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National Hazing Prevention Week Message from the Regent

Updates from Lexington

Over the past year, I’ve had the pleasure of visiting cities around the country to celebrate Sigma Nu’s founding 150 years ago. We’ve had opportunities to reflect on the unique period in American history during which our fraternity was founded. Chaos, uncertainty, and ambiguity were commonplace, and without intention to build a confident, positive vision, incivility and rampant abuse filled the void. As occurred in many places, these societal ills manifested themselves at the Virginia Military Institute. 

Leadership, vision, and courage from our founders brought forth change. With Hopkins and Quarles hardened by war and Riley left fatherless before birth, these three men arrived at VMI with a more mature mindset. Their experiences compelled them to rebel against the status quo of hazing, to choose the harder right over the easier wrong, and to commit their lives to honor – all while clasping hands on a rock. 

The symbolism of our founding occurring on a rock should not be lost. Similar to Truth, a rock is permanent and unmoving. Truth is best searched for from a place of honor, and opposition to hazing was the catalyst for The Legion of Honor. 

Sigma Nu’s opposition to hazing is not a story contrived for a candidate manual. It is who we are at our core. It is our history, and the example set by our founders clearly instruct our path. Do not forget this history.       

Consider our great Nation’s current tense environment. By all accounts, incivility is increasing (from all political spectrums), resulting in stifled debate and a degradation of truth. Such is coupled with voids of leadership emerging in virtually every aspect of our society, including within our families, businesses, institutions, and in all political parties. Leadership and vision are needed as much now as at any time in our history.         

The Greek system, and, I believe, Sigma Nu especially, is uniquely qualified to develop the leaders so urgently needed for our society’s future. Done right, our Fraternity’s local chapters provide unparalleled incubators for leadership development.   

What is the call to action for our collegiate brothers?  

“Return to the Rock” and embrace our principles of Love, Honor and Truth. When you do so in each decision you make, you further strengthen our organization’s ability to develop the ethical leaders who will propel our society in a positive direction.  

Importantly, you cannot stand on the Rock of Honor and embrace personal servitude, forced obedience, nor other forms of hazing. There is no place “On the Rock” for such, nor does it align with the proud example set by our founders. 

I am honored to serve as the Regent of Sigma Nu, and I applaud the thousands of young men in our chapters who are leading with vision and courage. Together, our collective choice to “Return the Rock” will help our organization (and our country) thrive for generations to come.   

Set the Example.  Stand on The Rock.  Nothing Less! 

Fraternally Yours,

John A. Hearn (Georgia)


© 2015-2020 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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