - 2004 by Dr. Larry Hess:
  13. ^ Church of God Faith News Network:
  14. ^ Summary of the 2008 Church of God International General Assembly:
  15. ^ General Assembly Meets - Overseer Installed:
  16. ^ Member Achievements:
  17. ^ Member Achievements:
  18. ^ Member Achievements:
  19. ^ About Us:
  20. ^
  21. ^ Lee University Hall of Fame:
  22. ^ Prominent Alumni of Upsilon Xi: