The Order of the Golden Heart is SigEp’s highest honor, reserved for alumni who provide exceptional service to the Fraternity over the course of a lifetime. Since the OGH’s creation in 1959, only 155 of SigEp’s 300,000+ lifetime members have been inducted. At the 53rd Grand Chapter Conclave, these four were added to the list.
John Allen, Louisiana State ’65
Brother John Allen has dedicated his SigEp service to teaching his chapter to do things ‘the right way.’ When his chapter closed 30 years after his graduation, he returned to take on the role of chapter counselor and restore the charter. Today, the chapter raises more than $20,000 annually, has won three Buchanan Cups and is the second largest SigEp chapter in the nation.
LeRoy Thompson, Missouri S&T ’56
Five years after graduating, Brother LeRoy Thompson returned to his chapter as a volunteer and found it in dire need. He guided his brothers to improve their academic performance and built an addition to their chapter house. He later helped build a new home and served as chapter counselor and faculty advisor to the chapter. When he moved to Florida, he helped start the Florida Nu Chapter at Florida International.
Rod Smart, Sacramento State ’77
Known best for his sharp wit and bubbly personality, Smart’s greatest legacy may be his ability to help other brothers connect and stay connected. After serving as a regional director, he helped shape the Freeark Society, successfully ensuring hundreds of former SigEp traveling staff stay in touch and maintain the bonds they develop as staff. As a district governor, he helped start many of the chapters in Texas and California that exist today. Over the last 28 years, he has missed only one Conclave.
Ross Hecht, Nebraska ’54
After 62 years of service to his chapter, Hecht holds a legacy that is both long and profound. Having already served as an undergraduate leader, he returned to his chapter in the 1960s to lead a campaign to double the size of the house. Thirty years later he led efforts to raise $1.5 million to renovate the home. Of the 1,800 brothers who have passed through the chapter since he joined it, many have enjoyed visits to Hecht’s home where they receive mentorship and guidance. Last year, more than 120 of his undergraduate brothers raised $200,000 in just a few days to establish a memorial scholarship in his name.