Photos: Peter Elliott
It has been quite the year for the men of the Sigma Phi Epsilon Iowa Delta chapter. In August seven members attended the SigEp Conclave, a ceremony that is held once every two years. At this event bylaws are reviewed and awards including the Buchanan Cup and the Honor of Philias are presented.
“While higher education questions the value of fraternities and sororities across the country daily, we try to partner with our schools to foster the best learning environment for our brothers,” chapter president Ryan Price said.
The fraternity’s commitment to education and excellence is evident. SigEp not only holds the highest chartered fraternity grade point average on Drake’s campus, but it has also raised over $10,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Iowa.
SigEp Iowa Delta, the official name of Drake’s chapter of the fraternity, won the Silver Buchanan Cup in 2003, ‘05, ‘07 and ‘09. The “Buc Cup” is awarded to fraternities that uphold SigEp’s principles of virtue, diligence and brotherly love as well as excellence in academics and all aspects of university life. This year the chapter earned the Golden Buchanan Cup because it was the fifth consecutive SigEp Conclave in which it won the Buc Cup. Out of SigEp’s 240 chapters only 21 have ever received the Golden Buc Cup, which is one of the highest honors SigEp can bestow on a chapter.
“Winning the Buc Cup was, for us, like an athlete winning the Olympics,” Price said. “It meant that all of our hard work trying to be the best men we can be by being in SigEp had paid off, and our brothers across the country recognized us for it.”
The day after winning the Golden Buc Cup, the men of the Iowa Delta took the stage once again to receive the Honor of Philias. This prestigious award is given to only one chapter or individual that selflessly demonstrates what a difference brotherhood can make. The Iowa Delta received the award for the unwavering support it gave to its brother Shiv Morjaria during his battle with cancer. Only six chapters have ever received this honor.
During Morjaria’s battle with Stage II non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, he was never alone. His brothers came with him to his appointments and ran to get him medicine. This was especially important since Morjaria’s family was over 8,000 miles away in his home country of Kenya. The men of SigEp ended up fundraising over $2,500 to fly Morjaria’s mother to come to his aid, but he felt he had already received enough of his brothers’ support that he could not accept the money. In the end the money went towards paying off Morjaria’s cancer treatment. Due to the overwhelming support Morjaria received from the fraternity, he hopes to someday have a leadership role in SigEp.
“I was so proud when Shiv went on stage to receive the award with me and 1,500 men rose for a several minute standing ovation to honor his courage and our brotherhood,” Price said. “It was the highlight of our Conclave experience.”