As Past Grand President Phil Cox, Indiana ’84, often said, “Behind every great chapter is a group of dedicated volunteers.” These men and women serve as models for their peers and represent the best of what SigEp offers its members. Our volunteers are, in short, the foundation on which all of our chapters’ achievements rest.
The Exemplary Service Award was established in 2016 in recognition of SigEp volunteers who have selflessly contributed to the Fraternity for more than 20 years. The following alumni received their awards at the culmination of the 2019 Carlson Leadership Academies.
Steve Buce, Stevens ’86
Steve Buce was a major force behind New Jersey Alpha’s return to Stevens Institute of Technology in 2004. He volunteered countless hours to get the new chapter back up and running, and his efforts are clearly paying off. The chapter has since gone on to receive several Buchanan Cups and consistently has the highest GPA on campus. “It is a team effort at New Jersey Alpha, and I’m just proud to do my part,” Buce stated with his characteristic humility when accepting his award at Carlson.
He has also been heavily involved in developing the chapter’s learning community and mentoring its finance committee. Because of his dedication, he has touched the lives of hundreds of men who have joined our SigEp brotherhood at Stevens.
Ken Christianson, Washington State ’74
Ken Christianson began his volunteer service at his home chapter of Washington Alpha in 1998. Since that time, he’s served as president of the Alumni and Volunteer Corporation and in property management, communications and fundraising positions. A life trustee of the SigEp Educational Foundation, Christianson has also been on the board of SigEp National Housing since 2015.
After the Washington Alpha chapter closed in 2003, he led the effort to recolonize it and re-open the chapter house. This included spearheading an impressive $800,000 housing and scholarship campaign. The renovated chapter house reopened in 2006, welcoming a re-energized group of undergraduates and alumni volunteers. “There’s nothing greater than being on a winning team,” Christianson observed. “And Sigma Phi Epsilon is definitely a winning team.”
Jeff Gates, Wichita State ’89
As an undergraduate member of Kansas Eta, Jeff Gates was elected to serve as a student director on the National Board of Directors. When Gates graduated, he immediately began volunteering for SigEp, demonstrating incredible versatility. From co-chairing a $2.5 million capital campaign to leading the chapter in song practice, Gates has given his home chapter a huge amount of time and support. He has also made a significant impact on chapters throughout Kansas, Nebraska and Texas in his role as a district governor.
Each year, Brother Gates also makes time to personally mentor several undergraduate brothers. “I just enjoy working both with SigEps and for SigEp,” he explained.
Dave McLaughlin, Minnesota ’92
In 1994, Dave McLaughlin stepped up to serve as his home chapter’s lone volunteer. It wasn’t long, however, before he’d recruited an additional 10 volunteers. Together, they’ve helped guide Minnesota Alpha to multiple Buchanan Cups. In 2007, McLaughlin became a district governor, and for over a decade, recruited volunteers and strengthened chapters throughout the Midwest. He has also served on multiple SigEp task forces and committees. In memory of his brother, Will McLaughlin, Minnesota ’02, he founded an endowment that has so far supported the attendance of 20 undergraduate brothers at SigEp’s Ruck Leadership Institute.
“SigEp has very literally taken me around the world. It has become a family affair, with my wife Amber, son William and daughter Avery enjoying the experience as well,” McLaughlin shared.
Bud Robeson, Cincinnati ’68
Bud Robeson began volunteering in 1994 as a member of the Technology Task Force. Since then, he’s served on the National Leadership Committee and two other task forces. A longtime business professor at the College of William & Mary, Robeson was faculty fellow for the William & Mary chapter for a year before becoming AVC president for the Virginia Pi chapter at Christopher Newport.
Since 2010, he’s led the William & Mary AVC, helping the chapter re-establish itself on campus and successfully apply for SigEp Learning Community accreditation. Robeson’s leadership has been the driving force behind the chapter’s re-chartering and sustained success. “The reason that I volunteer is because this Fraternity is different,” he stated.