As an upcoming sophomore and a relatively new initiate of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity, I had no idea what to expect when I was chosen as one of the delegates to represent my chapter at the 70th Biennial Grand Conclave in Las Vegas, Nevada. Arriving at the Flamingo Hotel with my Alumnus Advisor Chad McGee, I was a mix of nervous anticipation and excitement. Little did I know that the next several days would be one of the most informative and influential experiences of my life.
We arrived a day early to allow time to settle in and meet fellow brothers. After making our rounds and speaking to brothers from across the country, we soon came across several members of the Supreme Executive Committee (SEC), including the WGM for the last Biennium Hugh M. Robert. I introduced myself and was surprised to find that they were some of the most down to earth people I have ever met. I walked away from that conversation knowing that the rest of the week would be great.
In my short time as a Brother of Kappa Sigma, I have always heard that we are number one, but I had never seen the numbers comparison behind that claim until I attended the opening session. In that session, I learned that Kappa Sigma far exceeds every other fraternity in literally every category. We initiate more new members, raise more money, and are one of the few fraternities that actually puts any effort into learning Ritual.
I thoroughly enjoyed the business sessions and was consistently surprised by how far ahead our Order is from the competition. I was surprised, however, to find that the smaller, breakout sessions were equally beneficial. For example, in the Leadership Panel, brothers were given the opportunity to speak directly to members of the SEC about certain issues their individual chapters needed work on. It was awesome to hear the highest ranking members of our order weigh in on problems that even some of their own chapters faced when they were undergrads.
One of the sessions I found the most interesting was Michael Evans’ The Art and Science of Manhood. In the session, he related our journey as Kappa Sigmas to the Hero Journey that most adventure novels follow. The journey begins with a “call to adventure” and ends with “self-sufficient adulthood.” Entering college, we all experience a “call to adventure” in which we enter the unknown realm of collegiate life and are first introduced to the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. Brother Evans showed us how Kappa Sigma can guide us through this journey. He emphasized that we may hit a frustrating low point but, by instilling the values of Kappa Sigma in our daily lives, we can overcome and excel. This will help each of us gain the qualities and talents necessary to graduate and become the self-sufficient man we aspire to be.
Throughout Conclave, I found myself constantly wishing that my entire chapter, as well as every other chapter in the world was there to experience this exceptional week with me. There is so much to gain from attending, and the information received is something that everyone can benefit from. By the end of the week, I had mixed emotions. I was extremely glad that I had attended but sad that it was coming to an end. I made a goal for myself to attend every future District Conclave, Leadership Conference, and Grand Conclave possible, and I strongly encourage all members of our Order to do the same.
Written by Lance A. Kelley (Kappa-Mu, Tennessee Technological University, ’14)