10 Things You Didn’t Know About Nashville

The Nashville skyline. Image courtesy of Kaldari via the Wikimedia Commons.

The Nashville skyline. Image courtesy of Kaldari via the Wikimedia Commons.

Editor’s note: As a resident of Nashville, Associate Director of Risk Reduction Drew Logsdon (Western Kentucky) has a unique perspective on the city. For further information about Sigma Nu’s Grand Chapter held in Nashville, visit sigmanu.org for a complete itinerary.   

By Drew Logsdon (Western Kentucky)

Incorporated in 1806, Nashville is the capital and largest metropolitan area in Tennessee. Known as “Music City” for its prominent role in the music industry, the city is home to 17 different colleges, universities, and vocational colleges. These are just a few of the reasons Nashville is well known as a regional hub and tourist destination. The following facts are some of the less well known but equally compelling attributes of Nashville.

Country’s First Metro Government

Faced with the growth of suburbs following World War II and a tax base struggling to accommodate residents with appropriate services, talks began about consolidating Nashville city government with Davidson county government into a single entity. In 1962 a referendum was passed that fully consolidated Nashville’s city government with Davidson county’s government. In 1963 this was put into practice with the birth of the Nashville Metro Government. While many other metro areas by this time had partial consolidation, Nashville was the first location to have a full and complete consolidated city and county government.

Nashville Civil Rights

Three years before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his famous “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” the Civil Rights Movement was in full force in Nashville. In 1960, civil rights and non-violent protest advocate James Lawson organized a group of African-American students from Fisk University and Tennessee A&I (later Tennessee State University) to begin non-violent protests of the segregated lunch counters in downtown Nashville. The initial effort was met with backlash that sometimes resulted in physical violence against the protesters. However, following several successful and attention grabbing lunch counter sit-ins secret negotiations with business owners and protestors began. The final settlement resulted in business owners serving African-Americans at designated times and locations with the media encouraged to report but not sensationalize the event. After a few weeks, businesses began compete desegregation of lunch counters. By May of 1960 the lunch counters had been completely desegregated and Nashville became the first major city in the South to fully desegregate some of its services.

Fisk University

Fisk University was founded in 1866 and is one of the nation's oldest historically black colleges. Image courtesy of Historic American Buildings Survey

Fisk University was founded in 1866 and is one of the nation’s oldest historically black colleges. Image courtesy of Historic American Buildings Survey via the Wikimedia Commons.

Most people know about Vanderbilt and Belmont Universities in Nashville, however Nashville is also home to one of the oldest historically black universities in the nation. Fisk University was founded in 1866 and was the first African-American institution to gain accreditation by the Southern Associate of Colleges and Schools in 1930. Fisk University has been home to many notable alumni including W.E.B. Du Bois, Ben Jobe, Dr. Charles Jeter (Father of Derek Jeter), Matthew Knowles (Father of Beyonce Knowles), John Lewis, and Arthur Cunningham.

Frist Museum

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts is Nashville’s most significant and unique art museum: the building itself is considered a work of art. The Frist (as it is known locally) was built in the 1930’s as the city’s main post office and is an excellent example of Art Deco, the popular architectural style of the time. It is located next to Union Station which was necessary as most mail arrived via train. After a new post office location was built near the airport, the downtown location became less and less busy until Philanthropist Thomas Frist coordinated with the city to purchase the building from the US Post Office in the 1990’s and converted it into its current state. Great lengths were taken to ensure that much of the building’s original style and aesthetic remained the same. Today visitors to the Frist can see visible remnants of the building’s tenure as a major post office. The Frist has also hosted major traveling exhibits including most recently an exhibit covering Norman Rockwell’s body of work.

Nashville during the 2010 Cumberland River flood. Photo courtesy of Kaldari via the Wikimedia Commons.

Nashville during the 2010 Cumberland River flood. Photo courtesy of Kaldari via the Wikimedia Commons.

