The Theta Iota Chapter of Sigma Pi Fraternity was founded on April 26, 2003
by the thirty-four founding fathers. As the youngest fraternity on campus,
we have already made an immense impact on our campus. In just two years on
campus, we have been awarded Fraternity of the Year, Event of the Year,
Greek Man of the Year, Excellence in Philanthropy and Community Service, and
several other prestigious awards during the annual Greek Awards Banquet.
I Believe in Sigma Pi,
a Fellowship of kindred
united in Brotherhood
to advance Truth and Justice,
to promote Scholarship,
to encourage Chivalry,
to diffuse Culture, and
to develop Character,
in the service of God
and I will strive to
make real the
Fraternity's ideals in
my own daily life.
|On January 26, 1897, Miss Charlotte N.
Malotte, the professor of Latin and French, spoke to a student group
at the chapel hour. She spoke on the subject of “College
Fraternities” which sparked the interest of several students. Then,
on the afternoon of February 26, a new fraternity had its first
meeting. When, after a long session, the meeting adjourned, a
literary society had been born, though it was yet unnamed.
founders of the Fraternity, all cadets at Vincennes University, were
William Raper Kennedy, James Thompson Kingsbury, George Martin
Patterson, and Rolin Rosco James. The first three were seniors;
James was a freshman.
Samuel and Maurice Bayard were the first initiates. They were
made members of the Fraternity before a name was selected or a
constitution adopted. Many of the first meetings of the Fraternity
were held at the old Bayard home. At the Bayard house, the
constitution was written and the first ritual was developed and used
in the loft of the family’s carriage house.
According to history, the mother of the first two initiates, Mrs.
Bayard, took a deep interest in the organization and used her
influence to steer Tau Phi Delta in the right direction. On one
occasion she entered the library of her home to find a meeting of
the Fraternity in progress. The business of the hour was the
adoption of an appropriate motto. No satisfactory agreement on the
subject had been reached. Taking a volume of Elizabeth Barrett
Browning’s poems from a shelf, she turned to A Death In The
Desert, and read:
|Progress, man’s distinctive mark
Not God’s, and not the beasts’;
God is, they are.
Man partly is and wholly hopes to be.
|“That,” Mrs. Bayard said, “would make
an excellent motto for your organization.” With this remark she left
the room, and her suggestion had accomplished its purpose. A motto
had been found.
It would be appropriate to say Tau Phi Delta was hardly a
fraternity chapter, as that term is now understood. Rather, it was a
combination of the fraternity idea and the old style literary
society, the like of which flourished in almost every college in the
United States in the 19th century. However, in all its outward
aspects, Tau Phi Delta possessed the characteristics of a fraternity
chapter. It was strictly secret and possessed a password and a grip
and included an initiation ritual. Its badge was a simple black
shield, with a border of gold, upon which were displayed the Greek
letters TFD. The colors were black and gold, and the red clover was
the official flower.
winter of 1903-04 the Fraternity ceased to meet in the college
building and rented a small cottage at 110 South Third Street in
Vincennes. This building was occupied until the end of the college
year and is considered the first chapter house occupied by the
Tau Phi Delta first began to show signs of expansion in about
1904-05. The beginning of the college year found three members of
the Fraternity attending the University of Illinois and seven at
Indiana University. In May, 1905, the members at Indiana effected an
organization and petitioned the Vincennes chapter for authority to
establish a second chapter there. The petition was denied. The
members felt the proposed chapter would be unable to compete with
the fraternities on the state university campus. During that year
also, the organization first began to officially call itself a
fraternity, and steps were taken toward incorporation under the laws
of Indiana. A proposal of one of the members to expand the
Fraternity into a national organization with chapters in junior
colleges was also considered. Suitable material was not found, and
the project was abandoned without formal action.
February 11, 1907, is a significant date in the Fraternity’s
history. It was then the members last assembled as Tau Phi Delta and
first assumed the name of Sigma Pi Fraternity of the United States.
Tau Phi Delta had had limited ambitions for expansion. Soon after
the name change, Sigma Pi embarked on a program of establishing
chapters on other campuses.
In 1984, the Fraternity again changed its name. At the 37th
Biennial Convocation, Sigma Pi became an international fraternity by
accepting its first Canadian chapter. This international status
required the Fraternity to become Sigma Pi Fraternity,
International. Today, Sigma Pi is comprised of 113 active chapters,
11 colonies, over 82,000 alumni.
