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Sigma Chi

Sigma Chi
The Crest of Arms of Sigma Chi Fraternity
Founded June 28, 1855 (1855-06-28)
Miami University, Oxford, Ohio
Type Social
Scope United States and Canada
Motto In Hoc Signo Vinces ("In This Sign You Shall Conquer")
Colors      Blue and      Old Gold
Symbol The White Cross
Flower White Rose
Publication The Magazine of Sigma Chi
Philanthropy Children's Miracle Network and Huntsman Cancer Institute
Chapters 242 undergraduate,[1] 152 alumni[2]
Members 15,700+ collegiate
300,000+ lifetime
Headquarters 1714 Hinman Avenue
Evanston, Illinois, United States
Homepage .org.sigmachiweb

Sigma Chi (ΣΧ) is a social fraternity in North America. The fraternity has 244 active chapters across the United States and Canada and has initiated more than 300,000 members.[3] The fraternity was founded on June 28, 1855 at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio by members who split from the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity.

Sigma Chi is divided into five operational entities: the Sigma Chi Fraternity, the Sigma Chi Foundation, the Risk Management Foundation, Constantine Capital Inc., and Blue and Gold Travel Services.[4]

Like all fraternities, Sigma Chi has its own colors, insignia, and rituals. According to the fraternity's constitution, "the purpose of this fraternity shall be to cultivate and maintain the high ideals of friendship, justice, and learning upon which Sigma Chi was founded".[5][6]


  • History 1
    • Founding 1.1
    • The founders 1.2
    • Early years 1.3
      • Constantine Chapter 1.3.1
      • Purdue case 1.3.2
    • First half of the 20th century 1.4
  • Nomenclature and insignia 2
    • The Badge 2.1
    • The Seal 2.2
    • The Coat of Arms 2.3
  • Pledging 3
    • Pledgeship 3.1
    • Hazing and controversies 3.2
  • Organization of the fraternity 4
    • Chapter Officers 4.1
    • Grand Officers 4.2
    • Grand Chapter 4.3
    • Grand Council 4.4
    • The Executive Committee 4.5
    • Charitable foundations 4.6
  • Philanthropy 5
    • Derby Days 5.1
    • Merlin Olsen Day of Service 5.2
    • Huntsman Cancer Institute 5.3
  • Awards 6
    • Undergraduate awards 6.1
    • Alumni awards 6.2
    • International Sweetheart 6.3
    • Military Service Recognition Pin 6.4
  • Publications 7
    • The Magazine of Sigma Chi 7.1
    • The Norman Shield 7.2
  • Notable Sigs 8
  • Undergraduate chapters 9
  • Alumni chapters 10
  • See also 11
  • Footnotes 12
  • References 13
  • External links 14



Postcard of Sigma Chi House in Ann Arbor, Michigan, c. 1906 – 1909

The founding of Sigma Chi began as the result of a disagreement over who would be elected Poet in the Erodelphian Literary Society of Miami University in Ohio.[7]

Several members of Miami University's

  • Official Sigma Chi website

External links

  • Carlson, Douglas Richard (1990). History of the Sigma Chi Fraternity: 1955–1985. The Sigma Chi Fraternity.


