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of Sigma Tau Gamma


Summer 2010



R eflections Dateline: The SAGA - Summer 1970 The Summer 1970 issue of the SAGA was the Golden Anniversary Issue that saluted the “seventeen” who founded the Fraternity. Part of the story of the founding in the summer of 1920 is told here.




When many of the founders returned to the Warrensburg campus after the war, those who lived at 101 Ming began to talk of the need for an organization which would cut across the boundaries imposed by the literary societies, in which many of them belonged. Allen Nieman sensed almost immediately the desire on the part of his fellow students for a fraternal organization in the truest sense. He and William Billings had become familiar with fraternities while they were at William Jewell and knew something of the benefits to be derived from closely-knit organizations. Indeed, if the development of such a fraternity became his goal, according to C. Edward Hoffman, “he was the man ideally suited to initiate and implement” the plan. His outgoing personality, crusading zeal and organizational ability were personal ingredients necessary to accomplish his aim. “Bull sessions” was the term for late evening discussions in 1920 and they were held nightly on the front porch at 101 Ming and on the stone wall, which was at the bottom of the sloping lawn on the corner. “What days those were!” recalls Frank Gorman. “As we discussed the possibilities of making such fraternal feelings as existed there among us a cherished experience of many others through the catalytic influence of a fraternity, I am sure that none of us dreamed that we would witness the present development of Sigma Tau Gamma.”

Volume 81 • Issue 3 (475-360) • Summer 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 Fall 2010 – August 15, 2010 Assistant Editor: Cara Mahon Winter 2011 – November 15, 2010 Designer: Gail Greble Spring 2011 – February 15, 2011 Editor Emeritus: Robert E. Bernier Summer 2011 - May 15, 2011 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:

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: Phone: 660-747-2222 FAX: 660-747-9599 Mail: P. O. Box 54 Warrensburg, MO 64093-0054 PLEASE VISIT SIGMA TAU GAMMA ONLINE AT: 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. 2

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Ma Trotter's house at 101 Ming, the founding place of Sigma Tau Gamma.

Foundation News Since the beginning of this calendar year, your Sigma Tau Gamma Foundation has sponsored major programs, attracted new undergraduate donors, and made some changes to better manage its investment portfolio.

We look forward to continuing to support the programs of our Fraternity and explore ways to encourage new ideas, which will keep Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity at the forefront among the larger fraternity community.

Michael D. Schermer, President Sigma Tau Gamma Foundation


Reflections________________________ 2 Foundation News_ _________________ 3 Grand Chapter Golf Tournament _____ 3 Chapter News____________________4-5 Eble Endowment Advances Phi Chapter___________________ 5-6 Alumni News_ _________________ 12-13 Chapter Eternal_ _________________ 15

On the Cover:

The Earl A. Webb Path of Principles Stole from the archives of Sigma Tau Gamma.

Grand Chapter Golf Tournament

While attending the 44th Grand Chapter in Cleveland, OH, take some time out to play golf in the Grand Chapter Golf Tournament hosted by the Beta Upsilon Alumni Association on Thursday, August 5 at Astorhurst Country Club in Walton Hills, OH. Everyone is invited to play the course that is set in the beautiful U.S National Park System. Golf fees are only $55 and include cart and lunch. Checks can be mailed to Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity, PO Box 6521, Cleveland, OH 44101.


After many years of contemplation, the Trustees of the Foundation have engaged the services of a financial services firm to manage our financial assets. This dramatic change in financial management allows us to engage professional services to better take advantage of changing market conditions so as to optimize the dollars the Foundation receives from our alumni, undergraduates and friends who believe in the mission of the Fraternity. We are most grateful for those who support our future with time, treasure and talent. The Foundation has now taken steps to maximize our financial investments.

Path of Priniciples Program _______ 7-11 Five Sig Taus Attend UIFI__________ 13 Connecting with Sig Taus from All Generations_________________ 14 Offical Grand Chapter Ballot Box____ 15


Beginning with those Chapter Presidents attending the Academy, we have seen our undergraduate Brothers step forward to make a financial commitment to our future by becoming Collegiate Sustaining Members of the Wilson C. Morris Fellowship. The enthusiasm exhibited by the Presidents in January continued into the regional conclaves held in the weeks following the Academy. We are so proud of these undergraduate Brothers who have been inspired to share in the Wilson C. Morris Fellowship by making an initial contribution of $100 and agreeing to pay the balance due after graduation which will enable them to become full members in the Fellowship!



We have been proud to again provide the financial support for our premier program, the Earl A. Webb Academy of Principled Leaders. As you know, this program allows our newly elected Chapter Presidents the opportunity to come together at the birthplace of Sigma Tau Gamma in Warrensburg, MO. In spite of frigid temperatures, the strength of the Brotherhood between our presidents provided a warm and enthusiastic experience for all. This year was unique in several ways. This was the first time the Academy was conducted with its new name honoring “Mr. Sig Tau”, Earl A. Webb, for his continued support and active involvement in this event. During the Academy, our Chapter Presidents come together to learn from and about each other, gain skills to better manage our chapter organizations, and to be inspired to excel by learning new tools and seeing the many artifacts of the Fraternity on display at the Marvin Millsap Headquarters Building.

