Sigma Chi at Sam Houston: 1960-61
At next week's meeting, Lloyd Flynt read a letter from Murray McComas, an Assistant Executive Secretary for Sigma Chi, who would be visiting the campus late in October. The IFC Smoker was moved up to September 26, with the Cabs in charge of refreshments; their rush party was scheduled for Wednesday, September 28th. IFC had devised a new "preferential ballot" which rushees would use this year to list preferences for fraternities, listing their choices in order. For Homecoming, the decision was to have Gary Bell and the Bellhops from Houston to entertain, as long as they didn't cost more than $200. Glen Wahrmund stated he would donate a '40 Plymouth for the float. Since the Cabs worked the Prison Rodeo and the guest star for the third weekend would be John Wayne, a letter was written to him "asking him to stop by the house and see us. . ." Howard Webb moved that dues be raised to $15 per semester; it was passed. Freddie Garner made the motion that the rush party have a Spanish theme and be held at the house; the theme would be "House of the Sombrero"; all agreed ("Minutes," 9/20/60).
A special meeting was called on September 22 to plan the rush party. It was moved and passed that the Spanish-theme party be squelched. After much discussion about a site and a theme, it was eventually decided to have the party at Mr. King's home ("Minutes," 9/22/60).
An Hawaiian luau was the focus of the rush party with Ken Jordan as emcee for the poolside entertainment. "Wild Bill" Williams joined the bongo players for a hamboning session, and Sam Park sang "Little Grass Shack" while the Alpha Chi Omega's did a hula dance. What would be the last Caballero Pledge Class consisted of fifteen men: Tom Barnett, Curtis Collette, Jack Compton, John Dixon, Benny Ellison, Charles "Butch" Jones, Johnny Koppa, Bob Lawson, Wayne Mason, Bill Noer, Thomas Osburn, Wallace Rutland, Harold Shafer, and Larry Williams.
At the October 3 meeting a letter was read from Murray McComas, an investigating officer from Headquarters, who would be visiting the Cabs over the weekend of October 21-23. The new pledges introduced themselves and Flynt read a letter from the Alumni Association congratulating them. It was announced that John McManners had been elected Vice-President of IFC. The matter of the Chi Gamma Iota's serving alcohol at their rush party came up, and Kirby Nash made a motion to warn them to stop or "run the risk of being dropped from consideration of joining the IFC"; the motion passed. Joe McCown said he would not have time to serve on the pledge council and was replaced by Robert Simmons. Gerald Roach announced that, for the first time, there would be a "Big Brother" system instituted and the appointments were read. It was decided that the pledges devise a "pledge project" to benefit the club. One of the most important decisions made at his meeting which would have an impact on the school was during the discussion of Pioneer Roundup. Johnny Francis moved that the Cab representatives "vote to disband PRA and let the money revert to the Student Council for dispersal"("Minutes," 10/3/60).
New representatives had to be elected to IFC since Schwarz and McManners had been elected officers. Mike Myatt and Kirby Nash were chosen. Cummins reported that the PRA was sent a letter asking for an even split of the remaining funds to be distributed evenly between the twelve member organizations. The Men's Gym had been reserved for Fight Night for Tuesday, December 13. McManners resigned his post on the pledge council because of time; Sam Park replaced him. A letter was read from the Omega Chapter (at Northwestern University) of Sigma Chi requesting how the Cabs felt about the "White Clause" in the Sigma Chi Constitution. Jack Compton had been elected Pledge Captain ("Minutes," 10/10/60).
At the Oct. 17th meeting, the Cabs decided to have a special ceremony to install Hal Coley as an honorary Caballero at the next meeting. Homecoming plans were finalized with the last touches being put on the float and the after-game festivities. Plans were under way to go to the game at Lamar and party with the Kappa Phi's, the local which was also petitioning Sigma Chi. In order to provide decorations for the house, Mike Hansen asked all members to give him their green stamps ("Minutes," 10/17/60).
