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“Those Who Commit Will Be Champions in Life”
The title speaks to what is required for organizations to survive and thrive. I am paraphrasing something Bo Schembechler told his team in 1969 when he took over as Michigan’s head football coach. The team had lost its rudder. They were soft and not as committed as they should be to rise as champions. The Vietnam War was raging, and protests were happening on every college campus. In those days, athletes went home for the summer, and upon their return, Coach Schembechler expected much from his team. One of the requirements was that, upon returning from the summer, the lineman had to run a mile in under six mins, and everyone else had to run a mile under 5:30. If not, pack your bags.
His message was simple. He told them, “I cannot guarantee success if we commit and work hard, but I can guarantee that if we do not commit and work hard, we will not have success. Those who stay will be champions.”
My message: those who commit to our Sigma Chi values and principles, spelled out in all that we do, from learning about our founding fathers and their guiding principles during pledgeship to our initiation ritual, will be champions in life.
I believe we are making tremendous progress with the chapter. Our chapter leadership is responding. We brought in a new chapter advisor, Wes Hanner. He is an ’05, lives in town, and was in Mike Church’s pledge class (our fraternity’s current executive director). Wes is working closely with the chapter alongside Blake Pierce, our grand praetor. Your board is working to launch a new chapter advisory board that will work closely with the board and the undergrads. The message is clear: more commitment equals better outcomes.
Steve Sarovich has worked diligently to resurrect the scholarship awards program that we put on hold during our membership review. Our GPA continues to rank in the top ten. We have brought on Todd Salen as our new property manager. Todd has been very involved in his fraternity, Phi Psi, and works in the Champaign real estate business. He has been a godsend as our “boots on the ground.” He goes way beyond the call of duty. He manages all the move-in and move-out processes, meets with the undergraduates, oversees “walk-throughs,” and handles all the issues with our physical plant. The undergrads have responded well and respect Todd.
We continue to be financially challenged as our membership was impacted by the membership review, but the chapter is responding by building toward our maximum capacity of 65 live-in members. We have shared more about how the “financials work” and how 60 live-in members will allow us to keep our physical plant in great shape.
We remain committed to you, our KK ΣΧ brotherhood, in helping our chapter to be all that it can be within our ΣΧ, on campus, and in greater Champaign communities.
Hail to the Orange and Blue and our Sigma Chi brotherhood. “Those who commit will be champions for life.”
As brothers, we all fondly remember our beginning in the chapter and the challenge we accepted in our initiation to our brotherhood. We were charged with a duty to become the best we can by living out the values learned and to never forget there are strong arms around us.
Your board has worked tirelessly to prepare the chapter for COVID requirements, and the time commitment exponentially increased! The Chapter Executive Committee rose to the occasion to implement and adhere to the COVID protocols and the many changes we needed to incorporate.
As the song says, “we will survive,” and with the efforts of our Kappa Kappa Board team, we will continue our efforts on your behalf.
Peter Steger ’79
President of your House Corporation