Brother Bill Hydrick Sends Founders' Day Greetings Each Year
From New Orleans, Brother Bill Hydrick, best known as Sammy, sends very heartfelt greetings to his brothers each year. Several of us are privileged to receive his message from the heart. It is with pleasure that we send this to all of you.
I greet you on this the 105th anniversary of the founding of our great fraternity, a time to rejoice, renew, and recommit. In spite of the humble beginnings in that unheated tower room in Ryland Hall, Sigma Phi Epsilon has risen to be the pre-eminent college Greek letter society on campuses across the nation. But our founders never intended the lessons of Sigma Phi Epsilon to stay within the university walls. For Sigma Phi Epsilon is not a destination; rather, it is a journey.
Sigma Phi Epsilon taught each of us important principles of daily living: virtue, diligence, and brotherly love. These are not mere transitory values. They require us to commit to living each of them to their fullest everyday. I have witnessed many of you exhibit these sacred standards through out this past year as Louisiana Gamma has struggled to recover from Katrina. Be that running to a brother’s side when he lost his mother or rebuilding the homes of strangers who have nowhere else to live or making contributions to the chapter to replace its damaged ritual equipment all of you exhibited those ideals our founders thought so dear. The struggle persists, however, and we must continually recommit to living out our creed and being true men.
In the turmoil that is New Orleans, pockets of hope do appear from time to time. Trees have blossomed and birds returned as the city rises from the flood damage to take its proper place on the world stage. So too it is with the fraternity as we continue to return from the deluge. This week we dedicate our new ritual equipment, replacing that which was damaged or lost in the storm. This renewal would not have been possible without the personal commitment of so many. It is fitting that the ritual, which celebrates those values we claim as our own and binds us ever to one another, has served as the object that united us in common cause, brothers near and far, undergraduate and alumnus.
Let us celebrate, then, our fellowship and good fortune in finding one another. Let us celebrate the life long friendships that the fraternity has provided. Indeed, it is that friendship most worthy of celebration, forged in the fire of the burning heart, made to last into the ages. It is the friendship whose light shines true and steady even in the darkness of despair and desolation; the light that illuminates the path leading ever to the horizon. Though time and distance separate us, our bond in Sigma Phi Epsilon remains constant; though our light may dim it is never fully extinguished.
Today more than most we should reach out to our brothers wherever they are and whatever their status. Write a letter, send an email, or make a call to a brother and renew your bonds. Today, remember those happiest of moments shared in the warmth of brotherhood for all too quickly winter comes. Today, consider the lessons of Sigma Phi Epsilon and recommit yourself to living daily in virtue, diligence, and brotherly love.
I wish you all a happy founders’ day.