Dr. William S. Spears Pledges $1.5 Million for Leadership Training Facilities

June 2014 Nikon import 1183

Nearly 300 brothers of Epsilon Epsilon Chapter (Oklahoma State) stepped forward to match Dr. Spears’ $1.5M gift to build new leadership training facilities on the Headquarters property in Lexington.

Lexington, Va. – Sigma Nu Educational Foundation (SNEF) received a pledge of $1.5 million this week from Dr. William S. Spears (Oklahoma State) to build new leadership training facilities on the Sigma Nu Headquarters property. The Spears Family Epsilon Epsilon Center of Excellence will house classrooms, a climate-controlled archives room, and lodging for up to 75 for visiting chapters from around the country.

Dr.  Spears became inspired to make this gift after reflecting on the experiences he gained in his own chapter. “I feel indebted to Sigma Nu for the leadership capabilities I developed during my time with the chapter,” he said. “I believe my time with Epsilon Epsilon Chapter shaped me in ways that are still bearing fruit to this day.”

“The fraternity experience is important for our nation’s future,” he added.

In June of 2014, Dr. Spears challenged his fellow brothers of Epsilon Epsilon Chapter to match his gift of $1.5 million by November of this year. His Oklahoma State chapter brothers answered the call and raised the matching funds by the deadline. Nearly 300 brothers of Epsilon Epsilon Chapter stepped forward to contribute.

“It is our expectation that this challenge – this collaborative effort to support Sigma Nu – will be the spark that prompts brothers from other chapters to join what has become a growing coalition of alumni dedicated to making Sigma Nu the most formidable men’s fraternal organization in North America,” he said.

For Brother Bill, Sigma Nu was the bridge to adulthood. “It took me from the adolescent years to early manhood,” he says, “and the leadership skills I learned and developed through my fraternity experience have served me for more decades than I want to count.”

Dr. Spears also cited the important role his father and uncle played in encouraging him to join the Epsilon Epsilon Chapter at Oklahoma State. “They were exceptional role models for me,” he said. “This gift honors their memories and the Spears family overall.”

William Spears Portrait

Dr. William S. Spears: “The fraternity experience is important for our nation’s future.”


The founding principles of Sigma Nu are of particular importance to Brother Bill, as they align closely with the values his family taught him. “As the first Honor fraternity, Sigma Nu has a set of values that I embraced,” he continued. “They were the same values I was taught in my early years. So the gift honors both the fraternity and my family.”

Past Regent and SNEF chairman Joe Gilman (Morehead State/Georgia) is among the many longtime alumni volunteers to understand the significance of this pledged gift. “I want to extend my deepest gratitude to Brother Spears for his transformational gift supporting the ideal of ethical leadership,” said Gilman. “We are proud to have one of the most visited headquarters of all national fraternities,” Gilman continued. “This gift will enhance the experience of tens of thousands of collegiate and alumni brothers who will visit the Headquarters Shrine for decades to come.”

“In recent years we have witnessed a positive trend of local chapters forging stronger partnerships with the General Fraternity,” Gilman observed. This relationship with Lexington has long been a priority for Brother Bill and the Epsilon Epsilon Chapter, as illustrated by the chapter’s annual bus trip to visit VMI and the Headquarters Shrine. “Knowing the ties our chapter has to Lexington,” Brother Bill said, “the annual trip serves to ensure that Epsilon Epsilon is always tightly connected to its Sigma Nu roots.”

Neil Gilpin, longtime advisor for the Epsilon Epsilon chapter, was also quick to recognize the impact this investment will have on the fraternity’s budding leaders. “This will be a place where brothers will learn and develop the skills to become ethical leaders and embrace the ideals of Sigma Nu while at the birthplace of our great fraternity,” he said. Gilpin also reiterated Dr. Spears’ goal for this matching gift to spur other chapters to host similar fundraising competitions that support programs and scholarships coordinated through the Sigma Nu Educational Foundation.

“This kind of engagement simply confirms what I believe about the lasting positive influence that a fraternity provides,” Dr. Spears added. “Our members are truly part of a brotherhood: these gifts are tangible evidence that brotherhood lasts.”


