Sigma Chi renames its Authentic Leadership Certificate program for George as lifetime support from the George family hits $5 million milestone


The Sigma Chi Foundation announced today that Order of Constantine Sig, Significant Sig and former International Balfour Award recipient Bill George, GEORGIA TECH 1964, his wife, Penny, and the George Family Foundation have made a substantial commitment to support the Authentic Leadership Certificate program delivered by the Sigma Chi Leadership Institute (SCLI) as part of Sigma Chi International Fraternity’s Transformational Leader program, which is the organization’s comprehensive member development and educational program.

Combining grant support from the George Family Foundation and a personal and estate commitment from Bill and Penny George, the gift will bring the George family’s collective lifetime support of Sigma Chi’s leadership initiatives to $5 million upon completion.

“Without brother George’s own principles and vision, the modern-day definition of authentic leadership as we know it would not exist,” says Sigma Chi Foundation President and CEO Ashley Woods, EAST TENNESSEE 2000. “This commitment to support the Authentic Leadership or ‘Self’ educational track within the Transformational Leader platform is a significant endorsement of our leadership initiatives and the ongoing work of the Sigma Chi Leadership Institute. We are forever appreciative of Bill, Penny and the George Family Foundation.”

Sigma Chi International Fraternity’s 72nd Grand Consul (international president) Tim Sanderson, WESTERN 1985, adds: “We are grateful to Brother George and the George family for their support of our members. Their commitment to funding values-based leadership education for our undergraduate men will enable Sigma Chi to continue its mission of educating transformational leaders who will positively impact our Fraternity and the world.”

For over 25 years, the George Family Foundation has been partnering with select, high-impact nonprofits to foster wholeness in mind, body, spirit, and community — by developing authentic leaders and supporting transformative programs serving the common good.

With the full backing of George, a senior fellow at Harvard Business School, former chairman and CEO of Medtronic and best-selling author whose books Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value and Discover Your True North have inspired a generation of business and organizational leaders across the globe, members of Sigma Chi International Fraternity’s 230 undergraduate chapters across North America will have the opportunity to earn the overarching Bill George Authentic Leadership Certificate upon completion of three separate contributing certificate modules within the “Self” or Authentic Leadership track of the Transformational Leader program. The goal of the certificate is to inspire a new generation of emerging authentic leaders, the same goal as George’s newest book meant for such readers, True North: Leading Authenticity in the 21st Century, The Emerging Leader Edition.

“The George Family Foundation, my wife Penny and I are extremely pleased to make this $5 million contribution to the Sigma Chi Foundation to enable every current and prospective Sigma Chi brother to become an authentic leader,” says Bill George. “We hope the principles of authentic leadership will spread well beyond Sigma Chi to every fraternity and sorority and universities and colleges throughout the country.

“As an undergraduate student at Georgia Tech, my belief in authentic leadership was shaped by Sigma Chi, as I have attempted to lead authentically in every leadership role I have had in my life. For the past 20 years I have taught these principles to tens of thousands of authentic leaders at Harvard Business School and elsewhere who have flourished in their lives and careers.”

As one of the four key Transformational Leader pathways, the Bill George Authentic Leadership Certificate (or “Self”) track is rooted in self-understanding and an ability to recognize and celebrate passion and purpose that leads to transformational change.

Participants will embark on a path of self-discovery toward authentic leadership, engaging in three separate but related certificates to establish a foundational understanding of leadership as a process rooted in authenticity and candid self-reflection about one’s own values, crucibles, strengths and areas for growth:

  1. True North Leadership Certificate: Largely based on George’s seminal authentic leadership book Discover Your True North, this course teaches students a set of tools that will increase their self-awareness by reflecting on their life stories and their crucibles, gaining insight into how such events help crystalize their values and purpose. Students will also complete a first draft of a personal development plan that will serve as a roadmap to authentic leadership.
  2. Values-Based Leadership Certificate: Students will examine their values and practice applying principled beliefs to the various decisions and obstacles they encounter. Within this course, students will also learn the key models of values-based decision making, feedback and transformational leadership as they seek to live and lead authentically by aligning their values and actions.
  3. Foundational Leadership Certificate: Students will gain an understanding of the integrated nature of mission, vision and values in effective leadership. Within this course, students will also identify key leadership skills that will serve them both personally and professionally, as well as their unique strengths that shape their leadership style.

Sigma Chi Leadership Institute Chairman and 68th Grand Consul Mike Greenberg, ILLINOIS WESLEYAN 1982, says: “From the conception of Sigma Chi Online in 2015, Bill and Penny George and the George Family Foundation have helped institutionalize what it means to be a transformational leader through their time, talent and treasure. Sigma Chi Fraternity and Sigma Chi Leadership Institute are honored to have Order of Constantine Sig and Significant Sig Bill George, author of Authentic Leadership and Discover Your True North, sponsor the Authentic Leadership Certificate. The George family has shown us unwavering support as Sigma Chi rolls out the Transformational Leader program.  We do not doubt that their continued support will enable Sigma Chi Fraternity members to evolve into authentic, transformational leaders.”

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ABOUT THE GEORGE FAMILY FOUNDATION: Founded by Penny and Bill George in 1994, the George Family Foundation is a private family foundation with more than $70 million in assets that supports integrative health and healing, authentic leadership, spirituality and mindfulness, youth development, the environment and community. Learn more about the Foundation at georgefamilyfoundation.org.

ABOUT THE SIGMA CHI FOUNDATION: Founded in 1939, the Sigma Chi Foundation is a charitable and educational tax-exempt organization, separate and independent from Sigma Chi Fraternity, whose express purpose is to secure financial resources and provide faithful stewardship in support of Sigma Chi. Through Sigma Chi’s Transformational Leader platform and its legacy programming, such as the Krach Transformational Leaders Workshop and the Horizons Huntsman Leadership Summit, the Sigma Chi Foundation is preparing our young men to be the values-centered leaders of tomorrow. Learn more about the Sigma Chi Foundation at sigmachi.org/foundation.

ABOUT SIGMA CHI INTERNATIONAL FRATERNITY: Sigma Chi is one of the largest collegiate fraternities with undergraduate chapters at 230 universities and colleges and more than 360,000 all-time members. Sigma Chi provides a welcoming environment for young men of different temperaments, talents and convictions to enjoy a unique lifelong bond that extends far beyond college. Through world-class leadership training, extensive mentoring programs and a strong focus on academic achievement, Sigma Chi sets itself apart as the preeminent collegiate leadership development organization, challenging its members to live by its core values and exemplify Character-in-Action™ in every aspect of their lives, and the lives of others. Learn more about Sigma Chi at sigmachi.org.