Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s Story:
Sigma Alpha Epsilon was founded on March 9th, 1856 at the University of Alabama Tuscaloosa. The founding members were Noble Leslie DeVotie, Nathan Elams Cockerel, Samuel Marion Dennis, John Barrett Rudolph, Abner Edwin Patton, Wade Hampton Foster, Thomas Chappell Cook, and John Webb Kerr. The decision to create the Fraternal Organization came out of a need to create a group of people that surrounded themselves with similar ideals to one another. Sigma Alpha Epsilon is the last national fraternity to be founded in the Antebellum South. Most of the decisions in regards to identity, education, and guidance comes from the national office located in Evanston, Illinois. These guidances come from the Eminent Supreme Archon who is elected ever couple of years based on a National Convention that rotates on the same schedule
The Sigma Alpha Epsilon Crest, the crest symbolizes the core values related to our membership and our brotherhood.
Iowa Delta Chapter’s History:
The Iowa Delta Chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon was founded on February 5th, 1921. The Iowa Delta Chapter of SAE was originally a local fraternity organization called Sigma Beta Kappa, although the complete understanding for the reasoning is unknown, the group decided that they wanted to be annexed and become an official SAE Chapter. The day that they officially became apart of the organization, often referred to as our local founders day, which is February 5th of every year, but the Charter was not presented until seventeen days later on February 22nd, 1921.
The house that Iowa Delta now calls home, was built in the year 1911. Our home, was the first house to be built on 34th Street next to the University. The house originally, was a solid structure house that allowed the occupation of 10-15 individuals depending upon a variety of circumstances. However, there was in fact a barn that was behind the house for a long period of time, it was later torn down in 2011 to make way for the renovations to the house.
The renovations to our house started around 2011, and it would take almost 5 years before the renovations to the house were completed in totality. First, the “New-House”, also known as the “Crist House”, was not completed until January of 2012. The two structures (Old House and the Crist House) were separate buildings until 2014 when the connecting room was finished, this all glass room, also known as the Bennett Bridge Room, essentially allows Brothers to walk from the Old House to the Crist House from end-to-end without having to walk outside. The Old House, or the Main House, was not finished with renovations completely until 2016.
There have been many iterations of renovations and updates to the house over the years, but the most common thing that we hear from Alumni who come back to see the House again, is that it still feels like home. The Alumni Association and the Chapter at-large are very proud of those comments, and together, the two organizations strive to uphold the legacy and preserve the heritage that has been found in not only our home, but in our Brotherhood.
Iowa Delta Alumni
While Iowa Delta Alumni are no more important, or unique, than other Chapter Alumni, we want to ensure that people of importance to our Chapter have a section memorializing their contributions to SAE as an organization, and for their efforts in both, service and philanthropy, within their communities. Please note, that the descriptions for each Alumni are not indicative of the impact that person had on our organization or their communities. The Iowa Delta Alumni Association continues to update and collect more information from other Brothers and the National Office, as it pertains to these individuals, new information will be added as we receive it.
Governor Robert Blue
Governor Robert Blue was a student and Active Member of SAE Iowa Delta in the early 1920’s, he was around for the foundation of our organization and he later went on to server as Governor of Iowa between 1945 and 1949. He also served in World War I with the United States Army.
He later passed away on December 14th, 1981 in the city of Fort Dodge in Iowa.
Governor Robert D. Ray
Governor Robert D. Ray, known as Bob to his friends and family, was a Brother of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Iowa Delta and graduated from Drake University with a Bachelors Degree in 1952. He later went on to get a Law Degree from Drake University and graduated in 1954.
Governor Ray was the Governor of Iowa between 1969 and 1983, he served a collection of 5 terms and was the longest serving Governor in Iowa until that record was later broken by Governor Brandstad. Governor Ray implemented a large number of policies during his time as Governor, but he was well respected and loved by most people that he interacted with. During his time as Governor, he also was an Ambassador to the United Nations in 1979.
Governor Ray later went onto be the Interim City Mayor of Des Moines, and was the Interim President of Drake University from 1998-1999.
Governor Ray went on to received the Iowa Award, the highest civilian honor that the State of Iowa can give to an individual. Additionally, he went onto serve as the CEO of Life Investors. Governor Ray was very active in his Philanthropic and Service efforts, he co-chaired the National Collation on Health Care and he was a pioneer in humanitarian rights, which continued into the later years of his life.
Governor Robert D. Ray passed away on July 8th, 2018 in Des Moines. Governor Ray is one of the primary individuals that the Iowa Delta Chapter look up to and strive to be more like, his impact on the State of Iowa and his communities are forever lasting. He has a center at Drake University named after him, he also has received various other naming honorifics, and awards throughout his life and posthumously.
Roy Miller was an Iowa Delta Brother who later went onto become the first Eminent Supreme Archon of Sigma Alpha Epsilon at the National Level from our Chapter.
Roy Miller has since passed away, but his legacy of being the First Eminent Supreme Archon from our Chapter is everlasting.
Louis Smith, also known as Lou, was an Iowa Delta Brother who later went onto become the second Eminent Supreme Archon, from our Chapter, of Sigma Alpha Epsilon at the National Level. He also was given the Distinguished Service Award from the National Office, and that award is the most honored and sacred award that can be given to a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
Louis Smith has since passed away, but every person within the Alumni Association and his friends and family say that, Lou Smith was an incredible man that should never be forgotten for his efforts within Iowa Delta, but also the communities that he resided in. Louis Smith is another individual that the Iowa Delta chapter holds in high esteem and regard, and a role-model for the True Gentleman of SAE Iowa Delta to look up to.