Winter Break Checklist

SPSU Snowfall_Iota Pi_Luc Graap_Winter 2014 (Copy)

Taking the steps to prepare your chapter’s home for winter break can save time and money down the road. Photo by Luke Graap (Southern Poly)

Editor’s note: This article was written by Sigma Nu’s insurance provider, Willis. Similar articles and additional information can be found on the company’s website. Further discussion on winterizing your chapter’s housing facility can be found here

It’s time to make sure that Greek undergraduate leaders, chapter advisors, and alumni ready their chapter facilities for the colder months and winter break. This winter break checklist was developed as a premise risk management tool to assist chapters in preparing for the coming break period.

  • Complete routine maintenance on furnace or boiler
  • Ensure furnace is on and thermostat is set at or above 60 degrees
  • Ensure all hoses are removed from exterior water spigots
  • Drain water lines in lawn sprinkler system where appropriate
  • In extreme cold weather, open the indoor faucets slightly to allow water to trickle, as moving water does not freeze as easily
  • Leave the doors to cabinets that contain water lines open, this will allow heat to enter the area
  • Inspect all rooms
  • Ensure all non-essential appliances and electronics have been unplugged
  • Caretaker selected or hired to complete daily inspections:
    • Daily walk-through to confirm no loss has occurred
    • Ensure furnace is operating
    • Ensure premise is secure
    • Remove any snow, ice, or debris which may create hazard
  • Caretaker is provided with:
    • A master key that should allow access to all areas of the house including individual rooms
    • Alumni house corporation contact information
    • Emergency response contact
    • Emergency repair company options
    • Insurance claim reporting information
  • Secure chapter house and lock all valuables
  • Contact the local police department or campus security to check on the chapter house periodically
  • Thoroughly clean chapter house prior to extended break
  • Confirm that heat registers are not blocked and combustible materials are safely stored, not next to or in the same room as the hot water heater and HVAC system
  • Remove all perishable food
  • Lock and inspect all windows and repair all broken glass
  • Ensure that exterior doors are well insulated, closed, and latched completely
  • Inspect the hot water heater and exposed water lines and drain pipes for slow leaks
  • Attach and secure downspouts with extension from foundation to prevent water damage, ensuring that they fully displace water away from foundation and other walking areas without draining onto the driveway, sidewalks, or patios
  • Clean gutters and downspouts to ensure proper roof drainage, improper roof drainage can cause ice damming to occur, which can cause interior water damage
  • Clean exterior of chapter house, removing any yard debris or materials that could be used to start a fire, as well as any items stored next to the chapter house, debris can provide an opportunity for an arsonist
  • Check security and safety lighting
  • Service and clean fireplace and chimney and check for defects or debris
  • Check tenants rooms for the following:
    • Unnecessary damage, any damage discovered should be documented
    • Unplug all nonessential appliances and electrical devices
    • Ensure heat registers are not blocked by personal belongings
    • Lock room door for security

For further information or questions regarding risk prevention and educational resources or materials, please visit www.WillisFraternity.com.

CU Boulder Jan 2013 (copy)

The Gamma Kappa (Colorado) chapter home. 

Alabama Governor Issues Proclamation Honoring Sigma Nu Fraternity

Jacksonville State University, where tonight a proclamation will be presented declaring January 1, 2015, as "Sigma Nu Day" in the state of Alabama. Photo by flickr user Jay Williams.

Jacksonville State University, where tonight a proclamation will be presented declaring January 1, 2015, as “Sigma Nu Day” in the state of Alabama. Photo by flickr user Jay Williams.

Jacksonville, Ala. – Alabama House Representative K.L. Brown will read a proclamation this evening recognizing the chapters of Sigma Nu Fraternity in the state of Alabama. The proclamation, signed by Governor Robert Bentley, will recognize the historic men’s fraternal organization as the only such group founded in direct opposition to hazing and rooted in the honor principle.

Earlier this year Governor Bentley signed the proclamation declaring January 1 as “Sigma Nu Day” in Alabama.

The proclamation will be presented during a ceremony at 7:00 p.m. CT this evening on the 11th floor of the Houston Cole Library on the Jacksonville State University campus.

