of Sigma Tau Gamma
Earl A. Webb, Sr. 1916-2010
R eflections Dateline: January 1954 From
Grand P resident
Greetings, Brother Sigma Taus: The Grand Council has taken realistic action in regard to the national office. Effective December 15, Brother Ken Whitesitt was elected the Fraternity’s first full-time executive secretary. Brother Whitesitt is well qualified from fraternity background and business experience. Sigma Tau Gamma’s growth to 45 chapters necessitates more time and attention to the duties of this office. Dr. Ken Winebrenner served the Fraternity faithfully and well for many years and nurtured us through a trying and critical period. Increasing demands of his professional life, especially after his acceptance of the editorship of School Arts, gave him little choice but to withdraw from active demands of the Fraternity’s responsibilities. The devotion of Brother Winebrenner to his Fraternity was without limit and without a parallel. For more than twenty years he gave all he had, at great personal sacrifice to himself and to his family. He had held the offices of Vice President and Grand President prior to 1939, when he accepted the office of executive secretary, so he had already been honored by the highest office the Fraternity can bestow. This fact many have forgotten or did not know.
Brother Jack Foos served the Fraternity well in the capacity of field secretary, and we regret that lack of sufficient income required us to cut our staff temporarily when the office was moved to St. Louis. Brother Whitesitt left a good-paying position to take this job with the Fraternity because it is work he loves, and he had faith in the Fraternity and in his Brothers. This exemplifies the real substance that makes a fraternity strong. With the faith of the Grand Council, of each chapter and each brother, he can and will succeed in his job. I have faith in the present and in the future of Sigma Tau Gamma. With faith in each other we will continue to work and grow. May God bless you all.
Sincerely and fraternally yours, Earl A. Webb
Volume 81 • Issue 1 (475-360) • Winter 2010 The SAGA of Sigma Tau Gamma (R2001.1.4) is published quarterly by Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity, Inc., P. O. Box 54, Warrensburg, MO 64093-0054. Periodicals postage is paid at Warrensburg, MO. Printed at University of Central Missouri Printing Services, Warrensburg, MO. Staff Deadlines for submissions Editor: William P. Bernier Spring 2010 – Assistant Editor: Brittany Summers March 15, 2010 Designer: Gail Greble Summer 2010 – May 15, 2010 Editor Emeritus: Robert E. Bernier Fall 2010 – August 15, 2010 Address all communications, including change of address, to the Fraternity. Postmaster: Send form 3579 to Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity, P. O. Box 54, Warrensburg, MO 64093-0054 To Parents: Your son’s magazine is sent to his home address while he is in college. We hope you enjoy reading it. If he is no longer at college and not living at home, please send his new permanent address to Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity, P. O. Box 54, Warrensburg, MO 64093-0054, or email us at: email@example.com.
Contact Us: Alumni and undergraduates are encouraged to submit news, stories and photos for publication in The SAGA. Submissions may be mailed to: Editor, P. O. Box 54, Warrensburg, MO 64093-0054, or may be submitted electronically to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone: 660-747-2222 FAX: 660-747-9599 Mail: P. O. Box 54 Warrensburg, MO 64093-0054 PLEASE VISIT SIGMA TAU GAMMA ONLINE AT: www.sigmataugamma.org. Archive issues of The SAGA of Sigma Tau Gamma in are also available in electronic form. The name “Sigma Tau Gamma,” in phonetic and Greek alphabets, the Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity badge, associate member pin, Coat of Arms, and Eighteen-Link oval chain with the Greek Letters, are registered service marks of Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity, Inc. Any use, without the express written authority of Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity, Inc., is strictly prohibited.
This issue of The SAGA was partially funded by the “William P. Bernier Endowment for Educational Publications, as funded by Marvin M. Millsap” and Alumni Loyalty Fund contributions.
Earl A. Webb, Sr.
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44TH Grand Chapter Volume 81 • Issue 1 (475-360) • Winter 2010
Brothers from across the country will gather in Cleveland, Ohio on August 5-8, 2010 for the 44th Grand Chapter of Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity.
Earl Webb, Sr. _ ________________ 4-10
Our host hotel, the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel, is the grand historic hotel of downtown Cleveland. Progressive Field, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Cleveland Flats entertainment district are within walking distance. Our hotel is connected to the historic Terminal Tower Building, which is linked by the Cleveland Rapid Transit to Hopkins International Airport.
9:30 a.m. Opening Plenary Session 12:00 p.m. 44th Grand Chapter Awards Luncheon honoring recipients of Foundation sponsored awards 1:30 p.m. Sigma Tau Gamma Educational Programming and Legislative Committee Meetings
On the Cover: Earl A. Webb, Sr., DMF, A lpha ‘41 May 8, 1916- December 31, 2009 8th National President, Member of the Society of Seventeen and “Mr. Sig Tau”
5:45 p.m. Cleveland Indians v. Minnesota Twins at Progressive Field Saturday, August 7, 2010: 8:00 a.m. 44th Grand Chapter Breakfast Honoring Volunteer Leaders 9:15 a.m. Sigma Tau Gamma Educational Programming and House of Delegates Plenary Session
Friday, August 6, 2010: 8:00 a.m. Wilson C. Morris Fellowship Breakfast
9:00 a.m. 44th Grand Chapter Golf Tournament 3:00 p.m. Credential Clearance for Delegates 6:30 p.m. Opening Ceremonies and 90th Birthday Party
Reflections________________________ 2 44th Grand Chapter ________________ 3 Chapter News__________________ 11-12 Alumni News_ _________________ 13-14 Chapter Eternal_ _________________ 15
44th Grand Chapter Schedule Thursday, August 5, 2010:
Lapel Pin________________________ 13
12:00 p.m. Lunch on your own 2:00 p.m. House of Delegates Legislative Session including the election of national officers 7:00 p.m. 90th Anniversary Celebration and Awards Banquet All Sigma Tau Gamma brothers are welcome and encouraged to participate in the 44th Grand Chapter. Alumni chapters and alumni associations should send a voting delegate. All college chapters must send at least two voting delegates. The 44th Grand Chapter registration fee is $295. It includes program meals and admission to the baseball game. The special Sigma Tau Gamma rate at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel is just $129. Self-parking is included in that rate. You may register by phone at (660) 747-2222 or online at www.sigmataugamma.org.
