Sigma Alpha Epsilon
Overview
 
Sigma Alpha Epsilon is a North American
North American
North American generally refers to an entity, people, group, or attribute of North America, especially of the United States and Canada together.-Culture:*North American English, a collective term used to describe American English and Canadian English...

 Greek-letter social college fraternity
Fraternities and sororities
Fraternities and sororities are fraternal social organizations for undergraduate students. In Latin, the term refers mainly to such organizations at colleges and universities in the United States, although it is also applied to analogous European groups also known as corporations...

 founded at the University of Alabama
University of Alabama
The University of Alabama is a public coeducational university located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States....

 on March 9, 1856. Of all existing national social fraternities today, Sigma Alpha Epsilon is the only one founded in the Antebellum South
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

. Its national headquarters, the Levere Memorial Temple, were established on the campus of Northwestern University
Northwestern University
Northwestern University is a private research university in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois, USA. Northwestern has eleven undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools offering 124 undergraduate degrees and 145 graduate and professional degrees....

 in Evanston, Illinois
Evanston, Illinois
Evanston is a suburban municipality in Cook County, Illinois 12 miles north of downtown Chicago, bordering Chicago to the south, Skokie to the west, and Wilmette to the north, with an estimated population of 74,360 as of 2003. It is one of the North Shore communities that adjoin Lake Michigan...

 in 1929. At the time the Levere Memorial Temple was built, the building cost $400,000, it is now said that the building is priceless due to its extensive collections of Tiffany
Tiffany
-People:* Tiffany * Tiffany * Tiffany , an American pop artist* Tiffany , a K-pop artist* Charles Comfort Tiffany, American Episcopal clergyman* Charles Lewis Tiffany, a founder of Tiffany & Co....

 Stained-glass windows.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon is one of the largest college fraternities
Fraternities and sororities
Fraternities and sororities are fraternal social organizations for undergraduate students. In Latin, the term refers mainly to such organizations at colleges and universities in the United States, although it is also applied to analogous European groups also known as corporations...

 by total initiates, with more than 300,000 initiated members and more than 11,800 undergraduates at 246 chapters and 17 colonies in 49 states and provinces at present.
Encyclopedia
Sigma Alpha Epsilon is a North American
North American
North American generally refers to an entity, people, group, or attribute of North America, especially of the United States and Canada together.-Culture:*North American English, a collective term used to describe American English and Canadian English...

 Greek-letter social college fraternity
Fraternities and sororities
Fraternities and sororities are fraternal social organizations for undergraduate students. In Latin, the term refers mainly to such organizations at colleges and universities in the United States, although it is also applied to analogous European groups also known as corporations...

 founded at the University of Alabama
University of Alabama
The University of Alabama is a public coeducational university located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States....

 on March 9, 1856. Of all existing national social fraternities today, Sigma Alpha Epsilon is the only one founded in the Antebellum South
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

. Its national headquarters, the Levere Memorial Temple, were established on the campus of Northwestern University
Northwestern University
Northwestern University is a private research university in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois, USA. Northwestern has eleven undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools offering 124 undergraduate degrees and 145 graduate and professional degrees....

 in Evanston, Illinois
Evanston, Illinois
Evanston is a suburban municipality in Cook County, Illinois 12 miles north of downtown Chicago, bordering Chicago to the south, Skokie to the west, and Wilmette to the north, with an estimated population of 74,360 as of 2003. It is one of the North Shore communities that adjoin Lake Michigan...

 in 1929. At the time the Levere Memorial Temple was built, the building cost $400,000, it is now said that the building is priceless due to its extensive collections of Tiffany
Tiffany
-People:* Tiffany * Tiffany * Tiffany , an American pop artist* Tiffany , a K-pop artist* Charles Comfort Tiffany, American Episcopal clergyman* Charles Lewis Tiffany, a founder of Tiffany & Co....

 Stained-glass windows.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon is one of the largest college fraternities
Fraternities and sororities
Fraternities and sororities are fraternal social organizations for undergraduate students. In Latin, the term refers mainly to such organizations at colleges and universities in the United States, although it is also applied to analogous European groups also known as corporations...

 by total initiates, with more than 300,000 initiated members and more than 11,800 undergraduates at 246 chapters and 17 colonies in 49 states and provinces at present. The creed of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, The True Gentleman, must be memorized and recited by all prospective members. New members receive a copy of The Phoenix, the manual of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, for educational development.

