As 2016 comes to a close, the Grand Council would like to take a few moments to look back on the past year as well as look forward to the year ahead of us. The Grand Council and Executive Office staff have been busy this year working in service to our undergraduates and alumni across North America. Here are some highlights from the past twelve months:
- In 2016, Sigma Pi re-chartered Epsilon-Chi Chapter at the University of San Diego and Beta-Kappa Chapter at Arizona State University while chartering the new Iota-Upsilon Chapter at Stockton University. Combined, these three chapters brought 170 new members to our brotherhood, but more importantly – these charterings laid the groundwork for Sigma Pi Fraternity to grow and thrive at these three institutions.
- When their host institutions unjustly persecuted several of our chapters, the Grand Council and Executive Office backed our brothers and allowed for them to be recognized as independent chapters. Though this is a status granted in only the rarest of circumstances, we believe it is important to support our brothers when they are disproportionately singled out by overzealous administrators because of their affiliation as Greeks or the actions of a few bad actors. Thankfully, this is an uncommon occurrence as Sigma Pi Fraternity continues to enjoy deep and mutually beneficial relationships with our host institutions across North America.
- Several membership assessments were circulated so our members could have a stronger voice in shaping the fraternity’s immediate and long-term paths to success. The alumni assessment received over 2,000 responses and resulted in just about 200 new alumni raising their hands to volunteer to help strengthen Sigma Pi Fraternity!
- The fraternity’s committee system and governance structure are being thoroughly reviewed to ensure maximum flexibility. Our fraternity needs to be able to adapt and change its approach based on an evolving environment. This flexibility needs to apply to both our internal governance and our external relationships.
- Recently, the process of rebuilding our financial strength took its first significant step as $50,000 was placed into reserves. Though there is a long way to go to bring our reserves back to where they were just a few years ago, the Grand Council and Executive Office are committed to operating as cost effectively and efficiently as possible.
- The entire Grand Council and Executive Office staff eagerly contributed to the Sigma Pi Educational Foundation’s annual Jacobsen Campaign in October. This campaign raised nearly 40% more than last year’s campaign in recognition of Sigma Pi Fraternity’s first Executive Director Harold Jacobsen and his amazing 36-year term in office.
In addition, while we reflect on our brotherhood and the bonds that make us strong, we should remember that Sigma Pi Fraternity includes members from different economic backgrounds, ethnicities, religions, and other distinctions. However, the values embedded in our Creed are universal and bring us all together as kindred minds united in brotherhood. During the coming year, let us remember to do our best to live by the values in the Creed in our daily lives.
Grand Sage Steve Lawler
and the Grand Council of Sigma Pi Fraternity