Sigma Alpha Epsilon's History

Sigma Alpha Epsilon

Founded in 1856 at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, SAE had seven chapters at the end of 1857. The leader of the eight founders, Noble Leslie DeVotie, wanted to create an organization to promote friendship and opportunity among individuals during and after college. 

It’s the only fraternity with roots in the Antebellum south. Since its founding, the fraternity has initiated over 329,000 members and is one of the largest Greek organizations. Henry M. (Hank) Paulson Jr., the 74th US Secretary of the Treasury, President William McKinley, and actors David Spade and Fred Savage were Sigma Alpha Epsilon members.

Architectural Wonder of the Fraternal World

In 1930, the fraternity built its home and a memorial to SAEs who died during times of war. The Levere Memorial Temple serves as the organization’s current headquarters in Evanston, Illinois. It’s filled with historical fraternity documents and antiques, but it’s also a well-known architectural accomplishment filled with Tiffany stained glass. The Sigma Alpha Epsilon Foundation, the fundraising branch of the fraternity, owns and maintains the premises where many fraternity members visit. 

Sigma Alpha Epsilon Symbols and Values

Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s motto is “phi alpha,” a phrase filled with hidden meaning only revealed to those inducted into the fraternity. The fraternity is well known for its creed, “The True Gentlemen,” which all members must learn and recite during initiation. In an effort to promote the values set forth in the creed, the fraternity also uses an online True Gentleman Initiative Program to help members build the skills and knowledge needed to meet personal and professional goals. 

You can spot a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon wearing old gold and royal purple colors or the symbol of a lion, fleur-de-lis, or phoenix. The violet is the official flower of the fraternity, and members recognize Minerva, the Roman deity of wisdom and strategy, as their patron goddess.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon Partnerships and Service 

Philanthropically, the fraternity has developed a partnership with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Many of Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s national outreach programs focus on events that support their network of hospitals. The fraternity has raised over $800,000 since it began the partnership in 2001. 

As a true gentleman, Sigma SAEs promote a Good Samaritan Policy. If a fraternity member lends a hand to someone in need, regardless of the circumstances, neither individual will face discipline from fraternity authorities.

Whether you’re headed out to a ball game or to your next fraternity sponsored event, find the perfect custom made Sigma Alpha Epsilon gear from Houndstooth Press



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