The Emerald of Sigma Pi Fraternity https://theemerald.org A Quest for Excellence Tue, 24 Jul 2018 19:48:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 83896150 Founders’ Award Recipient: PGS John Williams https://theemerald.org/2018/07/13/founders-award-recipient-pgs-john-williams/ Fri, 13 Jul 2018 14:50:00 +0000 http://theemerald.org/?p=2693 Past Grand Sage John Williams (Widener ‘85) is set to receive the Founders’ Award, the highest honor within Sigma Pi, at the 54th Biennial Convocation held in Niagara Falls, NY.

The Founders’ Award is strictly reserved for the most exemplary members of our organization for their contributions within their profession, their community, the Fraternity, or other field of endeavor, including “service to God and Man.”

PGS Williams received a Bachelor of Arts from Rider University and went on to earn his Juris Doctorate from Widener University School of Law and has since become a prominent lawyer with a successful private practice in Delaware. His practice regularly employs undergraduate Sigma Pi brothers as law clerks and many go on to become lawyers; he even has the privilege of practicing law with several Sigma Pi attorneys.

During his time in college. PGS Williams joined a Fraternity, Phi Sigma Epsilon which merged with Phi Sigma Kappa in 1982. Upon finding this out, PGS E. Andrew Morris (Murray State ’70) informed PGS Williams that he could either pay $50 to become a member of Phi Sigma Kappa or be initiated into Sigma Pi. PGS Williams began his quest for excellence with Sigma Pi when he was initiated as an alumnus in 1985 and since being initiated, PGS Williams has dedicated his life to the Fraternity.

He has been an active volunteer as Chapter Director of Widener University in 1983-2002, Ursinus College in 2005-2010, St. Joseph’s University in 2005-2012, University of Delaware in 2006-2017, and Salisbury University since 2017. He has served as the Mid-Atlantic Province Archon since 1983.

PGS Williams was elected to the office of Grand First Counselor in 1988, 1994, and 1996. He was elected Grand Third Counselor in 1998, Grand Second Counselor in 2000, Grand Sage in 2002, and Past Grand Sage in 2004. He also served as Trustee for Educational Foundation from 2002-2006.

“When I think of the person John is, that is someone that I hope to be some day,” said Christopher Pucchio (Saint Joseph’s ’14), who worked very closely with PGS Williams as an undergraduate. “I think very highly of him and look up to him as one of my biggest role models. The way he carries himself is in a way that is so rare and genuine it simply cannot be recreated or duplicated.”

He has spent his life devoting himself to the betterment of the undergraduate and alumni brothers by visiting over 110 undergraduate chapters and alumni clubs. Additionally, he has often presented across the country on essential matters such as risk management, officer training, finance, social media, and housing corporations. He has participated in hundreds of Sigma Pi rituals, charterings, initiations of new brothers, installation of new officers, funerals and memorial services. He has also been an avid attendee of Convocation, Mid-Year Leadership Conference, and Summer Leadership Schools since 1984.

Conner Stacy (Stockton ‘06) testified to the powerful impact PGS Williams makes, “About three years ago I was lucky enough to have met John Williams, better known as ‘Dubbs’ to some. I think very highly of Dubbs and look up to him as one of my biggest role models. While Dubbs may be down in Delaware, he has made multiple trips up to Stockton University during the Iota-Upsilon Chapter’s process of becoming a full Chapter as well as put time aside to talk on the phone to give other brothers and myself advice or just to chat and catch up. From making the three-hour trip during a nasty rain storm on a week night for a meeting that lasted past midnight before we were even affiliated with Sigma Pi, to colonization and chartering, Dubbs has provided the Iota-Upsilon with chapter countless stories, wisdom, advice, and has shown us what brotherhood really is.”

Sigma Pi has not only given PGS Williams the opportunity to become a mentor but also a friend. He has participated in 17 Sigma Pi wedding parties, 11 of them as the best man.

PGS Williams also created a scholarship in memory of his brother, David Bruce Williams (TCNJ ‘04), who initiated as an alumnus in 2004. His family has provided funds for the Foundation which provides scholarship money to Sigma Pi undergraduate brothers who have good personal qualities which make them, overall, fine brothers and men. Scholarships have been awarded at the University of Delaware, St. Joseph’s University, and Salisbury University.

According to Grand Sage Steve Lawler (Iowa ’82), “John Williams exemplifies everything you could ask for in a Founders’ Award winner. He has a successful law practice, is a faculty member at the University of Delaware, past SPEF trustee, Past Grand Sage, and is currently a Chapter Director and Province Archon. John’s number one qualification for this award is his mentoring, advising and caring for hundreds of undergraduate brothers over his long career of volunteer service to Sigma Pi.”

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A Message From The Grand Sage: The Biennium in Review https://theemerald.org/2018/07/13/a-message-from-the-grand-sage-the-biennium-in-review/ Fri, 13 Jul 2018 14:44:34 +0000 http://theemerald.org/?p=2691 This biennium will go down in history as a transformational period where many long-term organizational changes took place for the betterment of Sigma Pi.

Here are some the important accomplishments and strategic changes implemented by the current Grand Council and our International staff.