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Earl A. Webb, Sr.
By William P. Bernier, Iota ‘71
resources for rebuilding.
Earl Webb joined Alpha Chapter in January 1938 and was initiated April 10, 1938. When asked why he joined Sigma Tau Gamma, Earl said, “There were two fraternities, Sigma Tau Gamma was struggling, I decided that I could help.” Help he did, as recruitment chairman, and then president. Earl’s pledge father was Merle Rider. His pledge son was George Gunn. Both would later join Earl as members of the Society of the Seventeen.
In addition, our Fraternity’s original mission to serve students of teacher’s colleges was vanishing, as those colleges became comprehensive institutions.
In 1940, while still Alpha Chapter President, Earl planned the 20th Anniversary Grand Conclave at the Hotel President in Kansas City, MO. During this time, Earl worked at the Vernaz Drug Company, for Reynolds and Maurine Achauer. He became acquainted with every important leader of Sigma Tau Gamma including the Founders, and with Dr. Wilson C. Morris, our first sponsor. At the 30th Anniversary Grand Conclave held at Central Missouri State College (now the University of Central Missouri) in 1950, Earl was elected National President in absentia. Earl was at home with his family when he received a telephone call from the Alpha Chapter delegate asking if he would be president. Earl said yes, thinking that he was being asked to be president of the Alpha Chapter Alumni Association. At the time, Sigma Tau Gamma was struggling with insufficient staff and finances. The Great Depression had been difficult for the Fraternity, but World War II proved devastating. With nearly all of its collegiate members in uniform, the Fraternity had no dues income. In the aftermath of the war it was faced with few
Earl went on the road as a volunteer to deliver much needed service to our chapters. During this time he had a fledgling business. He divided the chores between his two employees, trusted the future of his business to God, and went on the road for weeks focused on Sigma Tau Gamma. Earl was quietly but deeply spiritual. Earl presided over the dissolution of the Association of Education Fraternities and the entry of Sigma Tau Gamma into the National Interfraternity Conference. He recruited Robert Nagel Jones, Beta ‘29, to draft a new mission and new constitution. They were adopted as he presided over the 16th Grand Conclave in 1954. Understanding that the Fraternity needed full time professional management, Earl led Sigma Tau Gamma to the establishment of its first full time headquarters office. Located in Webster Groves, MO, it opened in 1953. He employed our first full time executive, E. Kennedy Whitesitt, Epsilon ’32. Earl continued to serve on the Fraternity Board of Directors as a past president from 1954 to 1970. In 1966, Earl Webb, with Robert Nagel Jones and Warren Barberg, Alpha Kappa ’51, organized and incorporated the Sigma Tau Gamma Foundation. Earl served as the first Foundation treasurer (1967-72) and second president (1972-76), and then served a second term as treasurer (1976-78). Earl served as a Trustee of the
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Few young people today are blessed with role models. Fewer still could count a ninety-three year old man as one of them. Earl was ours: gentlemanly, socially impeccable, good humored, engaged in conversation, and when speaking in a meeting, always on point. He was a model man, a model brother, and a model citizen. We speak of the spirit of fraternalism being a thing that grows, starting with a narrow circle of fellow students, then widening, until it takes all the important relationships of life. I first met Earl Webb on January 9, 1987. I was twenty-one. My understanding of Sigma Tau Gamma - its meaning, its relevance, its importance – was, indeed, very narrow. As that understanding grew, I began to see, clearly, why it is absolutely necessary that an organization like ours have an Earl Webb actively participating. He represented that “widening”– the widening of the fraternal bond across generations. I think it was pretty easy for the younger Sig Taus to be interested in Earl; more remarkable, in my opinion, was his continued interest in us. You meet a member that sharp, seventy years a Sig Tau, who’s done so much for so many, and it just affirms the whole fraternal movement, the mission of Sigma Tau Gamma, and the worth of belonging for life. And that’s what it’s all about.
Foundation from 1967 to 2003, then continued his service as an Emeriti Trustee.
Earl A. Webb was Mr. Sig Tau because he exemplified the man we all aspire to be.
Earl participated in virtually every national Sigma Tau Gamma meeting from 1950 to 2008. Over those years Earl also participated in numerous chapter events, particularly Alpha Chapter homecoming events. Frequently, his beautiful bride Billie was at his side. He was very proud that his sons, Earl A. Webb, Jr. and R. Michael Webb, both became brothers of Sigma Tau Gamma. In 1980 Earl A. Webb, Sr. was among the first inductees into the Society of the Seventeen. The Society was created as an honor to the most highly esteemed leaders of the Fraternity. Its number commemorated the number of original Founders. The presence of the Founders at national meetings proved to be inspirational, and with the passage of time, the Society was to continue that tradition.
Earl A. Webb was faithful to the origins of Sigma Tau Gamma because he was always a teacher. At Hale and Faucett, MO he was formally a teacher. But, as he continued his life, he was a teacher, a father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and an employer and in countless interactions with brothers of Sigma Tau Gamma. One can think of no higher calling.
Founder Emmett Ellis proposed that a permanent headquarters building be constructed at the founding site, 101 Ming Street in Warrensburg. Earl championed the cause and convinced the delegates at the 23rd Grand Chapter at Milwaukee in 1968 to enact enabling legislation. He led the effort to obtain the site in 1969 and was actively involved in the Golden Challenge Campaign, which resulted in the construction of the Millsap Headquarters Building in 1977. Later, he was an active leader in the Project PITCH Campaign, our first million-dollar endowment campaign.
and was fully honest with you. He was, as they say, “one faced.” If you did disagree with him, and you were smart, you reevaluated your position.
