History of ΣΑΕ

  • The History of


    Founded: March 9, 1856; University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa 

    Mission Statement: The mission of Sigma Alpha Epsilon is to promote the highest standards of friendship, scholarship, and service for our members based upon the ideals set forth by our Founders and as specifically enunciated in our creed. 

    Membership: The Fraternity resides on college and university campuses, as a guest of the host institution. The current structure includes more than 8,200 undergraduates at more than 225 chapters in 47 states and Canada. Alumni are active in more than 75 alumni associations. 


    Levere Memorial Temple












    Governance Structure: The organization is governed through a five-person executive board (Supreme Council) that is elected at biennial conventions. An executive director (Eminent Supreme Recorder) supervises a staff of approximately 28 at the Fraternity Service Center in Evanston, Illinois, and eight regional directors. The United States and Canada are divided into 29 regions (provinces) overseen by regional volunteers called province archons. Each chapter is required to have an active chapter adviser. 

    Sigma Alpha Epsilon Foundation: The SAE Foundation was established in 1927 to create programs that promote the highest ideals of academic and personal development. The existing programs include named scholarships, a student-loan program and the international Leadership School that has produced more than 38,000 graduates. The SAE Foundation awards $69,000 in scholarships annually in support of its mission. 

    Prominent Alumni: William McKinley, Elliot Ness, David Spade, Phil Jackson, Dennis Erickson, William Faulkner, Joe Foss, Bob Ballard, General Richard Myers, Ernie Harwell, Tony Boselli, Bo Schembechler, Nick Lachey, Fred Savage, Pete Carroll, Mack Brown

    Fast Facts: SAE is North America’s largest social fraternity with more than 280,000 initiated members. Fraternal symbols include the lion, the phoenix, Minerva, and the fleur-de-lis. Sigma Alpha Epsilon was the first fraternity to establish a national headquarters (1929), a national Leadership School (1935), a national Men’s Health Issues Committee (1980), and a career-development program entitled the Leading Edge (1990). Currently, the Fraternity offers a comprehensive member-education program called The True Gentleman Initiative. The Fraternity communicates through The Record magazine, a quarterly publication that has been published continuously since 1880. New members receive a copy of The Phoenix pledge manual for educational development.

  • PA


    Our Creed


    The True Gentleman is the man whose conduct proceeds from good will and an acute sense of propriety, and whose self-control is equal to all emergencies; who does not make the poor man conscious of his poverty, the obscure man of his obscurity, or any man of his inferiority or deformity; who is himself humbled if necessity compels him to humble another; who does not flatter wealth, cringe before power, or boast of his own possessions or achievements; who speaks with frankness but always with sincerity and sympathy; whose deed follows his word; who thinks of the rights and feelings of others, rather than his own; and who appears well in any company, a man with whom honor is sacred and virtue safe.


    -John Walter Wayland