  • The most important and strategic change this biennium was hiring Jonathan Frost (UMSL ’02) as our new CEO/Executive Director. Jonathan has brought a professional and passionate management style to the position. He has reviewed our previous business model and has initiated the necessary changes to make Sigma Pi a leader in the fraternal world.
  • We have improved our financial position. The Fraternity is now operating in the black after making changes in our revenue and expense cash flows. Sigma Pi is back on solid footing financially.
  • We entered into a Staff Sharing Agreement with the Sigma Pi Educational Foundation. This has allowed us to be more efficient with our shared staff. The agreement has brought both organizations together under one umbrella with the benefits of cost savings and a more coordinated effort for servicing our chapters and alumni.
  • Our Communication Department has been expanded in size and scope. The Emerald is a greatly improved publication. We are also covering chapters and alumni in more depth with online profiles of achievement within our social media outlets.
  • The Mid-Year Leadership Conference was expanded an extra day to allow for more detailed training and networking amongst our members.
  • Sigma Pi now has a seat on the North American Interfraternity Conference Governing Board. This has raised our profile with our peer fraternities and has given Sigma Pi more influence in the policies that affect all the fraternities nationwide.
  • A concerted effort was made to enhance our Grand Council minutes. The Grand Council desired to become as transparent as possible to our members. This Grand Council has operated in the daylight and are happy to answer questions posed by our brothers.
  • The current Grand Council has also provided improved visibility by making countless chapter visits and speaking at workshops and events to spread the good news surrounding Sigma Pi.
  • The Executive Office staffing model has been restructured which will provide better chapter and alumni services. Our new staff will be better trained and ready to take us to the next level.

I would like to thank the Sigma Pi Educational Foundation for their support and cooperation. I would also like to thank all the undergraduates and alumni who believe in our mission and supported us on this journey of improvements in the organization.

Finally, I would like to thank all my fellow Grand Council members for their efforts and passion for Sigma Pi during this biennium.

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Undergraduate Greek Leadership Conferences https://theemerald.org/2018/01/19/undergraduate-greek-leadership-conferences/ Fri, 19 Jan 2018 15:43:38 +0000 http://theemerald.org/?p=2655 As a Sigma Pi, it is important to take the necessary steps to better yourself as a man, brother, and a leader. We invite you to look into the following leadership conferences made specifically for Greek life. These conferences are a great way to network, and grow and develop as an individual and leader.

AFLV Central Conference

February 8-11, 2018
Indianapolis, IN

The Central Fraternal Leadership Conference and the National Black Greek Leadership Conference comprise the AFLV Central Conference. AFLV Central will be held February 8-11, 2018, in Indianapolis, IN with the primary hub being the JW Marriott.

Together, the coinciding events bring more than 3,000 participants to create the ideal setting for networking and idea sharing. This is the largest gathering of undergraduate fraternity and sorority leaders from councils and chapters in the United States.

AFLV Central will feature joint workshops and presentations as well as a curriculum that will address specific issues facing the many councils within our fraternal communities. This is an exciting opportunity that will allow for inclusive programming and collaboration between campus administrators, national organizations, and students to address issues like risk management, intake, intra-council relationships, and liability issues. Also included is specific information about current events and issues that impact the fraternity/sorority community on campus.

Registration closes 1/24/2018

Legacy 2018 

Atlanta: February 9-11, 2018
Kansas City: February 23-25, 2018

This February, join collegiate fraternity and sorority members across the country for a weekend of fun fellowship with other Greeks, inspiring talks from dynamic keynote speakers, breakout sessions you can choose from to personalize your experience, great music, and prayer. Come join others who are searching for the truth about who God is and, if He exists, how we should live our lives for Him.

Atlanta registration closes 1/23/2018
Kansas City registration closes 1/30/2018

SEIFC Leadership Academy & Southeastern Cultural Greek Leadership Summit

February 15-18, 2018
Atlanta, GA

The Southeastern Interfraternity Conference and the Southeastern Cultural Greek Leadership Summit serves its members (men and women) by providing them the three most essential elements in the growth of any organization: Communication; Information; and Advice. SEIFC & SCGLS possess a communication network that is unparalleled in the Southeast. From the personal contacts made at the annual Leadership Academy & Summit to our own membership directory, it’s easy to find experienced personnel with whom to discuss your issues and challenges. Information is also sent to each member through the TORCH, our official newsletter. The Executive Board, consisting of undergraduate students, fraternity professionals, and institutional advisers, is always willing to assist you with challenges or concerns.

Online registration closes 1/26/2018 and onsite registration is available until 2/15/2018

Northeast Greek Leadership Association Conference

February 22-25, 2018
Pittsburgh, PA

NGLA educates leaders from a variety of fraternal experiences to transform and empower their community and align actions with values.

Online registration closes 2/16/2018 and onsite registration is available until 2/22/2018

Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values West Conference

April 5-8, 2018
San Diego, CA

#AFLVWest including The National Cultural Greek Leadership Conference is the oldest of the regional conferences and has met regularly since its establishment in 1948.

The Leadership Conference offers five nationally-recognized and highly sought after keynote speakers, six professional and very popular nationally known featured speakers, over 100 educational sessions, an awards & assessment program, pre-conference workshops, targeted institutes, and an opportunity to network with fellow fraternity/sorority leaders.

This year the conference will once again be held in conjunction with the National Cultural Greek Leadership Conference. Specifically geared to provide a forum for multicultural fraternity/sorority members to network and dialogue on topics that impact them, this national event is sure to educate, develop, and unify the members of campus fraternity/sorority communities. Get excited because #AFLVWest will be held in sunny San Diego, CA!

The Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute (UIFI)

Multiple dates throughout May, June, and July (Dates will be released at a later time)
Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

At UIFI, you will spend five days learning with and from fraternity men and sorority women from across North America. You will explore the fraternity/sorority leader you want to be and where you can take your chapter, council or community. This program will push you to define the challenges in your community and excite you for how to create change. UIFI allows you to enhance your leadership skills, develop personal awareness, ignite commitment to your organization, and expect values-based action from yourself and those you lead.

Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values – LeaderShape Sessions

May 20-23 University of Central Florida
August 5-8 University of California, Los Angeles

The Institute, a program provided in partnership with LeaderShape and AFLV, challenges participants to lead with integrity while working towards a vision grounded in their deepest values.  Participants explore not only what they want to do, but who they want to be.

Dynamic, challenging, and exciting, the week is intended to produce a breakthrough in the leadership capacity of participants — benefiting them individually, as well as their respective communities and the organizations they will go on to lead and serve in the future.

AFLV sessions of the Institute will bring together fraternity and sorority leaders from across the country to share in this experience, all under the umbrella of shared fraternal values. New for the 2018 year, we are piloting a special 4-day institute! Stay tuned to for the registration announcement.

 

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2017 Year-End Message from the Grand Council https://theemerald.org/2017/12/31/2017-year-end-message-from-the-grand-council/ Mon, 01 Jan 2018 01:47:21 +0000 http://theemerald.org/?p=2642 We’re in the season of celebration and Sigma Pi Fraternity has much to celebrate in 2017.

Throughout the year, our undergraduates did an awesome job of strengthening the Sigma Pi brand across North America.  Take a look at some of the highlights from across the Fraternity from the last year:

  • This year was a great year for breathing new life into some of our dormant chapters.  In February, we rechartered Epsilon-Beta Chapter at the University of Kentucky and initiated more than 40 new brothers in the process.  This was followed by rechartering our Eta-Kappa Chapter at East Carolina University in March.  The Eta-Kappa rechartering brought the Fraternity 50 new undergraduate brothers.  Up next was Beta-Iota Chapter’s rechartering at Northern Arizona University in April, where nearly 70 new brothers were initiated.  Later in April, the Fraternity rechartered Epsilon-Nu Chapter at Cal State-Fullerton.  The Epsilon-Nu rechartering ceremony was our biggest of the year and saw 80 young men join the ranks as fully initiated brothers of the Fraternity.  This past fall, the Fraternity rechartered its Epsilon-Eta Chapter at Illinois State University.  During this rechartering ceremony, the Fraternity welcomed more than 60 new initiates from Epsilon-Eta Chapter and the still-dormant Epsilon-Gamma Chapter at Illinois Wesleyan University.  The Fraternity closed out 2017 by rechartering Eta-Sigma Chapter at Colorado State University in December, where more than 40 new initiates joined Sigma Pi.  Combined, 2017 saw 6 dormant chapters brought back to life.  Together, these rechartered chapters brought about 350 new undergraduates into the Fraternity.  YOUR success in expansion in 2017 is just the beginning as there are plans to, hopefully, recharter Zeta (Ohio Northern University), Chi (University of Pittsburgh), Alpha-Xi (Cal State-Fresno), Epsilon-Theta (Elon), and Eta-Nu (Towson University) Chapters in the near future as well as continue expanding by creating a new chapter at FDU-Florham!
  • This past July saw the Fraternity begin a new program with the inaugural M. Atlee Ermold Ritual Institute.  Named after Past Grand Sage M. Atlee Ermold, the Institute brought together 25 undergraduate and alumni attendees for a full-day session at Middle Tennessee State University.  The topics and discussions throughout the day focused on the Fraternity’s ritual, The Golden Quest.
  • At the request of undergraduate leaders across the country, the Fraternity redesigned several critical elements of our Mid-Year Leadership Conference.  First, the conference now takes place earlier in the month of January to accommodate the many important campus and recruitment-focused events that our undergraduates need to attend later in January.  Second, our undergraduates asked for future conferences to include more time for fellowship and learning from one another’s successes and programming.  To answer this request, the Fraternity added an additional day to the event beginning with next week’s 2018 Mid-Year Leadership Conference!
  • Many of our members want to learn more about the Fraternity and how it operates at the Grand Council and Executive Office levels.  To help make learning about these operations easier, the Fraternity revised its Policy Governance Manual from top-to-bottom and reorganized the manual to make it easier to consume.  In addition, the Fraternity is providing policy governance training to all alumni volunteers at the 2018 Mid-Year Leadership Conference.  This training will be conducted by Dr. Lynn Walker, the creator of Boundary Management – the version of policy governance used by the Grand Council and Executive Office.
  • At the beginning of this biennium, each member of the Grand Council committed to individually raising or donating $10,000 for the Sigma Pi Educational Foundation (thus combined, the Council committed to raising $70,000 for the Foundation over the course of the biennium).  As of this year-end update, the Council has either donated or raised more than $45,000 in support of the Foundation – about 65% of the total goal!
  • And speaking of the Foundation, in July the Fraternity and Foundation agreed in principle to enter into a staff sharing agreement that will see the Fraternity’s staff begin working on achieving Foundation goals.  The final agreement is expected to be signed next week at the Mid-Year Leadership Conference and will usher in a new era of collaboration between the Fraternity and the Foundation.  Leading this combined effort will be Jonathan M. Frost – the Fraternity’s Chief Executive Officer who joined the Executive Office this year in July.

It is our honor to work with our undergraduates and alumni volunteers as they make real the Fraternity’s ideals in their daily lives.

