Founded May 1916
The University of Redlands was founded in 1909 and the Pi Chi Fraternity was the first & only Greek organization on campus. For five years it dominated the activities of the college and could well be accused of being high handed and arbitrary. This spirit is not considered worthy of most institutions, but in the University of Redlands it had one worthwhile result - it hastened the formation & growth of Kappa Sigma Sigma.
During the Spring of 1915 a group of men had frequent meetings to plan ways and means of combating the Pi Chi machine. Bill Lockwood, Allan Whitney, Leonard Cooper, Herman Nixon, Bill Backlund and James Leonard were the ones most interested. Many times the possibility of forming a new fraternity was talked over. When the news spread around the campus it created quite a commotion. The May 25th, 1915 issue of “The Campus” contained a lengthy account of a Pi Chi banquet which was described as “the crowning social event of the season” on the front page, but over on the editorial page was a small paragraph (right).
On May 10th, 1916 Kappa Sigma Sigma was formally launched. A group of seven, including Professor S. Guy Jones met in the dental office of Dr. W.R. Heacock in the Fischer Building in Redlands. There was an air of seriousness that encompassed all. None of the students knew the requirements for organizing a fraternity so the suggestions and advice of Professor Jones were received gratefully. The spirit of the meeting was not trivial, it was a serious matter. All felt in a way that they found difficult to express that the new fraternity should be a brotherhood in the finest sense of the word and that the ideals of the organization should in truth be high in order that it could be helpful to the school. It is significant that the early gatherings of the group were opened with a scripture reading and a word of prayer.
Leonard Cooper was elected the first President and he became an energetic and diplomatic leader. He assigned to each man certain objectives that it became his duty to reach. An effort was made to win as many friends for our organization as possible among the other Greek Letter groups and also the unaffiliated. We wanted to, and did establish the fact that the College World was better because Kappa Sigma Sigma had come into existence.
The securing of Sawyer Hall as our first fraternity house was the first important move of the new group. Mrs. Nettie S. Sawyer was a true friend of everyone of “her boys” six to nine of which made their home in the house with many others taking their meals there, from time to time. She was always willing to sew on a button, doctor a cold, or offer a bit of often much needed motherly advice. None of the early members of Kappa Sigma Sigma will ever forget the wonderful spirit of Mrs. Sawyer, our first and only House Mother.
It was during this period that the official colors of green and gold were selected and the pin was designed by Fred Fagg. The grip, password and whistle were adopted November 14th, 1916. The original fraternity table was presented to the organization at the January 16th meeting of 1917 by Herman Nixon as a gift from Whitney, Lockwood, Backlund and Nixon. A little later, on February 28th, 1917 the official ballot box was presented as a gift from Green, Rigglesberger and Mitchell. It seems fitting at this point to pay a tribute to the faithful Dodge of Elwood Bayerle, the only car available to the fraternity, and acknowledge with thanks its loyal service.
By the time the midyear elections came around, Kappa Sigma Sigma had really arrived as a power on the campus. In a close election, Leonard Cooper was defeated for President of the Associated Student Body by Gillette of the Pi Chi machine by only three votes and at the June 5th election Kappa Sigma Sigma men made almost a clean sweep, winning seven of the nine offices.
The year 1917-1918 was the war year and conditions were unusual in many ways. The majority of the brothers were in The Service in Europe or at home and khaki was the established shade for wearing apparel for the men of the day.
Kappa Sigma Sigma pledged a fine group of new men and the activities of the fraternity were carried on under the leadership of President Stanley Silke. Waterman, Maynard, I. Jacobsen, Truesdail, Loper, Smith and Lackey were the new members of the fraternity and it became the custom of the Order to gather at “Kinches” for refreshments after all meetings. The Annual Banquet was held at Forest Home…an exceptional affair. A vacant chair draped in flags and the Fraternities Service Flag was the tribute to absent brothers.
The 1918-1919 group of men was under the guidance of Ray Untereiner as President and the growth and prestige of Kappa Sigma Sigma was marked. Professor H.E. Marsh was invited to join the fraternity as a Patron and to his faithful attendance and keen interest together with the splendid help given by Professor S. Guy Jones, Kappa Sigma Sigma can credit much of the success of the early years of the organization. The R.O.T.C. was in full flower on the Campus and although the attention of the school was to a large extent centered on things military, the fraternity was active and prosperous. Towards the end of the year, President Untereiner relinquished his Presidency for one night to each of the returning Seniors, Lee Trine, Leo Sievert and Don Mitchell. The Annual Banquet was held at Pine Crest, a memorable affair. A bus was chartered and the whole group with their ladies voted the ride home in the moonlight the best part of a perfect day. The year 1918-1919 enjoyed another distinction for it was during this period that the custom of being laid across the table became popular. While considerably overdone at times, this now time-honored custom has no doubt been of real benefit in preserving discipline and decorum. At the close of the year Fred Fagg was selected as the man to guide the destinies of the now fully established and vigorous fraternity for the new year.
Written by Donald Mitchell
May 25th 1915 announcement
A RIVAL FRAT INCUBATING
There has come to our attention during the past week a movement for the organization of a second frat. We hope that the movement will be discouraged in every possible way. While the new frat would no doubt have “high ideals” and be “for the good of the school” the underlying motive is quite transparent and this institution is not large enough to have two frats fighting in our midst. One is sufficient.
Prof. S. Guy Jones
Bro Leonard Cooper
Bro Fred Fagg
CHARTER MEMBERS 1916
F. Leonard Cooper
James S. Leonard
E. O. Kincher
Elwood D. Bayerle
F. Leesyl Trine
Fred D. Fagg Jr.
Leo E. Sievert
Victor L. Jones
S. Guy Jones - Patron