4 Key Ritual Authors Noble Leslie DeVotie (Founder) John Barratt Rudulph (Badge)William Leslie French (Coat-of-Arms)Dean Taylor (1910 Revision)John O. Moseley (Ceremonies)John Walter Wayland (“The True Gentleman”)Permanent Ritual Committee (Ongoing revisions)
5 Elements within our Ritual Our NamePhi AlphaCoat-of-ArmsSigma Alpha Epsilon BadgePledge PinMinerva and the LionUnwritten signs and passwords“The True Gentleman”Sigma Alpha Epsilon FlagThe Phoenix | The Manual of Sigma Alpha EpsilonThe Sigma Alpha Epsilon Songbook
6 The Initiation Ceremony Neophyte EntryOriginal Constitution (1856)CleansingOathPreceptor (Insignia Instruction)Four QuartersPurple Border Charged with 22 Fleurs-de-lisFimbriated Cross of SilverCasque with Purple PlumesCrest Surmounting the Escutcheon
7 Initiation Ceremony (continued) InescutcheonOur NameOur Guiding MottoBadgeMinerva and The LionColors of Our FraternityKnockBrother GripSaluteMystic Circle
9 Meaning of the Insignia :: Part I Neophyte Entry“The True Gentleman” (Brothers only)Constitution (The Recorder)Cleansing (The Chronicler)Membership Oath (Eminent Archon)Preceptor (Insignia Instruction)
10 History of “The True Gentleman” Written by:John Walter Wayland (The Baltimore Sun),But unattributed when discovered by:Judge Walter B. Jones (Alabama Baptist Quarterly)Sent to:John O. Moseley (Leadership School)Then attributed back to John Walter Wayland* by:Joseph Walt (reading the U.S. Naval Academy “Blue Book”)* Posthumously initiated at the 2001 Fraternity Convention ,Orlando , Florida
11 Part II :: The Coat-of-Arms Four QuartersPurple Border charged with 22 Fleurs-de-lisFimbriated Cross of SilverCasque with Purple PlumesCrest surmounting the EscutcheonInescutcheonOur NameOur Guiding MottoSigma Alpha Epsilon BadgeMinerva and the LionColors of Our Fraternity
32 Historical Timeline :: Key Dates March 9, 1856 :: Constitution, Article I, Section 1 read,“The name of this Fraternity shall be … .”March 15, 1856 :: John Barrett Rudulph’s Badge design officially ratified1883 :: First printed copy of Ritual and Constitution1892 :: Fraternity Laws added “True man and a gentleman”qualification1894 :: Convention appointed William Leslie French(Trinity 1893) to design a Coat-of-Arms1896 :: Convention adopted new Coat-of-Arms, the same onecurrently used today
33 Historical Timeline :: Key Dates 1910 :: Convention adopted the revised Ritual incorporatingCoat-of-Arms written by Dean Taylor (Mt. Union 1902)1910 :: Opening and Closing Ceremonies adopted1947 :: Preceptor role introduced; Formal Pledging Ceremony andSongs officially added, although sung since the 1920s1949 :: Eminent Recorder and Eminent Chronicle parts created1959 :: Memorial Service and Burial Ceremony added1993 :: Graduation Ceremony adopted2001 :: John Walter Wayland posthumously initiated as aBrother of Sigma Alpha Epsilon (Virginia 1899)2005 :: “The True Gentleman” officially added to Openingand Initiation Ceremonies
35 Guidelines for Proper Ritual Use The initiation ceremony should be rehearsed, and parts should be memorized.The initiation ceremony, as well as all ceremonies, should be conducted with proper reverence and seriousness.Alumni should be invited by written invitation to formal pledging and initiation.The chapter should own and use all of the Ritual equipment listed on pages in Ritual book.
36 Guidelines for Proper Ritual Use Chapter Ritual books (eight copies) and equipment should be kept in a locked closet or room, maintained by the Eminent Herald and Eminent Preceptor.No alcoholic beverages should be present during any Ritual ceremony.Coat and tie (“Badge Attire”) should be required of all members, and proper decorum observed at formal pledging and initiation.Installation of Officers Ceremony should be conducted within two weeks of elections.
37 Guidelines for Proper Ritual Use The Ritual should be used for the opening and closing of all chapter meetings.A post-initiation session should be conducted to enhance the understanding of the initiation ceremony and Fraternity’s Ritual. This PowerPoint presentation is available for download from the “Ritual” tab atThe chapter should have knowledge and make use of the Fraternity songs and song book, which may be downloaded from the “Ritual” tab at
39 Ritual Best PracticesInventory all Ritual equipment and robes once each semesterAcquire air/water tight plastic storage boxes for all equipment; divide Formal Pledging Ceremony items from Initiation Ceremony items, placing in separate boxesObtain high-quality wooden hangers for all robes (not wire or flimsy plastic hangers)Hang all robes to fully “air dry” after each use (at least overnight)Store robes in large garment bags or garment caddies (avoid plastic dry cleaning bags)
40 Ritual Best PracticesRitual books should always be officially signed out (critical policy) and logged to maintain a clear documentation record of their constant location.Develop a replacement budget and cycle for each item (equipment and robes)Consider developing a Ritual Team within the chapter and have members memorize rolesConsider inviting an alumnus or multiple alumni to participate in the Initiation Ceremony (for instance, administering the Oath, the closing admonition, full part or scene shifter)
41 Ritual Best PracticesConsider inviting a past Eminent Archon to perform one of the two roles if an alumnus is not availableSet Initiation and Formal Pledging dates early and invite area/chapter Sigma Alpha Epsilon alumni to attend all Ritual ceremoniesUse all ceremonies in the Ritual book for the recommended occasion
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