Derby Days 2013

Last spring Sigma Chi’s Eta Lambda chapter was again given the opportunity to host Derby Days on Virginia Tech’s campus. The past decade has been a huge success in showing the New River Valley how large of an impact our chapter can make for Children’s Miracle Network on a year to year basis. CMN relies extensively on donations to purchase prenatal care equipment which makes our efforts to raise money that much more important. It is with pride that the Eta Lambda chapter has continually been placed among the top donors each year for CMN. An aspect of our fraternity we wish to extend far into the future.

However this year the chapter was faced with a reduction in not only the length of the events but an unusually low participation rate due to national pressure on sororities not to take part in our philanthropy. With 3 of the 5 top donating sororities in 2012 electing not to participate (including number 1 and 2) the challenge to meet our target goal in monetary donations was becoming an increasingly difficult task for 2013. But in true hokie fashion, other parts of the Greek community rose to the occasion to help make another memorable and meaningful week for Children’s Miracle Network and Sigma Chi.

Before the week the goal was set at 20,000 dollars with 8 to 10 participating sororities over a span of five days. After only 6 sororities fully committed to the week and the university reduced the week’s duration from 5 to 3 days, this total was not the most feasible goal. To break it down, the week had 60% participation with a 40% reduced event duration to raise 100% of what was raised in previous year; a daunting proposal. Despite these obstacles the week was carried through to the end without any major issues. In years past, critics of our philanthropy have argued that the focus of the event was lost as the week progressed due to various factors .Although our chapter did not fully agree with many of these critiques, we refocused our aim in maintaining the integrity and purpose of the week. Through these revitalized efforts and the support of all those that fought to keep Derby Days a premier philanthropy on this campus, we were able to donate more than 15,000 dollars to the New River Valley’s Children’s Miracle Network.

The results of Derby Days 2013 surpassed all expectations and are truly a representation of the character of Sigma Chi’s national organization as well as the deep sense of community here in the New River Valley.

-Steve Farmartino, Derby Daddy

Huntsmen Charity Golf Tournament Success

The 2013 Huntsman Charity golf tournament was held at Hidden Valley Country Club in Roanoke, Va.  The tournament featured 104 players in which teams of four battled in a captain’s choice format.  The Huntsman Committee consisting of Michael Wood (13’), Ian Trampe (14’), and Mark Hourigan (15’) raised over $10,000 for the Huntsman Cancer Institute.  The $10,000 is the most money ever raised from the Huntsman.  The winning team, with a score of (-16) consisted of Mark Hourigan, Mark Hourigan Jr., Jeff Trampe, and Ian Trampe.  The Huntsman Committee would like to thank Head Golf Professional Michael Abraham at HVCC and his entire staff for helping coordinate such a successful tournament.

Spring Game Alumni Tailgate To Occur April 20th After The Spring Game

Game Starts at 2:00 pm and should end by 3:30pm

4:00 – 7:00 PM

All Alumni Brothers, Active Brothers, Sweethearts, Family Members, Pledges, & Prospective Pledges. In the RSVP, please state the # in your party.

What is provided:
Hamburgers, Hotdogs, Chips, Salads, Condiments, Rolls, Dessert
Beverages – Water, Soda, Beer, & Ice

What to Bring:
Cash, Check, Chair, Hat & Coat for Outside Activities           

$10 – Actives & Family Members
$10 – Alumni Members of $45 for 45th Anniversary Club
$15 – Alumni & Guests

Payment accepted day of event. Free to Children under 12 years of age

RSVP:  By April 12th

Jeff Francis / / 610.715.4265
Eddie Brewer / / 804.240.3192

Check Out Our Facebook Page


If you’re not aware, we’ve recently set up a Facebook page to keep alumni, friends, the community updated with the Eta Lambda chapter on a more personal level.  If you have a minute, please check out & like the page at  We will continue to publish feature articles on this website as well, seeing as the Facebook page is for quick content and updates.

