The Delta of Sigma Nu, the Legion of Honor’s official magazine, has been printed since 1883 when founding editor John Alexander Howard (North Georgia) published the first issue in Philadelphia (before returning to a local printer in Dahlonega, Ga.).
Through the years The Delta has remained committed to its original purpose to “cultivate a love of our Fraternity,” in the words of John Alexander Howard. In the process of telling the story of Sigma Nu, The Delta seeks to challenge, entertain, and inspire our members to rededicate their lives to Love, Honor and Truth with every issue.
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In 2006 the print edition moved to an opt-in only subscription service, meaning any member can still receive every issue – they just need to notify us using the web form at www.sigmanu.org/publications. (All members with a good email address will continue receiving the digital version.)
Collegiate chapters still receive bundles of 15 for each issue. Collegians who wish to receive their own copy of the print edition are encouraged to opt-in at the web form mentioned above.
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Collegiate chapters and alumni are urged to submit timely chapter news by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or using the web form at www.sigmanu.org/news/tell_us_your_news.php. All members are encouraged to submit news stories and potential features along with high-resolution photographs.
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From the Editor
Our summer 2013 issue opens to an in-depth interview with Brother Charlie Eitel, now approaching the midpoint of his term as Regent. Our interview with Brother Eitel (Oklahoma State) takes a closer look at the culture he built as CEO of Simmons Bedding and the parallels for fraternity leadership at the national and local level.
The ideals Brother Eitel followed at Simmons – simple communication, perpetual reinvention, respect for history, servant leadership, building pride, operational excellence, and making smart choices – continue to inform his leadership as Sigma Nu’s national president, and his experience offers sage leadership advice for collegiate and alumnus members alike.
The rest of the summer issue is full of stories chronicling Brothers who found success following similar values. Our cover story profiles Ken Kendrick (West Virginia), the Arizona Diamondbacks Managing General Partner who credits his term as Commander of the Gamma Pi Chapter with teaching him what it means to be a leader (page 18).
We’re also proud to tell the harrowing tale of Dave Sanderson (James Madison) and his experience as the last passenger off United flight 1549 that famously crash-landed in the Hudson River in 2009. Dave’s story of survival dramatically illustrates what happens when a seasoned leader is presented with a crisis situation.
In his latest Perspectives on Our Past column, Grand Historian Bob McCully (San Diego State) recalls the story of Ray Ewry, who’s commitment to reinvention elevated him to one of the most decorated Olympians of all time (page 32).
In addition to all the usual departments – including an overflowing Chapter News section – we’re also pleased to cover one chapter in Florida whose consistent record of performing at the highest level demonstrates Regent Eitel’s recent call to action: “Sigma Nu – at the local and national level – needs to be operationally excellent.”
Yours in Sigma Nu,
Nathaniel Clarkson (James Madison)
P.S. We’re always interested in what our readers have to say. If you’d like to comment on a story, recommend a content idea, or just offer some general feedback, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
7 Leadership Lessons from Bob Knight
By Bill Morosco (Florida)Bob Knight has over 900 career wins, three national championships, five Final Four appearances, an Olympic gold medal and a Naismith College Coach of the Year award. Though Coach Knight is most known for his demanding approach, pin-point motion offense and prolonged success in 40 years of coaching, his success on the hardwood relied on his talent for teaching leadership to 18 to 23-year-olds—a skill that begs for parallels to fraternity leadership.
I had the opportunity to interact and learn from the legendary Indiana University coach last weekend at the Nike Championship Basketball Clinic in Chicago. While the clinic focused on the fundamentals of coaching basketball, the sessions also gave me a chance to observe up close how Coach Knight teaches leadership and gets the most from his teams.
1. Involve Everyone
During Coach Knight’s practices, he made sure everyone participated, be it the All-American, the 12th man off the bench, or even the lowly team managers he would ask to miss shots (whether they missed intentionally or unintentionally, we will never know). Coach Knight made everyone feel involved, engaged and valuable.
At your chapter, everyone can bring something useful to the table; make sure you are able to take advantage of that. If your chapter has a few guys who may not be the best recruiters, have them help run the logistics of each recruiting event like picking up the food or reserving event spaces.
2. Make Practice Harder Than The Game
Coach Knight highlighted several practice drills he used over the years to prepare his teams for success. Most of them had one common theme: make practice harder than the game so the game seems easy. Often times he would scrimmage 4-on-6 or 5-on-7.
