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December 22, 2013

1920 June 28 Sigma Tau Gamma National Fraternity, Warrensburg, Missouri History

On Saturday, Nov. 4, more than 75 people from around the country gathered at the Marvin Millsap Sigma Tau Gamma Headquarters in Warrensburg for an official Decommissioning Ceremony of the 101 Ming Street historical building. Honored guests included current and past board members, alumni, current members and local city officials.
The organization, which includes the Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity, the Sigma Tau Gamma Foundation, and the WPN National Housing Company, had previously announced that in early 2018 it would relocate its national Headquarters to Indianapolis. The move will increase operational efficiencies and boost collaboration with the Panhellenic and Interfraternity communities in the city.
“As we approach our Centennial, we are positioning the entire Sig Tau organization to positively impact the lives of even more young men, and to better support our current members across North America,” said Jonathan Proehl, President of the Sig Tau Board of Directors.
Sig Tau is close to finalizing plans with Warrensburg leaders to leverage the current property for the benefit of the community.
Looking ahead to Indianapolis
At the Decommissioning Ceremony, the Sig Tau Board of Directors unveiled detailed plans for the new Sig Tau Headquarters in Indianapolis. Renovations are already underway at 8741 Founders Road; a property purchased to accommodate the needs of the organization and its members. The new building can hold up to 40 staff members. Current growth projections place full-time employment at 30-45 employees by 2025.
The project is expected to be completed in March 2018 with an official ribbon cutting ceremony taking place May 5, 2018.
“Through vintage photos, historical pieces and fresh branding we are intentionally weaving our past, present, and future into all aspects of our new Headquarters to tell the complete Sig Tau story,” said Sig Tau Chief Executive Officer Steve Latour. “We seek to honor the noble men who came before us while supporting today’s impressive group of young brothers. It is going to be a space that the gentlemen of Sig Tau can be proud to call our Headquarters.”
The new Headquarters will feature:
*A stunning two-story atrium to welcome guests.
*A museum dedicated to the Sig Tau archives and artifacts, including The SAGA, charter and membership records, vintage badges and pins and other sentimental items. The Founders’ Fireplace will serve as the museum’s centerpiece.
*A boardroom featuring historical furniture including the Board Table.
*Five meeting spaces including a training room equipped with the latest technology to host retreats, board meeting and ritual for up to 40 attendees.
*Pavers from the White Rose Garden will be relocated and installed at the entrance to the facility. The Sig Tau Foundation is planning a campaign to offer additional pavers for purchase and naming opportunities in 2018.
The architectural and design firm DkGr, LLC has designed a beautiful space that can grow with the organization. Capitol Construction Services is leading the construction with CBRE, Inc serving as the project managers.
Founded in Warrensburg, Missouri at the University of Central Missouri. On June 28, 2020, the fraternity will commemorate its 100th Anniversary. Today, there are more than 3,000 undergraduate members on 81 college/university campuses in 31 states. There are 61,000 living alumni. The Fraternity is headquartered 60 miles east of downtown Kansas City in Warrensburg, Missouri. Additional information about the fraternity is available at

