Sigma Nu celebrates 60 years

Kate Sheafer

After months of planning, the Kent chapter of Sigma Nu will officially celebrate its 60th anniversary on Saturday.

The fraternity invited all of its alumni to come back to visit and partake in the celebration, which coincides with Homecoming events.

Sigma Nu President Matt Fabinak said the shared schedule of events adds incentives for alumni to come back to visit not only the school, but their fraternity as well.

“Right now, we have a confirmed 28 alumni attending,” he said. “We’re hoping we can get more from making follow-up phone calls and e-mails.”

Saturday’s plans include taking alumni on tours of the fraternity’s new house, tailgating as a group before the homecoming game and a formal dinner for current and past members at Paradise Lake Country Club in Mogadore.

“It’s very important for us to interact with our alumni,” Fabinak said. “Based off their stories, you can see how things have changed, but then at the same time, you can see that many things are still the same.It’s interesting to see what they think about the fraternity and how it has helped them.”

After the dinner two alumni speakers will share their different stories.

Rick Fernanzo, former coach of the Detroit Lions, will discuss how his involvement with Sigma Nu helped his career. The second speaker, Dan Adams, is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan and appreciates the fraternity in a different way.

“[Adams] will be talking about coming home from the war and how the fraternity helped him re-acclimate to society,” Fabinak said. “So, it’ll give us, as undergrads, an idea of what [Sigma Nu] can do for us and what it has done for other people.”

Alumni relations have been very important especially during the past few years, as Sigma Nu became the first fraternity to build a house in Kent’s Greek Village. Without alumni support, members say the house never would have happened. The village is located behind the Student Recreation and Wellness Center.

“Once we got the project going, we were able to reconnect with a lot of our alumni,” said Sigma Nu member Anthony Griffin, who educates new members on the history of the fraternity. “The alumni were able to raise (about) $200,000 for the house through donations.”

Griffin said this is the first permanent house the chapter has had since they lost their charter in 1970 due to the “‘Animal House’ mentality that several fraternities got wrapped up in during that time period.”

The fraternity was forced off campus until 1987, when members petitioned the university to allow the chapter to move back on campus.

Now, with a permanent residence and the support of 60 years’ worth of alumni, the fraternity hopes to continue to grow.

“Over the last couple years we’ve really filled up a lot and reconnected with alumni.” Griffin said. “We have the right guys in the right leadership positions, so I think over all as long as we can keep building those bridges, keep the alumni involved and make sure we get the right guys in the right places, we’ll be here for quite a while.”

Contact Greek life and ROTC reporter Kate Sheafer at [email protected].