Jeff Russo, EMF, Delta Xi ‘88 35th National President
Among the Society honorees, Earl A. Webb was the most revered. He became known as “Mr. Sig Tau,” because of all that Earl had done for Sigma Tau Gamma. It was more fully so because of the man. Earl A. Webb treated every brother as an equal and with respect; be they an 18-year old collegiate or an 80-year old Founder. Earl had no hidden agendas. With directness softened by grace, Earl let you know where he stood. Whether you agreed or disagreed with Earl, you respected him because he respected you
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A Son’s Memories by Earl A. Webb Jr., Beta Alpha ‘65 I am Earl Webb, Jr., often called E.A. around the family. It was very appropriate that Dad’s memorial was held in a non-denominational chapel as he had many friends of many denominations and religions. As a spiritual seeker he regularly studied the different religions, feeling that if there were philosophic principles that religions agreed on, then they should probably be incorporated into one’s life and not argue over the differences.
Dad had an active life that included being a husband, father, teacher, principal, superintendent of schools, farmer, builder, photographer, and businessman. He finished building his last house on the Lake of the Ozarks at 80 and enjoyed the “grunt work” that gave him exercise. Dad served over 60 years as a master Mason, held many lodge offices until the last couple of years, and at one time was the oldest Potentate in Missouri. He especially enjoyed conducting monthly Masonic Bingo games for the “old folks” at a local care facility into his 90s. His community support included Scouting, helping upgrade our town’s fire department, establishing a community child care facility, and was on the local Habitat for Humanity board up until his last year. Dad saw this life as just one of many successive classrooms the soul attends on its eternal journey. We viewed his memorial as a celebration of his life. He was not perfect, but he tried to recognize his faults and sincerely worked at making himself better.
Earl A. Webb the Boy Dad would often talk about the many individuals who were positive influences in his life. As a boy, dad got a lot of positive direction from his extended family. They taught him the need for integrity, courage, hard work, love for his family and fellow man, the importance of getting a good education, and the love of music Dad was surrounded by many aunts, uncles, and his grandparents. They were always helping each other out. There were many family reunions at which family values were reinforced. It was a pioneer
family that moved to west-central Missouri in the 1830’s. Can you imagine taking everything that you own in a wagon and moving to the frontier from just north of Huntsville, Alabama? It takes a lot of courage and faith in yourself, family, and friends to make an effort so that you and your children’s lives can be better. During family reunions he learned about the Webb family sacrifices in order to survive during the Civil War. The Webbs were caught up in the Battle of Lone Jack. Eleven family members fighting on both sides died in the battle. Then under General Order No. 11 they were given 48 hours warning before all their fences, fields, forage, houses, and food were burned by the Union soldiers regardless on which side of the battle you fought. Dad’s grandfather, who he was very close to, was just a boy when this all happened. Dad was deeply impressed with the many sacrifices that his forefathers had made so that he could have a better life.
Earl Webb the Young M an Dad’s father ran the lumberyard in Bates City, MO and also did construction. His father was very hard of hearing and took dad along when bidding on construction jobs. During meetings his father’s competitors would often discuss items in a very low voice to get an advantage in the bidding process. It was dad’s job to pay close attention to the details. Usually dad and his father would excuse themselves to “go to the bathroom” before his father gave his quote. During this time dad would go over these details so his father could give a good bid. This experience greatly developed dad’s business savvy and building expertise. Dad worked in the family’s store, on their farm, and later in the lumberyard. One of his first jobs as a small kid was watching would-be shoplifters. He just followed the customer around, not saying a word, and watched what they did. Grandmother laughed a lot when she told me that. As far as farming, he always had his daily chores which included feeding the pigs. He talked most about farming with horses and mules. I think he preferred to work with mules and loved to mow hay. The job that he talked about the most was unloading railroad boxcars of sand and gravel that came into the lumber yard because
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The Earl A. Webb Spirit by R. Michael Webb, Alpha ‘67 In honoring Earl A. Webb, we must honor his spirit, a spirit that sees the best in people and what they can become. - The spirit of constant learning, to improve his environment and the life of others. - The spirit of fairness, in dealing with all things - The spirit of thriftiness, not wasting valuable resources - The spirit of adventure and willing to change - The spirit of caring for those less fortunate - The spirit of teaching so that others may learn from his knowledge -The spirit of restraint, allowing those that fail the space and time to adjust course and find their way. We are all fortunate to be touched by the spirit of Earl Webb.
Dad’s father was co-owner of a small bank at Bates City. When the depression hit in 1929 most banks went under. They closed their doors and did not pay off their depositors. His father sold most of what he had including his farm and made the depositors’ funds good. The bank stayed open. Dad had a deep respect for his father for having the integrity to do this. Dad’s grandmother was a schoolteacher who also taught music. She taught at Warrensburg when it was a Normal School. Dad liked playing the trumpet, but also played the trombone and tuba. He prided himself on his breathing technique while playing the horn. He said he frequently earned money in high school by playing music on a flatbed truck that was all decked out in banners. Car dealers often times would use this as a way to advertise, having the trucks drive through the towns and do concerts. He went to Baker University on a music as well as athletic scholarship. His teacher at Baker was part of the Kansas City Music Conservatory and took dad to play at their music sessions. Whenever a John Philip Sousa march came on the radio when we were kids, we had to turn the volume up. The summer break between the years Dad was at Baker University his Uncle Seryl put him in charge of the Bates City Dry Goods and Implement Store while he got married and went out west to have a honeymoon. During that summer a severe drought hit. The farmers had to deepen their wells to prevent their livestock from dying. Dad kept the store open almost round the clock and took short naps on a cot, so that he and the farmers could thread the
A Daughter’s Childhood Memories by Vicki Maree Webb Svedarsky EARL was my father’s name, a strong English name. If I were to assign his characteristics to his name, it would go like this: E = Education A = Appropriate and Acceptable Behavior R = Regimented or Disciplined Goal Oriented Lifestyle L = Loyalty and Love A common saying of my father during my childhood was “chalk it up to education!” This saying reflected his priority of us children continually learning through formal education or experiences. If we wanted something, we might convince him, if he thought it would fit under the education budget column.
