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Demonstrating Cultural Relevance

Letter from the Editor

In this issue we turn our focus to a story in higher education that hasn’t received nearly enough attention. Overshadowed by headline-grabbing topics like ballooning costs and campus unrest, the unique challenges faced by first-generation college students represents an area where higher education has room for improvement.

As freelance writer Chante Griffin chronicles on page 44, 34 percent of students who attend a college or university are first-generation college students. Of these students, only 50 percent complete their degree in six years, according to a 2011 report by the Higher Education Research Institute. Our coverage zooms in to share the stories of four first-generation students and the way their fraternity experience helped them thrive in school.

In addition to helping new students adjust to life at college, there is mounting pressure on the fraternity and sorority movement to demonstrate the value we bring to every campus community where we operate. Our Q and A interview with Regent Lee Perrett (Auburn) dives deeper into this question and details the High Council’s vision for the Fraternity and the strategies and tactics that will help us get there.

Our collection of feature stories shines the spotlight on Nashville area sports radio host Chad Withrow (Tennessee), whose impressive rise to the top of his market represents the latest addition to Sigma Nu’s proud tradition of excellence in sports broadcasting.

Inside you’ll also find the latest dispatches from chapters and alumni around the country, along with the latest column by Grand Historian Bob McCully in which he shares lesser known details about Founder James McIlvaine Riley. The story on Founder Riley represents the first in a series of three that will highlight each Founder leading up to the Legion of Honor’s 150th celebration in 2019.

We always welcome your feedback on stories we should consider for a future issue. Letters to the editor, comments, and general feedback can be sent to news@sigmanu.org.


Yours in Sigma Nu, 

Nathaniel Clarkson (James Madison)

Managing Editor

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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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