Volume 81 • Issue 3 (475-360) • Summer 2010

For more information contact:

Dave Rushton: 216-875-9930 216-392-8147

Paul Mueller: 4 19-824-9821 419-343-2331 Summer ‘10 saga


Chapter News Beta Gamma (Youngstown State University) As part of their Greek Week festivities, the Beta Gamma Chapter helped to “Stuff the Bus” for needy children. A total of 16 bags of toys, clothes and games were provided to the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley for distribution as part of the University’s United Way Campaign. Brothers T.J. Cotterman and Greg Gulas were instrumental in this campaign, helping to surpass the goal of collecting $45,000. Pictured at left are members of Youngstown State’s Greek life and representatives of the United Way.


The Beta Gamma brothers also worked very hard on their grades last semester, receiving a 3.23 GPA, which was the highest of any fraternity or sorority on campus and well above the Average Fraternity GPA, which was a 2.64.

Delta Upsilon (Penn State Erie – The Behrend College) The Brothers of Delta Upsilon received many awards and honors as they finished up their school year. Five members were selected for Order of Omega, including: Nick Andreone, Josh Corcoran, Dan Klanica, Marc Mancini and Ben Smith.



Matt Connolly was elected as Director of Special Events to the Interfraternity Council for Spring 2010 and the entire 2010-11 school year. Connolly also attended NIC’s IFC Academy and received the Emerging Leader award at Penn State Behrend’s Greek Awards.

Beta K appa (University of Wisconsin - L a Crosse) Pictured above are three of the twelve Beta Kappa brothers who participated in a St. Baldricks event in which they had their heads shaved in exchange for donations that go towards childhood cancer research. Many other Beta Kappa brothers donated funds and came to show their support by cheering on their fellow brothers.

Beta Upsilon (Cleveland State University) Daniel Sheehan of the Beta Upsilon Chapter was nominated and won Greek Man of the Year at Cleveland State University. The Greek Man of the Year is awarded to someone who all around works hard in academics, Greek life and for their fraternity. “I was very honored to even be considered for this award,” said Sheehan. “It was very humbling.” Sheehan is the Treasurer for the Cleveland State Greek Council and for two years has been head chair for Beta Upsilon’s White Rose Committee. “I’ve just tried to do the best job I can for Greek life and our fraternity,” added Sheehan.

Nine members of Delta Upsilon were named to the Greek Honor Roll for 2009, which indicates their success of above a 3.0 cumulative grade point average. These members include: Nicholas Andreone, Christopher Dixon, Michael Johnson, Daniel Klanica, Marc Mancini, Baron McDonough, Ryan Meyer, Evan Parana and Anthony Trochtchenkov.

P hi (Southeastern Louisiana University) Three Phi Chapter brothers, Jordan Doucet, Forrest Guedry and Mark Mauer, made the Dean’s List at Southeastern Louisiana University this last semester. Forrest Guedry even had a perfect 4.0 GPA.

Epsilon L ambda (State University of New York – P lattsburgh) The Epsilon Lambda Chapter has been raising money for the “Books for Kids” campaign by hosting an annual bowl-a-thon. However, this year they wanted to do more by helping their local community. They raised funds by hosting a table in the Angell College Center on their campus and they “stormed the dorms” to gather donations. They also hosted the inaugural SigTauStock, a family-friendly event featuring live music. 4

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These efforts netted $750 and 50 books, all of which were donated to the Child Care Coordinating Council of the North Country for Journey into Reading, an early literacy program that sends volunteers to read to families in Plattsburgh’s mall every Thursday evening. Each child that attends gets to pick out a free book, after hearing a story or two. “It is our hope that the combined efforts of Sigma Tau Gamma and the Journey into Reading organization can help our community’s children to achieve reading success, and in so doing, give them the confidence they need to succeed in all of their educational endeavors,” said Epsilon Lambda Chapter President Jonathan Witherell. The Epsilon Lambda brothers plan to donate their time and volunteer to read to the children at the mall next year, in addition to donating funds.

The men of Epsilon Theta Chapter at their annual “Walk A Mile In Her Shoes,” a rape awareness prevention walk around the Plymouth State University campus that the brothers participate in each year.

With these needs in mind, Phi Chapter set aside $15,000 in a fund that will be used to provide professional recruitment training over a period of years. Discussions are currently underway with Phired Up Productions, an Indiana-based consulting company used by the national fraternity for expansion projects.

Brother Eble maintained his interest in Sigma Tau Gamma throughout his life. He inspired undergraduate and alumni members alike when he regularly attended Bernard E. (Ben) Eble, WCMF, Phi ’39 visits with Tyler Vial, Phi significant Phi Chapter ’07, the first recipient of the Eble Scholarship Award at the events. He was also an Chapter’s 2007 White Rose Formal. Ben Eble, who died in 2009, honored participant at four was 93 years of age at the time. Sigma Tau Gamma Grand Chapter meetings held in New Orleans in 1972, 1982, 1992, Phi Chapter is investing the remaining $35,000 to endow and 2002. At the 50th Anniversary White Rose in 1989, Brother scholarships. Those funds have been placed in the Phi Chapter Eble’s lovely bride Esther was named Honorary White Rose of Heritage Fund at the Sigma Tau Gamma Foundation, Inc. Phi Chapter. In 2008 Phi Chapter undergraduates set an example of In April 2010, Brother Eble’s son, Bernard E. Eble, Jr., informed visionary leadership by donating $5,000 to the Phi Chapter Phi Chapter that his dad had left a $50,000 bequest to the Heritage Fund. The money came from many hours of work at a Fraternity in hopes that it would help to advance Phi Chapter charity bingo event. The Sigma Tau Gamma Foundation, Inc., and ensure its long-term success.


