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College of Chapters

“This was an amazing experience and I now feel more prepared than ever to lead my chapter to a very promising future. I cannot begin to express how thankful I am to have such an amazing organization to help me become the leader of today and the leader of tomorrow.” – 2016 Participant


College of Chapter LogoThe College of Chapters provides an intensive leadership development experience for each chapter Commander every year. College of Chapters is hosted in Roanoke to allow a pilgrimage to the Headquarters of the Fraternity and take advantage of its historical significance to Sigma Nu.

Funding Needs

  • The College of Chapters experience costs about $180,000 to conduct annually.  The program is currently being funded with fees paid by the collegiate chapters. 
  • Approximately $90,000 of the annual cost could be funded with educational grants from the Sigma Nu Educational Foundation if resources were available. 
  • The Foundation has a goal to create a $3,000,000 endowment for the College of Chapters.  An endowment of this size would provide most, if not all, of the educational grant needs for this exceptional leadership experience for our chapter Commanders.
  • By strengthening our Commanders ability to lead ethically we will strengthen our chapters and influence our entire Brotherhood. 
  • Funding this program is vital for the continued success of Sigma Nu and all of our Chapters.

Program Objectives and Outcomes

Curriculum Objectives

  • The curriculum is designed to ensure each Commander has the knowledge and skills necessary to strengthen his chapter and to develop a network of support and experience which he can call upon during his tenure as needed.
  • The curriculum features topical experts and a focus on best practices presented by an experienced faculty of staff, alumni, and advisors. Commanders leave the College of Chapters ready to ethically lead the strengthening of their chapter.

Participant Outcomes

  • Participants learn what it means to be commander and how to be as successful as possible.
  • Participants learn specific ideas for improvement in areas in which his chapter may currently be deficient.
  • Participants learn what support resources are available and how to access them.
  • Participants leave feeling confident in his ability to be an effective commander.
  • Participants leave feeling enthusiastic about his leadership role.
  • Participants leave feeling connected to a network of peers and mentors/advisors who can help him be successful.
  • Participants leave feeling the special responsibility he has as commander of his chapter.

Program Impact

Read about how College of Chapters has made a difference for chapters by reading one of the following IMPACT Reports


The curriculum experience at College of Chapters is a combination of general sessions/keynotes, core, small group, and PEP/elective sessions. Each session is designed to achieve specific intended outcomes and address certain core competencies. Part of the curriculum is the same for every participant, while part differs depending on his chapter’s situation or performance. Regardless of the path taken, by the end, participants should feel as though the intended outcomes have been achieved and the skills within the core competencies sharpened.

  • Core Sessions: sessions every participant experiences in a medium-sized group of 30-45. Topics covered are derived from the Commander Core Competencies – a list of skills/knowledge with which every Commander must be equipped in order to be successful. Session topics include:
    • Visionary Leadership
    • Turning Vision Into Strategy
    • Sigma Nu Policies and Guidelines
    • Chapter Roster and Finances
    • Goal Setting and Delegation
    • Accountability
  • Small Group: sessions each participant experiences in a more intimate setting with 10-14 students from chapters that are similar to his own – based on geography, size, history, and operational performance. Small group sessions help participants apply the general and core session topics to their own chapters. These session also provide opportunities for similar chapters to share best practices and develop solutions to common problems.
  • PEP/Elective sessions: breakout sessions that participants attend based on either their chapter’s recent performance in the Pursuit of Excellence Program (PEP) or, for those chapters performing above minimum standards in all areas, from a selection of sessions designed to cover personal or organizational development topics (e.g. emotional intelligence and motivating your chapter).


College of Chapters is a four-day experience, including two and one half days of curriculum. 

  • Day 1: travel to Roanoke, opening and keynote, curriculum introduction, and small group experience.
  • Days 2 & 3: full days of curriculum include small group, core, breakouts, and keynote/general sessions. Day 2 also includes a trip to Lexington to visit VMI and Headquarters.
  • Day 4: participant departure

If you would like to learn more about how you might support the College of Chapters through the Educational Foundation, please contact us at 540-463-1030 or via email at foundation@sigmanu.org

“This is an experience I will never forget. I feel very fortunate to be given this opportunity to see VMI and Sigma Nu Headquarters.” – 2016 Participant

© 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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