Rep. Brown will be joined by national alumni leadership from Sigma Nu Fraternity, including Sigma Nu Educational Foundation (SNEF) board member Ralph Moore, past Sigma Nu Fraternity board member Austin Landry of Birmingham, and SNEF chairman Joe Gilman of Atlanta. Mr. Gilman is also a past national president of Sigma Nu Fraternity. Dr. William A Meehan, president of Jacksonville State University, is also expected to attend.

The story behind the proclamation is a testament to the strong student leadership that has come to define Sigma Nu Fraternity. Kenneth Smith, a political science major and member of the Sigma Nu chapter at Jacksonville State, originally proposed the idea to Rep. Brown. “I wanted to do something different to celebrate Sigma Nu and our Founders’ Day for 2015,” Kenneth said. “With everything going on in higher education right now I know elected officials and other public servants like to hear from younger college students.”

“This proclamation reaffirms the ideals Sigma Nu stands for at the campuses where we have chapters and in the communities where our alumni live,” Kenneth continued. “To some this might seem like merely words on a paper. But I’m glad I get to live out these high ideals and hold this brotherhood close to my heart.”

The signed proclamation, included below, will be framed and displayed at the Sigma Nu Fraternity national headquarters office in Lexington, Va.


By the Governor of Alabama 

WHEREAS, since its founding on January 1, 1869, at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia, the Sigma Nu Fraternity has been a pioneer in the fraternal world; and

WHEREAS, Sigma Nu currently has 172 active chapter and colonies on college campuses throughout the United States and Canada. Sigma Nu has initiated more than 230,000 members since its founding; and

WHEREAS, active Sigma Nu chapters in Alabama are located at Jacksonville State University, University of Alabama, Auburn University, Samford University, The University of Alabama in Huntsville, Birmingham-Southern College and Huntingdon College; and

WHEREAS, originally founded and known to this day as The Legion of Honor, Sigma Nu is the only social fraternity in existence founded in firm opposition to hazing and based on the principal of honor; and

 WHEREAS, Sigma Nu is the first general college fraternity to offer risk reduction policies and a comprehensive membership education program, remaining committed to both their mission and vision for more than 140 years; and

WHEREAS, the mission of Sigma Nu is to develop ethical leaders inspired by the principles of love, honor and truth, to foster the personal growth of each man’s mind heart and character and to perpetuate lifelong friendships and commitment to the fraternity; and

WHEREAS, Sigma Nu’s organizational structures and internal operations provide for the effective deployment of resources to deliver an unmatched level of service to its constituents; and

 WHEREAS, Sigma Nu is continually increasing its membership and capabilities as it creates and capitalizes on new markets and opportunities that support the fraternity’s mission; and

 WHEREAS, Sigma Nu enhances the experience of its members and builds a sense of community in a way that generates a desire to invest time, talent and treasure in the development of both the organization and its future members which is recognized by all as a contribution to the greater good:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Robert Bentley, Governor of Alabama, do hereby commend the Sigma Nu Fraternity upon its 146th Anniversary on January 1, 2015. 

Given Under My Hand and the Great Seal of the Office of the Governor at the State Capitol in the City of Montgomery on the 20th day of November 2014.

JSU at the Rock

Brothers of Iota Lambda Chapter (Jacksonville State) during a visit to the Headquarters Shrine earlier this year.


Innovative LEAD Ideas (Part 2)


By Scott Smith (Central Arkansas)

In part one of our series about innovative LEAD ideas, we discussed many specific sessions of the four phases of LEAD and All Chapter. In part two, we will focus on how LEAD can fit into other activities of the chapter. Most notably in recruitment, socials, and other special occasions.


LEAD can be used to help the chapter spread its name on campus, introduce other students to something unique about the chapter, and seal the deal with prospects by targeting specific sessions to a diverse audience.

One of the simplest ways to do this is to invite potential members to participate in one or more Phase I sessions with current candidates. This could also be done by hosting one or more sessions (from any phase) in a dorm or in some other centrally located building on campus. Invite residents and guests to attend by posting flyers to announce the session. Use a sign-in sheet and add attendees to the chapter’s Master Prospect List once they have arrived. Make an announcement at the beginning or end of the session explaining the LEAD Program and the role it plays in Sigma Nu.

