Sigma Alpha Mu

Sigma Alpha Mu (ΣΑΜ), commonly known as Sammy, is a college fraternity founded at the City College of New York in 1909.[3] Though initially founded as a Jewish organization,[3] the fraternity dropped its religious affiliation and became open to men of all faiths in 1953. The fraternity was originally headquartered in New York City, where it was founded. Today its headquarters are located in Indianapolis, Indiana, along with many other fraternities. Since its inception, Sigma Alpha Mu has initiated more than 67,000 members at 150 active and inactive chapters and colonies across the United States and Canada.

It is one of three major national/international social fraternities to have been founded at the City College of New York, the others being Delta Sigma Phi and Zeta Beta Tau.

Sigma Alpha Mu
Sigma Alpha Mu Coat of Arms
FoundedNovember 26, 1909
The City College of New York
Colors     Purple
     Pure White
Sigma Alpha Mu flag
FlowerPurple Aster
PublicationThe Octagonian
PhilanthropyAlzheimer's Association
Chapters55 active (including colonies)
150 chartered
Members3,000+[1] collegiate
67,000+[2] lifetime
NicknamesSammy, SAM
Headquarters8701 Founders Rd
Indianapolis, Indiana


Shepard Hall at The City College of New York, early 1900s

In the fall of 1909, the sophomore class at the College of the City of New York had found itself embarrassed by "lowly freshmen". At a school where "warfare" between freshman and sophomore class was a tradition, the sophomores found it necessary to regain their fallen honor. Class Marshal Lester Cohen called a meeting of sophomore leaders on November 26, 1909 to decide on a plan for redemption. Eight appeared in proper order Ira N. Lind, Jacob Kaplan, Lester Cohen, Samuel Ginsburg, Hyman I. Jacobson, David D. Levinson, Abraham N. Kerner, Adolph I. Fabis, who are now known as the Founders of Sigma Alpha Mu.

During the discussion which took place, much loftier ideals were expressed than the mere formulation of plans for asserting sophomore honor. The men discovered that they held many ideals in common, and the inspiration for the formation of a new fraternity came to them. During this meeting, it was suggested that the Greek Letters "Kappa Phi Omega" be used to symbolize the words "Cosmic Fraternal Order" as the new name for the fraternity. This proposal was accepted and the meeting was adjourned.

A second meeting was held a week later. It was found necessary to revise the name of the fraternity because several members had inadvertently made public the chosen name. Ginsburg then suggested a motto which was unanimously adopted and which has since remained the Fraternity motto. From that time the Fraternity was known as Sigma Alpha Mu.

The new Fraternity settled down to the accomplishment of the ideals which had promoted its creation. It was its aim to prove to the outside world that criticism and objectives leveled against fraternities in general—specious though many of those arguments may have been—were not applicable to Sigma Alpha Mu. The founders decided to plan and grow along lines different from those of existing fraternities.

Two years after the founding Sigma Alpha Mu began to grow. To a small group of five at Cornell University, the Founders imparted their ideas and inculcated their ideals, and then guided, watched and aided them-their brothers in far off Ithaca. Little wonder that Beta chapter patterned its growth as Alpha had and the two chapters, in bond of brotherhood, were as one. After this, slowly but surely, Sigma Alpha Mu expanded North, South, East and West. Sigma Alpha Mu maintains its commitment to growth and attends and assists both the old and new chapters.

The eight Founders of Sigma Alpha Mu all came from Jewish backgrounds, and it naturally followed that they attracted to their brotherhood men of similar background. They believed in fraternalism among Jewish college men, convinced that without it, a large number of Jewish students would be deprived of the pleasant associations and companionships they now find in most colleges. Sigma Alpha Mu acknowledges its Jewish heritage and the ethical values of Judaism, but with the advent of the mid-twentieth century, expressions of liberalism suggested that constitutional limitations of membership to any particular religious group was not in keeping with the ideal of democracy which had always been part of the Fraternity's creed. Thus, responsive to this thinking, Sigma Alpha Mu at its 1953 Convention amended its constitution, making eligible for membership any male student of good moral character who respects the ideals and traditions of the Fraternity.[4]

