Sigma Rho Fraternity
Alpha Chapter, Founded 1892
Welcome To Sigma Rho...
Rhos Alpha Chapter, founded in 1892, was the first professional mining fraternity in
the United States. We were the first fraternity on the Michigan College of Mines campus
(now known as Michigan Technological University), and are one of the oldest fraternities
in the United States.
Goals of the fraternity were to "perpetuate a true fraternal spirit among its members, thus providing lasting benefits for its members while in college and after graduation."
In 1907 our brothers moved into their first fraternity house,
located on the grounds of todays West Wadsworth Hall. "The White House On The
Hill" would prove to be their home for half of a century, and was an elegant home for
the Sigs. The house stood in the way of expansion, and was sold to the college for the
building of the new wing of Wadsworth Hall. From there the fraternity moved to Chassell, a
small town about 7 miles east of Houghton.
The Chapter House
In Chassell, we have survived two house fires which were complete losses. The current home of the Sigs overlooks 1000 feet of lakefront property. No other fraternity in Houghton can offer the extensive list of activities available out our back door: excellent Pike, Bass and Walleye fishing, a sand volleyball court, tennis court, and acres of land to do anything you would like with, be it throwing around a football, or just relaxing in the sun. Few sights in the area are as beautiful as Chassell sunrises and sunsets, and bonfires on the lakeshore abound throughout the year.
While the brothers enjoy all of the extras our home has to
offer, academics are stressed, as everyone is here for that reason first. While studying
for exams, our scoop room comes in handy as a study guide for almost any class offered. In
1992, we built a new chapter room on the east side of the house, which provides a
beautiful view of the bay, and a quiet place to study. Leather couches, several tables,
and a fireplace make the John R. Foster Chapter Room a perfect study palace.
As would be expected, all of our members make graduation a priority. The brothers also make time for community service, and are
active in the Chassell community several times each year. We really shine during
"Chassell Clean Up", where we team up to help rake leaves and shine up the yards
around Chassell. Our members are regularly involved with campus-related activities, such
as helping out with the new freshman class, working for the school during registration,
heading up the K-Day activities or the Michigan Tech Homecoming Hobo Parade during the fall term.
Being an active part of the fraternity, you can expect as much from the house as you are willing to put in. Once a week, the members gather for a meeting, usually lasting 1-2 hours. All members of the house are kept abreast of activities of the fraternity, the finances, and anything else pertinent to the well-being of the members and the house.
Saturday morning finds the active membership (even alumni at times) giving the house its weekly scrubbing. The house is shined up, with the members enjoying a lunch immediately following. If everyones time permits, the Sigs can usually be found outside shooting some hoop, hitting a few golf balls, drowning a few worms, or just relaxing in the yard.
The fraternity has several officers, including Archon (president), Steward, IFC Representative (Inter-fraternity council), Corresponding Secretary, and many others. New members are encouraged to take part in an office if their time permits, any of which look outstanding on a resume.
All in all, being an active member of Sigma Rho requires only a few hours a week. The rewards you gain from a small amount of input will stay with you for the rest of your life. Lifetime friends and a beautiful house to return to long after your graduation day are just a few of the benefits that will be yours forever.
As your college days are coming to an end, where do you begin the search for a new job? Sigma Rhos Alumni Association can expose you to over 600 alumni who hold their brothers interests in high regard. Our alumni stretch from one end of the earth to the other, and work in just about any position imaginable. Many of our alumni own their own businesses, and use the Alumni Associations newsletter to recruit new employees. A few months before graduation, simply submit a resume to the Alumni Associations corresponding secretary, along with your graduation date, degree, and any other information, and it will be included in our alumni newsletter.
Once you have a job, mark the first weekend in August (typically) as vacation time. In coordination with Michigan Techs Alumni Weekend, Sigma Rho holds our annual "Lawn Party". Some of our alumni even take an entire week off of work to come back and enjoy the easy life. A pig roast on Saturday, horseshoes, volleyball, fishing, and just plain relaxing are all a big part of our alumni reunion. This is a time to meet the newest active brothers, continuing on the proud tradition of Sigma Rho, and the alumni members, those that have held that same tradition before you. All of the brothers attend a short meeting to keep everyone abreast of what the house has been doing during the year.
Our alumni enjoy visiting the house, but also make a big effort to keep in touch on a regular basis. Golf outings, skiing trips, and wedding receptions are some favorite meeting places of the Sigma Rho Alumni. GLI, the Great Lakes Invitational hockey tournament, is hosted in Detroit at the Joe Louis Arena during the Christmas break; Sigma Rho Alumni and the current active members can always be found exchanging war stories in the Olympia Room.
A Word From A Sigma Rho Alumni
Being out of school for over five years, most of my college acquaintances have gone by the wayside. Almost all of my classmates, neighbors, and many others I saw daily in my time at MTU have simply disappeared. More than ever, my fellow brothers from the house make a point of getting together regularly. On business trips, I stay at their houses; on weekends, we travel hours to play golf together; a few times a year we vacation together by taking a trip back up to Chassell, taking the wives and girlfriends camping, to Boyne skiing, or to Las Vegas to have some fun gambling.
Most people enjoy a "best friend" for a good part of their life; I am lucky enough to have numerous best friends. They are more than best friends, they are brothers, and each one associates a very big responsibility with that. My brothers are my favorite people to be with; they probably know more about me than even I do. They were there when we laughed until we cried; they were there when the chips were down, and helped me become who I am today.
Although I will always feel the closest to those that were attending school at the same time I did, I regularly make trips to Chassell, as do many other alumni, to meet my new brothers. Many of our alumni live in the area, even work at the college, and catching up with them is just as important.
I never, ever, though a fraternity was for me when I first graced Houghton. After a few visits, I realized what I was missing - great friends, great times, and a bond that would last a lifetime, all around one common goal: help each other out. I look back now and realize that the best times of my life were at school, and while I cant be a college student all of my life, being a part of the Sigma Rho fraternity was the best move I have ever made.
Enjoy your college days, they will be gone too soon. If you are looking for something extra while at college to keep with you for the rest of your life, stop by our house and talk to a few of our members. Check out the new chapter room and glance at some of those that came before you, and consider being a part of our century-old tradition. Faces on the mantle, names on the wall, and plaques on the leather couches are all evidence of our bond to each other. Give us a few moments of your time, and youll have the dedication of hundreds of brothers forever...
Give Us A Call!
Interested in a visit to the house to check us out? Give us a call anytime at the phone numbers listed below. If you dont have transportation, well be happy to come into town to pick you up. Come out and enjoy a little bit of paradise in the north country...
RR 1 Box 7
Chassell, MI 49916
|Sigma Rho Inc.
RR 1 Box 7
Chassell, MI 49916
Last Updated on 04/11/09 By Gregory S. Mollica