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Structure and Governance

The work of an alumni chapter begins once its charter is approved. While there may be a desire to "jump in" and start planning events and putting together a communications plan, it is imperative that the governance structure of the alumni chapter be established.

Governance of an alumni chapter relies on two components - Bylaws and Officers. Without these components, an alumni chapter is likely to find ongoing operations and governance to be difficult.

Once the charter is approved, the alumni chapter must submit the following, via email, to the Director of Member Engagement:

  1. Copy of the alumni chapter's Bylaws
  2. Listing of alumni chapter officers 


Alumni chapters have the right to adopt their own rules of governance. Like a collegiate chapter, these rules are limited to the alumni chapter and its members only. Additionally, they cannot conflict with The Law of Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc.

It is recommended that an alumni chapter's bylaws address the following items, at minimum:

  • Membership
  • Meetings and Voting
  • Officers
  • Elections and Terms of Office
  • Executive Committee
  • Amendments

Additional articles/sections may be included in the bylaws to address other operational and governance needs of the alumni chapter. An example of these would be an article stipulating the rules regarding Membership Dues, if the alumni chapter chooses to establish them.

Click here for an Alumni Chapter Bylaws template to get started.

Once the alumni chapter's bylaws have been established, a copy needs to be submitted to the Director of Member Engagement.

Alumni Chapter Officers

The Law of Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc. identifies eight officer positions, in rank order:

  • Alumni Chapter Commander
  • Alumni Chapter Lt. Commander
  • Alumni Chapter Treasurer
  • Alumni Chapter Recorder
  • Alumni Chapter Chaplain
  • Alumni Chapter Reporter
  • Alumni Chapter Marshal
  • Alumni Chapter Sentinel

An alumni chapter is not required to fill all eight positions, and it may choose to include other/additional positions. However, any position not included in the list above will be subordinate, in rank, to any of the positions named in The Law of Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc. 

Once the initial officers are elected/appointed, those individuals are to be reported to the Director of Member Engagement. This officer listing needs to include:

  • Position
  • Start date
  • Full name
  • Chapter and badge number
  • Preferred phone number
  • Preferred email address

Upon receipt of the bylaws and officer listing, the General Fraternity will update its records to reflect these officers until the annual election of new officers are reported. Officer reporting may be completed as part of the alumni chapter's annual report.

What's Next

With its governance structure in place, an alumni chapter is ready to move forward in its operations. No two alumni chapters are the same and there is no one model that works best to effectively run an alumni chapter. There are components, though, that must be a part of any successful alumni chapter. Some of those components are expectations of The Law of Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc., and some are best practices that have proven to be effective. Take a moment to learn more about the operations of alumni chapters.

© 2015-2022 Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc.
9 North Lewis Street, P.O. Box 1869, Lexington, Virginia 24450
Phone: (540) 463-1869 | Fax: (540) 463-1669 | Email: headquarters@sigmanu.org

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