History

Sigma Alpha Epsilon was founded on March 9, 1856, at the University of Alabama
University of Alabama
The University of Alabama is a public coeducational university located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, United States....

 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Tuscaloosa is a city in and the seat of Tuscaloosa County in west central Alabama . Located on the Black Warrior River, it is the fifth-largest city in Alabama, with a population of 90,468 in 2010...

. Its founders were Noble Leslie DeVotie
Noble Leslie Devotie
Noble Leslie DeVotie was the main contributing founder of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. DeVotie is often credited with writing the Ritual, creating The Grip, and the name of the fraternity. Because of these important contributions he is viewed by the fraternity as the most influential of the...

, Nathan Elams Cockrell
Nathan Elams Cockrell
Nathan Elams Cockrell was a founder of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. He was born in Livingston, Alabama. In 1854 he entered the University of Alabama. While there he was a founding member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon which became the largest fraternity by initiates in the world...

, John Barratt Rudulph, John Webb Kerr, Samuel Marion Dennis, Wade Hampton Foster, Abner Edwin Patton, and Thomas Chappell Cook. Their leader was DeVotie, who wrote the ritual, created the grip, and chose the name. Rudulph designed the badge. Of all existing national social fraternities today, Sigma Alpha Epsilon is the first national fraternity founded in the antebellum South.
Founded in a time of intense sectional feeling, Sigma Alpha Epsilon confined its growth to the southern states. By the end of 1857, the fraternity numbered seven chapters. Its first national convention met in the summer of 1858 at Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Murfreesboro is a city in and the county seat of Rutherford County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 108,755 according to the United States Census Bureau's 2010 U.S. Census, up from 68,816 residents certified during the 2000 census. The center of population of Tennessee is located in...

, with four of its eight chapters in attendance. By the time of the outbreak of the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 in 1861, fifteen chapters had been established.

None of the founders of SAE were members of any other fraternity, although Noble Leslie Devotie had been invited to join all of the other fraternities at the University of Alabama before founding Sigma Alpha Epsilon.

The fraternity had fewer than 400 members when the Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 began. Of those, 369 went to war for the Confederate States. Seventy-four members of the fraternity, including Noble DeVotie, lost their lives in the war. DeVotie, who served as a Chaplain
Chaplain
Traditionally, a chaplain is a minister in a specialized setting such as a priest, pastor, rabbi, or imam or lay representative of a religion attached to a secular institution such as a hospital, prison, military unit, police department, university, or private chapel...

 in the Confederate Army, is noted as the first Alabama soldier to lose his life. After the Civil War, only one chapter survived – at tiny Columbian College (which is now George Washington University
George Washington University
The George Washington University is a private, coeducational comprehensive university located in Washington, D.C. in the United States...

) in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

.

When a few of the young veterans returned to the Georgia Military Institute
Georgia Military Institute
The Georgia Military Institute was established on in Marietta, Georgia, on July 1, 1851. It burned during the Civil War and was never rebuilt. The current GMI is a reactivation of the name for a Georgia National Guard Officer Candidate School curriculum.-Mission:In January 2010, the Georgia Army...

 and found their college burned to the ground, they decided to enter the University of Georgia
University of Georgia
The University of Georgia is a public research university located in Athens, Georgia, United States. Founded in 1785, it is the oldest and largest of the state's institutions of higher learning and is one of multiple schools to claim the title of the oldest public university in the United States...

 in Athens
Athens, Georgia
Athens-Clarke County is a consolidated city–county in U.S. state of Georgia, in the northeastern part of the state, comprising the former City of Athens proper and Clarke County. The University of Georgia is located in this college town and is responsible for the initial growth of the city...

, Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

. The founding of a chapter there at the end of 1865, along with the re-establishment of the chapter at the University of Virginia
University of Virginia
The University of Virginia is a public research university located in Charlottesville, Virginia, United States, founded by Thomas Jefferson...

, led to the fraternity's revival. Soon, other chapters came back to life and, in 1867, the first post-war convention was held at Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville is the capital of the U.S. state of Tennessee and the county seat of Davidson County. It is located on the Cumberland River in Davidson County, in the north-central part of the state. The city is a center for the health care, publishing, banking and transportation industries, and is home...

