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By Rich Thompson Beta Delta ‘70 - Montana ‘73

Each summer from 1986 to 1995, certain Beta Delta brothers participated in an annual white water rafting trip nicknamed Man Mission after a quote attributed to Brother John Wayne; “This is a mission for men only.” A river was chosen to float each year and at least a dozen Brothers and assorted friends floated it. The rivers included the Blackfoot, Middle Fork of the Flathead, North Fork of the Flathead in Montana plus Middle Fork of the Salmon and the Lochsa in Idaho. The floats ranged in intensity from Dope Float (Blackfoot) to Balls to the Wall Float (both Middle Forks and Lochsa). The Middle Fork Rivers required small plane transportation to the drop-in spot.

Brothers that participated included Mike Halligan, Dan Cederberg, Rich Thompson, Pat Sheehan, JC McLaughlin, Pat Schruth, Chuck Bergstrom, Randy Bellingham, John Maynard, Terry Stockdale, Jeff Ranf, Jim Zaro, Mike Schruth, Steve Veilleux, Tom Stockburger and a few more that I can’t remember. Some floated every year including Halligan and Cederberg.

To describe the 10 Man Missions as bonding experiences would not do them justice. We floated in good weather and bad, in blazing sun and driving snow. Sometimes the water was so low, we had to frequently get out to drag the rafts across the rocks. Other times, the water was so high, fast and cold, we had to wear wetsuits and crash helmets. The food ranged from Industrial Strength Terminator Chile to Fettuccini Alfredo. The beverages ranged from Budweiser to Chateau Lafite Rothchild to Chateau Boom Boom in a box. Each Man Mission offered something unique which could be embellished over and over in the retelling (Just ask Master Embellisher McLaughlin.)

The Man Mission series produced several spin-off trips including a Selway River float which required traversing the snowbound Bitterroot Mountains west of Darby and the Bar Fly, which used small planes to fly into historic Montana bars across the state.

Beta Delta is all about traditions and Man Mission stands proudly among them. Old friendships were renewed and Brotherhood improved in the annual quest for excitement and survival.

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.