Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Bill Hydrick's Annual Founders" Day Letter

November 1, 2011

My Brothers,

Greetings again on this glorious day we commemorate the founding of our great fraternity. Though 110 years is a mere blink of the eye in the grand order of existence, for afinite species as ourselves it borders on the unimaginable. Could Carter Ashton Jenkins have conceived of an institution that would outlive him and his eleven comrades? 

Most associations flare to life like the striking of a match; with flames that burn bright for a moment then fade and go out. Few find the fuel to blaze and fewer still survive beyond the time of their architects. To have lasted more than a century is a testament of how special our shared brotherhood is.

Still, there are the great cathedrals and monuments meant to stand for hundreds, if not thousands, of years; built from stone and mortar to send the message to our posterity that “I was here. I made a difference.” So too it is with SigEp. But the brotherhood we celebrate is far more fragile than monuments of stone or marble. And it is not the creation of the one man or even the twelve but of the hundreds of thousands who graced its halls and left their mark. It is the collection of the best of all of our brothers and yet so much more; truly greater than the sum of its parts.

Like our mighty Mississippi, the river of time flows in but one direction and we know not what is about the next bend. The only certainty is that someday we will sink below its currents never to be seen again. We should strive then to live and love and build those things that compliment our existence. To create both the tangible and intangible structures by which those who follow will know the path to pursue. To hold in our hearts the truths that are Sigma Phi Epsilon. Through this our founders live on in us, as we will live on in those yet to come.

As I look down the path before me knowing well there are fewer steps ahead than behind I take comfort in knowing when the long night comes, and the organs cease, and forever sleep takes hold, there are those things that will outlast me. Until then, I pledge myself, as should we all, to the values espoused by our great fraternity: To live virtuously; to work diligently; and, to love whole-heartedly.

I wish you all a Happy Founders’ Day.

In the heart,

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