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Sigma Chi Timeline 1980-2005


Year Sigma Chi World*
  • The Magazine of Sigma Chi commemorated its 100th anniversary with a special 120-page edition.
  • 52 Americans held hostage in Iran for 444 days freed.
  • First launch of the Space Shuttle Program.
  • The Fraternity created the Edwin C. Fisher Grand Praetor Award.
  • The first Internet domain name is registered (
  • Epsilon Omicron chapter at the University of Western Ontario hosted the first Leadership Training Workshop held in Canada.
  • The Fraternity established the George Ruhle Outstanding Scholar and the Henri Stegemeier Faculty Advisor Awards.
  • Supernova 1987A in LMC 1st seen; 1st naked-eye supernova since 1604.
  • U.S. President Ronald Reagan challenges Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall" in a speech before the Berlin Wall.
  • The Fraternity established the Risk Management Foundation to provide educational and liability information and insurance services to active chapters and house corporations.
  • The General Headquarters building was named in honor of Past Grand Consul J. Dwight Peterson, Indiana 1919.
  • Mulroney & Reagan sign Canada-US free trade agreement.
  • Margaret Thatcher becomes longest-serving British PM this century.
  • Discovery of most distant galaxy (15 billion light years) announced.
  • Sigma Chi recorded its 200,000th initiate, John Delaney, Utah State 1994.
  • Executive Secretary William T. Bringham Sr., Illinois Wesleyan 1946, retired after serving the Fraternity in that full-time Headquarters staff position nearly 36 years.
  • 140 nations agree to ban chemical weapons (poison gas, etc).
  • The first of 24 satellites of the Global Positioning System are placed into orbit.
  • Thousands of Chinese crowd into Beijing's Tiananmen Square cheering students demanding greater political freedom. The demonstrations are brutally suppressed by the Chinese Govenment leading to the Tiananmen Square massacre.
  • The Fraternity established Constantine Capital Inc. to assist house corporations in securing financing for new, expanded or renovated chapter housing.
  • Grand Historian Douglas R. Carlsons, Minnesota 1973, 554-page History of the Sigma Chi Fraternity 1955 to 1980 was published, the first Sigma Chi history volume since 1955.
  • As a new decade dawns, the end is near for the old Soviet Union. Throughout the year, the Warsaw Pact implodes as nation after nation renounce their ties to Moscow. On May 29th, Boris Yeltsin is elected president of the Russian Republic, which begins to act as the sovereign power in Russia. Despite a short-lived attempt to prop up the Soviet regime, it formally dissolved on December 8. 1991.
  • In an act of deluded hubris, Saddam Hussein, leader of Iraq occupies Kuwait and challenges the world to remove him.
  • The Fraternity Executive Committee voted to prohibit all chapter little sister groups by June 1992.
  • The 68th Grand Chapter adopted the Fraternity Mission Statement and a new policy on alcohol and illegal drugs.
  • Operation Desert Storm--the allied effort to remove Iraq from Kuwait begins and ends in six weeks.
  • In a sign of the times, U.S. President, George H. W. Bush decides to end full-time B-52 bombers alert.
  • The Fraternity adopted the Childrens Miracle Network as its recommended service project.
  • The Fraternity rededicated its Founding Site at the Leadership Training Workshop, held August 13-16 at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.
  • The world mourns as one the last son of Krypton meets his death at the hands of super-villain, Doomsday. Over the course of a year, DC Comics relates the story of a world without Superman that span nearly all of the publishers monthly titles. The character is resurrected the following year thanks to advanced Kryptonian technology that regenerated the Man of Steel.
  • Legislation to create two undergraduate positions on the Executive Committee was approved by the 69th Grand Chapter in Toronto, Ontario, also prompting two undergraduate appointments to the Leadership Training Board.
  • Foreshadowing the September 11th attacks, Terrorists plant a bomb in the garage of the World Trade Center killing 6 and injuring over 1,000.
  • The Maastricht Treaty takes effect, formally establishing the European Union.
  • The James F. Bash Significant Improvement Award was presented for the first time to Eta Alpha Chapter, Eastern Kentucky.
  • The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is established.