Undergraduate and alumni members of Phi Chapter met at Phi Chapter’s regular weekly meetings to plan the use of Brother Eble’s generous gift. Brother Eble left no restrictions. Two needs emerged as the most important: recruitment and scholarship.

The late Bernard E. (Ben) Eble, WCMF, Phi ’39, (Southeastern Louisiana) was the revered founder of Phi Chapter. He was president of Sigma Lambda Chi, the petitioning society that joined Sigma Tau Gamma national fraternity in 1939. That same year he was also Student Body President at Southeastern.


Eble Endowment Advances Phi Chapter


Epsilon Theta (P lymouth State University) Summer ‘10 saga


matched that investment with $5,000 through the George Gunn Challenge Grant program. With the addition of the $35,000 Eble bequest, the undergraduate chapter has been directly involved in growing the Phi Chapter Heritage Fund by $45,000. That is a great testimony to its collegiate leadership.




Phi Chapter alumni Tom Morgan, Phi ’85, Cameron Barr, Phi ’69, David Danel, Phi ’85, Dale Denicola, Phi Hon., and Dwayne Judice, Phi ’91, and friend Ivylle Blomquist, widow of C. Adrian Blomquist, Phi ’41, donated an additional $15,150. Presently, there are four scholarships offered through the Phi Heritage Fund in the Sigma Tau Gamma National Foundation: Bernard E. Eble Chapter Leadership Scholarship, C. Adrian Blomquist Academic  Scholarship, Sigma Lambda Chi Academic Scholarship and Christopher J. Mauer Fraternity Leadership Scholarship. The Blomquist and Eble scholarships were established in 2006 and the Mauer and Sigma Lambda Chi scholarships in 2008. The Eble scholarship is awarded each year to the outgoing Chapter President in the Spring following and upon the successful completion of his full term in office the previous year. Brother Eble at age 93 presented the scholarship named in his honor for its first time at the Founders Day Banquet in 2007 with the words “I hope these good memories last for you as long as they have for me.” The Blomquist and Sigma Lambda Chi scholarships are awarded each semester to the collegiate and associate members who make the Dean’s list. It honors the first President of Phi Chapter in 1939-40. The widow of Brother Blomquist was so moved that Sig Tau named a scholarship in his honor that she contributed $1,000 toward it herself. The Mauer scholarship is awarded to collegiate members who attend Regional or National Meetings of Sigma Tau Gamma. It honors the late Christopher Mauer, Phi ’91, who was the 34th National President, 1991 Ellsworth C. Dent National Man-of-the-Year and 1990 President of Phi Chapter. Chris’ greatest desire was for his guys and all the Brothers from around the country to attend these meetings and get the full Sig Tau experience. To date there have been 47 Blomquist, four Sigma Lambda Chi and five Eble scholarships awarded for a total amount given of $5,600. There were 16 Blomquist Dean’s list scholarships for 2008 and 14 in 2009. The strategy is to offer more scholarships, but smaller in amount, in order to generate interest in the program. As the endowment grows, larger amounts can be given in the future. The academic recognition has been successful

to the point of pulling the chapter from the bottom ranks in grades, and even probation, to now being tops on campus for several semesters. Tom Morgan, PMF, Phi ‘85, spearheaded the Phi Chapter scholarship effort. He is a former Trustee of the Sigma Tau Gamma Foundation and now serves on the Fraternity Board of Directors. Morgan said he finds that Phi alumni are more willing to make contributions to the Chapter’s Heritage Fund because it directly benefits the local chapter and there is some local control over how the money is used. He has been joined in the effort by key alumni, including Cameron Barr, Phi ‘69, (a former Foundation Trustee), David Danel, Phi ‘84, (Phi Alumni Association President) and Philip Jeanfreau, Phi ‘95, (Southern Regional Vice President.) Said Barr of the scholarship program; “This is an investment in the future of Phi Chapter. The scholarships are being named after founding and significant leaders of the chapter so that the undergraduate members get a sense of their 71 year history in the Fraternity and at the university.” Brother Danel is also a former SLU alumni association president and a former president of the Hammond, LA Chamber of Commerce. He observed: “Phi chapter has an important place both in this community and this university, and we want our undergraduates to appreciate that fact.” Brother Morgan has announced plans to campaign for an additional $15,000 in gifts to the Phi Chapter Heritage Fund. He will take advantage of the support of the Headquarters staff, which is available to all alumni associations, to conduct the campaign. The Phi Chapter Alumni Association has pledged to match the $15,000 and an alumnus has offered an additional $10,000 match. If successful, this campaign will add $40,000 to the Phi Chapter Heritage Fund. Parents and alumni joined Phi Chapter undergraduate members and their dates at the 2010 White Rose Formal when the Phi Chapter Heritage Fund sponsored scholarships were presented. Stephen J. Ivanyisky, III received the $100 Bernard E. Eble Leadership Scholarship. Recipients of the $100 C. Adrian Blomquist Academic Scholarship for Spring 2009 are Drake L. Arnone, Jordan L. Doucet, Paul D. Gaffney, Forrest E. Guedry, Blaise J. Heider, Adam P. Lind, Mark K. Mauer, Jr. and John D. Wild. Recipients of the $100 C. Adrian Blomquist Academic Scholarship for Fall 2009 are Thomas S. Danel, Jordan L. Doucet, Stephen J. Ivanyisky, III, Adam P. Lind, John D. Wild and Joseph J. Wong. 6

