Category Archives: The Delta Fall 2013

The Delta of Sigma Nu – Fall 2013

Table of Contents

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Features

“I love you guys. I’m sorry about everything.”
After his son’s suicide Don Hooton (Louisiana-Lafayette) began to raise awareness over the use of steroids among America’s youth. Today the family’s foundation is partnered with multiple professional sports leagues, including MLB, NFL and NHL.

Illuminating a Path
Bill Courtney’s (Mississippi) experience coaching an inner-city Memphis high school football team is discovered by two directors who chronicle the team’s trials in the Oscar-winning sports documentary Undefeated.

Entrepreneur at Heart
His company Cal American Homes was recognized by Inc. magazine as one of the 500 fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. last year, but not before Jessie Rodriguez (Cal Poly Pomona) lost everything to get there.

A Leader Among Legends
NBA Hall of Famer Pat Riley (Kentucky) is the only athlete in American sports to win championships as a player, coach and team executive. Last June Riley solidified his NBA legend status after winning his 9th NBA Finals championship ring.

“It was horrific. It was a war zone.”
By the time footage of a horrific tornado reached the airwaves, Brothers from three different chapters in Oklahoma were already leading the rebuilding effort in their communities. Within days they were receiving supplies from other Sigma Nu chapters from around the country.

Departments

From the Editor
The story behind the story.

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

Conversation
Readers respond to the summer issue featuring Arizona Diamondbacks Managing General Partner Ken Kendrick (West Virginia).

Updates From Lexington

Chapter News
Dispatches from around the country.

Alumni News

Bookshelf
A new book by psychologist Meg Jay explains why 30 is not the new 20. Plus the latest titles by Sigma Nu authors.

Award Winners
The full list of 2013 collegiate and alumni award winners.

Perspectives on Our Past
Grand Historian Bob McCully (San Diego State) chronicles the stories of Sigma Nu’s Medal of Honor recipients.

Psychology
An ant colony goes house-hunting.

Interview
Past Regent and Educational Board President Joe Gilman (Morehead State/Georgia) talks ethical leadership, effective meetings, and the relevance of fraternities in the ever changing landscape of higher education.

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Chapter News

Akron

Brothers from the Kappa Lambda Chapter gathered this July for the annual alumni and active golf scramble. The brothers played 18 holes and concluded with a cookout at Brother Bob Keres’ house following the scramble.

Brother Joe Gimmarco was awarded the Outstanding Student Assistant by Akron University’s Division of Student Affairs. Several brothers are busy with summer jobs and internships. Brother Christian Perez recently completed a marketing internship working with Jim Tressel to promote the University. Brother Kirk Lutz is a marketing intern for Veyance Technologies and Chris Cesta is a Detention Analyst at JRayl Transport. Other brothers are interning in civil engineering, product and inventory control, and Brother Mike Sabo is a nursing student technician.

Arkansas

This past spring, the Gamma Upsilon Chapter at the University of Arkansas received several awards. The chapter received the Award of Excellence, Big Greek Man on Campus Runner Up (Samuel McClelland), and Top Fall President (Alan Matthews). In addition, the chapter won the Fayetteville Community’s Choice: Best Philanthropy Event 2012 (Pi Phi/Sigma Nu 5k), and was recognized at Grand Chapter 2012 with a Sigma Nu Manpower Award.

This summer, Brother William McComas represented Sigma Nu and the University of Arkansas in a study abroad program for pre-med students in Belize during the first summer session. The chapter is in the process of creating a new scholarship plan to be passed and implemented to help motivate members to strive to be top in their class.

President Martinelli of Panama recently donated $100,000 to the chapter’s scholarship fund which will be used to create scholarships and incentives for current members with good grades and good standing. The chapter is looking forward to the fall and hopes to better improve the 5k philanthropy event which remains one of the best philanthropy events on campus.

Auburn

The chapter earned a 2.94 GPA in the fall 2012 semester and a 2.75 in the spring of 2013. The chapter has substantially improved and maintained academic performance for a number of years now. Auburn has become much more academically competitive, and the chapter has done its part.

Three awards were given to graduating seniors in the spring. The E. Meade Wilson Award went to Trey Oliver, the Ray Spearman Cobb Award went to Clint Maroney, and the Travis Rabren Award went to Gibson Hand. All three were dedicated to improving the chapter and left it a better place than it was when they got there.

On April 24, 2013, the chapter voted to create the Maury D. Gaston Award. For over three decades, Maury D. Gaston, Beta Theta 1752, has proven to be an excellent brother of Sigma Nu Fraternity. There are many things that have changed since he pledged Sigma Nu in 1977, but his dedication and service has not once wavered. As an alumnus, he has done more than can be expressed in words. Yet, the chapter wishes to offer him a legacy in tribute to his hard work and unprecedented involvement.

Mr. Gaston served as Recorder and Treasurer as an undergraduate, planned the chapter’s 90th Anniversary in 1980, and received the E. Meade Wilson Award as the brother who best exhibited service and love to the fraternity.  When he returned home after a number of years out of state, he was asked to serve on the House Corporation and he is now the President. His leadership was soon evident to the General Fraternity and he has been honored as House Corporation Officer of the Year and as Division Commander of the Year. He has been appointed by Regents Durham and Eitel to serve as Grand Chaplain. Mr. Gaston has distinguished himself and the fraternity on campus as well. Gaston is currently serving as Chairman of the Auburn Alumni Engineering Council and a member of the University’s capital campaign leadership team.

The award will read, “Very few brothers of Sigma Nu Fraternity are able to truly incorporate into their service the values of Love, Honor, and Truth learned through the Beta Theta Chapter as has Maury D. Gaston. This award shall be given to a brother who shows a passion for leadership through his actions of goodwill and determination, while never compromising the values which he pledged to uphold. The recipients of this award are those brothers of Beta Theta Chapter who left this chapter better than when Beta Theta found them.”

The chapter voted unanimously to award Mr. Gaston as the first recipient of the Maury D. Gaston award. The chapter will present this to him before the Georgia game on November 16. At that same time, the chapter will recognize past Regent, Robert E. Durham, Beta Theta 2804 and Mu 1650 as a member of the John M. Ward Alumni Hall of Honor.

Ball State 

The Theta Nu Chapter at Ball State University had a very successful philanthropic spring semester. For the first time, Dance Marathon was included in the spring philanthropies with a large amount of participation. The chapter Commander, Max Wurster, as well as the chapter’s Philanthropy Chairman, Kevin Corder, stressed the importance of giving back to the community this semester. Following this emphasis, the chapter raised $120 per member for charitable causes within the community. This was the highest dollar amount per member of any Greek organization on campus!

This semester the Theta Nu Chapter reevaluated the chapter’s action plan and current fall philanthropy to increase dollar amounts raised. Theta Nu will continue to strive for excellence this coming fall and will continue the increased amount of attention to philanthropic endeavors at Ball State University.

Bowling Green State 

At the end of the spring semester, the Epsilon Chi Chapter participated in the BGSU Greek Weekend with Delta Gamma Sorority. Epsilon Chi took first place in the entire competition and took first place in Greek sing. At the end of July, members of the Epsilon Chi Chapter and alumni will be attending the annual “Sigma Nu Camp-In.” This is when brothers gather at an alumnus’ home in Richfield, Ohio, for a weekend. This is a great opportunity for the collegiate members to make personal and professional connections with alumni while still in college.

Butler 

Craig Fisher sworn in as SGA President.

Epsilon Mu Chapter won a series of awards at Butler’s Greek Excellence Awards Ceremony this past spring. The chapter’s awards covered campus leadership, educational programming, new member education, scholarship, philanthropy, and community service. The chapter’s performance was highlighted in achieving Gold Status for campus leadership with over 50% of its members holding

executive leadership positions in other campus organizations. The chapter is also proud to announce that it was the only 5 Star Greek chapter this past year.  Additionally, the Epsilon Mu Chapter initiated 35 outstanding young men and is now the largest fraternity at Butler University.

Epsilon Mu Chapter was able to achieve these successes by implementing LEAD and other risk reduction and hazing prevention programs. The chapter is also proud of the impact their renewed focus on philanthropy had on the surrounding community.

Epsilon Mu Chapter’s Craig Fisher was elected President of Butler University’s Student Government Association this spring. Craig, also Epsilon Mu’s Lieutenant Commander, has been involved with SGA since his freshman year, most recently as parliamentarian

. Craig is the third Sigma Nu to be elected Butler’s SGA President in the past five years; previous SGA Presidents from the Chapter were Chris Ring and Chad Lesczynski. Officially inaugurated on April 24th, Fisher gave special thanks to his brothers for their never-ending support throughout the campaign. Serving on his campaign staff were fellow Epsilon Mu Brothers Scott Nemeth, A.J. Teare, and campaign manager, Alex Tallentire.

The Epsilon Mu Chapter of Sigma Nu had a tremendous 2012-2013 school year.  The chapter looks forward to sustaining this success in the upcoming academic year.

California State, Fullerton

The brothers of the Lambda Upsilon Chapter participated in Camp Titan, a camp for underprivileged kids in the Orange County area.  Every year around 150 kids come to the camp that is sponsored by the Greek system. The funds are raise through Greek week and other donations.

This year the chapter had 11 brothers volunteer including two members who served on the camp’s staff and the rest who served as counselors. In addition to the eleven brothers, the chapter’s sweetheart was able to participate as a staff member.

Central Florida

Things are going great for the Mu Psi Chapter this summer. In preparation for the fall, the chapter has held a number of recruitment events in order to have a strong candidate class of men who show good character. Mu Psi has found that holding numerous events allows the chapter to know potential members better before extending a bid.

The chapter won Chapter of the Year, awarded by the University of Central Florida, at the end of this past spring semester. The chapter is extremely excited to win this award for the third time and thrilled to have received it two years in a row. This year’s award was special to the chapter because it was recently reinstated after UCF put all of Greek life on suspension. There is one winner for fraternities and sororities.

Several brothers are extremely excited for their internships. Brother Matthew Gruda had an internship with Marco Rubio’s office this past spring semester. Brother Kevin Craig also had an exciting internship with the Florida Capital Office and worked for Congressman John Mica. Brother Michael McManus will be starting an internship in the fall semester with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

The chapter is planning a brotherhood retreat to Ginny Springs, a campground here in Florida. The brotherhood retreat was held here last year with great success. Sitting around a campfire was the best environment for brotherhood bonding and for holding LEAD sessions. The lack of technological distractions, cell phones, televisions, and computers, helped brothers communicate better. The brothers discussed why they joined Sigma Nu and why it was important. Additionally, brothers voiced any issues they had with the chapter.

Along with all of this, the chapter is thrilled to move into a new house this fall. Brothers will be moving into the house this August and cannot wait to see what opportunities this will bring.

Colorado State 

The Delta Rho Chapter, won several awards presented by the Colorado State University IFC. The awards included Excellence in Academics, Excellence in Membership Development and Retention, Excellence in Risk Management and Accountability, and Excellence in Fraternal Values. As a highlight, Delta Rho was awarded Chapter of the Year, and received the only Gold Status IFC seal of approval.

Some of members were also recognized by the CSU IFC for outstanding character. Luke Allen was awarded Up and Coming Leader of the Year, Zack Schrag was awarded Living the Ritual, Jonathan Ng received Outstanding Campus Involvement, and Cameron Delphia was named Outstanding Chapter President of the Year.

Columbus State 

Mu Xi Chapter Marshal John Andrew Pollock IV won Columbus State University’s Legacy Award in Diversity Leadership and was awarded Greek Male Leader of the Year last spring. Pollock has served the chapter as Sentinel and Marshal, and has served the Greek community as IFC Secretary and Vice President. Pollock is the first Sigma Nu to be awarded the Legacy Award and the second Sigma Nu in a row to win the Greek Male Leader of the Year. The other was J.P. Dockter. Speaking after the awards banquet he said, “Without many of the older brothers, Andy Knight, Fabian Vazquez, and J.P. Dockter, I would not be where I am today and for that I thank them. A ‘thank you’ is not enough to cover the impact they have had on my life as well as Sigma Nu has had in my life. Now I will look to pass on what they passed on to me with the new candidates and newer brothers.”

When Leadership Consultant Alex Taylor came down this past spring, Commander Conner Davis listed three goals the chapter needed to accomplished to retain their dominance on campus and one of those goals was to sweep the competition in Greek week. The brothers found it to be an easy task. Mu Xi Chapter also came first in Greek week.

On May 11, the Mu Xi Chapter created and installed its alumni chapter. May 11th is also the day the chapter was originally chartered. About 50 alumni and all active brothers were present.

The chapter is now 17 years old and many of the alumni wanted to stay involved with the growth of the chapter. The first task completed by the alumni chapter was creating a scholarship for incoming freshmen dedicated to founder Michael Joyce (Mu Xi 33). Brother Joyce passed away due to leukemia. Michael Joyce’s family was contacted for their blessing of the scholarship. They were ecstatic and thanked the chapter for keeping his name and badge number relevant and to Sigma Nu. The scholarship is funded and managed by the alumni chapter.

The alumni chapter has been helpful in this year’s upcoming fall rush. They doubled the chapter’s recruitment budget which should help the chapter get 15-20 candidates.

This summer Mu Xi Chapter held its 2nd annual Snake Bite Scramble Golf Tournament. Proceeds from the tournament benefitted St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Around 14 teams managed to raise about $3,000.This is up from ten teams last year. Next year the chapter hopes to double the amount of teams and raise $5,000-$10,000 for St. Jude.

