CHARTERING OHIO GAMMA OF SIGMA ALPHA EPISLON
THE MAIL BALLOT
We had mailed out our brochures to all Chapters on January 12 with a follow-up mailing reminder February 4 and crossed our fingers. The mail ballot was held by in February of 1953 with ballots to be counted on February 19. John Moseley and had I discussed how the news could get to us. It was agreed to assemble the chapter in the entry hall of the mansion and I was to wait at the top of the stairs and receive his call, which would be placed from Evanston at high noon.
The phone rang at12 sharp and the ESRs first words were, "YOU PASSED!" With tears in my eyes, I blurted it out it to the waiting chapter and the cheers went up. Dr. Moseley later wrote he could hear the enthusiasm without the aid of the phone, all the way to Illinois!
Needless to say, the celebration went into the night. Finally, we could come "out of the closet" and sing all the wonderful songs we had been practicing in secret for so long. It was among the moments that made one's heart stand still, as were the events to come.
BECOMING "OHIO GAMMA" of SIGMA ALPHA EPSILON
It was not easy. We, of course, really wanted the designation to commemorate "Gamma" in our local name. The problem was, John Moseley said another local, passing in the same ballot, had asked for it first. I was devastated. Then John said, "There is a way we might pull it off. There is a famous and very active from Cincinnati named Ginter. Dolph Ginter is one of the most beloved Sig-Alphs ever and if you would be willing to say you were naming the chapter after him, I don't think the Executive board would have any choice." I agreed on the spot, even while making the point that we considered Dr. Moseley our inspiration. Of course, we were honored to be associated with Ginter and the Chapter has always lovingly given the name "Dolph" to its mascots. We will always be grateful to the memory of John O. Moseley for giving us the Chapter Name that is so reminiscent of our founding.
As outgoing "Scimitar" (Tri-Gam for president), my job morphed into Installation Chair for the big event. The date was set for April 18th 1953 and a variety of events were scheduled for the entire weekend. John Moseley came in himself to lead the installation team in the ceremony, which was to be held on Saturday. The house was ready as we installed a neon backlit sign in the main eave to welcome all the visiting dignitaries and installation team.
Dr. Moseley arrived in mid-afternoon and had us carry many items of ritual paraphernalia into the living room where a number of us gathered to get better acquainted with Mr. . Brothers were returning from classes and began to fill the room, in aweof his presence. At one point, a pledge asked, "Dr. Moseley, what does the Crest mean?" to which Moseley replied, "Well, it's a Coat of Arms, not a Crest; do not know the difference?" The pledge didn't, so John began to explain heraldry. He spoke softly, creating word images of a knight returning to the great halls of the castle. You could hear the echoing of armor clanging in the hall as he described the disarming and hanging of shield, mantle, helmet with crest and all the symbolism that became the coat of arms for that knight's family. Our ears were glued to every word as he spoke reverently of heraldry and honor and tradition until you could almost hear the silence of the gathering assembly. It was an impromptu repeat of the emotional moment he had created at our first meeting in the Chapter Room, 18 months earlier. It took my breath away.
The events of the weekend all went well and a wonderful time was had by all. Please below for documentation. The final formality of the weekend was on Sunday, when John O. Moseley installed the new officers of the chapter at its first meeting as . Bill Coon succeeded me in February as "Scimitar" and was to be installed as the new Eminent Archon (EA). The ESR in performing that ceremony, removed his personal oversize ESR's Badge of and pinned it on Bill to become the EA badge for all successors. To me, that evidenced the special place we occupied in his heart. At that moment, my good Brother Leo Milicivic turned and whispered, "Now you're just a has-been." I was too choked up to respond but I thought, "Oh no, I have just experienced the realization of a wonderful dream and the memory and lessons learned will be with me for all of my life." Those cherished days inspired me with the confidence one needs to reach out and touch the unreachable.
THE CLASS OF 1953
1953 was the first Class yearbook published AT Ohio University that listed our fraternity as SIGMA ALPHA EPSILON. Please click below to see that composite photo of Ohio Gamma Brothers and the write-up. Included are not only the original Actives but, also, Pledges who came in later and were part of the Chartering and Initiation process.
AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST, CLICK HERE FOR THE STORY OF OUR FIFTIETH YEAR REUNION