In the fall of the literary society was to elect its Poet and a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon was nominated for the position. He was supported by five of his brothers, but four others James Caldwell, Isaac Jordan, Benjamin Runkle, and Franklin Scobey supported another man who was not a member of the fraternity.
Although Thomas Bell and Daniel Cooper were not members of Erodelphian they had aligned themselves with the four dissenting members. The chapter had twelve members total and were evenly divided on the issue. Both sides saw this as a matter of principle and over the next few months their friendships became distanced. Whitelaw Reid , one of the other brothers who supported the Delta Kappa Epsilon member as poet, was the only one to arrive.
The leaders of the rebellion, Runkle and Scobey, were to be expelled from the fraternity. The other four would be allowed to stay in the fraternity. On June 28, , the organization was founded under the name Sigma Phi Fraternity. Runkle helped design the badge of Sigma Chi based on the story of Constantine and the vision of the Cross. Runkle was known for having a fierce pride and was suspended from Miami University when he fought a member of Beta Theta Pi for sneering at his badge.
He was badly wounded at the Battle of Shiloh and left for dead on the battlefield. Runkle stayed in the army as a career and retired as a major general. After the army he was ordained an Episcopal priest. He was the only founder to serve as Grand Consul. He died on Sigma Chi's 61st birthday in Ohio. He was twenty-three years old when Sigma Chi was founded, second oldest of the founders. He graduated from Miami University in and began teaching. In he enlisted in the Union Army and rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel.
After the war he returned to his career in education, serving as the superintendent of schools in Nobles County, Minnesota as well as the principal and president of several preparatory and collegiate institutions in the Western United States.
Bell died the day after attending the initiation of alpha beta chapter at University of California Berkeley on February 3, He was the only founder who had not been a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon.
He was considered the "businessman" of the founders and managed the first chapter's funds and general operations, becoming the first treasurer of Sigma Chi. After graduating from Miami University in he moved back to New York and began work as a lawyer.
He received serious wounds serving in the Union Army during the Civil War, from which he never fully recovered. He named his son after Franklin Howard Scobey. After graduating from Miami University in he went on to graduate school, where he graduated in He then began work as an attorney and was elected to the United States Congress in He died in after accidentally falling down an elevator shaft while greeting a friend.
Cooper was the oldest founder and was elected the first consul of Sigma Chi. After graduating from Miami University in he became a Presbyterian minister. Cooper's original Sigma Chi badge came into the possession of the Fraternity at the time of his death. It is pinned on every new Grand Consul at their installation.
Cooper is buried at the Allegheny Cemetery in Pittsburgh, Pa. Scobey was considered The Spirit of Sigma Chi for being friendly with everybody and not just a select group of people. He worked as a journalist in his hometown until but went on to become a cattleman in Kansas until Scobey then moved back to Ohio where he took up farming until his death. Never physically robust, Scobey was afflicted with hearing loss in his final years.
By the age of thirteen Caldwell had completed all academics which could be offered at his local academy. He was then sent to Miami University with advanced credits.
Caldwell was just fourteen at the time of the founding making him the youngest of the founders. After Caldwell graduated from Miami University in he practiced some law in Ohio but moved to Mississippi to begin a career as an educator.
When the Civil War broke out he joined the Confederate Army. During the war he was taken prisoner but later, due to the influence of General Benjamin Piatt Runkle, was offered freedom on the condition that he renounce his allegiance to the Confederacy.
He rejected this offer and remained loyal to the south. He was later released, again due to the influence of General Runkle. After the war he moved back to Mississippi and was admitted to the bar. He moved to California in and practiced law. In , he began to travel frequently practicing law and editing newspapers. John Dixon Harry St. John Dixon, a brother from the Psi Chapter at the University of Virginia who fought for the Confederacy , kept a record of all Sigma Chis within his vicinity on the flyleaf of his diary during the American Civil War.
Johnston during the Atlanta campaign in It was conceded that the South was forever disunited from the general government, and it was assumed that all chapters throughout the South would cease to exist. Furthermore, it was deemed expedient that we brothers should know each other and our several commands for the purpose of relief in distress, and communication in a case of need, with our Northern brethren.