A Caballero pin and membership certificate were presented and the oath of membership administered to Hal Coley on October 23. Homecoming was this coming Saturday and all was ready. A buffet dinner at the house for the alumni, similar to last year's, was planned by Kirby Nash. During the meeting there will be refreshments and snacks for the wives ("Minutes," 10/23/60). At the game it was announced that the Caballero/Alpha Chi Omega Float entitled "Time Tested" was declared "Most Beautiful." (11/5/60)
Chi Gamma Iota would be installed as Pi Kappa Alpha on January 28, it was announced at the November 7 meeting. Dad's Day was rapidly approaching and Tom Ely was in charge of the letters and Richard Schwarz in charge of decorations. The Caballero/Alpha Chi Omega Soap Fight was tentatively scheduled for Friday, November 18 after the Pep Rally. The admission price for Fight Night was raised to $1.00 for general admission and $1.50 ringside. It was decided to give gloves to the losers instead of trophies. The $5 pledge fee was due Sigma Chi Headquarters immediately. At the November 7 meeting the members approved the "idea of having a pledge make the rounds of the campus in a Greek toga carrying an Olympic torch announcing that we have been accepted by Sigma Chi." A blackball meeting was scheduled immediately following this meeting and it would be determined when the pledges would have their initiation ("Minutes," 11/7/60).
At the November 14th meeting the Soap Fight was canceled "because of the Sigma Chi Pledging Ceremony this Friday." Jan Ogletree, a graduate student who was an initiated Sigma Chi from Tulane was the Sigma Chi pledge trainer for the Caballeros reported that the actives should be at the house in a coat and tie at 5:30 on Friday, November 18, for the pledging ceremonies. On Monday the Sigma Chi pledge test would be given. Byron Calfee suggested that the metal in the present Caballero sign be molted and forged into a Sigma Chi cross ("Minutes," 11/14/60).
On Wednesday, November 16 at 1:38 p.m., the Cabs got the word: they had been accepted by Sigma Chi. At the moment the word reached Huntsville "pledges" Wayne Mason and Ed Dossman, "wearing white Grecian togas, ran around the campus, the dorms and the SUB carrying a lighted torch and the telegram. . .The runners, followed by a crowd of excited students, delivered the message into the hands of Caballero president, Lloyd Flynt." Drum rolls and a Viking horn preceded the announcement. A 25-foot scroll, "displaying the words 'Accepted by ΣX' and a colorful sun shining on the Caballero shield," was unrolled from the roof of the chapter house by pledge Tommy Osburn. Another scroll, "featuring the words 'Not Accepted by ΣX,' a black ball, and a raincloud bursting over the Caballero shield" was immediately burned. Flynt was then carried to the duck pond in Sam Houston park and thrown in; soon everyone was in the pond (11/18/60).On November 18, the Caballeros received their Norman Shields and were officially pledges of Sigma Chi. All five sororities sent congratulations and the Zetas composed a poem:
Twas the night before the telegram
And all you could hear,
Was the wailings and wooing
Of each Cabaleer.
They stared at the clock
They stared at the door,
And jumped at the phone
Their hopes soon the soar.
Everyone was shambled,
Their nerves were on edge,
Said one,---"would they make it"---
Will I be a ΣX pledge?
Then came the word
On the 16th of November
Oh what a date for the Cabs
Then in a wink of the eye
The good news arrived
With the telegram from National
That they were now ΣX.
Twas two in the afternoon
When up on Snob Hill
Came a group of Caballeros
In their moment of thrill.
Then quick as a flash
Back to their house they did go
For an afternoon celebration
And their telegram to show.
THE CABS HAD WAITED LONGER
THAN ALL OF THE REST;
BUT IN THE END THEY HAD
GOTTEN THE VERY BEST!
Discussion of initiation into Sigma Chi was the focus of the first meeting with the Caballeros wearing Sigma Chi pledge pins. The possibility of getting stickers for the cars and displaying ΣX in other places was questioned. But they still had to put on Fight Night and carry out the other activities of the semester while studying for the Sigma Chi test and their courses in school ("Minutes," 11/21/60).
