Alpha Sigma Chapter Resintalls
Carmel, IN - On October 22, 2016, the Alpha Sigma Chapter at the University of Oregon was reinstalled. Executive Director Mike Mayer, Chief Operating Officer Ray Vanlanot, Chief Development Officer Philip Thornton, and Field Executive PJ Ricketson attended, bringing a strong representation from the International Headquarters.
The journey to restarting the chapter began in October of 2014 when past Field Executives Darien Key and Tom Sisco arrived at the University of Oregon to build an interest group. Noah Daniels (2017), who would become the Colony and Chapter President, and Ethan Rivas (2016) were the first two to accept bids. By the end of November, the Alpha Sigma was recolonized with twelve men. “When spring 2015 came, we were able to attend the Mid-Year Leadership Conference hosted by Alpha Rho/Washington,” explains Daniels. “The skills we learned here were put to use during spring recruitment, adding another twelve men to the group.” The colony then brought this experience full circle, hosting their own Mid-Year Leadership Conference in the spring of 2016.
"Having the opportunity to assist in the recolonization efforts of a storied chapter like Alpha Sigma was an honor,” explains Sisco. “During my time on campus as a Field Executive I was able to help a group of dedicated and motivated students, with the help of many involved alumni, embark on their journey towards becoming brothers. I'm happy to see that these young men took to heart the messages conveyed to them and have been able to successfully travel the path towards the reinstallation of their chapter. I see a bright future ahead for the Alpha Sigma Chapter, and look forward to news of their inevitable success."
Former Field Staffer, Marvin McConaghy (Alpha Phi/Alabama 1972) traveled to the October ceremony to surprise Alpha Sigma Alumni Board President and fellow past staff member Tom Smith (Alpha Sigma/Oregon 1974). “Forty-two years ago this fall, I joined Theta Chi’s field staff of three,” explains McConaghy. “All of us were rookies but quickly became great friends.” Smith ended up visiting McConaghy’s alma mater while McConaghy visited Smith’s. “Alpha Sigma was one of the very best chapters I visited in my three years on staff,” said McConaghy. “The men loved Tom and knowing we were friends, prepared for me and treated me royally.” Smith and McConaghy stayed in touch, but hadn’t seen each other in over thirty years. After chatting with Sam Michaan (2019), an Alpha Sigma Colony member, during the 160th Anniversary Convention this past summer, McConaghy decided to make the trip to Eugene for the reinstallation to surprise Smith and support Alpha Sigma. “To my surprise, Marvin came all the way from Alabama,“ said Smith. “His arrival at the Eugene airport was one of the best surprises I’ve had. It turned into a weekend of telling old stories of life on the road for Theta Chi.”
Pictured (L-R) are Smith and McConaghy at the Eugene Airport
In the group’s first semester as a colony, they maintained the highest fraternity GPA and obtained a house. They also became heavily involved in the school’s IFC, with a member serving on the Executive Board while still in colony status. “This is a hardworking group of individuals who worked tirelessly to bring Theta Chi back on campus,” explained Field Executive PJ Ricketson. “They consistently were able to overcome obstacles and never stopped their progress. Even now, they know the hard work must continue.”
As a kind gesture, the Alpha Sigma alumni gifted the Rechartering Members with Theta Chi hats.
A reception was held following the reinstallation at the Eugene Masonic Lodge. Numerous brothers spoke, including Executive Director Mike Mayer and Chapter Adviser Kevin Horner, with Alumni Corporation President Tom Smith serving as the host. Chapter President Noah Daniels thanked the alumni for their continued support. “I couldn’t be more proud of the Chartering Members,” said Daniels. “This wouldn’t have been possible without their hard work and the constant support of Alpha Sigma alumni.”
Moving forward, the group aims to have a successful fall rush, continue their involvement in IFC, and reclaim their top GPA title. They also are looking forward to starting new traditions as a young group. With the campus having a diverse student population and growing Greek community, the men are in a perfect position to become young leaders on campus. They plan on being exemplary members of their community and university while making a good name for Theta Chi.
“Theta Chi’s return to University of Oregon is a proud moment in the history of the Fraternity,” remarks Executive Director Mike Mayer. “The reinstallation of our Alpha Sigma Chapter is the product of much hard work and dedication by many collegiate and alumnus members.”
Alpha Sigma Chapter began as a local fraternity known as Phi Sigma Pi (not to be confused with the Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity). The group was installed as a chapter of Theta Chi Fraternity on March 6, 1925.
The University of Oregon opened its doors in 1876 with Deadly Hall as the sole building and with 155 students. Today the University of Oregon is one of the oldest universities on the west coast. Students at the university hail from all 50 states, and the student population is approximately 25,000. The university is home to 33 fraternities and sororities.