  • All eyes are turned to space as the Shoemaker-Levy comet breaks apart and collides with Jupiter in a series of 9 impact events.
  • Frank J. Raymond, Penn State 1971, was named president of the Sigma Chi Foundation, succeeding Merrill E. Boz Prichard, Illinois 1948, who had served as the Foundations executive officer since 1986.
  • Significant Sig Jon M. Huntsman, Pennsylvania 1959, and Jon M. Huntsman Jr., Utah 1983, made a joint gift to the Foundation to underwrite the Murray K. McComas Scholarships.
  • The United Kingdom's oldest investment banking firm, Barings Bank, collapses after a securities broker loses $1.4 billion by speculating on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
  • The 50th anniversary of the end of World War II is celebrated around the globe. In England, thousands of people participate in public celebrations including Queen Elizabeth II who was a member of Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service where she trained as a mechanic and drove a military truck in support of the war effort.
  • Significant Sig K.S. Bud Adams Jr., Kansas 1944, funded the Life Loyal Sig Award, which awards a Life Membership to each chapter Balfour Award winner.
  • For the first time, a computer defeats a human chess player when chess computer "Deep Blue" defeats world chess champion Garry Kasparov. Later that year, Karparox will redeem himself by defeating the computer in a rematch.
  • The X Prize Foundation launches the $10 million Ansari X Prize, which is won in 2004, by Burt Rutan's SpaceShipOne. To win the prize teams competed to place the first commerical spacecraft into earth orbit.
  • The Fraternity celebrates its 50th Leadership Training Workshop.
  • Fraternity contributions to the CMN surpassed the $1 million mark.
  • The Balfour Foundation, named for Past Grand Consul L.G. Balfour, Indiana 1907, began its annual grant to underwrite educational elements of the Balfour Workshop.
  • In Roslin, Scotland, scientists announce that an adult sheep named Dolly had been successfully cloned, and was born in July 1996.
  • The United Kingdom hands sovereignty of Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China.
  • The Fraternity launched SIGMACHI.ORG.
  • Grand Council delegates affirmed the EC resolution that all chapters must achieve, for each grading term, a cumulative GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale, or the equivalent.
  • The Lunar Prospector spacecraft is launched into orbit around the Moon, and later finds evidence for frozen water, in soil in permanently shadowed craters near the Moon's poles.
  • NASA announces the choice of United States Air Force Lt. Col. Eileen Collins as the first woman to command a space shuttle mission.
  • Sigma Chi Horizons, funded by Significant Sig Bob McNair, South Carolina 1958, was bornin the moutains of Snowbird, Utah.
  • World population reaches 6 billion people.
  • The EURO is established as the currency of the European Union.
  • Eleven Sigma Chis are among the nearly 3000 killed in the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.
  • After 15 years in space, the world longest surviving space station, Mir, burns up on re-entry. The Mir was de-orbited in favor of a focus on the International Space Station planned by a cooperative of nations including Russia.
  • Sigma Chi donations to the Childrens Miracle Network surpassed the $3 million mark.
  • Sigma Chi begins partnership with Betty Ford Center to address alcohol use and abuse among college students.
  • In a early example of the Global Warming phenomenon, a large section of the Antarctic Larsen Ice Shelf begins disintegrating, consuming about 3,250 km (1,254 miles) over 35 days.
  • The U.S. invades Afghanistan in pursuit of Al-Qaeda terrorists responsible for the September 11th attacks. A side-effect of the U.S. incursions--coalition forces, working with the Afghan opposition, quickly ousted the Taliban regime.
  • Sigma Chi celebrates its 150th anniversary with a once-in-a-lifetime event in Cincinnati. Led by Sigma Chi legislators, both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate pass resolutions honoring Sigma Chi for reaching this milestone.
  • Sigma Chi announces a partnership with the Huntsman Cancer Institute, making it the second recommended philanthropy along with Children's Miracle Network.
  • After 26 years as the leader of the world's Cathlics, Pope John Paul II (Karol Jozef Wojtyla), dies in Rome. Nearly 4,000,000 people would travel to the Vatican to mourn his paasing. Pope Benedict XVI (Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger) succeeds the beloved pontiff.
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*Source of World Events: History Orb Click the years above to see more events in that year.