Fight Night plans were finalized: letters were sent to fighters, posters were ordered, radio announcements and newspaper articles were written, tickets had been acquired, releases were ready, and the program for the night included pee-wee boxers. A Christmas party with the Alpha Chi Omega's, like the one last year, was planned for December 14; they would exchange toys and then give them to needy children. Charlie Burge was nominated for "King Scrounge" at the Fraternity Bowl. A letter from Murray McComas urged the importance of doing well on the Sigma Chi test. "Schwarz moved that we accept the pledge class as a whole and accept their china cabinet. Passed." ("Minutes," 11/28/60)
The Soap Fight was canceled until next semester because of a multitude of events taking place between now and the end of the semester. Johnny Francis was collecting the $60 initiation fee, with $5 being the pledge fee, $30 the initiation fee, and $25 semester dues. The Cab's last initiation was planned for Friday night and the banquet at the Colonial Inn in Madisonville. A club steak dinner for $1.75 per person would proceed the announcement of best pledge and other business ("Minutes," 12/5/60).
Also at this time was the creation of a Sigma Chi rush booklet to give to rushees. The finished product consisted of 16 pages; the content focused on a "Welcome to Rush" by Consul Schwarz, a letter to rushees by Carol McGuire, an explanation of pledgeship, an introduction of Mom Evans, an emphasis on scholarship, short entries on "Sigs in Sports," "Fraternity Life," "Social Life," "The Sig House," and achievements of various Brothers; the inside back cover had "My Badge."
At the end of the semester the Cabs were given the official pledge test by Fred Yoder, Assistant Editor of The Magazine of Sigma Chi, and George Hooper, an Assistant Executive Secretary.
New officers for the transition semester were elected; for the first time they used Sigma Chi officer designations.
- Consul: Richard Schwarz
- Pro Consul: Kirby Nash
- Annotator: Jon Gregg
- Quaestor: Johnny Francis
- Magister: Jan Ogletree
- Assistant Magister: Lacy Spears
- Tribune: Billy Williams
- Rush Chairman: Carol McGuire
- Historian: Mike Hansen
- Editor: Freddy Garner
- Assistant Rush Chairman: Robert Simmons
- House Manager: Curtis Cooper
- Parliamentarian: Lloyd Flynt
- Social Chairman: Mike Myatt
The White Cross
Two other men's organizations joined the four members of the Interfraternal Council for rush this semester; the Scots (Sigma Phi Epsilon) and the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternities participated in the formal rush. New rules also were in effect for this semester. Rush began with a mandatory smoker on Monday, February 20. The speaker was Milton Jackson, President of the Houston Sigma Chi Alumni Association. Each school night following, one fraternity would have a party; Sigma Chi's was scheduled for March 2. On March 3, the rushees had to sign a preference card. In order to pledge a rushee had to have an overall "C" average with at least 12 hours, be at least a second-semester freshman, and be free from disciplinary probation. There was no "open" or late rush.
Epsilon Psi Chapter of Sigma Chi installed on February 11, 1961.
"A historical first in Sigma Chi"
"Two undergraduate chapters, Epsilon Chi and Epsilon Psi, were installed into Sigma Chi at exactly the same time, as both groups were initiated and received their charters at ceremonies in Houston, Texas, in February, 1961, a historical first in Sigma Chi." Evanston, IL: The Sigma Chi Fraternity. Doug Carlson, Grand Historian of Sigma Chi at this time, includes several pages in this history about the installation of Epsilon Psi Chapter. See pages 107-112.
The Magazine of Sigma Chi reported the dual initiation with a four-page article which began:
Where else but in Texas would they initiate 120 men at the same time, in the largest city in the South and Southwest, and install two new chapters at once in the largest Province in the Fraternity, and in one of the biggest regional Sigma Chi events in Fraternity History?
The Fraternity's 133rd and 134th chapters, and their 120 alumni and undergraduate charter members, were duly installed and initiated in Houston, Texas, February 11, as part of the Central Southwestern Province. (23)
The entire dual installation was coordinated by Assistant Executive Secretary Murray McComas. At the University of Houston, Consul Laurie Daniels and the Brothers of Epsilon Xi were rehearsing initiation ceremonies while the Houston alumni under the direction of President Rod Morgan, Milton Jackson, Ed Hill, and Loren E. Brown were finalizing details for the reception. Meanwhile, indoctrination week activities were conducted in Huntsville by Assistant Editor Fred Yoder and Assistant Executive Secretary George L. Hooper, while AES's McComas and Arnie Prentice were in charge in Beaumont.
