Theta Chi Celebrates Centennial


Theta Chi centennial celebration

The campus was swarming with Theta Chi brothers during the weekend of January 14 as Hampden-Sydney’s Nu Chapter celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding. Nearly two years of planning came to fruition with celebrations at the fraternity house and around campus.

Theta Chi brother Chris Stockinger ’14 organized the weekend and could not be happier with the results, including getting many older alumni back on campus for the fraternity event, which started on Friday night with an oyster roast at the Theta Chi house and a DJ playing music until late into the night. Saturday’s festivities began with a formal ball in Kirk Athletic Center’s Snyder Hall before moving back to the house later that night, where the band Carbon Leaf rocked Fraternity Circle.

Chris says more than 200 brothers and their guests attended the ball on Saturday night.

Theta Chi celebration“One of our goals was trying to get as many of our older alumni to come back for the celebration. Bill Brown ’85 made a lot of calls and convinced a number of brothers from the ’70s and ’80s to come to the event. A lot of the older guys who came said they were excited about coming back for Greek Week and Homecoming now. I think we created some great synergy.”

Hampden-Sydney’s Theta Chi chapter is the oldest in the South, beating the installation of the University of Virginia’s chapter by two days. Even the executive director of Theta Chi Fraternity, Michael Mayer, attended this year’s centennial celebration, no doubt a nod to the Chapter’s installation ceremony in 1914, which was attended by Theta Chi National President Robert Irish.

The Nu Chapter spared little expense for the centennial celebration. Chris says, “It was a $40,000 weekend, so we had to rely on a lot of donations. Curtis Colgate ’01 sponsored the Carbon Leaf performance. When he found out about the celebration, he asked, ‘What can I do?’ I told him about the different things we had planned and he said he wanted to pay for Carbon Leaf. Guests did have to pay to attend the formal on Saturday to help cover that cost, but Friday’s oyster roast was provided by Chris Rhodes ’12, so that was free for guests.”

Theta Chi celebrationThe centennial weekend energized Hampden-Sydney’s Theta Chi chapter and showed all of the College’s students how exciting it can be to belong to a fraternity.

Chris says, “When people ask me about the state of fraternities at Hampden-Sydney, I always tell them, ‘It was good when I got here, but every year it has gotten better and better’. I definitely recommend Greek Life for any student. People are always welcome at the fraternity house, so it’s a lot like a big party, but we also get the chance to participate in leadership groups or head a committee. I am the vice president now, so in many ways the fraternity system has given me more confidence. Another big part of our fraternity is philanthropy. We’ve worked with FACES (a local food bank) a lot and every semester we run the blood drive on campus. Different guys take responsibility for events throughout the year and those are great learning opportunities.”

Theta Chi is looking forward to the next 100 years at Hampden-Sydney.