In Hoc,

Mark Wilkinson
Chapter Editor

Sigma Chi Ranks #1 Fraternity for 2012

In a recent article written by The Daily Beast, Sigma Chi took the spot as the #1 fraternity across the country.  The methodology for the rankings included number of active chapters,  number of alumni government officials, as well as funds donated to non-profit organizations and philanthropies.

Sigma Chi’s rankings were as follows:

Active Collegiate Chapters: 246
Number of Congressional Alumni: 11
Number of Presidential Alumni: 1
Funds Donated through Sigma Chi Foundation: $1,436,883

To see the complete list, view The Daily Beast’s article here:

Updated Fall 2012 Rush Schedule

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Below is the updated Fall 2012 Rush Schedule.  Dates and times are subject to change, so please check back for more information as dates get closer.

Tentative Rush Schedule, Fall 2012:

Times and Locations will be updated as the events get closer.

  • September 10th – Recruitment begins with Greek 101 – See IFC website for details
  • September 11th (5 PM – 7 PM) – Meet and Greet with Sigma Chi brothers at Hokie House. Come out for free food, pool, music, and more
  • September 14th (4 PM – 6 PM) – Basketball at War Memorial Gym. Come out meet the brothers and play a few games of pick-up basketball
  • September 19th – Steak & Cigar Night – Enjoy a tender steak and a stogie at the Sigma Chi house
  • September 23th- Closed Rush – Invite only event at the Sigma Chi house
  • September 24th – Bid Handout
  • September 26rd – Bid Acceptance

For more information about recruitment, please see the Events tab of our webpage.

Bill Roth to Celebrate 25th Year of Virginia Tech Football Commentary

This year, brother Bill Roth is celebrating his 25th year of being the lead play-by-play announcer of both Virginia Tech football and basketball games.  Bill, a member of the Gamma Sigma pledge class, also hosts weekly radio shows featuring Frank Beamer and James Johnson.

Throughout his 25 year tenure here at Virginia Tech, Bill has been honored as Virginia’s Sportscaster of the Year a record nine times and thus dubbed the title “The Voice of the Hokies”.  Bill continues to remain active with our chapter and joins us frequently for rush events and pledge meetings.

Recently, Virginia Tech Athletics announced that they’ll be offering a limited edition commemorative print of Bill Roth and Mike Burnop celebrating their 25th year to anyone who donates $25 or more to the Roth/Burnop Endowment. This endowment will fund a scholarship in their names.

To learn more about brother Bill Roth, feel free to check out his bio at Hokie Sports.

Brothers Sean Cooper and Connor Mckenna attend Sigma Chi’s 2012 Horizons program in Utah

This summer, brothers Sean Cooper and Connor Mckenna were fortunate enough to be selected to attend Sigma Chi’s 2012 Horizons retreat at Snowbird Utah.  Horizon’s is a leadership development experience created specifically for Undergraduate Sigma Chi brothers from Chapters across the nation. The program is offered at no cost to participants due to the generous support of the Sigma Chi Foundation.

“Horizons was an eye-opening experience that challenged my character and strengthened my leadership abilities”, Cooper added as he reflected on his experience.  “Being able to meet brothers from chapters all over North America gave me an incredible opportunity to exchange ideas and learn from other chapters.”

Each year, brothers from across the nation have the option to apply to the Horizons program.  Thanks for representing us Sean and Connor!

Lauren Fargis Crowned Chapter Sweetheart for 2012-2013 School Year

Eta Lambda Sweetheart, Lauren Fargis, was crowned Chapter Sweetheart at the recent Spring Formals held in Myrtle Beach, SC!

Lauren, a Sweetheart for 3 years, is from Richmond, VA and is working on a double major in International Studies and Sociology with a minor in French. She is also a member of Delta Gamma Sorority. Lauren is scheduled to graduate in May 2013.

Congratulations Lauren on being named Chapter Sweetheart for the 2012-2013 school year.