The Shamrock-Hilton Hotel was the site of this dual installation. (The manager of the hotel was Rodney S. Morgan, a Sigma Chi alumnus who was graduated from Michigan State in 1951.) Chartered buses carried Caballeros from Sam Houston and Kappa Phi's from Lamar University to Houston. The candidates were placed in the Nile and Normandy rooms and given a light snack between 8:30 and 9:00 am. Between 9:00 and 9:30 there was an assembly of alumni in the Walnut Room presided by Grand Praetor Don Walker. Milton Jackson was in charge of the alumni interviewers; the interviews took place between 9:30 and 1:00 p.m.. During this time, Don Walker, Vernon Kirkland, and Bill Bringham met with alumni of the local fraternities for an orientation session. Undergraduate Sigma Chis from The University of Texas (Alpha Nu), Southern Methodist University (Delta Mu), and Texas Tech (Epsilon Nu) conducted the "C" concurrently with completion of interviews in Castilian Room A, B, and C.
At 1:30 the installing officers and all Fraternity guests assembled in the Continental Room on the main floor to begin the Investiture. At 2:00 the Investiture began, conducted by Sigma Chis from the University of Houston (Epsilon Xi), under the direction of Chief Installing Officers Richard S. Doyle, the Grand Consul, for Epsilon Chi and Robert G. Garrison, Grand Trustee and Don Walker, Grand Praetor, for Epsilon Psi. Immediately following the ceremony, there was a reception in the Grecian Room for about an hour. Unfortunately "Daddy" Ricks, who had been so enthusiastic about the installation of these two chapters, could not make the ceremony.
At 6:00 a cocktail party was held for Installing Officers and special guests. At 6:30 the installation banquet was held in the Kopper Kettle Room of the Ada Petroleum Building, about two blocks from the Shamrock-Hilton. (This is the modern site of the headquarters for Kenneth S. Adams, Enterterprises. There were 31 men involved in the installation of Epsilon Psi and Epsilon Chi. Epsilon Chi initiated 29 undergraduates and 14 alumni. Epsilon Psi initiated 47 undergraduates and 13 alumni.
Following the initiation ceremonies, a reception was held at the Shamrock poolside where Fraternity dignitaries, the new initiates and province Sigs shared in the friendliness of the occasion. The Lamar State Sigs especially admired the patio facilities with an eye to the chapter house they will have someday soon, and the Sam Houston Sigs managed to refrain from chucking anyone into the pool. (25)
Upon receiving the charter for Epsilon Psi from Robert C. Garrison, Consul Richard Schwarz stated that the new Sigma Chi's at Sam Houston felt "a great feeling of accomplishment" and "that like a cog in a gear, we are a part of the greater part, and will always attempt to do our part."
Grand Consul Citations were presented to several of the men who had helped with the installation and preparation of the chapters, including Doug Harper, Epsilon Psi's Chapter Advisor. Special guests from Sam Houston were Dr. W. E. Lowry, Dean of the College and W. T. Creager, Dean of Men. Best pledge awards were given to Don Goodwin (Lamar) and Lloyd Flynt (Sam Houston.)
Banquet speaker Wright F. Morrow, former Assistant Attorney General of Texas in 1925-26 and currently a prominent Houston attorney cleverly tied the initiations together in another way: the heritage passed to them from the two universities' namesakes---Sam Houston and Mirabeau Lamar.
"You initiates here tonight have a great heritage from these two heroes, and from the Founders of Sigma Chi. These privileges we enjoy as Americans do not come free. Every generation, every new chapter, every new initiate must keep up the payments. The Founders made the first down payment, but the balance must always be met.
Today, we are living in a materialistic age, an atomic age with everything to make us happy and comfortable. The challenge, however, particularly to men such as you initiates, is, are we retaining our liberties as free men?
Are we more concerned with the kind of car we own/. . . or the clubs we belong to. . .or the street we love on, than with this fundamental thing we call liberty? Do we stand by principle or do we give in to expedience? Are we trying to conquer outer space when we leave so much undone on Earth?