He did work hard and was able to buy a Model A Ford at the age of 13 with his own money.
Dad’s family stressed the need for a good education. His father and mother had gone to college and his grandparents were teachers. Following in his grandfather’s steps, dad was a superintendent of schools and intended to make his career in education. He had a Master’s from the University of Missouri and was working on a Ph.D. in International Comparative Education at Yale when he found out his wife needed an operation on her kidneys. As a superintendent of schools he could not afford it. He decided that he had to find something that he could do that would fully support his family. When he was approached by a school photography company, he took the job. He began a new phase in his life. I feel that I have been very lucky to have him as my father.
He loved the way his whole community celebrated someone’s accomplishment; in his case his first prize-winning pigs at the Missouri State Fair. Different ones donated food items including watermelons. The whole town celebrated. He attributed a lot of his pig raising success to a local farmer who helped him select the right pig to raise and gave him excellent advice.
pipe and provide the supplies for the farmers to deepen their wells.
that is where he made the most money. His father paid so much to an adult a unload boxcar. Dad got the same pay. He said that you could unload a boxcar in a day if you shoveled fast enough and kept a scoop full of sand in the air.
This saying would also frequently come after some event whereby something was damaged or destroyed. Dad and Mom bought G & G Gerhart’s farm in Stover, and we spent lots of weekends and summer months at the farm. That is where my dad and brothers taught me how to operate a small 8N Ford tractor. It was definitely my recreational vehicle – cruising over terraced pastures and whipping in and out of obstacles. As with all things, I was to put it away when done. This one day, I was backing the tractor into the barn and my foot slipped off the clutch while in reverse. The tractor rammed into the back barn wall. Unbeknownst to me, dad was on the other side with a neighbor discussing business. The wall they were standing by or against shook. I later learned that he was
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there. His reply was “that was my daughter learning to drive,” it was another “chalk it up to education.” Education also took the role in us having to stick to something that he felt we needed to learn. Again, on the farm he had a flatbed wagon in a corral that he need backed out. Dad called me to move the tractor/wagon while he was doing something else. I just remember how scared I was that I wasn’t able to back this wagon through the gate opening. I became teary-eyed, and saying “please no dad” and him saying, “you can do it.” He became patient in his voice, like we had all day, and yes, I maneuvered the wagon through the corral. The next letter “A” reminds me of the importance of “appropriate and acceptable behavior” no matter when or where.
Having a business in our home, I learned to answer the phone, “Earl Webb Studios” always first, then “Hi, Donna.” EARL is a typical English gentleman’s name. And, intentionally or not – that was dad. Manners were a reflection of honoring your fellow man and woman in daily living. I remember being around four years old and my brothers being instructed to help me on and off with my coat, opening and closing doors for me, and yes, being instructed to always sit between them in the back seat of the car or walking down a sidewalk.
what we needed to do that day. These goals, whether painting the house, mowing a half-acre yard, or sorting pictures, taught us all how to work hard, stick to tasks until done, and do the best we could no matter what the task. These skills have certainly come in handy with my own children as they have participated in 4-H, showing cows/calves, chickens, rabbits, trout pond study projects, etc. Dad and Mom would many times come to visit us in July in Minnesota for Polk County Fair time and truly enjoyed the 4-H atmosphere of grandchildren’s accomplishments. It is a tribute to my dad that even today I continue my education. I have just finished a class on “Family Therapy” at Bemidji State University and one last spring on “Dynamics of Addiction” at the University of North Dakota. I love the classroom atmosphere whether a teacher or student and continue as a life-long learner in my area of specialization of Licensed Professional Counselor. And last, but not least, L = Loyalty and Love. Whatever dad LOVED, he was loyal to, and with a high level of integrity. You know this from his support of the University of Central Missouri and Sigma Tau Gamma. His commitment was total and complete.
This September, I visited dad as he had just entered Laurie Care Center. Dad had taken a fall in the hospital and cracked his hip. He was now instructed to stay in bed for six weeks for the hip to heal. When I arrived, Dad had a light blanket on Father and son, R. Michael Webb, Alpha ‘67 and Earl Webb, Sr. Dad’s moral integrity came from him. We visited for some time. many sources. A few years back, I encountered a book entitled Then, the occupational therapist came in and discussed some Hiram’s Key. This book, written by Christopher Knight and Robert of the movements he was doing. Dad asked sometime later if he Lomas, two English historians, traced the Freemasons throughout could now take off his shoes. Under this blanket, dad had on a history. Dad and I talked about the book and morality. The thing crisp collared shirt, dress slacks, and shoes. He had dressed up that captivated me was that the book said that the Masons were appropriately for my arrival. That was dad. founded upon two basic principles – a belief in God, and that man Dad appreciated quality and craftsmanship in many things – could improve his life situation through knowledge and scientific including clothing! He taught me about drape, hand, hang, line, endeavors. This was dad’s motivation in joining and supporting shape, fit, worsted and woolen. He wasn’t really into brands the Masons. because he felt recognizing the qualities of quality was important. Dad had continual faith in the basic goodness of humanity and This was a reflection of his experience as manager of Pecks Dry that anyone’s life purpose could be improved through education, Goods Department commercial textile sales. appropriate social behavior, a regimented goal, purposeful life, R = Regimented or Disciplined. Dad was very regimental or and loyalty to their loves. disciplined in his daily life. He modeled Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Thanks, Dad, for your legacy to me and my family. Highly Effective People before Steven made a major business out of it. Dad always had short and long-term goals that he was operating from, and he lived life in a way to accomplish them and move on. When they involved us, they were laid out for us at breakfast with
One time I heard dad talking to a friend (probably a fraternity brother) about his career as a businessman. He stated that his present and long-term goal was to prove to himself and others “that he could make money in business honestly.” We are not just talking honesty – we are talking honesty in every thought, word, and action. If dad said something, it was as true as a contract.
