Benefits and expectations

What can a young man expect from Sigma Phi beyond the core values of Friendship , Love, and Truth? He will have mentors and role models from upperclassmen who provide support and guidance in scholastics, social behavior, loyalty, honor, and individual responsibility. The chapter house setting provides numerous opportunities to develop integrated skills. A Sig will be expected to:

  • Maintain higher-than-average grades
  • Participate in extra-curricular activities
  • Participate in volunteer work in the community in which the college is located
  • Learn how the living unit is managed
  • Participate in the business management of the chapter house

In addition, he will be expected to meet his financial obligations to the house as he progresses through school.

Brothers will participate in activities that build links between Sigma Phi and the rest of campus. Chapters have receptions and dinners to foster frequent contact with faculty members. Some chapters even bring nationally known speakers to campus.

Additionally, brothers will hold positions within the chapter that will prepare him and provide him with skills which can never be learned in the classroom.



History of the Society

The first social fraternity in the country, Kappa Alpha, was founded at Union College in 1825. Sigma Phi, Union’s second fraternity was founded on March 4, 1827 when four undergraduates recognized their need for a companionship more intimate than the one comprising the college’s student body.

Of the four founders, Thomas F. and John T. Bowie (from Upper Marlboro MD.), T.S. Witherspoon (of Greensboro, AL), and Charles T. Cromwell (from Mosquito Cove, NY), three were Southern gentlemen. At the time, John Quincy Adams was the nation’s President. Shortly thereafter, these founders widened their circle and admitted a select group of their fellow students who had similar qualities of good mind, lofty character, and cordial manners. They determined to make themselves not a short-lived group of happy young men, but a Society dedicated to friendship. A friendship that would last not only through college, but through life. Ten thousand men have followed the four founders.

The Society’s attitude toward expansion has always been selective and conservative, although Sigma Phi was the very first fraternity to expand to a second chapter at another school. That first expansion, making us effectively the first “National” fraternity, took place in nearby Hamilton College in 1831. Since then, new chapters have been founded at Hobart, Vermont, Michigan, Cornell, Wisconsin, California and Virginia. Many of our chapters’ houses are architectural classics; two have been recognized as national historic landmarks and each is rich with its own local history.



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