The ideals of Sigma Pi, which constitute the underlying reason for the
Fraternity's rise, development, and continued existence, are plainly set
forth in the Constitution, and are in essence as follows:
- To establish a brotherhood.
- To establish and maintain an aristocracy of learning.
- To raise the standards of morality and develop character.
- To diffuse culture and encourage chivalry.
- To promote the spirit of civic righteousness and quicken the
It will be observed that these five objects touch upon three different
phases of a man's life: namely, his Contacts, his Concepts, and his
Not every man who joins a fraternity is going to become a
devout member. It is only natural some will develop a greater interest than
others. Sigma Pi expects from every member and pledge a reasonable amount of
interest and participation in its affairs; in other words membership
involves obligations. These obligations can be grouped under ten general
headings and, although considered from the standpoint of a pledge, they
apply to active and alumni brothers as well.
1. Give proper attention to the
interest of Sigma Pi
Ordinarily a man should not become a pledge to a fraternity unless he can
give a reasonable amount of time to its affairs. Let us say not less than
three or four hours a week to serious thought and real work contributions
toward the improvement of the organization.
Every pledge should look forward to holding at least one major chapter
office. A pledge should make certain he will be able to attend chapter
meetings and social affairs, and should not permit social engagements or
interests without the chapter to interfere with fraternity meetings and
functions. Upon becoming an alumnus, a member should endeavor to affiliate
with an alumni group, to give both moral and general support to his chapter
and to return to the campus for reunions, etc.
2. Regard the Fraternity with a
spirit of sincerity and respect and give earnest consideration to its
teachings and ideals
It is absurd to attempt to control another's thoughts; nor would it be
desirable or in harmony with the ideals of Sigma Pi to suppress
individuality or freedom of mind. When a pledge accepts the offer of
membership, he obligates himself to regard the Fraternity with a spirit of
sincerity and respect and to give its teachings his sincere consideration.
Of course, he is expected to live up to his obligations. A disrespectful
attitude toward the Fraternity is uncalled for and out of place and
constitutes sufficient grounds for reprimand or other punishment, so long as
the Fraternity continues to be motivated by its ideals.
3. Meet financial obligations
promptly and fully
Every pledge and member is expected to assume not only his share of
financial obligations in the Fraternity but also to pay all house bills,
dues, and assessments when due. A chapter must have income to operate just
the same as any commercial institution. Because of the mutual character of
Sigma Pi and the fact a chapter is maintained by students whose finances are
sometimes limited, it is even more necessary bills be paid promptly to the
Fraternity. No one should ever become a pledge to a fraternity without first
being informed specifically about all financial obligations. A pledge should
withdraw if at any time he finds he cannot meet his fraternity obligations
in full and with promptness. A chapter is thoroughly justified and, in
accordance with the regulations of the Grand Chapter of Sigma Pi, is in fact
required to sever relations with any pledge or member who does not pay his
4. Cheerfully perform tasks
that may be assigned for the good of the Fraternity
No man wants to belong to a fraternity he cannot respect. Before initiation
the pledge is not in a position to know or appreciate fully the significance
and importance of Sigma Pi ideals and influences. A pledge is expected to
join in with active members in performing duties necessary to the chapter's
well-being. In addition to insuring their respect, this method of service
offers the satisfaction of utilizing their labor toward the progress of an
institution in which they have a vital interest. Sometimes members do not
discharge their duties and responsibilities with efficiency and dispatch.
This sets a very poor example for the pledges. No member, whether an
undergraduate or an alumnus, should assume an office or accept appointment
on any committee in his chapter or in the Grand Chapter unless he has both
the time and the intention to perform to the very best of his ability all
tasks connected with the office.
5. At all times be a gentleman
and use moderation in all things
Courtesy and consideration, the foundation of manners and major ingredients
or morals, should be the guiding principles in a pledge's or member's
behavior not only in the chapter house and among fraternity brothers but
everywhere. Neither pledges nor initiated members should show disrespect in
any way whatsoever to the name of Sigma Pi.