  1. ^ Undergraduate chapters accessed 30 March 2014
  2. ^ Alumni chapters accessed 30 March 2014
  3. ^ "News | Sigma Chi Fraternity". Retrieved 2014-01-18. 
  4. ^ "What is Sigma Chi?". Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  5. ^ "Sigma Chi Principles". Retrieved 2014-01-18. 
  6. ^ The Core values of Sigma Chi
  7. ^ a b c d e The Founding of Sigma Chi
  8. ^ The Birth of Sigma Chi
  9. ^ William Lewis Lockwood Biography at
  10. ^ "Constantine, Heraldry and Roman Heritage" page 39. The Norman Shield, 41st Edition
  11. ^ "The Seven Founders: Benjamin Piatt Runkle" page 32. The Norman Shield, 41st Edition
  12. ^ "The Seven Founders: Thomas Cowan Bell" page 33. The Norman Shield, 41st Edition
  13. ^ "San Francisco National Cemetery Burial List Surnames Bas-Ben". Retrieved 2014-01-18. 
  14. ^ "The Seven Founders: William Lewis Lockwood" page 34. The Norman Shield, 41st Edition
  15. ^ a b "Jordan, Isaac M. at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress". Retrieved 2014-01-18. 
  16. ^ Illinois State University Theta Rho Chapter - Isaac M. Jordan
  17. ^ "The Seven Founders: Isaac M. Jordan" page 35. The Norman Shield, 41st Edition
  18. ^ Eta Upsilon biographies on the founders
  19. ^ "The Seven Founders: Daniel William Cooper" page 36. The Norman Shield, 41st Edition
  20. ^ "Franklin Howard Scobey Biography at". Retrieved 2014-01-18. 
  21. ^ "The Seven Founders: Franklin Howard Scobey" page 37. The Norman Shield, 41st Edition
  22. ^ "The Seven Founders: James Parks Caldwell" page 38. The Norman Shield, 41st Edition
  23. ^ a b "The Constantine Chapter" page 40-41. The Norman Shield, 41st Edition
  24. ^ "The History of Sigma Chi" page 48. The Norman Shield, 41st Edition
  25. ^ "The History of Sigma Chi" page 49. The Norman Shield, 41st Edition
  26. ^ Carlson, op. cit. pp. 8–9
  27. ^ "The History of Sigma Chi" pp. 50–51. The Norman Shield, 41st Edition
  28. ^ Carlson, op. cit. p. 517-518
  29. ^ a b c Carlson, op. cit. p. 3
  30. ^ Carlson, op. cit. p. 4
  31. ^ Carlson, Douglas R. "Sig History", p. 33 and 72. Sigma Chi Magazine, Winter 1983
  32. ^ Fraternity, Sigma Chi (2009). The Norman Shield, 43rd Edition. United States of America: Sigma Chi Fraternity. pp. 51–52. 
  33. ^ a b "Objectives of pledgeship" page 11. The Norman Shield, 41st Edition
  34. ^ Sigma Chi Statement of Position Concerning Pledge Education & the Ritual
  35. ^ "Nomenclature and Insignia" page 42. The Norman Shield, 41st Edition
  36. ^ "Fraternity implements new zero-tolerance hazing policy". Retrieved 2014-01-18. 
  37. ^ Falligant, Sara (November 26, 2013). "Auburn University's Sigma Chi fraternity suspended". Opelika-Auburn News. Retrieved June 18, 2015. 
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^ Wermund, Benjamin (March 17, 2015). "UH suspends Sigma Chi fraternity after hazing allegations". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved June 18, 2015. 
  42. ^ Wermund, Benjamin (April 15, 2015). "'"National Sigma Chi chapter didn't give UH hazing details for 'several weeks. Houston Chronicle. Retrieved June 18, 2015. 
  43. ^ Boyd, John (May 12, 2015). "Sigma Chi closes University of Houston chapter following hazing incident". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved June 18, 2015. 
  44. ^ Jost, Ashley (March 12, 2015). "Westminster College fraternity suspended indefinitely over hazing, social media comments". Columbia Daily Tribune. Retrieved June 18, 2015. 
  45. ^ Berning, Lindsey (March 11, 2015). "Sigma Chi chapter at Westminster College suspended indefinitely". ABC17 News. Retrieved June 18, 2015. 
  46. ^
  47. ^
  48. ^
  49. ^
  50. ^
  51. ^ a b [2]
  52. ^ a b c "Organization, Governance & Services" page 80-84. The Norman Shield, 41st Edition
  53. ^ "SCCF John W. Graham Scholarships". Retrieved 2014-01-18. 
  54. ^ "Sigma Chi Canadian Foundation Board of Directors". Retrieved 2014-01-18. 
  55. ^ "The History of Sigma Chi" page 57. The Norman Shield, 44th Edition
  56. ^ a b c "Philanthropy | Sigma Chi Fraternity". 2013-04-12. Retrieved 2014-01-18. 
  57. ^ "Huntsman Cancer Institute - - - Huntsman Cancer Institute - University of Utah Health Care - Salt Lake City, Utah". Retrieved 2014-01-18. 
  58. ^ a b Sigma Chi Undergraduate Awards
  59. ^ a b "Undergraduate Awards" page 98-100. The Norman Shield, 41st Edition
  60. ^ a b c "Alumni Awards" page 92-94. The Norman Shield, 41st Edition
  61. ^ The Sigma Chi Order of Constantine
  62. ^ Additional Awards & Recognitions of Sigma Chi
  63. ^ "Judy Garland Database". 1938-03-28. Retrieved 2014-01-18. 
  64. ^ Sigma Chi E-Newsletter, Vol. 17, September 2007
  65. ^ The Magazine of Sigma Chi Summer 2007, "Letter from the Grand Consul", page 3
  66. ^ a b "Sigma Chi Today". Sigma Chi International Headquarters. Retrieved 2009-09-10. 


