In 1901, William McKinley died in office, succeeded by Theodore Roosevelt. New York became the first state to require the use of license plates. The first Nobel Prize was awarded, and Walt Disney was born. SigEp was founded that year, and no one knew that it would rank alongside those events in historical significance.
It’s 117 years after 1901, and it is incredible how much history our Fraternity has made, and how far we can still go. Brothers, parents and friends of SigEp made history again on our anniversary by giving back in record-breaking numbers, with 2,400 donors giving over $181,000 for SigEp’s leadership programs. SigEp’s annual giving day is easily one of the most successful giving days among national fraternities, and it is comparable to that of many universities and colleges.
The outpouring of support from brothers and friends of SigEp is amazing. Thanks to the support from Founders Day of Giving 2018, our Annual Fund is primed to create high-caliber opportunities for the SigEp’s programs like Carlson Leadership Academy, Life After College and the Ruck Leadership Institute. These programs receive critical support from the Annual Fund — which in turn relies on our generous donors.
With the addition of a formidable trophy donated by Matt Beck, Minnesota ’90, the Chapter Challenge really gained momentum in its second year. Three chapters emerged as strong contenders for the top spot throughout the day. Lawrence Tech began in a strong position in our first broadcast, and vied with last year’s champion, Austin Peay State, throughout the day. However, UC-Santa Barbara slowly but surely grew its donor count throughout the day and ended up with the surprise win when the final scoreboard was revealed. UCSB’s flag is flying over Zollinger House, and California Gamma will be added to the Founders Day of Giving trophy.
This year we were fortunate to have numerous volunteers from around the country on hand at Zollinger House to help with our Facebook Live production. With staff members behind the scenes manning the camera, teleprompters, donor communications, social media posts and tallying the chapter challenge totals, volunteers provided energy and excitement to the live broadcasts. Chapter volunteers around the country were also busy calling their brothers and friends to encourage them to get in on the action. The day would not have been nearly as successful without the help of so many brothers and friends around the country advocating on SigEp’s behalf.
Entering our 118th year, SigEp has much to be grateful for. Our alumni, parents, undergraduates and friends continue to believe in the Fraternity, and over 2,400 of them proved that on Nov. 1 by supporting our youngest brothers during one of the most critical times in their lives. On behalf of the men whose lives will be changed because of the generosity of SigEp’s supporters, thank you for an amazing Founders Day. We look forward to seeing what records we’ll break together next year.
(from right) Renato Villacorte, Cal Poly-Pomona ’91, takes a selfie on set with Dave Calderon, Cal Poly-Pomona ’88, Scott Carr, Calfornia-Santa Barbara ’86, and Matt Parrish, Georgia ’07
Behind the scenes on the Founders Day of Giving set at Zollinger House