History of Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity


UCM, University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, MO National Headquarters,  101 Ming Street,  Warrensburg,  Missouri 
On June 28, 2020 it will commemorate its 100th Anniversary. Today, there are more than 3,000 undergraduate members on 70 college and university campuses in 24 states. There are 58.560 living alumni. The Fraternity is headquartered 60 miles east of downtown Kansas City, Missouri in Warrensburg. Learn more about the fraternity online at
Sigma Tau Gamma Headquarters, Warrensburg, MO
Four of the Founders; Emmett Ellis  Leland Thornton Hoback , Edward George Grannert, and William Glenn Parsons, had according isted and served Their Country Together During The First World War in France. Parsons commented That in founding the Fraternity They wanted to sustain a "sense of service, responsibility and affection for Their companions." These four, together with Allen Ross Nieman, Edward Henry McCune, Carl Nelson Chapman, Buell Wright McDaniel, George Eugene Hart Rick, A. Barney Cott, Chile Edward Hoffman, Rodney Edward Herndon, William Edward Billings, Clarence Willard Salter, Frank H. Gorman, Alpheus Oliphant Fisher and Daniel Frank Fisher, were the 17 founders of the Fraternity.
Four Ambulance Boys Became Sigma Tau Gamma Founders
Plaque commemorating the founding of Sigma Tau Gamma
June 28, 1920 the University of Central Missouri
, Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity ice Founded
When They Returned to school in the summer of 1920, the Normal School They knew had been elevated by the Missouri Legislature to a 4-year college spruce things bachelors degrees.
Several of the founders were members of the Irving Literary Society, but They wanted to cut across the boundaries of this and other literary societies to form Their new fraternity. They wanted the Most Desirable but from each to join. On the morning of June 28, 1920, "at an unusually early hour" of according to the original minutes, a drop Containing the names of about thirty, but was posted on the college bulletin board by Emmett Ellis with a request to meet That afternoon for what was, to them, an unknown purpose.
Original Petition to Organize Sigma Tau Gamma, 1920
Warrensburg, MO
: According to the minutes, "the notice had the proper effect and, as Requested, there appeared a goodly number of men to learn what was in store for them." Founder Nieman, who had've become familiar with fraternities while attending William Jewell College, was The principal organizer of the meeting. He explained the purpose of the meeting and told them what Such an organization Could mean to the men of the college. The elected but Leland Hoback temporary chairman and Emmett Ellis temporary secretary. They Agreed to begin crafting the Organization and adjourned Until July 7, 1920th

House of Trotter, 101 Ming Street, Warrensburg, MO
Sigma Tau Gamma Founded Here
One of the better boarding houses in Warrensburg was operated by Mrs. Alice Trotter on the corner of Ming and Holden, only a few blocks from the campus.

Founder Frank H. Gorman recalled the summer of 1920:

"It Seems That only yesterday Emmett Ellis Leland Hoback, Clarence Nieman, Willard Slater and others of us sat on the front porch and 'bulled' through the early hours of the summer evenings. What days Those were! As we Discussed the possibilities of making Such fraternal feelings as existed there Among Us a cherished experience of many others through the catalytic influence of a fraternity, I am surethat none of us dreamed That we would witness the Present Development of Sigma Tau Gamma. "

For many years, the campus social activity revolved around the literary societies on the campus. They were on the decline, however, and the student at Central Missouri Wrong That Their social needs were sadly neglected.

It was just These societies, of according to Dr. Emmett Ellis, Founder and First Grand President, Which Helped prompt the formation of Sigma Tau Gamma:
"These societies had great rivalries," relates Dr. Ellis, recalling the bitter feuds between the organizations.

He and the other young men who lived at 101 My hesitated to join one of the societies, Knowing That he would alienate members of the others.

"We Thought They all had some, but who were pretty darn good guys so we though That If We organized a fraternity, We could pick the men we wanted," Dr. Ellis Adds.

The Founders were Accompanied by Dr. Wilson C. Morris, head of the physics and chemistry department, to Present Their petition to the faculty. Dr. Morris was a Sigma Nu in his college days and his influence was significant and the New Fraternity received recognition. Dr. Morris Became the Fraternity's first Honorary Member and served the Alpha chapter at Central Missouri as cartridge, counselor and advisor Until his death set in 1947.

