About Sigma Nu - Eta Chi Chapter


The story of Sigma Nu began during the period following the Civil War, when a Confederate veteran from Arkansas enrolled at the Virginia MIlitary Institute in Lexington Virginia - James Frank Hopkins, and it is to him and two of his classmates, Greenfield Quarels and James RIley, that Sigma Nu owes its existence.


In the fall of 1965 a banner appeared in the Mace and Crown, the collegiate newspaper on the Campus of Old Dominion College.  "There will be a meeting of all men who have been affiliated with Sigma Nu Fraternity as brothers or pledges in the old science building, room 105, 12:30 PM."  The author of the banner was Donald L. Marchand Jr., Associate Professor of Science at ODC and Father of Eta Chi Chapter.

James Hopkins

Greenfield Quarles

James Riley

There were five men who responded to the announcement.  Their names were as follows:  Frank Budik, Dusty Olds, Gary James, Steve Hochman, and Watt Jones.  Frank and Dusty were Sigma Nus from East Carolina.  Donald K. Marchand Jr., a distinguished Sigma Nu alumnus from West Virginia University and a member of the faculty of Old Dominion College, chaired the meeting.


From the humble beginning, the Eta Chi CHapter of the Sigma Nu Fraternity was born.

In 1966-67 Sigma Nu required that petitioning colonies publish a booklet containing the brief history of the new colony and mail it to all existing chapters in the United States.  75% of all Sigma Nu Chapters had to vote "Yes" to appove our petition and 100% of the chapters in Virginia had to approve our petition for our local fraternity to be accepted into the Sigma Nu National Network.

On February 25, 1967 we culminated our efforts by officially earning our "Charter" during a black tie dinner in Webb Center on the canpus of Old Dominion College.  38 members including 5 founders were initiated by the Sigma Nu men from the College of William and Mary.  Other dignitaries who attended the dinner included Mr. Ted Palmer, Grand Treasurer of the Fraternity, Richard Fletcher, Executive Secretary of Sigma Nu, Donald K. Marchand, "Father of Eta Chi Chapter", and many family members of the newly initiated brothers.

Today, nearly 48 years following our founding in 1967, there are 904 initiated Brothers in the Eta Chi Chapter of the Sigma Nu Fraternity.


"It was January 27, 2005.  I was in Webb Center talking to Blake Murphy.  It was lunch time and I remember the weather being sunny and cold.  We were sitting at the Sigma Nu table and we were discussing the benefits of being a Sigma Nu Brother.  Blake was beginning his last semester of his senior year.  The time was very close to 12:30PM when one of our brothers noticed a Norfolk fire truck speeding down 49th street.  Then another brother said, "The fire truck is going to DK's neighborhodd" and, collectively, for a moment we all quietly held our breath.  Unfortunately, we were soon to learn that DK's house was fully engaged in a fire that would tragically consume his life.


The purpose of this brief reminder is not to draw attention to his death, but to remember his remarkable life and the significance of his contributions for our Chapter and Sigma Nu Fraternity.


Donald K. Marchand Jr. was born on April 7, 1926 in Mongantown, West Virginia, the beloved town of his college alma mater, West Virginia University.  While attending WVU he played in the University Band and was elected the Rocorder of his Chapter.  He tught for the following schools:  Randeolph Macon Academy, Virginia MIlitary Institute, and Old Dominion University.  He began the Eta Chi CHapter of the Sigma Nu Fraternity and was designated "Father" of our Chapter.  In addition to beginning Sigma Nu, he also began Alpha Phi Sorority, Theta Chi Fraternity, and Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity at Old Dominion University.  He was Chairman of the Department of Astronomy and Physical Science, Associate Dean of Students, and became an appointed member of the ODU Faculty Emeritus.


In short, Donal K. Marchand Jr. is the principle reason you are here tnoight.  His unequaled pursuit of excellence from our founding until his untimely death is a constant reminder of his faith in the Men of Eta Chi and the ideals of Sigma Nu.


Let us assembled here tonight pause and celebrate the life of a Founder, Brother, Man of Honor who believed in the Life of Love, Walked in the Way of Honor, and Served in the Light of Truth."


D. Watt Jones, Eta Chi #002


**To Be Updated **

to win the fresh morning of our youth the loyal love of faithful friends, who will go with us unmoved into the darkening shadows of life's closing day; and so to seek and to find, to have and to hold the friendships that will abide.  To think of God as the common father of all men, and all men as a common brotherhood, thus recognizing the continuity of the Divine and the solidarity of the human life...

to exalt the fundamental virtues of the race; and, prizing every noble impulse, to realize so deeply the baseness of deceit, that no obligation will be more binding than our plighted word.  To be steadfast in the performance of every trust, and, spurning the gaudy gifts of greed and power, to be content to live by our knightly vow that our honor is dearer to us than our lives; and so to esteem the man's character first, his culture second and his pedigree not at all, unless he be worty of it...


To Walk in the Way of Honor

to open wide, Life's windows to the revelations of heaven and earth.  Avoiding the Phaiseeism that belittles the sould and scorning the bigotry that blights the mind, to respect every alter of faith built in God's name, by every sincere worshiper to whom, if we cannot give our sympathy, we shall not deny the kindness of our manly silence; and, whatever our creed, to reverence the Christ as the Divine Compassion for struggling humanity - a compassion that, giving the world its gospel of human service, saves men to the end that they may serve their fellowmen...

To Serve in the Light of Truth
To Believe in the Life of Love

Colin Skogstad

Worthy Commander

TJ Carson

Worthy Lieutenant Commander

Bruce Tingle

Worthy Treasurer

James Morris

Worthy Recorder

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