Colorado State SigEp Announces Capital Campaign and $2.1 Million 121 E Lake Street Renovation
We are thrilled to announce our capital campaign to fully renovate 121 East Lake St and set the stage for the return of our beloved Colorado State SigEp Chapter. The early response for SigEp brothers has been tremendous and we have reached $1,129,000 in gifts and signed pledges! Thank you to all 113 supporters so far.
Want to learn more about the project to transform our 121 East Lake home?
Read the Announcement Newsletter that brother Dan Reagan '82 put together for an introduction to the project, and to recognize the brothers who got this campaign off the ground. Hear from brothers Trevor Armstrong ’99 and John Clark ’65 on why they are supporting the Campaign for Colorado Gamma.
Check out the Campaign Brochure that outlines the vision for our project and the future of CSU SigEp.
Take a look at the conceptual design plans brother Mitch Christ ’79 presented to the City of Fort Collins and read about our renovation approach that honors and preserves the history of our chapter house while adding innovative and forward-looking capabilities.
What can you do to help?
You can have a huge impact on the Campaign for Colorado Gamma right now!..
- Share this page on Facebook and tell everyone what you think
- Tweet about the campaign and include #121Renovation to see all tweets about the project posted on CSUSigEp.org
- Discuss the campaign and renovation with brothers in our private CSU SigEp LinkedIn group
Questions, comments, or suggestions about the Campaign and Renovation?
The Campaign Board would love to hear from you. Send us a note, reach us on twitter @CSUSigEp, or reach Campaign Chairman Al Hornung '61 at 303-880-7892.
Thanks to 113 brothers who have made gifts and pledges totaling $1,129,000 to support SigEp at Colorado State! Click here to complete a pledge form and add your name to the list. Brothers who have given or pledged $1,000 or more are listed below.
We will complete a $2.1 Million full renovation of 121 East Lake to make it an innovative living-learning environment for the return of our SigEp chapter at CSU.
The house at 121 East Lake in Fort Collins, Colorado was built in 1929 and requires upgrades to aging mechanical systems, electrical systems, plumbing systems, exterior and interior architectural finishes, and life-safety systems. The fraternity also needs to upgrade the functionality and livability of the house to meet demands of the new age of college student and Greek life that is attractive to recruiting and retaining new members as well as support the mission of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity to promote the Balanced Man philosophy and support creation of an accredited Residential Learning Community.
Successfully achieve the stated fraternity needs with implementation of a major renovation of the existing house and construction of a new 2nd story Library addition above the existing kitchen. Targeted total program budget is $2,100,000.
The conceptual design for the renovation/library addition has been accepted by the City of Fort Collins. We will maintain our current non-conforming use designation under the zoning code, thereby eliminating the need to add any on-site parking or interior ADA compliance. The conceptual design is optimized for an occupancy of 40 beds while maintaining a maximum occupancy of 48 beds as is currently accepted by the City. The plan includes adding showers in all the bathrooms, new laundry facilities in the basement, and updated kitchen and after-hours servery. With the goal of making Colorado Gamma a best-practices accredited Residential Learning Community, the proposed design updates the house mother suite including an ADA-compliant bathroom, a new 740-square-foot vaulted ceiling library addition with a study loft, and a new multi-media room. Based upon preliminary City approval, the plan includes restoring the sleeping lofts to certain rooms on the third floor (one-hour construction and fire sprinklers).
Mitch Chris '79
A+ has been recognized with awards for their work on historic properties in Fort Collins and works with CSU on new university student housing.
Jan Peterson '67 MO Beta
Jon Kucera '71 VA Eta
CSU SigEp Alumni Update Form
Submit this form to update contact information for Colorado State SigEp Alumni. These updates will also be sent to Sigma Phi Epsilon Headquarters.
Thank you for helping us keep our Alumni informed and connected.
