The Jordan Standard

History of The Jordan Standard

 

The below passage from The Centennial History of Sigma Chi Fraternity: 1855-1955 by Order of Constantine Sig Robert M. Collett, DENISON 1914, highlights some of the early foundations for The Jordan Standard as it exists today. When Founder Isaac M. Jordan addressed the 15th Grand Chapter in 1884, his speech provided the basis for The Jordan Standard in its current form. On Aug. 27, 1884, during Literary Exercises, Founder Isaac M. Jordan, who was then a member of Congress, delivered his famous Sigma Chi Address, in which he popularized the founding principles of the Fraternity as laid out in the original Constitution and Ritual of 1856. The original Constitution and Ritual, most likely articulated by Founders Runkle and Lockwood, stated that the prerequisites for membership should be, "Members of a literary society, in good standing, maintaining a respectable standing in class, of gentlemanly deportment, with a good moral character and having a high sense of honor." The combination of the original prerequisites, Jordan's speech and the addition of "A deep sense of personal responsibility," which was added in 1915 following the revision of the Ritual, would later become known as The Jordan Standard. One of the passages from Jordan's speech is:

"Let me say here, that in my judgment our Fraternity has grown to be what it is, by adhering to the principle with which we started in the beginning, of admitting no man to membership in it who is not believed to be a man of good character, of fair ability, of ambitious purposes and of congenial disposition. In a word, by the admission of none but gentlemen; and in no other way can such a society be continued. It is much more important that we should have but few chapters and have them good ones, that we should have but few members and have them honorable ones, than to have many chapters or many members. The decadence of other societies can be traced to a violation of this principle, and to an ambition to have many chapters and a large membership. And let me here, as germane to this subject, give a word of advice and admonition to the members of every chapter. Whenever you find an unworthy member of your society, expel him at once and without hesitation. Evil communications corrupt good morals, and one dishonorable man will bring reproach and dishonor upon your chapter and upon the whole Fraternity. The amount of mischief which one abandoned and dissolute young man can do is incalculable; he destroys everything around him; avoid him as you would a pestilence. One drop of poison will defile the purest spring. Avoid by all means the poison, the virus, the hemlock of bad associations. Brother Sigmas, we belong to a society worthy of our highest regard and warmest affection. We are united in the strong and enduring bonds of friendship and esteem. Let us each and all so do our duty and conduct ourselves that we bring no dishonor upon our society or each other. And we may have the high and proud satisfaction of knowing that our beautiful white cross, at once the badge of our society and the emblem of purity, will never be worn over any breast which does not beat with pure, generous and noble emotions, and by no man who is not a man of honor."

 

The Sigma Chi Recruitment Template

 

The confidence of the Founders of Sigma Chi was based upon a belief that the principles which they professed and the ideal of the Fraternity which they sought were but imperfectly realized in the organizations by which they were surrounded. So Founder Isaac M. Jordan, MIAMI (OHIO) 1857, authored the criteria upon which men should be recruited into the Fraternity:

The standard with which the Fraternity started was declared by Isaac M. Jordan to be that of admitting no man to membership in Sigma Chi who is not believed to be:

A man of good character …
A student of fair ability …
With ambitious purposes …
A congenial disposition …
Possessed of good morals …
Having a high sense of honor and
A deep sense of personal responsibility.