Updated: Jul 30, 2019
This past June, I had the honor and pleasure to represent our Association at the 163 Anniversary Convention of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. The event, which is held every two years, took place in Louisville, KY. The city couldn't have been more inviting with all its charm and history. Not only is Louisville the hometown of Muhammad Ali, but also the famed Hillerich & Bradsby Louisville Slugger factory. Probably the most personally interesting bit of history was touring the Pendennis Club. A gentlemen's club dating back to 1881, the Pendennis Club has had the honor of hosting a handful of U.S. Presidents among other dignitaries. The club also has a long and storied tradition of hosting members and guests for an annual boxing match held in the 3rd-floor ballroom. The legend goes long back to have even had the then Cassius Clay box at the Pendennis. The most intriguing was learning that the Pendennis Club was the birthplace of the Old Fashioned. I can attest that they do know how to make a good one. Another site of Louisville is, of course, the famed Churchill Downs. Such a beautiful property, the Convention Host Committee treated us all to a night at the races in private suites just for ΣΑΕ.
All that said, the Convention is a place where the actual work of ΣΑΕ transpires. No, I am serious. Time is spent in plenary sessions discussing and voting on law proposals, voting in new officers, and consulting and voting on resolutions.
During conventions past, it was all too familiar for various issues or elections to turn overly political. I am pleased to say that this year's Convention had an undertone of all coming together and leaving politics for the sake of politics aside. Even the race for the only contested Supreme Council seat, the Eminent Supreme Chronicler, was moved to the issues. All three of the candidates ran respectable campaigns. In the end, Ben Johnson (CA-Psi '87), a friend of our Association, was victorious in becoming the Eminent Supreme Chronicler. Ben is quite deserving of the role and will do a great job.
Another election that is held every Convention is that of Honorary Eminent Supreme Archon. The position is voted on and presented by all Past Eminent Supreme Archons and the individual nominated in most cases is someone who for one reason or another was never really able to run for the Supreme Council. For those of you who recall, this past Founders Day it was announced that Brother Dick Troncone (CA-TH '67) was unanimously voted in by all Past Eminent Supreme Archons as the next Honorary Eminent Supreme Archon. This was officially brought to the convention floor by Past Eminent Supreme Archon Marty Wiglesworth (KY-KA '84) who presented the nomination of Honorary Eminent Supreme Archon. The motion was seconded by Past Eminent Supreme Archon Richard Hopple (OH-EP '70) and unanimously approved. With that Brother Troncone was officially voted in on the convention floor as Honorary Eminent Supreme Archon.
As always Convention concluded with the closing banquet. An optional black-tie affair, all came dressed in elegant gowns and sharp tuxedos and suits. The newly elected Supreme Council was officially voted in. Our province was represented well that evening boasting a Supreme Council member, a Distinguished Service Award winner, a Past Council of Province Archons Chairman, a Zeal chapter, a past Bill Fiscus Alumni Association Award winner, and some Chapter Achievement Award winners. A successful evening and Convention by many standards, it is excellent to report that our fraternity is in the good place.