2010 Cumberland River Floods

In May 2010, the city of Nashville saw some of the worst flooding in the city’s history. The Cumberland River, which runs through downtown Nashville, crested at an unprecedented 51.86 feet, the highest level that the river had reached since being dammed in the early 1960’s.  A record-breaking 13.57 inchesfell over May 1-2 and caused the Cumberland and surrounding tributaries to swell far beyond their normal levels. The city was devastated by the floods, which damaged the Grand Ole Opry House, Bridgestone Arena, and LP Field, among other noted landmarks. The flood claimed 22 lives in the state of Tennessee, with ten in Davidson County.

Centennial Park & the Parthenon

The Parthenon in Nashville's Centennial Park. Image courtesy of Dave Pape of the Wikimedia Commons.

The Parthenon in Nashville’s Centennial Park. Image courtesy of Dave Pape of the Wikimedia Commons.

In 1897 Nashville hosted the Tennessee Centennial and International Exhibition to celebrate Tennessee’s centennial. A large plot of land was assigned as the site for the event and work was begun to prepare it. Some of these features included a man-made lake and island that included a restaurant. However, the key centerpiece of the area was the Parthenon. Nashville’s city leaders were well aware that their rival city of Memphis had plans to embrace their namesake by erecting a large pyramid. Not to be outdone by their neighbors to the west, Nashville chose to embrace their own nickname of “Athens of the South” (given for the amount of schools, colleges, universities, and seminaries in town) by building a life size replica of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece. Following the Centennial Exhibition, all of the displays and pavilions were taken down except for the Parthenon. Today the Parthenon still stands and the site of the exhibition is called Centennial Park which has become the city’s premier outdoor recreation and event site. Visitors can still visit the Parthenon and even walk inside to the see the life size replica of the statue of Athena.

Printer’s Alley

Printer’s Alley started as a hub for publishing in Nashville with several newspapers, publishers, and print houses located there. By the time Prohibition came, most of the printing businesses had closed down and local residents took to creating home brewing and distilling businesses. Once Prohibition ended, these residents decided to turn their ventures into actual bars and nightclubs. The sale of alcohol for on-premise consumption remained illegal in Nashville but law enforcement turned a blind eye to the antics of Printer’s Alley. Today the area remains a key location for nightlife and is still a slice of the wild side of Nashville.

GooGoo Cluster


The Goo Goo Cluster. Image courtesy of Evan-Amos via Wikimedia Commons.

In 1901 Standard Candy Company was founded in Nashville and soon brought forth a delicious treat that remains a local favorite. In 1912, The Standard Candy Company created the GooGoo Cluster, which is a combination of peanuts, chocolate, marshmallow, and caramel. It is considered by some to be the nation’s first combination candy. The recipe has not changed since its inception and the ingredients were specifically chosen for the lingering taste sensations. If presented with the opportunity to try one, be sure to take advantage and beware of the ensuing addiction to a true Southern delicacy.

Acklen’s Ruse

During the Civil War, Adelicia Acklen found herself as the head mistress of Belmont Mansion and in a precarious position. The Confederate Army was threatening to burn her entire cotton crop to prevent it from falling into the hands of the invading Union Army. Even if the Confederates were unsuccessful, the Union Army would have surely requisitioned her property. In light of these two looming outcomes, Acklen absconded to Louisiana where she negotiated the sale of the entire crop to Rothschilds of London for over $900,000 in gold. The sale of her property, along with her family’s property and other assets, made her one of the richest women in the country for the duration of her life. In her later life she sold Belmont Mansion to what would eventually be known as Belmont University.

Grand Ole Opry Founding

In the 1920’s the National Life & Accident Insurance Company founded the radio program “WSM Barn Dance.” One night the Saturday night program was preceded by a program from New York that featured classical and opera music. Announcer George “Judge” Hay joked before his program began, “For the last hour, we have been listening to music taken largely from grand opera and the classics. We now present our own Grand Ole Opry.” The name stuck and has survived to this day. The very first performer for the “Barn Dance” was 77-year old fiddler Uncle Jimmy Thompson. The Grand Ole Opry bounced around from Belcourt Theatre to War Memorial Auditorium until it found its long-time home at the Ryman Theatre. All venues still exist today.

