Five a.m. on the morning of the Standing and Advisory Committee meeting for our annual convention in October found me well awake. In a twist, it did not result from extending the festivities of the night before. This year, the proximity of the Alpha of North Carolina afforded me my first day trip to a Sigma Phi convention. Chapel Hill is a scant three and a half hour drive from my home in Charlottesville, and my sunrise trek through the Virginia countryside and Tarheel country was a beautiful one.
Any concern with distance didn’t prove an issue for the scores of other Sigma Phis who descended on UNC, however. Sigs filled the S&A meeting room to capacity, with several latecomers left to eat their breakfast and follow the proceedings while standing. They were treated to a meeting without some of the drama experienced in years past, as no election to major office was held. Even so, the proceedings were led by a new chairman, as Brendan McCurdy H’80 took over the helm from our own Vinny Cole S’87. A big thank you is deserved by Vinny, for he worked untold hours and provided invaluable Virginia leadership to our national organization in a time of need. Snaps to the outgoing!
Our actives and young alumni should take note of the impressive disbursements for scholarship from our Viele Trust that were highlighted this year. The fund’s principal is now approximately $2 million. From earnings on that amount, last year’s selection committee awarded 25 scholarships from 43 applications. Awards ranged from $1,000 to $4,000. All undergraduate and graduate Sigs in good standing with their university are eligible to apply, so start working on your applications now. You can access a link to the application template at sigmaphiuva.org/scholarship.
Older alumni should keep in mind that the S&A is always soliciting nominations for its two service prizes for alumni: the David S. Brown and Elihu Root Awards. The David S. Brown Distinguished Service Award, named for Sig stalwart David S. Brown S’70, recognizes Sig brothers who have demonstrated their enduring love for our Society through their contributions of time, energy, and commitment to the brotherhood and its well being. The Elihu Root Distinguished Sigma Phi Award is designed for those Sigs who have made a lasting contribution to the world and demonstrated how Sigly values emanate outward as well as shine internally. A good contact for those with nominations is Nate House H’09, the S&A Committee’s General Secretary. He can be reached at email@example.com.
After the meeting (and quick stop off at a local watering hole), I headed over to the T’s “chapter house” — a duplex in which they have both sides rented — for an afternoon of cornhole and Carolina BBQ. Though I was unable to attend the banquet, the actives at the Alpha of North Carolina clearly proved themselves excellent hosts and good Sigs. They are an excellent and welcome addition to our loyal band.
At the Alpha of Michigan’s request, next year’s convention will be October 3 and 4 in Ann Arbor. That weekend will be an away game for the Wolverine’s football team so we’ll have the run of the town. I look forward to seeing my fellow Virginia Sigs there!