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The Omega Society


Every year, hundreds of initiates and guests travel to the beautiful Shenandoah Valley to visit the Headquarters Shrine in Lexington, Va. Nestled amidst the surrounding mountains, and only a stone’s throw away from the birthplace of Sigma Nu at VMI, the Headquarters Shrine is more than just host to the offices of the General Fraternity, it is a physical monument to the accomplishments of the Legion of Honor for the past 150 years. But none of this would be possible without the generous commitment of the Omega Society, a giving society of the Sigma Nu Educational Foundation.

Sitting on approximately ten acres atop the highest point in Lexington’s city limits, the Headquarters Shrine came to be from the vision of past Executive Director Richard “Dick” Fletcher (Penn State). In the late 1950s, Fletcher had envisioned the Fraternity moving from its offices in Indianapolis, Ind. to Lexington. As Fletcher wrote in a 1957 article for The Delta, “Sigma Nu is going home…to give added emphasis to history, traditions, and ideals; to provide greater operational effectiveness…to stimulate pride in our heritage and encourage pilgrimages to our birthplace.”

When the move became official, the General Fraternity offices moved fortuitously into a historic home that had belonged to a descendent of Sigma Nu’s spiritual founder, VMI Superintendent Francis “Specs” Smith. Over time the property was renovated to suit the needs of the Fraternity, including the renovation of the Carriage House to accommodate collegiate pilgrimages, the Ethical Leadership Center for visiting alumni and board meetings, and two significant expansions of the main building starting with the addition of the wings to celebrate Sigma Nu’s Centennial (funded as gift from collegiate chapters) leading to the addition of the administrative wing on the back portion of the building to house the mailroom, administrative offices, and the Leadership Consultant offices.

These changes to the property were integral to fulfilling Fletcher’s vision of providing greater operational effectives, as the General Fraternity’s staff grew to accommodate a significant growth in collegiate membership and programs during the 1960s, 1980s, and today.

But those were not the only major changes to the property. Aesthetically, the Headquarters Shrine saw the addition of the Robert L. Marchman III Memorial Flag Pavilion, the Rose Arbor, and pronounced landscaping work being done. Visitors will note that a part of this resulted in several state trees adorning the property and the cultivation of green space to host outdoor events such as alumni reunions or the recent 68th Grand Chapter luncheon.

Perhaps most importantly to Fletcher’s vision, the Headquarters Shrine has seen work done to preserve its priceless historical artifacts such as Founder Hopkins’ bible from his time as a VMI cadet, original badges of the Founders, and original paintings like the “A Serpent, A Rose, A Star.”

Maintaining the Headquarters Shrine, its beautiful grounds, facilities, and archives, requires a note-worthy financial cost. In 2001, the annual maintenance budget was only $25,000 and the property itself carried a mortgage of $732,000.

It was then that the Sigma Nu Educational Foundation board of directors developed a strategic plan, with one of their goals being to retire the mortgage and increase the annual maintenance budget by 2006. Out of this came the formation of the Omega Society. The name holds some importance with Omega meaning “the end.” The Fraternity never uses Omega in chapter designations as no chapter marks the end of Sigma Nu’s story. However, with the goal of retiring the mortgage the name felt fitting.

Originally, Omega Society members contributed $2,000 annually to be applied directly to the mortgage until its retirement, which occurred in 2004. Following that achievement, members were given the option of contributing $2,000 annually to maintain membership or $1,000 each year for life. Through their generous and exemplary commitment, Omega Society members helped not only retire the mortgage ahead of schedule but is assisting in an increase to the annual maintenance, upkeep, and renovation budget. The Headquarters Shrine needs approximately $125,000 per year for maintenance and upkeep. A portion of that today comes from funds contributed by Omega Society members, but much more will be needed to maintain and periodically renovate the property in the future.

This increased budget assists in upkeep of the historic aspects of the property, professional maintenance of its green space and care of its impressive collection of trees, and future renovation projects to maintain the level of operational excellence and emphasis of the Fraternity’s history and traditions that Brother Fletcher dreamed of over 50 years ago.

This work is certainly ongoing and, despite the name, has no end. Work has recently completed on the War Memorial addition to the Robert L. Marchman III Memorial Flag Pavilion to include a special place of recognition for brothers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in our nation’s conflicts abroad. The Pathway of Honor is also seeing major expansion with the addition of special 150th Anniversary Bricks.

This work is important for every Sigma Nu today as the Fraternity continues to make its Headquarters Shrine a home for every initiate and grows its use of the property. Hosting a special pilgrimage to over 160 Commanders at College of Chapters or creating plans for an envisioned emerging leaders program hosted at the property would not be possible without a continued commitment by the Fraternity’s alumni and friends to cherish and make sacred the Headquarters Shrine

The following initiates have made the lifelong commitment to support the upkeep and preservation of the Headquarters Campus.