Notable SigTau's

Tommy Armstrong - forms member of the Louisiana House of Representatives
John Ashcroft - US Senator, State of Missouri, Former US Attorney General
William "Bill" Bernier, CEO Emeritus, Sigma Tau Gamma,  served 41 years in the role. He is the longest serving executive of any fraternity or sorority executive in the history of social Greek organizations.
William "Bill" Bernier, Warrensburg, Missouri
Bill Bright - Evangelist and founder of Campus Crusade for Christ
Dee Brown - Author, Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee
Brad Ellsworth - US Representative, State of Indiana
James A. Graham - Captain, United States Marine Corps Medal of Honor recipient, Vietnam
Mel Hancock - US Representative, State of Missouri
James Kirkpatrick - Missouri Secretary of State
Andy Mayberry - Member of the Arkansas House of Representatives
Red Miller - Former Head Coach, Denver Broncos
Gil Morgan - Pro Golf Hall of Fame
Stan Musial - Major League Baseball Player, Baseball Hall of Fame member, and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
Thomas Shaw - Episcopal priest, fifteenth Bishop of Massachusetts 
George J. Trautman, III - Lt. Gen., United States Marine Corps, Deputy Commandant for Aviation
Jack Zduriencik - General Manager, Seattle Mariners

Their grandfathers were veterans of the Civil War. That was a domesticated quarrel. They were about to embark on a journey That would take them back to the "old country." It was the "War To End All Wars." That was the noble sentiments applied to World War I. General John J. (Blackjack) Pershing; A native son of Their native state - Missouri - ?? was selected by President Woodrow Wilson to command the American Expeditionary Force. As volunteers They would leave Their small Midwestern normal school and follow him.
They were not ordinary though. In an era When fewer than half of our nation's young people advanced beyond the eighth grade, and fewer still graduated from high school, These Children of farmers, craftsmen and shopkeepers in the sparsely populated rural counties of western Missouri were pursuing a normal school diploma . That was a two-year post high school education That qualified them to teach and administer public schools. Almost Uniformly, They were as well qualified academically as students at the private and Land Grant Colleges. They simply lacked the Financial Resources Necessary for enrollment at those schools.
Together They joined what was then called an Ambulance Company. Today we would call them corpsmen and emergency medical technicians. Near the end of 1918 after 18 months of battle, the armistice came, the war ended and after serving in the occupational force, by steamship They headed home.
While They were gone to war Their school had've become a four-year college. It was the summer of 1920. They were what we would today call non-traditional students. Emmett Ellis Their leader, was 29. These were not starry-eyed children. They were veterans who had met death face to face. Even so, They did not stare down death, for That is impossible. Rather, They fully Realized The essence of a life worth living, a life That manifests itself in caring, one for the other.
They were Determined to make the bonds of brotherhood Expressed in the trenches of WWI manifested in the bonds of brotherhood Expressed in the enlightenment of a liberal arts education. They were, These founders of Sigma Tau Gamma, hopeful people.
Thus, the Sigma Tau Gamma Began, on a warm summer day in a rooming house at 101 Ming Street, just blocks from a humble school as They were dedicated to the pursuit of the American dream.
Nothing has changed. Sigma Tau Gamma Still values ​​Brotherhood, a liberal arts education, The Pursuit of Knowledge and The Pursuit of the American Dream for every member. And, We Believe That Those values ​​apply to everyone. You will find in the Sigma Tau Gamma the values ​​and traditions about Which You Can Be Proud.
Our Symbols
Sigma Tau Gamma's high ideals and timeless principles are explained fully in our esoteric ritual That is reserved only for members. But, many public symbols are used to communicate the Sigma Tau Gamma's beliefs.
Azure Blue, White, Red, and Yellow.
Our, color azure blue, ice Primarily represented in the flag. Dark blue, white, red, and yellow are held in our coat of arms.
Coat of Arms
The coat of arms was adopted in 1927 and modified in 1954. The symbolism of the coat of arms is explained in the ritual.
The coat of arms HAS Several important components including the crest of 18 links, The Chain of Honor; The helmet of a knight, our mascot; and the Greek letters. ??