Mission and creed

Sigma Alpha Mu's stated mission is "Sigma Alpha Mu's Mission is to foster the development of collegiate men and our alumni by instilling strong fraternal values, offering social and service opportunities, encouraging academic excellence and teaching leadership skills. We will continue to attract members of all beliefs who appreciate our great heritage as a fraternity of Jewish men." Its creed is "To foster and maintain among its sons a spirit of fraternity, a spirit of mutual moral aid and support; to instill and maintain in the hearts of its sons love for and loyalty to Alma Mater and its ideals; to inculcate among its sons such ideals as will result in actions worthy of the highest precepts of true manhood, democracy, and humanity."[5]

Fraternal positions

Each chapter has a council to take charge and lead the organization which consists of four positions:

  • Prior (president): Primarily deals with external affairs such as meeting with presidents of other fraternities, meeting with members of the university, or any other organization’s leaders.
  • Vice prior (vice president): Typically deals with internal affairs, assists the prior with any complicated issues.
  • Exchequer (treasurer): Manages financial issues of the house, collects house rent and social dues, and takes care of budgeting for events.
  • Recorder (secretary): Documents any and all pertinent information about the fraternity.

Candidate Education

Following a school's "rush", or recruitment period, all chapters of Sigma Alpha Mu allow for a Candidate Education (pledge) program where the candidates learn about the fraternity.[6] At the end of the period, these candidates are tested to determine whether or not they have learned about the fraternity and are reliable to carry on the fraternity’s traditions. The basic goal of the pledge program is for the candidates to become more acquainted with the fraternity and more importantly, each other. The candidate process allows each candidate (pledge) to become well known by all active/inactive brothers along with any alumni, as it is crucial for the candidates to be comfortable with not only their candidate class but also the rest of the chapter.

Community service

Sigma Alpha Mu members, through their chapters, participate in service in the communities in which their respective colleges are located. Bounce for Beats, a national service project, began at Case Institute of Technology's Mu Gamma Chapter in 1965. Scores of chapters bouncing a basketball to symbolize the heartbeat—or now conducting other basketball-related events—have collected hundreds of thousands of dollars for worthy causes including the American Heart Association and Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Since 1995, proceeds from the event have benefited the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.[7]

In 2005, ΣΑΜ chose the Alzheimer's Association as its service and philanthropy project where they raise donations for Alzheimer's Research.[8] Association board member Marshall Gelfand was instrumental in forging the partnership between the two organizations and received the fraternity's Certificate of Merit in 2005, which is awarded to ΣΑΜ alumni whose service and achievements in community endeavors are worthy of special recognition. Donations raised by the fraternity are part of The Judy Fund, established in 2003 on behalf of Mr. Gelfand's wife who in 1995, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. Mrs. Gelfand died in 2004. Alzheimer's Association's fastest growing individual named fund, The Judy Fund, has raised more than $5.1 million as of December 2014.[9]


On February 8, 2018, the Sigma Beta chapter at Ohio State University was suspended on account of violations of hazing and alcohol policies.[10]. Also in 2018, the fraternity's chapter at Towson University was also suspended from campus due to hazing.

On January 22, 2015, national media outlets[11] reported on immense damage caused by the University of Michigan chapter of Sigma Alpha Mu at Treetops Resort near Gaylord, Michigan. The fraternity was reported to have caused over $430,000[12][13] in damages including broken ceiling tiles, furniture and windows. Joshua Kaplan, president of the University of Michigan chapter of Sigma Alpha Mu during the events, stated he was "embarrassed and ashamed of the behavior of some members," and that "our chapter accepts full responsibility for this incident and we will be working with the management of the resort to pay for all damages and cleaning costs."[14] However, according to Treetops Resort officials $25,000 was paid toward the bill, but that the Sigma Alpha Mu organization was "unwilling to accept liability and pay restitution [on behalf of the chapter]."[15] The chapter was subsequently suspended for four years following the events. Three members of the fraternity were criminally charged.[16][17] University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel entered a four-year ban from campus life. This was "the most severe sanction that can be implemented against any campus student organization." He also asked to national fraternity's council to pull its charter.[17] A lawsuit, claiming that “the resort says it now believes the vandalism was in retaliation for management confronting the students earlier in the day over payment” and prior damage.[18]