Bonus Fact: In 1954 a teenage Elvis Presley performed his first and only performance for the Grand Ole Opry and was advised after his show by Opry manager Jim Denny that he should return to Memphis and continue being a truck driver.

Easy Company Soldier: Brother Malarkey Tells His Story

Editor’s note: Easy Company Soldier originally appeared in the fall 2009 issue of The Delta.

World War II Band of Brothers meets Operation Iraqi Freedom Band of Brothers

Don Malarkey with members of 4th Sustainment Brigade during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2008. Image courtesy of Maj. Carol McClelland.

By Merritt Onsa

Don Malarkey first learned about paratroopers from an article in the November 1941 issue of Reader’s Digest. It said they were the “…hardest, toughest, and best-dressed soldiers in the Army…” and they got to wear silver wings, designating them as such. He saw photos of their uniforms and knew this was the place for him.

malarkeyIn the summer of 1942, Malarkey received his draft notification. He quit his job at a defense plant in Portland, Oregon, and returned home to Astoria where he ran into a friend who was on leave from Fort Lewis. He told Malarkey that the first thing they asked for was volunteers to join the paratroopers. “Whatever you do, don’t say yes, Malarkey. It’s a death sentence. You’re jumpin’ out of a friggin’ airplane going a couple hundred miles an hour—and right into enemy territory. The odds stink.” But Malarkey’s mind was made up. When he arrived at Fort Lewis with a hundred other new recruits, the paratrooper question came, and he was one of only two in the group who said yes. “I knew where I needed to be,” he says.

Malarkey made it through the intense physical challenges commanded by Easy Company’s Captain Sobel who orchestrated the most demanding training regime in the Army. “We hated him, but he instilled a very strong bond among the men and a spirit of ‘do not quit, no matter what’ that helped us greatly in combat,” recalls Malarkey.


Malarkey speaking at College of Chapters in 2009.

Their first day in combat was D-Day. Eighty-one planes took off from England in the middle of the night, headed for Normandy. Under fire, Easy Company dropped in behind enemy lines, several miles from their scheduled drop zone. Once on the ground, their first battle was the now-famous assault on the German battery at Brecourt Manor, the events of which are depicted in the second episode of the “Band of Brothers” miniseries, called “Day of Days”. This German artillery position, three miles southwest of Utah Beach, was firing onto one of the causeway exits and disrupting the advance of the Allied landing forces. Several other units had stumbled onto this position earlier and been repelled.

Malarkey recounted, “Easy Company had been specially trained to attack fortified positions, so despite having only 12 men assembled we got the call.” They had almost no information, and the orders were brief and pointed,‘There’s fire along that hedgerow there. Take care of it!’ They discovered that the position was comprised of four 105mm Howitzers, two MG42 machine gun emplacements, and an interconnected trench system, all defended by a force of about 60 Germans.

[Malarky and Vance] also examined the way leaders who drive negative emotions cultivate dissonance within the group, sharing that management by intimidation is counter productive.

“When we reached the position, Lieutenant Winters told us to line up along a hedgerow and fire full clips in the direction of the guns for covering fire. Then he gave the order to begin the assault. Lieutenant Compton charged the guns first. He fell into a trench system and immediately found himself face to face with a German soldier. Compton tried to fire, but his rifle jammed and the soldier ran off. Compton then signaled the rest of us, and we all ran to the trenches. I ran straight up the pasture to the first gun, taking the Germans by surprise. We knocked out the first gun rather quickly,” Malarkey explains.

Malarkey with Oregon chapter members

Malarky with his Oregon chapter brothers.

It was then that he spotted a dead German soldier in the field. Malarkey decided to run out and grab the German’s Luger pistol as a souvenir. “At first, the Germans must have thought I was a medic because they didn’t fire at me, but that quickly changed. Winters yelled at me to get back into the trench. The Germans started shooting, and I ran back under heavy fire. The dead German did not have a Luger, but thankfully, I wasn’t hit. Unfortunately, our machine gunner Cleveland Petty was hit, and Lieutenant Winters ordered me to man his machine gun along with Joe Liebgott. Winters was worried that the Germans would work in behind us so he ordered us to guard the rear. Liebgott and I covered that position for several hours until we finally pulled out.”

