The history of Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity is an American success story. Sigma Tau Gamma has grown from a local fraternity of seventeen men studying at a small Missouri state teachers college to a national brotherhood. More than 75,000 brothers since 1920 have been pinned with a membership badge; this is the story of how it all started.
The idea of a social fraternity was very attractive to those men seeking a closer and more fruitful college experience. The announcement of its birth was made on the morning of the 28th of June. when a list of about thirty names of men who might be interested was posted on the bulletin board at “an unusually early hour” with the request attached that the men meet that afternoon for what was then an unknown purpose.
The notice had the proper effect, and as requested, a good number of interested men appeared to learn what was in store for them. Founder Allen Nieman explained briefly to them the purpose of the meeting – they were to discuss the possibility of organizing a social fraternity. It was soon found that the proposed organization was just what the men wanted and needed. Founder Leland T. Hoback became temporary chairman, and Founder Emmett Ellis became temporary secretary.
A second meeting was held on July 2, 1920, and after creating the purpose of the organization, the name Sigma Tau Gamma was chosen. Seventeen noble men signed the official petition, and the petition was submitted along with copies of the by-laws and constitution to the Central Missouri State Teachers College faculty. Upon the suggestion of Founder Carl Chapman, the Founders chose Dr. Wilson C. Morris to plead their case to the faculty. With the endorsement of Dr. Morris, the faculty approved the first Greek letter social organization, thus opening the door for a new type of fraternity. Dr. Morris., known as the “eighteenth founder,” became the Fraternity’s first honorary member and served Alpha chapter faithfully as its counselor until his death in 1947.
While standing together in a circular chain, Founder Ellis administered the oath of allegiance, and together, Sigma Tau Gamma took its first breath of brotherhood.