History of Sigma Nu
Sigma Nu was founded by three cadets at the Virginia Military Institute during the Reconstruction period after The Civil War. The system of physical abuse and hazing of underclassmen at VMI inspired James Frank Hopkins, Greenfield Quarles, and James McIlvaine Riley to form the "Legion of Honor,” or Sigma Nu; a radical departure from the times.
Over the past 140+ years, Sigma Nu has grown into one of the largest fraternal organizations in the world. Over 230,000 men have been initiated into Sigma Nu from over 275 chapters all over the United States and Canada
The story of Sigma Nu began during the period following the Civil War, when a Confederate veteran from Arkansas named James Frank Hopkins enrolled at the NowVirginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia. When Hopkins enrolled, the Confederate South was in a state of turmoil and just beginning to recover from the devastating military defeat it had suffered. VMI was highly recognized for its civil engineering program and the South badly needed to repair its bridges and railroads. The cadets suffered, not only from the ravages of war and a disrupted home-life, but also because of the system of physical harassment imposed on lower classmen by their fellow upper classmen. As a military veteran, Hopkins accepted a tolerable amount of structure and subservience, however found the hazing at VMI unacceptable and was doggedly adamant about eradicating the system of mistreatment.
Two compatriots soon joined Hopkins: Greenfield Quarles, from Arkansas, a Kentuckian by birth, and James McIlvaine Riley from St. Louis, Missouri. They both shared the same vision of eradicating hazing at VMI. These three men began a movement to completely abolish the hazing system at VMI and their efforts culminated on a moonlit October night in 1868. Following Bible study at the Superintendent's home, the three met at a limestone outcropping on the edge of the VMI parade ground. Hopkins, Quarles and Riley clasped hands on the Bible and gave their solemn pledge to form a new society of brotherhood they called the Legion of Honor.
Now Our Story...
Sigma Nu – Theta Sigma was founded at Missouri State University in 1972, and remained a strong force on campus for 30 years. However, in 2003 the chapter was closed for straying away from their core values. But with the support of the University, alumni and students on campus, Sigma Nu is back here at Missouri State with an entirely different group of individuals who have an amazing opportunity to build the fraternity from the ground up. After being on campus for less than a year, they have already won 1st place in Greek Jam and 3rd overall in Greek Week spring 2010, showing that they are still a force on campus and here to stay.
Sigma Nu is an international fraternity, with hundreds of chapters across the U.S. and Canada and hundreds of thousands of brothers throughout the world. They were founded over a century ago, in direct opposition to hazing and strive to live up to the intentions of their founding fathers. The Fraternity’s values are summarized as an adherence to the principles of brotherly Love, Honor, and Truth. Sigma Nu is also the only Greek organization to implementation the LEAD program to assist their membership in both gaining the knowledge and developing the skills and abilities needed to be an effective and ethical leader for life. An acronym for Leadership, Ethics, Achievement, and Development, the LEAD Program is a comprehensive ethical leadership development program designed to ensure participants “learn by doing.” Above all Sigma Nu is a brotherhood, and the bonds and memories formed between the members will last a lifetime. Fraternity, for them, is all about supporting one another, and working together to build a far richer college experience than any would have otherwise.
"To believe in the Life of Love,
To walk in the Way of Honor,
To serve in the Light of Truth -
This is the Life, the Way, and the Light of Sigma Nu -
this is the Creed of our Fraternity."