Stephen Alonzo Jackson Memorial Plaza

Stephen Alonzo Jackson was born on September 22, 1851. He was left motherless in his infancy and was raised by his grandmother. A close associate and brother, Francis Nelson Barksdale, recalled him with these words:

 

“{A} perfect bundle of nervous energy. His love of the Fraternity knew no bounds, and his enthusiasm was so contagious that it influenced everybody who came within his reach. His one ambition was to make Kappa Sigma the leading college fraternity of the world, and to that end, he thought and worked by day and night, until the end of his busy life.”

During the Fraternity’s second Grand Conclave in 1878 in Richmond, Virginia, Jackson was re-elected as Worthy Grand Master. In his speech, he expressed his ideal and goal of an enduring and expanding brotherhood as he addressed the Order:

“Why not, my Brothers, since we of today live and cherish the principles of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity, throw such a halo around those principles that they may be handed down as a precious heirloom to ages yet unborn? Why not put our apples of gold in pictures of silver? May we not rest contentedly until the Star and Crescent is the pride of every college and university in the land!”

The “halo” Jackson described to the Grand Conclave in 1878 was a beautifully expanded and symbolic Ritual, which he introduced in 1880 at the third Grand Conclave in Abingdon, Virginia. At the time of his initiation in 1872, the Ritual was a modest ceremony. A member of a Masonic order, Jackson had a unique understanding of ritual forms and ceremonies. Drawing on this knowledge, Jackson gave structure to the Kappa Sigma ceremonies, formalizing the ideas of friendship established by the Five Friends and Brothers, and extending them into a bond of life- long commitment among all Kappa Sigmas. This common commitment is shared by all through experiencing and practicing the Ritual.

Jackson died on March 4, 1892. His legacy to the Fraternity included its Ritual, a revised Con- situation, a precedent-setting Grand Conclave, the first southern fraternity to extend a chapter to the north, and above all else, a spirit for expansion.

Stephen Alonzo Jackson Memorial Plaza Dedication The Endowment Fund Trustees launched a very special initiative in November of 2017 for the purpose of establishing a Memorial Plaza in honor of Brother Stephen Alonzo Jackson in recognition of his vision, leadership and determination to make the Kappa Sigma Fraternity the pride of every college and university throughout the land. This centerpiece for the Stephen Alonzo Jackson Memorial Plaza was a special commissioned statue of the “Golden Hearted Virginian” that was unveiled at Kappa Sigma International Headquarters at the 150th Anniversary Celebration and Grand Conclave in Charlottesville, Virginia. Thousands of brothers were in attendance for the ribbon
cutting event.

The statue was created by world-renowned sculptor Ben Watts (Alpha-Upsilon, Millsaps College, ‘78) who worked tirelessly to create a remarkable lifelike image of Kappa Sigma’s most significant initiate in its storied 150-year history. Watts’ work includes portraits of football greats, politicians, musicians, and other prominent people. His newest piece, the Stephen Alonzo Jackson monument, was unveiled on the evening of July 26, 2019. Watts was honored as Kappa Sigma Fraternity’s Sculptor Emeritus at the 150th celebration and during the unveiling of the life-sized sculpture of Jackson.

At the 150th Anniversary Celebration and Grand Conclave in Charlottesville, Virginia, the Stephen Alonzo Jackson Memorial Plaza was unveiled at Kappa Sigma International Headquarters. Brothers and guests traveled hundreds, or even thousands, of miles to witness the dedication of the Memorial Plaza.

The statue is surrounded by a plaza with benches, plants, and flowers that truly make it the most historic memorial in the history of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. The statue, with the backdrop of Carter’s Mountain, is a must-see that will be placed on the bucket list of Brothers across the decades to come. Truly remarkable and incredible.

The Paver Plaza is constructed with pavers and bricks which Brothers have purchased that in turn support the educational programs and services of the Kappa Sigma Endowment Fund and provide a tribute to Kappa Sigma Brothers who have made this contribution with their name, chapter of initiation, initiation date and name of the host institution. Many of the pavers contain a special quote or memento from the Brothers who helped make this plaza possible… those quotes will stand as a symbol of strength to what the Kappa Sigma Fraternity truly represents.

Limited opportunities still exist to purchase a paver at the Stephen Alonzo Jackson Memorial Plaza. The Endowment Fund will continue to offer the pavers and bricks until the Paver Plaza is completely sponsored by Brothers who purchase the available pavers and bricks. These personalized pavers and bricks will rest at the International Headquarters in perpetuity and provide a significant memorial to generations of Kappa Sigma Brothers who continue to express and show their love for the Order and who are committed to preserving the good name of Kappa Sigma Fraternity.

Secure Your Legacy, by purchasing a paver today!