Suggested sessions include: Time Management, Stress Management, Scholarship, and Campus Involvement, among others. The chapter could also partner with the campus recreation center to host a men’s wellness program that doubles as a recruitment event.

Getting Social

Dinner at Delta Gamma

Etiquette dinners: a long-standing tradition.

One of the best ways to increase interest in LEAD is to incorporate it into a date party, mixer, or semi-formal event. There are several different sessions that this can be accomplished with and it needs only a little creativity.

The All Chapter LEAD session on Etiquette can easily be used as a formal dinner. Have members grab a date, get dressed up, and head to a fancy restaurant to learn proper behavior for a business dinner. Prearrange with a house mother, business professional, or older chapter brother (or sorority member) to serve as the dinner’s host and facilitator.

In addition to using the Etiquette session as a mixer, the chapter could also use the Networking session to host the chapter’s seniors (or the entire membership) and the seniors of a sorority.

Brothers and seniors don’t have to be the only beneficiaries of socials using LEAD. The chapter’s candidates could use Phase I: Session 6: Values and Ethics for a combined session on fraternal values and employing those values to make good decisions. Invite a sorority’s new member class and conclude the session with a social activity.

Chapter Retreats, Alumni and Special Events

It can be helpful to take some time away from campus to increase brotherhood or address a specific issue. There are at least two LEAD sessions that work well with a retreat option: Phase I Session 3: Leadership & Working in Groups and Phase II Session 6: Teams and Decision Making.

Brotherhood Retreat_Delta Rho_Michael Psaltis_Winter 2014

Delta Rho (Colorado State) on their brotherhood retreat in 2013.

Other occasions may call for sessions that serve an immediate application. For new officer training, the chapter may wish to use the Delegation and Officer Transition sessions which can serve as standard parts of the training process for new officers and committee chairmen. Also, the chapter may use the Goal Setting, Strategic Planning, and two Pursuit of Excellence Program sessions (Strategy, Self-Assessment) when planning and assessment are needed.

Chapters are often looking for ways to improve their  brotherhood. LEAD sessions to cover this area could include the All Chapter sessions on Diversity and Accountability.

It is always a good idea to invite alumni to speak to the chapter. For junior and senior level brothers, alumni could potentially facilitate Negotiating Salary Offers, Managing Money After Graduation or an alumni panel could talk about Success Tips for the First Year on the Job. Any of these sessions would make for a great Friday evening or Saturday morning addition to your chapter’s alumni, parents or homecoming weekends.

Also, Module C of All Chapter LEAD, which features several risk reduction topics, would be ideal for an alumni panel of doctors, lawyers or police officers.

LEAD Days have become an increasingly popular idea that chapters are using to maximize participation and guest facilitators. Arrange to hold multiple sessions from one or more phases and invite nearby Sigma Nu chapters to participate. Cap off the day with a brotherhood event.

Putting It All Together

LEAD shouldn’t be just one more thing to add to your chapter’s calendar and list of responsibilities. In addition to making your members and chapter better, LEAD should be a good time. Whenever possible the chapter should take advantage of opportunities to incorporate LEAD into existing events and plans; vice versa, don’t be afraid to add a social, brotherhood, operational, or recruitment element into LEAD.

More ideas for combining sessions with other events, saving time, and addressing specific chapter issues can be found here as part of the LEAD myths & misconceptions blog series. Have other ideas for innovative ways to implement the LEAD Program? Let us know in the comments.

Winterizing Your Chapter Home

Beta Omicron Chapter House_James Kennedy_Beta Omicron_Fall 2013

Answering the questions below will allow your chapter to keep your chapter safe during break periods. Photo by Jake Kennedy (Sewanee)


Editor’s note: This article was written by Sigma Nu’s insurance provider, Willis. Similar articles and additional information can be found on the company’s website

Freeze claims each year cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. These losses predominantly occur over the break periods when there is limited daily oversight of the facility further exacerbating the costs. During the winter of 2013-2014, $2.7 million was paid for water damage resulting from frozen pipes that burst in the FPMA property program.

