The Yale University of the 1840s was a far different place from any of today’s colleges. Unlike many American schools, Yale was patterned after Cambridge University in England, where class loyalties and traditions were extremely important. As a result, hazing and bullying by upperclassmen towards their younger classmates was common. Thus a fraternity system developed that was strongly focused around class ties. One such fraternity, founded in the fall of 1845 by three young men who had become tired of the condescending attitude of Yale’s sole sophomore society, was known as Alpha Sigma Phi (Alpha Sig).
Although Alpha Sig struggled with internal conflict during the years of the Civil War, much like the phoenix found in its crest, the brotherhood would rise from the ashes with a refounding on March 27, 1907. It is now the 10th oldest fraternity in the United States, with 82 active chapters, 22 colonies, and 4 interest groups. Considering its Ivy League roots, it is no surprise that the Brothers of Alpha Sig hold themselves to a higher standard, with many becoming noteworthy in their chosen fields, including Andrew McKelvey (Chairman & CEO, Monster.com), John Kasich (Governor of Ohio), Vincent Price (actor), and Warren Buffett (Chairman & CEO, Berkshire Hathaway; third wealthiest person in the world). With Brothers like these, no wonder so many men want to wear the Alpha Sig cardinal and stone!
In 2008, at the 50th Grand Chapter for Alpha Sigma Phi in Louisville, Kentucky, delegates of the Grand Chapter voted to choose LIVESTRONG as its national philanthropy. In line with the Fraternity’s vision and values, LIVESTRONG empowers the cancer community to address the needs of survivors, while encouraging collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and partnership, and Alpha Sigs can rest easy, knowing that of every dollar they help raise for LIVESTRONG, over 81% will go directly to programs benefitting cancer survivors.
The members of Alpha Sig always strive to fulfill their purpose, to “Better the Man,” through living moral lives of personal integrity. In every endeavor, and no matter what path his life might take, each Brother is bolstered by the Fraternity’s Five Values: Silence, Charity, Purity, Honor, and Patriotism.