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Rememberances of Mr. Sig Tau
Bill Hardebeck, DMF, Alpha Beta ‘69 Society of Seventeen In the nearly 90 years since the founding of Sigma Tau Gamma, no one among our more than 66,400 members has had a greater impact upon our Fraternity than Earl A. Webb Sr., “Mr. Sig Tau.” Prior to his passing on New Year’s Eve, Earl was the only living person to have personally known each of our 17 founders. He was the only brother to have known each of our 40 national presidents. He not only viewed most of our history at close range; for much of it, he was an active participant in charting our course from a small regional “teachers college fraternity” to a highly respected national organization within higher education.
Keith C. Dinsmore, WCMF, Beta ‘65 21st National President My first memory of Earl was as a sophomore, attending my first Grand Chapter in Norfolk. Although we had only read about Earl, he was a legacy. My chapter brothers and I lined up along with many other glossy-eyed undergraduates to be in a picture with such a pivotal individual in our history. Little did we know how profound his impact truly was. Years later, my most distinct memory of Earl was when he spoke at the breakfast honoring the 25th Anniversary of the Society of Seventeen. His words were short, but impacting. It was one of those moments where I could not have been more proud to be Sig Tau. Thank you Earl for all of your contributions and for inspiring generations of Sig Taus to be true gentlemen. You will be deeply missed.
As the years continue to go by, we in Sigma Tau Gamma are very fortunate to have had a positive role model like Earl Webb to look up to and to pattern ourselves after.
Earl was the single most important leader in the creation of the Sigma Tau Gamma Foundation in 1966 and he continued to guide its progress for nearly 40 years. The breadth and depth of his commitment and leadership is unparalleled in our history. Earl’s first office in Sigma Tau Gamma was president of Alpha Chapter. How fitting it is that the Academy of Principled Leaders (formerly the “President’s Academy”) has been named in his honor. There has never been a more principled leader than Earl A. Webb.
Earl was always interested in the welfare of the Gamma Theta and Epsilon Xi Chapter. We invited Earl and Billie to attend the Chartering Banquet of Epsilon Xi Chapter at St. Louis University. They graciously attended the ceremony and socialized with the new chapter members and their parents. It was truly an honor to have this wonderful couple with us for the evening.
Our beautiful headquarters located on our founding site is merely one part of his legacy. When Dr. Emmett Ellis and I first discussed the possibility of relocating our office from St. Louis to Warrensburg, there was some resistance to the idea. Earl enthusiastically supported the move, which practically assured that it would be approved. He then played an instrumental role both in planning its construction and raising the money to pay for it.
What can I say about Earl A. Webb, Sr. Earl was a man of strong character, honest, and set in his principles. I first met Earl when I was an undergraduate student at Harris Teachers College over 40 years ago. I was asked by our chapter president, Rich King, to meet with Earl and his son, Mike, at Earl’s home in Hazelwood. I remember that he gave us suggestions for helping to improve our chapter. Earl was always willing to give practical advice when confronted with specific problems. Never did I ever think I would be working with Earl on the Sigma Gamma Foundation and the Society of Seventeen when he served as our chairman for many years.
Jim Johnston, NMF, Delta Xi ‘01
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You just say “Fraternity” and you immediately think of Earl Webb. He was the ultimate Sig Tau with a zest for fellowship, a characteristic that went beyond Alpha chapter. His efforts to help establish Sigma Tau Gamma in other universities are remarkable and gave him national recognition. Jane and I were good friends of Earl and Billie. They attended our wedding in Warrensburg and gave us a ride to Kansas City after the reception. We, along with a great number of others, will miss Earl.
Larry Warren, WCMF, Alpha ‘42 Many years ago when I was a law student and just starting to serve the Fraternity as what was then known as a Province Governor, I had the good fortune to drive Earl from a regional meeting in Platteville, Wisconsin to the airport in Milwaukee. What he shared with me during those few hours in the car continue to have a profound impact to this day. I asked this great man who had given so much of himself to Sigma Tau Gamma what drove him to sacrifice time from his family and his business, what kept him going when he was virtually alone in the effort and the chances for survival of a teacher’s college fraternity in a post World War II world seemed unlikely at best. In response, he spoke passionately about commitment, what it meant for a man to give his best and to keep his word; to emphasize his point he quoted Abraham Lincoln: “Commitment is making the time when there is none. Coming through time after time, year after year. Commitment is the stuff character is made of; the power to change the face of things. It is the daily triumph of integrity over skepticism.” Commitment, character and integrity were all integral parts of every breath Earl Webb took and descriptive of the man I came to love and revere like no other. I was blessed to have had several private conversations with him and a cornerstone of each was our mutual faith. During one such time he particularly wanted me to focus on the Book of Proverbs, specifically verse 25:14, where it is written that people who promise things they never give are like clouds and wind that bring no rain. The lesson of this, he told me, was one of integrity and commitment- that people of unshakeable character will always have our trust and respect. Long ago Earl earned our trust and respect. I will always remember him with reverence and awe for the man he was and the example he set for each of us.
Earl Webb has been accurately described as a “gentleman’s gentleman” and “Mr. Sig Tau.” I met Earl in the summer of 1966 at the Pittsburgh Grand Chapter. I had just graduated and was attending my first grand chapter. Many of our founders were present at that meeting, but I remember Earl the most. He was warm and cordial. He treated me as an equal. He and his lovely wife, Billie, seemed very interested in me and what I was doing. That interest remained throughout my career. He made each person he was with feel special. Whenever I was with Earl, whether it was at a Grand Chapter, a Foundation board meeting, or a social event, I truly felt I was in the presence of greatness. When I was president of the Sigma Tau Gamma Foundation in 2000 and 2001, he was a member of the board and was always supportive. My best anecdote about Earl came in a Foundation Board long-range planning meeting we were having in January 2001. He gave us a brief history of the foundation and I’ll never forget one moment, when conversation strayed, he brought us back to reality with the following comment: "My image of Sigma Tau Gamma," he said, "is that every Sig Tau who went into the world knew and was an example of a gentleman, that he knew the proper thing to do in society, and that he was educated as far as being a leader was concerned. I always thought the college campus was an excellent place to practice that. Fundamentally, what we care about is the kind of young man who wears the badge of Sigma Tau Gamma." Enough said. Our planning got back on track. Earl is already greatly missed. Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity was a better organization because of Earl Webb. Tom Wood, IMF, Alpha Phi ‘66 Society of Seventeen No Brother has left a larger or deeper footprint in Sigma Tau Gamma than Earl Webb. It is doubtful that we would be in existence today were it not for him. He has been the perfect brother through the ages. He was “Mr. Sig Tau”, the man we all wanted to exemplify. I treasure my 1953 membership certificate, which hangs on the wall, for it was signed by Earl A. Webb, President.
