A spring break trip came a few weeks early for many of the menin Sigma Alpha Epsilon, one of the four fraternities here atSimpson College.
A group of 27 guys took the trip to Evanston, Ill. to seesomething many had not laid eyes on before: the Levere MemorialTemple.
“It is something we try to do every three years,” said seniorSteve Neve.
In the long tradition of SAE, the temple is very important. Itis named after William C. Levere who was one of the foundingmembers of the chapter at Northwestern University in Evanston.
When Levere died in 1927, a national campaign resulted in theconstruction of the Temple. The temple was not only a memorial toLevere, but it also serves as the fraternity’s nationalheadquarters.
SAE members here at Simpson had various reasons for going, suchas never having been there before.
“I hadn’t seen the temple before,” said senior SethWilliams.
The first floor of the temple is devoted to a museum with itemssuch as historical photographs and collections from privatesources, while the walls are covered with oil portraits ofdistinguished members throughout its history.
The building is still used today for ceremonies and receptionsby fraternities and sororities. The entire building is open to thepublic for patriotic, religious, and educational purposes.
“It is an impressive building with tiffany stained-glasswindows,” said Williams. “It is really neat.”
The library inside the temple is also free to the public. Thetemple contains what is considered the one of the most completelibraries of Greek-letter fraternities and sororities.
“It is the second biggest collection of Greek history in theUnited States,” said Neve.
The library inside of the temple is named after one of itsdistinguished members and a Simpson professor, Dr. Joseph Walt.
Walt is known here at Simpson for writing, “Beneath theWhispering Maples: The History of Simpson College,” but he has alsodone a lot of writing when it comes to the history of SAE. Waltpublished one book entitled, “The Era of Levere,” which covered thehistory of SAE from 1910-1930.
Besides Walt other prominent alumni of SAE include actors DavidSpade and William Faulkner; Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jacksonand pop singer Nick Lachey.
Besides touring the temple and taking part in a retreat, theSimpson chapter traveled to downtown Chicago and also to a fellowSAE chapter at Northern Illinois University.
SAE is North America’s largest fraternity with more than 260,000initiated members. The fraternity resides in 48 states with morethan 200 chapters with 8,200 undergraduates across the country.