History of the
Arkansas Alpha-Upsilon Chapter
Sigma Alpha Epsilon
The Arkansas Alpha-Upsilon Chapter ("AR A-U") was founded on July 9, 1894 by George Bunting as the second fraternity on the U of A campus and the 77th chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. AR A-U has initiated over 2,800 men in the last 120 years. Its men are deeply rooted in the ideals of Southern hospitality, gentlemanly behavior, and rich tradition. The men of AR A-U strive to live up to the ideals of its creed, The True Gentleman.
The current AR A-U chapter house was completed in 1954 and was totally renovated in 2005. This stately Southern-style fraternity house resides at 110 Stadium Drive in Fayetteville, which is a short walk from both Reynolds Razorback Stadium and Bud Walton Arena, two of the toughest sports venues for opposing teams to visit in the country. It is also directly across the street from the UofA Hyper Building, the facility where UofA students gather daily for working out and recreation. AR A-U's previous chapter house was located on top of "the Hill", and was centrally located on the UofA campus. A commemorative marker now denotes the spot of this grand old house at the corner of Dickson and Ozark outside of Brough Commons.
AR A-U has a culture that is about recruiting and forming men who can go on to be leaders in their communities and professions after college. This unique culture shapes men in many ways. AR A-U has thus excelled through the generations producing some of the state's most successful politicians, business leaders, doctors, lawyers, and farmers. Our alumni list reads like an exclusive "who's who" of Arkansas and includes 3 governors, 2 U.S. senators, a U.S. Congressman, 2 chairmen of the U of A Board of Trustees, and countless CEOs. A few notables include:
- Gov. Sid McMath, former Governor of Arkansas
- Sen. David Pryor, former U.S. Senator and Governor of Arkansas
- Sen. Mark Pryor, current U.S. Senator
- Stanley Reed, recent past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the UofA and former President of the Arkansas Farm Bureau
- Rep. Jay Dickey, former U.S. Representative
- Gov. Jim Guy Tucker, former Governor of Arkansas and former Lt. Governor
- John Ed Anthony, CEO of Anthony Timberlands and Chairman of the UofA board of Trustees
- William Dillard Jr., CEO of Dillard's Department Stores
- Mike Dillard, Dillard's Department Stores
- Alex Dillard, Dillard's Department Stores
- Scott Ford, CEO of Alltel Communications
- William Bowen, retired CEO of First Commercial Corporation
- Rodger Kline, retired COO of Acxiom Corporation
- Ed Wilson, former President of Fox Television Network and current President of Tribune Television Networks
The True Gentelman
by John Walter Wayland
The True Gentleman is the man whose conduct proceeds from good will and an acute sense of propriety, and whose self-control is equal to all emergencies; who does not make the poor man conscious of his poverty, the obscure man of his obscurity, or any man of his inferiority or deformity; who is himself humbled if necessity compels him to humble another; who does not flatter wealth, cringe before power, or boast of his own possessions or achievements; who speaks with frankness, but always with sincerity and sympathy; whose deed follows his word; who thinks of the rights and feelings of others, rather than his own; and who appears well in any company; a man with whom honor is sacred and virtue safe.
For more than half a century, SAE pledges have recited "The True Gentleman." No other words have more nearly represented the ideals of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. It may be that few members have ever been able to exemplify all the attributes set forth in the statement, but it does set forth the perfecting purpose of the Fraternity. "The True Gentleman" reflects a major part of the substance of the ritual of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Pledges memorize it and are asked to recite it. Awards are given to members who are thought best to exemplify it. Why do we regard it so highly, and what's in it for you as a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon? Every organization is strengthened by tangible forms of a ritual. Athletic teams have mascots; churches have written rituals. Commercial enterprises have slogans, and countless private organizations of individuals, who have chosen to belong for any variety of reasons, have statements of philosophy that define and express their beliefs. Not only does "The True Gentleman" remind each brother and pledge of his Fraternity's code of behavior, it also serves that same function for non-members. And since it is something every member and pledge of Sigma Alpha Epsilon have in common, it helps bond us, providing part of the glue that holds us together. After all, gentlemanliness is the starting point and the indispensable quality of lasting friendships.