Over 90% of the losses occurred over the three week traditional winter break period. And these issues are not only important in colder climates. In another instance, the heat was turned off in a chapter house located in a part of the country where the weather does not typically dip below the freezing mark. Unfortunately for this chapter, the weather became unusually cold, leading to frozen pipes and water damage. There was no insurance coverage for this claim, as the owners failed to maintain heat in the building.

What are the risks?

  • Chapter members turning off the heat thinking they would save some money.
  • The pilot light on the furnace blowing out.
  • Windows and doors not closed properly.
  • The chapter house not securely locked making it an attractive target to vandals and thieves.
  • No one in charge of checking on the house over the holiday breaks.

No one got hurt, what is the problem?

  • Chapter members return from Thanksgiving or Winter break to a mess, or worse yet, no place to live because of the significant extent of damage.
  • A significant deductible is incurred, causing further strain to an already stretched budget.
  • Property premiums increase, because of these claims, which every member helps to pay.

How do we prevent this from happening?

  • Turn the heat down to no less than 60 degrees, don’t turn the heat off!
  • Have a house corporation officer or undergraduate member stop by the house daily to make certain the house is secure, there has not been a loss and the heat is working!
  • Spend a little money to save a lot of money not to mention avoid a hassle!
  • Have the furnace or boiler serviced this fall.
  • Fix all broken windows.
  • If a local undergraduate or alumnus can’t be counted on to check on the house, hire someone to do it for you over the break.
  • Call your heating contractor immediately if there is a problem with the furnace and take immediate action to prevent further damage.
  • Consider installing a water detection system like PipeBurst Pro. The system monitors your pressurized water lines for unintended water flow of your plumbing system and fixtures. The device may be set with flow restrictions for automatic water shut off or alert an authorized user allowing water shut off from a remote location. The system also monitors water temperature to provide freeze warnings. If you are interested in the 5% property premium discount you would receive for installing this system, contact Rob Meraz at rmeraz@willis.com.
  • It is important to also be aware of your outside property. To help reduce the risk of injuries of members, guests, or other people just passing by your house, make sure that snow is removed and ice is treated in a timely fashion.

Following these steps will allow you to protect your chapter facility during break periods. Additional resources, including a complete Winter Break Checklist, can be found on our website,

Delta Xi_Ming Chung

Ming Chung (Nevada)

Innovative LEAD Ideas (Part 1)

Sigma Nu Leadership conference

By Scott Smith (Central Arkansas)

Innovation [in-uh-vey-shuh-n] – something new or different introduced; introduction of new things or methods.

When it comes to providing a personal, professional, or chapter development experience we could all use a little help in spicing things up. LEAD includes some great topics and activities but sometimes your chapter needs to go that extra step with making a session fit into an already hectic chapter calendar or to include another organization or a campus resource into a session. We’ve collected some of the most innovative session and implementation ideas for LEAD – selected based on their novelty and broad utility.

Ideas For…

Phase I

Phase I: Session 11: Community Service – Invite the director/coordinator of a local community service organization to speak to the chapter about the importance of service. Use the session as an opportunity to introduce the chapter’s local service partner, inspire support for the cause, and teach members about the value of their impact in the local community.

Phase II

Create a bylaw – like Gamma Delta Chapter (Stevens) – mandating that any brother who wishes to run for office must have completed the LEAD Phase II online sessions and attended multiple facilitated sessions.

Phase III

Phase III: Session 4: Career Development – Reserve a classroom with a document projector. Each member of the junior class takes turns showing their resumes on the screen. Brothers then have the opportunity to provide feedback, make suggestions, and edit each other’s resume for improvement.

Rockbridge Habitat Build_Lambda_Ben Nye_Winter 2014

Lambda (Washington and Lee) participating on a Habitat for Humanity build site.