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The Lifelong Member Development Program of

By William P. Bernier, CAE, Iota ‘71

In the lobby of the Marvin Millsap Headquarters Building there is a display case. It covers the entire north wall, floor to ceiling. Founder Emmett Ellis’ Underwood typewriter is prominently displayed. He used it to correspond with Sigma Tau Gamma brothers for more than forty years. It is one of those tall black metal models. It is heavy. The frame is like a skeleton. The connecting pin to every key is visible. In fact every mechanical component is visible. This is a purely mechanical device. It relies on the human power of the operator to transfer an ink impression of one of its letters to paper.


on our


Near Emmett Ellis’ typewriter is a book called This Is Your Life. It is the 1954 version of what was then our pledge manual. In it you will find instruction on the Greek Alphabet, the Constitution and Laws of Sigma Tau Gamma, and brief historical notes. You will not find the Principles. It would be another decade until the Principles came into existence. The manual This Is Your Life, like Emmett Ellis’ typewriter, was useful in its time. It is less than useful now. Today our chapters are using Internet connected computers to conduct business, not manual typewriters. Similarly, we expect our chapters to conduct programs appropriate for the twenty-first century. In Sigma Tau Gamma that program is the Path of Principles. The Path of Principles program content will be familiar to most alumni members because it builds upon rather than departs from earlier programs. Many of us recall the A Chain of Honor membership manual. Edited by Keith C. Dinsmore, Beta ’65, and first published in 1969, A Chain of Honor signaled an important step beyond the This Is Your Life pledge manual. First and foremost it was intended to be a membership manual, rather than a pledge manual. A Chain of Honor also introduced the Principles of Sigma Tau Gamma to all members. It featured an expanded history, descriptions of our programs and awards, instruction on our chapter management program, and our Creed as well as our Constitution, Laws and policies. Use of the A Chain of Honor membership manual was nearly universal in our chapters. However, the program context in which it was used was invented at the chapter level. Often these pledge programs were positive or at least largely positive. Unfortunately, nearly as often A Chain of Honor was used in programs that were not positive.

Vision 2010 As the 20th century closed, our Sigma Tau Gamma Foundation commissioned research to study the nature of the students who would fill our chapters at the dawn of the third millennium. It was a survey and analysis of the publications of the leading higher education researchers of the time. Dr. Tracy L. Davis, Delta Lambda ’86, a professor of higher education at Western Illinois University, led our research team. The resulting publication, Vision 2010, was so illuminating that it became widely used by fraternities, sororities and campus Greek affairs officials. The NIC (North-American Interfraternity Conference) republished Vision 2010 with our permission, so that it would be universally available. Vision 2010 attempted to predict common characteristics of the “millennial generation” of college students. Now that we are in 2010, we can directly observe that many Vision 2010 predictions were spot on. Summer ‘10 saga


Characteristics of M illennials Students today are very focused on scholarship and career goals. For good reason they do not assume that a college degree is an automatic ticket to lifetime financial security. They value good conduct, teamwork, and social service. Their parents are heavily involved in their lives, and they welcome that involvement. The Vision 2010 study did not predict the impact of electronic social media on the lives of Millennials. We now know that their lives are an open book, regularly shared via Facebook and Twitter. Millennials value structure. Their collective youth experience is that of participation in organized activities – usually organized by parents.

P rogram Structure Our Millennial members are not seeking to have mom and dad run their fraternity chapter. However, they do expect structure. In the past, our Fraternity relied upon upper classmen to convey programming structure to younger members. We know that this was not a reliable process. It became less so as seniors moved out of our houses and into private apartments.

The Path of Principles program addresses this problem. It takes our traditional teachings and inserts them into a structure that can be replicated on many campuses. It is not a “pledge program.” But, it begins with an eight-week program of activities that quickly involves a new member in our Fraternity. Each new member receives the Path of Principles Member Record. This new manual is a workbook. With it a new member immediately begins to practice membership. It is structured practice. With it the new member learns the skills he will need to be successful in his academic as well as fraternal experience.

The P rinciples While the program details may be new to many alumni, the program philosophy is not. As the program name declares, it is built around the six Principles with which we are all familiar. Each program activity is focused on practicing one of our Principles. For example, in the first week the new member writes his own personal academic success goals on page 15 of the Path of Principles Member Record. He identifies behaviors that may hinder his academic performance. And, he decides what he can do to overcome these obstacles. Throughout his associate member experience he will return to these goals weekly and track how well he is doing. Thus, he is not 8

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just reading about the Principle of Learning. He is taking action – practicing the skills that lead to academic success.

