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About Us

About the Fraternity


Sigma Alpha Epsilon was founded on March 9, 1856, at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Its founders were Noble Leslie DeVotie, Nathan Elams Cockrell, John Barratt Rudulph, John Webb Kerr, Samuel Marion Dennis, Wade Hampton Foster, Abner Edwin Patton, and Thomas Chapel Cook.

Since then, more than 350,000 men have been initiated into Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Today, there are more than 209 active and 15 emerging chapters throughout the United States, 12,610 undergraduate brothers, and more than 220,000 living alumni.

Our Mission

The mission of Sigma Alpha Epsilon is to promote the highest standards of scholarship, service and friendship for our members. Our ideals were established in 1856 by our Founding Fathers and as written in our creed, “The True Gentleman.”

Our Vision

Educating the undergraduate chapter about "The True Gentlemen,"and making our global community better.


Our Creed

“The True Gentleman is the man whose conduct proceeds from good will and an acute sense of propriety, and whose self-control is equal to all emergencies; who does not make the poor man conscious of his poverty, the obscure man of his obscurity, or any man of his inferiority or deformity; who is himself humbled if necessity compels him to humble another; who does not flatter wealth, cringe before power, or boast of his own possessions or achievements; who speaks with frankness but always with sincerity and sympathy; whose deed follows his word; who thinks of the rights and feelings of others, rather than his own; and who appears well in any company, a man with whom honor is sacred and virtue safe.” – John Walter Wayland

No other words have better represented the ideals of Sigma Alpha Epsilon than those of “The True Gentleman.” Our creed sets forth the standards by which we base the Fraternity. “The True Gentleman” reflects both our substance and ritual. Those words are memorized and recited; awards are given to brothers who best exemplify it. Since our code is something every member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon has in common, it helps bond us, providing part of the glue that holds us together.

Our Chapter

We began our journey to becoming a fraternity as incoming freshmen in the Fall of 1979. We started on the first floor of the Howell Hall dormitory, back in the day when “co-ed by floor” was a radical new idea. The first floor of Howell Hall became the foundation of the brotherhood in the fraternity’s early years.

As we entered the Spring semester, we met Marty Rifkin and the boys from Delo Hall. Marty got the ball rolling and was already contacting various National fraternities. We settled on "Sigma Alpha Chi"as the name for our special interest group. 

By our sophomore year in 1980, we had settled on Sigma Alpha Epsilon as the fraternity of choice.  We started our journey as a Colony with various public service projects including Dance America, numerous Special Olympics events, and painting the Olympic pictograms at the UT pool and crew house. 

On October 23, 1982, the Florida Chi Chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon was founded at the University of Tampa. The initiation ceremony was held in the chapel of Jesuit High School by members of the ΣAE National Office.  

The celebratory chapter dinner that evening was attended by various dignitaries. This included numerous ΣAE National Officers as well as top administrative officials from the University of Tampa.  The evening's key note speaker was ΣAE Brother LeRoy Collins, former Governor of Florida from 1955-1961.  


Get Involved!

Ancient Greeks wrote of the Phoenix, a mythical firebird that obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessors. The Phoenix represents transformation, death, and rebirth in its fire.


As a spiritual icon, the Phoenix is a symbol of strength and renewal. As both a fire and solar symbol, the phoenix is symbolic of the sun, which “dies” in setting each night only to be reborn in rising the next morning. 

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