Sigma Phi - Vermont Alpha

Addresses

420 College Street

Burlington, VT 05401

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Summary

The Sigma Phi Society was founded on March 4th, 1827, on the campus of
Union College in Schenectady, NY. It is the second oldest Greek
fraternal organization in the United States. After its founding, the
Sigma Phi became part of a triumvirate of Greek letter organizations
at Union that would come to be known as the “Union Triad.” These were
the first three social “fraternities” in the United States, and as
such hold a special place in the pantheon of Greek letter
organizations nationwide. With the founding of the Beta of New York at
Hamilton College in 1831, the Sigma Phi Society became the first Greek
organization to establish a chapter at another college. This makes
Sigma Phi the first, and oldest, national Greek organization in the
United States.

Our chapter at the University of Vermont was founded on March 4th,
1845, and was one of the earliest Greek organizations at UVM. While
such groups often sprang from other social clubs on campus at the
time, including debating societies and supper clubs, the Sigma Phi
Society was the culmination of a trend towards formalizing the social
bonds that united like-minded students on campus. Although Sigma Phi
did not have a house or grounds, the first members of the Alpha of
Vermont were fervent in their desire to advance the ideals of the
Sigma Phi Society in the northernmost outpost of the Society. Indeed,
the first classes of the “Alpha of Vermont” consisted of some of the
most committed members of the Sigma Phi Society, as well as some of
the brightest and best minds at UVM and in the state of Vermont.
Newspaper Editors, Civil War officers, trustees, professors and future
presidents of the University were all to be found in those early
classes. Similarly, intrepid alumni of UVM who forged westward during
our country’s pioneer days spent their college days as members of the
Alpha of Vermont. These included men who would go on to be judges,
mayors, businessmen and members of the clergy on the outward edges of
the United States.

As the earliest era of the Alpha of Vermont gave way to more modern
times, our chapter continued to grow and to flourish along with the
young country. While Sigma Phi chapters at other colleges had moved
into homes of their own, the Alpha of Vermont moved forward in
developing plans to build a fine home near the heart of the
University. In the later part of the 19th century the land for such a
home was procured, plans were drawn up, and the Alpha’s home at 420
College Street was completed. Photographs from these early days show a
much more formal student body than we may find lounging in the Buckham
today, yet the same youthful vigor for life, the same excitement for
the next adventure, and the same commitment to the Sigma Phi Society
that we find on the faces of our active members to this day is clearly
evident.
Over the course of the 20th century, the Alpha of Vermont continued to
contribute to the history of Vermont and the United States in a manner
that reflected our Society’s commitment to college, family and
country. Members of the Alpha of Vermont continued to serve the
University of Vermont in a variety of mediums, as both administrators
and lecturers, as professors, trustees and stewards of the University,
and in business and civic organizations both local and national.
Alumni of the Alpha of Vermont fought and died in WWI and WWII, and
many “Sigs” continue that tradition of service to this day, serving in
the armed forces in a variety of capacities. The Alpha of Vermont has
continued to see her members thrive in the worlds of politics,
business, non-profit work, academia, art and in many other capacities
worldwide. With an alumni base over 500 strong and a tradition of
striving for the highest achievement in everything we do, the Alpha of
Vermont chapter of the Sigma Phi Society is poised to continue a
history of excellence that has now lasted over 165 years.

 

Mission

Sigma Phi is a society of principles and values. Through embracing
these principles and values, Sigma Phi has always been a society of
leaders. On campus it is our charge to be leaders, cultivate the
intellect, and develop personal character.

Where our traditional principles and values intersect with the 21st
century expectations of students, parents and college officials, there
must be a congruence which embraces new operational and programmatic
standards. Perpetuating our values, advancing our traditions, and
continuing our legacy of service to UVM, Vermont and the world while
maintaining Sigma Phi's relevance and vitality are our goals.

 

Scholarship

Spring 2012 GPA 2.51

 

 

 

Website

www.alphaofvermont.org

 

Inter / National Website

http://www.sigmaphi.org

 

 

Officers

President: John Wohlgemuth (john.wohlgemuth@uvm.edu)