Cornell 

Brothers from the Gamma Theta Chapter are all in the middle of their summer internships. Several brothers are interning in finance this summer.  Brian Murray is a summer intern with Credit Suisse, Nick Baccile is with Ares Management, Will Hutton with L88 Investments, and Ty Bostain is with G.E. Capital. Brother Ryan Ur is with the real estate company Related Companies and Max Tave is interning with The Renaissance Hotel in Thailand. Lastly, Brother Michael Wolcott is with Seneca Foods and Chris Shei is with AV Nightclub. The brothers look forward to the upcoming academic semester and returning to campus.

Duquesne 

At this past spring’s Greek awards ceremony the Kappa Delta Chapter won the President’s Cup Award.  This award is given to the top fraternity on campus based on overall chapter excellence including academics, recruitment, service and philanthropy, presence on campus, and meeting all of the Office of Greek Life’s expectations. The Kappa Delta Chapter also received the Order of Omega Most Improved Academics award for receiving the highest GPA of all fraternities in the fall of 2012. The Kappa Delta Chapter also received Best Fraternity Recruitment. This award was based on the number of new members that were initiated along with the chapter’s recruitment plan and recruitment goals. Senior and past Commander, Ryan Smith was honored with the award of Greek Man of the Year. This award was based on service to his individual chapter, as well as service to Greek life as a whole.

Also, this past spring, the Kappa Delta Chapter took first place overall in Greek week. Over the course of the week the events were Greek games, Greek god, dodgeball, blood drive, canstruction, and Greek sing.

Eastern Kentucky

Theta Theta Chapter was honored to bring home several awards at the 2013 Greek Week Award show at Eastern Kentucky. Brother Brandon Mandigo was named the IFC New Member of the Year and the Outstanding Alumni Award was presented to Brother Christopher Gabel. Josef Katzman, a recent graduate, was named Greek Man of the Year. In addition, the chapter came in 3rd place in the Greek games and Greek sing.

Several brothers have internships with law enforcement agencies including Brother David Stanek with the Secret Service in Lexington, Ky., and Hoai Robinette who just finished an internship with the U.S. Marshals in Lexington. Brother Nicholas Jensen has an Internship with Janus Fire Systems as a Fire Protection Engineer in Indiana and Brother Aaron Spencer has an internship with the Rehoboth Beach Country Club in Delaware.

Theta Theta is preparing for one of its best semesters ever this fall. With many recent changes in committee chairmen, necessary and proper planning, the initiation of seven great candidates, and the motivation and drive fueled from the summer meeting and retreat, the chapter brotherhood is going to be leaders on campus and very active within the community.

Eastern Michigan 

This past spring, the Lambda Pi Chapter at Eastern Michigan University was recognized as a Chapter of Excellence in the Greek Standards and Assessment Program. They achieved excellence in the categories of Positive Relationships, Integration of Purpose, and Civic Engagement. They were the only fraternity recognized with the award at Greek awards. Furthermore, Brother Josh Richardson was selected as the Greek Man of the Year for his contributions to the community as Commander of Lambda Pi and as the Vice President of External Affairs on IFC.

Lambda Pi has traditionally struggled with being recognized for awards by the University, despite meeting the criteria for Excellence in most categories. With 25 members, the chapter is smaller than most on this campus, the average being around 35 members. It was important that the chapter show the campus that Sigma Nu is a hard working chapter, that it is doing twice the work of larger chapters with less members. The chapter wanted to prove it was a force to be reckoned with this year. The chapter was able to affirm this.

This year, Lambda Pi looked at the university’s standards and awards program in tandem with Pursuit of Excellence, and realized that many of the goals were the same. Therefore, the chapter worked on reaching goals for both of the programs. This included hosting more service and philanthropy events, putting on diversity programming for the winter candidate class, and having values congruent discussions both before and after any events to ensure that Sigma Nu’s programming was in alignment with the ideals of Love, Truth, and Honor. Other obstacles to overcome included removing $15,000 in debt, raising manpower from eight members to 23, getting off probation for the first time in three years, and raising the chapter GPA by .5.

The chapter’s goals for next year are simple: improve and achieve excellence in the other two GSAP categories (Intellectual Development and Leadership Development). The chapter was very close in both categories, but did not achieve the necessary scores this year, and would like to next year. Lambda Pi knows what to do to achieve excellence and be considered a chapter of excellence for 2013-2014, and plans to do whatever it takes. The chapter strove for excellence and will keep striving for excellence.

Georgia

Three brothers of Mu Chapter were recently accepted into the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business Institute for Leadership Advancement (ILA).

Sean Gilrain and Wes Roberts were accepted into the Leonard Leadership Scholars Program. The Leonard Leadership Scholars Program (LLSP) is a highly selective two-year leadership development program designed exclusively for Terry undergraduates. The program provides personalized leadership training through innovative courses, enriching extracurricular activities, and challenging service opportunities.

Alex Kellams was admitted to the ILA Fellows Program – a one-year course-based program that results in a graduate certificate upon successful completion of the ILA courses.

Sean, Wes and Alex follow a number of Mu brothers who have been accepted to the prestigious Terry leadership programs. Such success is another example of the Sigma Nu brotherhood at UGA – with older brothers extending the helping hand to improve the opportunities afforded to the younger members in the Chapter. The brothers are proud to present this as another example of the chapter’s 140-year commitment to excellence on River Road.

Georgia State

On April 13th 2013, the Eta Gamma Chapter held its 3rd Annual Sigma Nu Smoke Out benefiting St. Jude Children’s Hospital. The chapter nearly raised $6,000 with the help of Eta Gamma alumni and brothers, fellow Greeks, and nearly 50 sponsors from around the Atlanta area. This total put the chapter at over $15,000 raised for St. Jude in only three years.

Along with this, the Eta Gamma Chapter held its 41st Annual Sigma Nu Sweepstakes which helped raise nearly $4,000 for the Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School. This event calls on the participation of all Greek organizations on campus competing in a week-long event consisting of different events that not only help raise funds towards the Charter School, but also are point based to crown a champion for the week. This year Phi Mu Sorority, Theta Beta Chapter, was crowned Sweepstakes champion. Along with these efforts the chapter’s members participated in over 700 hours of community service towards organizations such as Trees Atlanta, Mad Housers, St. Jude, The Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School, and Gigi’s Playhouse.

Congratulations to the brothers of Eta Gamma on their achievements at this year’s Greek awards banquet. For the second year in a row Eta Gamma was the only IFC chapter recognized. Brother Ozaer Faroqui was recognized as the chapter president and Brother Kabir Faiz for his service as IFC President for the year. Brother Faiz also won Greek Life’s Executive Officer of the Year Award, while the chapter was awarded IFC Chapter of the Year. Eta Gamma was also the only IFC chapter to achieve the Five Star Status of Excellence for the 6th consecutive year! Along with this accomplishment, the chapter brought home the Jernigan’s Cup for the best overall intramural team at Georgia State, and captured its 18th overall IFC all sports trophy, the most in the history of the council at GSU.

The brothers of Eta Gamma won Phi Mu’s Spring Fling Week for the third time in four years, and Brother Nolan Herslebs was crowned Spring Fling King, helping the chapter gain this status for the third time in four years as well.

The brothers of Eta Gamma, alongside the brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha and Lambda Upsilon Lambda hosted GSU’s first ever Golden Reign Week. The week focused on promoting Greek unity throughout the GSU community and consisted of multiple events including a clothing drive, dodge ball tournament, Greek block party, and blood drive sponsored with the American Red Cross.

Houston

Houston Tough Mudder

Brothers from the University of Houston pictured after completing a tough mudder race at the end of the spring semester.

Illinois

Gamma Mu Chapter’s House Director won the House Director of the Year award at the recent Greek Oscar ceremony this past spring. Before Alumnus Robert Hart took over the position of House Director in late 2011, the physical state of the house was in extremely poor condition. As soon as he and two other alumni took on the task of running the house corporation, he immediately became a daily presence within the house. He is a recently retired electrician who has spent 8 hours a day, 5-6 days a week since January 2012 working to modernize the house and make it a place people have a deep desire to live in. Over the course of the past year and a half, he has acted as foreman, as well as primary laborer, to ensure the quick, effective installation of the chapter house’s new fire protection system, restoration of the public areas of the first floor, rewiring of the entire house, new ceilings in both the second and third floor hallways, and other general repair. His tireless work has shown the brothers, and now the Greek community as a whole through this award, that being a brother of Sigma Nu does not end upon graduation. In fact, as Bob has shown to all of the brothers of Gamma Mu, the pursuit of excellence is a lifelong commitment that should never falter.

Iowa

This spring, Beta Mu Chapter won Greek Week Follies, a dance and skit competition among fraternities and sororities at University of Iowa. Every fraternity and sorority at the University of Iowa participated along with hundreds of guests from the surrounding community. This year the chapter was paired with Chi Omega and Phi Beta Chi. Beta Mu Chapter has participated in the annual event each year since its inception, demonstrating the chapter’s dedication to Greek life at Iowa. The chapter hopes to carry this momentum into its upcoming philanthropy event to provide a meaningful experience for all involved.

Kansas

The Nu Chapter house is undergoing several important renovation projects: a complete replacement of the carpets, remodeling bathrooms, and restructuring the basketball court. Soon, a sprinkler system will be installed for the lawn, a much needed renovation in the Kansas heat.

The chapter worked closely with alumni to get the support and financial donations necessary. The chapter is very thankful for all the Sigma Nu alumni and active members who have put together these renovation projects. It really is awesome to see how much a little renovation can do for a chapter house’s appearance.

Kent State 

Zeta Gamma Commander Joshua M. Cherok was one of nine student leaders selected as Kent State University’s Student Leader of the Year. Cherok is the first Sigma Nu to receive this award in over three years.

Louisiana State 

Last spring, Phi Chapter held its first Annual “Sigma CaNu” at Louisiana State University benefitting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. This is Phi Chapter’s first philanthropy event of this kind. In prior years, the chapter held crawfish boils and golf tournaments.

SCanu

Brothers of the Phi Chapter pose with the women of Delta Delta Delta, the winners of the first Sigma CaNu philanthropy canoe race benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Sigma CaNu is a series of canoe races for sororities held on the lakes near campus. All sororities participated with at least one team of eight girls while some contributed multiple teams. The philanthropy raised $1,500 with the help of several corporate sponsors. Tri Delta placed 1st, winning the coveted oar trophy that now hangs proudly in their sorority house.

The idea for the event sparked during a chapter meeting two years ago. Phi Chapter’s house sits on the LSU Lakes and discussion was brought up on how to utilize it for philanthropy. Sigma CaNu was born.

Phi Chapter officers spent an entire year gaining University approval to make the event happen. The chapter plans to hold the event every spring with a goal to increase the donation annually.

Lynchburg College

Mu Chi Chapter celebrated its 10th anniversary at Lynchburg College this past spring with a series of events to commemorate this important milestone. Chapter members gathered with a strong turnout of alumni, who presented the chapter with their 10-year certificate.

Tornado relief_Mu Chi

Brothers from Lynchburg sending relief supplies after the Moore tornado in the spring.

Mere days after celebrating their 10th anniversary, Mu Chi Chapter showed up big at Lynchburg’s Greek awards ceremony , earning a lengthy list of distinctions. Mu Chi was awarded as Lynchburg’s Chapter of the Year and DJ Bowles was named Greek Man of the Year. In addition the chapter received the highest cumulative GPA award, Most Improved GPA, and Outstanding Risk Management. Brother Billy Saulle was awarded Best New Member, Jonathan Fries was named Outstanding Greek Advisor, and Tim Barzditis was given the individual award for community service. Additionally, Wil John received the Sigma Sigma Sigma Stand Up award and Tim Barzditis received the Sigma Sigma Sigma Senior Set Sail award.

Maryland

The Delta Phi Chapter won several awards at this past spring’s awards week. The chapter won Most Improved Chapter, Outstanding New Member Education Program, and Best Community Service Programming.

In addition to earning these distinctions, Delta Phi Chapter recently won University of Maryland’s Terp Thon for the 3rd consecutive year, teaming up with Delta Phi Epsilon to raise $35,000 for Children’s National Medical Center.

Summer is going very well at the Delta Phi Chapter as the chapter prepares for the upcoming semester. The executive board is quite excited about completing its semester goals and both the Philanthropy Chairman and Recruitment Chairman have already hit the ground running as they work to match the successes the chapter had in the spring. After hosting another successful philanthropy event this past spring as well as recruiting the largest candidate class in recent years, these officers appear to be using this momentum to their advantage as the fall semester approaches.

Several of the chapter brothers are in the middle of their summer internships. Several brothers are working in finance over the summer including Ryan Streilein who is an intern at Convergent Wealth Advisors, Luke McNally at Fannie Mae working as a forecasting analyst, and Aaron Williams who is with Tate and Tryon as an auditor. Brother Keith May is working with Techno-Sciences on GPS satellites.

Additionally, Brother Maks Berger is working in the finance department of Dow Jones and Scott Zlotnick is interning at news station WTOP in Washington D.C. Many more of the chapter brothers have internships and all look forward to returning to campus for the fall term.

UMD_Sigma Nu - Most Improved & New Member Ed

Members of the Delta Phi Chapter after receiving the Most Improved Chapter of the Year and Best New Member Education Program.

M.I.T.

Several of the Epsilon Theta Chapter brothers have internships this summer. Four chapter brothers are working in software engineering this summer. Henrique Ponde is with Dropbox, Ulziibayar Otgonbaatar is interning at Facebook, Jorge Ornelas is interning at Bloomberg in New York, and Lt. Commander Anthony Adams is with DirectTV. Also, Brother Eli Kosminksy is working at Rapid7, a cyber-security company in Boston.