IST,

Grand Sage Steve Lawler
and the Grand Council of Sigma Pi Fraternity

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Airbnb acquires ad tech startup AdBasis founded by Sigma Pi Brothers https://theemerald.org/2017/11/17/airbnb-acquires-ad-tech-startup-adbasis-founded-by-sigma-pi-brothers/ Fri, 17 Nov 2017 16:05:07 +0000 http://theemerald.org/?p=2626 EDITOR’S NOTE: The selection below originally ran in an article on Tech Crunch and was written by Ingrid Lunden. To read the article in its entirety, please click here.

It looks like accessibility isn’t the only thing that Airbnb wants to upgrade on its platform. On the same day that Airbnb announced that it acquired Accomable, an “Airbnb for disabled travellers”, it has emerged that it’s also made another small acquisition. Airbnb has acquired adtech startup AdBasis, which had built a platform and dashboard for ad testing and optimization.

Airbnb has confirmed the acquisition but is not commenting on it further. AdBasis has published a note on its site indicating that the deal closed on November 13 and that its team will continue to work on digital creative testing and optimization technology at Airbnb.

“We’re thrilled to share with you that as of November 13th 2017, AdBasis has been acquired by Airbnb. As part of Airbnb, our team will continue to pave the way in digital creative testing & optimization technology,” the note says. “We look forward to continuing to change the way the world views ads.”

AdBasis was co-founded by Jason Puckett and Joe DiVita in Chicago, and it’s not clear how many people worked there, or how many will join Airbnb. The company’s leadership have relocated to San Francisco.

AdBasis describes itself as a “controlled testing environment and analytics tool for companies to conduct A/B and multivariate tests on search, display & mobile ads.”

Its tools include the ability to track revenue, and how changes to an ad’s content, bidding, targeting and other parameters impact its performance. It also creates statistics based on this data to help direct future campaigns. AdBasis also makes decisions about where to spend ad dollars based on the data gathered during the experimentation process.

 

To read more, click here.

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Sean Feliciano and the Amazing Day Foundation https://theemerald.org/2017/09/01/sean-feliciano-and-the-amazing-day-foundation/ Fri, 01 Sep 2017 16:28:22 +0000 http://theemerald.org/?p=2604 September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and our philanthropic partner, the Amazing Day Foundation, aims to enlist the help of volunteers and educational institutions to help students effectively deal with depression, encouraging them to choose life when it may seem like death is the only option.

As many of you may know, Sean Feliciano (UC Santa Barbara ’09) was a brother of Alpha-Omicron Chapter. He is remembered by his friends and family for his infectious smile and a friendly, easy-going demeanor that instantly charmed everyone he met.

Even though most of us have very little personal connection to Sean or his family, Sean still has a tremendous impact on our Chapter every day. His story reminds us that everybody is going through different struggles in their life, and truly shows the importance of having a group of brothers at your back to love and support you through all your hardships. Sean was an exemplary brother who cared deeply about those around him. We strive to emulate Sean’s commitment to his friends and hope that our compassion to those around us might have half the effect that Sean’s did to everyone who met him.

His passing really puts things into perspective and reminds us to cherish each and every day that we have with our brothers, and not to take anything for granted. While he may not be here with us today, his spirit lives on through his friends and family and our Chapter honors his memory every year with our work for the Amazing Day Foundation.

Sean left a bigger impact on our Chapter than any of us ever could, and we hope that through our actions and deeds we may honor his legacy for years to come. Sean knew what it meant to be a brother of Sigma Pi, and his memory is something dear to our Chapter that will not soon be forgotten.

To conclude, thank you all for taking the time to read this and I hope it serves to communicate even a fraction of what Sean means to Alpha-Omicron. Cherish the time you have with your brothers and in the words of Sean, “Have an amazing day.”

IST,

The Brothers of Alpha-Omicron Chapter at UC Santa Barbara

http://amazingdayfoundation.org

 

Crisis Hotlines:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK(1-800-273-8255)

Teen Suicide Hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE(1-800-784-2433)

Veteran’s Crisis Line: 1-800-799-4889 http://www.veteranscrisisline.net

Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746

The Steve Fund (Persons of Color) Text STEVE to 741741

The Trevor Lifeline (LGBTQ) now at 866-488-7386

Trans* Lifeline – 877-565-8860

Deaf and Hard of Hearing TTY: 1-800-799-4889 (same as Veteran’s Crisis Line)

Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio:  1-888-628-9454

Naseeha Muslim Youth Helpline: 1.866 Naseeha

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Mountain City Alumni Club: The Rest of the Story https://theemerald.org/2017/06/30/mountain-city-alumni-club-the-rest-of-the-story/ Fri, 30 Jun 2017 14:54:05 +0000 http://theemerald.org/?p=2600 This story was printed in the Summer 2017 issue of The Emerald magazine.  If you do not receive printed issues of the magazine, but would like to, then please opt-in at sigmapi.org/updateinfo.

The Fall 2016 issue of The Emerald featured a timely article titled Re-engaging with the Fraternity: Alumni Clubs. The article presented ideas to initiate alumni clubs and contained a picture of Delta-Alpha Chapter in front of Central Michigan University’s Warner Hall with the picture titled Mountain City Alumni Club. As an appropriate follow-up to that article, here is the rest of the story of the Mountain City Alumni Club (MCAC).

As the article points out there are both regional and chapter alumni clubs. The MCAC is a chapter-based club for Delta-Alpha at Central Michigan University (CMU). The MCAC was originally chartered in 1982. As is the story with perhaps many fraternity alumni clubs, over the years there has been great involvement, but then in the late 1990s and early 2000s involvement decreased to nearly no activity. Life after college, marriage, raising a family, and career demands can all influence alumni involvement. In the case of the MCAC there were two primary events that shook the fraternity and our over 700 Delta-Alpha alumni to action. The first was the revocation of Delta-Alpha Chapter’s charter in August 2008 due to several infractions and, as is usually the case, a lack of active leadership and alumni involvement. Interestingly enough the Delta-Alpha chapter house is owned by the alumni. However, there were many financial issues that arose with the alumni running the chapter house, including back taxes owed and the risk of losing the chapter house.

