United for a Worthy Cause
POSTED: 2008-04-02 :: LAST UPDATED: 2008-04-02, 15:13 ET

It was highly unexpected. The chapter wasn't even 10 years old, and they'd already lost their first brother. Ian Tupper (Philadelphia) was only 26. An undiagnosed heart condition led to a heart attack while he was traveling home from visiting a chapter brother out of state.

Friends of Ian's, Sean Killion (Philadelphia) and Jason (Philadelphia), performed the Sigma Nu funeral ritual for the first time in their young chapter's existence. "It meant a lot to the family who knew how much Sigma Nu meant to Ian," shares Sean.

They also wanted to honor his memory in some significant way. Ian's parents contacted them saying they wanted to be involved and were willing to contribute funds from Ian's life insurance policy. Working alongside the Sigma Nu Educational Foundation, the alumni established a Chapter Scholarship Account and founded the Ian McCambridge Tupper Scholarship Board.

Four years later, the Board is preparing for their Fourth Annual Ian McCambridge Tupper Golf Outing, a fund raising event created to support the scholarship fund and gather brothers together from across the Philadelphia area. Their goal this year: increase the number of golfers to 72 and increase the number of sponsors at each hole.

It's just one of a number of events hosted by the organization throughout the year. With three Sigma Nu chapters locally (the other two at Villanova and the University of Pennsylvania) they work hard to build relationships among the undergraduates and alumni from all three chapters. A few weeks following the golf tournament they are coordinating an alumni/collegiate networking event at the Phillies ball park with special guest speaker Dallas Green (Delaware), former MLB player and manager of the Phillies in 1980.

Sean says the success of their events begins with building relationships year round. "When I think about Sigma Nu, I don't just think about my chapter. I think about all my brothers that I've interacted with over the years. It's been such a positive experience for me and I know, on a local level, if brothers are experiencing that, they feel more connected to the Fraternity," he explains.

He's also big on forming partnerships and sharing the workload. "We have a strategic group of guys who are willing and committed to getting things done. We meet at least once a month—going to breakfast together first for some social interaction and then getting down to business," he says.

The Ian McCambridge Tupper Scholarship is awarded annually in the amount of $1,500. Originally designated only for Sigma Nu brothers from the Mu Pi Chapter, it is now open to all Sigma Nu undergraduates in the Philadelphia region, as well as any student at Philadelphia University. "We want the recipient to reflect what Ian's life was about--community service and leadership as well as Sigma Nu's values of love, truth and honor--whether or not they are a member of Sigma Nu," says Sean.

There are more than 55 Sigma Nu chapters with Chapter Scholarship Accounts formed through the Educational Foundation. Partnering with the Foundation means donors may make tax-deductible contributions, earmarked specifically for their chapter's fund. The Foundation staff can help design the criteria for scholarships, which are generally awarded based on merit and leadership.

  • A Chapter Scholarship Account may be established with a minimum of $1,000.
  • Within five (5) years, contributions to the CSA must equal at least $10,000.
  • The first scholarship will be awarded in the fiscal year after contributions totaling $10,000 or more have been made to the CSA.
  • The earnings on the CSA can be awarded annually to scholarship recipients.

A list of chapters with an established Chapter Scholarship Account can be found on the Sigma Nu website. Chapters or alumni members who wish to establish a Chapter Scholarship Account and/or a Chapter Educational Fund (which may be utilized for educational needs or to fund attendance at Conclave or LEAD events) should contact Brad Hastings at the Educational Foundation.

For brothers living in the Philadelphia area, the Ian McCambridge Tupper Golf Outing will be held on May 3, 2008. Anyone is welcome to participate. For registration information, please visit the website at: www.tupperscholarship.com or email info@tupperscholarship.com for more details.

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