Sigma Chi began because good men chose to act. The seven founders recognized that a principle-fueled way of life should be a paramount in a man's journey to achieve progressive development and that the world needed influences whose core values were based on remarkable character. Let's take a look at some notable brothers who have joined the ranks.
Brad Pitt: The American actor and film producer joined the ranks of Sigma Chi while studying at the University of Missouri. Two weeks before his time at the university was up, he wasn’t feeling settled so he decided to head to Los Angeles and pursue his acting career. He has received multiple awards including two Golden Globes, an Academy Award, and a Primetime Emmy award just to name a few. He has also had an active philanthropic heart including being involved in and founding the Make It Right Foundation that organized housing professionals in New Orleans after the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. He also helped found the Jolie-Pitt Foundation, which aids in humanitarian causes around the world such as Global Action for Children and Doctors Without Borders.
David Letterman: The television host once said this about his time in Sigma Chi at Ball State University, “When I became a Sigma Chi it was great, because they were the people I enjoyed being with and I was very proud of the association. It was kind of an instant confidence builder for me.“ The Hoosier state native was encouraged to move to Los Angeles by his then wife, Michelle, and several of his Sigma Chi brothers to pursue his comedy writing dreams in 1975. His style of comedy caught the attention of the scouts of “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” and he quickly became a regular guest on the show. Letterman credits Carson to be one of the most influential people in his career.
Drew Brees: The former NFL quarterback actively played for 20 seasons and most of his career was with the New Orleans Saints. Brees attended Purdue University where he set Big Ten Conference records for completions, attempts, & yards. Although he played in Indiana, Brees is a Texas native and that is where he spent his early years before college.
David Dillon: Dillon attended the University of Kansas where he was not only an active member of Sigma Chi but also the student body president. His family owned a self service grocery store that became a chain of restaurants. In 1982 Kroger bought out the Dillon Store. It wasn’t until 2003 that Dillon became the CEO of Kroger, he has also held the role of Vice President of Kroger. He retired from Kroger in 2014, and currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Consumer Goods Forum.
Luke Bryan: The country music singer and current judge on American Idol joined the fraternity while he studied business at Georgia Southern University. He first gained success in the music industry after moving to Nashville as a songwriter, but soon became a signed artist with his first hit “All My Friends Say”. Bryan is not only a dad to his two boys, but also has taken on the father influence role in his nephew and nieces lives after both his older siblings passed away. He's still active in philanthropic endeavors like City of Hope & Red Cross. His wife has also established Brett’s Barn in honor of the death of the couple's niece. He even wrote a song for his Spring Break...Here to Party Album titled "Sorority Girl" we are sure a nod to his fraternity days in college!
Willard Marriott, Jr.: The Executive Chairman of the well known hotel brand Marriott International grew up in Washington D.C. He started in the family hotel business at the age of 14 where he started stapling invoices for his dad and was later moved onto roles like washing the dishes and cooking burgers. He attended the University of Utah where he joined the brotherhood of Sigma Chi. While at university he met his wife, the daughter of one of his professors. He joined the Marriott Corporation in 1956 where he helped push his father to the expansion from the restaurant business to the hotel business. He has held many different roles within the company such as Executive Vice President, member of the Board of Directors, president of the company, chief executive officer, and chairman of the board. He is also known for introducing the concept of revenue management into the hotel industry. His current title within Marriott is Executive Chairman of Marriott International.
John Wayne: The actor, whose real name is Marion Mitchell Morrison but known professionally as John Wayne, joined the brotherhood while attending the University of Southern California. Most commonly recognized for his roles in western era films and shows, Wayne was among the top box office draws for three decades. He first applied to the Naval Academy but, after not being accepted, settled on USC where he studied pre-law. Not only joining Sigma Chi while at USC he also played on the football team, until a broken collarbone threw a hiccup in his athletic career, which is what started his pursuit to become the Hollywood icon that we all know and love today.
Sigma Chi still to this day has the spirit of “Friendship among members, sharing a common belief in an ideal & possessing different temperaments, talents and convictions; and that genuine friendship can be maintained without surrendering the principle of individuality of sacrificing one’s personal judgment”. With this list of gentlemen who have all been part of the legacy that Sigma Chi has and continues to leave behind it is no wonder that so many go into their college years striving to be able to wear the Sigma Chi blue and gold. Here is to many more years of friendship, brotherhood, and philanthropy, from everyone at Campus Classics Happy Founders day Sigma Chi!