In the ruin at hand my sentiment was to preserve the lofty principles typified by the White Cross. I know that I had no authority to establish a chapter of Sigma Chi outside a college, or at all; but, isolated as we were, I thought I should raise the standard and fix a rallying point.
By doing so we should preserve the Order, whether we failed or not in our struggle for independence. Its rude walls and rafters were covered with soot and cobwebs, and the floor showed evidences of having been the resting place of sundry heaps of sheep. The only badge in the chapter was one Dixon had made from a silver half-dollar. The last meeting was held New Year's Day The men at that meeting passed a resolution to pay a "tribute of respect" to the four brothers from the chapter who had died during the war.
The memorial is located on U. White became president of Purdue University. He required each applicant for admission to sign a pledge "not to join or belong to any so-called Greek society or other college secret society " while attending the school.
The Sigma Chi chapter at Purdue, which was already established at the university, sent petitions to the faculty and pleaded their case to the board of trustees , but was unsuccessful in changing the rule. Hawley applied for admission to the university. Having already been initiated into Sigma Chi, Hawley refused to sign the pledge and was denied admission.
Hawley took Purdue to court, but the judge ruled in favor of the faculty's decision. He also ruled, however, that the faculty had no right to deny Hawley from his classes based on the fraternity issue. The case was brought to the Indiana Supreme Court , which reversed the decision on June 21, This victory for Sigma Chi also allowed other fraternities at Purdue and led to the Purdue president's resignation in In the Fraternity adopted the flag design created by Henry V.
In the Grand Chapter approved the Fraternity's pledge pin. This educational endowment was first discussed in by alumni who wanted to assist undergraduates financially so they could finish their undergraduate studies. A great resurgence in undergraduate activity followed World War II due to an increase in chapter memberships. This increase was caused by the men returning from military service who went back to school as well as the usual addition of new brothers. This led to the first discussions about membership within the fraternity that continued until early in Until this time, membership requirements had specified that a potential member must be a "bona fide white male student".
After the first discussion in at the Grand Chapter in Seattle , the committee on Constitutional Amendments tabled the issue pending a further study of the problem to be reported to the Grand Chapter. The study showed that the issue was "very hot" on 13 campuses with Sigma Chi chapters and only "lukewarm" on a dozen other campuses.
Cooper's death led up to the Fraternity gaining one of its most priceless objects, Cooper's Sigma Phi badge. Cooper's body was sent by train to his final resting place in Pittsburgh , and the Beta Theta chapter at the University of Pittsburgh was given the privilege to administer his memorial service. Walker removed Cooper's Sigma Phi Badge and replaced it with his own.
Two gold chains connect the two upper arms. Crossed keys are in the upper arm, an eagle's head lies in the left arm, and a scroll lies in its right arm. In the bottom arm lie two clasped hands and seven stars. On the outer edge is "Sigma Chi Fraternity" and at the bottom are the numbers "". In the middle lie seven stars and a seven-branched candlestick.
On top of the Norman Shield is a scroll and a crest of an eagle's head holding a key. Below it, the fraternity's public motto, "In Hoc Signo Vinces" is placed on a scroll. It can be translated as, "In this sign, you will conquer. The top officers of each chapter are known as the Consul president , Pro Consul vice-president , Annotator secretary , Quaestor treasurer , Magister pledge trainer , Kustos sergeant-at-arms , Tribune communications , and Historian.
Those titles are the primary officers common to all chapters. Alumni chapters use the more common office titles such as: Grand Officers[ edit ] The international organization uses similar Roman titles, typically with the prefix of "Grand".
The Grand Consul is the international president of Sigma Chi. It is composed of one delegate from each active undergraduate chapter and alumni chapter, the Grand Consul and Past Grand Consuls, each being entitled to one vote. It may grant or revoke charters as well as discipline any chapter, officer or member. It may amend the Statutes or Executive Committee Regulations.