• Fraternity Alumni
    Fraternity Alumni Thoughts from Jason Beck, Director of Alumni Services for Sigma Pi Fraternity, International

Time is running out for you to register to join us in Orlando this August for the 52nd Biennial Convocation of Sigma Pi.  Registration remains open through end of business next Monday, July 14, 2014.  You can register online by clicking this link: http://sigmapi.org/index.php/step-by-step  then selecting the appropriate package and clicking on the “Register Now” button.  Note: You MUST have a free username and password set up at http://www.mysigmapi.com before you can register.  If you have questions about the process, be sure to click on the “Registration Instructions” button.  If you are a delegate or alternate for your alumni club, be sure to also complete and submit the Credentials form.

Convocation is always one of my favorite Sigma Pi events.  This one will be the 11th that I have attended. My first was in Irvine, California in 1992.  I was a newly initiated undergraduate, eager to experience an international-level event.  What an experience it was!  From the sheer numbers of brothers all in one place, to learning how Robert’s Rules of Order really works, it was an event to behold. 

As a 20 year-old from northwest Georgia, I had never experienced Southern California before.  So, part of my Convocation experience was going out a week early and doing the tourist stuff.  I did the NBC tour in Burbank, went to Universal Studios, toured the Warner Brothers lot and studios, and got to sit in the front row of the audience for a taping of “The Arsenio Hall Show” at Paramount Studios.  I walked by actor Jonathan Frakes (Cmdr. Will Riker) while he was sitting outside a sound-stage in-between shooting scenes for “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” got to see the sets for “Cheers” and “Entertainment Tonight,” and stand on the set of “Soul Train.”  I took one of the van tours of Beverly Hills to see the stars’ homes.  I walked along Rodeo Drive, sat on the beach at Santa Monica, drove the Sunset Strip, and shopped at Tower Records - and all of it because I was going to Convocation.  And all that was before Convocation had even started!

Convocation itself was quite the experience.  Especially that particular one.  Meeting so many brothers from all over North America, not to mention the Past Grand Officers that were there.  Watching Brotherhood on display as Bobby Burgess (Upsilon ’63) received his Founder’s Award with his chapter brothers coming together to surprise him in song.  I was hooked.  The tourist experience combined with the unbridled brotherhood that I experienced during Convocation, made me know that this Convocation would not be my last.

Baltimore 1994, Tampa 1998, Phoenix 2000, Philadelphia 2002, Chicago 2004, New Orleans 2006, Long Beach 2008, Danvers 2010, and San Antonio 2012.  The only Convocation I’ve missed was in 1996 when it was held in Toronto.  I was in the Atlanta area at the time, which was hosting the Centennial Olympic Games during Convocation.  Between not being able to be off work during the Olympics, and having some tickets to Olympic events I could not make it.

Besides remembering the cities and the hotels of Convocations, one thing I treasure from my Convocation attendance is the friendships I have made with brothers as a result of seeing them every six months or so at Sigma Pi events.  From Past Grand Sages to alumni volunteers.  From meeting a “shiny pin” undergraduate, to seeing them attend again as an alumnus. 

So, I encourage you to begin or continue your Convocation experience by joining us in Orlando.  Who knows, maybe you will have the kinds of experiences like I have that will not only “recharge” your Sigma Pi batteries, but also get you in the habit of attending Convocation.  There’s even an official group for those of us who attend Convocations – The Sigma Pi Historical Society.  Membership is open to any brother who has attended two or more Convocations.  You can become a Fellow of the Society upon attending your fifth Convocation. 

One of my favorite things at Convocation comes at the very end, when all the brothers gather in a huge circle around the ballroom, join arms, and sing “The Fireside Song.”  I always get a little choked up and have to fight back the tears during this.  It symbolizes that even though we may have disagreed over motions that came to the floor for debate, or were on opposite sides of some vote, in the end we are all brothers of Sigma Pi.  It is a great way to close out Convocation.

I hope to see you in Orlando!

10 Ways You Can Be An Active Sigma Pi Alumnus

 

1. Follow us on Social Media & our website –  www.SigmaPi.org

Facebook   And follow us on Twitter: @SigmaPi, @SigmaPiAlumni, Executive Director Michael Ayalon is @SigmaPiExec, and Assistant Executive Director Jason Walker is @SigmaPiAED.

social media 

The world moves pretty fast these days.  You don’t want to be left out of the loop.  So, be sure to stay connected to Sigma Pi.  We’re there with information, tidbits, news, and more. 