Phase III: Session 2: Personal Development – Host a “Reverse Gavel Pass” teambuilding activity. Members sit in a circle passing the gavel to their left. The person holding the gavel is not allowed to speak. The rest of the brothers in the circle are then directed to each provide one piece of positive and constructive feedback. Session ends with a traditional “Gavel Pass” (gavel travels in the same direction). This time the person holding the gavel is the only one allowed to speak. Brother reflects on the activity and provides one thing he learned about himself from others and how he will work to improve himself using this new piece of information (positive or negative).

Delta Alpha Chapter (Case Western Reserve) as part of their Phase III implementation tasks the junior class with writing the big brother ceremony for that semester’s candidate class. This project gives the juniors the opportunity to reflect on their time in Sigma Nu and provide meaningful guidance and instruction to the candidates through the written word of the ceremony.

Phase IV

Task the senior class with hosting a speaker panel for the candidates. Panel provides advice and instruction for candidates on how to make the most of the time in the chapter. Candidates have the opportunity to ask questions like, “Is there something you wish you had taken advantage of when you were a freshman?” “What advice would you give to a candidate interested in pursuing an officer position?”

Work with an alumnus or professor in finance and investing to set up an investment simulation. Participants can learn the basics on investing, shadow a professional, and even invest (fake) money with the help of a broker. This can be a great addition to the Phase IV session on money management, just ask Lambda Upsilon Chapter (Cal State Fullerton).

All Chapter

All Chapter Sexual Assault Prevention session. Team up with a sorority and have someone from the campus health/wellness/counseling center talk about what sexual assault is, why it happens, how to stop it, and how to assist a survivor. Follow up the session with a non-alcoholic mixer event with the participants.

Work with the local fire department to teach brothers how to properly use and maintain a fire extinguisher and put out a fire.

Working with Today’s College Students

Sigma Nu Leadership conference

By Ben Nye (Arkansas) and Todd Denson (Nicholls State)

We all need refreshers. We forget things. We miss important details. Sometimes we need to be retrained. Life happens. For alumni interested in working with Sigma Nu collegians, this is no exception.

Consider Division Commander Jamison Keller’s (Cal State San Bernardino) input on alumni who want to work with their chapter. “A lot of alumni think that it is the same as it was when they were collegians. In reality, it’s totally different,” said Keller when asked about his advising experience. From taking on massive amounts of student debt to norms of communication, student life has changed in ways that many older alumni may not realize.

Many alumni advisors who want to help a new generation of college students may find themselves in a similar position to what Keller described. To help alumni better understand today’s students and thus advise them more effectively, we have identified several areas we hope will assist collegians and alumni advisors forge stronger relationships.

Student Debt

College Cost

In February, Americans had over $1 trillion in student debt. Image courtesy of 401kcalculator.org. http://bit.ly/1pOzmdt

One of the major factors affecting the current generation of college students is debt. As of February, 2014, American’s have over $1 trillion in student loan debt. What’s more, the current generation of college students (millennials) are bearing a large part of this load.

In a study conducted by Wells Fargo, over half of 1,414 students surveyed had used student loans to finance their educations. Additionally, a 2011 report from the Department of Labor and Statistics said that the average debt load for the class of 2010 was $25,250 per graduate. An especially tricky and unique aspect of student loan debt is that it can’t be forgiven in bankruptcy.

What’s more, working through college probably doesn’t cover nearly as much as it used to. The steadily rising cost of college has created a situation that is challenging to overcome without financial support from parents or taking out substantial loans.

Campus Technology

While it has become a truism to say that technology has advanced in the past several generations, we won’t deny the impact and pervasiveness of these changes. Most pronouncedly, technological change has occurred through social media, which has become a mainstay on college campuses.

Graduation Selfie

Increasingly, mobile-only social media platforms are being used by college students. Image courtesy of College of Dupage Newsroom. http://bit.ly/11PF57U

Facebook, launched in 2004, is still widely prevalent with college students, but that may be changing. A 2013 survey conducted by Noel-Levitz, a higher education consultant firm, recorded that 67% of college students use Facebook, down 12% from the previous year.

Instead of Facebook, many college students are now turning to mobile-friendly social media apps such as Snapchat and Instagram. In a November, 2013 article, CNET reported that Snapchat users now upload more photos per day than Facebook users.