Ω 1 Michael D. Long (Drury/Missouri State)
Ω 2 Howard C. Pickett (North Carolina State)
Ω 3 James C. Cherry (Hampden-Sydney)
Ω 14 Anthony B. Fair (Georgia Southern)
Ω 17 William K. Stoffer (Albion)
Ω 18 Donald K. Densborn (Indiana)
Ω 23 Joseph M. Gilman (Morehead State/Georgia)
Ω 25 Michael E. Grant (Oklahoma)
Ω 34 Daniel Rodriguez (Arizona State)
Ω 35 E. G. White (Indiana)
Ω 38 Todd M. Denson (Nicholls State)
Ω 39 Stephen E. Ratterman, Sr. (Indiana)
Ω 40 Joseph A. Weber, Jr. (Michigan State/Washington in St. Louis)
Ω 41 Duane H. Dreger (MIT)
Ω 43 J. Wiley Long (Arkansas, Fayetteville)
Ω 45 Don K. Martin (Georgia State)
Ω 46 Jason M. Lyons (Jefferson)
Ω 49 Sean P. Killion (Jefferson)
Ω 53 Albert W. Wurster (Purdue)
Ω 57 Jerry D. Fields (Texas State)
Ω 59 Charles R. Eitel (Oklahoma State)
Ω 62 Bruce W. Lawson (Arizona State)
Ω 64 Jeremy S. LaCombe (Northwestern State)
Ω 65 Jason L. Dooley (Kennesaw State)
Ω 66 James H. Paxton (Case Western Reserve)
Ω 67 H. Cameron Williams, Jr. (San Diego State/Arizona State)
Ω 68 Christopher W. Graham (Lamar/Stephen F. Austin State/Houston)
Ω 69 William B. Geddy (Georgia Southern)
Ω 70 Jimmie D. Walker, Jr. (Georgia Southern)
Ω 71 Troy R. Barrentine (Georgia Southern)
Ω 72 Raymon E. (Shane) Ragan II (Georgia Southern)
Ω 73 Todd E. Kalish (Georgia Southern)
Ω 74 John A. Hearn (Georgia)
Ω 76 Todd E. Eliason (Montana State)
Ω 77 John A. Shaner (Georgia Southern/Penn State)
Ω 78 Matthew A. Camden (Nebraska-Lincoln/Oregon State)
Ω 79 Brent E. Myers (Georgia Southern)
Ω 80 Frank D. Bracken, Jr. (North Texas)
Ω 81 Jamison J. Keller (Cal State San Bernardino)
Ω 82 Derek A. Pulos (Cal State San Bernardino)
Ω 83 Dino N. Bozonelos (Cal State San Bernardino)
Ω 84 J. Harry Shannon (Samford/Alabama)
Ω 86 William R. Hickman, Jr. (Georgia Southern)
Ω 88 Jordan C. P. Wu (Cal Poly Pomona)
Ω 89 Fred Dobry (Indiana State)
Ω 90 Jonathan D. Sprenger (Drury)
Ω 91 James J. Ehrmann (Iowa)
Ω 92 Timothy J. Braddick (Cincinnati)
Ω 93 James W. Bryan, Jr. (West Georgia/Kennesaw State)
Ω 94 Steven M. Brown (Oklahoma State)
Ω 95 Ralph P. Moore (Jacksonville State)
Ω 96 Noah G. Borton (Southern Utah)
Ω 97 W. Carter Hutchins, Jr. (Mississippi)
Ω 99 Edwin W. Chapman (Houston)
Ω 100 Hubert F. Hawthorn, Jr. (Lamar)
Ω 101 Griffin E. Jones (Oklahoma State)
Ω 102 B. G. Dugan (Butler)
Ω 103 John J. Cummins (Washington in St. Louis)
Ω 104 Robert L. Moody, Jr. (UC Santa Barbara)
Ω 105 Robert J. Lalanne (UC Berkeley)
Ω 106 Maxwell W. Wurster (Ball State/Kansas)
Ω 108 Ben A. Buettell (Northwestern)
Ω 109 Daniel W. Maslauski (Northwestern)
Ω 110 William S. Murray (Purdue)
Ω 111 Aaron J. Whomsley (Jefferson)
Ω 112 David R. Christian (Arizona State)
Ω 113 Stephen R. Gregg, Jr. (Texas State)
Ω 114 David A. von Nirschl (Illinois)
Ω 115 James R. Mounier (Illinois State)
Ω 116 James K. Gray (Texas State)
Ω 117 John B. Roberts (Jr. (Texas State)
Ω 118 Andrew H. Jackson (Texas Tech)

© 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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