The History of Sigma Nu
Sigma Nu was founded by three cadets at the Virginia Military Institute during the Reconstruction period after The Civil War. Sigma Nu represented a radical departure from the times. The system of physical abuse and hazing of underclassmen at VMI led to James Frank Hopkins, Greenfield Quarles, and James McIlvaine Riley to form the "Legion of Honor" which soon became Sigma Nu chaFraternity.
The story of Sigma Nu began during the period following the Civil War, when a Confederate veteran from Arkansas enrolled at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington Virginia. That cadet was James Frank Hopkins, and it is to him, Greenfield Quarles, and James McIlvaine Riley that Sigma Nu owes its existence. When Hopkins enrolled at VMI, the south was in a state of turmoil and just beginning to recover from the devastating military defeat it had suffered. The Virginia Military Institute was highly recognized for its civil engineering program and the South badly needed to repair its bridges and railroads. At VMI cadets suffered, not only of the ravages of war and a disrupted home-life, but because of the system of physical harassment imposed on lower classmen by their fellow students in the upper classes. As a military veteran, Hopkins accepted a tolerable amount of structure and subservience. However, he found the amount of hazing at VMI was not acceptable, and was doggedly adamant about eradicating the system of hazing.
Sigma Nu Headquarters
Cannons in front of Virginia Military Institute