Sigma Nu Fraternity at UAH had its beginnings as a group called the Foaming Chargers who later formed the Gamma Gamma Gamma (Tri-Gam) Local Fraternity. We then became a colony of Sigma Chi Fraternity but a lack of internal leadership and a lack of interest by Sigma Chi led to the colony being dropped from Sigma Chi’s expansion program. We continued as Sigma Chi Gamma Local Fraternity and began a second search to find a national fraternity to join.
On a hot summer day in July 1990 we went into a conference room at UAH as a group of Sigma Chi Gamma’s who were looking for a home. We met with the Sigma Nu expansion team and some local alumni, were impressed, and chose to follow the Way of Honor. Sigma Nu accepted us and we have never looked back!
Two of the Sigma Nu alumni who had been invited to attend the expansion team presentation stayed with us as advisors: Ritchie Bufkin from Iota Gamma at Mississippi State and Lewis Knox from Delta Psi at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. We worked hard and more candidates joined us during the Fall Rush. On September 27, 1990, the Lambda Theta Chapter of Birmingham Southern formally pledged twenty-three of us as the UAH colony of Sigma Nu Fraternity.
The Foaming Chargers
The Foaming Chargers were four: Christopher Colt Jones, Raimey Shawn Ellenburg, Jeffrey Robert Umstead, and Darryl Brent Crider. They met between classes in the third floor lobby of Madison Hall, and derived their name from the foam ball they sometimes volleyed among themselves to pass the time. They decided that while they would like to be part of a fraternity, the ones on campus at that time were not what they wanted to join. Three of them, Chris, Raimey, and Jeff, began searching for other men interested in forming a new fraternity on campus. The resultant group approached the University with this idea and UAH allowed the group to be recognized as the Gamma Gamma Gamma Local Fraternity. Darryl did not choose to become part of this group.
Our Time as TRI-GAM
On February 9, 1987, the University allowed the group called the Foaming Chargers to be recognized as the Gamma Gamma Gamma Local Fraternity, and a search was undertaken for a national to charter the group. Thirteen national fraternities expressed interest in the campus. Four out of these thirteen were selected to be interviewed by UAH and Tri-Gam. They were: Sigma Chi, Pi Kappa Phi, Tau Kappa Epsilon, and Delta Sigma Phi and from these, Sigma Chi was chosen.
Colony of Sigma Chi
After we chose to become a colony of Sigma Chi, they received permission to accept or not accept the members of Tri-Gam on an individual basis. Representatives from Sigma Chi interviewed eight members of Tri-Gam and accepted all eight of them. They were Chris Jones, Raimey Ellenburg, Brian Barlow, James McLean, Damon Jones, Chet Simmons, David Swafford, and Matt Youngkin. Cecil Stokes, a Sigma Chi alumnus from Auburn, was appointed to be the Alumni Advisor. It should be noted that factions within the group were struggling and that only certain “in” members of the group were informed about the interview.
In accordance with the plan set forth by the University, Tri-Gam ceased to be recognized, and the local Sigma Chi Gamma was recognized in its place. Most of the members of Tri-Gam were picked up during the Fall term of 1987. A lack of leadership caused by internal conflicts, as well as no contact from the National Headquarters for over a year, resulted in a poor rush and financial problems.
Elections were held again in the Fall term of 1989 and Patrick Curry was elected Consul and Matt Youngkin was elected Pro-Consul. Patrick left for Motlow State in the Spring of 1990 and Matt Youngkin assumed the duties of Consul.
Gradually, contact and relations began to improve with National, it was too late for the local to meet the criteria by the deadline established by Sigma Chi’s expansion policies. Therefore, on April 15, 1990, Sigma Chi Gamma was dropped from Sigma Chi’s expansion program. Cecil Stokes ceased to be recognized as the Alumni Advisor, but remained on good terms with all members of the group.
After Sigma Chi
After we ceased to be a colony of Sigma Chi on April 15, 1990, we immediately sought to find another national fraternity with which to affiliate. We were in good financial condition and were still recognized by the University as a local fraternity. With the help of UAH, we found that Kappa Sigma, Sigma Nu, and Delta Sigma Phi would be interested in us as a colony. We also agreed that the local fraternity would be accepted as a whole by the national fraternity and not selected individually from the local fraternity membership as had been the case with Sigma Chi. In July 1990, we reviewed presentations at UAH by each of the three fraternities and choose Sigma Nu.
The members from the Sigma Chi Gamma local fraternity who were to be the core of the new fraternity were:
- Chris Jones
- Nathan Johnson
- Alexander Dickinson
- William Powell
- Robert Rose
- Jeffery Umstead
- Matt Youngkin
The members who came to the new fraternity as friends but choose not to be initiated were:
- Raimey Ellenburg
- James McLean
- Darrell Gray
- John Reeves
The Start of a NEW Sigma Nu Chapter
We first met with the Sigma Nu national representatives in July 1990. The Sigma Chi Gamma members present were:
- Christopher Colt Jones
- William E. Powell
- Matt Michael Youngkin
- Jeffery Robert Umstead
The names of the Sigma Nu representatives were:
- David Sturgeon
- Jerry W. Woodward
The names of the Sigma Nu alumni were:
- Richie Bufkin
- Lewis L. Knox
After the meeting, the Sigma Chi Gamma members voted to affiliate with Sigma Nu.
The Mu Beta Chapter of the Sigma Nu Fraternity is Created
The group of men who were to become the Mu Beta Chapter of Sigma Nu Fraternity were officially pledged as the UAH Colony of Sigma Nu Fraternity by the Lambda Theta Chapter (Birmingham Southern) on September 27, 1990. The names of the candidates pledged were as follows:
|Sean O’Brien Daniels||Dennis Karl Demirjian||Alexander Scott Dickinson|
|Edwin Brinse Ditto||Dustain Hain Ebaugh||Brody Kirk Fredericksen|
|Benjamin Robert Goode||Darrell Wade Gray||Erwin Robert Grigorian|
|Joe Scott Hallman||Daniel Christian Hollands||Michael Paul Jadwin|
|Nathan P. Johnson||Christopher Colt Jones||Michael Toufie Kassouf|
|Sean Platt||William E. Powell||Robert Rose|
|John Eaton Reeves||Jeffrey Robert Umstead||James William Tindill, III|
|Vincent Edward Visone||Matt Michael Youngkin|
Richie Bufkin and Lewis L. Knox were the Chapter Advisors.