DC Alpha Celebrates 100th Anniversary
by Gene Schurg
Friday evening October 9th, 300 undergraduate members, alumni and guests enjoyed an evening of fellowship to celebrate the founding of the DC Alpha Chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon at the George Washington University; 100 years to the day of the founding of the chapter. The weekend activities included a reception and dinner at the Washington Renaissance Hotel and an Epsilon Rite of Passage the next morning and BBQ lunch for visiting alumni.
The dinner program included the introduction of Bill and Marion Ross who graduated from GWU 60 years ago. Marion was the DC Alpha Sweetheart 60 years ago. Brother Ross joined the chapter for the Epsilon Rites on Saturday to renew his experience of the Ritual after 60 years.
Other special guests of the chapter at dinner were Keynote speaker, Grand President Garry C. Kief, Nonnie “Mom Nonnie” Cameron-Owens, Educational Foundation Trustee Troy Queen, members from the Richmond Headquarters Staff and Educational Foundation and representatives from the area SigEp Chapters.
The highlight of the evening's activities was during the keynote when Grand President Kief presented the chapter with a proclamation from the National Board of Directors commending the chapter on their 100 years of brotherhood at GWU and the awarding of a Buchanan Cup that was to be awarded in Orlando but because of an error was dropped from the program.
DC Alpha Chapter was originally founded when William L. Phillips - “Uncle Billy” - moved from Richmond in 1909 and with founder Benjamin Gaw worked with local GWU fraternity Kappa Sigma Pi to become Sigma Phi Epsilon's 33rd chapter. In 1938, when Sigma Phi Epsilon merged with Theta Upsilon Omega the GWU chapter was absorbed into the DC Alpha SigEp chapter.
Today, DC Alpha has a membership of 115 men and consistently earns a 3.20+ GPA. The chapter has contributed over $50,000 to SigEp's national partner, YouthAIDS, through the DC Alpha Sweetheart weekend. The chapter has been recognized on the GW campus the past two years as the Fraternity of the Year.