FaceBook  Twitter
Beta Deltas L-R in 2006: Al Cochrane, Chuck Caraway, Jim Murphy, and Ross Cannon- all Beta Delta '51

In 1947, Jim Murphy ’51 decided to do what many of his Missoula high school friends were doing: joining a fraternity. When he chose Sigma Chi on the suggestion of one of his late father’s friends, he had no idea that the decision would come back to him for the rest of his life.

“My four years there were great,” says Jim. “As a somewhat introverted guy, it led to many lifelong friends—really, brothers—and gave me experiences that have affected my whole life.”

Jim recalls how fun the house parties were, and Sweetheart Balls at the Florence Hotel. One of his favorite memories is of his pledge class’s pledge sneak, held on a hill above the railroad out toward Bonner.

“The actives never found us,” he says.

There wasn’t much that Jim didn’t accomplish in his time at UM. He served as treasurer of the ASUM student leadership group and belonged to the sophomore honor society. In Sigma Chi, he was involved in house athletics, served as Consul his junior year, and won the Province Balfour Award. He graduated with a degree in business and a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force.

Jim served two years of active duty during the Korean War, and then in the Air Force Reserves, retiring as a Colonel in 1954. He became a CPA, first in Montana and then Nevada, becoming a partner in a local Nevada firm. From there, he went on to serve on the executive committee of national firm Grant Thornton. He has since participated in many accounting activities and held numerous organizational positions, including president of the Nevada Society of CPAs, elected board member of Sierra Pacific Resources, and court-appointed trustee of the Lear Trust, of Learjet fame. He still does trusteeship work for several hours a week.

Sigma Chi, Jim says, has carried over throughout every step of his life—from meeting many Sigs in the military to becoming friends and business partners with Sigs from other close-by chapters in northern Nevada and California. Even the best man in his wedding was Brother Earl Cook. And even though Jim has lost most of his closest Sigma Chi friends, including Al Cochrane ’51, Chuck Caraway ’51, and Hal McVey ’51, he still keeps in touch with some younger Sigs.

But friends and colleagues are hardly the extent of Sigma Chi connections in Jim’s life.

“My two sons (Kevin Murphy ’81 and stepson Doug McMain ’84) and my brother, Bill Murphy ’58, were Beta Delta Sigs, and my mother was Beta Delta house mother in the late ’40s and ’50s,” says Jim. “I also have a cousin at Beta Rho chapter, and a grandson at the Cal San Jose chapter.”

It is because of all these Sig bonds, along with the ideals, principles and friendships gained from Sigma Chi, Jim says, that he has wanted to support Beta Delta so generously over the years. He hopes that the chapter can continue its position at UM and be to future men what it has been to him.

Jim, now 88, has been happily married for 47 years. He and his wife have four children—all married and all college grads—and six grandchildren. He keeps active traveling and visiting his kids and grandkids, and loves duck hunting and playing golf.


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.