6. Strive at all times to
cooperate for the good of the Fraternity
When a pledge agrees to support the interests of the Brotherhood, he pledges
himself to stand by Sigma Pi, not according to any precisely stated formula,
but on general principles and in a broad way. This obligation means he will
defend the name of Sigma Pi even at the temporary expense of some personal
prestige, if such a sacrifice be necessary; he will work for it until he
knows fatigue; and he will be ever loyal and true in acknowledgment of the
trust vested in him by his associates in the Fraternity. It means he will
not discuss fraternity matters of a confidential, personal, or secret nature
among non-members. It means he will be constantly on the alert to learn
about Sigma Pi in order that he may serve it more capably. It means he will
never shun an opportunity to give his best efforts toward advancing its
ideals and good reputation. It means he will attend meetings and chapter
functions, he will accept appointments, and he will contribute willingly his
time, thought, energy and funds, within reason, toward the advancement of
7. Work diligently to maintain
Application to academic work and studies is a college man's first duty to
his alma mater, his fraternity and himself. He comes to college primarily to
acquire knowledge, and this is accomplished by intelligent and conscientious
study. Nothing is more fundamental. Scholarship is the most important of all
college activities. Nothing should be permitted to interfere with it to such
an extent that the student defeats his own purpose in coming to college. It
is honorable and directly in harmony with Sigma Pi ideals and standards to
study hard, and to be proud of a good scholastic record. Neither a pledge
nor an active brother should ever forget: one of the first objectives of the
Fraternity is "to establish and maintain and aristocracy of learning," and
that second, industry in selecting college graduates for employment, looks
upon good grades as an indication of a man's capabilities.
8. Participate in worthy
A freshman soon learns that the term "activities" embraces all
extra-curricular interests at college and covers a multitude of the most
varied occupations and diversions and, in some cases, a "multitude of sins."
Participation in college is good and is encouraged pro-vided: it does not
interfere with scholarship; it does no injury through physical overexertion;
the activities are in themselves worthwhile; and those participating are
reasonably well fitted to do so.
Pledges are urged to become involved in constructive activities for which
they have a particular bent, if doing so does not overtax their energies or
interfere with studies. Pledges and members are cautioned about taking on
too many different activities. It is far better to devote one's energies to
a few sound and worthy interests, to contribute the most to these, and to
derive the most from them than to be a promiscuous joiner. Pledges and
members are urged to take part in some outside activities but to use
discretion in selecting them.
9. Profit by associations with
men in a spirit of fraternalism
Every pledge is more or less bewildered during his early days of pledgeship.
If he has lived in a college town and "knows the ropes" of fraternity
organization, he will at least be astonished by the assemblage of
personalities. There are a thousand distinct species, and all are different
and a bit hard to understand. But it is by living and knowing how to get
along with all kinds of people that a man can profit the most from his
personal contacts and associations while a college student. Living in
intimate contact with interesting personalities, some of whom are likely to
be a bit uncongenial at times, offers an opportunity granted to only a few.
Most college men never fully appreciate the definite knowledge of human
nature which they gain from seeing their fraternity brothers and fellow
students at close range.
This opportunity for a life of such intimacy may never again come to them.
Few also appreciate how their own characters are molded by this experience,
and how tolerance and understanding grow through democratic living in a
diversity of personalities.
10. Be an exemplary Sigma Pi
A good pledge and a good fraternity man will respect and abide by the laws
and regulations of his fraternity and college, as well as the laws of state.
Laws are not intended to restrict personal freedom but are designed for the
protection and welfare of all. The more complicated society becomes, the
more each individual has to consider his relationships with and
responsibilities to others. It is important for a fraternity chapter to
promote goodwill on the campus among the affiliated and non-fraternity
students. Someone has said that the membership of a chapter is made up of
four kinds of bones. There are the wishbones that spend all their time
wishing someone else would do the work. Then there are the jaw bones who do
all the talking, but very little of anything else. Next comes the knuckle
bones who knock everything that everybody else tries to do. And finally
there are the backbones who get under the load and do the work. What kind of
member will you be? Remember, apathy constitutes the death of a fraternity
and an individual.
In general, it can be said Sigma Pi Fraternity hopes and strives to bring
out the best in every one of its members. In this hope, however, the
Fraternity is doomed to failure unless each member is willing to put forth
his best. It should be the personal ambition of every Sigma Pi to conduct
himself and to realize the Fraternity's ideals in his own daily life, so
that those, both in and out of the Fraternity will want to emulate his
character and accomplishments in advancing truth and justice. As
long as you have the honor and privilege of doing so, wear with pride your
pledge pin and the Sigma Pi badge. Be proud of being a Sigma Pi. Be proud of
being a fraternity man.
As your son prepares to attend college, he will have many opportunities to
become involved in campus life. Becoming a part of our fraternity is one of
What will my son get out of Greek life and your Fraternity that
they would not get out of any other college organization?
