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One night in the fall of 1969, Tom Roholt '73 and I ventured out of the dorms for Rush Week. While we visited every fraternity house, we both had Sigma Chi in mind. Tom's uncle Marty Ueland '66 and my brother Jim Thompson '58 had strongly encouraged us to pledge. Within a week, that is exactly what happened and in January 1970, both Tom and I went active.

In Fall 1970, I moved into "Orchid" with roommates John Maynard '73 and Paul Coffeen '71. My residency at the chapter house lasted almost four years. I became House Manager in 1970 and coordinated House Works every Saturday morning. Getting some brothers out of bed required special "encouragement" but all, actives and pledges alike, joined in the effort.

In Spring 1971, I became a kitchen "House Boy" (a term no longer used at Beta Delta) with duties including meal set up, clean up, washing dishes, pots and pans.. The clear advantage of being a House Boy was that we ate first and best. Some of the brothers liked to badger us. This was a very bad strategy. Never mess with someone that serves your food. 8:) The following fall, I was promoted to Head House Boy which gave me authority to plan meals, order food/supplies and hire the cook. We had several cooks but the last cook I hired, Mrs. Carr, lasted 10 years or more. Part of my menu strategy included "Ethnic Night". Many Montana brothers at the time were strictly "meat and potatoes". I introduced Ethnic Night as a way of expanding their horizons. Southern Night, for example, served up grits, black eyed peas, collard greens and corn bread.

In 1971, Montana lowered the drinking age to 18. While this change only lasted a few years, it opened the door to the Beta Delta Bar. With a $10 donation from every brother and the help of Tom Roholt '73 and Bruce Amrine '77, we remodeled the unused basement study room into a bar with beer on tap. It operated on the Honor Principle. A peg board with each brother's name was installed on the wall with pegs to track consumption. The price of a 15 oz. beer was 15 cents. As Bar Manager, I made sure all brothers' tabs were "accurate". Within six months, enough money had been made to purchase a poker table and chairs. The bar became the nexus of our Friday at Four parties. The Beta Delta Bar has been in business in one form or another for over 40 years.

In 1998, I joined the Beta Delta house corporation as President. In that capacity, a major fundraiser and renovation of 1110 Gerald took place which many brothers enjoyed at Beta Delta's 100th Anniversary. I have served on Sigma Chi's Board of Grand Trustees from 2005 to present and as its Chairman from 2011 to 2015. The Grand Trustees train Sigma Chi house corporations in good business practices.

One of the Fraternity's mantras is "Sigma Chi Builds Leaders". Beta Delta gave me leadership skills that I needed to take on and succeed in many life challenges. It also provided me with numerous lifelong friends. Most importantly, it taught me the importance of "giving back" to my Fraternity and people in need.

Rich Thompson This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Beta Delta '70 - Montana '73
President - Beta Delta House Corporation

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.

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

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.