Sigma Phi Epsilon - Oklahoma State University

Spring 2020 Newsletter

Oklahoma Alpha Chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity at Oklahoma State University

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Inside: Loyal Donors t 2 Brothery Love, Opportunity, Legacy t 3 A Lifelong Friend t 3 Staying Connected to Brotherhood t 4 Alpha Artery A PUBLICATION FOR ALUMNI OF OKLAHOMA ALPHA t SIGMA PHI EPSILON SPRING 2020 I n the fall of 1916, 12 men at Oklahoma Agriculture and Mechanic College gathered together to form a "local social club." Thanks to chemistry Professor Ira Jones, the first members of Sigma Tau drafted a constitution in the old chemistry building. In December 1916, while finalizing their constitution, the men found an opossum. A tradition that carried throughout the 1920s was for new members to hunt for an opossum and wear a tuft of its fur on their coats as the chapter's first "new member pin." In the spring of 1917, the fraternity gained conditional membership to OAMC Interfraternity Council among five other local fraternities. The local fraternity Sigma Beta Chi, which became Sigma Chi at Oklahoma State, initially petitioned Sigma Phi Epsilon for a charter. They were rejected in the fall of 1917. That same year, Professor James W. Day, a Missouri Alpha founding member and OAMC agriculture professor, grew a bond with the Sigma Taus. He encouraged the Sigma Taus to petition for a charter from Sigma Phi Epsilon. While the national charter for Oklahoma Alpha was initially approved as early as March of 1917, the Spanish Flu and the end of World War I caused delays in our induction, as all but two members of Sigma Tau took part in the war. Dr. Jones was central to reorganizing the men upon their return to campus and continuing their recruitment processes. Earl French 1920 visited the 10th Conclave at Indianapolis in 1919, where he repetitioned for Sigma Tau to gain a charter from the national fraternity. The expansion committee's vote was unanimous to finally grant a Sigma Phi Epsilon charter to Sigma Tau at OAMC. Initially, the chartering of Oklahoma Alpha was set for Good Friday on April 2, 1920. The chapter members took the opportunity on Good Friday to hold one final Sigma Tau ritual for Edward Pace 1923. On April 3, 1920, Sigma Tau alumni and undergraduates were initiated into Sigma Phi Epsilon. While the ritual was conducted at the chapter house, Kappa Chi (which received a charter from Chi Omega later that year) hosted the initiates and alumni while the ritual completed. At 8:30 p.m., a banquet was thrown with toasts from each national officer, Grand Secretary "Uncle Billy" Phillips, Grand President Charles Yancey, a member of each of the 12 SigEp chapters at our induction, and member number one of Oklahoma Alpha, OAMC President J.W. Cantwell. The halls of Oklahoma Alpha have seen four Olympians, two founders and a sponsor of the national band fraternity Kappa Kappa Psi, NCAA champions in wrestling, golf, and baseball, professional athletes, college professors and deans, state senators and elected officials, authors, clergy, newscasters, doctors, hundreds of military officers, and titans of industry. At the end of the day, these men are united under one word: brother. Through the centennial, our chapter has welcomed more than 2,600 members. CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION To usher in the next century of our brotherhood, we invite you and your family to join us on September 26 in Stillwater to celebrate our centennial. We intend to hold a dedication, a lunch, a ritual exemplification and performance, and a banquet. Should the event need to be moved or canceled due to coronavirus concerns or national/local law forbidding meetings of this size, we will try to expeditiously reorganize an event closer to March 2021. Please reach out toa me or Amy and Darrell Pulliam '84 at for the RSVP link. Be on the lookout for additional information on the centennial celebration in the next few weeks. Fraternally, Aaron C. Cromer '16 100 Years of Oklahoma Alpha Join Your Brothers for Our Centennial Celebration Oklahoma Alpha's chartering membership from 1920. The 1955 Homecoming float.

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