See also

As of 2011, Sigma Chi has 149 alumni chapters around the world.[66]

Alumni chapters

As of 2007, Sigma Chi has 218,493 living brothers and as of 2010 there are 240 active undergraduate chapters at colleges and universities throughout the United States and Canada.[66] Since 1855, Sigma Chi has initiated more than 300,000 men.

Undergraduate chapters

Notable Sigs

The Norman Shield is the reference manual of the Fraternity. First compiled in 1929 by Arthur Vos, Jr. for the Beta Mu chapter at the University of Colorado at Boulder, it contains biographies of the founders, significant alumni, a history of the Fraternity, the Constitution and Statutes, and other writings relevant to the fraternity.

The Norman Shield

The Magazine of Sigma Chi is the official quarterly publication for undergraduate and alumni brothers of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. First published in 1881 at Gettysburg College, Theta Chapter, as The Sigma Chi, the name was later changed to The Sigma Chi Quarterly and then to The Magazine of Sigma Chi

The Magazine of Sigma Chi


The Military Service Recognition Pin recognizes honorably discharged veterans or currently serving members of the armed forces who are in good standing with the Sigma Chi Fraternity. The pin consists of a single Norman-style sword thrust upward with a small Sigma Chi Norman Shield with a cross embossed upon it placed upon the lower end of the blade just above the hilt and is to be worn on the brother's lapel. This award was first presented at the 2007 Grand Chapter.[64][65]

Military Service Recognition Pin

Most undergraduate chapters elect a female associated with the chapter as the chapter sweetheart. At each Grand Chapter, the fraternity chooses a Sweetheart from one chapter to be the International Sweetheart of Sigma Chi for two years. The International Sweetheart Award is presented based on personality, character, campus involvement, Sigma Chi activities, general accomplishments, poise, and grace. Each nominee must be the sweetheart of an undergraduate chapter for the year nominated and a student at the nominating chapter's university.[62] Judy Garland was a Sigma Chi Sweetheart from The Ohio State University chapter.[63]

International Sweetheart

The fraternity also gives out three alumni awards: The Significant Sig Award is given to a member who has excelled greatly in his field of study or occupation. The first seven Significant Sig awards were given to Roy Chapman Andrews, John T. McCutcheon, Chase S. Osborn, James Wallington, F. Dudleigh Vernor, and Samuel P. Cowley.[60] The Order of Constantine is awarded to alumni members who have devoted long and distinguished service to the Fraternity.[60][61] The Semi-Century Sig Award is given to brothers who have been active in the fraternity for 50 years or more.[60]

Alumni awards

Sigma Chi gives out two undergraduate awards, The Peterson Significant Chapter Award, which is given to chapters who show a strong performance in all areas of chapter operations,[58][59] and The International Balfour Award, which is given each year to one graduating senior who excels in four criteria; scholarship, character, Fraternity service and campus leadership.[58][59]

Undergraduate awards


Huntsman Corporation, Jon M. Huntsman Sr.. Huntsman has donated more than 350 million dollars to the institute, and has encouraged his fellow brothers to contribute as well.[57]

Huntsman Cancer Institute


In honor of notable Sigma Chi alumni and [56]

Merlin Olsen Day of Service

Derby Days is one of Sigma Chi's staple philanthropic events. According to archival information at Sigma Chi International Headquarters, the first "Derby Day" event was held in 1916 at the [56]

Derby Days


The Sigma Chi Canadian Foundation is the Canadian counterpart of The Sigma Chi Foundation. It serves independently of both the fraternity and the American foundation. It was formed by Canadian Sigma Chi Alumni as a registered charitable foundation to provide a tax-effective way for Canadian Sigma Chi to support the educational pursuits of Canadian undergraduate chapters.[53] The Foundation is guided by a and a Board of Directors of alumni members.[54]

A Board of Governors, headed by Chairman Bob Johnson, governs the Foundation. The Foundation's President and CEO is Gregory J. Harbaugh and the Foundation's offices are based in Evanston, Ill.