Commander Cameron French is working as a research assistant on the HIT_SI nuclear fusion reactor at the University of Washington and Brother Mateo Williams is doing research on 3D solar cells with the Grossman Group at MIT. Billy Ndengeyingoma is working in France at the National Science Research Center studying microscopic fluid dynamics in porous materials. Additionally, Brother Daniel Lizardo is teaching a science class at a public school summer camp in Pasadena.

Following graduation, Michael Walsh Sigma Nu’s Man-of-the-Year for 2012-2013, is pursuing a Ph.D. in quantum computing at MIT and Adam Vickerman will be working at a machine shop near his home in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada while saving money to travel abroad in New Zealand.

Miami Ohio

The Epsilon Nu Chapter at Miami University in Ohio has made exciting progress in the past few months. Recently, the chapter was recognized for its 56% increase in manpower due to a chapter-wide effort in recruitment this past year. In addition, the chapter was able to raise over $40,000 in alumni donations for their “Raise the Roof” campaign. The chapter is happy to report that the roof of the fraternity house will be replaced before the active chapter returns for classes in mid-August, along with several other projects that will take place to give the Epsilon Nu house a collective $100,000 make-over. The active chapter and alumni are excited to see this progress continue over the coming months.

Middle Tennessee State

This summer, the Theta Iota Chapter’s house went through a series of renovations including new floors in the social room and hallways, wall repairs, and common area painting thanks to the chapter’s capital campaign.

Theta Iota wishes to maintain the quality of their house because of the cherished time the actives and alumni have had while living there. This also ensures the opportunity is available for future brothers in years to come.

The capital campaign, which has raised approximately $90,000 in donations and commitments, provides brothers, alumni, parents and friends with an easy and rewarding way to make gifts to the Theta Iota Chapter. By 2017, the goal is to raise over $150,000 to meet the chapter’s debt repayment obligation to Middle Tennessee State University and provide for house repairs, renovations, furnishings and collegiate scholarships.

Mississippi State 

After being away from the chapter for almost 6 months, Brother Charles Hussey graduated basic training on June 20 and will return to school in the fall. Charles Hussey graduated One Station Unit Training as a Cavalry Scout at Fort Benning, Ga., on June 20. Lt. Commander Jonathan Jackson continues his work with BankPlus as an Accounting and Finance Intern in Jackson, Miss.

Plans have begun for a candidate retreat early in the semester followed by a brotherhood trip to include the entire chapter. The Iota Gamma Chapter is working with the housing corporation, General Fraternity, and another fraternity on campus to secure the chapter’s first on-campus house.

Missouri Science and Technology

Garret Cozad – Gamma Xi Chapter’s Commander in 2012 – received Missouri S&T’s Outstanding President Award this spring. Presidents from Missouri S&T’s 17 fraternities were nominated and one recipient was chosen at this year’s Greek award ceremony. Garret is a fifth year senior in civil and architectural engineering.

Montana

Gamma Phi had a very promising spring, achieving a 2.88 cumulative GPA with most members over a 3.0. The chapter also raised over $2,000 (the second highest out of any UM organization) for the Relay For Life this past spring. Recruitment has been active for the fall by attending and tabling at summer orientations and raising funds. The chapter’s goal is 25 new members and is confident that this can be attained.

Nebraska

This past fall, the Delta Eta Chapter helped to kickstart the fundraising and momentum for Jack Hoffman, the winner of the Best Moment award at the spring 2013 ESPY awards. Jack’s touchdown run at Nebraska’s spring game was featured for multiple weeks on SportCenter’s top ten countdown as the top video.

The Delta Eta Chapter dedicated its homecoming float to Team Jack. The entire chapter helped out by building the float, selling Team Jack t-shirts, and raising awareness about Jack Hoffman. Delta Eta was able to host Jack and his family at the chapter house before every home football game. The proceeds raised were donated to pediatric brain cancer research.

Team Jack 2

Members of the Delta Eta Chapter working on a homecoming float dedicated to Jack Hoffman of Team Jack.

The chapter got its motivation from Delta Eta’s house mother, Pat Madsen, who is good friends with the Hoffman family and suggested the idea to the chapter. Through this, Delta Eta realized the impact that it could have to help fundraise for Jack Hoffman. Brothers decided to stand out and lead the charge for Jack Hoffman.

The Delta Eta Chapter continues to represent Jack in any way possible; wearing the Team Jack t-shirt, selling Team Jack t-shirts, hosting Jack whenever he is able to make it to Lincoln, and continuously donating money towards pediatric brain cancer research.

North Georgia

Kappa Chapter at North Georgia College organized a chapter-wide fundraiser to help classmate Katelyn Pitts and her friend Sunny Carey with a recent mission trip to Uganda to provide counseling, rehabilitation and medical aid for abused women.

Speaking about the fundraiser, Billy Hallowes said, “The chapter recognized an opportunity to branch out beyond our normal philanthropies to make a difference beyond our own community. Katelyn was a stranger to Greek life until some Sigma Nu classmates heard about her cause and decided to enlist the chapter to help out.”

Northwestern 

The Gamma Beta Colony was recolonized in the earliest months of 2013. It could be said that the Alpha class came together in opposition to the current stagnant Greek life that exists in many chapters at the University. Instead of joining other fraternities with the stereotypical motives of partying and meeting sorority girls, the men of Gamma Beta came together as reformers with a mission to be heavily involved both on campus, within the community, and around the country. Since the first chapter meeting, the colony has been hard at work putting together a petition for its chartering. As a byproduct of its efforts, the colony has gained a significant amount of recognition from sororities, school officials, and members of the Evanston community.

The Gamma Beta Colony began its recolonization efforts in January of 2013 with the guidance of Brother Spencer Montgomery and, later, Brother Bill Morosco. Since then the colony has worked hard brainstorming new and innovative ideas to introduce to Greek life at Northwestern University.

Like mentioned earlier, the men of Gamma Beta came together in stark opposition to the stagnancy of many chapters on the campus. In fact, many current brothers turned down offers from other chapters so that they could create the stronger and more sincere chapter that would become Gamma Beta. Every man brought with him to Gamma Beta an opposition to hazing, a passion to serve the community, and a desire to grow as men. It was the search for a place that supported an environment such as this that drove the recolonization of Gamma Beta.

Gamma Beta induction ceremony

Members of the Gamma Beta Colony after their recent candidate induction ceremony.

The colony began with elections of the executive board and committee chairmen. From there the colony quickly pressed forward assigning committees, brainstorming new initiatives, and making campus-wide connections. With the guidance of some incredible committee chairmen, Gamma Beta laid down a solid foundation on which to grow. Once the foundation was built, it was just a matter of pushing forward with the same intensity with which the colony began its journey.

Community Service and Philanthropy Chairman, Danny Callison, is working with his committee to piece together a 5-10 kilometer race to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital this upcoming October. Additionally, the colony is excited to be one of the first fraternities within the IFC to build strong relationships with the other Greek councils and non-Greek student groups.

Oklahoma

Delta Epsilon Colony is participating in its first summer recruitment after being recolonized in the fall of 2012. The colony has been contacting members who have signed up through the IFC database, along with contacting legacies and any other referrals received by their website, ousigmanu.com.

The Recruitment Chairman, Austin Buonasera, is being assisted by every member of the colony, with extra help from members Andrew Mercer, Charles Sager, and David Heins. Delta Epsilon is committed to excellence, and one of the first steps is to ensure that that message resounds through every candidate class that is accepted into the colony.

Oregon

Oregon awards

Gamma Zeta brothers showing off the chapter’s recent awards. The awards included Fraternity Man of the Year, President of the Year, Most Community Service Hours, and Best Chapter Relations.

Two brothers of the Gamma Zeta Chapter were hired after a competitive process to be a part of the student orientation staff for the incoming freshman class.  Brothers Jere Dietz and Marc Caputo were chosen to not only represent the University as a whole but the fraternity and sorority life community.  During the month of July, they helped approximately 4,000 new freshmen acclimate to the University of Oregon.

Every year the IFC and PHC executive board and the Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life at the University of Oregon put on the spring Greek awards. The Gamma Zeta Chapter did quite well winning the most awards: Fraternity Man of the Year, President of the Year, Most Community Service Hours, and Best Chapter Relations.

Penn College of Technology

Mike Spear, a new member of Sigma Nu, was elected SGA President replacing outgoing president, Brother Ryan Enders. Mike Reese — also a new member — filled the role of Vice President of Internal Relations for SGA. He replaced Brother Justin Eberhart. Sigma Nu has taken involvement in SGA seriously the past three years. Several brothers have held positions on the executive board and in the senate. Involvement in SGA has been a great recruitment tool for the chapter. The chapter’s goal is to fill the entire SGA executive board with Sigma Nu members.

Jason Eichensehr, the advisor for the Nu Gamma Chapter, was named Advisor of the Year by the student activities department at Penn College.

Presbyterian College

Zeta Theta Chapter recently won Outstanding Chapter of the Year Award, Academic Excellence Award, Educational Program Award, and the Greek Freshman of the Year Award at the Greek life awards banquet at Presbyterian College this past spring. For the past year the chapter worked diligently to go above and beyond the requirements for these honors. Award winners are selected by the campus life administration.

Members of each fraternity, sorority, and members from each registered student organization were at the awards banquet, as well as numerous faculty and staff members. The President of the college was also in attendance.

Executive council members worked hard to accurately portray all of the work and improvements Zeta Theta has accomplished on paper. Throughout the academic year Zeta Theta dedicated itself to being more involved on campus with philanthropy, service events, educational programs, and Greek events. The chapter’s dedication combined with driven, efficient leadership led the chapter to the awards.

Zeta Theta aims to continue winning awards from campus life every year. Ultimately, the chapter wishes to operate on a high level, regardless of recognition.

Rhodes College

Congratulations go to Brothers Andrew Tait, Brendan Tyler, and Bailey Kimmett (all sophomores) for their induction into Order of Omega. Order of Omega is a Greek honor society where candidates must prove their scholarship, leadership, and service to the Rhodes community in an extensive application process.

Samford 

The Iota Chapter received the Greek award for best philanthropy for its “Swoll for Soldiers” event that raised over $4,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project.

The Iota Chapter hosted multiple LEAD Sessions this past semester. These sessions included “Networking,” led by Dale Brakage, and “Managing Money After Graduation,” led by Deep South Division Commander Maury Gaston.

The Iota Chapter will continue its strong presence in Samford athletics this fall. Ten brothers, eight players and two student coaches, will represent the chapter on the football team, along with two more brothers competing in track and field and another brother serving as a student coach for the basketball team.

Sewanee:  University of the South

Beta Omicron Chapter was recognized with the Outstanding Overall Community Service Involvement award earlier this month at the Sewanee Student Leadership Awards Ceremony. Beta Omicron Chapter was featured in several local newspapers this semester for a service project that helped rebuild bridges and trails with the Sewanee Outing Program.

Tommy Healy, Sigma Nu Commander, served as keeper on the Sewanee Lacrosse team, along with 17 other members of the chapter on the team. On April 27, Sewanee lacrosse won the Division III Southern Athletic Association Championship in a double-overtime victory over Berry College. Healy finished the game with 10 saves.

Sigma Nu SOP 2

Brothers from Beta Omicron participate in a campus wide community service day.

South Florida

This spring Theta Alpha held its 3rd annual Friday Knight Lights flag football tournament benefitting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The chapter had approximately 200 University of South Florida students attend this event.

Southeast Missouri State 

This spring, the Mu Kappa Chapter received the 2013 Presidents Award, presented each year to the top fraternity at Southeast Missouri State. Mu Kappa Chapter has been working diligently for the past few years to reach this level of achievement at SEMO.

Stevens Institute of Technology

The Gamma Delta Chapter’s GPA was a 3.159, with 37 brothers on the Dean’s list and one brother on the President’s list. For an Engineering curriculum this is quite the accomplishment.

Seven brothers play on the Stevens men’s volleyball team which finished 7th in the nation for Division III. The team not only competes against Division III teams but has also played and defeated teams from Division I. The team has gained national recognition and was invited to play in Puerto Rico and Luxembourg.

Four brothers from the chapter have now been elected to the SGA. Brother Mark Scalzo was elected Vice President, Angelo Shambilides a Senator, Anthony Montufar the Public Relations Chair, and Owen Hayes as Secretary.

The chapter has graduating seniors working for companies such as Verizon, J&J, Fisher Price, Lumus Technology a CB&I company, and Cosentini Associates. Despite the tough job market, 85% of seniors were employed at graduation this year.

Current Gamma Delta undergrads have internships with companies such as Viking Yachts, Anheuser Busch, Hunter Roberts CG in NYC, Prudential, Hayward Baker, MediaCom, and a NYC record label. There are also a handful of students doing research for the school this summer.

This year the chapter has an updated history for the 113th anniversary. A draft of this work was sent to the Grand Historian. In doing the research, many materials were found that date back to the early 1900’s that are relevant to both Gamma Delta and Sigma Nu as a whole. One of the most interesting items is the New York Alumni Association’s Secretary book dating from about 1908-1922 which contains some extremely interesting pieces of Sigma Nu history

There were multiple successful Chaplain events this year, but the most memorable was a paintball trip in New Jersey with 15 brothers in attendance.

This year the chapter inducted 13 great gentlemen who represent some of the very best men from across Stevens’ campus. They compete on a variety of athletic teams: varsity wrestling, varsity baseball, club soccer, club lacrosse and intramural basketball. Additionally, they embody service and leadership with some candidates becoming senators of the student government association and brothers of Alpha Phi Omega, the national co-ed service fraternity. Lastly, these new members are all in very good academic standing with the institute and represent the chapter’s dedication to a balanced life of academics and involvement.