 

2. Join an Alumni Club/Association

 

If you have moved away from the area around your home chapter, joining an alumni club/association is a great way to plug into a new city/area.  You can meet brothers from all over – and from all eras.  From just hanging out over a few beverages to a community service event, a golf outing to a baseball game, and more, our alumni clubs are doing great things.

 

3. Update your information via MySigmaPi.com

Update your info 

If you have ever moved, or changed e-mails, or cell phone numbers, this one is for you.  Sometimes with everything going on surrounding a move to a new job, you forget to let your fraternity know how to contact you.  So, we’ve made it simple, easy, free, and secure for you to keep us updated with your information.  Login to mysigmapi.com and click on “edit my profile.”  You’ll see what we have on file for you, and can update/change anything that’s incorrect/out of date.

 

4. Attend Convocation or Sigma Pi University 

MYLC 2014 panaramic

If you have never attended a Sigma Pi Convocation or SPU, you are definitely missing out.  Loads of memories, undergraduates and alumni from all corners of North America, and charting the future of Sigma Pi are all some of what happens at Convocation.  There’s even a Convocation Attendance Club for those who attend multiple times.  This next one will be my 11th.  And, that’s nothing compare with some of our alumni.  Our next one is coming up August 6-10 at the Hilton Bonnet Creek in Orlando, FL.  Full details online at sigmapi.org.  See you there!

 

5. Give to the Sigma Pi Educational Foundation 

money3

I am a monthly donor to the Educational Foundation.  Are you?  They support the activities of the Grand Chapter, provide scholarships to deserving students, and more.  They need and deserve our support.  You can give $18.97 a month via automatic bank draft or your credit/debit card.  That’s a small amount you won’t even miss every month.  Or you can give a different amount, whatever works for you. 

 

6. Visit an undergraduate chapter / attend a chapter meeting 

Attend a chapter meeting

If you have been out of school for some time, you may not have been to a chapter meeting or walked into a chapter house in years, decades even.  Go back and just visit a chapter.  It doesn’t have to be your own chapter.  Go and watch what happens.  Experience the opening and closing ceremonies of the chapter again.  Recite the Creed with them.  Listen to their discussions, and you’ll see that some things never change.  Walk through the house with an undergraduate.  Remember what your house looked (and smelled) like?  Again, some things never change.  Remind them (and yourself) that Sigma Pi membership is for life.

  

7. Reconnect with a lost Brother 

Reconnect with lost alumni

You know him.  You were chapter brothers.  But now, you haven’t heard from/about him in forever.  “Whatever happened to old _____?”   Find out.  Help him reconnect with Sigma Pi.  Reach out and search for him.  Drop him an e-mail or a phone call and catch up.  You’ll be glad you did – and he probably will be too.

  

8. Volunteer with Sigma Pi 

volunteer

Active alumni volunteers help make for great chapters.  Our undergraduate members are looking for mentors, advice, and guidance that they may not be getting from any other source but Sigma Pi.  Spend an hour or two a month as a member of a chapter’s Alumni Advisory Board.   We also have opening for Chapter Directors and Province Archons all over North America.  See the list at sigmapi.org.   Someone once said that when you give, give of your time, talents, and treasure.  Give the treasure to the Educational Foundation (see #5), and give your time and talents to helping our undergraduate members.

 

9. Attend an alumni event / join an alumni club/association 

attend alumni event

If you haven’t been “that involved” or even “that interested” in Sigma Pi in years, there’s something missing.  Remember all the fun you had in college?  Are most of your fondest memories of that time in your life the times you spent with brothers?  Orchid Balls? Road trips? Spring Breaks?  That old beat-up car you were sure wouldn’t get you home?   Attend the next alumni event near you.  Catch up with the brothers.  Tell those old stories.  Relive the “good times.”  Then remember, joining Sigma Pi was maybe the best choice you ever made.

 

10. Be Proud to be a Sigma Pi 

Be proud

And don’t ever say “I WAS” a Sigma Pi.  You ARE a Sigma Pi.  Never be ashamed of our letters, crest, or badge.  Be sure to display them in your office or home.  Put your shingle in a frame next to your mini composites.  Wear your badge.  Display our letters on your vehicles.  Be proud to be part of an international organization that has helped change the lives of over 100,000 men since 1897.  

