The Connecticut Alpha Chapter received its original charter in 1956 when Iota Nu Delta, a local fraternity at the University of Connecticut, petitioned to become SigEp’s 51st chapter. The group initiated 323 brothers before the Vietnam era ushered in challenges for the chapter that ultimately led to a temporary closure in 1972. SigEp returned to campus in 1980 and enjoyed great success for decades, earning four Buchanan Cups and producing many local and national volunteers for the Fraternity. When underperformance led to a second period of dormancy in 2008, alumni from the chapter’s strongest eras committed to breathing new life into Connecticut Alpha.
In the fall of 2014, Connecticut alumni resurrected their chapter with the support of SigEp’s new chapter development team. In just one semester, they interviewed over 600 men for the Balanced Man Scholarship and recruited 61 students to help reestablish SigEp at Connecticut. Within two years, the group grew to 92 men with an average GPA of 3.33, well above the all-campus and all-Greek averages.
The brothers worked to perfect their Balanced Man Program and, with the support of an active alumni and volunteer base, moved into the school’s Greek housing complex, Husky Village. After two years of continuous growth, the chapter submitted a successful chartering application in the fall of 2016.
A chartering banquet was held for the chapter in Hartford on April 1, 2017. Over 280 brothers and guests attended the event, including members of the school’s administration, SigEp staff and alumni from every decade of the chapter’s history.
The chapter’s 1980 president spoke about the chapter’s return to campus, and five other founding members from 1980 also attended the event. Joe Langella, Connecticut ’83, District Governor for Eastern Pennsylvania and an inaugural recipient of SigEp’s Exemplary Service Award, delivered a moving and heartfelt speech about his SigEp experience and the value of service.
To promote the continued success of the chapter, several new scholarships were announced. The Gildhouse Brotherly Love Scholarship Fund was unveiled by its sponsor, Vern Gildhouse, Connecticut Renaissance. The first award from the fund was given to Collin Neaton, ’16. The fund was established to recognize altruistic members who promote brotherly love within the chapter, with additional grants going to support chapter-wide activities that foster fellowship. Additionally, the Alumni and Volunteer Corporation presented its Outstanding Sophomore Scholarship to Ryan Jarnutowski, ’19, and Florida District Governor Steven Chaneles, Connecticut ’83, announced that five Conclave scholarships had been established for the 2017 gathering.
After a brief address to the chapter, Order of the Golden Heart recipient and Past Grand President Mike Williams, Memphis ’69, installed the chapter’s officers. The chapter was presented with its charter, official chapter flag and seal before the evening concluded with brothers from every era gathering in song.
Today, the chapter continues to boast a GPA above the campus and Greek averages. Brothers participate in varsity, club, and intramural teams and are active across the university community. The school’s administration has honored the chapter with awards recognizing their Balanced Man Program, recruitment and retention efforts, and faculty involvement.
The Connecticut Chapter is also a recipient of several SigEp awards, including the Talent Power Award for recruitment and Excelsior Awards for finance and member development. The chapter produced a 2017 Zollinger Outstanding Senior, six Ruck Leadership Institute scholars, two Tragos Quest to Greece finalists and one Tragos scholar.