The Sigma Chi Museum
The museum and archives at Sigma Chi International Headquarters exists to preserve and interpret the rich history of the issues and individuals that have shaped Sigma Chi’s mission of fostering high standards of morality and character among the young men that pledge the Fraternity.
Sigma Chi's museum maintains a collection of artifacts contributed by members or created by the Sigma Chi staff since its founding in 1855. These include many iterations of the Sigma Chi badge, including: the jeweled-encrusted badge designed by the father of Sigma Chi in Canada, Ralph Connable, ALBION 1890; the badge worn by US President Grover Cleveland, MICHIGAN 1915, at his inauguration ceremony; and the badge taken to the moon by Significant Sig and astronaut John W. Young, GEORGIA TECH 1952, who flew on the Apollo 16 mission in 1972.
The museum also holds a great deal of sports memorabilia, courtesy of Sigma Chi's professional athletes. The museum includes a football signed by Pro Football Hall of Fame member and Significant Sig Mike Ditka, PITTSBURGH 1961; a uniform worn by Significant Sig Bill Werber, DUKE 1930 in the 1940 World Series; and a jersey autographed by former Los Angles Rams football player, television star, Significant Sig and Order of Constantine Sig Merlin Olsen, UTAH STATE 1962.
Finally, the museum also contains a collection of military artifacts, including a scale model of the YB-49 Flying Wing aircraft flown by Significant Sig and Brigadier General Robert L. Cardenas, NEW MEXICO 1955, and a collection of weapons and uniforms gathered and used by the Founders of Sigma Chi, including the Civil War uniform of Founder Benjamin Piatt Runkle, MIAMI (OHIO) 1857, a set of English flintlock dueling pistols and a 16th-century blunderbuss firearm.
Although the museum holds a wonderful collection Sigma Chi memorabilia, the incredibly rich history of the Fraternity can truly be found among the documentary artifacts that are stored in the archives of Sigma Chi. These include thousands of items that tell the history of the Fraternity through the activities of the seven Founders, the members and the growing list of undergraduate chapters.
In the archives are a collection of portraits of the seven Founders, many of the Grand Consuls and other prominent Sigma Chis. The photo collection includes thousands of pictures showing the changing face of the Fraternity throughout the decades, and as you may expect, the archives maintains files on the accomplishments of its members. These files include high-profile Sigs such as actors, congressmen, sports figures and astronauts, in addition to the members that excel in the professions that are the foundation of our society. There are businessmen, members of the military, scholars, butchers, bakers, president Reagan’s candy maker … well, you get the picture. In the archives, there are no insignificant Sigs.
Under the direction of the 21st Grand Historian and Order of Constantine Sig Dr. William Fleming, SAM HOUSTON 1965; 20th Grand Historian and Order of Constantine Sig Eric Hansen, CINCINNATI 1989; and 62nd Grand Consul, 19th Grand Historian, Order of Constantine Sig and Significant Sig Doug Carlson, MINNESOTA 1973; and the members of the archives committee, Sigma Chi is now undertaking an effort to catalogue the extraordinary historical collection of the Fraternity — a collection that may ultimately prove to contain hundreds of thousands of documents and photographs. Ultimately, this catalogue will provide the members of the Fraternity with information regarding the artifacts under the archivists' care.
Although the archives of Sigma Chi exist primarily to support the Fraternity’s mission by providing a historical context for its activities, the archives department also welcomes researchers who wish to explore its collection. For more information, please contact the Fraternity at (847) 869-3655, ext. 220, or send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.