Huntsman Golf Tournament Raises Over $6,000 for Huntsman Cancer Institute

Two Members of This Year's Winning Team

This past Saturday, April 14th, the Eta Lambda hosted their 5th annual Huntsman Golf Tournament to raise money for the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Utah.  With 92 players participating in the tournament, the Eta Lambda took over Draper Valley Golf Club in great numbers.  This year the Huntsman Chairmen, Mark Wilkinson (’13), Daniel Hughes (’13), and Ian Trampe (’14) were able to sponsor all 18 holes of the course and raise donations from parents, businesses, sororities, and brothers.

On behalf of the entire brotherhood, we’d like to give a big thanks to all of our sponsors, especially the Perdue Family.  Each year, we hold the tournament in honor of Duane Perdue, an undergraduate brother of the Eta Lambda chapter who passed away from Leukemia in 2008.  On May 5th, the Perdue family will be holding the Duane Perdue Memorial Golf Tournament at Hanging Rock Golf Course.  If anyone is interested, feel free to find more information at


Derby Days Placement Now Available

On behalf of every brother of the Eta Lambda chapter of Sigma Chi, we’re very appreciative of your hard work and enthusiasm involving Derby Days.  Below is the final standings as well as total points earned for each respective organization.  To see a complete breakdown of the points, please visit and refer to the chart.  Congratulations Kappa Delta!

1. Kappa Delta – 1,665
2. Zeta Tau Alpha – 1,298
3. Delta Delta Delta – 1,257
4. Delta Gamma – 1,024
5. Alpha Phi – 960
6. Alpha Chi Omega – 874
7. Sigma Kappa – 731
8. Gamma Phi Beta – 682
9. Alpha Delta Pi – 591

41st Annual Derby Day’s Schedule

If participants wish to donate online, please use the link below to do so.  If you decide to donate online, please write your sorority name under “Company Name” when filling out the donation form.

Opening Ceremonies- Sunday, April 1st – 3 pm – Squire’s Colonial Hall

A “Miracle Family” will speak about Children’s Miracle Network, programs will be distributed, and the week’s events will be outlined. Addressed envelopes will be collected. Attendance points will b…e doubled for this event.

Derby Chase – Monday, April 2nd – 5:30 pm – On Campus

At 5:30, brothers will run for their lives from one end of campus to the other. Participants will attempt to steal their hats in this giant game of tag.

Night Field Games – Tuesday, April 3rd – 7 pm – Blacksburg Municipal Softball Field

Come out under the Sunday Night Lights and test your mettle. Teams will compete in various field games such as tug-o-war, three legged race and other games. *Theme Night*

Roller Derby – Thursday, April 5th – 9:30 pm – Adventure World

Slap on your skates or (for the extreme) your blades, and prepare to let out your inner John Travolta under the disco ball. It will be $3 to enter and an additional $3 to skate. *Theme Night*

Brother Auction– Friday, April 6th – 7 pm – O-Lounge

Coaches, this is your chance to shine on stage. Impress the crowd with a 2-3 minute skit/song/dance or anything that shows why you should be bought. There will be a $3 cover. *Theme Night*

Airbands – Saturday April, 7th – 5 pm – Top of the Stairs

Each team will create an 8-12 minute skit or group of skits with any or all of singing, dancing, jokes, etc. This is your last chance to call people out, make us laugh, and show the judges why you deserve to win.

Parents Weekend & Huntsman Golf Tournament To Be Held Weekend Of April 14th

The Eta Lambda Chapter will be hosting their annual parents weekend on the weekend of April 13th & 14th.  Additionally, the chapter will be hosting it’s 5th annual Huntsman Golf Tournament, benefiting the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Utah.  If any alumni are interested in playing in the tournament or anyone is interested in sponsoring the tournament, please feel free to contact Mark Wilkinson ( or Daniel Hughes ( for more information.  All team registration and sponsorship information is available in the link below.  More information on parents weekend will be available shortly.

2012 Huntsman Application

Banquet Picture Gallery

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Thanks to Steve, Nathan, Kim, Lisa, Nancy and Ann for posting your pictures. If anyone else would like to add to “the gallery”. Post your pictures on the Eta Lambda facebook page (or a put a post there to link back to your photo album), and I’ll grab them and add them.

In Hoc,
J. Mark