In 2008, a University of Delaware freshman died of alcohol poisoning after attending a party hosted by members of the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity, where the student was pledging.[19]


  1. ^ "Sigma Alpha Mu – The Fraternity".
  2. ^ "Sigma Alpha Mu – The Fraternity".
  3. ^ a b Sanua, Marianne Rachel (1994). 'Going Greek': A social history of Jewish college fraternities in the United States, 1895–1945. Columbia University.
  4. ^ "Sigma Alpha Mu – Historical Information".
  5. ^ "About Us". Sigma Alpha Mu. Archived from the original on February 8, 2007. Retrieved April 18, 2007.
  6. ^ "Chapter Development Guide" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 26, 2014. Retrieved March 26, 2014.
  7. ^ Want, Ryan (March 31, 2004). "Sammy raises more than $1,000 in Bounce for Beats benefit". Indiana Daily Student. Archived from the original on December 15, 2007. Retrieved December 10, 2006.
  8. ^ "News". Sigma Alpha Mu. July 1, 2005. Archived from the original on December 29, 2006. Retrieved January 19, 2007.
  9. ^ "Message from the Chair, The Judy Fund". Alzheimer's Association – The Judy Fund. Alzheimer's Association. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
  10. ^
  11. ^ Begley, Sarah (January 23, 2015). "This Fraternity Was Suspended After Completely Destroying a Ski Resort". Time.
  12. ^ "Frat Party Allegedly Causes More Than $400K Worth of Damages at Michigan Ski Resort". Fox News. March 3, 2015. Retrieved March 6, 2015.
  13. ^ Allen, Robert (February 9, 2015). "Fallout from ski weekend mayhem follows U-M frats home". Detroit Free Press (Video). Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ Akhtat, Allana (March 20, 2015). "Sigma Alpha Mu members to face criminal charges after ski trip". Michigan Daily. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  17. ^ a b Jesse, David (March 20, 2015). "Prosecutor to charge 3 U-M frat officers in vandalism". Lansing State Journal. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  18. ^ Stafford, Katrease (May 12, 2015). "Resort to sue U-M frat members, says vandalism was intentional". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
  19. ^ Wang, Katie S. (November 9, 2008). "N.J. freshman dies from suspected alcohol poisoning at University of Delaware". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved November 9, 2011.

External links

Andrew Wilkow

Andrew Steven Wilkow (born August 18, 1972) is a conservative political talk radio host on the Sirius XM Patriot channel on SIRIUS channel 125 and XM channel 125. Until July 2006, Wilkow had been on WGY in Schenectady, New York, (weekday mornings) and WABC in New York City (Sunday mornings). He calls himself the "next generation of great talk radio", a nickname given to him by Mark Levin. Wilkow is also a contributor to the website Conservative Punk. He has a television show on TheBlaze.

Wilkow was raised in the Long Island town of Levittown, New York. Wilkow's interest in radio began during his freshman year of college at SUNY Delhi at that college's campus station, WDTU. After transferring from Delhi to a local community college where he obtained his associate degree, he finished his college education at the University of Florida, graduating in 1996 with a degree in Communications. While there, he held an airshift at that school's commercially run WRUF-FM and was a member of Sigma Alpha Mu Fraternity.

Before entering talk radio in 2002 he had stints as a disc jockey at WCLG-FM in Morgantown, West Virginia, (as "Andrew Steele") and at WMRQ in Hartford, Connecticut (as "Wilkow"). Wilkow became a regular Sunday morning host at WABC while keeping his air shift at WMRQ. When WMRQ switched format from alternative rock to hip hop, he moved into talk radio full-time when he filled the 5-7 p.m. shift on WGY in October 2003. After becoming a ratings success, Wilkow moved to the 9-11:40 a.m. slot in May 2005, replacing Glenn Beck, when WGY wanted to clear the third hour of Sean Hannity. At WGY, Wilkow became known for being a vocal rival of the Democratic party in Albany (which he refers to as the "entrenched Democratic Machine".)

