The Founders Graduate From VMI


“Today is one of the saddest days of my life. Our class met General [Francis] Smith at 3 o’clock, and after some very touching remarks, and good advices, gave us each a bible. I can hardly realize that when we left the section-room, our class which has been so closely and constantly thrown together for four years, had been together as a unit for the last time. The ties of true friendship which have been repeatedly tested must be broken, and for many, finally broken, some few of us may meet again, but all of us never, how solemn and lonely that word now sounds. Oh! Father, aid me, strengthen me, that I may keep perfectly this advice of our faithful Superintendent.” – James Frank Hopkins

On July 4th 1870, Founders Hopkins, Quarles, and Riley’s college careers were ended. The Founders graduated from the Virginia Military Institute and would go on to lead lives of quiet distinction, serving their respective communities in law, politics, agriculture, and engineering. They did not expect the fraternity they founded to grow and thrive as it did and they were immensely proud to be associated with it. Many years later, Hopkins would comment, “To say that I feel proud of Sigma Nu does not express it.”

One thought on “The Founders Graduate From VMI

  1. Harry Yohe says:

    My name is Harry Yohe, IL36 from Jax St Univ, AL. I am proud to be an alumni and with Veterans Day approaching, I want to say that I am also proud to have served my country faithfully and honorably, retiring at the rank of Command Sergeant Major, US Army. I continue to walk in the way of light and serve in the light of truth. My honor is dearer than my life. Duty-Honor-Country is still my creed as is the creed of Sigma Nu-HOOAH.

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