CSU SigEp Contacts
Red Door House Corporation Board of Directors
Al Hornung '61
(303) 880 7892
Jerre Dixon '65
Mitch Christ '79
Tony Mauro '99
Bryan A. Harmsen '01
(646) 926 0747
Al Hornung ’61, Campaign Chairman
Mitch Christ ’79, Construction Manager
Bryan Harmsen ’01, Campaign Treasurer
Jerre Dixon '67, Director
Tony Mauro '99, Director
Don Rutledge ’61
John Clark ’65
Bob Frey ’65
Jim Benemann ’78
Dan Reagan ’82
Breck Vassios ’87
TJ Gordon ’87
Andy Odenbach ’96
Mike Jensen ’96
Trevor Armstrong ’99
Sigma Phi Epsilon National History
Please visit the History of Sigma Phi Epsilon at SigEp.org to learn more about our amazing national fraternity.
Colorado State SigEp History
Founded in 1905 at Colorado State University, we were chartered by the Sigma Phi Epsilon national fraternity on Nov. 27th, 1915. SigEp exists to Build Balanced Men.
We are a group men who are selfless and committed to improving our community, our university, our fraternity, and ourselves. 121 East Lake Street has been our home since 1935.
SigEp has many great traditions, events, and opportunities for members. Members are fortunate to be eligible for great scholarships each year from the SigEp Educational Foundation like the Saylor and Bradford Scholarships. The Chapter works on exciting philanthropies every year that make a difference in the community, like the Holiday Toy Drive and Light Show at our 121 East Lake St Chapter Home.
Great social events like Homecoming, Flower Dance, and more give members an opportunity to unwind after a focused week in the classroom. The undergraduate chapter is represented by many Distinguished Alumni and supported with time, advice, and gifts by dedicated volunteers on the Alumni & Volunteer Committee, House Corporation Board of Directors, and the alumni body at large.
Chapter: Sigma Phi Epsilon, Colorado Gamma Chapter
Institution: Colorado State University (CSU) / Colorado A&M / Colorado Agricultural College (C.A.C.)
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
- Royal and Infernal Order of Independent Tree Apes (1905 - 1911)
- Tau Alpha (1911 - 1915)
- Sigma Phi Epsilon, Colorado Gamma Chapter (Nov 27, 1915 - 2013)
Alumni & Chapter Newsletter: The Spear (published since at least 1950)
Executive Officers and Key Roles: Please see the Executive Officers History list
Distinguished Alumni: Please see the Distinguished Alumni list
Awards and Recognition: Please see the Awards page
- 602 South College (1912 - 1922) [uncofirmed address]
- 402 Remington St (1922 - 1935) [previously documented as 912 Remington, corrected in 2010]
- 121 East Lake St (1935 - 2013)
- 121 E Lake St was built in 1929 and Sigma Phi Epsilon purchased it from the Lambda Chi Alpha chapter at Colorado State in 1935. The kitchen and Presidential Suite were added in 1958.
The Tree Apes (1905 - 1911)
- Institution: Colorado Agricultural College (C.A.C.)
- Colors: Blood Red & Funeral Black
- Motto: "Wa-ah!"
"The Tree-Apes were first organized by an Aggie student [J.E. Leiper] who had been about one year away from home influences and was then forty miles from civilization, or in other words in the wilds of Estes Park. Under these conditions this great founder of the Apes was suddenly seized by a wonderful idea and this was expanded into the Royal and Infernal Order of Independent Tree-Apes."
Tau Alpha (1911 - 1915)
- Institution: Colorado Agricultural College (C.A.C.)
- Colors: Red & Black
- Flower: American Beauty Rose
By 1911 the Tree Apes had changed our name to Tau Alpha (Alpha Chapter), also a local C.A.C. fraternity. The Tree Apes appeared to envision growing into a new National Fraternity based on the Alpha Chapter designation on our page in the 1916 Silver Spruce Yearbook.
With newly chartered Sigma Phi Epsilon chapters at the University of Colorado and the University of Denver nearby, the men of Tau Alpha soon petitioned Sigma Phi Epsilon National Fraternity Headquarters to become the third SigEp chapter in Colorado.
Note: The content deadline for the 1916 Silver Spruce Yearbook passed before Tau Alpha was re-chartered as the Colorado Gamma Chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon in November, 1915.