Granted, the services do not function the same way, but the statistic is still telling. Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter all favor mobile use and Snapchat and Instagram are only useable through smartphones. With these social media services primarily used through smartphones, students are increasingly turning away from desktop computers and towards smartphones.

Other social media services such as Yik Yak allow students to post anonymously to a local newsfeed that is only viewable by individuals on a certain campus. The app has caused controversy and in some cases resulted in anonymous threats causing campuses to shut down.


As Division Commander Chris Graham (Lamar/Stephen F. Austin) recently pointed out, communication methods have changed significantly in the past several decades among advisors and students. In Graham’s view, the abundance of communication methods has actually made it more difficult for advisors and collegians to connect.

“I call him and it goes straight to voicemail. I send him an email he never answers, but it’s because he’s used to texting,” said Graham, describing an interaction with a collegiate member. “That’s the communication norm that has been established for him.”

An alumnus used to interacting through phone or email may need to redefine the communication relationship with collegiate members. For Graham, it is essential that the advisor and collegiate member settle on a communication method that works for both parties.

Of course, with the greater access to new communication technology, it can also allow for a unique structuring of an alumni advisory board. Jamison Keller described how AABs can use technology to diversify their memberships. “With Skype or Google+ people can video chat and have a similar experience to being physically present.”

And for the millennials reading: pick up the phone — it’s still how business gets done.

Today’s collegiate Sigma Nus need their alumni brothers more than ever.

Standards and Programs Have Changed

In many ways, Sigma Nu has adapted to continue pursuit of its mission and to shore up problem areas.

One such example is the adoption of the Risk Reduction Policy and Guidelines (RRP&G). Adopted during the 1980s, the RRP&G has changed over time to regulate the activities of chapters in certain key ways. Some of the most noticeable changes have included limiting the number of people who can attend chapter socials (the member to guest ratio is 2:1), outlawing kegs and other centrally located sources of alcohol, and forbidding chapters from pooling funds for the purchase of alcohol.

Alumni who are not familiar with the RRP&G would do well to review the policy and guidelines, especially considering that chapters are expected to adhere by the policy at all times. Equally important for alumni who graduated before 1980 is seeking to understand the events that led to this intersection of liability and insurance coverage.

Another new addition is the Fraternity’s LEAD Program. Unveiled in 1988, LEAD has been the Fraternity’s premier ethical leadership development program for collegiate members for over two and a half decades.

Composed of four Phases, LEAD is designed to help assist collegiate Sigma Nus in their development as members. Chapters need help implementing the program and becoming a guest facilitator is one of the best ways to help.

Lastly, in 2000, the Fraternity set out to develop a set of minimum standards for chapter performance. The minimum standards that were developed became known as the Pursuit of Excellence Program. Since developing the original Pursuit of Excellence Program, the Fraternity revised it in 2006 to ensure that each chapter was driven to pursue the Fraternity’s vision of “Excelling with Honor.” Each chapter now gets annual feedback on its submission and the program is designed to ensure that the highest performing chapters are eligible for the Rock Chapter Award.

What’s Your Mindset?

Every year, Ron Nief and Tom McBride — faculty and staff of Benoit College — publish a “mindset list” of the incoming freshman class. The list explains what the current freshman class has experienced in their young lives and always includes some surprising points for older readers. Some noteworthy examples from this year’s list include, “The water cooler is no longer the workplace social center; it’s the place to fill your water bottle,” and “Joe Camel has never introduced one of them to smoking.” It is a fascinating list and worth reading.

In commenting on changes that students have undergone, Nief and McBride are quite convinced in the stability of at least a few areas. “Meanwhile, the goals of education — knowledge, perspective, judgment, and wisdom — remain the same,” they said in article about the 2018 list.

The same could be said for Sigma Nu and its members. No matter how much its collegiate members, policies, or campuses may change, Sigma Nus will always remain committed to excelling with honor and living by the values of the Creed. Today’s collegiate Sigma Nus need their alumni brothers more than ever, especially those who will abide by the values of Love, Honor, and Truth. Don’t let generational differences diminish a passion to help today’s collegiate brothers.

Sigma Nu Leadership conference


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