In June 2006, Wilkow announced his departure from both WGY and WABC in order to host a talk show on Sirius Satellite Radio; his last show on WGY was July 14, and his last show on WABC was on July 30. Since August 9, 2006, Wilkow has hosted his own program on the Sirius Patriot channel on Sirius Satellite radio, "The Wilkow Majority." The advertising for the program claims it is rooted in "one thing and one thing only, and that is rational thought."On August 23, 2006, Wilkow returned to the airwaves of WABC, where he filled in as a substitute for regular Mark Levin who hosts a three-hour program on WABC every weekday. On July 14, 2007 Wilkow married Brittany, the daughter of WABC program director, Phil Boyce.

He currently hosts a three-hour session beginning at 9 A.M. West/12 P.M. East Monday-Friday, with replays after Rusty Humphries in the evenings and on weekends. He frequently appeared as a panelist on TheBlaze internet program Real News from the Blaze. Wilkow joined TheBlaze in a new show called "Wilkow!"

On June 27, 2014, Wilkow announced through social media that he will no longer be hosting "Wilkow!" on The Blaze. On his radio program airing that same day, Wilkow cited the reason was related to his desire to spend more time with his children.

Wilkow appears in Attack of Life: The Bang Tango Movie, a 2016 documentary film about 80s hard rock band Bang Tango; directed by Drew Fortier.

Art Wrubel

Arthur Mitchell Wrubel is an American private equity investor who founded Wesley Capital Management, LLC and is a minority owner of the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association.


Emunah is a monthly Jewish magazine published in Brooklyn, New York. The publisher is Emunah of America, which is a women's Zionist company. It targets the Orthodox Jewish community, featuring articles of interest to Jewish families, current issues and national news.

Frat House

This article refers to the documentary. For the campus housing facility, see Fraternity house.

Frat House is a documentary film exploring the darker side of fraternity life. The film was directed by Todd Phillips and Andrew Gurland, and largely filmed at Allentown, Pennsylvania's Muhlenberg College; the majority of the film was shot in the house of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, whose charter was revoked in 2000, though it has since been rechartered.The opening fraternity, that drove the filmmakers out of the college and the town, is the Beta Chi fraternity on the State University of New York College at Oneonta campus in Oneonta New York. Beta Chi is an unrecognized fraternity in Oneonta, and was kicked off the Oneonta campus after reports of severe hazing. Beta Chi is currently a recognized fraternity at SUNY Oneonta as of January 22nd, 2018. Other unrecognized fraternities from SUNY Oneonta shown in the film include Sigma Alpha Mu, also known as "Sammy", and Tau Kappa Epsilon, which was recognized in the spring of 2007 but shortly thereafter lost their recognition from the campus. Frat House won two Sundance Film Festival awards in 1998, but has been attacked for containing sequences that were staged for the cameras.Frat House was originally intended to be shown on the HBO TV channel, but was never aired after receiving allegations that much of the final portion of the film was staged. The sequences concerned involved "hazing" and show aspiring members of the fraternity (known as "pledges") undergoing humiliating initiation rites. The allegation is that the pledges who appear on screen were in fact already members of the fraternity: the fraternity chapter was paid $1500 to film the events, and several members were paid $50 each to pretend to be pledges and re-enact things that were rumored to happen during fraternity pledging rituals. The filmmakers signed non-binding forms stating that the school and fraternity names would not be used, and that the events did not reflect the behavior of the fraternity. The deceit was noticed because the film was shot in the Spring, but Muhlenberg College did not rush during the Spring.Phillips and Garland claim their film is completely accurate, but they have not refuted the claim that pledging did not happen during the Spring at Muhlenberg College. While not admitting to have done it himself, Phillips argues that staging re-enactments of true events is a technique used by well-known documentarians such as Nick Broomfield and Michael Moore.

Ibraheem Samirah

Ibraheem S. Samirah is an American dentist and politician from Virginia. In 2019, he was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates for the 86th district.

