By Garrett Oberst (Butler)
Like many other collegiate members my age, I had no idea what the Sigma Nu Educational Foundation was a year ago. I didn’t know about the purpose of the Foundation or that it would change my life and instill in me the value of commitment to the Fraternity throughout my entire life.
My experience with Sigma Nu Educational Foundation began with what seemed like an accident. I applied to be a Collegiate Grand Councilman in the fall of 2014 thinking it was the only opportunity I had to gain leadership experience at the national level. To my surprise, I received a call from Joe Gillman, past Regent and chairman of the Foundation at the time. He told me of a new position with the Sigma Nu Educational Foundation, a position that I and Mark Nelson from Northwestern would be the first to hold.
While I enthusiastically accepted the offer to serve on the Foundation board of directors, I was hesitant and a little unsure of what was to come next. I had essentially just accepted a position with an organization I knew little about.
As I would soon learn, the Sigma Nu Educational Foundation grants the General Fraternity the funds they need to pursue these endeavors and enhances our fraternal experience both as collegians and members of the alumni chapter. Your scholarship, your LEAD sessions, and in many cases your chapter home, are all a result of the Foundation’s core purpose. If you have seen the beautiful Headquarters shrine, it is also a result of the Foundation’s hard work.
As collegiate members of the board, Mark Nelson and I are both current members of the awareness committee tasked with spreading the message of the Foundation to both alumni and active members. While our board is full of past Regents, Collegiate Grand Councilmen, and Alpha Chapter Affiliates, my opinion is valued as much as anyone else’s, and I am incredibly grateful for that.
My growth throughout this experience has been tremendous. I have gained insight into the strategic planning process and have begun to understand how a board of directors develops a vision for an organization. I have also had the opportunity to network with many successful individuals that serve on the Foundation board. Most importantly, this experience has inspired me to continue to commit my time, my talent, and my treasures to the Foundation for years to come because I now realize its importance.
I encourage you to apply to be a collegiate member of the Sigma Nu Educational Foundation’s Board of Directors. While right now you may be unclear as to what you will be doing, I promise you can expect to grow from this experience more than you could ever imagine. More importantly than that, you will play a vital role in the development in the Foundation’s strategic planning in the years to come.