Sigma Alpha Epsilon

Wofford's chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon was founded on October 16, 1885, by James C. Jeffries. It was granted the 48th charter granted by the fraternity, and it is currently the 33rd oldest active chapter.

Chapter History

The idea of Sigma Alpha Epsilon was conceived by Noble Leslie Devotie, a student at the University of Alabama and later the first man to lose his life in the War Between the States. On March 9, 1856 at the University of Alabama, Devotie and seven other men – Nathan Elams Cockrell, Samuel Marion Dennis, John Barratt Rudulph, Abner Edwin Patton, Wade Foster, Thomas Chappell Cook, and John Webb Kerr – founded Sigma Alpha Epsilon, thus making SAE the oldest surviving fraternity founded in the South.

Since then, Sigma Alpha Epsilon has become a leader among college fraternities counting initiates like author William Faulkner, US President William McKinley, and the Original Untouchable Elliot Ness among its ranks.

James C. Jeffries founded South Carolina Gamma at Wofford on October 16, 1885. It was the 48th charter granted by Sigma Alpha Epsilon and remains the 33rd oldest active chapter of the Fraternity. In 1915, fraternities were banned on campus and Wofford lost the official presence of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Yet on February 17, 1923, South Carolina Gamma arose again and officially returned to Wofford. To commemorate the occasion, the Supreme Council granted the chapter a charter that still hangs in the chapter’s house today.

Since then, Sigma Alpha Epsilon has remained a leader on Wofford’s campus, graduating prominent Wofford alumni like former London Fog Chief Executive Officer Robert E. Gregory Jr. ’64 and current Chairman of the Wofford College Board of Trustees Russell C. King, Jr. ’56. Brothers today are active in Wofford’s athletic teams, student government, and service organizations as exemplars of the True Gentleman.

Quick Facts

  • Founded on March 9, 1856 at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa.
  • Locally founded on October 16, 1885 at Wofford College.
  • Recognized as the first fraternity established in the South.
  • The nation's largest fraternity with over 307,000 initiated members.
  • Over $162,000 awarded for academic achievement scholarships annually.
  • Our pledgeship is based on the National Fraternity's guidelines and lasts for eight weeks.
  • Pledgeship is conducted using The Phoenix, Sigma Alpha Epsilon's fraternity manual, as a guide.
  • Brothers of South Carolina Gamma achieve success in the classroom and on the athletic field. Last year the Brothers were recognized for their outstanding academic success by the Interfraternity Council. During Greek Week, the Brothers received the participation award and the Greek God award for raising money for charity. After hard work in philanthropy projects and the Greek Games, the chapter has earned the title of Greek Week Champions for the past two years.
  • SAE Brothers represent the Fraternity in Wofford Football, Baseball, Track, Campus Union, Judicial Court, ROTC, Rotaracts, College Democrats, College Republicans, Twin Towers, Bonner Scholars Program, Wofford Singers, Show Choir, religious life organizations, and a service fraternity.
  • SAE's social calendar includes Paddy Murphy, Cowboy Party, Fall House, Swampwater, Spring Formal, and Animal House.
  • The Gamma chapter is actively involved in both the Wofford and Spartanburg communities. Philanthropies include: Habitat for Humanity, The Boys & Girls Club, Christmas Angels, and Adopt-A-Highway.
  • SAE Alumni have been among Wofford strongest supporters. Alumni Brothers serve on Wofford's Board of Trustees, including its current Chairman. Our alumni have consistently given to the College in service and financial commitments. As an SAE alumnus, you will be joining one of the oldest and strongest alumni networks at Wofford.
  • Famous alumni include: US President William McKinley, actor Fred Savage, baseball player Ken Caminiti, LA Lakers Coach Phil Jackson, author William Faulkner, golfer Bobby Jones, professional basketball player Pete Maravich, professional Hall of Fame football player Fran Tarkenton, former RNC chairman Haley Barbour, US Senator Connie Back, US Secretary of Education Richard Riley, US Senator Pete Domenici, Titanic explorer Robert Ballard, and entertainer David Spade.

Learn more at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon national website.