About the Chapter
The Alpha Chapter of Sigma Tau Gamma at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Missouri was founded on June 28, 1920, with 17 Founding Fathers. These 17 men were the first brothers of Sigma Tau Gamma. Over 1,300 brothers have been initiated into the Alpha Chapter.
- The chapter has won Greek Week tug-of-war nine consecutive years in a row.
- The Alpha Chapter won the 2016 intramural flag football championship.
- The chapter participates in the “Sisters in the Sand” Volleyball tournament each year, which donates proceeds to breast cancer research.
Four of the Founders; Emmett Ellis, Leland Thornton Hoback, Edward George Grannert, and William Glenn Parsons, had enlisted and served their country together during the First World War in France. Parsons commented that in founding the Fraternity they wanted to sustain a “sense of service, responsibility, and affection for their companions.”
These four, together with Allen Ross Nieman, Edward Henry McCune, Carl Nelson Chapman, Buell Wright McDaniel, George Eugene Hartrick, A. Barney Cott, Chiles Edward Hoffman, Rodney Edward Herndon, William Edward Billings, Clarence Willard Salter, Frank H. Gorman, Alpheus Oliphant Fisher, and Daniel Frank Fisher, were the 17 Founders of the Fraternity.
When they returned to school in the summer of 1920, the Normal School they knew had been elevated by the Missouri legislature to a 4-year college granting bachelor’s degrees. Several of the founders were members of the Irving Literary Society, but they wanted to cut across the boundaries of this and other literary societies to form their new fraternity. They wanted the most desirable men from each to join. On the morning of June 28, 1920, “at an unusually early hour” according to the original minutes, a list containing the names of about thirty men was posted on the college bulletin board by Emmett Ellis with a request to meet that afternoon for what was, to them, an unknown purpose.
According to the minutes, “the notice had the proper effect and, as requested, there appeared a goodly number of men to learn what was in store for them.” Founder Nieman, who had become familiar with fraternities while attending William Jewell College, was the principal organizer of the meeting. He explained the purpose of the meeting and told them what such an organization could mean to the men of the college. The men elected Leland Hoback temporary Chairman and Emmett Ellis, temporary Secretary. They agreed to begin crafting the organization and adjourned until July 7, 1920.
The Founders were accompanied by Dr. Wilson C. Morris, head of the physics and chemistry department, to present their petition to the faculty. Dr. Morris was a Sigma Nu in his college days, and his influence was significant, and the new Fraternity received recognition. Dr. Morris became the Fraternity’s first honorary member and served the Alpha Chapter at Central Missouri as patron, counselor, and advisor until his death in 1947.
In the fall of 1920, a ceremony for initiation of new members was written, and the chapter of 17 grew to 31 by its first anniversary in 1921. Founder Edward H. McCune recalled later that, “from the very beginning, Sigma Tau Gamma prospered, both in membership and service. Its challenge to students to live well and promote the spirit of brotherhood was continually being met by those who were seeking membership.”
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