The Sigma Chi Foundation is a charitable and educational tax-exempt organization, separate and independent from the Fraternity, whose express purpose is to serve as an educational funding resource for the undergraduate and graduate student members of the Sigma Chi Fraternity.

Charitable foundations

The Executive Committee meets at least four times a year. The Executive Committee consists of 11 members; Grand Consul, Grand Pro Consul, Grand Quaestor, the immediate Past Grand Consul, a Grand Trustee elected by the Board of Grand Trustees, a Grand Praetor elected by the Praetorial College, one alumnus member-at-large, two undergraduate representatives elected by the undergraduate delegates from each chapter, and the two most recent International Balfour Award winners. The committee regulates the budget and expenditures as well as assign duties to the International Headquarters staff.[52]

The Executive Committee

The Grand Council meets every year when no Grand Chapter is held. The Grand Council consists of the Grand Officers, Past Grand Consuls, members of the Executive Committee, Grand Trustees, Grand Praetors, members of the Leadership Training Board and one undergraduate from each province. It may [52]

Grand Council

Grand Chapter is the supreme [52] The most recent Sigma Chi Grand Chapter was held in Washington, D.C. on June 27–29, 2013.

Grand Chapter

The national organization uses similar Roman titles, typically with the prefix of "Grand". The Grand Consul is the international president of Sigma Chi. He presides over the Executive Committee, Grand Chapter and the Sigma Chi Corporation. The current Grand Consul is Mike Ursillo.[51] The current Grand Pro Consul is W. Thomas Geddings.[51]

Grand Officers

Alumni chapter positions and duties may also vary from chapter to chapter. Alumni chapters use the more common office titles such as: president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer.

Officers in undergraduate chapters mostly have titles derived from Imperial Rome. The top officers of each chapter are known as the Consul (president), Pro Consul (vice-president), Annotator (minute-taker), Quaestor (treasurer), Magister (pledge trainer), Tribune (communications), and Historian. Those titles and the Kustos (sergeant-at-arms) are the primary officers common to all chapters. Chapters also have other positions, such as Social Chairman, Sports Chairman, Scholarship Chairman, House Manager, Rush Chairman, etc., plus other positions and titles varying from chapter to chapter.

Chapter Officers

Organization of the fraternity

In 2015, the chapter at Brown University was suspended after women reported drinking beverages that contained date-rape drugs at a Sigma Chi hosted party. The school charged the fraternity with facilitating sexual misconduct.[50]

In 2015, a Sigma Chi member at Utah State University was kicked out the fraternity after being charged with two counts of rape and aggravated sexual assault.[48] The attacks are believed to have taken place at the fraternity house.[49]

In 2015, the chapter at Indiana University of Pennsylvania was suspended by its national governing board after a woman was violently pinned down and raped by a member of the fraternity at the Sigma Chi house.[47]

In 2015, the chapter at University of Central Florida was suspended after the school's leadership received a video of a member chanting "Let's rape some [expletives], let's rape some sluts". Prior to the incident, there was an open rape case of a woman who woke up naked and in physical pain at the Sigma Chi house next to used condoms.[46]

In 2015, Westminster College and the national fraternity jointly suspended that school's chapter. The suspension was in response to hazing, academic problems, and racist and sexist comments by members on social media.[44][45]

[43] The

In 2014, three Sigma Chi members at James Madison University were found guilty of sexually assaulting a female student and distributing a recording of the incident. The members were banned from the campus after their graduation.[40]

In 2013, the chapter at the University of Dayton was suspended for three years for damaging a store's property, urinating inside the store and exposing themselves to passersby.[39]

In 2013, a Sigma Chi member from the University of Idaho was arrested and charged with rape. He must serve five years before he is eligible for parole.[38]