Not a P ledge P rogram Importantly, the Path of Principles program is not a pledge program. Because the first eight weeks focus on assimilating new members – associates – it is tempting to think of it as a pledge program. That would be a mistake. One problem with pledge programs is that the learning stops at initiation. None of us believe that an 18-year old student can learn everything he needs to know about Sigma Tau Gamma in a few weeks. Yet, until the Path of Principles Program we had no structured process of continuing fraternal education after initiation. With the Path of Principles program we give ourselves that structure. In order to motivate continued learning, the program features post initiation recognition levels. Consistent with the first eight weeks, our learning comes from handson involvement, not classroom study. Our involvement is most intense during the college years. Yet, it need not end with graduation. The Path of Principles program offers involvement and recognition advancement through active alumni membership as well.

R itual Ritual is a traditional way to impart the values of fraternal order to its new members. It is a tradition maintained in the Path of Principles program. Recruits begin to learn the values of Sigma Tau Gamma in the Associate Member ritual soon after they join. After four intensive program weeks, the Associate is fully initiated as a new member. He experiences the first, second and third degree rituals. He is a voting and fully responsible member of Sigma Tau Gamma. Yes, it is quick. But, the new member is ready. Yet the new member is just half way through the intensive eight-week program of assimilation. The next four weeks involve the practice of being a responsible member. He is given leadership responsibilities directly with his chapter, rather than abstractly with his associate class. At the conclusion of this second four-week period he is conducted through the new fourth degree ritual. Now, as a fourth degree member – a Leader Member – he is eligible to hold an elective office and participate in conducting ritual. During the fourth degree he receives his ritual stole. The stole, like the badge received in the third degree, is a life-long symbol of membership. The stole replaces the ritual robes. Rather than just a few brothers wearing the ritual robes, every brother wears Summer ‘10 saga


the stole. And, we avoid the problems of poorly maintained and expensive-to-replace ritual robes. Each member is responsible for the maintenance of his own stole. A brother may also display his pride of membership by wearing the stole during commencement ceremonies. The ritual stole is also the garment upon which a member displays his Path of Principles advancement. There are sixteen levels. A chevron is earned at levels 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, and 16. A brother must earn one point in each of the six Principles categories to advance one level. Advancement continues into the alumni years. A brother at level 16 is eligible for election into the Society of the Seventeen, which commemorates our 17 founders.

A L ifelong Journey By Addison Schopp, Beta ‘08 In the Fourth Degree of Initiation we describe the Path of Principles as a lifelong journey. When one embraces the Principle of Learning fully, he acknowledges that there can never be a time to stop growing wiser. For that reason, the Path of Principles encourages our members to remain involved and active from association until Chapter Eternal. The Ritual Stole is a solemn garment unlike any other. It is not simply dressing or flair. Its chevrons encourage the member, collegiate and alumni, to continue along the Path of Principles as we journey toward manhood, brotherhood, and citizenship. A member earns chevrons 10

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and advances in title by dedicating himself to each Principle in a given semester (collegiate) or year (alumnus). He may, for example, gain a point for the Principle of Learning by maintaining a high GPA. An alumnus may earn a Principle of Benefit point for serving as a Chapter Advisor, District Director or Regional Vice President. Once a member has gained six points he advances one level and may style his name with a new title; for example, Brother Senior, Brother Advisor, or Brother Commander. The chevrons and titles are not presented to “rank” members or indicate that some are more important or better than others. Rather, the chevrons are a means to recognize our members that have given much to Sigma Tau Gamma. They also serve as a challenge to our members to continue giving back to the Fraternity, year after year. Members that have completed the Fourth Degree of Initiation wear the stole during Rituals. There are 17 levels in the Path of Principles and a chevron awarded every other level with eight chevrons possible, representing the first 16 levels of the program. The 17th level is reserved only for members of the Society of Seventeen, in the image of our founders.

A Defense By Jeff Russo, Delta Xi ’88, 35th National President

There is great benefit to developing the Sigma Tau Gamma brand as “the guys that go to nursing homes as part of their initiation,” etc., to allow us to develop a national identity that becomes part of our “hedgehog concept.” (I’d hire the undergraduate who understands this one.)

That unless you tell undergraduates to make their initiates a full breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, juice and coffee, some will put out boxes of cereal and make the A P romise neophytes get their own. Associate members sign an agreement not dissimilar to that which we signed when joining Sigma Tau Gamma. That a common experience allows us to first control, then measure, then Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity continuously improve the quality of initiation as a program integral to the PATH OF PRINCIPLES Sigma Tau Gamma experience.


I do hereby attest that I will follow the Path of Principles program as described in the member record and manual. I will strive to achieve all goals that are set forth for me in this manual and participate in all associate class activities (except when my absence is excused). Upon my initiation as a member of Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity, I will complete the second four-week portion of the program then pursue the subsequent 16 levels of the Path of Principles to the best of my ability. I have read and understand the Constitution, Laws And Policies of Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity, particularly the Risk Management Policy (pg. 71). I accept the obligation to report any violations of the Risk Management Policy, especially hazing to Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity headquarters. I have read and understand the Code of Conduct of Sigma Tau Gamma (pg. 112) and will strive to live a life rooted in the Principles of our fraternity.

That undergraduates, in general, don’t have much experience in planning these sorts of events by themselves, so a “cookbook,” stepby-step, hour-by-hour approach is presented to maximize the chance for success - that things will actually go according to plan. That this and the McCune program are not meant as an insult to the intelligence of our chapter officers, but rather a much-needed way of getting all Sig Taus singing from the same songbook. They may see a stifling, strict adherence to written program (i.e., intramurals in the McCune Metrics) whereas I see the basis of excellence through control, measurement and improvement.