Virginia Wesleyan College

Preparing for this new school year has been different for the Iota Beta Chapter. This past May, the only remaining active Brother from Iota Beta’s colony days graduated. Though the chapter is confident that the alumni will provide needed support, there is an urge among the new members to step up and fill the empty spaces of some of the most respected alumni. The chapter is extremely excited to see what progress can be made in the next year and the new ideas that will be put forward. The brothers of Iota Beta will continue to be men of honor and be held to the highest standards, but the chapter is looking to make some changes in order to create an Iota Beta that is fully reflective of the current members’ values and personalities.

The chapter currently has an active membership of 15 brothers, with one new brother potentially transferring to Virginia Wesleyan from Lynchburg College. It is believed that the chapter is poised for a strong recruitment this fall.

In the meantime, the brothers have been making the most of the summer. Most brothers are taking time to recuperate from extremely busy schedules last semester and save up money. A few brothers are also attending summer classes to knock out a few pesky general studies requirements. Brothers Lewis Myers, Allen Bays and Ben Freiler are about to enter their final academic year at Virginia Wesleyan. Five chapter brothers worked as student-orientation staff for Virginia Wesleyan’s summer orientations. Lieutenant Commander Jonathan Snow, is not only working as a summer Residential Assistant on campus, he is also interning with the City of Norfolk’s Marshal to gain more experience in criminal justice.

The Iota Beta Chapter was honored to receive the following awards from the General Fraternity. The chapter received the Regent’s Award for Academic Excellence for its fall 2012 grades, Excellence in Values Based Leadership, and Excellence in Personal Development and Membership Value.

The chapter has been preparing for fall recruitment since the spring. The events have already been scheduled and a back-up plan is in place. Virginia Wesleyan’s fraternities and sororities will have their rush on the same week this year, making it easier to plan around other organizations’ events.

Iota Beta is in the process of creating another major philanthropic event in the fall. Most of the brothers believe that there should be a large event every semester. Last year the chapter had several small philanthropic events throughout the year and one major philanthropic event, the “Sigma Nu Fashion Show” in the spring.

The chapter is preparing to set up a Sigma Nu tent during homecoming for returning alumni.

Washington University in St. Louis

This past spring, Gamma Omicron Chapter competed in the annual ThurtenE Carnival at Washington University in St. Louis. The ThurtenE Carnival has existed since 1908 and is the oldest student run carnival in the country.  Every year a fraternity and sorority pair up to build a large structure called a facade. The facades hold an hour long production and are then judged for multiple categories (construction, production, spirit) and there is an overall winner, the Burmeister Award.

This year Delta Gamma and Sigma Nu team took home the Burmeister for the first time since 2010! Sigma Nu and Delta Gamma traditionally partner together for the ThurtenE Carnival.

Washington and Lee 

This winter, Lambda Chapter was recognized for having the highest GPA at Washington and Lee University. Lambda Chapter has received this honor for three out of the past four terms.

The brothers of Lambda Chapter pride themselves on their academic excellence, but not just to pursue their individual academic goals. Austin Peterson, Lambda Chapter’s junior Recruitment Chairman, commented, “Success breeds success. We know that if we are academically successful, the academically successful will be interested in rushing Sigma Nu. With academic success comes dedication, intelligence, and honor, all qualities that make a good brother.”

Lambda Chapter ascribes this success through individual dedication, but also to fraternity-sponsored study events and a culture of academic excellence that permeates the chapter. Lambda Chapter looks forward to academic excellence in the future, hoping to continue increasing Lambda Chapter’s overall GPA and maintaining its top academic status in the terms to come.

The chapter is currently working to plan its recruitment calendar and is exploring options for a fall philanthropy event which could include partnering with a local drive-in movie theatre. Multiple chapter brothers are currently interning across the country. Several brothers are conducting research at universities across the country, one brother is working with the Republican National Committee, and another brother is working with fishing conservation groups in the Adirondack Mountains in New York.

Washington State 

Several chapter brothers are currently in summer internships or are studying abroad. Brother Colton Messer has an internship with the Houston Astros in the ticket operations office. Multiple brothers recently returned or will be returning soon from their time studying abroad in Spain, Japan and the Dominican Republic. The chapter is proud of their accomplishments in their work while representing the Legion of Honor. This fall the chapter will be taking its first ever white water rafting trip as a brotherhood event and that is sure to be memorable.

West Texas A&M

The Eta Delta Chapter of Sigma Nu won the 2nd Annual West Texas A&M Greek Week earlier this spring. Eta Delta Commander Leif Kertis played an important role in organizing the event as the Greek week committee chairman.

West Virginia 

The Gamma Pi Chapter won a total of six awards at the 28th West Virginia Greek Awards Banquet last month. The awards the chapter received were the Academic Excellence Award, first place in number of community service hours, Special Program Award, Outstanding Leadership Development, IFC Greek Man of the Year, and IFC Outstanding Alumnus.

After receiving their charter in October the members decided to use that energy boost to do bigger and better things, which put them in position to work towards these recent honors. Earlier this year the chapter held a strategic planning session where all members were given a chance to offer opinions on the direction of the chapter. Officers and committee chairmen used this strategic planning session to develop a set of goals that would drive their efforts for the year. The chapter plans to build off this momentum next year with hopes of winning its first Rock award.

Return to Table of Contents.

Award Winners

Merit Awards 

Man of the Year

Michael P. Walsh (MIT)

Michael Walsh graduated with a 3.68 while studying physics and computer science at MIT. Michael served the Epsilon Theta Chapter as Commander, Sentinel, and governance chairman.  On campus Michael took multiple leadership roles, serving as captain of the tennis team, chair of athletics for student government, one of three undergraduates on the MacVicar Faculty Fellows selection committee, and vice president of the student government.

Michael WalshMichael’s work with Sigma Nu and the student government led him to see the world in a broader perspective. As Michael said recently, “one commonly held humanistic goal of the day is to leave the world in better condition than when we arrived…my experiences at MIT and Sigma Nu have nourished my philosophical view that there is no other recourse.”

For Michael’s work with the student government he was named Senator of the Year and was given the Student Leader award by student life. Speaking about Michael, University President L. Rafael Reif said, “Michael has done outstanding work for the MIT Undergraduate Association, where he was involved with everything from advocating for better shuttle service to promoting athletics and building community events.”

Michael is pursuing his Ph.D. in quantum computing at MIT. He plans to pursue a career in consulting or science policy advocacy.

Scholar of the Year

Thomas M. Briggs (Oklahoma State)

Thomas Briggs finished his academic career at Oklahoma State University with a 4.0 GPA and degree in nutritional sciences. Thomas served the Epsilon Epsilon Chapter as Marshal, Scholarship Chairman and on several committees such as the Brotherhood, Bylaws, and Scholarship Committee. Thomas was also a part of several academic and honorary societies including Blue Key Honor Society, Phi Kappa Phi Honors Fraternity, Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society, and Alpha Epsilon Delta Honorary Society. Thomas served as Treasurer of Phi Eta Sigma.Thomas Briggs

Thomas was on the President’s Honor Roll for eight semesters for having a GPA of 3.75 or higher. Thomas was named a finalist for IFC’s Outstanding Junior, Sophomore, and Freshman member. His senior year he was selected as part of the Homecoming Royalty.

Part of Thomas’ life experience has been to grow through service and mission trips. Thomas has taken trips abroad to Guatemala, Mexico, and Honduras. Taking these trips caused his interest in pursuing medicine as a career path to pique. “I realized that skilled physicians are needed everywhere, and by becoming a doctor, I would be able to serve people around me with a much needed skill,” said Thomas.  Chris Cooper, a mentor to Thomas, said recently, “The beautiful thing about Thomas…he doesn’t do things for praise or accolades, he does them because he loves people.”

Thomas is now in medical school at University of Oklahoma. He plans on practicing medicine in under-privileged communities in the United States and abroad.

Alpha Affiliate

Jake E. Bechert, Alpha #590 (Huntingdon)

Jake BechertMajoring in accounting and business administration, Jake was able to achieve a 4.0 GPA while serving as the Nu Beta Chapter’s Commander, Lt. Commander, and Treasurer. Jake was also heavily involved in several leadership roles on campus, serving as the Student Government president, vice president, and treasurer; president of the Order of Omega; and as the IFC secretary.

For Jake’s involvement and academic achievement he was awarded the Accounting Achievement Award and was named Greek Man of the Year in 2011. Reflecting on his Sigma Nu experience Bechert said, “Sigma Nu represents the highest attainment that a man can hope to achieve.” Jake is attending graduate school in Birmingham and aims to attain his CPA.

Anderson E. Brown, Alpha #591 (Virginia Wesleyan)

Anderson (Andy) Brown majored in psychology and maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.7 while serving as Iota Beta Chapter’s Andy BrownCommander, Lt. Commander, Marshal, Sentinel, and House Manager. In addition to his involvement in the chapter, Andy served as the IFC vice president for standards, student government treasurer and senator, and Psi Chi vice president and treasurer.

In 2012, Andy was named Greek Man of the Year at Virginia Wesleyan and was able to accept a Rock Chapter Award on behalf of the Iota Beta Chapter. “Being the man to accept the first Rock Chapter for the Iota Beta Chapter is one of the most special moments of my life because of how much it means to our chapter,” remarked Brown on the experience. Andy intends to pursue a Ph.D. in psychology and work in a therapeutic setting.

Robert L. Corban, Alpha #592 (Mississippi)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARobert served in several roles of prominence for the Epsilon Xi Chapter including Commander and Lt. Commander. This did not detract from his studies, as he double majored in history and sociology and attained a GPA of 3.86. For Corban’s strong academic achievement he was inducted into the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society in the spring of 2013. He was also honored as the top graduating senior in the department of sociology.

Speaking of Robert Corban, Chapter Advisor Dr. James Davis said, “In the twenty years that I have served as faculty advisor, he is without doubt the strongest brother to hold the office.” Robert has started his Ph.D. in history at Syracuse University.

J. Wells Ellenberg, Alpha #593 (Georgia)

Wells EllenburgWells Ellenberg served the Mu Chapter as Commander, LEAD Chairman, and Recruitment Chairman, while achieving a GPA of 3.74 in political science. In addition to his chapter involvement, Wells was able to serve on three separate boards of directors as a student. Wells served as a Collegiate Grand Councilman for Sigma Nu’s High Council, as a board member of the Fraternity and Sorority Political Action Committee, and a member of the board of the University of Georgia Athletic Association.

Placing a capstone on his college career, Wells was selected as the Man-of-the-Year for Sigma Nu in 2012 and Man of the Year for the Southeastern Interfraternity Conference. As a keynote speaker for Sigma Nu’s College of Chapters in 2013, Wells set the pace for future chapter leaders.  During his address he remarked, “Leaders with vision and courage survive, leaders with vision and courage succeed.” Wells is currently working as the political director for a U.S. congressman in Saint Simons Island, Georgia.

Austin Harrison, Alpha #594 (Mississippi)

Austin HarrisonWhile maintaining a GPA of 3.5 in public policy leadership, Austin Harrison served the Epsilon Xi Chapter as Lt. Commander, Recruitment Chairman, and candidate class president. Outside of Sigma Nu Austin served as the president of Omicron Delta Kappa, president of Freshman Focus, and on the executive committee of the University of Mississippi Food Bank.

During Austin’s junior year he was bestowed with the honor of Campus Favorite and in the fall of his senior year was elected Mr. Ole Miss. Speaking of Austin, Dr. Thomas Reardon, a campus administrator said, “Austin Harrison epitomizes every virtue that a college administrator looks for in a student leader.  He is above all honest and a man of high integrity.” Austin will be enrolling in the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service to pursue law and public service degrees.

Ramin Nejaddehghan, Alpha #595 (Maryland)

Ramin NejaddehghanServing as Commander, House Manager, and Social Chairman, Ramin Nejaddehghan was able to maintain a 3.5 GPA in government and politics. In addition to Ramin’s service to his chapter, he was able to serve as the team captain of the Maryland Mock Trial for two years, found a chapter of Face Your Challenges (a suicide prevention organization), and served as the fundraising chairman of Terp Thon.

Ramin was inducted into the Kalegethos Society, an honorary society for outstanding Greek students at the University of Maryland. Speaking about Ramin, Delta Phi House Cooperation President Brian Saroken said, “When I think about the amazing development of the Delta Phi Chapter over the past few years and the outlook for the next few, it is largely due to the hard work, strong character and positive influence of Ramin.” Ramin will work for the law firm of Krooth & Altman for the next two years as a paralegal and then attend law school following two years of service to the firm.

Kyle J. Sikes, Alpha #596 (Oklahoma State)

Kyle SikesKyle Sikes served the Epsilon Epsilon Chapter as Lt. Commander, LEAD Chairman, and Recorder while maintaining a 3.5 GPA as an honors biology major. Kyle was involved in several different endeavors including serving as the vice president of the Arts and Sciences Student Council, treasurer of the Blue Key Honor Society, and secretary of Phi Eta Sigma.

In 2012, Kyle was named Sigma Nu’s LEAD Chairman of the Year and was chosen as one of five men to serve as Homecoming Royalty. Speaking about his Sigma Nu experience Kyle said, “Sigma Nu is the greatest thing that ever happened to me.” Kyle will be preparing to enter dental school this fall.

John B. Stuart, Alpha #597 (Oklahoma State)

John (J.B.) Stuart graduated from Oklahoma State with a 3.51 GPA in finance. He served his chapter as Commander and Recruitment Chairman. Outside of his chapter, J.B. served as a college leader for Young Life, was a member of Resolutions Committee at Grand Chapter 2012, and was a member of Blue Key Honor Society.JB Stuart (2)

During J.B.’s senior year, he founded the Greek Faith Council and a clothing ministry for the homeless called “The Vine.” Michael Decker, a mentor of J.B.’s recently said, “As a father of both a son and daughter I can only wish that my son will strive to have the same vision that J.B. does; and one day my daughter will find a young man like J.B.” J.B. will be attending Dallas Theological Seminary in the fall pursuing a master’s in divinity.

