On August 23, 2020, South Dakota Alpha broke ground on its new – and first-ever – learning community and housing facility. Located in Greek Village on the campus of South Dakota State University, this 13,854 square foot facility will sleep 20 members and include the Nichols Residential Learning Center, Woodward Great Room, Fenner/McClintic Red Door Foyer, Satterness SigEp Courtyard, Whitford Ducal Crown Room, and one Resident Scholar apartment unit among other spaces and amenities.
An initial housing campaign was launched in 2004 by multiple alumni and was led by alumnus Dr. Jeffrey Nolz. That endeavor raised an initial $30,000. At that time, the chapter was only seven years old. In 2012, the South Dakota Alpha Educational Foundation, which was formed in 2010, was asked to take on the housing project and continue the fundraising efforts. Since its forming, the Educational Foundation has worked tirelessly to not only endow a Balanced Man Scholarship and the Jim Novotny Memorial Scholarship, but has also raised over $600,000 for the new chapter facility. The hard work and determination by the Foundation, paired with the generosity of alumni, spouses, volunteers, and other donors, have helped South Dakota Alpha in achieving their housing dreams. Hitting this aggressive fundraising goal is a true testament to the culture South Dakota Alpha fosters within its lifetime members. A number that exceeds just 250.
Beyond the fundraising, this project would not have been possible without the support of the University. Since day one, South Dakota Alpha has developed and fostered strong relationships with university officials and built mutual trust. That trust led to the full-fledged support in constructing a SigEp facility at SDSU. An extra dose of gratitude is extended to past and present university faculty, including former Provost Dr. Laurie Nichols, former Honors College Dean Dr. Tim Nichols, Associate VP of Student Affairs Dr. Doug Wermedahl, Honors College Dean Dr. Rebecca Bott- Knutson, and University Advisor Dr. Florencio Aranda. Without their relationships with the chapter, bringing this project to realization may not have happened.
Throughout the 23 years of South Dakota Alpha’s history, the focus has always been on supporting and developing the undergraduate chapter members. Year after year, many of SDSU’s most promising young men join SigEp and ultimately leave an impact on the chapter and the university. Members of this fraternity deserve a home that enriches their educational and brotherhood experience. This new SigEp Learning Community facility will do just that.
Construction is anticipated to be completed in June 2021 with members taking occupancy by the fall semester.