, where a half-dozen revived chapters planned the fraternity's future growth.

In the 1870s and early 1880s, more than a score of new chapters were formed. Older chapters died as fast as new ones were established. By 1886, the fraternity had chartered 49 chapters, but few were active. The first northern chapter had been established at Pennsylvania College (now Gettysburg College
Gettysburg College
Gettysburg College is a private four-year liberal arts college founded in 1832, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, United States, adjacent to the famous battlefield. Its athletic teams are nicknamed the Bullets. Gettysburg College has about 2,700 students, with roughly equal numbers of men and women...

), in 1883, and a second was placed at Mount Union College
Mount Union College
The University of Mount Union is a 4-year private, coeducational, liberal arts college in Alliance, Ohio.Mount Union enrolls 2200 undergraduates. Approximately 50 percent are women and 50 percent are men, representing more than 22 states and 13 countries. Mount Union has an active alumni base of...

 in Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

 two years later.

Soon after, 16-year-old Harry Bunting entered Southwestern Presbyterian University in Clarksville, Tennessee
Clarksville, Tennessee
Clarksville is a city in and the county seat of Montgomery County, Tennessee, United States, and the fifth largest city in the state. The population was 132,929 in 2010 United States Census...

, now known as Rhodes College
Rhodes College
Rhodes College is a private, predominantly undergraduate, liberal arts college located in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. Originally founded by freemasons in 1848, Rhodes became affiliated with the Presbyterian Church in 1855. Rhodes enrolls approximately 1,700 students pursuing bachelor's and master's...

 in Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis is a city in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Tennessee, and the county seat of Shelby County. The city is located on the 4th Chickasaw Bluff, south of the confluence of the Wolf and Mississippi rivers....

. He was initiated into the Tennessee Zeta Chapter, which had previously initiated two of his brothers. In just eight years, Harry Bunting and his younger brother, George, emboldened Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapters to increase their membership. They wrote encouraging articles in the fraternity's quarterly journal, The Record, promoting better chapter standards. Above all, they gave new life to old chapters in the South (including the mother chapter at Alabama) and founded new ones in the North and West. The Buntings were responsible for an explosion of growth, founding nearly 50 chapters of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. When Harry Bunting founded the Northwestern University
Northwestern University
Northwestern University is a private research university in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois, USA. Northwestern has eleven undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools offering 124 undergraduate degrees and 145 graduate and professional degrees....

 chapter in 1894, he initiated as a charter member William Collin "Billy" Levere. Bunting passed the torch of leadership to Levere, and for the next three decades, Levere's high spirits brought the fraternity to maturity.

When Levere died on February 22, 1927, the fraternity's Supreme Council decided to name the new national headquarters building The Levere Memorial Temple. Construction of the Temple, an immense German Gothic
Gothic architecture
Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

 structure located near Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes of North America and the only one located entirely within the United States. It is the second largest of the Great Lakes by volume and the third largest by surface area, after Lake Superior and Lake Huron...

 and across from the Northwestern University campus, was started in 1929, and the building was dedicated in the winter of 1930.

When the Supreme Council met regularly in the early 1930s at the Temple, educator John O. Moseley, the fraternity's national president, lamented, "We have in the Temple a magnificent school-house. Why can we not have a school?" Accordingly, the economic depression notwithstanding, the fraternity's first Leadership School was held under the direction of Moseley in the summer of 1935. In the last years of Moseley's life, he served the fraternity as its executive secretary, capping an academic career that included two college presidencies.

The True Gentleman

The True Gentleman is the creed of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, which was first adopted by the fraternity sometime in the 1930s. However, it wasn't until the 2001 Fraternity Convention in Orlando, Florida that it was officially adopted as the organization's creed. The definition was discovered by Judge Walter B. Jones, who first came upon it in an Alabama Baptist quarterly of which he was the editor. He sent a copy of it to John O. Moseley, the leader of the annual Leadership Schools, who was quite taken with it. Moseley began using it at the schools. For many years, the author of it was thought to be anonymous until the 1970s when the editor of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon pledge manual, The Phoenix, Joseph Walt, discovered that the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis also used it in a manual. The author was denoted there as one John Walter Wayland. "The True Gentleman" had actually first appeared in The Baltimore Sun as part of a competition for the best definition of a true gentleman with Wayland's submission being crowned the winner.

