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Last month we shared an update from Greg Beach ’79 about his son, David Beach ’19 being initiated into Beta Iota Chapter of Sigma Chi at the University of Oregon in January. Not only is David’s father, Greg, a Sigma Chi alumnus, but his late grandfather, Robert Beach ’54, was also a Sig. We recently sat down with Brother Greg Beach for a brief Q&A about his time in the chapter back in the ‘70s and how he feels about his son also being his Brother:

Q: Why did you choose Sigma Chi Montana in the first place?
A: Even though my father was a Sigma Chi (Bob Beach, Beta Delta ’54), he never encouraged or tried to sway me in any way to join Sigma Chi. It was my own decision and completely up to me. That’s also the way I approached membership in Sigma Chi with my son. It was of his own volition and accord. Of course, it wasn’t until I became a Sigma Chi that I slowly began to realize that, since childhood, I had actually been steeped in the virtues espoused by Sigma Chi and practiced by my father.

Q: What was a typical weeknight like? What about weekend night?
A: I went to school and also held a job throughout most my college years. During the week, when I wasn’t attending classes or working, I spent the balance of my time studying at the University of Montana library. On weekends, however, I did manage to have more than my fair share of fun!

Q: What is your favorite memory of the chapter?
A: I would have to say that my fondest memories of the chapter were just the day-to-day interaction with the brothers and the valuable lessons learned by having to deal with individuals possessed of varying temperaments, talents and convictions. Of course, Derby Days, building the Homecoming float and attending the Sweetheart Ball were also highlights. I also have many other fond memories—most of which are best left unsaid and relegated to the dust bin of history.

Q: How many members were in your class?
A: We were one of the smaller classes to go through initiation at the Beta Delta Chapter—we had seven initiates. I think at the time, membership in most organizations was waning. At the tail-end of the Vietnam War years, the mood of the country regarding joining any sort of formalized group, including college fraternities and sororities, just wasn’t cool. Thankfully, I believe that we’ve turned the corner and are now seeing a bit of an upswing in the Greek system. I think that my son’s pledge class at the University of Oregon had 23 members or so.

Q: What did you gain from Sigma Chi that you might not have gained elsewhere?
A: I can honestly say that joining Sigma Chi was one of the most personally rewarding things that I’ve ever done. It got me out of my shell and I was able to meet many outstanding individuals possessed of good character and morals. Additionally, during my time as an undergraduate, I had the opportunity to attend a Sigma Chi Leadership Training Workshop session, which proved to be an excellent opportunity to hone leadership skills and to grow as an individual.

Q: How would your life be different if you had never joined?
A: In addition to learning how to become a better community member and leader, I think that one of the benefits to joining a fraternity or sorority is that a person gains valuable perspective on one’s self. I believe that the Greek system is excellent in this regard, as it attempts to develop the whole person.

 Q: How do you feel having your son as a Brother as well?
A: Being able to refer to your son as a Brother is indeed special and it’s now come full-circle. As a double-legacy, my son is now the third generation of my family to wear the White Cross. At my initiation, my father pinned the White Cross on me and, in turn, I have now had had the opportunity to pin the White Cross of Sigma Chi upon my son’s breast. Needless to say, it was an emotional experience and one that I will never forget.

Q: What do you hope your son gains out of the chapter?
A: I hope that he is able to become life-long friends with many of the brothers. In addition, I hope that, through his involvement in the fraternity, he is able to further hone his communication and leadership skills, as I believe that they are so important to succeed in life. Most importantly, however, I hope that he always strives to do what is noblest and best, and that, through Sigma Chi, he gains valuable perspectives on how to lead a virtuous life.

Q: Do you have any advice to your son and the rest of the active chapter?
A: Know that bonds of Sigma Chi are strong and eternal. Further, realize that we must fight the good fight every day and that, through emulation of the life and teachings of The Great Cross Bearer, we may learn worthily to wear the Cross.

Keep an eye out in future publications for David’s answers to the exact same questions for a chance to see how Sigma Chi of Montana has changed and how it has remained the same since the 1970’s.

Core Values, Vision, and Mission

Core Values
Sigma Chi’s core values are Friendship, Justice and Learning. Our vision is to become the preeminent collegiate leadership development organization — aligned, focused and living our core values. Our mission is to develop values-based leaders committed to the betterment of character, campus and community.

Vision
The fundamental purpose of the Sigma Chi Fraternity is the cultivation, maintenance and promotion of the core values of Friendship, Justice and Learning.

Mission
In the pursuit of these high ideals, the Sigma Chi Fraternity is able to offer tremendous value in augmenting the collegiate experience and supporting the lifelong journey of each of its members. We hope to assist brothers in becoming men of character, caring husbands, compassionate fathers and community leaders.