W.P. “Buz” Barlow, Jr., DMF, Beta Mu ‘67 20th National President, Society of the Seventeen
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Ken Hoover, DMF, Pi ‘57 22nd National President, Society of Seventeen
Beta Zeta (University of Central Oklahoma)
Epsilon Theta (P lymouth State University) The brothers of Epsilon Theta chapter at their winter formal. From left Robert Joseph Ormond , Tom Hawke, Conor Lynch, Paul Mullane, Steve Palumbo Jr., Eddie Saguir, Matt Petz, James Powers, Michael Colavito, Ryan Day, Andrew Morse, Bobby Dick.
Alpha Kappa chapter banded together to raise $2,000 in books to be sent overseas to startup libraries in Kosovo. The library where the chapter regularly volunteers was going to get rid of the books, so the chapter took initiative in gathering them, organizing them and transporting them.
Epsilon Kappa Chapter participated in a Coat Drive with members of various organizations on campus. Brother Jon Bizier was the leading contributor of coats. The coats are donated to local shelters across the southeastern Massachusetts area shelters. The organization holding the coat drive was Students Organized Against Poverty (SOAP).
Beta (Truman State University) On October 23, 2009, Beta Chapter organized the second annual Roktoberfest, a philanthropy event featuring performances by five bands including alternative rock, jazz, blues, and even funk. Last year the chapter was successful in raising $4,000, with all funds raised donated to the National Fibromyalgia Association. In the second year, Roktoberfest raised a total of $7,000 thanks to the efforts of event chair, Andrew Bedwell, and the chapter.
Epsilon K appa (University of M assachusetts-Dartmouth)
A lpha K appa (University of Wisconsin-Stout)
The men of the Beta Zeta chapter recently held their bi-annual "IHOP to the Sig Tau House." The event is held each semester during the week before finals. The Sig Taus cook and serve free pancakes and juice to everyone wanting to take a break from studying for final exams. Along with the event, the men asked visitors to bring with them a brand new or gently used book for "Books for Kids." The event, which has been running for many years now, saw great success and will be held again during the Spring semester in 2010.
The funds were split between the National Fibromyalgia Association and Truman State University's Investing in Students fund. The University created the Investing in Students fund earlier this year in response to the growing financial burden placed on students and their families. “We are very appreciative of the Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity’s efforts in this fundraiser, and to be included as a beneficiary,” said Mark Gambaiana, Vice President for University Advancement. “This gift will provide much needed financial support to students at a very critical time. In addition, the Fraternity’s emphasis on community service and charitable giving is having an obvious impact.”
From left: Ryan Cochran, Kyle Betts, Andrew Bedwell, Truman State University President Darrell Krueger
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Chapter News Beta A lpha (University of M issouri) The newest members of the Beta Alpha chapter from left are: Jac Cottrell, Adam Holtmeyer, Jordan Knudsen, Nick Kohlberg, Nick Russell, Josh Lisse and Jonathan Seipp. Excited to be part of the brotherhood, the young men are eager to get involved and learn the inner-workings of Sigma Tau Gamma.
Beta Iota P rovisional Chapter (California University of Pennsylvania)
From left: Dustin Fuller, Joe Sinclair, Devin Keno, David Schott, Nate Dixon, Pat Slappo and Ryan Sobieralski The Beta Iota Provisional Chapter has ranked first out of seven fraternities at California University of Pennsylvania in cumulative and semester grades for the Fall 2009 semester. The chapter's cumulative GPA is a 3.15 and the new members had a 3.67 during their first semester as members. The Beta Iota Provisional Chapter held a philanthropic event for Autism Speaks, the leading organization in autism research since 2005. The chapter members stood in the middle of town collecting donations from the early morning until late afternoon, raising over $500.
K appa P rovisional Chapter (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater)
The principle of Benefit is being taken off campus by the men of the Kappa Provisional Chapter. They joined campus officials, Panhel President and former UW-Whitewater police officers to assist a local stable owner in repairing her fence that was posing a danger to her horses. Four men worked six hours tearing down 400' of fence, putting up 200', and all during a Packer game! “They were a blast to work with and found joy in their work. Without Andy, Brad, Jamie and Richard the job couldn't have been done,” says Jan Bilgen, Associate Director of Career and Leadership Development at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
Beta L ambda (Valparaiso University) The members of Beta Lambda chapter surround the non-perishable items collected for their Christmas food drive. The chapter collected the food for a local food pantry, the Hilltop Pantry in Valparaiso, IN. For one week the brothers took turns sitting in the University Union, asking students and faculty to donate cans to help feed the poor during Christmas.
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The Lapel Pin John Heiman, DMF, Alpha ‘84 Past National President While on a family vacation in 1991 a Sig Tau from Ball State found himself in a broken down car with nothing to turn to but a Sigma Tau Gamma directory stashed away in his glove box. After graduation, Frank Petrella, Omicron ’70 had said good bye to the fraternity, graduated from law school and relocated to Atlanta, GA. Desperate for help, he thumbed through his dusty directory and started dialing. Sure enough, brothers from Beta Omega chapter came to his rescue.
