More than 100 years ago, an anonymous Sigma Chi defined fraternity as “an obligation, a necessity, an introduction, a requirement, a passport, a lesson, an influence, an opportunity, an investment, a peacemaker and a pleasure.”
Take a few moments to scratch the surface of our history by learning about the seven Founders. Read about the early years of the Fraternity and the struggles our earliest members encountered. Our story spans decades of world history: From the Founders' experiences in the Civil War, to Sigs who have banded together in the United States and Canadian armed forces today.
With chapters throughout North America and alumni who have traveled and lived all over the globe, Sigma Chi has made journeys over space as well as time, ranging from the founding site in Old Miami to alumni chapter meetings on the beaches of Hawaii.
When Harry St. John Dixon, VIRGINIA 1861, became the first Grand Officer following his election to the position of Grand Historian in 1872, the Fraternity made a bold statement by signifying that the collection, preservation and cataloguing of its history was vital to its future success. Since that time, the Fraternity has been active in publishing its history for the consumption of all its members and followers. Included among these publications are the "Nate Histories", a 4-volume set published in 3-volumes written by Joseph C. Nate, ILLINOIS WESLEYAN 1890, entitled The History of the Sigma Chi Fraternity 1855-1930, The Centennial History of Sigma Chi Fraternity written by Robert M. Collett, DENISON 1914, The History of Sigma Chi 1955-1980 by Douglas R. Carlson, MINNESOTA 1973, and most recently One in Heart and Purpose - the Founders and Founding of Sigma Chi, written by Joseph C. Nate, ILLINOIS WESLEYAN 1890, and compiled and edited by William P. Fleming, SAM HOUSTON 1965.
There have been 21 individuals elected to the position of Grand Historian who have been charged with ensuring that the story of Sigma Chi is continually told to generations young and old. Those men appear immediately below:
- Harry St. John Dixon, VIRGINIA 1861 & 1867 (1872-1884)
- Charles A. Wightman, NORTHWESTERN 1885 (1884-1890)
- John T. McCutcheon, PURDUE 1889 (1890-1892)
- William C. Van Benschoten, NORTHWESTERN 1891 (1892-1895)
- Robert Farnham Jr., GEORGE WASHINGTON 1898 (1895-1897)
- Frank Crozier, HANOVER 1892 & MICHIGAN 1894 (1897-1899)
- Newman Miller, ALBION 1893 (1899-1901)
- Fred A. Perine, ALBION 1898 (1901-1909)
- Earl D. Hostetter, CHICAGO 1907 (1909-1915)
- Roy M. Harmon, CHICAGO 1911 (1915-1917)
- Byron D. Stokes, ALBION 1913 (1917-1919)
- William C. Teague, VANDERBILT 1912 (1919-1921)
- Joseph C. Nate, ILLINOIS WESLEYAN 1890 (1921-1933)
- Chester W. Cleveland, ILLINOIS 1920 (1933-1949)
- William O. Heath, ILLINOIS 1923 (1949)
- Bolon B. Turner, GEORGE WASHINGTON 1922 (1949-1955)
- Robert M. Collett, DENISON 1914 (1955-1971)
- Robert E. LeClerg, MARYLAND 1952 (1971-1981)
- Douglas R. Carlson, MINNESOTA 1973 (1981-1999)
- Eric B. Hansen, CINCINNATI 1989 (1999-2007)
- William P. Fleming, SAM HOUSTON 1964 (2007-Present)
For more information on the history of Sigma Chi, visit the Sigma Chi Historical Initiative.