Robert M. Tudor, Alpha #598 (Eastern Kentucky)

Graduating with a 3.68 GPA and a degree in homeland security, Robert (Matt) Tudor served his chapter as candidate class Commander, Sentinel, Recorder, and Commander. On campus Matt was the advisor to the VP of risk management of IFC, a member of President’s Roundtable, and a member of Order of Omega. In 2012–2013 he served as Collegiate Grand Councilman on the High Council of Sigma Nu.

Matt TudorIn 2012, Matt’s executive council was awarded as the most outstanding on campus by the IFC. Speaking about his love for Sigma Nu, Matt said, “As long as I have breath I will praise the name of Sigma Nu…I love this Fraternity with every last piece of my being.” Matt is now pursuing a career in federal law enforcement.

Michael P. Walsh, Alpha #599 (MIT)

Michael Walsh graduated with a 3.68 while studying physics and computer science at MIT. Michael WalshMichael served the Epsilon Theta Chapter as Commander, Sentinel, and governance chairman.  On campus Michael took multiple leadership roles, serving as captain of the tennis team, chair of athletics for student government, one of three undergraduates on the MacVicar Faculty Fellows selection committee, and vice president of the student government.

Michael’s work with Sigma Nu and the student government led him to see the world in a broader perspective. As Michael said recently, “One commonly held humanistic goal of the day is to leave the world in better condition than when we arrived…my experiences at MIT and Sigma Nu have nourished my philosophical view that there is no other recourse.”

For Michael’s work with the student government he was named Senator of the Year and was given the Student Leader award by student life. Speaking about Michael, University President L. Rafael Reif said, “Michael has done outstanding work for the MIT Undergraduate Association, where he was involved with everything from advocating for better shuttle service to promoting athletics and building community events.”

Scholarship Awards

Gallaher Cup

Pennsylvania (3.55)

Bronze Plaque Cup

Duke (3.54)

Certificate of Commendation

Washington and Lee (3.47)

Certificate of Merit

Washington University in St. Louis (3.44)

LEAD Awards

LEAD Chairman of the Year

Nicholas S. Kolega (Kansas)

LEAD Chapter of the Year

Duke University

Innovation in LEAD Programming

Duke University

Alumnus LEAD Facilitator of the Year

Joseph S. Baxter (Cal. State Fullerton)

Manpower Awards

100+ Members:

Alabama

Arkansas

Auburn

Colorado

Georgia

Indiana

Iowa

Louisiana State

Mississippi

Missouri

Oklahoma State

Purdue

South Carolina

Southern California

Texas Tech

80+ Members:

Butler

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Duke

Florida

James Madison

Kansas

Maryland

Nevada

North Carolina State

Stanford

South Florida

UCLA

UC San Diego

Washington University in St. Louis

Alumni Awards

Chapter Advisor of the Year

Dr. Mark Himmelein (Mount Union)

Dr. Mark Himmelein has been serving as the Beta Iota Chapter Advisor since 1998 and has twice been recognized by the University of Mount Union as the Greek Life Advisor of the Year. Dr. Himmelein was integral to the success of the chapter’s housing campaign in 2004-2005. He worked with the University to help approve important projects and focused the design efforts to include many of the old designs of the former chapter house.

Dr. Mark Himmelein (2)Dr. Himmelein’s efforts were also a key reason the chapter chose to work with the Ponery Orphanage near Kursk, Russia, for its annual philanthropy project. Speaking about the annual philanthropy trip in Russia, Himmelein said, “[The social agencies in Russia] are astonished that a group of young men living so far away care enough to continue to assist and show interest in them and their problems.” Dr. Himmelein was part of an exchange program between Mt. Union and the university near the Ponery Orphanage. In this process Dr. Himmelein was able to facilitate many opportunities for philanthropy between the chapter and the community. This partnership resulted in the current arrangement between the chapter and the orphanage.

Dr. Himmelein has been a valuable asset to the chapter. He has officiated member’s weddings, given rides to members whose cars broke down, and participated in chapter brotherhood events. Speaking about Dr. Himmelein, past Beta Iota Commander Matt Miller said, “To me, Dr. Himmelein is the reason that Beta Iota has had sustained success for the past decade.”

Division Commander of the Year

Dr. Jamison Keller (Cal. State San Bernardino)

Sigma Nu 65th Grand ChapterDr. Jamison Keller began serving as a Division Commander in 2001 and currently works with the chapters in the Southwest Alpha Division. Much of Dr. Keller’s work has been focused on managing the relationships with the undergraduate chapters in the Southwest Alpha Division and the chapter alumni. Dr. Keller has spent significant time on helping alumni understand the changes that have taken place on the college campus since their time as an undergraduate. This is helped by Dr. Keller’s work as a higher education professional at Cal. State Northridge.

Speaking about his role with Sigma Nu Dr. Keller said, “I think for me the rewards have been at two levels: chapter and individual. Leading a chapter through strategic planning and goal setting and seeing members make key decisions that they’ve reached on their own and then seeing them achieve their goals and potential is very rewarding.”

House Corporation Officer of the Year

Peter R. Burgum (Pennsylvania)

Peter Burgum has served on the Beta Rho Property Company Board for approximately 33 years. Brother Burgum began served on Peter Burgum (2)the board from 1970-1980 and again from 1990-present. For the past five years Burgum has served exclusively as the Property Company Board president. Burgum has been the primary liaison between the chapter and the university regarding housing issues and has worked closely with chapter brothers to improve housing. He recently led a $100,000 renovation campaign on the Beta Rho Chapter house.

Speaking about Brother Burgum, the Beta Rho executive board said, “His hard work and dedication to honor have helped our chapter survive and thrive over the years. We are confident that he will continue to help the chapter for many years to come.” Speaking about his own experience, Burgum noted that “What I have enjoyed the most and found the most rewarding is being part of Beta Rho arising from the depths to being one of the strongest houses on the Penn campus.”

Alumni Chapter Officer of the Year

Stanley D. Dupuy (Louisiana Tech)

Stanley Dupuy (2)Stanley Dupuy has served as the Lousisiana Tech Alumni Chapter president since 2011. Dupuy began volunteering his time with the chapter in the 2010 following his son Daniel joining the chapter. During his tenure, Dupuy has led the chapter in a commitment to leadership on campus and alumni mentorship through a revitalized LEAD Program.

Starting in the fall of 2010, the chapter and alumni mentors began meeting quarterly for a cookout and created an alumni mentorship program that meets with members and candidates multiple times a year. Each class of the chapter is assigned several alumni mentors and these mentors facilitate a LEAD session. As Chapter Advisor Joe Reyes said, “the amount of respect this chapter has for this man is immense.” Speaking about his time as alumni chapter president, Dupuy said, “This has been the most rewarding thing that I have enjoyed doing for Sigma Nu. It is another way that I could give back to an organization that helped shape me during my collegiate years.”

Greek Advisor of the Year

Clarybel Peguero (Duke University)

Clarybel Peguero began her career as a higher education professional at the University of South Carolina as a graduate assistant. Clarybel PegueroAfter receiving her graduate degree Clarybel has worked at American University, Johns Hopkins University, Boston College, and the University of Virginia. In 2008, Clarybel Peguero became the director of Fraternity and Sorority Life at Duke University. Clarybel has been recognized by a variety of organizations for her service to the Greek community. In 2008 Clarybel was named Undergraduate Chapter Advisor of the Year for Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. and was also named the Chapter Advisor of the Year at the University of Virginia in the same year.

Speaking about her work with sororities and fraternities Clarybel stated, “Being able to work with students that are high achieving and are called to be a part of something that is so much larger than them is great. Watching them navigate their local culture and instilling the values of their national organization is very powerful. These young men and women are given a daunting task and when they get it right it is amazing. They are able to bring to life what the founders believed in and integrate it in daily life through service and the brotherhood/sisterhood. This is going into year six for me at Duke, and I absolutely love my interaction with students.”

Return to Table of Contents.

Alumni News

Mario Madness Raises $17,000 

Two members of the Lambda Omicron Chapter of Sigma Nu, along with a dedicated team, hosted a three-day video game marathon called Mario Madness to raise money and awareness for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The event – held in July – was a great success with over $17,000 raised for the hospital!

Mario MadnessMario Madness is an independent, fan-run event created by Kyle Lambky. The event was run by Kyle Lambky and Michael Carlson, both alumni members of the Lambda Omicron Chapter at University of California, Irvine. Mario Madness is an approved event working in full partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The goal for this year’s event was to raise $10,000, which was met and exceeded.

During the event, the Mario Madness team played various Mario games for three days straight, broadcasting the games live from their website, www.mariomadness.com. Participation in the event is as simple as going to the website and watching the team work their way through Mario video games.

Donations were made on the website and all proceeds went directly to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The event was designed to be completely audience interactive with a live chat on the website that allowed anyone to interact with players and contribute to the success of the event.

Brotherhood is for Life

On June 8, a large group of alumni gathered from Mu Chapter’s “Greatest Generation.” The group was made up of alumni from the 1950s and 1960s and the de facto theme of the event was, “Brotherhood is for Life.” In addition to the alumni gathered from this era, there were several alumni representing Mu Chapter’s younger generations. Brothers Mike Malcom, George Hearn IV, current Vice Regent John Hearn, George Hearn III, past Division Commander Speer Mabry, and Mu Chapter Commander, Ben Booth were all in attendance.

Old stories were told and all in attendance were pleased to rekindle the fraternal fire while conversing over a BBQ lunch. Also, spouses and significant others were in attendance, which together boasted a crowd of over 80. The event was held at Fairweather Farms in Monroe, Ga. and was hosted by Betty and George Hearn.

EN MU 2013 Whole Group

Reunited in Arizona

Nine brothers of Gamma Xi Chapter at Missouri S&T, gathered in Tucson, Ariz., on Monday, April 29, 2013, accompanied by six of the “girls who wear the five-armed star.” Although longer in tooth and a bit slower in walk, wit and tongue were still sharp as jokes, wisecracks, nicknames and other stories of the past filled the air. Gamma Xi Reunion

Festivities began at the Catalina Foothills home of Dorothy Walters, where spectacular views of surrounding mountains were enhanced by a beautiful Arizona sunset and the lights of the city emerging in the valley below. All were proud that they remembered the words to “The White Star of Sigma Nu.” This was promptly followed by a rousing “Hull-a-ba-loo, ter-ri-ka-hoo, etc.,” with which the desert creatures around were treated. It was not a bad performance for a bunch of 80+ year olds.

Tours of local attractions, culinary delights (Mexican food and Mariachis, of course, in Tucson) and much reminiscing filled the next three days, which flew past in a flash. Backs were slapped, hands were shaken and hugs went all around with promises to meet again next year, as the group parted on Friday.

Bonds of friendship which were established through fellowship in Sigma Nu have survived for many years for this band of brothers. They still have great times and enjoy one another – a grand testimony to the principles of this Fraternity.

Commemorating Theta Rho

June 21-22, 2013, was the weekend selected by the Theta Rho Alumni Chapter of Sigma Nu (Illinois State University) for a long overdue reunion. Theta Rho chartered on May 21st, 1972 and remains one of the fastest Sigma Nu colonies to obtain its charter. The chapter boasts the 1976 Talent-of-the-Year, two former regional consultants, and one Alpha Affiliate. The chapter had initiated 458 men when the charter was suspended in 1994.

Theta RhoAlumni Brothers Jim Mounier, Gary Kreiger, and Dan Heinz were instrumental in driving the reunion. Nearly 100 brothers and spouses began the weekend with a Friday night cocktail party at the University union supported the Illinois State University Foundation. The group was first addressed by Al Bowman, University president, which was followed by a memorial of those brothers from Theta Rho who have joined the Chapter Eternal. The evening concluded with a select group of brothers being presented with Sigma Nu 40 year membership pins. Saturday was another full day of catching up, a golf outing at DA Weibring Golf Course, and another cocktail party and formal dinner.

Much fun was had by all and many discussions were held on formalizing the Theta Rho Alumni Chapter moving forward to study reestablishing Sigma Nu as a colony at ISU. Plans are in place to rejoin in the fall of 2014 for a weekend at ISU Homecoming. More details will be coming to alumni this fall for next year.

Dukes Selected as Clemson Trustee

David E. Dukes (Clemson), of Columbia S.C., chairman of the executive committee and former managing partner of South Carolina’s largest law firm, was selected to serve as a trustee at his alma mater last year. His appointment began in May, 2012. Dukes chairs the executive committee of Nelson Mullins Riley and Scarborough LLP, one of the nation’s largest law firms with more than 450 lawyers and 1,000 employees. The firm has 13 offices from Florida to Massachusetts.

“I am honored to have this opportunity to serve my alma mater. My education and experience at Clemson provided a solid foundation for me to pursue opportunities in the law and business world. I look forward to being able to give back to Clemson,” said Dukes.

Dukes succeeded Thomas B. McTeer, 75, of Columbia, who retired after more than 35 years of service as a trustee — making him one of the longest-serving trustees in Clemson history. Like McTeer, Dukes has been an active and engaged Clemson student and alumnus, having previously served on the university’s Board of Visitors and the President’s Advisory Board. He is a longtime supporter of IPTAY and the Clemson Fund.

Other leadership and service positions include membership on the boards of First Citizens Bank, the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Math Foundation, the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts Foundation, the Business Partnership Foundation of the University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business and the National Foundation for Judicial Excellence.

