“Matching” Certificates Framed and Preserved
“Years ago when my father passed away, I found his fraternity certificate in his papers. Because he had kept it for so many years it had special meaning to me,” said Mark Corbett, who lives in Connecticut. “We shared the bond of father and son as well as being members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. It gave me the push to search mine out of the basement. For a time they both sat together in a folder in my desk.”
Mark attended Denison University in Ohio, and received his Sigma Alpha Epsilon certificate in April 1986.
His dad, John Corbett, attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and received his Sigma Alpha Epsilon certificate in March 1947.
This is apparently not an unusual case having a father and son join the same fraternity, but it was very important to Mark, and his wife Caroline realized that.
Mark received a surprise when Caroline had both Sigma Alpha Epsilon certificates framed side-by-side. She is an employee of Church Hill Classics which did the custom framing job.
In talking about the Connecticut-based company, Mark commented, “They did such a fantastic job. They even were able to make a tattered corner virtually disappear. The framing came out better than I could have ever imagined. I now have my fraternity legacy for all to see and cherish forever.”
Caroline happily recalled her husband’s reaction to the framed certificates, “My husband loved it!” She added that he hung the framed certificates “right above his dad’s old slot machine.”
Sigma Alpha Epsilon was contacted about Mark and his father. Brandon E. Weghorst, Associate Executive Director of Communications of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity in Evanston, Illinois, said, “Sigma Alpha Epsilon is proud of the tradition of membership that many families pass down from man to man with each generation’s passing. Nearly 300,000 men have been initiated into our fraternity since 1856, and thousands of those men are legacy members, which means they are part of the same family.”
He continued, “It’s very common for young men to follow in the footsteps of their fathers, grandfathers, great-grandfathers, uncles or other relatives – by joining Sigma Alpha Epsilon. In fact, a number of men share that fraternal bond in addition to their blood bond, which can be even more meaningful. We have undergraduate members who have also been pinned with the brother badge by a blood relative who is an SAE. We celebrate their heritage and, at the same time, we feel strongly that our children and grandchildren should experience the same experience. That is why we are committed to ensuring the future success of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. It’s a tradition that’s been passed down for 156 years!”
Some background about the fraternity from the website of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter at the University of Wisconsin-Madison included that the fraternity “was founded March 9, 1856, at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. Its eight founders included five seniors.” It added, “Of all existing fraternities today, Sigma Alpha Epsilon is the only one founded in the ante-bellum South.”
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Blog Author: Lauren Miller