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

In 2008, Buddy Beck (Alpha-Pi, Arkansas State, ’58), his wife, and their Family Foundation in conjunction with alumni members of the Alpha-Pi Chapter of Sigma Pi Fraternity at Arkansas State University, including Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe (Alpha-Pi, Arkansas State, ’68), created the Governor Mike Beebe Veterans Fund.  The purpose of this fund is to provide financial assistance to members of the United States Armed Forces who have served in the Afghanistan or Iraq Conflicts and their sons, daughters, or spouses attending a post-secondary institution.  Thanks to the contributions by alumni and friends of Sigma Pi, the Sigma Pi Educational Foundation has been able to provide more than $159,000 to help support the educational pursuits of over 150 veterans and their families.

 

This year’s gala event is set for the evening of Thursday, October 2nd at the Governor’s Mansion in Little Rock, Arkansas.  This is Governor Beebe’s final year in office, as he is set to complete his second term as Governor, so we hope there will be a large turnout for the event. 

The scene during last year's Gov. Beebe Veterans Fund Gala

 

Governor Beebe with PGS Ed Levesque 

 

Individual tickets and sponsorships are still available.  You can make a donation, purchase your dinner seats (or sponsor an entire table if you wish) by visiting this website: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e9faxrrsd2750780&llr=jep4vodab

If you have any questions, please contact Jana Cohen at (501) 603-0113, or Lisa Pearson at the Sigma Pi Educational Foundation office at (615) 921-2300. 


Governor Beebe with Executive Director Mike Ayalon

 

On July 30, 2014, the entire staff of the Sigma Pi Executive Office volunteered at the local animal shelter, New Leash on Life, in Lebanon, Tennessee.  As an international fraternity, we ask our chapters to do community service in their cities/communities.  So, it is only fair that we do likewise and help set the example for our undergraduates.

 

We went to New Leash on Life, an animal welfare organization, and helped the staff there with a major project that they needed assistance with.  New Leash on Life is a no-kill animal shelter that receives no funding from taxpayers.  They survive on donations alone.  The staff there needed to clean out and reorganize their large garage storage area, but did not have the manpower to get the project done.

 MovingStuff

Executive Office Staff Helping to Clear Storage Area

 

Every member of the Sigma Pi Executive Office staff participated in this event.  20 of us each spent two hours working together to complete the project.  40 man (and woman) hours were donated to this community organization.  Yes, it was a warm afternoon in late July in middle Tennessee.  Yes, there were some unpleasant smells.  But, together we did it.  And, as a reward we were allowed to have some “play time” with some of the animals who are housed at the shelter.  

 Connor and Locke with dog

Expansion Consultants Connor Schwalm (l) and Andrew Locke with a dog that is ready to be adopted.

 

Our supervisor for the afternoon, Office Manager Ann Shapiro, kept saying, “I can’t believe you guys got all this done.  This would have taken us forever to get organized.”  

 GilliganDaviswithDog

Senior Expansion Consultant Michael Davis (l) and Assistant Executive Director Jason Walker spend time with a dog at New Leash on Life.

 

I can say that I was truly impressed with my fellow co-workers.  No one complained about having to participate.  No one said, “I don’t want to do this.”  We all worked together on this project.  The feeling of giving back to Lebanon, a community that has welcomed Sigma Pi with open arms since our relocation in late October 2013, was overwhelming.  Knowing that the work we were doing benefited these lovable cats and dogs made it all the more rewarding.  

Pons with cat 

Regional Director Kevin Pons in a selfie with one of the cats at the shelter.

 

Some of our alumni clubs hold community service events in their regions, and they should be thanked for their efforts.  More participation from alumni would be great.  As for our undergraduate chapters, you see that not only do we “talk the talk” about community service, but we also “walk the walk.”  For those who regularly participate in community service projects with your chapter, I say “Thank You!”  Keep up the good work.  For the others, hopefully our actions at the Executive Office will help motivate you to be a part of your chapter’s community service efforts.

GroupShot

The entire Sigma Pi Executive Office Staff at the end of their afternoon of community service at New Leash on Life. 


For more information about New Leash on Life, visit them at: http://www.newleashonline.org/  or see their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/newleashonline?ref=br_tf.   A special thank you to their Office Manager Ann Shapiro, Executive Director Amy Haverstick, along with Directors Davina Herr, Alex Keith, Holly Liter, Colette Lanham-Stoffell, and Judy Wallace.  The President of New Leash on Life is Angela Chapman, Vice President of Operations is Sue Tompkins, Secretary is Leah S. Cesternino, and the Treasurer is Dawn Hall.

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.  

 

 

 

 

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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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