Malarkey with Vice Regent Tony Marable

Don Malarkey (left) with Vice Regent Tony Marable.

Don Malarkey was awarded the Bronze Star for his actions in the assault on Brecourt Manor. He was one of 14 Easy Company soldiers to receive medals for their bravery and extraordinary service on D-Day.

By the end of the war, Malarkey’s service had included combat operations in France, Holland, Belgium, and Germany. He has the distinction of having spent more time on the front lines (170 days) than any other member of Easy Company. He was discharged on November 29, 1945.

In his book, Malarkey talks about his attempts to deal with the severity and pain resulting from all that he witnessed during the War, including the deaths and injury of many close friends. “I stuffed it deep inside, thinking it would somehow just go away. It didn’t. It just builds up, like carrying one more brick on your back, and one more, and more, and more. And finally you say, Enough, I can’t walk another step.” It wasn’t until a few years ago, when Malarkey went to the VA Hospital to speak with someone, that he learned he’d been suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.


Malarkey signs copies of his book outside the VMI auditorium.

Many of his fraternity brothers were surprised after seeing the “Band of Brothers” series because Malarkey had never spoken to them of his experiences in combat. “When I returned from the war, I was not comfortable talking about what happened unless I was talking with someone who had had a similar experience. I just felt that they would not understand,” he shares. Most of his fraternity brothers who had joined the service had not seen combat.

“But I can say, had it not been for the support of Sigma Nu, and specifically Al Gray, I would not have lasted in school. The discipline and rules did a lot to create a special bond that was very much like what I experienced in the military. It’s something very special and rare,” he shares. Gray was the one who talked Malarkey into enrolling at the University of Oregon in the fall of 1941 and suggested he join Sigma Nu. Although, Malarkey didn’t need convincing to join the Fraternity, since his father, Leo (Oregon) and Uncle Robert (Oregon) had been in the chapter as well as his cousin, Huntington (Oregon). “I had every intention of joining Sigma Nu when I enrolled at the University of Oregon,” he says. In fact, it was the only fraternity he was willing to consider.

Today, regular speaking engagements have given Malarkey the opportunity to talk about his recently published book and communicate a message he hopes will influence future generations. “Not everyone has the chance to make the same type of contribution to the country that we made, nor should they. But it’s my hope that everyone would do something, anything, to benefit the country,” he shares.

“A bully is never a respected leader,” says Malarkey. “Fear and intimidation get results, but never those intended.”

Malarkey presented this message in June at the Fraternity’s undergraduate leadership conference “College of Chapters” in Lexington, Va. More than 350 collegiate members attended the keynote entitled “Frontline Leadership”. Alongside stories of his personal experiences in the War, Malarkey challenged the undergraduates to demonstrate their ability and character by taking on tough assignments and meeting challenges head-on as soon as they are aware of them.

L to R Don Malarkey and Vance Day

Vance Day (right) uses the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers to discuss leadership styles.

Malarkey and his close friend Vance Day, Esq. also spoke to the group about a leader’s responsibility as the emotional guide for the group. “When leaders drive emotions positively – when there is resonance within the group – they bring out everyone’s best,” Malarkey explained during the session. They also examined the way leaders who drive negative emotions cultivate dissonance within the group, sharing that management by intimidation is counter productive. “A bully is never a respected leader,” says Malarkey. “Fear and intimidation get results, but never those intended.”

It was a fitting message for collegiate leaders attending Sigma Nu’s four-day program as it directly related to the Fraternity’s founding values opposed to hazing. “Our mission is to develop ethical leaders for society, and we are deeply honored that Don would travel across the country to be here to share his inspiring story with today’s collegiate leaders,” said the Fraternity’s Executive Director, Brad Beacham.

Find Malarkey’s book online: Easy Company Soldier: The Legendary Battles of a Sergeant from World War II’s “Band of Brothers” (St. Martin’s Press).

The Delta of Sigma Nu – Spring 2014

Table of Contents

The Delta_spring 2014_cover_final


College of Chapters

A photo essay captures the College of Chapters experience.

