Monmouth is the largest community in Warren County and one of the largest towns in the western Illinois region. It is the county seat and the government, retail, and employment hub of the county.
Monmouth is located approximately 200 miles southwest of Chicago and 230 miles north of St. Louis, giving the city a very central Illinois location. The city is located approximately 45 miles south of the Quad Cities and 60 miles northwest of Peoria.
There are two major highways that intersect in Monmouth. The first is U. S. Route 34 which runs northeast and southwest from Galesburg to Burlington, Iowa. The second is U. S. Route 67 which runs north and south from the Quad Cities to Macomb. Interstate 74 is roughly 13 miles east of Monmouth and is accessible via Route 34 at Galesburg.
Monmouth is located in what is commonly known as west-central Illinois. The physical landscape of the region is generally flat or in some areas comprised of gently rolling hills with sudden breaks where the valleys have been carved out by the tributaries of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. It is located approximately 20 miles from the Mississippi River to the west and 50 miles from the Illinois River to the east.
Monmouth College was a logical choice for Sigma Phi Epsilon to select our chapter as National's eighty-fourth (84th) chartered chapter, its third in Illinois, on May 22, 1948.
This chapter's history can be traced back to the founding of the Tau Lambda Phi fraternity chapter in 1907 at Monmouth. Tau Lambda merged with Pi Rho Phi in 1910, later merging with a national fraternity of Theta Upsilon Omega in 1930. We've provided the historical information as subpages to our website, lengthy reading, no doubt, yet a story which exemplifies our past accomplishments.
In 1938, a major development took place - a merger between Sigma Phi Epsilon and the Theta Uspilon Omega national fraternity. For reasons unknown to this writer, our chapter of Theta Upsilon Omega didn't affiliate into Sigma Phi Epsilon and historically presumed this chapter remained dormant between those ten years.
A video from our brothers of SigEp at Southeast Missouri State accords you the opportunity to view a video of Brother Harold Poling's remarks describing how this chapter became the SigEp chapter at Monmouth. (Scroll down about half the page for his video segment to appear.) His vision is a wonderful reminder of the importance of our brotherhood.
This chapter was described in the Sigma Phi Epsilon Journal at the chartering as the "Double Play in Illinois" when our chapter was installed at Monmouth College. With the merger, scores of dedicated TUO alumni became members in our fraternity, finally! The Illinois Beta chapter at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), was chartered earlier in the same month of 1948.
Our alumni remember a pledge model being in place until this changed in the early 90s. Illinois Gamma became one of the first chapters in Illinois to institute this model as a Balanced Man Chapter.
When new members join this SigEp chapter, they are immediately given all the rights and privileges of any other brother in the fraternity. They do, however, have to go through a new member process which allows them to learn more about the fraternity, both nationally and locally. While going through this process, they form a strong bond with the new member class, as well as the rest of the fraternity as a whole. This is expanded on in the SigEp difference page as we are honored to tell you the story of the achievements at the national level.
Alumni, we thank you for your service and membership with this grand fraternity, we will highlight various awards and accomplish- ments the chapter has received over the years and we welcome pictures from you of the chapter and memories you experienced here.
The History of Illinois Gamma is retained in the memories of our alumni and we need a collective history to share the times of the 50s- 60s- 70s as much as we need the 80s- 90s- 00s accounts. Help us won't you!
We are and remain the House with the Red Doors and welcome alumni and friends of the chapter back and reminisce with us. Share your history and experiences with our chapter members!
On September 30, 2008, Illinois Gamma celebrated an initiate Milestone - 1,000th member of our chapter is Alexander "Alex" Andrew Woods, '12 as the chapter's 1,000 initiate!
Our chapter may be the only chapter in the nation of any fraternity which utilizes an endowed scholarship to fund Mini-Grants funding program to foster leadership advantages with other fraternity and sorority organizations. Funding grants have allowed a sorority members to attend their leadership conference and accord Greek wide initiatives which has benefited hundreds of members in leadership and membership development endeavors.
We count ourselves fortunate to lead the Greek community as a chapter of Balanced Men.
It is a sad sight to see thousands of students graduated every year from our grand institutions whose object is to make stalwart, independent, self-supporting men, turned out into the world saplings instead of stalwart oaks, “memory-glands" instead of brainy men, helpless instead of self-supporting, sickly instead of robust, weak instead of strong, leaning instead of erect. "So many promising youths, and never a finished man!"