Why a New House?


For over 100 years, South Dakota Sigma has been at the heart of Greek life at the University of South Dakota. From our founding to the present, our proud history speaks for itself through high standards of leadership, academic achievement, scholarship, service, and social experiences within the University and in the community upon graduation. With more than 1,980 initiates, the South Dakota Sigma Chapter has influenced the lives of numerous men, cultivating lasting friendships in the process. Many of our best college memories can be traced back to two places, 505 East Main and 856 Madison.

While many of our alumni have gone on to successful and distinguished careers in business, finance, medicine, engineering, technology, and countless other endeavors, the common bond of our brotherhood remains. Along with our shared principles and values, most of us may attribute our success to the SAE experience.

Through SAE, we not only learned the importance of friendship, knowledge, service, morality, and excellence, but we acquired valuable assets, which include leadership skills, organizational skills, social skills, teamwork, and character. Oftentimes, these traits have been integral to our personal success and helped make us the men we are today.

Our chapter house on Madison Street is clearly the focus of undergraduate life for SAE. It has been a home away from home for hundreds of young men and a classroom where our brothers have learned to be scholars and True Gentlemen. However, if we wish for SAE to continue its strong presence on the USD campus, we must ensure that we are providing a safe, modern, and competitive facility. Now is the appropriate time to secure our future.


While the SAE experience is certainly more than the bricks and mortar of the chapter house, our home undoubtedly plays a significant role in the development of our brothers and is a proud symbol of our shared values and goals. Built in the early 1960s, with completion and move-in in 1962, 856 Madison Street has been a part of South Dakota Sigma’s legacy for over 50 years and is showing its age. The needs of today’s students are being threatened by inadequate safety, outdated electrical wiring, and a dated façade. It has become clear that we must make a major investment in our chapter house if we are to remain competitive and provide a quality living environment that meets the needs and expectations of today’s students.


We have played with the threat of being shut down by the fire marshall for more than a decade, and we can no longer meet the needs of our members. The safety of our 40+ collegiate members is of utmost importance to the South Dakota Chapter House Association. We must offer a structurally sound and safe home for our collegians as statistics show that they spend 70% of their time at USD in this home. Much like our personal homes, our chapter house must be a safe haven that instills confidence in our members and their parents.


The University of South Dakota is as academically challenging as ever and the need for an enhanced, quiet, well-lit, and comfortable study space within our facility is necessary for our members to achieve. We have all seen the impact of technology over the years, as devices perhaps not present during your college years are now necessities, including personal computers requiring wireless high-speed Internet access. Our plan will ensure that South Dakota Sigma excels academically and remains scholastic leaders on campus and within the Greek system.


While SAE continues to attract some of the top men, we know that we are losing quality potential members to other fraternities that offer better facilities, especially those those with recent updates. Greek life at USD has seen numerous renovations over the last several years. Our strongest competitors are now offering renovated chapter houses, in addition to the newer on-campus Coyote Village, which includes top-notch Division 1 amenities for students. We must also compete with the amenities offered in on-campus residence halls and off-campus apartments.

Our home needs to be updated to ensure the South Dakota Sigma Chapter is offering a first-class facility to our collegiate brothers.