White Rose
The White Rose is the flower of the Sigma Tau Gamma. Its meaning is explained in the ritual. Each chapter traditionally holds an annual White Rose banquet and dance. The chapter's sweetheart, known as the White Rose Sweetheart is crowned at the dance and serves as the chapter's official hostess throughout the Year.
Dr. Wilson C. Morris, State Normal of Warrensburg,
University of Central Missouri Today
In the fall of 1920 a ceremony for the initiation of new members was written and the chapter of 17 grew to 31 by its first anniversary in 1921. Founder Edward H. McCune recalled lateralis That, "from the very beginning, the Sigma Tau Gamma prospered, both in membership and service. Its challenge to students to live well and the promote the spirit of brotherhood was continually being met by Those Who were seeking membership. "
Morris, Professor Emeritus of the College, the UCM Today. Dr. Morris was the head of the physics and chemistry department and assisted the founders of the Sigma Tau Gamma National Fraternity. The Founders were Accompanied by Dr. Wilson C. Morris to Present Their petition to the faculty. Dr. Morris was a Sigma Nu in his college days and his influence was significant and the New Fraternity received recognition. Dr. Morris Became the Fraternity's first Honorary Member and served the Alpha chapter at UCM (Central Missouri) as cartridge, counselor and advisor Until his death set in 1947.

Sigma Tau Gamma, 1920, Warrensburg; MO

1932 Sig Tau House in Warrensburg, MO
217 East Gay Street
Old Sig Tau House Today in Warrensburg, MO
217 East Gay Street

Wilson C. Morris Science Building, UCM, Warrensburg, MO

Dr. Wilson C. Morris was born in Delta, York County, Pennsylvania.  His grandfather was John Duggan Morris of Chester County. His father was Phineas Morris, overpriced originally of Chester County. Phineas was a veteran of the Civil War.  The initial immigrants of Wilson C. Morris' family was Anthony Morris of London who Became The First Mayor of Philadelphia. His son Cadwalader Morris was a founding director of the Bank of North America, and active in the Revolution. His son Abel was Wilson's great-grandfather and a veteran of the Revolutionary War.  This information was provided to us by Gilbert Morris Cuthbertson, now deceased, who was a grandson of Wilson C. Morris. Cuthbertson was born in Warrensburg. He earned a Ph.D. in History at Harvard and was a professor at Rice. (Bill Bernier)
Birth: 1877
Participate York County, Pennsylvania, United States
Death: 1947, Warrensburg, Johnson County, Missouri, United States
Spouse: Sara G Darlington Morristown (1880 - 1978)
Father: Phinnease Morris, York County, PA, Mother: Anna Lynch, Chester County, PA
Burial: Sunset Hill Cemetery, Warrensburg, Johnson County, Missouri, United States

Dr. Emmet Ellis

Dr. Emmett Ellis was a 29 year old veteran, both of teaching and the First World War, When he Returned to Warrensburg, Missouri in the summer of 1920  to complete his bachelor's degree.  After serving in the Great War with an Army Ambulance Company, alongside fellow student .  

Emmet Ellis c.1925
Warrensburg, MO

Dr.Emmet Ellis, Warrensburg, MO
Dr. Emmett Ellis, Warrensburg, MO
A founder of Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity 1920
His alma mater, the forms Normal School, was now Central Missouri State Teachers College, a four-year college at Which Could he complete his bachelor's degree.

