Our History (1972 through May 2018)
The Eta Lambda chapter at Virginia Tech was one of the oldest fraternities on campus with a very rich history. The chapter started as a local social fraternity, Lambda Chi. The Lambda Chi brotherhood started with 22 members on February 5th, 1969. From there, the local fraternity affiliated itself and became a part of the Sigma Chi Fraternity on November 13th, 1971. The chapter was installed by Grand Historian Robert LeClerg and the Tau chapter of Roanoke College became the appointed advising chapter. Frank “Coach” Teske became the first Chapter Advisor of the Eta Lambda chapter with the installment of the new charter at Virginia Tech. The original fraternity house was located on 600 South Main Street until it moved later in the decade.
The following year (1972), the Eta Lambda chapter hosted their first annual philanthropy event, Derby Days, which was held on Coach Teske’s farm. The event pulled in 13 sororities from Virginia Tech and Radford to raise money for the National philanthropy at the time, the Wallace Village for Children in Colorado.
After a few more moves for the chapter house around Blacksburg, the fraternity finally settled in the Oak Lane Community in 1990, becoming a part of the Phase II edition to the on-campus housing for Greeks. During the summer of 2005, a large renovation project took place inside this current location. The Eta Lambda chapter has won countless Peterson Significant Chapter Awards (the highest honor bestowed upon a Sigma Chi chapter), athletic championships, public relations awards, VT Greek awards, and much more. The brothers of the Eta Lambda chapter will continue to strive for success in whatever they do and have a huge impact on the history yet to come.
The Eta Lambda chapter and the International Sigma Chi Fraternity have important historical backgrounds. The main goal of the former literary society was to develop a brotherhood based on the principles of friendship, justice, and learning. Through these three simple ideals anything can be accomplished. It’s quite amazing that these basic principles have bonded so many great men and that the founders’ beliefs are ever present in today’s society.
The existence of the fraternity hasn’t been easy for the local chapter or internationally. We’ve come along obstacles that have tested our faith, but learning from these examples is what makes us stronger. From the beginning, the founders’ character was tested and the result of their strong feeling for justice developed what we know as Sigma Chi. Read through the next few pages to gain an understanding of the trials that both the local chapter and the founding chapter went through to get where they are today.