The Chapter’s charter was revoked by the Executive Office and no brothers were allowed to occupy the chapter house with thousands of dollars in back taxes owed. Delta-Alpha alumni were presented with a difficult and desperate circumstance, but, thanks to the alumni who rose to the occasion, the proper steps were taken to get the chapter back to its former glory. Emergency meetings were conducted with the first step to place new alumni leadership in charge of the housing board – the Delta-Alpha Association (DAA). The DAA under new leadership communicated with all alumni to raise funds to pay the back taxes. After several months, $16,310.00 was raised to pay the back taxes. The house at 1016 South Main was no longer a fraternity house but it would be rented to CMU students and managed by the DAA. Once the house circumstance stabilized, attention turned to re-chartering the MCAC with new leadership. Elections were held and the MCAC board was formed. The board met with CMU administration to update them on the status of the then-inactive Delta-Alpha Chapter. With the house back taxes paid and new alumni leadership put in place, the MCAC discussed the possibility of having Sigma Pi return to the CMU campus. The proactive response in August 2008 from Sigma Pi and the relationship built with CMU administration left the door open to return to campus.

The MCAC re-chartered with the Executive Office on February 16, 2012. The 132 charter members were made up of the alumni that had contributed to pay-off the back taxes on the house. The re-chartering process helped drive the MCAC to put proper leadership in place, with a functioning board and bylaws to conduct business. With the MCAC alumni club now intact and functioning, membership growth and returning to campus became its primary goals.

May of 2012 proved to be a pivotal point for Delta-Alpha Chapter. A meeting was conducted with CMU administration and the Executive Office to discuss how the MCAC would support the international organization by providing leadership to the new chapter and ensuring its success. CMU and the Executive Office agreed to bring the chapter back to CMU’s campus. The Executive Office went to work on-campus to colonize the inactive Delta-Alpha Chapter. On February 17, 2013, 31 undergraduates reformed the Delta-Alpha Colony.

Delta-Alpha Colony was well on its way to re-chartering. Yet another challenge arose for the Colony – what to do with the century-old house in need of major renovations and foundational repairs? Once again the MCAC provided the forum to discuss, debate, and decide what to do with the house. After a lengthy meeting and investigation of options, it was decided to demolish and rebuild the chapter house. While much of the cost could be covered, alumni contributions were necessary. The MCAC marshaled its resources and a fundraising chairman was identified. The MCAC raised $51,551 with 164 alumni contributing to the new chapter house. The Delta-Alpha Chapter now occupies the new house at 1016 South Main in Mt. Pleasant.

The story of Delta-Alpha Chapter demonstrates the difference that a lack of alumni involvement can make and the positives that can happen with strong alumni involvement and leadership. In our view, the alumni club must support the active chapter and maintain a relationship with the university, where possible. The MCAC and the role of an alumni club must extend to all alumni. The MCAC has established four social events, the thought being to establish four events and build a tradition around those events. This gives alumni brothers and their families the opportunity to get together, catch-up, network, and reminisce. The four events MCAC conducts are:

  • A holiday party between Christmas and New Year’s Eve
  • A Detroit Tigers baseball game
  • A summer golf scramble
  • CMU Homecoming

All four events are organized and operated by an alumnus. Homecoming has taken on particular significance in that the alumni club works directly with the active chapter to plan and fund homecoming. The MCAC also awards two $500 scholarships to deserving undergraduates at Homecoming. The award of each scholarship has generated competitive interest and excitement at Homecoming.

While the MCAC and Delta-Alpha alumni have many great accomplishments there are still challenges. Year-to-year fluctuations in membership and succession planning for key positions are primary challenges that the MCAC continues to face. Ideas such as regional alumni get-togethers and rush for MCAC have all been tried and continue to help maintain membership. While supporting the active chapter and CMU is vitally important and never ending, each time the MCAC conducts one of our social events new connections are made with brothers from different eras including brothers that we may not have been in contact with since graduation.

The story of MCAC continues to be written; with strong alumni involvement and leadership that story will continue for generations. The MCAC leadership consists of brothers that joined Sigma Pi in the late 1970s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s. By the way, that picture in the last issue of The Emerald was taken circa 1987 – about 30 years ago. Many of the brothers in that picture are today’s leaders of our alumni club. Before ending, we’d like to offer a special thanks and express our appreciation to all Delta-Alpha Chapter alumni that have contributed time, money, knowledge, and their leadership talents to our alumni club, active chapter, and housing association.

A member of Delta-Alpha Chapter not part of MCAC yet, or a Sigma Pi alumni wanting to learn more about joining an alumni club, can contact us at delta-alpha.com.

Have a story you want to share? Submit it to us at theemerald.org/submit. It may be featured here on The Emerald Online, or in one of our printed issues of The Emerald magazine. If you do not receive the printed issues, please opt-in at sigmapi.org/updateinfo.

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How to Get the Most Out of Conference Attendance https://theemerald.org/2017/06/23/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-conference-attendance/ Fri, 23 Jun 2017 14:44:52 +0000 http://theemerald.org/?p=2596 This story was printed in the Summer 2017 issue of The Emerald magazine.  If you do not receive printed issues of the magazine, but would like to, then please opt-in at sigmapi.org/updateinfo.