I tore open the envelope and inside a small box was the most beautiful gold lapel pin displaying the Sigma Tau Gamma coat of arms.
P hi A lumni A ssociation (Southeast Louisiana University)
Sometime later, at yet another fraternity meeting, I was having a casual conversation with Chris Mauer when I noticed him admiring my lapel pin. I told him the story of how Frank had bestowed the treasure on me. I then recalled how close Chris and Frank were
A few weeks ago, I returned home from work one evening and found an envelope attached to my front door. Inscribed on the outside was a note: “Austin was very proud of this and now I think someone else should wear it.” The envelope was left by our neighbor Dixie, the widow of Austin Pollard. I got to know Austin briefly when we moved into the neighborhood and sadly, as quickly as we discovered that we were fraternity brothers, me from Alpha ’80 and he from Theta ‘49, he passed away.
Somewhere along the line, during a break at a Fraternity event, I was visiting with Frank when I noticed he was wearing a beautiful gold lapel pin displaying the Sigma Tau Gamma coat of arms. Though I’d been an active volunteer and had even worked on the national headquarters staff, I had never seen such a tiny yet intricate piece of our coat of arms. As I was admiring it Frank said he received the pin at graduation and without hesitation took it off his lapel and placed it on mine. I knew it was special to him but he insisted I keep it which I did and wore proudly to every subsequent Sig Tau event I attended. Frank died suddenly in November 2000 of a heart attack. The pin became even more precious to me as Frank was a man of great honor who lived the ideal Sig Tau life.
That incident profoundly changed Frank’s perspective on Sigma Tau Gamma and the role it played in his life. Despite a busy schedule running a successful law practice, Frank started immersing himself as a fraternity volunteer and was elected to the board of directors in 1994. Along the way he picked up mentoring duties for many brothers including Chris Mauer, Phi ‘91, who would later become the 34th National President of Sigma Tau Gamma.
and how Frank took Chris under his wing and mentored him through his development as a fraternity volunteer. I removed the pin from my lapel and placed it on Chris’. He was profoundly grateful and subsequently wore the pin at every Sig Tau event he attended. Tragically, Brother Mauer died in January 2008 as a result of a Christmas Eve house fire that destroyed his family’s home. At his services I thought about the pin and, as trivial as it was considering the circumstances, I was saddened that the pin was lost to the ashes and that Chris did not have the chance to pass it on.
Undergraduate and alumni members of Phi Chapter at Southeastern Louisiana University celebrates being on campus for 70 years during the Homecoming tailgate on October 17, 2009. Sig Tau is currently the oldest fraternity on the SLU campus.
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Alumni News Beta Tau A lumni A ssociation (Slippery Rock University)
The Beta Tau Chapter held its Second Annual Undergraduate vs. Alumni Flag Football Game on November 1, 2009 at Slippery Rock University. The game was played at N. Kerr Thompson Stadium on the Slippery Rock Campus. Sixteen Alumni came back to participate in the annual game against the Undergraduate Chapter. Different generations of the chapter got to meet one another and the event was an overall success. Once again, the Alumni came out victorious for the second year running.
Mu A lumni A ssociation (Southeast Oklahoma State University) Members of the Mu Chapter Alumni Association at Southeastern Oklahoma State University hosted a tailgate party at Homecoming in October. Mu alumni have assisted in endowing several academic scholarships at Southeastern. The group's board of directors meets regularly and hosts several events per year, including Founder's Day, Frontier Reunion, an annual scholarship golf tournament, and Texas Hold'em tournaments, as well as Homecoming. Tracy A. Norman, Georgia Provisional Chapter ’88, is a purchasing manager for Qualitest Pharmaceuticals in Huntsville, Alabama. Vic Thate, Alpha ’61 (University of Central Missouri) and Executive Vice President of FAA Credit Union, was named a “CU Hero” by Credit Union Magazine, a publication of the Credit Union National Association. The award, which is given to those credit union employees who go above and beyond for the cause, was given to Vic for his ongoing efforts in support of the national Credit Unions for Kids program, benefitting Children’s Miracle Network. Vic has been an avid supporter of CMN since he moved to Oklahoma ten years ago. During his tenure, the state’s credit unions have gone from raising a total of $100, to more than $150,000 in 2008. This amount put the state’s credit unions on the map as the 10th highest state in the nation for dollars raised. Nationwide, credit unions contributed nearly $10 million to Children’s Miracle Network, making them the organizations third largest contributor.
Dr. Robert Goodman, Beta Epsilon ’88 (Shippensburg University), anesthesiologist and ice hockey official in the American Hockey League has just added author to his list of accomplishments. His recently released book, Forged On Ice: Freemasonry within the Hershey Bears and the Hockey Hall of Fame, was the culmination of three years of research. The book highlights, in short biographies, some of the greatest hockey players in the history of the National Hockey League. All proceeds benefit the Shriners Hospital.
Delta Epsilon A lumni A ssociation (Texas State University)
The Delta Epsilon Alumni Association sponsored a BBQ and tailgate at the football game against Stephen F. Austin State University. Texas State ended up winning the game 28-7.
Vic comments about his work, “I do it because I care about the health of children. I want our children’s hospitals to have the ability to recruit the best doctors. And dollars raised through CMN help them do that.”
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Paul R. Carter, WCMF, Upsilon ’64, who retired from Walmart as chief financial officer in 2003, has joined the Chapter Eternal. He was 69. Brother Carter received the Distinguished Achievement Award in 1987 at the Maurine Achauer Conclave in Fairfield Bay, AR. The Distinguished Achievement Award was established in 1970 to honor annually an alumnus of the Fraternity who has achieved distinction in his chosen profession. Carter retired from Walmart on Jan. 31, 2003, as vice president, and president of the company’s real estate division. He had also served on the company’s board of directors. “I think of integrity, passion and one who just loves people when I think of Paul Carter,” said Mike Duke, Walmart CEO. Duke was a close friend who worked alongside Carter for a number of years.