Seeking to rekindle the bonds of friendship That were forged into an Army Ambulance Company with a fellow student form Warrensburg, and to create a true college fraternity That would sustain Those friendships overtime, he became a Founder and the First National President of Sigma Tau Gamma.  Ellis later Returned to the Central Missouri State as a Professor of Mathematics. He was a popular professor and the faculty advisor for the Alpha Chapter.  In the 1960's he championed Bringing the Fraternity headquarters home to the Founding site at 101 Ming St. The delegates at the 23rd Grand Chapter Approved the move in 1968. The Largest Residence Hall at CMSU is named in his honor.
Emmett was born on November 5, 1889.
Emmett died in December 1972 at 83 years old.
Birth: Oct. 1, 1897
Osage County
Missouri, United States
Death: Aug. 31 1962
Rice County
Kansas, United States
LYONS - Edward G. Grannert, 64, forms Lyons superintendent of schools, died of a heart ailment on Friday at the Rice County District Hospital after an illness of four weeks.
He was born Oct. 1, 1897, in Hope, Mo. He married Frances Pausch May 26, 1923, in Ness City. They moved to Medicine Lodge, where he taught Until 1924 When he came here as the high school principal. He was elevated to superintendent in 1932 and retired in 1947. He opened a real estate and insurance office. He was chairman of the city planning and zoning commission, director of the Lyons Savings and Loan Association and a member of the American Legion and Kiwanis Club. 
Survivors Are The widow, Frances; three half-sisters, Mrs. Otto Hemeyer, Marshall, Mo., Mrs. FL Schultz, St. Charles, Mo., and Minnie Grannert, Grundy, Va.
Funeral will be at 10:30 am Monday at the Presbyterian Church. Rev. Stanley Tyner will officiate. Burial will be in the Lyons Cemetery. Friends May call from 3 to 9 pm Sunday at the Crawford Miller Mortuary.  from The Hutchinson News  Saturday, Sept 1, 1962 

Leland Thornton Hoback
Born in Moniteau, Missouri, on January 3, 1895 to Sanford Crum Hoback and Minnie lacy Howard. Leland Thornton married Clara Rebecca. He passed away on February 28, 1966 in Windsor, Missouri

Wilson Morris, the son of Dr. Wilson C. Morris, Record Setting Golf Day at  Warrensburg, MO

Note Wilson Morris, but the type of attire he might have worn 
(This is the legendary Bobby Jones)
Day's Golf  America: Twenty-one year old golfer below par for 147 holes played in one day on the Warrensburg, Missouri course he took 55 shots for the 147, for Which couple was 589. For the witness he took a partner, Jack Bishop, who Gave up after 99 holes. When They had started at 5 am the first green Could not ask See Clearly. After the Bishop's retirement a caddy and another witness Helped Morris around.
Wilson Morris, Warrensburg, MO
HE PLAYS REAL GOLF -147 HOLES IN A DAY (By Associated Press) Warrensburg, Mo.-It May or May not be a record, but When Wilson Morris. 21, finished playing 147 holes of golf over the Warrensburg course in one day recently he was ready to submit it as his bid. Morris' score testifies to the fact he was playing golf, not a hit-and-run game. He was 33 strokes under par for the distance. Hi covered the 16 and a fraction 9-hole rounds in 555 strokes. Par for the 147 holes totals 589. With Jack Bishop of Cartel-vine. 111 a visitor, as a companion, Morris started play at 5 am When Unable to see the first green Clearly. Bishop was forced to give up after 99 holes Because of Illness. He took 430 strokes at 34 over par Morris Continued playing, with a caddy and another witness. The first 80 holes were played without a caddy, the men lugging Their own bags and dragging the sand greens. Morris' scores for each round were, 33, 33, 32, 30, 37, 37, 33, 36, 36, 34, 33, 35, 34, 33, 34, 12 and 33. The Last three holes. Par for the course is 36. The  Portsmouth Herald, Sept 3 1937  Wilson's father Was Dr. William C. Morris.

James M. Kilmer, Alpha '40, died September 10, 2014 in Hannibal, Missouri. Jim and his wife Pearl, who preceded him in death in 2002, established an endowed scholarship for collegiate members of Alpha Chapters at the University of Central Missouri. Jim, who was a Notable Morris Fellow of the Wilson C. Morris Fellowship, was a life-long supporter of Sigma Tau Gamma. For more than 75 years he maintained a very close friendship with the Earl A. Webb, Alpha '41 and George D. Gunn, Alpha '43. Jim was a farmer for many years. He was a deacon in the First Baptist Church of Chilhowee, MO. He was president of the Farmer's Exchange Board for 25 years and an original board member of the Johnson County (MO) Memorial Hospital (now Western Missouri Medical Center.) He is survived by two sons, six grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. Memorial contributions are unwrapped to the Sigma Tau Gamma Foundation, Inc.

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