Once upon a time…

There was a college freshman who was a “rising star” in his chapter, or at least that’s what he was told. The truth was he wasn’t really sure what that meant. All he knew was that he really enjoyed his Fraternity – Sigma Pi. It was because of this that he decided he wanted to experience everything it had to offer. Chapter meetings were “okay” since they got everyone together each week, like a mini-reunion. Brotherhood and service events were fun, but never seemed to get a big turnout. The freshman would attend events, after-meetings, after-socials, and so on; always thinking “This is great and all but… I feel like there has to be more.”

Then, during a chapter meeting, the Sage stood at the front of the room going on with the weekly business. However, there was something unusual on the agenda: Election of delegate to Sigma Pi University. “What is that?” thought the member. He never heard of Sigma Pi University during new member education and he would know – he was pledge class president and scored a 100 on his exam. The member waited patiently to hear what this could be.

Finally, the chapter Sage explained, “This summer there will be a Sigma Pi University or SPU for short. SPU is a leadership conference put on by the Executive Office for every chapter to send their next generation of leaders to. We need to…” At this point the freshman’s big brother began elbowing him in the ribs. He leaned over and whispered, “You should totally go for this!” The freshman thought, “Maybe I should…” then focused once again on the Sage: “SPU will be in Tennessee this year and the chapter budgeted for the expense to send someone, so cost shouldn’t be a factor. Whomever we elect to send will be receiving some of the best leadership training that the Fraternity has to offer. Not only that, but they will meet and get ideas from brothers at every chapter in Sigma Pi, which is pretty cool
by itself.”

His mind was now made up, the freshman wanted to attend this “SPU.” Waiting for the Sage’s speech to roll to a stop, he heard the words he was waiting for: “I’ll open the floor for nominees to attend SPU on behalf of our chapter.” The young member’s hand went up and he immediately saw a grin spread wide across his big brother’s face. He quickly scanned the room for the competition he may face. Much to his surprise, there wasn’t much to speak of…

After the election process concluded, the young freshman had secured his ticket to Sigma Pi University.

After the meeting, he found his big brother and asked him a question. “Hey, why do you think no one else wanted to go to SPU? I thought it would be a much harder fight.” His big brother looked at him with that same grin and said, “Listen man, someone once told me something about fraternities that I’m going to tell you.” The young member nodded and listened. “He told me ‘Getting the most out of the Fraternity is up to you, completely. You just have to be willing to put the most you can into it!’ I think if you stick to that, you really can’t go wrong, okay?”

Seeing the confused look on the freshman’s face, he realized he needed to dive a little deeper. “Look, the reason the others didn’t jump at the chance to go to SPU has a lot to do with how they see the Fraternity. They keep waiting to ‘get the most,’ without ‘putting the most’ in. I went to SPU when I first joined, too, and it was amazing! I still keep up with some of the guys I met there from both California and Canada. But I knew it meant giving up time during summer break. Time where I could be making money, taking an extra class, or just relaxing.”

The freshman then realized all of the things he planned to do that summer. His big brother continued, “The bottom line is – it was worth it! When you go this summer, you’re the kind of guy who is going to go out of his way to meet brothers, take photos with the Grand Council, visit the museum and meet the staff, and come back with a plan to improve everything in our Chapter.” The young member finally recognized his big brother’s grin for what it was – he was proud of him. “In other words, when you come back from this summer’s leadership conference, you will be the future.”

– Based on my true experiences as a freshman member of Sigma Pi

Have a story you want to share? Submit it to us at theemerald.org/submit. It may be featured here on The Emerald Online, or in one of our printed issues of The Emerald magazine. If you do not receive the printed issues, please opt-in at sigmapi.org/updateinfo.

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From the Battlefield to the Classroom: Being a Student in the Military (Delta-Beta at Monmouth) https://theemerald.org/2017/05/12/from-the-battlefield-to-the-classroom-being-a-student-in-the-military-delta-beta-at-monmouth/ Fri, 12 May 2017 14:14:07 +0000 http://theemerald.org/?p=2591 EDITORS NOTE: The excerpt below originally ran in an article on the The Outlook online publication and was written by Clare Maurer. To read the article in its entirety, please click here

NOTE: Cesar Monterroso (Monmouth ’19) is currently a new member at Delta-Beta Chapter at Monmouth University.

Most college students feel like they have enough problems to warrant all the stress in the world—balancing classes, activities, jobs, and maintaining relationships; however, there is a population of Monmouth students who balance more than the average student could imagine: serving our country at the same time.

Cesar Monterroso, a sophomore criminal justice student, is a prime example of someone leading a life of schoolwork, and a life in the military. He is a member of the United States Reserve, as a Flying Chief for the KC-10A Extender at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in South New Jersey. “I wanted to join and serve my country, but I also wanted the flexibility of being in the reserves to attend college at the same time,” explained Monterroso. “I joined with the mentality of eventually bettering myself down the road. I also loved being around aircrafts growing up, and even today I am still mesmerized when I walk up to the [aircraft], so it was a win-win situation.”

Another student involved in the military is Samuel Herrara, a senior computer science student, who is also a United States Marine. “My dad was in the Navy when I was young, so I was raised on a Naval Base in South Carolina. My dad is my hero and my greatest influence to be in the military,” Herrara said. “He raised me in a strict military manner, so the military lifestyle is all I ever knew. I specifically chose the Marine Corps because I remember as a young boy I would read about the legacy of the Corps, and I just knew I belonged in the greatest fighting force in the world.”