Porter Garth, Beta ’39, joined the Chapter Eternal on September, 9, 2009. Brother Garth was born on July 22, 1917 in Kirksville, MO. He was the son of Frank Melville and Julia Porter Garth. He married Virginia Marie Reynolds on September 16, 1945 in Kirksville, Mo. She survives. Also surviving are three sons, John Garth, Samuel Garth, and Alan Garth of Champaign. Brother Garth graduated from Kirksville High School. He attended Northeast Missouri Teachers College (now Truman University) where he joined the Fraternity and earned a BS in education. He received a second BS from the Univeristy of Missouri in Agriculture, and upon moving to Champaign attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, studying architecture and landscape architecture. While in Kirksville he worked the family farm, and following World War II he taught farms management to returning veterans. In Champaign, Porter owned and operated Garth Landscape and Nursery for many years.
In 1946, Earl Webb Studios was formed in St. Louis. The studio took school pictures through 1976, when he sold the business. Earl continued to operate his farm south of Stover, MO through 2004 while living with his wife Billie at the Lake of the Ozarks. Earl also served over 60 years as a Master Mason in the Masonic Lodge, served on the board for Habitat for Humanity, and helped unknown numbers of people and organizations. As a member of Sigma Tau Gamma, Earl Webb joined Alpha Chapter in January 1938 and was initiated April 10, 1938. In 1940, while still Alpha Chapter President, Earl planned the 20th Anniversary Grand Conclave at the Hotel President in Kansas City, MO. At the 30th Anniversary Grand Conclave held at Central Missouri State College in 1950, Earl was elected National President. He served two terms as president. In 1966 Earl Webb, with Robert Nagel Jones and Warren Barberg, organized and incorporated the Sigma Tau Gamma Foundation. Earl served as the first treasurer (1967-72) and second president (1972-76), and then served a second term as treasurer (1976-78). Earl served as a Trustee of the Foundation from 1967 to 2003, then continued his service as an Emeriti Trustee.
Joseph M. Vukovich, Beta Gamma ’60, joined the Chapter Eternal on June 22, 2009. Born in Youngstown, OH, a graduate of Liberty High School, he attended Youngstown State University, where he was the treasurer of the Beta Gamma chapter. Joe went on to finish his law degree at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, OH. In 1968, he moved to Maryland, where he served as a tax attorney for the IRS for 42 years, retiring from the Chief Counsel’s office. For 27 years, he worked at Northern Virginia College. A devoted husband and father, he is survived by Dorothy A., his wife of 40 years, and four sons, Joseph, Kevin, James and John.
After high school, Earl attended Baker University for two years. Needing funds to continue school, Earl took a job at Pecks Mercantile in Kansas City, starting as a salesman and moving up to Merchandise Manager. In 1937, Earl enrolled at Central Missouri State Teachers College, taking a partial load while working his way through school. Upon graduating in November 1940, Earl enlisted in the Army Air Corps, but was discharged in October 1941 due to spots on his lungs. Earl returned to marry Willa Mae (Billie) Gerhart from Stover, MO and accepted teaching positions at Hale, then Faucett, MO. He became Superintendent of Faucett School District in the fall of 1942 after receiving his Masters Degree from the University of Missouri.
Robert Wisniewski, Beta Mu ’66, joined the Chapter Eternal on November 3, 2009. Born in Neenah, Wisconsin, on April 28, 1944, Bob spent 31 years with Oscar Meyer/Kraft Foods in Wisconsin and Illinois. He is survived by his wife Sue, children, Sally and Jack Pallan, Rob and Catherine Wisniewski, mother, Louise and sister, Dorothy.
Earl attended grade school and high school in Bates City, MO, graduating in 1933. While growing up he worked on his family’s farm, in the family general store and at his grandfather’s lumberyard. He competed in sports, excelling in football and basketball, and played the trumpet in the Blue Springs Marching Band as well as community concerts. His “one” rating in band earned him the opportunity to play under John Philip Sousa.
Carter was born July 3, 1940, in a small farmhouse in the Coleman community, 15 miles north of Monticello, AR. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, June; his son, Steve Carter and wife Michelle; his daughter, Stephanie Howell; and his son, Sam Carter.
Earl A. Webb Sr., DMF, Alpha ’41. May 8, 1916 – December 31, 2009. Earl Andrew Webb was born May 8, 1916 in Bates City, Missouri to Andrew Cleon Webb and Maggie Lena Eagan Webb. He was the first of three children, older brother of Delma Hofer and Margarie Dollard.
Earl was actively involved in the Golden Challenge Campaign, which resulted in the construction of the Millsap Headquarters Building in 1977, and the Project PITCH Campaign. He was an original inductee into the Society of the Seventeen. Survivors include two sons, Earl A. Webb, Jr., and wife Priscilla, and R. Michael Webb, one daughter, Vicki Maree and husband Dr. Daniel Svedarsky, one sister, Delma Hofer, seven grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren.
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Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity P. O. Box 54 Warrensburg, MO 64093-0054
Sigma Tau Gamma Foundation, Inc.
2009 Chain of Honor Annual Fund supporting the educational programs of
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MISSION The mission of the Sigma Tau Gamma Foundation is to support the Scholarship, Leadership and Citizenship programs of Sigma Tau Gamma through the charitable gifts of our alumni members and friends. Donations are fully deductible for income tax purposes. The Foundation’s annual fund income for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009 was $138,500. With those funds, and revenues from its investments, the Foundation provided $137,320 in grants. Programs funded by the Foundation include: • Academy of Principled Leaders – Benefit: new chapter presidents receive three days of intensive leadership training. • Scholarship Recognition – Benefit: member retention by encouraging academic success. • Academic & Leadership Program Scholarships – Benefit: grants support members who seek to advance their own skills. • Recruitment Reloaded – Benefit: teach recruitment skills in each chapter. • Leadership Consultants – Benefit: chapter programs evaluation and consultation for each chapter. • SAGA of Sigma Tau Gamma / Sigma Tau Gamma Website – Benefit: primary communication links.