Epsilon Chapter

Pittsburg State University

About the Chapter

The Epsilon Chapter of Sigma Tau Gamma at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas was originally established in 1924 as one of the first chapters in the history of Sig Tau. The Epsilon Chapter began with 15 Founding Fathers, with the chapter being over 90 years old.

Fun Facts

  • Seven buildings on the Pitt State campus are named for men who were directly associated with Epsilon Chapter.
  • Moved into their current chapter house in 1960
  • Three National Sig Tau awards are named in honor of Epsilon Chapter Brothers

Chapter History

Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity, commonly known as “Sig Tau,” was founded at Warrensburg, Missouri, at what is now Central Missouri State University, on June 28, 1920. At 5:00 pm, a local fraternity at Pittsburg, Kansas, then called Sigma Phi Kappa, became Epsilon Chapter of Sigma Tau Gamma on May 3, 1924, at the urging of the faculty sponsor, Prof. O.F. Grubbs. Grubbs had connections at other Midwestern colleges, and by the aspirations of young men to spread the fraternal organization nationwide.

Seven buildings on the Pitt State campus are named for men who were directly associated with Epsilon Chapter. McCray Hall is named for Dr. Walter S. McCray, founder of the music department at the University and a co-sponsor of the charter group. John Lance Arena is named for John Lance, University basketball coach, faculty advisor of Epsilon Chapter and an honorary member of Sigma Tau Gamma. Grubbs Hall is named for Prof. O.F. Grubbs, long time University Professor, co-sponsor of the charter group, and an advisor of Epsilon Chapter for more than 44 years.

Epsilon Chapter has occupied its present chapter house at 1803 S. Joplin Street since the fall semester of 1960. The house was built as the personal home of University President William A. Brandenburg, father of founder Harold Brandenburg, in 1929 and has been extensively expanded and remodeled for use as a fraternity house. It is the only Greek house at the campus that is surrounded by university property.

Several members of Epsilon Chapter have served and been honored by Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity at the national level. Ora D. McClellan and W.T “Bill” Hembree served as national fraternity presidents. E. Kennedy Whitesitt served as Executive Secretary. Six alumni of Epsilon Chapter have served on the Sigma Tau Gamma Board of Directors. E. Kennedy Whitesitt and Bill Hembree were inducted into the Society of Seventeen, the highest honor which can be bestowed by Sigma Tau Gamma, and limited to seventeen living members that represent the seventeen original founders.

Three national fraternity awards are named in honor of Epsilon Chapter Alumni. The “Prof” Grubbs Distinguished Advisor Award has presented annually to the chapter advisor who is judged most worthy by evidence of his longstanding and effective service. The W. T. Hembree Campus Leadership Award recognizes the chapter with the most active involvement in student life and collegiate organizations. The E. Kennedy Whitesitt Communication Award is presented to the chapter with the most impressive communication strategy among all forms of media.

The Winebrenner Medal for Distinguished Fraternity Service is given by the national fraternity for extraordinary service as an alumni leader of Sigma Tau Gamma. Epsilon Chapter Alumni who earned the award are Roy S. Bennett, Jr., Bill Hembree, and Tom Harris.

Alumni members of Epsilon Chapter also generously support the Prof. O.F. Grubbs Foundation, a private foundation which provides up to 17 scholarships to male students at PSU who exemplify the principles of Sigma Tau Gamma.

Three Epsilon Chapter seniors have earned the national fraternity’s Ellsworth C. Dent “Man of the Year” Award including Tom Harris in 1983, Tim Minnis in 1992 and Ryan Raven in 2002. This award is given annually to honor the most outstanding undergraduate leaders of Sigma Tau Gamma and is the highest honor the fraternity can bestow upon a student member. Tom Harris and Ryan Raven currently advise the members and officers of Epsilon Chapter.

Starting with our first chapter president, James K. Baker, many men of Epsilon Chapter have served as the University student body president. Since 2010, three Sig Taus have been president of the Pitt State Student Government Association: Eric Jones, Jordan Schaper, and Kyle Hostetler.

Submitting Changes to the Chapter’s History

Any member of the fraternity and/or chapter is welcome to submit a request to update/change/correct information listed within the chapter history portion of the page. Submissions will be accepted in two ways: should a correction need to be made, please submit the entire sentence/paragraph, that needs to be updated with the correction highlighted in yellow or in a different color. If something new or updated needs to be added, please submit the entire text that needs to be added and/or revised with the new information highlighted in yellow.

This information should be submitted to noblemen@sigtau.org, where is will be reviewed by HQ Staff. Your submission will not be acknowledged unless it has been added to the website. It is very important that the chapter’s history accurately and objectively reflects the chapter, so all corrections, additions, and revisions should be reviewed by other members of your chapter before being submitted.