“Sigma Tau Gamma saved my life. This is not an analogy, a euphuism, or figurative, Sigma Tau Gamma literally saved my life.” – Luke Williams, Southern Indiana
For Luke Williams, his place in Sig Tau was solidified by one of his dearest friends and brothers, Jason Miner. When Jason decided to join Sig Tau, Jason immediately made an impact on the Fraternity with many chair positions and responsibilities; in addition he and Luke immediately became friends. Eventually, the two moved into the same house with a few other brothers which Luke said “was perhaps the greatest thing for me developmentally, as I got the opportunity to get to know my best friends. I learned how to live and work with a group of men, I got to know my brothers on a greater level than I had previously known. It was at this point my journey with Jason Miner grew to a new level.”
While living together, Jason and Luke looked to challenge one another to read the Sigma Tau Gamma creed once a day for a month. Luke believed that it was going to aid them to learn more about the Fraternity they both loved, and possibly even memorize the Creed. “Our challenge grew to read the creed once a day for several months, and during that journey, we learned more about each other, more about our fraternity, and about our brothers,” Luke said. “When I read the creed, I feel as if I learn something new about my journey in Sig Tau, I reflect on my experiences and know that I am connecting to close to 100 years of brothers who share similar experiences.”
Perhaps the most pivotal moment in Luke and Jason’s friendship came during Luke’s last summer as an undergraduate member of Sig Tau. Luke recalls the moment, “I was extremely poor and destitute. I can remember eating ramen noodles for 14 days straight, having only $7 in my bank account, attempting to find random work to make next month’s rent payments, thinking that I could even cancel my cell phone plan to attempt to save some money. The thing with having no money that no one tends to talk about is the depression and anxiety that follows it. It was after looking down at a bowl of ramen noodles – the same type of ramen noodles that I had looked down upon for the 20th night in a row, the same ramen noodles that I had for lunch for 20 days before, the same ramen noodles that were picked up from the university food pantry – that I first contemplated suicide,” Luke shared.
“It was the thought that this could end – eating ramen noodles for another night, living dollar to dollar, unable to find peace in a world filled with depression and anxiety. It, however, was the moment Jason came out of his room and asked me what I was eating. It was the moment when Jason reached into his pocket pulled out a $20 bill and gave it to me and said that I should go and get some real food that I could pay him back when I was able. It was the moment Jason saved my life. In that moment Jason saved my life, he pulled the curtain and showed me the light in a world filled with darkness. Jason showed relentless kindness. I wept that night, with a full belly.”
Later that year during the spring semester, Jason Miner won Brother of the Year for their chapter. An award for a Noble Man with integrity that truly embodies all of the Principles of Sigma Tau Gamma. A way to truly encompass the type of brother that Jason was to his fellow chapter members, and the true impact Jason had made on his best friend, Luke Williams.
To Luke Williams, his giving story is simple and real. Giving to the organization that has given him so much, only makes sense.
“Without Sig Tau I would be dead. Without meeting Jason Miner, I would have ended my life either the night Jason showed me kindness or another night soon after. As such, I owe a debt not only to Sig Tau but to Jason as well. …that means serving in the Alumni Association, volunteering for National Conferences, and donating money to the national organization in hopes that another brother’s life might be saved because they got to meet their Jason Miner. I will do what I must for my best friend, my brothers, and Sigma Tau Gamma because without them I wouldn’t be able to type this.”
ABOUT SIGMA TAU GAMMA FRATERNITY
Founded in Warrensburg, Missouri at the University of Central Missouri. On June 28, 2020, the fraternity will commemorate its 100th Anniversary. Today, there are more than 3,000 undergraduate members on 81 college/university campuses in 31 states. There are 61,000 living alumni. The Fraternity is headquartered 60 miles east of downtown Kansas City in Warrensburg, Missouri. Additional information about the fraternity is available at http://sigtau.org/.