Having spent the weekend with the Learn more about the Path of Principles Program at undergraduates and hearing some If you are not registered resistance to the Path of Principles on our website, please take a few minutes to register A Testimonial program, I believe I can offer so that all features of the website are available to you. By Nathaniel Dixon, Beta Iota ‘12 some input to increase the level of Nate Dixon is immediate past acceptance. As alumni volunteer Chapter President of the Beta Iota provisional chapter at California leaders we are called upon to answer questions about not only the University of Pennsylvania. He appreciates the Path of Principles program content but also the underlying “feel.” Program because of its organization. Perhaps as a member of the Board of Directors, I see some things that “I like how the Path of Principles has a lot of goal setting, because it the average brother does not. Namely: can be really beneficial. It is outlined perfectly and there is no margin There is great benefit to having a common initiation weekend that for error. What you see is what you get. It is set up by the week and well enables members from different chapters to relate to common organized. It helped me to become a better leader, by teaching me the experiences with each other. If half our chapters went to nursing structure of things. Even now as I teach the Path of Principles to new homes and the other half went to elementary schools to read to kids members, I still continue to learn. You can learn something new every we’d lose this. time you pick up the manual.” Summer ‘10 saga


Alumni News

Delta Tau A lumni A ssociation (I ndiana State University)




On April 10, 2010, the Delta Tau Chapter celebrated their 20th Anniversary at their annual White Rose Formal in Indianapolis, IN. More than 70 alumni (including four of the chapter’s founding fathers), collegiate members and their dates came to commemorate the 20 years of Delta Tau history. The Delta Tau Alumni Association worked in collaboration with the Collegiate Chapter to organize the event. Mike VanCamp, ’07, Lew DiRuzza, ’10, and Mike Richmond, ‘12 were the co-chairmen of the event, which included dinner followed by presidential addresses by the Chapter and Alumni Association Presidents and an awards presentation. There was also a slide show that honored the chapter’s history, special presentations by Nicholas Koop ’09 and Lew DiRuzza ’10, and an honoring of the past presidents and founding fathers of the Delta Tau Chapter. Dr. Earl B. Kilpatrick, WCMF, Mu Hon (Southeastern Oklahoma State University), served Sigma Tau Gamma for more than 30 years as a highly revered and effective chapter advisor. On June 21, 2010, “Dr. K,” as he is affectionately known to generations of Mu Chapter brothers, celebrated his 90th birthday. Dr. Kilpatrick was honored with the Prof. Grubbs Distinguished Advisor Award at the 26th Grand Chapter in 1974 in Omaha, NE. This highest honor for Sigma Tau Gamma chapter advisors was given in tribute to Dr. Kilpatrick’s dedication, perseverance and effectiveness as an advisor. Dr. Kilpatrick has maintained an abiding faith in the values of Sigma Tau Gamma and in the character of its members. Jason Gomez, Gamma Pi '99 (Stephen F. Austin University), has been appointed Dean of the Earl A. Webb Academy of Principled Leaders for the upcoming biennium, including the 2011 and 2012 Academies. Gomez has previously served as Regional Vice President and Assistant Dean of the Webb Academy.

Gomez graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication-Journalism/Public Relations and then went on to receive a Master's Degree in Communication in 2001. He currently is the Director of Chapter Service for Delta Delta Delta, where he works to maintain positive relations with collegiate chapter officers, regional personnel, university administrators and Executive Board members. He serves as a development consultant to collegiate chapters through strategic planning and developing action plans for success and handles all aspects of risk management. During his college years, Gomez held the offices of Executive Vice President, Vice President of Finance and Judicial Board Chairman for Gamma Pi Chapter. Gomez actively volunteers with not only Sigma Tau Gamma, but also Beta Theta Pi Fraternity and the Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute. He has also been a campus professional, serving as a Greek advisor. Dr. Stanley Nnochirionye, Rho '79 (SUNY – Buffalo State College), was selected as Assistant Dean of the Academy of Principled Leaders. Dr. Stan received his B.A. in Radio/Television Broadcasting from SUNY - Buffalo State College. He then went on to receive both a Master's Degree in Broadcast Management and an Ed.S. in Educational Media from Indiana State University where he was instrumental in establishing the Delta Tau Chapter. Dr. Stan eventually earned his Ph.D. in Communication from The University of Oklahoma. Dr. Stan currently works as the Coordinator of Distance Education, ITV and Media Services and is an Assistant Professor of Communication at East Central University in Oklahoma. He has been a faculty and chapter advisor for the Tau Chapter for more than 17 years. Edward P. Ortleb, Alpha Beta ’54 (Harris-Stowe State University), was the first member of the National Science Teachers Association to receive the NSTA Distinguished Fellow Award. This award is given to a member who has made extraordinary contributions to science education through personal contributions to science teaching or science (he has done both); embarked on educational endeavors and wrote original work that positions the recipient as an exemplary leader; and has made significant contributions to the profession that reflect dedication to NSTA as well as the entire educational community. William F. Koch, Beta ’67 (Truman State University), retired June 30, 2010 as District Superintendent of the Mark Twain District of the United Methodist Church. Rev. Koch has been a career pastor since his graduation from St. Paul School of Theology in Kansas 12

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City in 1987. He served pastorates in Wellington, Springfield, Nixa, Cameron, and Sikeston, MO before being elevated to the District Superintendent post. Bill began his professional life as a teacher. He joined the Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity staff in 1970, serving for two years. He assisted with moving the headquarters from Webster Groves to Warrensburg, MO, in 1971. Bill also worked in sales, corporate training and construction prior to entering the seminary. Bill married Martha Acuff in 1971. They have three adult children and four grandchildren.