Jewish Community Relations Council

A Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) is a locally based Jewish organization which operates under the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) organization.

Jewish Reconstructionist Federation

The Jewish Reconstructionist Federation (JRF), founded in 1955, was the synagogue arm of Reconstructionist Judaism, serving more than 100 congregations and havurot spread across North America. As of June 3, 2012, the JRF web site was no longer being updated and was re-directing users to the new web site of the Jewish Reconstructionist Movement.In June 2012, the Reconstructionist movement underwent a restructuring that brought JRF into closer relationship with the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (RRC). RRC became the primary national organization of the movement, headed at the time by Rabbi Dan Ehrenkrantz, a 1989 graduate of the College.In January 2014, Rabbi Deborah Waxman, became the RRC president.

Jewish Telegraphic Agency

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) is an international news agency and wire service serving Jewish community newspapers and media around the world, with about 70 syndication clients listed on its web site.

Kadima (youth group)

Kadima (Hebrew: קדימה, literally "forward") is a youth group affiliated with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ), specifically aimed at Jewish preteens living in North America in Grades 6-8. Every USCJ-affiliated synagogue is entitled to a Kadima chapter.

Kadima serves as a "feeder" into United Synagogue Youth (USY), the primary USCJ youth group, aimed at Jewish high-school-aged youth.Kadima may have been founded by Rabbi Leon S. Lang at Oheb Shalom Congregation in Newark, NJ between 1927 and 1939.


KOACH (from the Hebrew word "כוח", meaning "strength") was the campus student organization for Conservative Judaism on many college and university campuses and in many Hillels in the United States and abroad. KOACH was a project of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. KOACH's director was Rabbi Elyse Winick. It was discontinued in 2013, due to financial difficulties.

In June 2013 Koach was placed on an indefinite hiatus by its parent organization, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. Within days of the USCJ's announcement a grassroots organization was formed, called MASORTI on Campus.

List of Jewish fraternities and sororities

This is a list of historically Jewish fraternities and sororities in the United States.

List of Michigan State University fraternities and sororities

This is a list of fraternities and sororities at Michigan State University.

List of Sigma Alpha Mu brothers

The following are members of Sigma Alpha Mu:

Martin Agronsky, political journalist and commentator, recipient of DuPont-Columbia Award

Marv Albert, sports commentator for NBC

Daved Benefield, professional American football player who played 13 seasons in the Canadian Football League (CFL)

Dave Bing, Mayor of Detroit, Michigan, former NBA player, and Detroit businessman.

Albert Boscov, businessman, philanthropist, and the long-time chairman and CEO of Boscov's Inc.

Maurice Brodie, polio researcher

LeVar Burton, American actor

Ernie Davis, 1961 Heisman Trophy winner

Bob Dylan, American singer-songwriter, musician and artist

Jamie Eldridge, Massachusetts State Senator

Bernie Fine, Syracuse Orange men's basketball Assistant Coach

Thomas Downey, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives

Donald Fehr, Executive Director of the National Hockey League Players Association

Sam Fox, United States Ambassador to Belgium

Donald A. Glaser, Nobel Laureate in Physics

Paul Michael Glaser, actor and director

Harry Glickman, founder and President of the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers

Stanley Gold, lawyer, investment company executive, and philanthropist

Leonard Goldenson, Chairman of ABC

Steve Goodman, folk music singer-songwriter

Peter Grace, former Fidelity Investments VP, Grateful Dead fan.

Hank Greenberg, Major League Baseball Hall of Fame player

Maurice R. Greenberg, Chairman and CEO of American International Group

Irwin M. Jacobs, Chairman and co-founder of Qualcomm Inc.(QCOM); pioneered CDMA technology.