Apply this idea to the events and goals your chapter prepares for throughout the year. Leave nothing in doubt with documentation for Pursuit of Excellence. Practice mock conversations during recruitment events; anticipate all the questions a prospective member might ask about. Walk into the Greek Week competition knowing you’re going to win because you put in the practice time.
3. Practice Thinking
Coach Knight believes that basketball is as much mental as it is physical. Many of his coaching techniques revolve around making his players think. Sometimes this involves yelling “Change!” and making both teams switch from offense to defense immediately and recover into proper position. Coach Knight will also deliver lengthy instructions in sequence to see if the team can follow his orders. Sometimes he even practices calling timeout and asks his players to recite back to him what he said. You would be surprised how few could give him back the correct instructions.
Facilitate, delegate and empower. Don’t just give orders, let your chapter members work out solutions and practice their own problem solving skills instead of depending on yours. Let the committee system work.
4. Keep It Simple
Coach Knight mentioned that he believes there are two types of coaches: coaches who try to surprise and change what they do and coaches who keep it simple and execute what they do. Coach Knight affirmed confidently that he is a believer in the latter. Do what you do well, and if you can’t do it well, don’t do it.
It would be easy to interpret this coaching trait as an affirmation of old school tradition in place of experimentation and innovation. But what Coach Knight is saying here has more to do with focusing on your core purpose and avoiding those temptations that don’t have much if anything to do with fraternity. At minimum, fraternities must do fraternity exceptionally well. Organizational excellence cannot be achieved by groups that stray from the reason they exist in the first place.
5. Eliminate Mistakes
Coach Knight says basketball isn’t a game you win, it’s a game you lose. His approach to success focusses on eliminating mistakes and committing fewer errors than the opponent.
Your chapter can excel by avoiding unforced errors, too Turn in documentation, yearly review programs, and awards application on time and with all needed information. Don’t set your chapter back—or worse, endanger the safety of members and guests—by making poor decisions surrounding risk reduction. The other chapters on campus are going to make mistakes; the chapter that keeps it between the lines and focuses on achieving their goals will end up miles ahead of every other group.
6. Don’t Micromanage
Coach Knight talked about the importance of respecting his players and allowing them to make decisions. On any decisions he felt weren’t crucially important, he allowed the team to make. This could be deciding between practice at 9:00 a.m. or noon, or if they wanted to eat out or order in. Helping the team feel like a part of the decision making process builds trust and confidence.
Allowing all of the members to participate in the decision making process is just as important for a fraternity. Ask the chapter to participate in the Pursuit of Excellence self-assessment. Letting them suggest goals for the chapter to work towards will build trust and strengthen buy-in as the year moves on.
7. Be Demanding
Lastly, Coach Knight says “Great coaches are demanding coaches.” If you expect excellence, then you must demand excellence.
If your chapter has a vision and sets goals based on that vision, demand that they be accomplished. Do not tolerate failure. Work and push to achieve the success you demand.
The fall 2012 issue of The Delta is one of our best. How great to learn of the fine work so many chapters are accomplishing in all phases of the Sigma Nu code. I was especially pleased to read about Herman B Wells. I was a Division Commander when was either Regent or Regent-Elect. After almost 50 years in the Army or workforce, my closest friends are Sigma Nu Brothers. I breakfast with two every week and for over 30 years up to a dozen of us and our wives have met in Columbia, Mo., usually during a football weekend, to visit, play golf, eat, and socialize. I came from a small farming community and Sigma Nu gave me social graces, proper ability to compromise, but above all, a lifetime of friends who all believe in the Creed. So, thank you for your efforts in continuing to make us a stronger fraternity and for a great publication.
-Ed Barnes (Missouri)
Investing in Future Leaders
Thank you Jerry!
-Tom Hedges (Nebraska)
Inspiring. Thank you Jerry!
-Brandon Knight (Minnesota)
I hope to be able to give a fraction of this to the organization that has given me so much.
Thank you Jerry!
-Jonathan Joseph (Central Florida)
This was a fascinating article which I enjoyed very much. Eli is clearly the kind of man and brother that I remember from my time as a Sigma Nu on the campus at the University of North Dakota. I remember, kind of on the way home from the 1964 Grand Chapter meeting in New Orleans, spending several days at the Sigma Nu house in Oxford. During the meeting, several UND brothers had been hanging out with some of the many Ole Miss brothers and found that we really enjoyed one another, so we accepted an invitation to visit. It was a great experience! While there were many individual differences between us, we found that diversity to add to our experience of the many things we shared, especially the brotherhood of Sigma Nu.