[37] The chapter at

In response to concerns over safety, negative publicity, and difficulty in getting insurance Sigma Chi announced a zero-tolerance stance on the issue of hazing on January 31, 2005.[36] Despite the policy, some hazing has occurred:

Hazing and controversies

Many aspects of the pledge program differ for each chapter, being set by that chapter under the direction of the Magister, though a large degree of continuity between chapters and "pledge classes" is maintained. All potential members in Sigma Chi are given a pledge pin and a Norman Shield. The pledge pin is a blue Norman Shield bearing the White Cross of Sigma Chi outlined in old gold.[35]

Pledgeship is a period for potential members before they are fully initiated into Sigma Chi. The pledge period differs in length from chapter to chapter but eight weeks is the recommended length by Headquarters.[33][34] The pledge period consists of intellectual exercises to cultivate potential members into becoming brothers; this includes learning the history of Sigma Chi, the operational workings of Sigma Chi, leadership skills, and allows the potential members to become an integral part of the chapter before initiation.[33]

The pledge pin of Sigma Chi



The crest of Sigma Chi is a blue Norman Shield with a white cross in its center. On top of the Norman Shield is a scroll and a crest of an eagle's head holding a key. Below it, the fraternity's public motto, "In Hoc Signo Vinces" is placed on a scroll. It can be translated as, "In this sign, you will conquer." [32]

The Coat of Arms

The seal of Sigma Chi is circular. On the outer edge is "Sigma Chi Fraternity" and at the bottom are the numbers "1855" denoting the founding of the fraternity. In the middle lie seven stars and a seven-branched candlestick.

The Seal

The badge of Sigma Chi is a white cross with white and black enamel. Two gold chains connect the two upper arms. Crossed keys are in the upper arm, an eagle's head lies in the left arm, and a scroll lies in its right arm. In the bottom arm lie two clasped hands and seven stars.

The Badge

Nomenclature and insignia

During this time period, the remaining four founders of Sigma Chi (of the original seven) all died; Daniel William Cooper was the last founder to die. Cooper's death led up to the Fraternity gaining one of its most priceless objects, Cooper's Sigma Phi badge. Cooper's body was sent by train to his final resting place in Pittsburgh, and the Beta Theta chapter at the University of Pittsburgh was given the privilege to administer his memorial service. On December 13, 1920, Cooper's body was conveyed to the Beta Theta chapter house where Beta Theta Consul Donald E. Walker removed Cooper's Sigma Phi Badge and replaced it with his own. Beta Theta Pro-Consul, Regis Toomey, sang the hymn "With Sacred Circle Broken" before Cooper was taken to his final resting place.[31]

During World War II it became apparent to the General Fraternity officers that a few alumni as well as a few undergraduate chapters believed some of the prerequisites for membership in Sigma Chi were outdated and should be changed or eliminated. This led to the first discussions about membership within the fraternity that continued until early in 1970. Until this time, membership requirements had specified that a potential member must be a "bona fide white male student". After the first discussion in 1948 at the Grand Chapter in Seattle, the committee on Constitutional Amendments tabled the issue pending a further study of the problem to be reported to the 1950 Grand Chapter. The study showed that the issue was "very hot" on 13 campuses with Sigma Chi chapters and only "lukewarm" on a dozen other campuses.[30]

The world wars of the 20th century took the lives of 103 Sigs in World War I and 738 in World War II. A great resurgence in undergraduate activity followed World War II due to an increase in chapter memberships. This increase was caused by the men returning from military service who went back to school as well as the usual addition of new brothers.[29]

The Sigma Chi Foundation was created on November 9, 1939 when the Sigma Chi Endowment Foundation was incorporated in Colorado. This educational endowment was first discussed in 1898 by alumni who wanted to assist undergraduates financially so they could finish their undergraduate studies.[29]

Coming into the beginning of the 20th Century Sigma Chi had installed a total of 74 chapters with 58 still active.[28] Having only established a centralized form of government in 1922, Sigma Chi was installing new chapters at a rate of about one chapter per year. On April 22, 1922 the Beta Omega chapter was installed at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario thus making Sigma Chi an international fraternity.[29]

