When I was an undergraduate I came across the following letter written by Mrs. Milton Hall. Its a touching story that shows how a fraternity like Sigma Chi can have a lasting affect on people. This past week I just happen to come across it again on Facebook. There isn’t much background information for this story. I tried searching for a few days and couldn’t even get anything from HQ. All I know is that the letter was written in 1957 at George Washington University. After reading it again I felt it was necessary to post it for others to enjoy. Hopefully it will remind you just how strong brotherhood can be. If anyone happens to know a bit more about the story, please feel free to leave a comment or contact me directly.
3652 Gunston Road
February 8, 1957
Sigma Chi Fraternity
2603 Sheridan Road
On the 19th of this month it will be one year since my son was pledged to Epsilon chapter at George Washington University. On October 1st he died as a result of a malignant brain tumor.
When he entered G.W.U. last year for the spring semester his father and I had not encouraged him to sign up for rushing. He had three bald patches on his head as the result of intensive x-ray therapy, and the fact that he suffered from double vision gave him a rather vacant staring expression. In spite of the fact that he was basically good-looking and had a strong high school record both in academic and extra-curricular activities, we were afraid that he would be rejected by strangers. However, he went ahead, chose Sigma Chi and was chosen by them. This brings me to the premier of my letter. I think the Fraternity Headquarters should be apprised of a chapter which surely lives up to the nobility of purpose and brotherhood of man as exemplified in your laws. The members made him feel comfortable at once. He entered into all phases of pledge commitment and his life assumed for a short time that feeling of normalcy we all crave.
Two days after he finished his exams he entered the hospital. On May 31st the boys came there and initiated him, placing the pin on his hospital gown. He was very proud and often held the pin in his hand in days to come. Shortly thereafter he slipped into a coma.
I have tried to tell some of the boys the importance of what they did for David and how much it meant to us, his parents, but I always receive the same answer: “Mrs. Hall, it was what Dave did for us that counts.” They found his courage an inspiration.
David’s father is a member of one of the country’s oldest fraternities. He assures me that never was he initiated with the dedication to true values with which these boys at Sigma Chi are inspired. This helped to give one boy the strength to rise about any affliction, even the promise of death.
Mrs. Milton Hall
You can read this letter and more literary exercises here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/25384890/Sigma-Chi-Literary-Document