Dukes also has served as past president of Washington D.C.-based Lawyers for Civil Justice; past president of DRI, a 22,000-member national professional organization of lawyers who defend companies and individuals in civil litigation; and on the board of the Georgetown University Law Center Advisory Committee of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project in Washington, D.C.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in financial management from Clemson in 1981, where he served as president of the Interfraternity Council; on the Student Alumni Council; and was named to Mortar Board, Blue Key honor society and Tiger Brotherhood. He earned his law degree from the University of South Carolina Law School in 1984.

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Rebuilding Moore

By the time footage of a horrific tornado reached the airwaves Brothers from three different chapters in Oklahoma were already leading the rebuilding effort in their communities.

By John Bauernfeind (Indiana)

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In the aftermath of the tornado that hit Moore, Okla., the city was a shell of its former self. Areas that the tornado rumbled through were flattened. The town was unrecognizable. There were no landmarks with which to judge one’s bearings in Moore. There were no trees either.

“It was horrific,” said Sam Denyer, 21. “It was a war zone. Worse than a war zone, actually. I can’t explain how badly destroyed and mangled it was.”

After several weeks, the national media will have wrapped up its coverage of the disaster. Anytime a national tragedy or environmental crisis occurs, the media is all over it; current events are new and interesting, even sexy. But they die down, and what’s left at places like Moore, Okla., are people who genuinely care, for whatever reason or motive, about the wellbeing of the city and of the people who occupy it. People like Dylan Droege, who made the trip from his hometown of Longview, Texas, to Moore two times. There and back, it’s a twelve-hour trip.

“We immediately sent $2,000 to a Catholic charity up in Moore that went directly to the victims,” Droege said. “I’ve been there twice. We’ve been helping repainting and rebuilding fences. It was just crazy to see something do that much damage in such a short amount of time.”

Droege, only nineteen years old and a sophomore, is already the Lieutenant Commander of the Delta Epsilon Colony at University of Oklahoma. A native Texan and pre-dentistry major at OU, Droege has, come to love his adopted state during the rebuilding process.

“Personally, it makes me have more pride,” he said. “It didn’t matter that I didn’t grow up there. I absolutely love everything about Oklahoma.”

Oklahoma_Compilation2

Chapters in Oklahoma (Delta Epsilon, Epsilon Epsilon, and Mu Tau) reported receiving donations from various chapter and alumni across the nation, including schools in California, Georgia and Illinois. Pictured here are members of Epsilon Epsilon Chapter at Oklahoma State.

Zach Cissell is a twenty-two year old senior at the University of Central Oklahoma. He is studying industrial safety and is a member of the Mu Tau chapter of Sigma Nu. He is also from Moore, Okla., the town that was decimated this past May by a tornado that stretched over a mile wide. Cissell, who was at school at the time of the tornado, raced home to his parents and grandparents’ houses, where, unbeknown to him, one of them had already been destroyed.

“I headed down there when the storm was still hitting,” Cissell said. “It took me about an hour to hike in. Once I got there I went in to my grandparents’ house and tried to salvage anything I could. My grandparents had a pretty big house, and we tore it down last week.”

Cissell’s grandparents were not in the house at the time the tornado ran through. Cissell called his mother, who was home, and was relieved to learn the tornado missed her by about a mile. His father, who had been at work, and his brother, at graduation practice, were alright, too.

Colt Coldren, one of Cissell’s Mu Tau Chapter Brothers, has visited ground zero of the tornado’s destruction multiple times

“When it first hit, it was an absolute wasteland,” Coldren said. “It was definitely shell shock. I remember specifically a house that was demolished beyond recognition. When we went to clean it up, I realized that I was standing in what used to be someone’s kitchen, made into rubble.”

Coldren is a sophomore at Central Oklahoma. Last month he and several fraternity brothers went to Moore and actually knocked an entire condemned house down. Coldren says that his chapter has already completed over two hundred hours of community service, and estimates that they’ll be over five hundred at the end of summer.

Oklahoma_Compilation

Brothers from Mu Tau Chapter (Central Oklahoma) volunteering in the clean-up effort in Moore, Okla.

“It’s been a marathon,” he said. “It’s going to take five years to put the neighborhood back together. We really appreciate everything that you guys do for us.”

Coldren is referencing the donations Mu Tau has received in the past several months. “A lot of man hours have been donated along with everything else we’ve received for the Save Moore Foundation.” Coldren said that Mu Tau has received donations from various fraternities and chapters across the nation, most recently from schools in California, Georgia and Illinois.

Coldren said that five to fifteen people from Mu Tau Chapter would go to Moore at a time to help out. In the wake of the tornado, they sent multiple teams of brothers every week to the town.

“For some of us being from that neighborhood, to see where they spent their childhood leveled and mashed,” he said. “It’s definitely done a huge part in bringing us together.”

The Epsilon Epsilon Chapter at Oklahoma State University has also taken part in the rebuilding of Moore. Chase Snodgrass, Epsilon Epsilon Commander, said that he and his chapter are in it for the long haul.

“Our chapter is committed to helping our fellow Oklahomans,” he said. “The rebuilding process will take years and we plan on being a part of it.”

Snodgrass is a senior at Oklahoma State. He’s majoring in marketing with a minor in human resource management, and plans on attending law school in the fall of 2014. Snodgrass said that, in the immediate aftermath of the tornado, the responses his chapter got were overwhelming.

“We received phone calls and emails for over a month, from brothers, both collegiate and alumni, wanting to know how they could help,” he said. “With their help we had car loads of needed supplies that have been used and since donated to Serve Moore. Members of our chapter and their families have continuously been helping victims in Moore. In addition, our chapter had over twenty brothers and a handful of prospective members attend a full day of service in Moore and had the opportunity to help out many different people.”

The aforementioned Denyer is also a member of Epsilon Epsilon Chapter. Denyer is a senior and Lieutenant Commander of his chapter. He emphasized how proud he is of his chapter and its efforts to help the people of Moore who were thrilled when Denyer and his brothers came to help.

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“When we went to clean it up, I realized that I was standing in what used to be someone’s kitchen, made into rubble.”

“I was really surprised,” he said. “But I think once we arrived, the trauma of the situation had blown over. Everyone was excited and grateful that we were there to help.”

One of the first people that Snodgrass and his brothers helped out was a widow and her infant. “The very first person we had the opportunity to help on the ground in Moore was a younger woman with a one-year old baby boy. Her husband, a former track star at Moore High School, had passed away just before the birth of their child. The woman had hung all of his track medals on the ceiling above the baby’s crib. The tornado had completely destroyed her house. As we tore the house apart, moving it piece by piece to the curb, she had only one request: to look for the medals as we moved the rubble. Amazingly, we not only tore the house down to its slab and moved it to piles along the curb, but we were able to find many of the medals, giving the woman and her child something to remember her husband by.”

Snodgrass estimates that Epsilon Epsilon has contributed over two hundred hours of community service towards the relief efforts in Moore. Still, the cleanup process has just begun.

“While much of the debris has been cleaned up along major highways, there is still much to be done,” Snodgrass said. “However, Oklahoma is not new to tragedy on this scale. Oklahomans always take care of their own.”

Cissell takes it a step further, comparing the destruction in his hometown to a war zone. “It’s still pretty level,” he said. “It’s kind of like a war zone still. You can definitely tell what was and what wasn’t affected by the tornado. It’s definitely getting better, but slowly.” Cissell remembers the moment he heard of the tornado. “I’d just gotten off work. My roommate had the TV on, and I saw Moore being shown on the station, debris clouds hitting the city. I called my mom and made sure she was okay. Then I told myself, ‘I’ve got to get down there.’”

Among the uncertainty he faced on his way to Moore in that moment, Cissel said the support from his Sigma Nu brothers was consistent. “I instantly saw it, because all of my fraternity brothers knew that I was from Moore,” he said. “I kept getting texts and calls from them, asking me to let them know if there was anything they could do for me. Because it is my hometown, seeing the destruction that took place where I grew up puts you in shock. Seeing the outpouring help from the chapter, it puts everything in perspective. It’s really what I saw come out, everything we’ve been taught about brotherhood.”

Droege, Coldren, Denyer and Snodgrass spoke of similar circumstances. Their brotherhoods were strengthened through their shared experiences helping the victims in Moore.

“I know guys who went to Moore day after day and who grew a summer bond with one another,” Droege said. “It’s definitely helped to build a stronger bond with one another, and it gave us a sense of community and responsibility. From a chapter standpoint, we’re still a colony, but we’re really proud to give back to the community in any way that we could.”

“Personally, it’s definitely an experience you can never have unless you’re there,” Coldren said. “Seeing all the affected people, and to see how proud Oklahomans are, it’s crazy. It’s unexplainable how proud you are to be a part of such a great State that helps each other out.”

“I was very proud of our guys, and very proud of the number of people who showed up to help out,” Denyer said. “I’m extremely proud of the way our group performed. We really worked to help out and make their lives better.”

“There is no greater feeling than helping those in need,” Snodgrass said. “At Epsilon Epsilon we strive to live our values and the tenants of Love, Honor and Truth.”

In Oklahoma, amidst the wreckage, heartthrob and despair, the tenants that every Sigma Nu decrees by were on full display.

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Entrepreneur at Heart

In the midst of the economic downturn, Jessie Rodriguez (Cal Poly-Pomona) sold 2,500 homes in the last five years. He’s been recognized nationally for his tremendous career success, but not before losing everything to get there.

By Merritt Onsa

Jessie Rodriguez_cover_low res

Jessie’s company Cal American Homes ranked #286 on Inc. magazine’s list of the 500 fastest-growing U.S. companies in 2012.]

At just 30-years-old, Jessie Rodriguez (Cal Poly-Pomona) owns Cal American Homes, www.calamericanhomes.com, a real estate investment firm in Southern California. Last year, Jessie was recognized among the 2012 “30 Under 30” by the National Association of Realtors®. At the same time, Cal American Homes ranked #286 on the 2012 Inc. 500, which is Inc. Magazine’s list of the 500 fastest-growing private companies in the U.S.

Jessie got his start in college while still a member of Kappa Gamma Chapter. Two alumni brothers spoke at a chapter dinner; they were looking for Spanish-speaking assistants for their mortgage business. Jessie fit the bill and started work the following day. For the next year he worked as an assistant mortgage broker, eventually earning his license and becoming a loan officer.

After partnering with his employers to purchase a Re/Max real estate firm, Jessie quickly realized he preferred the mortgage side of the business. In late 2005, he started his own mortgage company; but when the housing market crashed, he lost everything. By December 2007, he’d shut down his company.

At the time, Jessie and his wife had been married just five months. They had to short-sell their home and move in with her parents. With a college degree and on-the-job experience, Jessie probably could have found a management position with another company. But his entrepreneurial spirit won out; he decided to fight through the fear and start over in real estate.

“You feel so beat down when you go under and lose it all. The hardest thing was having the confidence to go at it again, to take the chance and not give up. It was a humbling experience; but I knew I had to try,” says Jessie.

In 2008, especially in California, the inventory of available homes was mostly bank foreclosures. Fortunately for Jessie, his experience on the finance side of the real estate transaction put him steps ahead of realtors who were accustomed to dealing with consumers rather than corporations and banks.

Jessie formulated a plan and began cold-calling and visiting banks like Wells Fargo and Bank of America. He spent his time stopping by offices, bringing goody bags and presenting his disposition plan for their foreclosed properties. His persistence paid off. By the end of the year he’d sold 30 homes. In 2009, he was up to 150. Last year he closed 415.

But it was more than just being in the right place at the right time. Jessie approached this new role with a plan that addressed the needs of the market and played to his strengths. “I had a good presentation and a proper disposition plan. It wasn’t going to be easy to get the meeting; but I knew if I did, I could close them on my services,” he says.

That plan worked. In the last five years, Jessie has sold 2,500 homes.

Along the way, he’s reinvented himself and the company to stay on top of current trends, especially when foreclosures started to dry up. His success garnered the attention of large corporations who hired him to assist with their real estate assets. That led to managing real estate investments for Wall Street hedge funds. Today, he manages an acquisition team and runs construction crews in order to quickly buy, renovate and put houses back on the market for sale or rent. In every case, he meticulously provides comprehensive reports demonstrating that he’s investing his clients’ money wisely.

Today, 60-percent of Jessie’s business is buying homes for hedge funds. The rest are homes he purchases for his own company to fix up and resell — up to 40 per year. The next evolution has already begun; he’s purchased nine acres of land on which to build 28 new homes.

After all he’s been through, no one is more surprised about Jessie’s success than he is. “Five years ago I never would’ve thought I’d be where I am today,” he says.

Looking back, he says his biggest mistake was not keeping an eye toward the future. “I was 24-years-old when the market was just rocking. I was larger than life, but I was not actually saving. I had no plan in place for the company if everything went sideways. Now, I have very large reserves, and I’m forecasting 12 months out,” he says.

Jessie Rodriguez_alt_low res

“You have to have a very clear mission statement — like Sigma Nu’s Love, Honor and Truth — and pass that message on so it continues to compound over time.”

The ability to adapt and change has been vital to his recent success. “My head is constantly on a swivel looking at what’s going on with the market, why it’s changing, and asking ‘how do I change with it’ so I don’t go under again.”

Even with the ever-present desire to keep his business in the black, Jessie places a high priority on family. He’s home every day by 6:00 p.m. so he can spend time with his wife and two-year-old son. “It’s easy in this profession to become a workaholic, but it’s not worth losing my family,” he says.

Jessie relates the experience of growing a successful company to building a strong Sigma Nu chapter. He believes both stem from recruiting or hiring the right people and keeping them pointed toward the same mission and vision. “You have to have a very clear mission statement — like Sigma Nu’s Love, Honor and Truth — and pass that message on so it continues to compound over time. It takes more than one person to help a company — or chapter — grow.”