During the first half of the 20th century the General Fraternity expanded in many places. In 1899 the Fraternity adopted the flag design created by Henry V. Vinton. In 1901 the Grand Chapter approved the Fraternity's pledge pin. In 1903 at the Grand Chapter in Detroit the Board of Grand Trustees was established. In 1922 the Alpha Beta chapter at University of California, Berkeley held the "Channingway Derby" which led to the creation of the "Sigma Chi Derby Days".[25][26] Some of the awards created during this time include the Significant Sig Award in 1935 and the Order of Constantine in 1948.[27]

Infirmary and Sigma Chi Chapter House, University of Mississippi

First half of the 20th century

In the fall of 1881, Thomas P. Hawley applied for admission to the university. Having already been initiated into Sigma Chi, Hawley refused to sign the pledge and was denied admission. Hawley took Purdue to court, but the judge ruled in favor of the faculty's decision. He also ruled, however, that the faculty had no right to deny Hawley from his classes based on the fraternity issue. The case was brought to the Indiana Supreme Court, which reversed the decision on June 21, 1882. This victory for Sigma Chi also allowed other fraternities at Purdue and led to the Purdue president's resignation in 1883.[24]

In 1876, Emerson E. White became president of Purdue University. He required each applicant for admission to sign a pledge "not to join or belong to any so-called Greek society or other college secret society" while attending the school. The Sigma Chi chapter at Purdue, which was already established at the university, sent petitions to the faculty and pleaded their case to the board of trustees, but was unsuccessful in changing the rule.

Purdue case

[23] The last meeting was held

Dixon was elected "Sigma" (president) and Yerger was elected "Chi" (vice president); the chapter also initiated two men. The only badge in the chapter was one Dixon had made from a silver half-dollar.

Dixon and Yerger contacted all brothers listed in the diary who could come to the meeting. They met at night in a deserted log cabin a few miles southwest of Atlanta. Dixon later wrote,

Harry St. John Dixon, a brother from the Psi Chapter at the University of Virginia who fought for the Confederacy, kept a record of all Sigma Chis within his vicinity on the flyleaf of his diary during the American Civil War. He began planning a Confederate Army chapter of Sigma Chi with this information. On September 17, 1864 Dixon founded the Constantine Chapter of Sigma Chi during the Atlanta campaign with Harry Yerger, a brother from Mississippi who was in Dixon's division. Dixon stated the reasons for which the war-time chapter was created saying,

Harry St. John Dixon

Constantine Chapter

Early years

  • Benjamin Piatt Runkle (September 3, 1836 – June 28, 1916) was born in West Liberty, Ohio. Runkle helped design the badge of Sigma Chi based on the story of Constantine and the vision of the cross. Runkle was known for having a fierce pride and was suspended from Miami University when he fought a member of Beta Theta Pi for sneering at his badge. When the Civil War began Runkle joined the Union Army. He was badly wounded at the Battle of Shiloh and left for dead on the battlefield. Runkle stayed in the army as a career and retired as a major general. After the army he was ordained an Episcopal priest. He was the only founder to serve as Grand Consul. He died on Sigma Chi's 61st birthday in Ohio. He is now buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.[11]
  • Thomas Cowan Bell (May 14, 1832 – February 3, 1919) was born near Dayton, Ohio. He was twenty-three years old when Sigma Chi was founded, second oldest of the founders. He graduated from Miami University in 1857 and began teaching. In 1861 he enlisted in the Union Army and rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel. After the war he returned to his career in education, serving as the superintendent of schools in Nobles County, Minnesota as well as the principal and president of several preparatory and collegiate institutions in the Western United States. Bell died the day after attending the initiation of alpha beta chapter at University of California Berkeley on February 3, 1919. He is buried at the Presidio of San Francisco in San Francisco National Cemetery in California.[12] Section OS, Row 43A, Grave 3.[13]
  • William Lewis Lockwood (October 31, 1836 – August 17, 1867) was born in New York City. He was the only founder who had not been a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon. He was considered the "businessman" of the founders and managed the first chapter's funds and general operations, becoming the first treasurer of Sigma Chi. After graduating from Miami University in 1858 he moved back to New York and began work as a lawyer. He received serious wounds serving in the Union Army during the Civil War, from which he never fully recovered. He named his son after Franklin Howard Scobey.[14]
  • Isaac M. Jordan (May 5, 1835 – December 3, 1890) was born in Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania[15] as Isaac Alfred Jordan.[16] His family later moved to Ohio where Jordan met Benjamin Piatt Runkle and became close friends. After graduating from Miami University in 1857 he went onto graduate school, where he graduated in 1862. He then began work as an attorney and was elected to the United States Congress in 1882.[17] He proceeded to change his middle name, Alfred, to just the letter "M" to help distinguish himself from his brother and law partner, Jackson A. Jordan. He died in 1890 after accidentally falling down an elevator shaft while greeting a friend.[18] He is buried in Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati, Ohio.[15]
  • Daniel William Cooper (September 2, 1830 – December 11, 1920) was born near Fredericktown, Ohio. Cooper was the oldest founder and was elected the first consul of Sigma Chi. After graduating from Miami University in 1857 he became a Presbyterian minister. Cooper's original Sigma Phi badge came into the possession of the Fraternity at the time of his death. It is pinned on every new Grand Consul at their installation. Cooper is buried at the Allegheny Cemetery in Pittsburgh, Pa.[19]
  • Franklin Howard Scobey (May 27, 1837 – July 22, 1888) was born in Hamilton, Ohio. Scobey was considered The Spirit of Sigma Chi for being friendly with everybody and not just a select group of people.[20] After graduating from Miami University in 1858 he went on to graduate again in 1861 with a law degree. He worked as a journalist in his hometown until 1879 but went on to become a cattleman in Kansas until 1882. Scobey then moved back to Ohio where he took up farming until his death. Never physically robust, Scobey was afflicted with hearing loss in his final years.[21]
  • James Parks Caldwell (March 27, 1841 – April 5, 1912) was born in Monroe, Ohio. By the age of thirteen Caldwell had completed all academics which could be offered at his local academy. He was then sent to Miami University with advanced credits. Caldwell was just fourteen at the time of the founding making him the youngest of the founders. After Caldwell graduated from Miami University in 1857 he practiced some law in Ohio but moved to Mississippi to begin a career as an educator. When the Civil War broke out he joined the Confederate Army. During the war he was taken prisoner but later, due to the influence of General Benjamin Piatt Runkle, was offered freedom on the condition that he renounce his allegiance to the Confederacy. He rejected this offer and remained loyal to the south. He was later released, again due to the influence of General Runkle. After the war he moved back to Mississippi and was admitted to the bar. He moved to California in 1867 and practiced law. In 1875 he began to travel frequently practicing law and editing newspapers. He died in Biloxi, Mississippi where the latest issues of The Sigma Chi Quarterly were found in his room.[22]

The founders

Much of Sigma Chi's heraldry was inspired by the legendary story of the Emperor Constantine from the Battle of Milvian Bridge against Maxentius. The White Cross and the motto "In Hoc Signo Vinces" are examples of the Constantine link. Although many of the symbols of Sigma Chi relate to Christianity, Sigma Chi is not a Christian fraternity.[10]

The six men decided to form their own fraternity along with William Lewis Lockwood, a student from New York who had not joined a fraternity. On June 28, 1855, the organization was founded under the name Sigma Phi Fraternity.[8] Lockwood had business training, and helped to organize the fraternity in its early years.[9] The theft of Sigma Phi's constitution, rituals, seals, and other records from Lockwood's room in Oxford in January 1856 prompted the change of the name of the fraternity to Sigma Chi. Eventually, this action could have been forced upon the group as there was already a Sigma Phi Society.

The matter came to a head in February 1855, when, in an attempt to seal the rift, Runkle and his companions planned a dinner for their brothers. Only one of the other brothers who supported the Delta Kappa Epsilon member as poet arrived, Whitelaw Reid. With him, Reid brought a stranger named Minor Millikin who was an alumnus of Delta Kappa Epsilon from a nearby town.[7] Reid had told Millikin his side of the dispute, and the arrived to punish Runkle, Scobey, and the rest. The leaders of the rebellion (Runkle and Scobey) were to be expelled from the fraternity. The other four, after being properly chastised, would be allowed to stay a part of the group.[7] Runkle resigned, and after the parent chapter at Yale University was contacted, all six men were formally expelled.[7]


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