Sigma Phi Epsilon, Colorado Gamma chapter (1915 - 2013)
- Institution: Colorado Agricultural College (C.A.C.) / Colorado A&M / Colorado State University (CSU)
- Colors: Purple and Red
- Flower: Violet and Dark Red Rose
After a decade of transformation, our fraternity became the Colorado Gamma Chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon on November 27th, 1915 and we changed our name for the last time. As we approach 100 years as a SigEp chapter and share some information about the great men and great achievements of Co Gamma, we are also proud of our heritage prior to chartering as a Sigma Phi Epsilon Chapter.
The High Limb Tree Ape J.E. Leiper first brought a group of men together at CSU in the name of brotherhood in 1905 and set in motion an incredible organization with a rich history. Our Tree Ape brothers recognized the need to formalize the brotherhood and the growth of Greek Letter organizations in Colorado while leading our fraternity through a critical time as we re-named our fraternity Tau Alpha and developed relationships with a growing national fraternity in Sigma Phi Epsilon.
Our brothers of Tau Alpha surely could not have envisioned that their effort to re-charter as the Colorado Gamma Chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon would lead to 100 more years of brotherhood in Fort Collins and tremendous achievements by 2,300+ brothers, thanks in no small part to the growth and development they experienced as brothers. With that, we proudly share some history of our Colorado Gamma years below...
When CSU SigEp Was Chartered ...
The world was a very different place in 1915 when the Colorado Gamma Chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon was chartered at Colorado State University. Below are some interesting facts and notes of what was going on in the world in 1915.
- After a population boom that began around 1900, the population of Fort Collins reached 8,500 in 1915.
- Babe Ruth was a standout pitcher for the Boston Red Sox in his second year in the Major Leagues. Ruth hit his first four home runs in 1915 and did not put on a Yankee uniform until 5 years later.
- Charlie Chaplin was a new motion picture star after his first films in 1914 quickly gained popularity.
- The RMS Lusitania was torpedoed by a German U-Boat; turning public opinion against Germany and proved to be instrumental in bringing the US into WWI.
- There were hundreds of local time zones in the United States. The four standard time zones and daylight savings time would not be established for three more years by the Standard Time Act of 1918.
CSU SigEp Charter Members
Wallace Kirk Morrison
James Harlan Bush Jr.
Sidney Price Bull
William Clinton Nye
Henry Lewis Nichols
Elbert Ervin Husted
William Pearl Yetter Jr.
Paul Goerge Hardie
Edwin Conrad Johnson
James Ezekial Morrison
Homer Doc Graham
Harold Starr Wright
William Godfrey Briggs
Leo Cates Antles
Lewis Francis Schiele
Clark Hartman Alford
Ivan Morrison Patten
Edward Surrel Murray
Henry Morse Cowgill
Landmark CSU SigEp Pin Numbers
Colorado State University Greek Life History
Greek Life was officially recognized/installed at Colorado Agricultural College (Colorado State University) in the Fall of 1915. There were a handful of local fraternities that developed prior to 1915 before Greek Life was officially recognized at the college.
The Alpha Kappa Epsilon local fraternity was founded in 1903 and chartered as the Sigma Nu National Fraternity Delta Rho Chapter (1915-2000, 2008-present) in the Fall of 1915. The Tau Alpha local fraternity (previously Royal and Infernal Order of Tree Apes) was founded in 1905 and chartered as Sigma Phi Epsilon's Colorado Gamma Chapter (1915-2013) in the Fall of 1915 as well. The Gamma Phi Beta National Sorority was the third Greek chapter chartered (previously the Tau Kappa Sigma local sorority) in 1915.
The "Fort Collins Triad" of Sigma Nu, Sigma Phi Epsilon, and Gamma Phi Beta comprised the original Colorado Agricultural College (C.A.C.) recognized Greek Life organizations by the end of the Fall 1915 semester.1
1 Colorado State University Silver Spruce Yearbook, 1933. Installation of Aggie Greeks. pg 294.
Special Thanks to Pat Walker, Fort Collins Museum Research Assistant, for her invaluable assistance in fully documenting the history of our fraternity!