By Emily Lohec | Staff Writer
Both fraternities and sororities at Baylor have embraced the opportunity to welcome back alumni who once wore their letters proudly. Kappa Nu, the predecessor of Kappa Sigma, is holding a 50th celebration today in honor of the fraternity’s founding.
John Yambao, Baylor Kappa Sigma alumni class of 1978, decided to create a celebratory reunion to show the impact the fraternity has had not only on himself but on all members of the chapter. He devoted some of his time toward celebrating the pledge classes that were formed during his college years.
“Like many freshmen, I knew very few people on campus, so joining a fraternity seemed like a good way to meet people,” Yambao said. “We affiliated with Kappa Sigma in 1976 after the administration lifted the ban on national fraternities being on campus.”
Yambao said that he feels there is a negative stereotype regarding how Greek life is viewed in the eyes of the public. However, Yambao says that Kappa Sigma holds each brother accountable to maintain a safe, positive and respectable reputation.
He said Kappa Sigma was formed with a foundation that values the responsibility of being a student first.
“The group was comprised largely of pre-med, pre-law, pre-business students who were serious about academics,” Yambao said. “[We] also wanted to experience a great social life to get the full benefits of a college experience. I am happy to say the fraternity was true to this commitment both when I was pledging and when I became a member.”
Along with Kappa Sigma alumni, active members are welcome to attend the 50th celebration as well.
Houston junior RC Renburg, a current member of Kappa Sigma, believes this reunion is a chance to show the alumni respect for their involvement in the fraternity during their time at Baylor.
“The alumni built the fraternity we are today and worked hard to do the same activities we are doing,” Renburg said. “We want to carry on their legacy and to do that, we must support them now, even as alumni.”
Renburg said that he hopes the celebration will serve as an opportunity for the alumni to reconnect, and that he feels it will be a unique event to gain insight from the active brothers before him.
“The alumni will love to reconnect with their pledge brothers,” Renburg said. “Some guys may not have seen each other for years and coming back to Baylor will be a great chance to reminisce.”
Yambao said he understands how busy life can get, and feels that having this time to celebrate with his brothers will be a memorable retreat.
“After we graduate, our lives get busy with jobs, marriage, raising a family and time just whizzes by, it seems,” Yambao said. “But it’s important to make even a little time for friends and cherish the memories.”
Yambao and Renburg both share loyalty toward their other brothers when they pledged Kappa Sigma. Renburg said that the baseline values of pursuing academics while upholding the well-being of members go hand in hand with the principle of accepting a variety of personality types.
“Kappa Sigma takes pride in that we all come from different backgrounds,” Renburg said. “I have learned to meet people where they are at, build each other up and become successful at everything we are working for.”
Milton, Mass., senior Ev Sugarbaker, current president of Kappa Sigma, feels his time as president and as an active member has given him lifelong leadership skills, time management and friendships. He hopes to continue to serve his chapter well into his next phase of life.
“As I near the end of my time as an active member, I see how I would want to give back to this organization,” Sugarbaker said. “Many strong alumni desire to give back to the chapter that served them in so many different areas.”
Sugarbaker said that through his time on campus, Kappa Sigma provided a unified group for him to contribute to the campus charitably with, and to grow in bonds with that will hopefully continue after graduation.
“What’s interesting to have seen over my years in Kappa Sigma is the tendency for members to develop themselves spiritually, intellectually, socially and personally through being exposed to an eclectic mix of strengths and interests of their brothers,” Sugarbaker said.