CULLOWHEE - Western Carolina University has authorized the colonization of a new chapter of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, and the group is already winning kudos from the national organization for a membership recruitment strategy that focuses on leadership, scholarship and service.

The fraternity’s national leadership recently named WCU’s North Carolina Omega chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon winner of its “program of the week” honor as a result of a letter sent by chapter leader Blaise K. Stevens seeking recommendations from Western faculty and staff of upstanding students for membership in the new fraternity.

When the chapter began its recruitment efforts, it attempted to immediately create a solid reputation on campus and actively seek “the best and brightest” by asking faculty and staff to play a role in the process, Stevens said.

“I wanted to make an impression on our professionals that we are more than the stereotypical fraternity looking for young men who could hold their alcohol,” he said. “I wanted to make the impression that we were looking for leaders. I wanted to seek out and find young men that our chapter hasn’t come into contact with, but perhaps a faculty member sees positive qualities in.”

In the letter to faculty and staff, Stevens stressed the fraternity’s creed of the “True Gentleman,” which, reads in part, “The True Gentleman is the man whose conduct proceeds from good will and an acute sense of propriety…who does not flatter wealth, cringe before power, or boast of his own possessions or achievements; who speaks with frankness but always with sincerity and sympathy; whose deed follows his word; who thinks of the rights and feelings of others rather than his own; and who appears well in any company, a man with whom honor is sacred and virtue safe.”

The first new fraternity to colonize at Western since fall 2001, Sigma Alpha Epsilon will be among the 17 of 20 university fraternities and sororities to be housed in the Greek Village, a new 252-bed complex currently under construction near the golf practice facility and picnic area on Cullowhee Creek.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon was founded March 9, 1956, at the University of Alabama, and today has more than 8,200 undergraduate members at more than 200 chapters in 48 states and in Canada.

For more information about Sigma Alpha Epsilon or any of Western’s fraternities or sororities, contact Ryan Williams, assistant director for Greek life and student organizations at Western Carolina University at (828) 227-7450.

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Last modified: Friday, April 16, 2004
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