SigEp’s 54th Grand Chapter Conclave welcomed more than 1,600 brothers and friends at the Balanced Man Celebration Thursday night at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tenn.
Energy filled the room as a light show opened the ceremony. A live bagpipe band and undergraduate performance of the National Anthem then set the tone for the rest of the program. Tennessee Senator Randy McNally, Memphis ’66, offered a formal welcome from the state, memorialized by a signed Resolution from the Tennessee Governor and Tennessee Speaker of the House.
Undergraduate emcees Kris Alvarez, Stevens Tech ’16, and Jason Esau, Murray State ’16, recognized the service of SigEp’s district governors and full-time traveling staff. SigEp’s National Board of Directors then announced the 13 chapters who had been awarded their charters since the 53rd Grand Chapter Conclave in 2013.
Newly chartered chapters include:
Alabama Beta – Alabama
Arizona Beta – Arizona
Florida Epsilon – Florida State
Georgia Theta – Emory
Kansas Zeta – Fort Hays State
Kentucky Alpha – Kentucky
Massachusetts Gamma – Boston University
New Hampshire Gamma – New Hampshire
Pennsylvania Upsilon – Clarion
Rhode Island Beta – Rhode Island
Virginia Delta – William & Mary
Virginia Iota – James Madison
West Virginia Beta – West Virginia
The National Board of Directors next recognized 32 chapters with SigEp’s highest chapter honor, the Buchanan Outstanding Chapter Award. Nine chapters were given Gold Buchanan Cups for winning the award for five consecutive Conclaves or more.
Gold Buchanan Cup recipients:
California Chi RLC – Loyola Marymount
Delaware Alpha – Delaware
Illinois Alpha RLC – Illinois
Missouri Zeta RLC – Southeast Missouri State
Nebraska Alpha RLC – Nebraska
Ohio Gamma RLC – Ohio State
Ohio Iota RLC – Toledo
Ohio Theta RLC – Cincinnati
Oregon Alpha RLC – Oregon State
Silver Buchanan Cup recipients:
Arkansas Zeta –Central Arkansas*
D.C. Delta – American
D.C. Gamma – Georgetown
Georgia Delta RLC – Georgia
Iowa Delta RLC – Drake*
Iowa Theta – Northern Iowa*
Indiana Beta RLC – Indiana
Kansas Eta – Wichita State*
Maine Alpha RLC – Maine
Michigan Beta RLC – Western Michigan
Michigan Theta RLC – Lawrence Technological
Missouri Gamma – Missouri-S&T*
Mississippi Gamma – Southern Mississippi*
Montana Beta RLC – Montana State*
Nebraska Gamma RLC – Nebraska-Kearney*
New Jersey Alpha RLC – Stevens Tech
New Jersey Zeta RLC – Rider
New York Phi – Columbia*
Oklahoma Beta RLC – Oklahoma
Texas Alpha –Texas-Austin*
Virginia Pi – Christopher Newport
Washington Alpha RLC – Washington State
Washington Beta – Washington
* Indicates chapter did not receive the award in 2013.
Southern Mississippi and Montana State RLC were both awarded the first Buc Cup in their chapters’ histories, and Delaware became the newest Gold Buc Cup chapter. Cincinnati RLC received their 14th consecutive Buc Cup, representing the longest winning streak in SigEp’s history.
As the evening drew to an end, Student Director Sawyer Hicks, Davidson ’15, spoke on behalf Grand President Phillip A. Cox, Indiana ’84, who was not able to speak due to ongoing health challenges.
“Last Conclave, Grand President Cox reminded us of the importance of our Balanced Man Program,” Hicks said. “While others, including some of our own chapters, have fallen by the wayside, forgetting the founding values of our organizations, many of you have been bold in your defiance of the TFM, frat boy stereotypes. You have been positive on virtue’s behalf. You have been proactive in your brotherly love. And you have made our great Fraternity stronger as a result.”
When Hicks finished his speech, Grand President Cox surprised the audience by joining him on stage. As the closing music queued, volunteers, undergraduates and lifelong friends to Grand President Cox swarmed the stage to welcome him with open arms.