Finding the Scoop in Sochi
Drew Bogs (Ball State) earned the opportunity of a lifetime covering the Winter Olympics in Sochi with his Ball State journalism program.

The Olympic Fangelist’s Dream Job
As BP’s director of Olympic strategy, sponsorship and marketing, George Bauernfeind (Indiana) helps top athletes achieve their dreams to compete on the world stage.

Splitting Lanes
The inside story of how Don Jeanes (Texas State) landed the lead role in a Super Bowl commercial that became an instant classic.

Back Down South
Mark Walsh (College of Charleston) and his journey to the “bottom of the world.”

Letting His Lights Shine
Mike Justak (Ball State) is on a mission to get Parkinson’s patients up and moving.


From the Editor
Behind the scenes.

More at SigmaNu.org
The latest resources and information available at the fraternity’s website.

Readers respond to the fall 2013 issue featuring Bill Courtney (Mississippi) and the Undefeated documentary.

Updates from Lexington
News from the General Fraternity.

Chapter Eternal
Remembering a former congressman and a talented musician.

Chapter News
Dispatches from around the country.

Alumni News

Michael Kimmel’s Guyland tells the [delayed] coming of age story of young men in America. Plus the latest titles by Sigma Nu authors.

Higher Education
MOOCs: legitimate disruptor or passing fad?

Perspectives on Our Past
Grand Historian Bob McCully (San Diego State) chronicles the history, tradition, and heroes that make the Legion of Honor unique.

Division Commander of the Year Jamison Keller (Cal State San Bernardino) reflects on his Sigma Nu story and offers best practices for working with fellow alumni.

To opt in to start receiving the print copy in  your mailbox, complete the short web form available here. Click here to read the print version as a pdf.


A Fraternity of Men, Not Boys

By Scott Smith (Central Arkansas)

Michael Kimmel’s Guyland tells the (delayed) coming of age story of men in America.

Guyland cover_high resIn his book author Michael Kimmel takes the reader deep into the world he calls “Guyland,” mapping out the geography, influences, and behaviors of “guys” in what can be described as a new phase of life. Guyland has firmly rooted itself between the dependency of boyhood and the autonomy, sacrifice, and responsibility that characterizes manhood. It’s not a state of arrested development but more of a new stage where guys, not quite boys or men, hang onto the Peter Pan notion that it’s not quite time to grow up just yet. Guyland is characterized as both the time between adolescence and adulthood and those places where guys gather absent the demands of serious responsibility and outsiders like jobs, parents, kids, and girlfriends.

Stories of guys engaging in extreme behavior just before, during, and immediately following the college years are ubiquitous as are the media and personal accounts of psychological, alcohol-induced, and violent pseudo rites-of-passage. A fraternity-related hazing death has occurred nearly every year since 2000, Kimmel says. Hospital transports for alcohol overdose are a common occurrence Thursday through Saturday nights on college campuses across the country. One in five women will be sexually assaulted while in college, according to Kimmel’s research. He adds that high school students are bombarded with anti-gay comments, with teachers rarely intervening. More than half of college students involved in clubs, teams, and organizations experience hazing, and nearly half experienced it prior to coming to college, according to a University of Maine study by Elizabeth Allan and Mary Madden.

While Guyland is everywhere that males between the ages of 16 and 26 gather, it best describes the population of mostly white, middle-class, college bound/going/recently graduated males living together in groups and working entry-level jobs or not at all. Fraternity houses, dorms, and shared apartments are the predominant domiciles of Guyland’s inhabitants, Kimmel says in his book. This new social space is defined and ruled by The Guy Code – a set of attitudes, values, and traits that describe (inaccurately) what it means to be a man.

