Note from the Editor:
This is the second installment in our semester series Why SigEp? where brothers of SigEp’s LA Beta chapter open up to share about what made them join our chapter and the best parts of the experience through their eyes. Enjoy! -Matt Johnson
My name is David Keller and I am a senior at LSU studying Finance. When I was a senior at Jesuit High School in New Orleans, LA, I had a few questions weighing on my mind as I prepared to move to LSU in the coming Fall: who was I going to live with in the dorms, was I really going to like my major, and what fraternity was I going to join? Ultimately, the question of which fraternity I would join was the one that I spent the most time contemplating. I knew a decision that would determine the group of people closest to me for the next four years was a very important one. This sphere of influence could be an incredibly positive thing – adding value to my college education socially, academically, physically, and spiritually. I equally understood that surrounding myself with the wrong group of people could be a detriment. “You are the company you keep” is a mantra I adhered to in my high school years, and I did not want to derail all of the positive momentum I had coming into college.
The Louisiana Beta chapter of Sig Ep stood out to me because of its accolades and because of the genuine conversation I had with its brothers. I didn’t know many people in the chapter prior to rush, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was more to gain from Sig Ep than other chapters could offer. Convinced Sig Ep was different, I accepted my bid.
The next year was the best of my life; I made lasting friendships with ambitious people, I had incredibly formative experiences learning from the wisdom of the older brothers, and I relied on my new support network when the academic challenges of college caught me off-guard. I could not get enough of the place – I spent my days eating meals at the house in-between classes, I spent my weeknights studying in the dining room, and I spent my weekends either going out of town to hunt or fish with some brothers or getting to the house as early as I could, making plans for the day once I got there. That spring I attended the Carlson Leadership Academy, a conference offered by Sigma Phi Epsilon’s Headquarters where alumni engage in training new brothers on how to effectively lead.
The experience led me to run for the Executive Board of Louisiana Beta as the Vice-President of Recruitment; and once I was elected I began the long, arduous journey with the help of my closest friends. My term as the Vice-President of Recruitment was the most formative of my college experience at the time. I gained experience through my time on the executive board that could rival any internship or organized leadership intensive education. At the age of twenty I had experience leading around 100 people, managing a budget, and coordinating a large-scale prospecting campaign with the goal of growing my organization by about 30 percent.
The lessons from this experience are what led me to secure an internship at a commercial real estate brokerage in Baton Rouge for the summer of my Junior year. This opportunity was made available to me by the hard work and vision of individuals in my fraternity who coordinated the Alumni Networking Event at the Lod Cook Alumni Center on LSU’s campus, where Sig Ep alumni from all over the region met with undergraduate chapter members to talk about their career aspirations and help them in any way they could. I came on board with Elifin Realty and worked alongside some of the most ambitious young professionals in Louisiana, among them two alumni of my fraternity.
Now I am a senior at LSU enjoying my last year of undergraduate studies. The time and effort invested into my fraternity has paid me back in dividends. As I prepare to head into life after college, I know that the lessons I learned in my college experience will help me reach success. Without Sig Ep, I would not have a college experience to talk about. My time at LSU is defined by my time at Sig Ep. It has augmented my education by an immeasurable amount, it has given me skills applicable to the professional world, and it has been filled with memories made with life-long friends. In these past four years, I have made friendships with men that will stand in my wedding and men that will carry my casket. I am fortunate to have chosen Sig Ep.
If you or someone you know would be interested in joining SigEp to start your own Why SigEp? journey, please follow the Membership Interest link. Otherwise, alumni and friends can follow the Refer a Brother link to connect potential new members with the chapter.