Being a college student and a member of a military branch are two extremely different ways of life. George M. Kapalka, Ph.D., a professor of professional counseling, explained the differences in the lifestyles, “It is a different mindset. In the military, direction is given ‘from the top’ – it is expected that the commanding officers have most (if not all) the answers and give instructions to those under their directions, and those commands are to be followed precisely and completely,”

Kapalka continued, “A college student is expected to do much more self-starting, and is expected to function more independently. Individual preferences and choices matter and are encouraged. This can be a hard change in mindset for those who primarily experienced military life for a number of years, where life is organized for them…. In college, facing all these decisions that one has to make individually can feel overwhelming.”

Michael Callahan, Coordinator of Veteran Services, pointed out that the differences are unique for every student who comes from any type of military experience, whether it be working the reserves, or veterans starting school after many years in service.

Monterroso has definitely experienced the stress of balancing the two duties. “I was just deployed to Southwest Asia over the summer, right after our spring semester ended. I returned a couple of weeks ago and it took some readjusting on my part being that I was almost three weeks behind with six classes. But with enough determination, anything is doable,” he said.

Monterroso advised, “You just have to find your groove and go with the flow. Being in the military has its advantages when it comes to the experiences you have been through and being able to implement those experiences in class with what you are learning. I also get to fly around the world during the weekends or whenever school is not in session. So it is a great honor being able to serve in that matter.”

On the other hand, military training can provide time management and an effective routine for students. Herrara pointed out, “I accredit my ability to balance being a student and a Marine to my military training. Being a computer science major and minor in physics and exercising three times a day is not easy but I am very disciplined so I manage it well.”

Kapalka expanded on the idea of the differences in daily routine, “In the military, the focus usually is on ‘what I have to do to fulfill my expectations.’ In college, the focus usually is ‘do I know what I choose to do with my life, and do I know how to get there.’

Another difference pertains to amount of structure. In the military, your day is pretty much planned for you. In college, you have to organize yourself to keep up with the material, readings, etc., and set up your own daily structure.”

So what takes priority when you walk down two paths at once? Herrara explained, “School is of course incredibly important, but I would say my top priority is to ensure that I am physically and mentally ready to lead Marines. It’s not about me anymore, it’s about being a great officer for my future Marines and serving for God, country, [and] family.”

Monterroso agreed, saying “School definitely, but when duty calls, duty calls. You have to be willing to put service before self, one hundred percent of the time.”

We have 84 veterans at Monmouth, according to Callahan. That’s a chunk of our student body that you may not have been aware of. Callahan works at ensuring these students and students who are currently serving have a support system and a means of staying on track. “There’s so many variables and it’s so complex. That’s why this office is here, so we offer a bunch of programming to those younger student veterans, then the older student veterans, female student veterans, LGBT student veterans… and also discouraging isolation,” Callahan explained.

If getting involved with serving the country is something you’re interested in or learning more about, talk to any of the students involved and listen to their stories. Herrara said, “It takes a whole new level of commitment and it certainly will not be easy. There’s a reason why Marines are called ‘the few.’ But there’s also a reason why we are ‘the proud.’ And that reason is why this difficult path is worth all the struggle.”

Concluded Monterroso, “Don’t let anyone stop you. Do something you can see yourself doing for many years. The military will not only help you gain skills, but you will get to meet great people along the way.”

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Theta-Gamma Chapter (West Alabama) Honors Friend for Donate Life Month https://theemerald.org/2017/04/21/theta-gamma-chapter-west-alabama-honors-friend-for-donate-life-month/ Fri, 21 Apr 2017 13:54:36 +0000 http://theemerald.org/?p=2584 Because of Libby Hankins, Theta-Gamma Chapter has created a movement in Livingston, Alabama.

Libbywho attended the University of West Alabama and is a member of Phi Mu sororitywas diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at two-years-old and was treated at the Children’s Hospital of Alabama, and later, the University of Birmingham Hospital. In February of 2016, she was sent to Duke University Hospital in Durham, North Carolina where she received two new lungs. However, her lungs began to be rejected by her body and she passed away at the age of 23.

In 2016, during the time the transplant took place, Theta-Gamma Chapter and the Local Phi Mu chapter partnered together to sign up the students of UWA as organ donors through Donate Life. Libby would’ve graduated this spring. Because of the actions of Sigma Pi and Phi Mu, her legacy on campus thrives. This year, the Chapter wanted to take it one step farther.

“At the beginning of the year I knew I wanted to incorporate Libby [into the campaign], because she just had her double-lung transplant in the month of April,” Will Tittle (’18), who has led the campaign for Theta-Gamma Chapter, told ABC 33/40 News.

Tittle asked Libby’s sorority sisters at Phi Mu to join the mission. The group decided to set a goal of 500 registrations, a large increase in comparison to what Theta-Gamma had achieved on campus in past years.

Now two-thirds of the way through April, Theta-Gamma has seen over 1,130 registrations, and has decided to raise their goal Donate Life Month to 1,500 signees.

You can sign up or check the campaign’s progress on Theta-Gamma Chapter’s Donate Life page. To find your chapter’s specific Donate Life Month page, visit the Donate Life Month page on the Sigma Pi website.

Below, Laurel Elmore, Libby’s best friend, shared her thoughts on Donate Life and how it impacted Libby’s life after receiving her donation.


Elizabeth Scott “Libby” Hankins was my best friend. I use the word “was” very hesitantly because in my heart, she will live forever.