  1. “Boys Don’t Cry”
  2. “It’s Better to be Mad than Sad”
  3. “Don’t Get Mad – Get Even”
  4. “Take It Like a Man”
  5. “He Who has the Most Toys When he Dies, Wins”
  6. “Just Do It” or “Ride or Die”
  7. “Size Matters”
  8. “I Don’t Stop to Ask for Directions”
  9. “Nice Guys Finish Last”
  10. “It’s All Good”

Never show emotion, winning is imperative, compassion is taboo. These axioms govern behavior and are used to evaluate whether guys measure up. Guys inform their views of masculinity in light of the voices of the men in their lives. In the absence of men, they take their cues from other guys. Masculinity is essentially boiled down to performing for and being judged by other men, with the goal of being a “man among men.” The problem is that guys have a skewed internal sense of social norms, assuming that excessive behavior is average when it comes to things like sex, alcohol, and violence. College students regularly overestimate the amount their peers drink and then proceed to increase their own consumption in order to keep up. These misperceptions coupled with the lack of a playbook for becoming an adult leave guys to figure it out as they go along, typically with too much room for error.

Kimmel traces the sociology of Guyland across several spheres, filling out his observations from a four-year survey of over 400 males with a series of national studies, insights from over 30 years of his own research, and telling examples from the inhabitants of Guyland. Guyland covers high school, binge drinking, hazing, sports, media, pornography, the hook up culture, predatory sex and rape, the role of girls in Guyland, and a final chapter of recommendations for turning “just guys” into just guys. Perhaps the best summary of Guyland’s effects is in the rites of passage and initiation rituals guys put each other through. Whether it’s for a fraternity, sports team, club, or some other selective group, guys put up with ceremonial degradation in order to be accepted, liked, and aligned with the in crowd.

Such rituals provide ample evidence that hazing is less about younger males trying to impress their elders, and far more about the sense of entitlement that the older males have to exact such gratuitously violent and degrading behaviors from those more vulnerable than they.

While blaming the media is a poor strategy and lazy scapegoat, the constant barrage of sex, violence, and drugs being pumped from stereos, TV, magazines, and video games cannot be completely ignored. The hyper-masculinity of college and professional athletics, pornography, and virtual outlets guys fill their time with certainly have an impact on the version of manhood they are trying to live up to. Retreating to a fantasyland where they can adopt an avatar – an idealized version of themselves – and employ a skill and control not found in their everyday lives has become less entertainment and more of a daily priority. While many may not agree with Kimmel’s portrayal of the escapist nature of political and sports talk radio, video games, pornography, anonymous message boards, and online gambling, the fact remains that guys spend an inordinate amount of time in these spaces. Certainly there is a reverberating effect of this type of retreat into a “no girls allowed” and no consequences environment.

The typical transition to adulthood is marked by five life-stage events: leaving home, completing one’s education, starting work, getting married, and becoming a parent. Only 31 percent of men under 30 had reached those markers in 2000, compared to 65 percent just forty years earlier, providing further evidence that the transitional moment between adolescence and adulthood has become its own life stage, with adolescence beginning earlier and earlier for each generation and adulthood later and later. Adulthood is no longer marked by a series of experiences but rather a set of attitudes, Kimmel contends. When they are ready to “accept responsibility for their actions,” decide on personal beliefs and values independently of parents or other influences,” and become “less self-oriented, developing greater consideration for others” they then, in essence, feel like adults.

Not all of Guyland is bad, though. The advancing age of marriage, for example, benefits both men and women, giving them additional time to advance their careers and establish their identities before committing to a family. The reality is that most men do not commit rape or sexual assault, drink daily or to excess, think bullying and hazing are acceptable, or feel comfortable treating women as property or objects.

The problem remains that an uncomfortable individual, when faced with a silent majority led by outspoken extremists, has a tendency to go along for fear of being singled out or having his manhood and loyalty to the brotherhood questioned. Most guys do not participate in extreme behavior most of the time, but they know people who do, and most do not say anything about it. Edmund Burke’s famous line, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing” perfectly summarizes the result of the bystander role most guys play. Kimmel explains,

[B]eing a real man isn’t going along with what you know in your heart to be cruel, inhumane, stupid, humiliating, and dangerous. Being a real man means doing the right thing, standing up to immorality and injustice when you see it, and expressing compassion, not contempt, for those who are less fortunate (p. 287).

