Derby Days

Life at Greystone is not all about schoolwork and relaxation; many Sigs take time out of their busy weeks to give back to the community and help improve the image of both Cornell and Sigma Chi, not only in Ithaca but on campus as well.

Of course, the spring semester is when Sigma Chi really gets its time to shine philanthropically—when we hold our annual Derby Days, to raise money for charities such as Children’s Miracle Network and First Book.

Derby Days

The 2014 Derby Days took place the week of April 21. Derby Days is a national Sigma Chi philanthropy tradition that raises money for Sigma Chi's official partner, Children's Miracle Network. This year, the fraternity made a unique decision to donate 20% of the proceeds to a charity of the winning sorority's choice, which further encouraged all members of sororities to take part in the weeklong event.

At Cornell, all twelve Panhellenic sororities competed in a variety of competitions. The brotherhood was divided evenly, and teams of five brothers were randomly placed on each sorority's team. Points were awarded based on their respective performances and based on how much money was raised for charity.

Events for the week were:

  • Monday: Brother Auction
  • Tuesday: Dance Competition/Skit
  • Wednesday: Scavenger Hunt
  • Thursday: Brother Hunt
  • Friday:Derby Olympics
  • Other: Penny Wars, Hats

This year, we were pleased to announce that Kappa Kappa Gamma was victorious. They were coached by Corey Marsh '14, George Ruizcalderon '15, Kenny Thomson '15, Ryan Osterman '17, and Max Shin '17.

The four seniors elected to organize the week of events were Collin Clark '14, Murray Keo '14, Oliver Marvin '14, and Luke Kelly '14. Thanks to those four and to the entire brotherhood for putting on a spectacular week. Also, thank you to the sororities who participated in healthy competition for a great cause!

Relay for Life

This past spring, Sigma Chi was the largest contributing fraternity for the Relay for Life event held on April 10. The event raised over $100,000 for the American Cancer Society. The event went through the night, spanning 12 hours as members of the Cornell community and Sigma Chi helped to do their part in the fight against cancer. The organizer of the event, Olivia Wittels, said her greatest accomplishment of the relay was getting Greek life more involved. Sigma Chi is proud to help lead the way in getting Greek life more involved in philanthropic events, such as Relay for Life.

Sigma Chi Volunteers On Campus & in the Community


Ithaca Children's Garden:
Over the weekend of October 12-14, Sigma Chi partnered with Alpha Phi Sorority and several fraternities and sororities from MGLC for a weekend of philanthropy and service in the Ithaca area.

On Saturday, October 13, Sigma Chi sent a few brothers to volunteer for the Ithaca Children's Garden. Chris Sanders '13, Cameron Pritchett '15, Stephen Breedon '14, and Luke Grosvenor '14 assisted children and families with building scarecrows outside at the park.

"I really enjoyed working with the children. It's important for Sigma Chi to have a good reputation on campus, as well as in the Ithaca area. I'm glad that we took it upon ourselves to reach out and team up with multicultural fraternities and sororities to do some good work in the Ithaca area," says Stephen Breedon '14.

Ithaca Peace Festival:
On September 14, Sigma Chi was proud to assist with set up of the Ithaca Silent Film Festival at Schwartz Center.

As many alumni will know, Sigma Chi Alpha Phi has a storied relationship with the film industry. Greystone was originally a mansion, home to actress Irene Castle and her husband, Vernon.

Irene Castle was the star of numerous silent films in the early 20th century. Several of these movies were filmed at Greystone. One example is Castle’s Patria, which was about the United State’s entry into World War I.

Corey Marsh '14, one of the volunteers, said, "With Greystone’s history with silent films, it was important for our house to support the efforts of the Ithaca Silent Film Festival. I enjoyed helping them set up their exhibits."