Sigma Chi

Lifelong Bonds

There are certain things that all Sigma Chis around the world share. Our standard of admission into the Fraternity is stated in our Jordan Standard. The Sigma Chi Creed outlines the ideals which all Sigma Chis always strive for and the Spirit of Sigma Chi outlines the unique spirit that each individual has who is part of Sigma Chi.

Founding of Sigma Chi

Sigma Chi was founded in 1855 at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. A dispute in the Delta Kappa Epsilon chapter arose in the fall of 1854 over the election of one of its members into the prestigious Erodelphian Literary Society. What was a simple argument escalated into a schism in the fraternity, culminating months later in six of its twelve members resigning. The ex-DKEs found themselves similarly aligned in principles, and, in April of 1855, they began discussing founding their own fraternity. After they recruited seventh founder William Lewis Lockwood, they were ready to begin. On June 28, 1855, Commencement Day at Miami University, the seven founders wore their Sigma Chi badges publicly for the first time.

The original seven founders were:

  • Benjamin Piatt Runkle
  • Thomas Cowan Bell
  • William Lewis Lockwood
  • Isaac M. Jordan
  • Daniel William Cooper
  • Franklin Howard Scobey
  • James Parks Caldwell

A primary source account of Sigma Chi's founding penned by Benjamin Piatt Runkle can be found here.

Significant Sigma Chis

As of the spring of 2006, there are 217 active Sigma Chi chapters. These range from the original Alpha Chapter founded at the Miami University in Ohio to the newest chapter, Kappa Upsilon, at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore installed in 2004.

Some of our most recognizable alumni include:

  • Bill Buckner, Boston Red Sox First Baseman (Southern California 1972)
  • Brian Dennehy, Actor (Columbia 1965)
  • Mike Ditka, NFL Coach and Player (Pittsburgh 1961)
  • Clarence Gilyard, Actor (Cal. State - Long Beach 1981)
  • Barry Goldwater, US Senator for Arizona (Arizona 1932)
  • Woody Harrelson, Actor (Hanover 1983)
  • David Letterman, Talk Show Host (Ball State 1969)
  • Jim Palmer, MLB Pitcher (Arizona State 1967)
  • Brad Pitt, Actor (Missouri)
  • Tom Selleck, Actor (Southern California 1967)
  • John Wayne, Actor (Southern California 1929)
  • John W. Young, Gemini Astronaut (Georgia Tech 1952)

Alpha Theta, the Sigma Chi chapter at MIT, has had its own share of notable alumni. They includes two of nine Chairmen of the MIT Corporation as well as one of MIT's sixteen presidents.