On January 26, 1897, at Vincennes University in Indiana, a professor of French and Latin, Charlotte N. Mallote, gave a lecture on the merits of college fraternities. This lecture made quite an impression upon four young men, William Raper Kennedy, James Thompson Kinsbury, George Martin Patterson, and Rolin Roscoe James. Over the next month, they met and drew up plans for their own organization, one that would initially be known as the literary society, Tau Phi Delta, founded on February 26, 1897. Over the following years, their small literary society expanded and evolved, becoming the brotherhood we know today as Sigma Pi.
Since its founding, Sigma Pi has grown from a simple gathering of four friends, to an impressive 122 active chapters, 11 colonies, and 4,500 undergraduate members. Over the generations, members have valued honesty, hard work, and determinations, making it no surprise that many have gone on to lead very successful lives, including Hugh Taylor (NFL Wide Receiver, Washington Redskins), Nelson Farris (Director of Nike), Tracy Lawrence (Country Music Star), and Tony Romo (NFL Quarterback, Dallas Cowboys). With Brothers like these, it is no wonder that so many men have wanted to wear the Sigma Pi lavender, white, and gold.
One of the merits of Greek letter fraternities that inspired the founders of Sigma Pi, was the call to philanthropic service, a call that modern day Brothers are happy to answer. Rather than choose only one charitable organization to support, the members of Sigma Pi vote every two years at the Biennium Convention to select a cause that most needs their efforts at that time. Besides helping further the cause of national philanthropies, Sigma Pi also works tirelessly for the betterment of their individual campuses through ACE: The Altruistic Campus Experience. Working hand-in-hand with campus administration, the men of Sigma Pi determine where their help is needed most, whether for cleaning projects, planting trees, replenishing blood supplies for university hospitals, assisting the school with alcohol awareness programs, or rehabilitating campus areas.
Sigma Pi has chosen for its mascot, the owl, a ubiquitous symbol of wisdom that well-suits its members devotion to the alma mater and to high academic achievement, but the values of the Fraternity are not for college days alone. Through the Ten Obligations on Sigma Pi, Brothers are expected to behave like gentlemen at all times, practice moderation, meet all responsibilities, financial and otherwise, and strive to be a cooperative and exemplary citizen at all times, qualities that make both the campus and the world a better place.