NOVEMBER 1: Fraternity debuts

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Carter Ashton Jenkens

Carter Ashton Jenkens

Above: Theodor Geisel (top), Anthony McAuliffe, and Carroll O’Connor.

ON THIS DATE in 1901, nineteen-year-old Carter Ashton Jenkens and 11 others founded the fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon at Richmond College in Virginia.

According to the Sigma Phi Epsilon website (, there are currently more than 15,000 SigEps undergraduates, which is more than any other national fraternity.

Notable SigEps members past and present include

• Anthony McAuliffe, West Virginia, class of 1920. The World War II general is famous for responding to a German surrender ultimatum in December of 1944 with a one-word reply: “Nuts!” The German major who received McAuliffe’s response was baffled until someone informed him that the general was really saying, “Go to hell!”

• Theodor S. Geisel, Dartmouth, class of 1925. Also known as Dr. Seuss.

• Carroll J. O’Connor, Montana, class of 1952. Actor most noted for his role as Archie Bunker on “All in the Family” (1971-’79).

• Bob Lilly, Texas Christian, class of 1961. Hall of Fame defensive tackle for Dallas Cowboys, known as “Mr. Cowboy.”

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