Jessie says he owes his career to having joined the Fraternity. “As recruitment chairman, Sigma Nu was the first business I was a part of. I do what I do today because of Sigma Nu and those two guys who brought me into their company,” he says. He continues to carry on the tradition; currently, Jessie has two Sigma Nu employees; and he’s employed more than half a dozen fraternity brothers over the years.

Although Jessie believes he was born an entrepreneur, he suggests anyone with a dream should jump at the opportunity to achieve it, especially recent graduates. “I’m only 30, but today’s Sigma Nus just coming out of college have so much opportunity. Technology compounds the way they can do business. If you know how to market yourself online you can take your business to another level,” he says.

Jessie met his wife Tina at a Sigma Nu event in the first quarter of his freshman year. Today, they live in Southern California—in their own home—with their son Carter.

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Q and A with Joe Gilman

Past Regent and current Educational Foundation Board of Directors Chairman Joe Gilman (Morehead State/Georgia) shares his thoughts on hazing prevention, the traits of excellent leaders, and what fraternities must do to remain relevant.

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How will fraternities remain relevant as higher education changes?

Higher education is facing a number of challenges today that may cause the experience to change drastically in the future.  The rise in student debt and the onslaught of online courses and degree programs pose some serious challenges to the higher education experience that many of us have had.  Fraternities will be challenged as a result.  Our physical properties–our beloved fraternity houses—may be more gathering spaces than living spaces. Our development programs will need to be very focused on interactions through online capabilities.  And our alumni must step up to Educational Foundation contributions to fund educational program costs to keep the fees to our collegians as reasonable and competitive as possible.

I am concerned about a future without some level of classroom and campus interaction.  I believe that there will continue to be a demand of the campus-based experience, assuming universities are able to deal with the spiraling costs.  I also believe that fraternities will continue to be necessary to bring an important aspect of social development to the complement the classroom or distance learning experience.

For fraternities to remain relevant, however, we must do two things. First, we have to live our values. We have to be about what we say we are about. Second, we have to find ways to work with students who interact primarily through digital communication rather than face-to-face conversations. And we need to clearly communicate what we stand for to all constituents – members and non-members alike.  We have to find ways to continue to do the things that we’ve always done and do them better than any other organization on campus.

How do we prevent hazing?

Hazing is an insidious problem.  By insidious I mean that it’s a problem that is cultural. It’s very difficult for one person to truly change a culture; it has to be a movement. I’ve worked a lot with HazingPrevention.Org (HPO) and we are aware of some aspects of chapters with a hazing culture. In such chapters, hazing practices are passed down from class to class and from alumni to the collegians.  The mindset becomes, “Let’s make it harder on the next group.” It just continues to snowball. And I’m a believer that a bystander is just as much as hazer as a person who participates in the act itself. When you put all that together it makes it very difficult for one person to change. But that doesn’t say that one person should not try. To fight the hazing culture you should begin by gathering up others in the chapter of a similar mindset. Talk with them about the way things can be better. Talk about the values and why the values are important and that hazing is not a part of those values. Hazing is often the outgrowth of a chapter already in decline. These chapters can’t show their achievements in athletics or academics, so they resort to having their “fun” in a different kind of way.

Hazing prevention is often as simple as saying, “Live our values” rather than “Don’t haze.”  HPO teaches a model of hazing prevention based on the research by Linda Langford and other highly-respected individuals.  It focuses on cultural change rather than sets of programs.  It requires the actions of organizations across a campus to develop initiatives to address the environment rather than depending on programs that address only the symptoms. Given that we are the only Greek organization founded on opposition to hazing, which remains one of our cardinal principles, we have the challenge of being that organization on any campus whose values-based leadership can be the cornerstone of a hazing-free campus environment.

What are the common traits of excellent chapter leaders?

Excellent chapter leaders clearly state what they believe in, set goals for themselves and their chapter, measure and celebrate their success, provide an example for others, and lead through inclusion rather than self-centeredness. Excellent chapter leaders inspire others by the way they live their life and the ideas they put forth in terms of bringing the group with them to accomplish those goals. They set very high goals for themselves as well as the organization. Excellent chapter leaders then explain to the chapter why it’s important to achieve those goals. They measure their progress against those goals on a regular basis, celebrate success, and recognize the achievements of others. And finally, chapter leaders go back and re-evaluate actions after progress has been made.

It’s a lot like the strategic planning cycle. Start out with a vision or a broad view of what you want the chapter to be—or what you want your particular aspect of the chapter to be—and then translate that into strategies and goals.  Finally, translate those goals into specific actions that you measure. You then assess your results before going to the top to start the process again, modifying your strategies as necessary.

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Perspectives on Our Past

Valor in Action

By Grand Historian Bob McCully (San Diego State)

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The Navy Medal of Honor.

What is “valor”?  It’s a word we’re all familiar with; in fact it’s used in our ritual.  The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “great courage in the face of danger, especially in battle.”  In other words, it is the ability to keep moving forward even though the results of your actions could result in your own death.

Fortunately, it’s a situation that most of us will never have to face.  We hope we’d react with great courage if ever necessary, but until actually faced with it, we never know for sure.

Many of our brothers, particularly those who have served in the military or as policemen or firemen, have faced those situations.  In this column, I’ll talk about two of them; men who exhibited uncommon courage at a time of great danger to themselves and thus will always bear the title – Medal of Honor winner.

The Medal of Honor

Other than those who have served in the armed forces, most of us know very little about the Medal of Honor – why it’s awarded and why its recipients are so revered.  The Congressional Medal of Honor is the highest honor that a member of the military can receive.

Although termed “Congressional,” it is now bestowed upon the recipient, or posthumously to his family, by the President of the United States.  At the ceremony, it is customary for the President, the Commander-in-Chief of our entire military, to salute the recipient first, rather than vice versa.  In addition, forevermore, the recipient when wearing the medal is saluted first by all military men and women no matter what rank they hold

So what does it take to be awarded a Medal of Honor?  First of all, it is awarded only to an individual who distinguished himself “conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity” – meaning bravery and fearlessness in an action involving conflict with an enemy.  In addition, he must have put his own life on the line and acted “above and beyond the call of duty.”  It is this last phrase, “above and beyond the call of duty,” that makes this medal so special.  It cannot be awarded to someone for having acted, no matter how heroically, under orders – he must have acted on his own accord and with utter disregard for his own life.

The first Medal of Honor was awarded during the Civil War.  At that time, they were awarded more liberally than they are today.  To date, over the 150 years they have been awarded, 3,469 have been issued – almost one-half of them during the Civil War.  Of the

3,469, just 124 were awarded in World War I out of the 4.7 million men who served.

During World War II, only 464 were awarded out of the over 16.3 million men who served.  Many of them have been awarded posthumously.  In fact, more than half of the men awarded the Medal since the start of World War II did not survive the action for which they were honored.   The medal is not restricted to U.S. citizens and at least 59 Canadians are Medal of Honor recipients.

Sigma Nu is honored to have two of these men among our initiates – Christian Frank Schilt (Rose-Hulman) and Nathan Green Gordon (Arkansas).

Christian Frank Schilt

Christian Schilt was born March 18, 1895 on a farm near Olney in Richland County, Ohio.  If ever a man was destined to fly, it was Schilt – unfortunately, planes hadn’t been invented yet.  It wouldn’t be until he was eight years old that the Wright brothers flew the first manned flight.  However, it’s likely their success caught his attention as a young boy.

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Christian Frank Schilt (Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology).

In September 1915, Schilt entered the department of civil engineering at Rose Polytechnic Institute (now Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology) in Terra Haute, Ind.  Athletically inclined, he was elected captain of the freshman basketball team.  He pledged our Beta Upsilon Chapter that fall and was initiated on February 21, 1916 as badge number 139.

However, his time at Beta Upsilon and Rose was limited because of the entry in April, 1917 of the United States into World War I.  Two months later, in June, 1917, he enlisted in the Marine Corps where he continued to serve for the next 40 years rising from buck private to the rank of four-star general.

After enlisting, he went through the same basic training as other recruits, all hoping to join the action in Europe as soon as possible.  For Schilt, the Marine Corps decided his talents were better used elsewhere and he was assigned to the first American air unit of any service sent overseas – to the Azores Islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.  There, his unit, a seaplane squadron, was assigned the task of anti-submarine patrols and he served as a machine gunner on the planes.

His time in the air during these patrols, as well as his exceptional mechanical skills, convinced him that piloting planes would be a lot more interesting than just riding in them.  So, at the end of the war, he decided to stick around with the hope of being allowed to attend pilot training. He was accepted and by June 1919, he had earned the designation “aviator,” eligible for “duty involving actual flying in aircraft, including dirigibles, balloons and airplanes.”

A Flying Ace

In Caribbean deployments he honed his skills until he was considered one of the top pilots in the Corps.  His timing was fortuitous because the 1920’s were the heyday of air speed races and the armed services participated in them as well – in fact, entry was encouraged.  Flying was still very young at the time and few people had experienced it as passengers.  Thus, spectators lined up to watch the amazing stunts and speeds of these still relatively new inventions.   As plane designs and speeds improved, the public could not get enough of watching them and the men and women who flew them.

Due to his exceptional flying skills, during the period 1923-1927, Schilt flew in most of the national air races and usually was among the top finishers.  In 1925, as part of the Pulitzer Race of that year, he finished second to another Sigma Nu, the great Army flyer Lieutenant Earnest Harmon (Bethany). When not racing, Schilt was winning trophies in aerial bombing competitions and serving as a test pilot for new aircraft.  Schilt at the time was considered among the top flyers in the country along with Charles Lindbergh, Eddie Rickenbacker and Jimmy Doolittle.

A Hero Emerges

His rendezvous with destiny occurred in 1928 in a small village, with the name Quilali, in the mountain jungles of Nicaragua.  In the late 1920’s, Nicaragua, an important strategic Central American country, had recently been engaged in a civil war between the rebel Sandinistas and the government.  The U.S. brokered a peace between the warring parties with U.S. Marines serving as guarantors of the peace.  However, in 1927 the rebels attacked the Marines and the government forces in bloody engagements throughout the country.

On January 3, 1928, a large force of rebels ambushed a Marine patrol in Quilali.  Heavily outnumbering U.S. forces, they pinned the Marines into the tiny mountain village, encircling them in the jungle.  There was no escape route and they were running low on food and water.  In addition, they sustained heavy casualties that needed medical attention.  Staying put meant the troops would eventually be whittled down through well placed shots or starvation. The only way of getting medical attention to the wounded and supplies for the troops was via air.

The Marines sent a signal requesting aerial bombardment of the rebels and a plane to bring supplies and remove the wounded.  However, no landing strip was anywhere near the village.  With no place to land, it was an almost impossible request.  The men, while still under siege and under the cover of darkness, set about building a landing strip on the small dirt road that ran through the village.  Over three days they cleared the houses on one side of the street to make it wide enough for a plane – however, it still wasn’t long enough.  At one end of the dirt road was the jungle and at the other a sheer drop into the valley below.

To further complicate the situation, the seaplane (O2U-1 Corsair) used by the Marines required modifications to replace the landing pontoons with wheels from a different plane – meaning it wouldn’t have brakes to slow it down on landing.  The difficulty of the task would not be made any easier by hostile fire on landings and takeoffs, steep mountains on either side, low-hanging clouds and tricky air currents.

First Lieutenant Christian Schilt volunteered to single-handedly fly the mission.

Due to the lack of brakes and the short landing strip, each landing required Marines on the ground to rush the aircraft and grab the wings to slow it down before it plunged over the cliff.  In addition, takeoffs were just as spectacular with four Marines hanging onto the wings while Schilt raced the motor to allow for maximum speed during takeoff to compensate for the short takeoff strip.

Over a three-day period, at the risk of his own life during every flight, he made ten flights into and out of the village under constant enemy fire and almost impossible conditions. Ultimately he evacuated eighteen wounded Marines and delivered 1,400 pounds of food and medical supplies.

A First

In recognition of his heroism, on April 5, 1928, Lieutenant Christian F. Schilt received his Medal of Honor from President Calvin Coolidge at the White House.  It was the first time a Medal of Honor recipient was awarded the medal personally by the president at the White House and set the tradition from thenceforth.

O2U-1_Corsair_in_hangar_at_NACA_Langley_in_1928_low res

Vought 02U-1 Corsair biplane, a scout and observation seaplane.

Brother Schilt would continue to serve in the Marines until his retirement in 1957 – a career of over 40 years.  In addition to his service in World War I and Nicaragua, he also served in World War II and the Korean conflict.  In addition to the Medal of Honor, he earned 19 more medals over his illustrious career including the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with combat “V” (for heroism), the Distinguished Flying Cross, a Bronze Star with combat “V” and five Air Medals – making him possibly the most decorated Sigma Nu in our history.

Christian Schilt joined the Chapter Eternal at the age of 91 on January 8, 1987.

Nathan Green Gordon

Nathan Gordon was born on September 4, 1916 in Morrilton, Arkansas, the son of a distinguished trial lawyer.  After graduation from high school, he attended a community college, Arkansas Poly.  A natural athlete, he starred in football (as end) and baseball (at third base) and was named to the all-state team in both sports.

Nathan Green Gordon (Arkansas).

Nathan Green Gordon (Arkansas).

Gordon transferred to the University of Arkansas in the spring of 1936 when offered a football scholarship. He was a key player for the Razorbacks during the 1936 (their first Southwest Conference Championship) and 1937 seasons.  On May 7, 1938 he was initiated into the Gamma Upsilon chapter of Sigma Nu at the University.  He was elected as their Eminent Commander for the 1938-39 school year.  In June 1939 he graduated with a law degree and returned to Morrilton to begin practicing law.

