This story was printed in the Fall 2016 issue of The Emerald magazine. If you do not receive printed issues of the magazine, but would like to, then please opt-in at sigmapi.org/updateinfo.
As many of you know, the 53rd Biennial Convocation took place during the summer of 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. At Convocation, there were a lot of changes, discussions, and bylaw updates passed. This issue of The Emerald will recap the event, and showcase the award winners for the past biennium.
This Convocation also saw a new beginning as we now have a new Grand Sage, Grand Council, and Executive Director for our brotherhood. I see it as a great opportunity to review where we are and where our membership wants us to go in the future. As a brotherhood where every Sigma Pi has a stake in what we do and how we conduct our business, it is very important to the new Grand Council, the Executive Office Staff, and myself to listen to our brothers and those that affect our membership. We want to provide our brothers with what they seek from their membership in Sigma Pi. We need to evaluate the needs and wants that are communicated to us and use the resources available to make the most of each brother’s membership. This is not limited to just undergraduates; we must focus on all of our members. We are all committed to listening and doing everything in our power to help every brother get the most from Sigma Pi and to be proud of the brotherhood that they joined whether it was last week, last year, or two decades ago.
I am honored and very proud when we charter a new group. At each chartering, I personally commit to making sure the entire process of the chartering weekend goes off without a hitch as we prepare our newest chapter for success. To this end, I give a presentation to the colony prior to their initiation on what their focus should be moving forward and what goals they wish to accomplish. In this meeting, I show them that the process is like a baseball season. In baseball, you have spring training leading up to opening day. That is similar to the colony’s status prior to chartering. The chartering weekend is opening day. It’s a huge celebration of the accomplishment of making the team and now getting to play in the major leagues. What is the ultimate goal? Winning the World Series. That is how you know you are the best. Chartering is one goal achieved before you must focus on other goals to become the best. It may not happen in year one, or even year two, maybe not for 108 years, but as long as you know your goals and work toward them, you are working toward success. Every chapter and alumni club should have goals that they look at every semester and every year. What do you want to accomplish on your way to the World Series?
I had the opportunity to charter one of those chapters recently. It made me think of how much the process described in the preceding paragraph is so similar to what I am going through with my role as CEO & Executive Director of Sigma Pi. I came on staff in 2012 as the Assistant Executive Director. That was my spring training or colonization phase. This past April, I was given the honor of becoming the eighth Executive Director of Sigma Pi. That was my chartering celebration because I now have my dream job leading the brotherhood I love. Now, we are in the season. We have the goals of making Sigma Pi the greatest it can possibly be and giving the greatest brotherhood experience to our members, both young and “seasoned.” As we ask our colonies and chapters to come together to set goals, I ask you all to help us set the goals for our brotherhood. You have elected a Grand Council that laid out a plan. Several of you have given input on what you want/need or what you feel our brotherhood needs. Some have not said anything. Please tell a staff member when they visit your chapter, contact a Grand Council member, or contact the Executive Office. We want to hear from you!
Jason Walker (Georgia ’96)
CEO & Executive Director
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