U. S. Senate Nominee

Brad Ellsworth, Gamma Phi ’80, (University of Southern Indiana) is the nominee of the Indiana Democratic Party for the U. S. Senate. Ellsworth is a second term U. S. Congressman serving the 8th district of Indiana. He received the Fraternity’s Distinguished Achievement Award at the Chris Mauer Grand Chapter, August 2, 2008.

Five Sig Taus Attend UIFI This summer, five brothers of Sigma Tau Gamma got the chance to experience Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute (UIFI). UIFI brings fraternity men and sorority women from across North America together to improve their leadership skills so they can positively change their chapters. “UIFI is a life changing experience,” said Nick Lavigne, SUNY - Plattsburgh. “Words cannot describe the positive impact it has made on me.” Lavigne, along with Adam Bradley and Chad Hackbarth (UW –La Crosse), Adam Rowe (Southeast Missouri State University), and Clark Douthit (Pittsburg State University) spent five days participating in challenging activities, followed by discussion and personal reflection. These team building and leadership exercises helped define their commitment to their fraternity and their personal awareness. “My favorite part was that it made me realize how special our creed is,” said Bradley. “If we would just follow what our founders wanted us to do, we would become the amazing men they were.”

Sessions focus on the positive aspects of fraternity life, but also center on areas that can be improved. Discussing ritual impacts many UIFI graduates and helps them to rethink what it means to be in a fraternity. “No matter what, no fraternity chapter is perfect,” noted Lavigne. “UIFI helps to bring out the change that is needed by focusing on your ritual, creed and values. It really helps you reestablish what you’re trying to do in your chapter.”


In 1982, Brad began his 24-year career in the Vanderburgh County Sheriff's office. He was twice decorated for heroism in the line of duty and graduated from the FBI National Academy. In 1998, Brad was elected Vanderburgh County Sheriff, where he completed two terms. He also served as President of the Indiana Sheriff's Association.


J.G. Spooner, Beta Upsilon ’02 (Cleveland State University), was the winner of five Wyoming Association of Broadcasters Awards at the 2010 WAB Awards Banquet that took place on June 19 in Sheridan, WY. The five awards were the most ever received by one broadcaster in a single year. J.G’s show, “The REALLY Big Show” was named best small market show in the state of Wyoming and was added to two other first place awards in the categories of Best Public Service and Best Commercial Campaign. J.G. also took home two second place awards for Best Small Market News Reporter and Best Station Promo.



In his parting message to parishioners in Kirksville, where he and Marti made their home while he served as District Superintendent, Bill reminded them of the five “Core Practices of Fruitful Congregations": Radical Hospitality, Passionate Worship, Intentional Faith Development, Risk-taking Mission and Service, and Extravagant Generosity. Bill and Marti plan to remain active in church development while traveling and sharing time with family. Their new home is on Lake Viking, near Gallatin, MO.


The institute challenges its graduates to take all they learned and create an “Action Plan” that will better their chapter for the future. Lavigne strongly recommends that everyone who has the opportunity to attend UIFI should take advantage of it. “It was an eye-opening experience,” added Lavigne. “It helped me find a new love and burning passion for fraternity.” The Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute, a program of the North-American Interfraternity Conference (, is a premier leadership experience for undergraduate fraternity men and women. It is focused on values-based, actionorientated education designed to advance collegiate chapters. Summer ‘10 saga



Connecting with Taus From All Generations

by Jeff Russo, Delta Xi '88, 35th National President




Recently, my work brought me to a small town in rural West Virginia, where I had the opportunity to visit a Venezuelan (yes, that's right) restaurant. The husband is American, his wife is from Venezuela and her mother periodically visits from the homeland. Her English is almost non-existent. As I was in the restaurant one night for dinner, the place was full of twenty and young thirty-somethings who had come to see a folk band. The mother-in-law was sitting there all alone, presumably for two reasons - age and language. I made it a point to approach her and make small talk with her for about twenty minutes. As I spoke, everyone around us listened, and afterwards, a few asked me what we were talking about. One said that she had taken a Spanish class; a waiter said that he was trying to learn, and as I stood there and assisted, they tried to say a few words to the mother-in-law. Though clumsy, we had a fun conversation for about thirty minutes. Good stuff. Then, a similar situation in Cancun, but a little different: Four of my co-workers and I invited the housekeeping and maintenance staff out for drinks as a way of saying thankyou for attending to our every need for four days. At a local restaurant, the conversation rolled for three hours, despite the language barrier, and I performed little, if any, interpretation. The difference? Distinct groupings of the same generations: three groupings of Mexicans and Americans: early twenties, mid-thirties or so, and mid-forties. With age group peers present, the language barrier was easily overcome. Rigorous science? No way. But, I'm constantly reminded of the sixty-five year-old Venezuelan woman in the restaurant bar, and how at least two people had something to say to her, but couldn't do it until enabled by someone who was "halfway" between them, both language and in age. Yet, among the group of us in Cancun, the only enabler necessary was at least one age group peer. The conclusion to this tiny body of research? First, that I should thank my wife (who's Colombian) for exposing me to the cultural custom by which young people socialize with their elders; second, that in some circumstances, the generational

