SigEp’s 55th Grand Chapter Conclave welcomed more than 1,300 brothers and friends to the Balanced Man Celebration Thursday night at the Hard Rock Live at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.
Energy and applause filled the large venue as a color guard and light show opened the ceremony, followed by a video that displayed Chris Bittman’s, Colorado ’85, words, “SigEp needs heroes … they need champions … we need leaders.”
To introduce our host for the evening, Steve Hofstetter, Columbia ’02, a humorous video featuring Hofstetter and unsuspecting Conclave attendees played on the big screen. The comedian descended from the ceiling, donned a dinner jacket and welcomed the crowd to the celebration.
To kick off a night of recognition, Danny Clare, Nebraska ’18, Jacob Smith, Toledo ’18, and Kevin Nguyen, Oregon State ’19, announced the four chapters that have been awarded their charters since the 54th Grand Chapter Conclave in 2015. SigEp’s newly chartered chapters are:
Iowa Eta – Loras
Illinois Lambda – Northwestern
Connecticut Alpha – Connecticut
Ohio Nu – Cleveland State
Next, 17 chapters were recognized with SigEp’s Silver Buchanan Outstanding Chapter Award (Buc Cup). The 2017 Silver Buc Cup recipients are:
Iowa Delta RLC – Drake
Indiana Zeta RLC – Valparaiso
Georgia Alpha – Georgia Tech
Iowa Theta – Northern Iowa
Kentucky Zeta – Morehead State
Louisiana Beta – Louisiana State
Michigan Beta RLC – Western Michigan
Michigan Theta RLC – Lawrence Tech
Missouri Eta RLC – Missouri State
Montana Beta RLC – Montana State
North Carolina Mu RLC – Elon
Oklahoma Alpha RLC – Oklahoma State
Pennsylvania Tau – West Chester
South Dakota Alpha – South Dakota State
Texas Alpha – Texas–Austin
Virginia Pi RLC – Christopher Newport
Washington Alpha RLC – Washington State
Ten chapters were given Gold Buchanan Outstanding Chapter Awards for winning the award for five consecutive Conclaves or more. The 2017 Gold Buc Cup recipients are:
California Chi RLC – Loyola Marymount
D.C. Gamma – Georgetown*
Illinois Alpha RLC – Illinois
Maine Alpha RLC – Maine*
Nebraska Alpha RLC – Nebraska–Lincoln
New Jersey Alpha RLC – Stevens*
Ohio Gamma RLC – Ohio State
Ohio Iota RLC – Toledo
Ohio Theta RLC – University of Cincinnati
Oregon Alpha RLC – Oregon State
(* Chapters that earned their first Gold Buc Cup.)
Three chapters won their first Gold Buc Cup. Cincinnati RLC received its 15th Buc Cup in a row, continuing its streak as the chapter with the most consecutive Buc Cup wins ever.
Following the Buc Cup presentations, Grand President Rick Bennet, Central Missouri ’70, took the stage, appreciative for his 12 years serving on the National Board of Directors and term as Grand President. (View his farewell address.) Reminiscing on his own decision to join SigEp, Bennet challenged undergraduates to set a new vision for the future, warning undergraduates that the fraternity system may not exist in 10 years as society sees fraternities as less and less relevant. He reaffirmed SigEp’s status as the leader in innovation among fraternities and challenged undergraduate delegates to think long-term about the pending substance-free Grand Chapter legislation.
As Bennet concluded his speech to a standing ovation, the curtain fell, revealing a stage full of Past Grand Presidents. Confetti flew, and chapters celebrated Buchanan Cups with photos and dinner afterward at the nearby Universal Citywalk.