The Eta Delta Associate Chapter (then referred to as a colony) at the University of Georgia is a testament to the strength of brotherhood and leaving a lasting impression despite size or age. Sig Tau held a place on the UGA campus from about 1984 – 1990 and initiated about 60 members. What it lacked in campus success, it made up for in lifelong commitment. For four dedicated brothers, the call of Sig Tau did not end when Eta Delta closed its doors.
Clayton Whitehead, ’85, recalls a phone call from former Director of Foundation Operations Jill Carrel asking him to get re-involved with the organization. “The first question I asked was if the mission and support of inclusion was still relevant and if Sigma Tau Gamma was still committed to a higher good. It’s what drew me as an undergrad and it’s what still matters to me now.” Jill assured Clayton that was still part of Sig Tau’s core values. Clayton soon after joined the Foundation Board of Trustees and currently assists with the Fundraising Committee and the Stewardship Committee. “I want to be part of the crew that gets us back to the singular focus of the BROTHERHOOD. It’s all of us. It’s our core. I believe you are a Sig Tau for life. If we say that and mean that, there’s nothing we can’t do.”
Little brother and lifelong friend to Clayton, Dr. Michael J. Heard, ’86, also felt the pull to reconnect to his Sig Tau brothers. Dr. Heard has never wavered on his continuous support of Sigma Tau Gamma since leaving the University of Georgia to pursue a degree in medicine. He connected with Headquarters Staff at the Houston Alumni Reception that he helped organize, bringing together alumni brothers that was a huge success. The energy and excitement in the room was infectious with many new ideas discussed for the future of Sigma Tau Gamma. Dr. Heard recently issued a challenge to his UGA brothers, agreeing to match all of their donations to the Founders Day Challenge up to $5,000 in celebration of Sig Tau’s 100th year.
Andrew St. Clair, ’85, currently serves on the WPN Housing Board of Managers. When reflecting on what drew him back to the organization Andrew simply said, “We never went away really from one another.” He remembers seeing reunions and tailgates and Brotherhood connections continuing long after his years at Georgia. Now he wants to help give that same lifelong experience to future members.
Jim Malcom, ’84, whose father is a Sig Tau brother from the Alpha Alpha chapter at Eastern Illinois University, still lives in Georgia and does what he can to keep his chapter brothers connected. “It was everything I expected when joining – the lifelong relationships, the brotherhood; I enjoy reuniting with my fellow brothers to this day.” Jim was a Founding Father at UGA and although Sig Tau no longer has a presence on campus, that has not stopped him from keeping the group together, overseeing the Alumni Facebook page and organizing reunion events.
Four men, spread across the country, bonded through the ties of Brotherhood. The “Georgia Colony” may no longer exist on campus, but Sigma Tau Gamma forever lives on with these men.
We’re pleased to highlight Eta Delta and each brother’s Sig Tau Story during this Founders Day Challenge. They are some of the many brothers helping to Honor our History and Build our Future. Donate today to celebrate brothers like Andrew, Clayton, Jim, and Michael and help us raise $100,000 to celebrate Sig Tau’s 100 years of Brotherhood.
ABOUT SIGMA TAU GAMMA FRATERNITY
Founded at the University of Central Missouri on June 28, 1920, the organization will commemorate its 100th Anniversary in 2020. With a presence on 81 campuses in 29 states, our membership includes more than 2,700 undergraduate men and 63,000 living alumni. The Headquarters, which is home to the Fraternity, Foundation, and WPN Housing Company, is located in Indianapolis, Indiana, 12 miles from the center of downtown. Visit http://sigtau.org for additional information.