-Joel Finlay (North Dakota)
2012 Award Winners
Congratulations to all.
-Tom Hedges (Nebraska)
Very impressive! It certainly makes one proud of our brothers and the Sigma Nu Fraternity. Thank you for publishing this list.
-Joe Sharkey (Nevada, Reno)
Bringing Delta Rho Back to Colorado State
Congratulations on bringing Sigma Nu back to the CSU Campus. I wish you the best in becoming the leader on campus in academics and activities.
-Ivo E. Lindauer (Colorado)
Welcome back Delta Rho!
-Tom Hedges (Nebraska)
Alpha Chapter Lives On
Bob, as always a very interesting article. Keep up the excellent work and thank you for donating so much of your time to Sigma Nu Fraternity.
-Jeff Giarde (San Diego State)
Well done yet again, Brother Bob. Thank you for your tireless research and efforts to keep these important stories alive.
-Chris Healy (Fresno State)
Thank you for posting this! I had not known the full Alpha Affiliate history until reading it
-Evan Heiser (Case Western Reserve)
Thank you for this article. I love reading about the history of the fraternity, especially the aspects that aren’t widely available. Maybe you could do an article about chapters that close and come back? I know my undergraduate chapter closed more than once but I don’t know when or what the circumstances were. Keep up the great work!
-Greg Moser (Butler)
5 Questions with Worthy Commander Matt Alcide
Great column. He’s right about many things, especially the value within the Best Practices Library.
-Maury Gaston (Auburn)
Delta Beta Chapter started hosting weekly brotherhood dinners this year to foster greater development among the members. The chapter is also building a website to share news updates with alumni and prospective members. The members improved the chapter GPA from bottom 10% to top 40% among all fraternities and their new members earned the second-place GPA among all new member classes. Delta Beta started planning a campus-wide philanthropy event to benefit Hums for Kids that will debut this spring. Looking ahead, the chapter has plans to renovate the chapter home, including plumbing and flooring and new furniture.
Gamma Chapter Commander Jack Riker was elected IFC president and philanthropy chairman Mike Koh was elected IFC vice president of community outreach. The chapter showed its commitment to service this year with a card-writing campaign supporting Wounded Warriors Project, a Toy Drive for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and a grill-off competition in partnership with the Duke financial aid office, which drew more than 250 students and $2500 in proceeds. Gamma Chapter and their chapter philanthropy Face Your Challenges will leave its next mark on the Duke community through its annual “Break the Silence” benefit concert in collaboration with To Write Love On Her Arms, a national non-profit dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide.
Beta Theta Chapter initiated 32 new members at the Auburn United Methodist Church last January. The chapter makes a habit of inviting alumni to attend the initiation ritual ceremony each year, and this year’s ceremony was well attended by a core group of alumni. Last fall’s candidate class, which included six legacies from several different chapters, earned an impressive 2.95 GPA with three earning a 4.0. The larger chapter also excelled in the classroom, earning a 2.91 chapter GPA, putting them 7th among the 27 fraternities on campus and 4th among the larger groups.
Kappa Sigma Chapter established an Alumni Advisor Board (AAB) last semester and officers committed to meeting with advisors bi-weekly to enhance chapter operations in accordance with the Pursuit of Excellence Program (PEP).
Senior Brothers Kyle Sikes and Cameron Sikes, along with junior Brother Chase Snodgrass were among the top 5 candidates for Oklahoma State homecoming king last semester. In addition to these individual successes, the Chapter also earned 3rd place in the Homecoming Sweepstakes and House Deck competition. Showing their commitment to building well balanced brothers, Epsilon Epsilon’s new member class earned an impressive 3.47 group GPA and finished strong with a 100% initiation rate. The larger chapter earned the second GPA spot among all Oklahoma State fraternities with a group GPA of 3.27. Epsilon Epsilon was also the recipient of the Payne County Services Most Outstanding Greek Fraternity award.
Epsilon Rho Chapter is planning a renovation of the chapter room as a place where alumni can gather to reunite and take pride in their legacy with the chapter and ultimately build a strong relationship with the collegiate chapter. So far the plans include refinishing floors, new tables and chairs, and a plaque honoring Brother Maganini who recently entered Chapter Eternal.