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A Message from the CEO of the Sigma Chi Foundation

ENGAGE: DONATE, VOLUNTEER, ADVOCATE

"I give because of all that Sigma Chi's core values and ideals have meant since my initiation. No other association has given me so much."
Jack Chapin, Washington (St. Louis) 1955


Brothers,

Brothers, thank you for supporting Sigma Chi in fiscal year 2016-17. Your generosity allowed us to meet growing funding commitments in scholarships and values-based leadership programs and to substantially expand the reach of our training efforts. In partnership with our General Fraternity, we continue to deliver more significant value to our chapters and undergraduates than any other Greek-letter foundation. I am proud of what was accomplished thanks to you.

Sigma Chi's work is needed more today than at any point in history and the near doubling of our undergraduate membership over the past decade underscores our relevance on today's college campuses. In a social, multimedia culture that often headlines the negativity in small pockets of Greek life, our Fraternity is working hard to build values-based leaders who are taking positive action for the greater good. I am proud to highlight some of their achievements in this report because, after all, the bond is reciprocal and the most important measure of the value of your investment in Sigma Chi are the actions taken by our young men.

VISION & STRATEGY

Over the past year, leaders of Sigma Chi Fraternity and Foundation came together to consider our direction over the next decade. We quickly recognized the need to define one future for our great Fraternity and to ultimately speak with one voice.

  1. Vision: To be the preeminent leadership and character development brotherhood benefiting our members throughout life.
  2. Operational Mission (the General Fraternity's work): To develop values-based leaders committed to the betterment of character, campus, and community.
  3. Development Mission (the Foundation's work): To secure financial resources and provide faithful stewardship in support of Sigma Chi.

Building on the incredible success achieved over the past decade, we have redoubled our commitment to values-based leadership but also recognized the need to expand opportunities for our alumni. After all, Sigma Chi is a lifetime commitment.

We have also crafted a single strategic plan with major objectives including the development of an educational learning continuum, enhanced alumni engagement opportunities, improved marketing and communications, an optimization of operations, the reinforcement of responsibility and accountability, and efforts to maximize support available to Sigma Chi and our members.

We are one Sigma Chi, one vision, one set of strategies, and we will succeed.

GROWING OUR IMPACT

Last year, Sigma Chi launched the first-ever standardized new member education program, Preparation for Brotherhood, to more than 4,000 aspiring new Sigs. Delivered in part through our online platform, Sigma Chi University, the initiative is designed to both deliver the best of our Sigma Chi teachings and to eradicate hazing within our order. We are seeing incredible early results including a 36% decrease in reported hazing and a 92% retention rate of new members.

As I reported in our last annual report, our existing programs had directly reached approximately 12% of our undergraduate population annually. This included the Balfour Leadership Training Workshop, Huntsman Horizons, and our various chapter retreats such as Mission 365 and Sexual Misconduct Prevention. With the advent of Preparation for Brotherhood, this direct impact has grown to approximately 36%.

Work is underway to further expand our reach through Sigma Chi University and a complete Sigma Chi Learning Continuum in the coming years. This includes programs such as the Keller Zibilich Lifeline initiative to prevent suicide and to aid with mental health challenges, our Crossroads alcohol misuse and drug use prevention training, and the new Ritual for Life program that delivers our ritualistic teachings in a way that remain relevant in the lives of today's young men. I can't wait to share the result when we reach every undergraduate member, every year and expand the Sigma Chi Journey for generations of Sigs young and old.

PAYING IT FORWARD

We were humbled to announce the inaugural class of Founders Circle inductees at this summer's Grand Chapter. The Founders Circle recognizes Brothers who have given back to Sigma Chi in every imaginable way—as a volunteer (having been inducted into the Order of Constantine), life-long donor (recognized in the Lockwood Society for contributing over $100,000 over a lifetime), and by establishing a planned gift for Sigma Chi. We are grateful for these Brothers who have so mightily contributed to carrying Sigma Chi forward and set an example for us all.

We lost several legends this past year to the chapter eternal, including past Sigma Chi Fraternity Executive Secretary and Foundation President Bill Bringham, past Grand Consul Doug Carlson, and Foundation Board members' emeritus Judge Bill O'Kelley and Al Menke. Each left a mark on Sigma Chi and, like every Brother we lost last year, brought great honor to our White Cross.

We also started a new tradition at Grand Chapter‐a Sigma Chi Celebration of Giving Back. During the event, we recognized the thousands of men who have contributed time, talent, and treasure to our Fraternity, including you.

LOOKING FORWARD

We all have the privilege of being Sigs at a time when our Fraternity is the biggest it's ever been, doing more in terms of support than any Greek organization at any point in history, and recognized for its excellence in ways never before achieved. But, as is typical of Sigma Chi, we're looking forward and all working to make tomorrow's Sigma Chi better than today's.

I am inspired by our bold vision as we set our sights on being much more than mere social fraternity. The world is in just such need, to borrow a phrase, and I hope that you will continue to join us our quest to build better men who are prepared to succeed in college and throughout their lives.

Thank you for your continued support. We are truly grateful.

In Hoc,

J. Ashley Woods, East Tennesee 2000
President and CEO

MEET THE CEO

I write to introduce myself as Sigma Chi Foundation's President & CEO and to thank you for your support of our important work. It is a great honor to lead our Foundation and quite humbling to follow Greg Harbaugh who retired in June 2016.

I have served Sigma Chi for nearly sixteen years, for the past ten years as our Foundation's COO & General Counsel. I have been part of an outstanding team who, thanks to the support of Brothers like you, grew our Foundation into a leader in the Greek world, a reliable partner to our General Fraternity, and a credible organization that remains worthy of your support.

I believe that Sigma Chi exists to build better men and that we will be measured by the successes and actions of the young men who join our Brotherhood. As you are likely aware, in close partnership with our General Fraternity, we have adopted a joint strategic plan that delivers a growing portfolio of values-based leadership programs, social issue training, and scholarship support to our young men. I commit to you, our stakeholders that your Foundation will be in aggressive pursuit of the resources needed to support this plan and that we will be zealous stewards of your future gifts.

On a personal note, I grew up in Asheville, North Carolina and joined Sigma Chi at East Tennessee State University, where I was honored to serve as chapter Consul. My lovely wife Bethany and I have two young children, a future Brother and a future Sweetheart, and we currently live in the Chicagoland area.

I expect to spend significant time traveling and hope to see you in person. I would be grateful for your feedback, ideas, or questions.

Planned Giving
The Sigma Chi Foundation recognizes and honors those who names the Foundation as a beneficiary of a will, trust, & other types of planned giving arrangement. Read More