Lambda Delta/SAΩ History

 

 

 

 

The University of West Georgia originated in 1906 as the Fourth District Agricultural and Mechanical School, one of twelve such institutions established by the State of Georgia between 1906 and 1917. Twenty-seven years later, Carrollton’s A&M School became West Georgia College, a junior college established by an act of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. Dr. Irvine S. Ingram, who had been the principal of the A&M School, was named the institution’s first president.

In 1939, the University was authorized by the Board of Regents to add a three-year program in elementary education. In 1957, the institution was authorized to confer the B.S. degree in Education, making it a four-year senior college unit of the University System of Georgia. Two years later, West Georgia College added the Bachelor of Arts degree in the fields of English, History, and Mathematics.

During the following years, West Georgia became one of the fastest growing institutions of higher learning in the south. From an enrollment of 576 in 1957, the institution’s student body now numbers over 10,000. Out of this growth grew the need for organizations on campus that were geared toward the general needs of the student body. These organizations became known as local fraternities. Local means that these fraternities were not chartered by nationally recognized organizations, like Kappa Sigma for instance.

One of the strongest and most prominent of these organizations was Sigma Alpha Omega. Sigma Alpha Omega Fraternity, Incorporated, established on Thursday January 18, 1968, was the first fraternity founded at West Georgia. The meeting was held in the Dating room in Pritchard Hall. The constitution was signed that night by the fifteen charter members: Mac Anderson, Joe Baggett, Bill Broadnax, Tommy Campbell, Don Futral, Bob Heflin, Roger King, David Krauth, Terry Marshall, Joey McClelland, Richard Milam, Tony Moye, Jim Reynolds, Clay Springfield, and Robert Willingham.

Traditionally, “Skeet” Willingham and Tony Moye formed the original SAO, while they were studying for an exam in room 215W of Strozier Hall. “Skeet” Willingham served as chairman of the fraternity until the first slate of officers was selected. Joey McClelland was elected as the first president of Sigma Alpha Omega. During his term of office the brotherhood grew from fifteen charter members to seventy active initiates. Richard Milam was the next president, and during his term of office Sigma Alpha Omega not only expanded even more, but also continued to hold the respect of all. Joe Baggett was very important as our first secretary and worked very hard in keeping the chapter alive…

THE CREED OF SIGMA ALPHA OMEGA

For the purpose of uniting in brotherhood by the honored code of the true gentlemen with the full intent of establishing a vital, working, and necessary organization on the campus of West Georgia College, Carrollton, Georgia, we, the brothers of Sigma Alpha Omega do acknowledge our intentions.

Just as today, in 1970 there was a strong feeling of competition between the local fraternities of West Georgia College. At the time one of the strongest and most obvious competitive struggles was between Sigma Alpha Omega and another local fraternity that went by the name of “The Cavaliers”.  During the fall of 1970 both the SAO’s and “The Cavaliers” decided to petition the International Fraternity Kappa Sigma to become a colony and later a chapter.

Kappa Sigma came down to West Georgia College and interviewed both local fraternities to see whom they would choose. After interviewing both organizations they returned to the International Memorial Headquarters to discuss what they had seen and decide which of the two would be allowed to become Kappa Sigma’s. Before leaving the interviewers from Kappa Sigma told both organizations that they would first call and inform the organization that had not been chosen before informing the organization that would soon become a part of the Kappa Sigma family. Three short months later “The Cavaliers” received a call that informed them that Sigma Alpha Omega had been the organization that they had chosen. On Saturday December the 12, 1970 the members of Sigma Alpha Omega were formally pledged and became a colony of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity.

The new pledges of Kappa Sigma endured the same one quarter pledge period that all Kappa Sigma’s experience and, on Friday April the 2, 1971 during what was then the Spring quarter, Sigma Alpha Omega became brothers of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity and received their charter, which to this day still hangs proudly in the Kappa Sigma Fraternity house here at the University of West Georgia. The charter membership of Lambda-Delta consisted of forty-one brothers. Not only was this a great day for past brothers of Sigma Alpha Omega, but it was also a great day for the University of West Georgia. April the second not only marks the day Sigma Alpha Omega became Kappa Sigma, but it also marks the birth of the Greek System here at the University of West Georgia as we know it today. People often wonder what came of  “The Cavaliers”… they became Pi Kappa Alpha.

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