With his family's approval, John Walter Wayland was posthumously initiated into SAE during the Fraternity's 66th annual Leadership School in Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

. The Virginia Omicron chapter at the University of Virginia was selected as Wayland's chapter since he had completed his master's degree at that institution in 1901.

"The True Gentleman is the man whose conduct proceeds from goodwill and an acute sense of propriety, and whose self control is equal to all emergencies; who does not make the poor man conscious of his poverty, the obscure man of his obscurity, or any man of his inferiority or deformity; who is himself humbled if necessity compels him to humble another; who does not flatter wealth, cringe before power, or boast of his own possessions or achievements; who speaks with frankness but always with sincerity and sympathy; whose deed follows his word; who thinks of the rights and feelings of others rather than his own; and who appears well in any company, a man with whom honor is sacred and virtue safe."

- John Walter Wayland. Virginia, 1899

The Levere Memorial Temple

The fraternity's international headquarters, known as the Fraternity Service Center, is maintained at the Levere Memorial Temple in Evanston, Illinois. Honoring all the members of the fraternity who have served their countries in the armed forces since 1856, it was dedicated on December 28, 1930. The museum on the first floor is devoted to a collection of interesting historical photographs, pictures, and collections from private sources. The walls of the building are hung with oil portraits of distinguished members. The basement contains the Panhellenic Room, on the ceiling of which are the coats-of-arms of 40 college fraternities and 17 sororities, while the niches on the north side contain large murals showing the founding of Phi Beta Kappa in 1776 and that of Sigma Alpha Epsilon in 1856, together with other murals depicting episodes in the history of the fraternity. Perhaps the most outstanding mural in the Panhellenic Room is the reproduction of Raphael's The School of Athens
The School of Athens
The School of Athens, or in Italian, is one of the most famous paintings by the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael. It was painted between 1510 and 1511 as a part of Raphael's commission to decorate with frescoes the rooms now known as the , in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican...

, painted by Johannes Waller in the 1930s.

The building continues to be used for ceremonies and receptions by the various fraternities, sororities, and honor societies at Northwestern University. The impressive chapel of the Temple, with its soaring vaulted ceiling and stained glass windows by Tiffany is used regularly for religious services, and has been the scene of many weddings of Evanstons and members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. In fact, the entire building is open to the public for patriotic, religious, and educational purposes, while the library is also free to scholars seeking material pertaining to the history of any or all college fraternities and college organizations.

Government

In its early days, the government of the Fraternity was vested in a single chapter, designated the Grand Chapter. The first such chapter was North Carolina Xi at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a public research university located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States...

, which was responsible only to the general convention, the last was Tennessee Omega at the University of the South, in Sewanee, Tennessee.

Today Sigma Alpha Epsilon is governed by Fraternity Conventions which are held biennially. At Conventions, brothers from all over the country come together to consider modifications to the Fraternity Laws, to the Ritual and to elect national officers. Between Conventions, SAE is governed by an all-volunteer Supreme Council; composed of the Eminent Supreme Archon (President), Eminent Supreme Deputy Archon (VP), Eminent Supreme Warden (Treasurer), Eminent Supreme Herald, and Eminent Supreme Chronicler. An Honorary Eminent Supreme Archon is also selected by the Past ESAs. The Executive Director of Sigma Alpha Epsilon (a full-time paid staff position) holds the title of Eminent Supreme Recorder and serves as the Chief Operating Officer of the organization. He is supported by a 25+ person full-time staff based at the Levere Memorial Temple as well as in the field. The Fraternity Convention also elects members to serve on the SAE Foundation Board of Directors (11-members total) and the SAE Financial and Housing Board of Directors (7-members total).

In addition, Sigma Alpha Epsilon is governed more locally through Province Conventions. A province is a section of the Realm which is composed of nearby chapters. These provinces meet regularly to discuss issues concerning its individual chapters. Each of the 30 provinces are led by a Province Archon supported by a Province Council.

The Record

The fraternity communicates through The Record magazine. It is published three times a year and has been continuously in publication since 1880. The magazine has become popular in social groups throughout the country. The fall issue of The Record contains additional sections, such as Chapter Eternal and the annual report. All three issues are provided to active members and current donors to the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Foundation - at a circulation of approximately 30,000.

As of May 5, 2009, The Record can be read online at saerecord.net.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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