Coming to college is one of the major life changes that your son will go
through. Joining our fraternity will help make the transition easier. The
fraternity experience is multifaceted and offers numerous opportunities to
your student. Developing life-long friendships with the members in their
chapter helps make the campus smaller. For many members, our chapter has
become a home away from home. In addition to the brotherhood, our chapter is
dedicated to enhancing leadership, scholarship, philanthropy/service, and
financial responsibility through various programs and opportunities. It will
be up to your son to determine the level of involvement they want to have in
our organization and what kind of experience it will be for them.
How will joining your Fraternity now benefit my son after
The life long friendships your son will make through our chapter can last
into post-college years. Greeks have national networks for their members to
use for securing jobs and advancing their careers. Membership in a chapter
of Sigma Pi is a life-long experience that the member and the fraternity
enjoy together. Joining now is really an investment in your son's future as
they will reap the benefits now and for a lifetime. Wherever a member ends
up after college, chances are he will be able to find other members of Sigma
Will my son’s academics be compromised if they join your
Students often find managing their time difficult when moving from the
highly structured high school environment to the freedom of college life.
Greek membership assists in that transition by offering scholarship programs
that may include study partners, mandatory study hours, and time management
workshops. Your son can also access the network of our chapter members who
already know how to use campus resources like the library, study skills
center, computer labs, and academic advisors. Nothing, however, can take the
place of a disciplined and academically-focused student to ensure success in
What is a Philanthropy or Service Project?
The Brothers of Sigma Pi take it as part of our mission to support our
various philanthropies (non-for-profit causes). Throughout the year, our
chapter spends time fundraising and volunteering to help our particular
philanthropy. The time spent together on philanthropic and service events is
one of the many times that our fraternity members have the opportunity
to bond, while making a difference in a community member’s life.
How much time does a chapter take up?
The first semester is the most time intensive as the new member goes through
the chapter’s Foundation of Membership Education Program. The time spent in
this program will give your student the opportunity to develop their
leadership and time management skills, learn about the history of the
Fraternity, develop friendships with their new member class, as well as the
rest of the chapter, and allow them to become involved with other
organizations. After the initiation into our chapter, expectations will
vary. Our chapter has weekly chapter meetings and other mandatory events
(philanthropic, service, initiation) throughout the year, but they are
planned well in advance. The more your son puts into the chapter the more he
will get out of being a member!
What does it cost to be a member?
The Greek Experience is an investment in your student's future. The
leadership skills, the academic assistance, and friendships will benefit
your child beyond their college days. The perception that fraternities are
only an option for “rich” students is widespread and false. Greek
organizations are quite affordable and fees go to services that will
positively impact your son. Many students work to supplement funding for
their dues. Member’s dues directly support the betterment of the chapter and
the national organization. To assist members, chapters may offer various
scholarships and grants. We encourage your son to ask questions related to
finances during the recruitment process. We also encourage you to be
”hands-on” in this decision if you have any questions about the obligations
Here are the fees associated with membership in Sigma Pi:
Pledge Fee: $100 (covers pledge pin, pledge manual, and pledge
Initiation Fee: $325
(covers initiation expenses, Fraternity badge, lifelong membership to the
lifelong subscription to the Fraternity magazine, and office fees)
Local Dues: Local dues vary from year to year, usually less than
$300 per year.
Are fraternities primarily social in nature?
There is a social aspect to the Greek community but these “social” events
include education programs/workshops, community service events, intramural
sports, Parent’s Day, Homecoming and dinner exchanges in addition to parties
and socials. Today’s Greek communities across the nation have adopted a
stringent approach to socializing thereby creating a safer, more beneficial
environment for members.
What about hazing?
Sigma Pi prohibits all forms of hazing. A holistic definition of hazing can
also be found in our University’s Code of Polices and Regulations Applying
to All Students. The national Fraternity investigates all allegations.
What is my role as a parent?
Take the time to find out more about our chapter. Ask questions about what
our organizations will offer your child and allow them to make the best
decision for themselves.
As you look into the
Greek Community with your son consider the following information compiled by
Fraternity affiliation can positively influence retention through
graduation. Fraternity affiliation directly impacts campus involvement and
overall student satisfaction with college. Fraternity affiliation can
positively influence involvement in civic organizations after college. Some
statistics compiled by the North-American Interfraternity Conference
48% of all US Presidents
have been Greek
42% of US Senators are
30% of US Congressmen
40% of all US Supreme
Court Justices have been Greek
30% of Fortune 500
Executives are Greek
And Greeks only make up 3% of
the US population.