Libby was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at the age of two after having multiple “sick” visits to her local pediatrician. Cystic Fibrosis or “CF” is a chronic genetic disorder that primarily affects the respiratory and digestive systems. One of the main symptoms of CF is thick, sticky mucus that collects in the lungs, creating difficulty breathing and increased infections.

Libby spent weeks to months per year in the hospital for various surgeries, infections, and issues caused by CF. She missed proms, homecomings, birthdays, and almost every Christmas due to her hospitalizations. Through it all, she was one of the most positive and vibrant humans I have ever met. Her charisma and charm lit up a room, and her laugh was the best I’ve ever heard. She found good in all things, situations, and people; never pitied herself but certainly pushed herself; and made the best of every situation. When she was in elementary school and high school, she and her mom would decorate her room at Children’s Hospital of Alabama with a Christmas tree, lights, snowmen… anything to make it feel like home. Libby would proudly show me her tree and her theme for that Christmas, and you would never know she wasn’t in her own home cozied up by a roaring fire. She just made the best out of everything life sent her way. I can’t imagine how different her life would have been without her “make your own sunshine” attitude.

Libby and I grew up four doors down from each other, and with an 11-year difference in our ages, I can remember every stage of her life.

During the youthful stage of our relationship, she was the adorable curly-headed blonde little girl who loved her older neighbor, and likewise. I remember seeing her at events at school or in town, and as soon as those big eyes would see me, she would run full speed into my open arms and giggle. Libby grew more beautiful each year of her life, but seeing her as a toddler in printed swing dresses with huge hair bows holding back those curls will forever be a favorite memory of mine.

When my husband and I got engaged, I couldn’t wait to ask her to be a bridesmaid. I remember so vividly asking her in the hallway of their house and her excitedly jumping from flat-footed in front of me to a full body hug with arms and legs wrapped tightly around me. She was there for every event and memory throughout my year-long engagement unless an illness or hospitalization kept her away. We grew closer and realized that time had faded that age difference. She became someone I talked to when something was good or bad in my life, someone who always knew the answer to what I was dealing with, someone who would listen to me without agenda, someone who loved me with all she had and would have moved Heaven and earth for me. That was Libby. She was surely a teenager who loved her fun, but her life experiences in dealing with CF gave her a maturity level beyond her biological age.

After a few years passed, I became pregnant. At midnight, I drove down to her apartment at college because I couldn’t wait to tell her. My husband and I both loved and admired her so much that we had decided long before I was even pregnant that we would name our child after her.

Hankins Scott Campbell arrived a few months later after 16 hours of labor. Libby was fighting a CF infection at the time and slept in chairs, her mom’s lap, and finally an empty hospital bed, but she was not leaving until she could see Hank and hug me. She became “Aunt Scottie” that night, and it was a role she took seriously.

Six months passed and at the young age of 22, Libby’s health was failing. Her only hope for survival was a life-saving double lung transplant. We prayed hard, and God gave us our miracle. Libby received a call on April 17, 2016, that available lungs were a match. Our prayers were answered. I was beside the bed the night she got her transplant, just as I had promised and was one of the first people she asked for once she woke up and could communicate. When I got to the bedside the next morning, she gently took my hand, flipped it over, and wrote: “I love you” in the palm of my hand. I felt more relief and hope than I had in months. One precious organ donor had given me my friend back.

She recovered and moved home after a long eight months. We talked about plans and dreams and trips we would take. We planned future birthday parties, proms, and dating rules for my son, Hank. We were so happy to have so much time to do all these things and couldn’t wait to get started.

Two months later, she left for Durham, NC, in an ambulance. I prayed harder than I ever have in my life for a second miracle. Three weeks later, I drove ten hours through the night to tell her goodbye for the last time. A virus had attacked her lungs, and her immune system was not strong enough to fight it. I promised to be by her side until the end, and I was. Just as she wouldn’t leave me the night I had Hank, I wouldn’t leave her. It was the honor of my life to be there with her in those last moments.

Organ donation saved my best friend. One selfless donor gave us hundreds of new memories, 11 beautiful months and such an overwhelming testimony of love and faith. With those two lungs, she learned what it felt like to breathe deeply, laugh without coughing, jog easily, go shopping without oxygen, and feel like herself again, only better. With those two lungs, she taught her first classroom of special needs children, lit the Advent candle at our Christmas service at our church, played on the beach in Wilmington, and shared her beautiful story with thousands of followers on our Facebook page, “Lungs for Libby.” With those two lungs she went Christmas shopping, ate our last Mexican dinner together, played with Hank and made him laugh until he lost his breath, she sang loudly and off key to me in the car, and her story strengthened my faith in God and humanity. Because of those two lungs, I loved her deeper, prayed harder, and trusted God more than I ever have. Some say 11 months isn’t a long time. I say to those people that 11 months brought more joy and more love than you can measure. 11 months was “just right” in God’s eyes and as hard as it is to let her go, His timing is much more perfect than mine. Were those eleven months worth it? ABSOLUTELY. I am so thankful for every moment of those months. I ask myself, what if I could do that for someone else…for multiple people even, just by making one decision? Count me in. To me, it doesn’t even require any thought or decision. Please consider it today. What if you could do for someone what Libby’s donor did for us?

I am indescribably thankful for her 11 months. I am overwhelmingly thankful for her donor and their decision to do this for a stranger. One of the hardest things about losing her is knowing the family of that beautiful donor will never have the opportunity to meet Libby. If I could tell them one thing, it would be thank you from the depths of my soul. You have given us more than you could ever imagine.

 

Photo Credits: Laurel Campbell (UWA MUSE)

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