Alpha Sigma Society
The Alpha Sigma Society was founded on November 13th, 1957. Alpha Sigma Society had what can be considered an auspicious beginning. Five Cal Poly students, many from New York, wanted to accomplish two things. They wanted a place where they could live and cut down on cost of living by moving out of the dorms. And, more importantly, they wanted to form an organization that did not discriminate, based on race or religion, as all other fraternities/societies at Cal Poly in 1957 were practicing. Joseph Cotchett, Irwin Haydock, James Lee, Oliver Wilgress and Manfred Stein were the founding fathers. James Lee worked hard to obtain a lease on a house, which turned out to be the only fraternity house Alpha Sigma Society ever had.. at 1681 Phillips Lane- close to campus and big enough for a number of people to occupy. Oliver Wilgress was Architecture major and came up with the logo for Alpha Sigma Society that is still used today. Another one of the tenets of the founding fathers was to encourage academic excellence.
These outstanding students figured out the best way to eat well was to make friends with some Home Economics majors and have them do the cooking. This was a tradition which carried on for many years throughout much of Alpha Sigma’s tenure in the house. Exceptions to this tradition include the time where an older lady was cooking and did not show up one day, only for the house residents to find out she had passed away. Tony Masraff, who later became a restaurateur, was given free room and board to do the cooking for the rest of his school career if he could improve the quality of food that the departed lady had been making. This tradition of having Home Economics majors cook ended up in a number of brothers marrying the cooks. It may have also ended up being a beginning of the “Little Sisters” which came in later years.
A few years after the society was founded, a student from New York, attending Cal Poly went on his Spring Break to Long Island and the City College of New York to talk to students in the engineering department and encourage them to come to Cal Poly. The students who got the message included Jack Guhring, Wayne Nilsen, Frank Frankel, Henry Heissenbuttel, Robert Kramer and Robert Mueller. They all ended up at Cal Poly living in the dorms and heard about a society with guys from New York early in their Cal Poly careers. During the next year or so they all joined the Alpha Sigma Society. Over the next few years more Cal Poly students from New York and New Jersey became Alpha Sigma Society members. So you could say that Alpha Sigma Society was a “bi-coastal” group whose main goal was based on the principle of respect for all individuals. Some members showed an early interest in becoming Mailmen !
Most members of the Alpha Sigma Society have gone on to become semi-productive members of society. During this process, it became evident that the friendships that were formed during the college years would become important for a lifetime. And thus, the Alpha Sigma Society continues. Our goals are simple.....maintain old friendships and party like we were still young! On the Members Page you'll find a complete list of all Alpha Sigma Society members including links for e-mailing, forums to post messages and the latest member news. You'll need a password to enter this area. E-mail the Uncompensated Webmaster if you can't figure it out. As you might expect, the Upcoming Events Page will have all the latest information about upcoming events as arranged by our Uncompensated Social Chairman. The Recent Events Page contains all the embarrassing photos from the last few events. The Photo Archives Page leads to many pages from the Alpha Sigma years, including the surviving photos from the albums. We hope you enjoy your visit!
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