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The Dance Bookby Dave Trimmer '76

You look at the names and something gnaws at your memory. It wasn't all the once-young guys you sort of recognize and try to remember. Amid the handshakes, backslaps and hugs that highlighted Homecoming 2017 for Sigma Chis at the University of Montana were several moments that make 1110 Gerald special.

After another Grizzly win, the Brothers took a moment to honor late Vietnam veteran Sonny Gratzer '63 and Bob Holden '55, a 1969 Vietnam War MIA, whose remains were found in January 2017. The Butte boys will take their rightful place on the wall in the library. That made you proud of House traditions, but it still wasn't what you were trying to recall.

Following that was the dedication of New Ski Shack, another major restoration of the historic property.. That was a great accomplishment, a few Brothers leading a drive that took many Brothers across many generations to complete.

But still....

Less noticed during all of the activities was a small leather bound blue book with the Norman Shield stitched on the cover being passed around. Inside you learned it was from the annual Beta Delta dinner dance on Feb. 10, 1939. A back page lists the distinguished chaperones – three of the school deans and the president, and three spouses – chapter offices and the music – Hal Hunt and his orchestra.

The pages in the middle were numbered for the dances with the blanks filled in with various names. Thier contents are HERE

What we had was an old-fashioned dance book (card), something many had heard of or were familiar with because of old movies but had never seen.

Brother Gary Bryan '79 delivered the goods.  “I wish I had more information,” the Missoula real estate broker said. “It just showed up on my desk with a note from Bethany Taylor.” Taylor, who works in the same office, is an Alpha Phi. She was helping her chapter spruce up the sorority house for Homecoming. Some ladies were cleaning a room in the basement and discovered the dance book.  “She knows I'm a Sigma Chi so she brought it to me,” Bryan said. “It had been stored in a box. That's why it's in such good shape.”

It appears there was probably a name of the Alpha Phi attached to the front at one time. But it's the dance lineup that is more interesting. Ten of her twelve dances had names, the other two just had X.

But it was the names on the dance list, names from almost 80 years ago, that sound familiar. And they should. That's because Brothers that were dancing in the late 1930s were the ones who served in World War II. And the ones who didn't come home are on 1110 Gerald's library wall. Many of us memorized those names as part of becoming a Beta Delta. There's George Dykstra '42, Jack Brazelton '42, Norman Streit '41 and William Holt '39.

The other names on the list are Albert Angstman '41, Peter Murphy '38, John Grigsby '42, James Felt '43, James Poindexter '41 and Thomas Campbell '37.

Brother Bob Rowe '80 is having the dance book suitably framed for display in the library. He would like to include as much information as we can gather. If this is anyone who can shed some light on the traditions of the day or those brothers in particular, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 509-879-4901.

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.