Being a man is about being courageous, honorable, and ethical. Something that fraternity, when done right, is all about. Sigma Nu chapters are ideally positioned to advance this conversation among their membership; whether through LEAD sessions and other intentional conversations on topics like sexual assault, alcohol misuse prevention, values, and ethics, or in developing true mentoring relationships with “big brothers” and local advisor-mentors. Fraternity men and chapters should promote true masculinity – acting as beacons of love, honor, and truth – not a promotion of excessive behavior and delayed development. Guyland is a wake-up call to the realities and effects of the college experience and surrounding years on males. Advisors, fathers, and brothers can benefit from the perspective, analysis, and advice provided by Kimmel.

[Return to Table of Contents.]

Reader Responses

Readers response to the Fall 2013 issue featuring Bill Courtney and the Undefeated documentary.


Another excellent edition of the best fraternity magazine in the industry!

-Maury Gaston (Auburn)

Just Excellent, both hard and electronic copies. Congrats

-Carl Berry (Idaho)

Rebuilding Moore

Rebuilding Moore spread

When I received the call for materials I  began raising money from my weekly poker table, neighbors, and all five of my kids. I contacted the local chapter (Cal State Fullerton), and despite being on summer break they put me in contact with a recent alumnus who happened to be the assistant manager of a nearby Home Depot. He arranged for a 50% discount on necessary supplies, including eight full “Elmer Pails” and two 5-gallon water coolers full of gloves, trash bags, eye protection, and first aid kits that were then shipped to the chapters involved with tornado relief. I can see the chapters in Oklahoma put them to good use.

My point is it took valuable time and was not really enough. If each chapter were to assemble four pails with the materials the brothers from Oklahoma recommend Sigma Nu could put over 100 pails in the hands of the local chapters within a few days of any disaster. A little coordination can have a big impact on the next big disaster.

-Jerry Schulte (UCLA)

Perspectives on Our Past: Valor in Action

Valor in Action spread

Wonderful story about wonderful men of a wonderful generation by a wonderful author and Grand Historian!

-Maury Gaston (Auburn)

Another great job by Bob!

-Marshall Napper (Louisiana Tech)

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From the Editor

Hard Work Pays Off

Despite a late-season surge, Eli and the Giants fell short of making the playoffs this year, but that didn’t stop another Sigma Nu from stealing the show on Super Bowl Sunday. Whether you watched the big game or not, you could not have missed the buzz about the ‘Puppy Love’ commercial featuring actor Don Jeanes (Texas State).

Earlier this year we had the chance to interview Don near his home in Los Angeles. Don shared with us his path to acting and how his approach to the business side of the industry is rooted in the skills he developed in Sigma Nu and later working an entry-level sales job. As Don’s story shows, there is no substitute for hard work, and when you stick around good things are bound to happen.

Don’s smashing success with two consecutive Super Bowl commercials is also a reminder of Sigma Nu’s widespread influence. No matter where or when, if there’s a major event taking place in the world, there’s a good chance one of our Sigma Nu brothers is involved in a significant way. The Delta_spring 2014_cover_final

Only five days after the Seattle Seahawks won their first Lombardi Trophy in franchise history, the big stage shifted to Russia and the 2014 Winter Olympics. The Sochi Games, like the Super Bowl, are yet another example of Sigma Nu brothers turning up to take prominent roles in major events.

Drew Bogs (Ball State) leads our Olympics coverage with his trip to Sochi covering the Winter Games with his immersive journalism program. Our story about George Bauernfeind (Indiana) provides a unique look at what is involved with sponsoring the athletes looking to fulfill their Olympic dreams.

Rounding out our Olympics coverage is a flashback to the 1956 Winter Games where the U.S. swept the podium in men’s figure skating, led by Sigma Nu Brother Hayes Jenkins (Northwestern).

Whether it’s Don Jeanes scoring a lead role in the top Super Bowl commercial or Drew Bogs landing a scoop at the Olympics, we hope you’ll see in our stories how Sigma Nu brothers positively influence the world we live in.

Yours in Sigma Nu,

Nathaniel Clarkson (James Madison)
Managing Editor

P.S. We’re always interested to hear what our readers have to say. Leave your reactions in the comments section for each story and we’ll publish them with the next issue.