 

 

 

 

put at the end

With the end of the academic year rapidly approaching (or already here, depending on your school’s calendar), it is a good time to remind members to update your information with Sigma Pi.   Any time you move, change jobs, get a new e-mail address, or change phone numbers you should update that information with us.  You can do it yourself online, for free, and securely by using Mysigmapi.com.

If you are graduating, be sure to login to www.mysigmapi.com and click on “Edit my profile.”  Since you will be graduating and not in school anymore, (and all the parents said “Hallelujah!”) you won’t have access to your old .edu e-mail account for much longer.  Whatever e-mail account you decide to move to, be sure to update it with us so you can stay “in the loop” with Sigma Pi news.

In case you haven't heard, Grand Sage Ed Levesque and Executive Director Michael Ayalon will be conducting a Spring Virtual Town Hall event on Thursday, May 22 at 8pm (eastern time).  This will be done using WebEx online web conferencing.  They will be updating members on the progress out team has made for the last update, which was provided at MYLC in St. Louis.   The event password is: sigmapi1897.  

To join the event as an attendee:

1. Go to https://ciscosales.webex.com/ciscosales/onstage/g.php?MTID=ea81e58aa2cee3772d6d1baaf30b59950

2. Click "Join Now".

Speaking of end of the academic year thoughts, in some of my readings, I came across a nicely written blog post on the IGreekUBlog.  It talks about the importance of alumni to their undergraduate chapters.  Give it a read when you get the chance, click on: http://igreektoo.com/2013/11/19/alumni-matter/ to read it.

And, when it comes to summetime, it is never too early to start thinking about house safety and security during the break.  Be sure to check out the file titled, "Closing Your Chapter House & Preparing For the Summer" in the Resource Center of Mysigmapi.com. 

 

I’m happy to announce that we now have an alumni services Twitter account.  Follow what’s going on with Sigma Pi Alumni and important news by following us @SigmaPiAlumni on http://www.Twitter.com.  You can also follow more Sigma Pi news on Twitter by following our official Twitter feed @SigmaPi.  

You can also follow Executive Director Michael Ayalon @SigmaPiExec, Assistant Executive Director Jason Walker @SigmaPiAED, Southern Regional Director Neil Thorsbakken @NThorsbakken, Western Regional Director Kevin Pons @kjpons, Midwest Regional Director Patrick Patterson @SigmaPiPatrick, Northeast Regional Director Joe Turck @JPTurck74, Regional Director and Director of Conferences Justin Steele @Yukstin, and Director of Expansion Ryan Armstrong @ryandarmstrong.

Sigma Pi Alumni – we need your input to help shape the future of Sigma Pi.

You may have heard that we are working in a partnership with Phired Up Productions to conduct a membership experience survey for both alumni and undergraduate members.  For alumni, this is a detailed survey asking you about things like your undergraduate fraternal experiences, what you would like to have gotten as an undergraduate, what you’d like current undergraduates to get out it, what you want to get out of Sigma Pi as an alumnus, and how we can help make Sigma Pi better.  

Your input is crucial to the success of this project.  You may have received an email over a month ago, asking you to complete the survey.  If you did take the survey already, thank you.  There is no need to take it again.  But if you have not responded and completed the survey, we ask you to please find the time to do so, and soon.

If you have not already participated in this survey, we ask you to find the time over the next 5 days to login and give us your answers and comments.  We need to have completed surveys from a wide variety of alumni from all over the map geographically, and all over the spectrum of ages/eras.  So no matter if you graduated in 1945 or 2013 or anywhere in between – if you’re from the west, midwest, south, northeast, Canada, wherever you are – we need to hear from you.

We need your help to understand what is happening in the Fraternity on a day-to-day basis. Will you please login sometime in the next 5 days and take the survey?

Here is the link to the alumni survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/sigmapialum

 

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About Jason Beck

beck-webJason Beck serves as the Director of Alumni Services for Sigma Pi Fraternity, International. Founded in 1897, Sigma Pi Fraternity is the leading, international men's collegiate fraternal organization which provides training, guidance and innovative opportunities for Leadership Development, Social and Personal Development, Academic Achievement, Community Service and Heightened Moral Awareness for its brothers throughout their lives.

Contact Jason:

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: 615.921.2300

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