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A Message from Regent Maury Gaston in Celebration of Labor Day

“To welcome the achievements of art and science, religion and learning, labor and law, under whose radiant banners battle the hosts of progress,” - The Preamble to The Creed of Sigma Nu by Walter James Sears (Kansas)

“I believe this is a practical world, and that I can count only on what I earn.  Therefore, I believe in work, hard work.” - The Auburn Creed by Dr. George Petrie

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” - Colossians 3:23

We celebrate Labor Day this weekend. The purpose is not to mark the end of summer nor to start the college football season nor to begin the new academic season. 

The purpose is to honor the value and necessity of labor to the worth and strength of our nation. Nothing happens without labor. The manufacture of goods from raw materials; the growth of agriculture from earth, seeds, sun, and rain; the construction of buildings and infrastructure from materials made by the hands of others. None of this happens without labor, without work. Hard work.

Labor Day is a tribute to American labor, to those who manufacture, build, and grow things that make our lives better, safer, and stronger. It is a tribute to the American factory worker, skilled craftsman, plumber, mechanic, electrician, bricklayer, carpenter, and farmer. These are noble and honorable professions without which we could not thrive or even survive.

Labor Day is a tribute to those who create wealth through their labor and to those who made the United States an economic, industrial, and military powerhouse through their labor and skill. In World War II, when thousands of our Sigma Nu brothers were on battlefields and warships around the world, millions of Rosie Riveters labored in American factories to build the airplanes, tanks, warships, and other materiel which led to the Allied victory and our continued freedom.

Wealth and value are created by manufacturing products, harvesting agriculture, and extracting minerals. Without this original wealth creation, there would be no service industries nor a multi-faceted economy. Without labor, nothing gets done.

Whether you are building a Habitat for Humanity House or cleaning up following a storm, your philanthropic labor makes a difference in the lives of others. If you had a construction job this summer, you can look at what you built with pride. If you worked in a factory, know the products you manufactured make life better and safer for those who use them. Your post-collegiate career and profession have the same potential impact, and tens of thousands of our alumni live that daily.

Labor Day dates to 1887 and became a federal holiday in 1894. It grew from the American labor movement, which is alive and well today. It is driven by those who do the work, and it has led to improvements in productivity, safety, and innovation that contribute to the advancement of mankind. 

While happily joining in the traditional social celebrations of Labor Day, I salute the virtue of American labor and the virtue of hard work. May every Sigma Nu labor well and labor heartily, whether with his hands or mind or both.

© 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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