I urge you young men who will sit in the seats of the strong in State and Nation to take heed. It is indispensable necessary for you to stand by the basic ideals of this republic, to speak up on any occasion, to uphold this philosophy, so that the Sigma Chi faith shall always be maintained, and reason and conscience and tolerance and respect for the rights of others shall always be maintained, and reason and conscience and tolerance and respect for the rights of others shall always prevail."
Sigma Chi had arrived at Sam Houston State. After eleven years of building a solid foundation, the Caballeros had reached the ultimate goal.
- Installing Officer Emeritus: Dr. William B. Ricks (Alpha Tau), Past Grand Consul
- Chief Installing Officers: Richard S. Doyle (Epsilon), Grand Consul; Richard C. Garrison (Iota Iota), Grand Trustee
- Installing officers: William P. Huffman (Mu), Grand Pro Consul; Harry V. Wade (Delta Chi), Grand Quaestor; Robert M. Collett (Mu), Grand Historian; Adm. Robert D. Workman (Beta), Grand Tribune; Gen. Patrick J. Hurley (Epsilon), Past Grand Consul; J. Dwight Peterson (Lambda), Past Grand Consul; Elton B. Hunt (Beta Gamma), Chairman, Grand Trustees; Richard W. Sharp (Alpha Xi), Grand Trustee; Floyd R. Baker (Alpha Epsilon), Grand Trustee; Donald E. Walker (Beta Kappa), Grand Praetor; George D. Manson (Delta Chi), Grand Praetor; James J. Overlook (Upsilon Upsilon), Executive Committee; Kenneth S. "Bud" Adams (Alpha Xi), Significant Sig; Wright F. Morrow (Alpha Nu), Banquet Speaker; Chester J. Lauck (Omega Omega), Banquet Toastmaster; Vernon S. Kirk (Gamma Delta), Assistant Grand Praetor; Loren E. Brown (Alpha Epsilon), Past President, Houston Alumni; Robert S. Langhart (Gamma Iota), President, Sabine-Neches Alumni; J. Robert King (Alpha Psi), Huntsville Alumni; Jesse B. Youngblood (Delta Omega), Undergraduate Investigating Officer for Epsilon Chi; Tony Currier (Gamma Iota), Undergraduate Investigating Officer for Epsilon Psi; William T. Bringham (Alpha Iota), Executive Secretary; Murray K. McComas (Phi Phi), Assistant Executive Secretary; Arlen I. Prentice (Upsilon Upsilon), Assistant Executive Secretary; George L. Hooper (Delta Upsilon), Assistant Executive Secretary; Fred F. Yoder (Delta Pi), Assistant Editor; Jack Fore (Alpha Nu), Constantine Sig
1961 Alcalde Picture
Page 1, Row 1: Richard Schwarz, Kirby Nash, Billy Williams, Johnny Francis
Row 2: Cliff Britt, Thurmond Boyd, Robert Bryant, Charles Burge Row 3: Byron Calfee, Curtis Collette, Jack Compton, Curtis Cooper
Row 4: Ed Dossman, Billy Cummins
Page 2, Row 1: Dick Dyer, Tom Ely, John Eriksson, Benny Ellison, Lloyd Flynt, Freddie Garner, Gordon Goettee
Row 2: Jim Goforth, Jon Gregg, Jimmy Gumm, Jan Gustafson, Mike Hansen, Freddy Howell, Ken Jordan
Row 3: Johnny Koppa, Robert Lawson, Roy Long, Al Lopez, Johnny Lyon, David McFadyen, Carol McGuire
Row 4: John McManners, Ken Makowski, Wayne Mason, David Maxwell, Mike Myatt, Bil Noer, Gary Nowels
Row 5: Thomas Osborn, Sam Park, Butch Phelps, Terry Potter, Jim Ratterree, Danny Robinson
Row 6: Wallace Rutland, Larry Schramme, Dan Shelton, Robert Simmons, Lacy Spears, Don Spell, Paul Spiller
Row 7: Richard Stauffacher, James Thomas, Glen Wahrmund, Irwin Walters, Howard Webb, Jerry Williams, Larry Williams