Founding of Sigma Nu

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Sigma Nu's past is a proud and colorful one. Founded by three cadets at the Virginia Military Institute in a period of civil strife known as the Reconstruction, Sigma Nu represented a radical departure from the times. The system of physical abuse and hazing of underclassmen at VMI led to James Frank Hopkins, Greenfield Quarles, and James McIlvaine Riley to form the "Legion of Honor" which soon became Sigma Nu Fraternity. So, amidst a backdrop of turmoil, North America's first "Honor" fraternity was established.

The vows taken by these three Founders bound them together to oppose hazing at VMI and encouraged the application of the Honor Principle in all their relationships. That the founders should adopt Honor as a guiding principle was a natural move since a rigid code of Honor was already an established traditon of the VMI Corps of Cadets. The Honor system at VMI required each cadet to conform to the duty imposed by his conscience that each act be governed by a high sense of Honor.

Creed of Sigma Nu

To believe in the Life of Love, to walk in the Way of Honor, to serve in the Light of Truth.

This is the Life, the Way, and the Light of Sigma Nu.
This is the Creed of our Fraternity.