Welcome, parents, to our chapter website. For now we would advise you to read about our fraternity by visiting the About section of the site. You can also find out more about our recruitment practices via the Recruitment page. Our national website is also a great resource for learning about Sigma Phi Epsilon.
A Letter from a SigEp Parent
From the Parents of Brothers Mike and John Nevergall
Sending your kids off to college is no easy feat. Sure…they’re older and more able to accept the responsibility of college life. But there are so many unknowns that lie ahead of them. It’s natural for parents to be concerned about all kinds of things…the challenge of college academics, living on their own, being smart about studying, sports, and social life.
We’ve done this twice, and we know the concerns. So when we were asked to write a reflection on Sigma Phi Epsilon for the “Parents” page of the chapter’s web site, we were pleased to do so. Both of our sons are members of the Valparaiso chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon. Michael joined the chapter in 2002 and graduated in 2005. John joined in 2005 and is currently an active member. What we have seen in their experience indicates to us that involvement with the fraternity has enriched their college education in many ways.
The fraternity has been a campus “family” for our sons during their college years. It is a place where they develop special friendships…where they are supported for who they are and are challenged to try new things. They have both learned a great deal about leadership, how to work within a group to achieve common goals, and how to make difficult decisions and then stand behind them. They have worked to keep their bodies fit by playing in intramural sports or using the exercise equipment at the house. They have been challenged to keep their grades up, and have had the opportunity to help their brothers succeed in the classroom. The fraternity has offered them many opportunities to serve others in various service projects, including an after school program for underprivileged youth. Living in a house with 40 other guys has taught them many lessons about compromise as well as respect for others. The Balanced Man program encourages them to continue to grow healthy minds, bodies and relationships. These life skills they have learned from their brothers and the fraternity experience will serve them well all of their life.
Are you familiar with the movie “Animal House?” For a lot of folks, this is what fraternities are all about. But we have another story…another perspective on the fraternity experience. It demonstrates that the Sig Ep brothers at Valparaiso are special guys with very big hearts, much like the sign on the side of their house.
When our son Michael was a sophomore, another young Valpo student was killed in a tragic accident on campus. Nate had lived on the same floor as Michael during their freshman year in the dorm. When word of Nate’s death reached the fraternity house late one Sunday evening, the guys who had known Nate gathered together at the house for prayer. Then they walked over to the chapel where they met up with many more students from campus, and they grieved and prayed together. We were so thankful that Michael had such a wonderful group of friends who could help each other through this difficult time.
The following fall when we were at the house for Parent’s Weekend we saw a letter of thanks on the house bulletin board. It was a note from Nate’s fraternity thanking the Sig Eps for giving them $1000 to rent a bus the previous spring so that they might attend Nate’s funeral in Detroit. When we asked Michael about it, he shrugged it off. He told us that they had the money saved for an emergency, and that the brothers decided this would be a good use for it. We were both amazed and very proud to think that a group of 18-22 year old men would take this large amount of money that they could have used to throw a party or buy the latest piece of electronic equipment for the house, and instead gave it to a rival fraternity so that they could attend their friend’s funeral.
In that one act, these young men demonstrated a better understanding of love and concern for others than most adult groups we know. No doubt, this was something they learned at home in the early years of their lives. But these are also qualities that are nurtured, refined and lived out by their brothers in Sigma Phi Epsilon.
We’re pleased that our sons chose to be a part of such a brotherhood. We hope that your son will likewise find a place among such good and strong young men.