divide is wider than a language gap; and third, that there's a really good opportunity for the fraternity system to carve out a piece of territory and deliver a service to society that's often forgotten: providing social interaction across generations. Great thought, but what does this take? How about a barbeque at a clean fraternity house with old composite photos, old scrapbooks, pictures, trophies and plaques? That's a good place to start. A babysitter with activities to entertain the kids while Mom and Dad socialize? (see "happiness,” “parental" and "donations, likely causes of") Very impressive. But if we want the "X-factor,” that intangible, necessary ingredient that sends things over the top, I think we might consider a few interpreters. We need young alumni who, by example, can show our undergraduate members what to lead with, what topics to talk about, what questions to ask, etc., when talking to older generations, and in the same fashion, put the fraternity chapter's activities in terms that are meaningful to alumni who haven't been in college for a number of years. Extended families used to teach this sort of thing; mobility and the modern job market have taken this away. Fraternities can take up this slack in society. I remember first seeing this as an undergraduate from my mentor, Tom Janicki, at the Grand Chapter banquet in Pittsburgh, PA, in 1988. He and I were seated at one of the round tables near the front of the room with several of the elders of the fraternity and their spouses (mind you, to a twenty-two year old, an elder is anyone over forty.) He conversed with ease towards all, "bridging the gap" so to speak, and made a real impression on me, both of his social skills and the necessity for me to learn to do the same. So next time you're at an alumni event, quickly close your eyes and imagine yourself in some sort of Twilight Zone where you don't speak the language and where everyone is two generations away from you. Then open your eyes and look around you, and how much better this reality is. Look at your fraternity brothers, young and old. Think about how lucky you are to have this opportunity, to have something in common, across the generational divide. Think about how those boundaries vanish in a good fraternal environment. Think about being a Sig Tau for Life. 14

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Official Grand Chapter Ballot Box President Jeff Russo, EMF, Delta Xi ’88 (Carnegie Mellon University), expressed appreciation to Brother Heiman on behalf of the Board. Russo noted, “John is an artisan who generously shared the product of his talent with our brotherhood. This ballot box adds a measure of dignity to our proceedings and will forever be a treasured archive of the Grand Chapter in the tradition of the Official Grand Chapter Gavel.”

Founder Glen Parsons made the Official Grand Chapter Gavel and Strike Plate in 1970 for the Golden Anniversary Grand Chapter. Parsons used wood from a 19th century desk salvaged from a Missouri Pacific RR caboose. The gavel comes out of the display case in the Marvin Millsap Headquarters Building once every other year for use at the Grand Chapter meeting. Now, it will be joined in that place of honor by the Official Grand Chapter Ballot Box.


At the Grand Chapter delegates will cast their ballots for the election of the Board of Directors by placing them in the locked ballot box. The Election Commission will then remove the box to a secure room, count the ballots and report to the House of Delegates.


“I wanted the construction of the ballot box to reflect the arts and crafts style of the early 20th century when Sigma Tau Gamma was founded,” said Heiman. “That is why I used quarter-sawn oak and brass.” The materials were difficult to find and expensive. Quartersawn oak is rare these days. After much searching, Heiman found the brass slot for the top of the box from a gambling machine supply house in Nevada.


The archives of Sigma Tau Gamma now include the Official Grand Chapter Ballot Box. The Fraternity’s Board of Directors commissioned the ballot box at their April 2010 meeting. Past President John Heiman, DMF, Alpha ’84 (University of Central Missouri) handcrafted the ballot box from quarter-sawn oak and brass. He donated it to the Fraternity in June. Its first use will be at the 90th Anniversary Grand Chapter, August 5-8, 2010 in Cleveland, OH.

Chapter Eternal Dustin Blackwell, Beta Zeta ’11, joined the Chapter Eternal June 7, 2010. He was a biology major at the University of Central Oklahoma and a recipient of the Roskens Scholastic Achievement Award. Donald E. Grigg, Alpha Epsilon ’65, joined the Chapter Eternal on May 6, 2010. Brother Grigg was born on Feb. 1, 1939. He served in the Marine Corps from 1960-1963. He graduated from Henderson State University and received his commission into the U.S. Army in 1965 where he served two tours in Vietnam. Don was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, two Purple Hearts and

the Combat Infantry Badge. He was medically retired as a Captain in 1968. He went on to work as Executive Director of the Vietnam Veterans Leadership Program, Staff Assistant for Military and Veteran Affairs for Congressman Jay Dickey and Senior Aide for Military and Veteran Affairs for Congressman Mike Ross. He was also on the Arkansas Vietnam Veterans Memorial Committee. Brother Grigg is survived by his wife, Lisa Anne Grigg; son, Grant Grigg; daughter, Danielle Pinney; and two grandchildren, Sam and Anna Marie. He was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. Summer ‘10 saga


Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity P. O. Box 54 Warrensburg, MO 64093-0054

Sigma Tau Gamma Foundation, Inc.

2010 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.

The SAGA - Summer 2010  
The SAGA - Summer 2010  

The Summer 2010 edition of the SAGA of Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity