Founders Remembered: “This fraternity will be different”

The Founder’s Luncheon proved to be an unforgettable experience. Brothers filled up the huge Grand Saguaro ballroom to celebrate the founding of this great fraternity.

When Carter Ashton Jenkens was questioned by Richmond College as to his motives for inaugurating another fraternity on a campus that already had five, he responded with a phrase that would provide the foundation for SigEp, “This Fraternity will be different.”

lunchpicOne hundred and ten years later, Sigma Phi Epsilon has proven different from any other fraternity in the country many times over the decades. SigEp was the first fraternity to eliminate race and sexual orientation limitations, the first to provide an Educational Foundation for undergraduate support and the first to charter a chapter in all 50 states. SigEp was also the first to create a program that promoted leadership and development and the first fraternity to provide a program that brought students and faculty together in what is called the Residential Learning Community program.

Perhaps SigEp’s leadership principles are best exemplified by keynote speaker Andrew Feustel, Purdue ’89. Feustel has traveled over 6.5 million miles to outer space and back. The two-time, space-traveling astronaut carried the chapter flag to the Hubble space station last May. That flag will be put on display at Zollinger House.

Fellows honored

During the luncheon, two SigEps were honored as Sigma Phi Epsilon Fellows. Alexander Villa, Johns Hopkins ’12, and Josh Hodnichak, Case Western Reserve ’10, have both given their time and talents to serve the community by designing, coordinating, and completing 500-hour community service projects.

Villa created a program that promotes the Sound Body component of living a balanced life. His program, the Sound Body Challenge, divides participants into teams who collaborate with personal trainers, develop personal goals for improvement and craft a customized diet and fitness regimen.

Hodnichak, who is currently chapter services director for the Headquarters staff, began his project as an undergraduate. In 2007, he planned an alternative spring break trip for his brothers to Abita Springs, La., which was hit hard by Hurricane Katrina. Hodnichak led a group of four SigEps on a 16-hour drive and spent over 140 hours helping this small town in Louisiana reclaim their park.

Through Hodnichak’s leadership, Ohio Sigma RLC is responsible for over 1,550 hours of service with Habitat for Humanity to the communities of Sumter, S. C., Corpus Christi, Texas and Hanover, Va. The trip grew from four brothers in 2007 to 20 brothers in 2010.

Cornerstone Award announced

Just as the luncheon provided a living history of what a brother can do when given the tools to succeed, the bi-annual Cornerstone Award honors a group of individuals who have made a contribution of their time and talents towards a major housing project. This year’s recipient is the Wisconsin Beta AVC of the University of Wisconsin chapter for its outstanding work negotiating a $2.9 million project after a late night fire destroyed the 237 Langdon St. house in Madison.


***This post was syndicated from but is an original post.***

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