Joshua Jay, magician, author, and lecturer

Adam Kellerman, Australian wheelchair tennis player

Tom Lantos, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives

Bora Laskin, Former Chief Justice of Canada

Michael Levy, Auto Broker, CEO of Car Guys USA, 305-CAR-GUYS

Earle I. Mack is an American businessman and former United States Ambassador to Finland

Bernard Madoff, former stockbroker, investment advisor, financier, and white collar criminal

Morris Marx, Former President University of West Florida

Don Most, actor, from television sitcom Happy Days

Michael Milken, Financial Executive for Drexel Burnham Lambert; UC Berkeley

Alan Rafkin, Emmy Award-Winning Television Director, Producer, and Actor

Michael E. Reiburn (1893–1982), New York assemblyman and state senator, disbarred lawyer, convicted of theft and fraud

Mark Rosenker, Chairman National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Major General USAF (ret) currently with CBS News

Philip Roth, author

Frank Gibeau, CEO of Zynga

Alan Rothenberg, President of the US Soccer Federation

Marshall Rothstein, Canadian Supreme Court Justice

Danny Schayes, NBA player

Adam Schefter, sports writer, television analyst, and the NFL Insider for ESPN.

Gerry Schwartz, Co-Founder of CanWest Global Communications, Founder and CEO of Onex Corporation, Current Director of Scotiabank

Ron Silver, actor, starred in Blue Steel and Timecop former President of the Screen Actors Guild

Walt Singer, college football player at Syracuse University, and professional football player in the National Football League for the New York Giants.

Ed Snider, owner of the Philadelphia Flyers

David Stern, Commissioner of the NBA.

Preston Robert Tisch, businessman; chairman and part owner of the Loews Corporation

Jon Landau, producer of the films Titanic and Avatar

Bram Weinstein, sportscaster; on-air anchor for ESPNEWS and SportsCenter

Les Wexner, Chairman of The Limited, Structure, Bath and Body Works, and Express

Zollie Volchok, President of NBA Seattle SuperSonics

Andrew Wilkow, conservative political talk radio host

Art Wrubel, private equity investor

Steve Wynn, Owner of the Wynn Las Vegas, former owner of Golden Nugget, and former owner and developer of Mirage, Treasure Island, and Bellagio Casinos and Resorts in Las Vegas, Nevada

George Zimmer, entrepreneur; founder and former Executive Chairman of the Men's Wearhouse

List of Sigma Alpha Mu chapters

This is a list of chapters of Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity.

List of fraternities and sororities at Arizona State University

This is a list of fraternities and sororities at Arizona State University.

Operation Sudden Fall

Operation Sudden Fall was a 2008 joint operation between the United States Drug Enforcement Administration and San Diego State University (SDSU) campus police. It was the largest campus drug bust in San Diego County history and one of the largest college drug busts in U.S. history.

Sammy (disambiguation)

Sammy is a nickname.

It may also refer to:

Sammy Corporation, a Japanese manufacturer of games and a subsidiary of Sega Sammy

Sammy (comics), a Belgian comics series which began in 1970

Sammy (band), the 1994-1996 partnership of guitarist Luke Wood and guitarist/vocalist Jesse Hartman

Sammy (TV series), a short-lived 2000 American animated television series

Darren Sammy (born 1983), Saint Lucian cricketer

Jasmine Sammy, Trinidad and Tobago cricketer in the 1970s

DJ Sammy, stage name of Spanish DJ and producer Samuel Bouriah (born 1969)

Sigma Alpha Mu, a college fraternity also known as "Sammy"

Tablet (magazine)

Tablet is an American Jewish online magazine founded in 2009 by Jewish non-profit Nextbook.

Vaad Rabonei Lubavitch

Vaad Rabonei Lubavitch is an executive committee of Chabad-Lubavitch rabbis which oversees Halachic and Jewish legal decisions in Chabad. One of these rabbis was Zelig Sharfstein. Its headquarters is in Brooklyn, New York.

Related concepts
Asian/Pacific Islander-American
and sororities
Historically Jewish
Native American
Latino and Puerto Rican
Major specific
Social sororities
Social fraternities
Major communal organizations
Major Federal liaisons
and policy organizations
not focused exclusively on Israel
Major foreign assistance
Major Israel policy, education, and
outreach organizations
Major domestic and neighborhood
assistance organizations
Major religious movement
(and associated rabbinical membership
and policy body; seminary)
Major youth groups
Major college organizations and
Jewish fraternities
Major communal activities

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.