Tennessee Tech Kappa Sigma chapter turns 50

It has been 50 years in the making for Kappa Phi Delta, Tech’s first social fraternity. Founded Oct. 17, 1964, Tech recognized KPD as its social fraternity Feb. 23, 1967. KPD was chartered as Kappa Sigma’s and Kappa Mu chapter May 2, 1969, making it Tech’s first national social fraternity.

“This is huge to us. This place means so much to us to see the guys who really started it is really exciting and it boosts the morale of the members here now,” said President Aaron Brooksbank.

Kappa Sig has been located at 525 North Walnut Ave. since September 1966 with the new Kappa Sig house being built in 2001.

One highlight of the day was when the current President of Kappa Sigma, number KM 662, got to meet the first president of Kappa Sigma, KM number one, a milestone for both Presidents getting to meet in the Kappa Sig house.

“It’s been a great experience. When we got it started in 1964, we never had any idea what it would to turn into and what it is now,” said founding member Ronnie Young. “At that time, fraternities were illegal at Tech, so we had to be underground for the time when I was here, and then I graduated in 1966.”

One reason for starting this fraternity was to keep members on campus during the weekends to have something to offer after football games and other events. Tech was known as a suitcase college, also known as a commuter campus. So not much has changed over the years at Tech because students still leave to go home on weekends.

“It really means the world to us it’s the 50th reunion of what started this place. If not for these guys and what they did we would not be here and it’s just a real honor to see,” said Vice President Storm Beeler. “Some of the younger guys get to see our founding members and just to see how they still care about it after 50 years. We are talking guys that have been here and nothing has changed.”

One of the reasons they wanted to have it before Homecoming week was to make the week more special.

“We just wanted to have our own thing with just the brothers and the older brothers. Even though there is a gap generation, they are still our brothers. You can see the sparkle in the eyes and it really hits the younger guys,” said Beeler.

Kappa Sigma released a book, composed by Pete Fleming, documenting their past and how it all came together in making this more than just a social club on Tech’s campus.

“We all talked about it and sat there one day, and Pete said, ‘I can write all this stuff down’ and so we did. Everybody started drawing information off one another,” said founding member Robert Hobbs.

They were able to find old minute books to help aid in the making of this book. This book help set up an alumni network that helped former member reconnect with former brothers they lost contact with over the years.

“It’s very emotional to see so many nice young men that have been affected by our original efforts to start a little fraternity. It’s quite impressive to see how things have grown and materialized and hopefully learned something through Kappa Sig,” said Hobbs.

The fraternity also has a wall inside the Kappa Sigma house that all the former and current brothers of the fraternity signed to document this day of celebration. It was a very proud day for the founding members seeing what all Kappa Sigma has done over the last 50 years.