[Return to Table of Contents.]

Updates From Lexington

The Fowler Fountain

Fowler Fountain (In Color)_low res

By Ben Nye (Arkansas)

The Fowler Fountain has stood watch over the back patio of the Headquarters Shrine for nearly 45 years. Added as part of the expansion of headquarters in 1969, the Fowler Fountain is dedicated to the memory of Northwestern alumnus and Gamma Beta Initiate Paul S. Fowler.

This winter, one of Fowler’s grandsons – – Chris Wolfe of Derry, N.H. – – came to visit the fountain that was dedicated in the honor of his grandfather. Over the course of the visit, several details emerged about the history of the man for whom the fountain is dedicated.

Paul Fowler was initiated at Northwestern in 1922. He was not the first Sigma Nu in the family as he was the nephew of Dr. Ora Fowler, the first initiate of Gamma Kappa (Colorado) Chapter and long-time Division Commander. His undergraduate career included his service as chapter Reporter, involvement with the school’s theatre department and ROTC. Following his graduation in 1925, Fowler moved to London to manage his father’s business, Fowler Packing Co. which was one of the U.K.’s major importers of natural casings. He and his family; Wife Ella; Daughters Alta, Paula and Jean and Son Gordon, lived in the St. Johns Wood neighborhood of London.

When France surrendered to the invading German army in 1940, Fowler sent his family back to the US with an envelope to be opened upon arrival. In it were instructions to contact Sigma Nu and seek their guidance. They were instructed to drive to Lexington from New York City and upon their arrival, a house on White Street was rented and all four children were enrolled in school. This marked the beginning of the Fowler’s 34 years in Lexington.

Paul, who served during World War II, became a dual commissioned officer in the British and US Armies, retiring as major. It is believed that he was the only officer with simultaneous army commissions during WWII. Fowler’s military service consisted of negotiating land purchases for Allied bases as they marched across Europe to Germany.

Following the war, Fowler joined his family in Lexington. Paul and Wife Ella started a real estate company known as Fowler Enterprises, which was located on Main Street in downtown Lexington. Paul Fowler_Headshot

In 1955, Fowler was put in touch with former Executive Secretary Dick Fletcher (Penn State) to assist in locating a potential home for Sigma Nu headquarters. This began a two year correspondence between the two men that included Fowler presenting Fletcher with multiple property options in Lexington. Ironically, Fletcher was unaware of Fowler’s belonging to the roles of Sigma Nu. Fletcher, after an exchange over the phone, learned of his ignorance and was pleased to declare Fowler, “a brother in the bonds.”

Although the final location and sale of the property that became Sigma Nu’s home was credited to another agent – – W.E. Tilson was the agent that located the Smith property – – there can be no doubt that Fowler was vital in assisting Sigma Nu in its search for a permanent home.

In 1958, Paul Fowler passed away – – scarcely four months after Sigma Nu’s move to Lexington. His surviving wife and children sought an opportunity to memorialize his love for Sigma Nu, which presented itself ten years later. Ella Fowler and her children donated the fountain that rests on the Memorial Terrace after Dick Fletcher made a request in The Delta for a donation of a two-leveled fountain.

It is a fitting reminder of a man who found his home in Lexington and in turn helped Sigma Nu return to its home.

Visitors in Lexington

Epsilon Mu Fall 2013

The Epsilon Mu Chapter (Butler) takes a fall pilgrimage.

Gamma Alpha Pilgrims

Candidates of the Gamma Alpha Chapter (Georgia Tech) visiting the Headquarters Shrine.

Matt Young and Ref Crew

Past Grand Chaplain Matt Young (Wittenburg) and his crew of officials visited the Rock prior to working the VMI-Glenville State football game.

Paul Wickler Norwich

Alumnus Paul Wickler (Norwich) returns to the Headquarters Shrine for his first visit in many years.

VT Brothers at Rock

Brothers Hunter Bryant and Tim Hunter (Virginia Tech) stop by for a visit while traveling home for the weekend.

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