With war clouds rumbling in Europe, Gordon knew it was likely the United States would eventually become involved.  In May 1941, slightly more than six months before Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the Naval Reserve.  After initial flight training in Louisiana, he transferred to Florida and in early 1942 was designated a naval aviator.  He became a member of the Black Cat Squadron, a group who often flew night missions.  Their planes were black and featured a cat’s face with its jaws chomping down on an enemy cargo ship.

Over the next few years, Gordon flew day and night missions in the Caribbean, protecting the Panama Canal. Upon his promotion to squadron patrol plane commander he received orders to the Pacific front.  In February 1944, he was assigned to the allied base at New Guinea adding air-sea rescue to their bombing missions.  The rescue called for the planes to fly into the target areas during airstrikes, land in the water and pick up downed crewmen.

A Dangerous Rescue Mission

It was on February 15, 1944, during one of these rescue missions that Gordon earned his Medal of Honor with a display of amazing courage.  To rescue several downed B-25 bomber crews, he had to fly his plane into the mouth of the heavily-armed Japanese harbor at Kavieng on the island of New Ireland on Papua New Guinea.  His plane was a slow and ungainly Catalina seaplane, unaffectionately known as “The Dumbo” or flying elephant. It had a cruising speed of 110 knots, equivalent to an automobile traveling at around 125 mph.

Gordon piloted the plane into the harbor and directly into close range fire from enemy guns.  To make matters worse, there were heavy swells in the harbor and almost no wind. To rescue the men, he had to position the plane to land correctly among the 18 foot swells to keep it from breaking apart.

Flying low over the harbor, the crew frantically searched for signs of the wreckage and the downed men.  Finally they spotted a partially submerged life raft, but saw no survivors.  Knowing that men in the water are often hard to spot from a moving plane, Gordon decided he had to land near the raft to be sure.  They dropped smoke bombs near the raft and circled around to land.  However, on the approach, he didn’t see the raft in time and had to drop the plane suddenly from too high an altitude. The resulting hard landing caused several of the plane’s rivets to pop and the plane to start taking on water.  After taxiing to the raft and further searching it was clear the raft had been strafed and there were no survivors.

Called on Again

No sooner had the plane taken off and started towards home than Gordon received a message from one of his escort fighters about another downed plane.  After returning to the harbor and following the directions of the escort pilot, the crew spotted six men frantically waving from a life raft.  Gordon made another landing and his crew tossed a line to the raft.  While taxiing, he attempted to pull the raft onto the plane.  Despite maintaining the Catalina at its lowest idling speed, it was impossible for the crew to pull the raft and its men aboard.

At that point Gordon, as pilot of the plane, had to make a risky decision.  He could turn off both engines to stop the plane and rescue the men at the risk of the engines not restarting when the time came to take off (at the time, a not infrequent occurrence).  If the engines refused to restart the plane would be a sitting duck for the Japanese artillery.  Believing it was the only decision he could make to save the men, he cut the engines, the plane stopped and the men, some badly injured, were pulled safely aboard.  We can only imagine his relief when he flipped the switch and the engines restarted.

Taking off for the second time under heavy enemy fire, the plane traveled no more than 20 miles towards home when Gordon received a third message about a downed bomber crew.  Upon returning, the crew spotted three men in a life raft and Gordon made another landing into the swells.  Again he had to cut the engines to pull the men aboard.  After rescuing the men Gordon had an additional concern.  The nine rescued men, and his own crew of nine men, severely overloaded the plane and might make it impossible to take off, leading to almost certain death for all of them.  Fortunately the engines restarted again and Gordon gave it full throttle.  After what must have seemed like an eternity, the plane slowly lifted off above the waves and harbor defenses and once more headed toward home base with cheers from every man aboard.

Uncommon Courage

However, once again Gordon’s valor was severely tested.  For the fourth time on a single mission he got a radio call about six more downed airmen.  Knowing that his plane was severely overloaded and that he had already rescued nine men, should he turn around and risk it all to try and save the additional six men from an almost certain death.  Certainly no one would have faulted him at that point for continuing towards the safety of his home base.

While none of us know what went through his mind, he fearlessly turned the plane and headed once again straight into the jaws of death.  There was just no way he could leave the six men behind to the “mercy” of the Japanese troops.  This time the men were only 600 yards offshore, virtually under the very nose of the Japanese guns.  To position himself correctly for landing, Gordon had to fly directly over the town and the Japanese antiaircraft guns. How he managed without a fatal hit is one of those miracles of war.

Consolidated_PBY-6A_Catalina_USN_in_flight_c1945_low res

Consolidated Catalina patrol boat — unaffectionately known as “The Dumbo.”

For the fourth time, under heavy artillery fire, he landed his plane in the harbor and for the third time turned off his engines.  The six men scrambled aboard, shouting their gratitude, but it’s doubtful Gordon even heard them – he had larger concerns at that point.  Would the engines restart for the third time and would the plane take off with the extra passengers aboard – 24 men on a plane designed for a crew of nine?

He flipped the switch to start the engines and likely held his breath.  Fate once again smiled on Gordon and the men and the engines came to life.  Under continuing fire, the plane slowly began taxiing and finally rose a few feet above the waves but could get no higher.  Finally, groaning under the weight of its load, it started to climb and Gordon must have breathed a sigh of relief as they finally headed towards home.

For his rescue of the 15 men and remarkable heroism, his superiors cited him for “exceptional daring, personal valor and incomparable airmanship under most perilous conditions.”  His entire crew was given Silver Stars and he was awarded the Medal of Honor from a grateful nation.

After the war, Gordon returned to his hometown to once again practice law.  In 1946 he ran for lieutenant governor of Arkansas and he won election to a two-year term. He was reelected to that position by the voters nine more times and finally retired in 1967.  He still holds the record as the longest serving lieutenant governor in Arkansas’s history.

On September 8, 2008 at the age of 92, Gordon passed away.  For initiates in the Legion of Honor, he left a legacy of unforgettable bravery and courage.

Honoring Our Fallen Heroes

These two men showed valor “above and beyond the call of duty.” Although I’ve highlighted Sigma Nu’s two Medal of Honor winners, many of our initiates over the past 145 years have stepped up when called upon to defend our liberties.  Some have even paid the ultimate sacrifice with their lives.

We plan to remember and honor these men who gave their lives by enshrining their names forever on the walls of the Memorial Flag Pavilion at the Rock in Lexington.  The Flag Pavilion was originally established to serve as a tribute to honor all American and Canadian Sigma Nu servicemen who’ve done so much for so many.  It will be enlarged to provide the space for these memorial plaques for those who fell.

Flag Pavilion (7)_low res

The Memorial Flag Pavilion at The Rock in Lexington, Va.

To accomplish this task, we need your help in identifying brothers who died in the many conflicts fought by the United States and Canada.  Some were listed in The Delta, mostly from World Wars I and II, but we want as complete a list as we can put together.  Perhaps there is a plaque hanging on the chapter room wall or you may have known someone who died.  In any case, let us know so we ensure they are appropriately honored and remembered.  You can send the names and chapter to news@sigmanu.org.  Additionally, if you are interested in getting involved with this project, please let us know at the same email address.

In a future edition of The Delta, we will publish all the names by individual chapter. Please help us with this important mission to identify and honor those who fell on our behalf.

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The ‘Not-So Roaring’ 20s

Why young alumni need to make their twenties count.

By Alex Taylor (Huntingdon)

Meg Jay has a stern warning for the young college graduates casually meandering through their twenties. “The deceptive irony is that our twentysomething years may not feel all that consequential,” she writes in her new book The Defining Decade. “It is easy to imagine that life’s significant experiences begin with big moments and exciting encounters, but this is not how it happens.”

Jay goes on to explain why 30 is not the new 20, and how twentysomethings must seize the most developmental years of their lives to achieve the optimal career trajectory.

Dr. Jay, a clinical psychologist and assistant professor at the University of Virginia, submits that twentysomethings are often paralyzed by possible career choices because of an identity crisis. This identity crisis is best overcome by developing “identity capital,” explained by Jay as “how we build ourselves — bit by bit, over time. Most important, identity capital is what we bring to the adult marketplace.”

Dr. Jay uses the example of Erik Erikson, a famed psychoanalyst and Pulitzer Prize winner who lived a life familiar to many young Americans. Erikson traveled the world prior to pursuing his career, and lived on very limited means for a brief time. Jay lists his many accomplishments while in his twenties and uses this to show how Erikson used this time to develop identity capital.

definingdecade

Jay shares her own story of working for an outdoor adventure company while she explored possible career paths. Though the industry wasn’t what she ended up pursuing, she took several leadership roles that she credits with preparing her for graduate school interviews. Far from an identity crisis, she used her experience to get to a more desired place in her career. Jay does not discount taking jobs that will be temporary, but urges readers to make sure temporary opportunities are credible and build toward what you want to do in the future. She cautions readers by noting that fearfulness in making a decision about work is not an identity crisis; it’s procrastination.

Much of Dr. Jay’s research also looks at the way dating and love influence the other challenges of being a twentysomething. Through marriage people can pick their family, she says, and you have control over who you choose.

Dr. Jay tackles the changing trends of cohabitation. Nearly half of twentysomethings want to live together prior to marriage and a similar number follow through in these plans. Jay argues that this trend – which she calls “sliding, not deciding” – is harmful to the development of stable and healthy relationships as couples casually – and sometimes carelessly – slide into relationships without reaching a formal decision to be with that one person. Cohabitation is easy to slide into, she says, but people become trapped in relationships with no defined expectations and no direction. The longer the relationship lasts the harder it is to leave and the less likely it is to end in marriage. The twentysomething girlfriend or boyfriend does not also become the thirtysomething wife or husband.

Jay also addresses what she calls “dating down,” in which people choose partners for convenience in place of more practical reasons, leading to empty relationships based on physical attraction but devoid of true compatibility.

The third and final section of Jay’s book discusses the brain and the body. Biological clocks are real, she argues, and she encourages  twentysomethings to be more forward thinking, using logical thought in place of rash emotional decisions.

To avoid emotionally-driven decisions, Jay encourages twentysomethings to learn to calm themselves and avoid dumping emotional problems on whoever happens to be near. She describes how to build the confidence that so many young Americans lack. “Whether we are talking about love or work, the confidence that overrides insecurity comes from experience,” she writes. Confidence comes not from delaying adulthood, but from deciding to invest time and effort into being a member of society.

Though The Defining Decade is written for twentysomethings, the book offers insight that’s equally useful for those who regularly interact with the demographic. The current generation of twentysomethings is coming of age – Millennials are expected to account for 36 percent of the workforce by 2014. Dr. Jay has a special message for those twentysomethings who may have it together, and a definite message for those who seem to be drifting along: Ultimately, adulthood and life is within one’s own control, and when the trajectory and aim are chosen early, there is a much better chance of hitting the target.

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Sigma Nu Authors

Phantom Mesa
Jim McMillen (Texas)
Publisher: Telemachus Press
ISBN: 978-1-938701-10-8

Phantom Mesa

Aging Southwest Texas rancher Clovis Carlisle is met with unexpected resistance when news spreads that he is considering a lease contract that would place up to 80 towering wind turbines atop the one-and-a-half square mile mesa that towers 200 feet above the rest of his four-and-a-half square mile ranch.

He is confronted by environmental and other issue-driven protesters, electricity-sensitive neighbors, and a pot-smoking, ex-college professor who manufacturers meth in his remote cabin. Augusto Klemen, a Mexican drug lord, formerly a freshman cadet at Clovis’ military boarding school, discovers Clovis’ location through wind farm news. Severely burned by Clovis over 50 years before in a hazing incident, Klemen seeks revenge. Making matters worse, a coldblooded Russian hit man is contracted to kill Clovis.

Atop Phantom Mesa are ancient Comanche burial grounds, once called La Mesa Fantasma by Spanish explorers who reported ghosts there. Widower Clovis experiences several strange happenings there and visits his wife’s cremated remains at the mesa, talking with her as if she was alive. One visit ends with a cliff-hanging episode of survival, including a confrontation with a straying cougar.

The storyline visits Texas scenes in Houston, San Antonio, and Kerrville. Chilling episodes in Atlanta, Georgia, Ft. Pierce, Florida, and New Orleans, Louisiana lead to a series of circumstances that threaten the humble West Texas rancher.

Reprinted from book cover.

Seaside Dream Home Besieged
T.G. Berlincourt (Case Western)
Publisher: Trafford
ISBN: 978-1-4269-0478-3

Seaside Dream Home Beseiged

Captivated by the spectacular natural beauty of northern California’s Mendocino coast, the author and his wife, Margie, residents of Virginia, purchase a magnificent eleven-acre promontory high above the Pacific Ocean near the remote village of Elk. On retiring years later, they decide to build their dream home there. Seeking no more than what’s sanctioned by law, they nevertheless encounter fierce opposition from County and State Parks officials, a hostile faction of Elk citizens, and the local media.

In a six-year battle that ignites civil war in the little village, Margie and TG fight back. Well into the conflict they discover the hidden and improper motivation behind much of the opposition. That paves the way for a settlement with the County. But opponents promptly appeal the case to the California Coastal Commission, and there the final showdown takes place.

Seaside Dream Home Besieged makes a clear and compelling case for land-use reforms designed to achieve a more just and harmonious relationship between scenic preservation and property rights. Included are extensive contending quotes from both sides of the conflict, providing insight into the legal and ethical points at issue, as well as into local coastal culture and obstructive human behavior. With its mystery, sleuthing, assorted (non-lethal) casualties, and colorful real-life scoundrels, Seaside Dream Home Besieged provides suspenseful and entertaining reading. Moreover, it’s an indispensable guidebook for those who dare to enter the land-use minefields in pursuit of a building permit.

Reprinted from Amazon.com

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