Sunday, October 03, 2010

Congratulations Louisiana Alpha!

Twenty Years and Counting
A Sig Ep Success Story
Louisiana Alpha - Tulane University

Twenty years ago this past April, Chris Mainz, the RD for the District at the time, and I made the second presentation to the Tulane IFC in an effort to convince them to vote to approve letting Sig Ep return to the Tulane Campus after a 40+ year absence. We made the presentation and were excused from the meeting. Chris and I were sitting on the 1st floor of the Union hoping to get a positive response. We had made a presentation earlier in the Spring and at that time the decision had not been favorable. Nonetheless, after the meeting was over the various IFC reps came by where we were sitting and told us we had been approved to colonize in the Fall and good luck because without a house we wouldn’t survive five years. We thanked them for the opportunity.

Twenty years later after numerous ups and downs and several chapter house changes, Louisiana Alpha will be celebrating the chapter's 20th anniversary return this coming weekend. Many of those well established fraternities – some of which had been on campus for over 100 years – are no longer there. Not only has Sig Ep survived but has become a moving force. The early years were hard but we had good alumni and members.

I have been away from New Orleans and Louisiana Alpha now for almost 8 years this past September. A lot of water has passed over the levees for Tulane as well as under the bridge for me. The chapter has continued to move forward with a sustaining alumni board. Unfortunately I have only been back to New Orleans once since I left. There is not a Sig Ep chapter near me here in Las Vegas, so I have "retired" from being an active alumni volunteer. I must say that the 20 years I lived in New Orleans working first with Loyola and then Tulane while serving the fraternity at the National Level in a variety of roles is something I will cherish and of which I shall always have fond memories.

My heartfelt congratulations and best wishes go out to all those alumni that I worked with when they were at Tulane as well as to those Brothers and alumni who have come after. The chapter was left in good hands with dedicated alumni who have continued to push for excellence and work diligently supporting the undergrads. Together they have created a Fraternity environment that has "sustainability." Unfortunately my schedule is such that I am unable to attend the 20th anniversary weekend but please know that I am celebrating from a distance.

Although nothing is perfect, through continual self-evaluation and and a focus on excellence you will keep on the path that leads to "Excelsior!" Here's to the next 20 with the hopes that each year will be bigger and better. Best Wishes and Godspeed.

In the Heart,

Bill Davenport
Mississippi Alpha 1969