The Gamma Iota Chapter of Sigma Pi Fraternity, International, resides at 17 Dean Street. It has been in existence since 1962, when it was originally Psi Theta Nu Fraternity. It became the Gamma Iota chapter of Sigma Pi Fraternity in 1965, and has been ever since.
In 2004, faulty wiring caused an electrical fire in Sigma Pi's house that damaged a large portion of the building. The house was condemned but was reopened following reconstruction for the Fall 2005 semester.
It was popularly known as the "Marijuana Frat" for a time, owing to the large marijuana leaf painted in its house, but this reputation has faded with time.
Sigma Pi Fraternity (ΣΠ) is an international college fraternity for men with chapters in the United States and Canada. Founded on February 26, 1897 at Vincennes University by William Raper Kennedy, James Thompson Kingsbury, George Martin Patterson, and Rolin Rosco James, it started as Tau Phi Delta (ΤΦΔ), a literary society with fraternal ideals. The fraternity was the first of its kind to be founded west of the Ohio Valley and a founding member of the North-American Interfraternity Conference in 1909. Among many things, Sigma Pi promotes fellowship, scholarship, chivalry, and character by organizing social, academic, and philanthropy events for its members and the communities in which its chapters are located. Today, Sigma Pi consists of over 150 active chapters, colonies, and alumni clubs and over 86,000 initiates.
Sigma Pi got its start at WPI in 1965 when a local fraternity, Psi Theta Nu (now the Sigma Pi WPI alumni club), joined the international fraternity, Sigma Pi, creating chapter Gamma Iota. Over 40 years later, Sigma Pi Gamma Iota is running stronger than ever. The house, located at the intersection of Institute Road and Dean Street, is over 100 years old, and survived a fire in 2004, which devastated the third floor of the house, and caused the removal of almost all brothers. New brothers were brought in to fill the void, and the chapter has been running smoothly ever since. The Gamma Iota chapter of Sigma Pi has 28 active members, as of September, 2006.
Sigma Pi helped create, and has supported the Sam Spady Foundation both nationally and locally. This foundation promotes awareness of the dangers of alcohol, especially alcohol poisoning. This foundation was created in memory of Samantha Spady, a 19-year old student at Colorado State University, who died of alcohol poisoning on September 5, 2004.
in Sigma Pi, a Fellowship of
kindred minds, united in
Brotherhood to advance Truth
and Justice, to promote
Scholarship, to encourage
Chivalry, to diffuse Culture, and
to develop Character, in the
Service of God and Man; and
I will strive to make real the
Fraternity's ideals in my own
The First Ideal: To establish a brotherhood.
The Second Ideal: To establish and maintain an aristocracy of learning.
The Third Ideal: To raise the standards of morality and develop character.
The Fourth Ideal: To diffuse culture and encourage chivalry.
The Fifth Ideal: To promote the spirit of civic righteousness and quicken the national conscience.
Creation of lifelong friendships
Networking through internships and alumni contacts
Scholarships and student loans
Leadership and service opportunities
Students benefit significantly from opportunities such as these, and Sigma Pi is happy to provide them.
Notable alumni of the international fraternity include:
- William Jennings Bryan: three-time presidential candidate
- Willard M. Kiplinger: founder of the nationally renowned Kiplinger Washington Letter.
- Tracy Lawrence: a famous musician.
- Herman G. Fisher: co-founder of Fisher-Price.