The Sigma Nu Chapter at UGA was founded in 1873 as Chapter number 4 (this was prior to the practice of naming chapters with successive Greek letters). The Chapter was disbanned shortly after getting started due to the anti-fraternity law established by the University stating that any student who joined a Greek letter fraternity would be expelled. Sigma Nu was re-established in 1881 and became Mu Chapter after Patrick Hues Mell was selected Chancellor of the University contingent upon the repeal of the anti-fraternity law.
For several years following our organization, we resided at Lumpkin Road and occupied what is now known as the KA house. In 1942, we moved to 150 River Road and for over 50 years, occupied the palatial white "French Chateau" that nearly all of our current alumni remember with a great deal of pride. The house at 150 River Road was built by Mu Chapter, but resided on property owned by the University of Georgia, under the terms of a long term lease.
For more than 50 years, the River Road house was host to numerous events -- White Rose and White Star weekends, Alamo Scout, Homecoming, Beach Weekend, Woodstock and Fall Football Weekends. We were proud to call River Road home -- walking distance to the Stadium and the rest of campus. Large enough to house 20+ brothers, feed the entire chapter (and guests) and host some of the best parties ever held on campus.
In 2000, the River Road house suffered an electrical fire that started in an upstairs bedroom. No one was hurt (the house had been updated with fire escapes and other safety systems, previously), though all of the brothers living in the house were required to relocate. The fire caused minimal damage and fortunately, the Chapter had insurance that paid for smoke and water damage. In the aftermath of the fire (and on the heels of several disastrous fires at fraternity houses across the country, the University Housing Department ordered a structural and electrical inspection of all on-campus fraternity houses. At the time of this inspection, only 2 houses passed the original inspection. Our house was the only house on campus that could not be restored to meet the new safety requirements (not entirely surprising, given the fact that our house was one of the largest and oldest on campus).
In addition to the electrical component of the inspection, the University conducted an inspection of the structural integrity of the House. Unfortunately, our House did not pass this structural inspection. The inspection revealed that the main, load bearing wall that ran from end to end would need to be replaced. In addition, the walls on the third floor would need to be replaced. The structural and electrical repairs for the house would have cost more than $1,200,000. Such repairs would not have ensured the longevity of the House at River Road - the property would remain University property, subject to the land lease.
After 13 years of negotiations, groundbreaking for the new chapter house on River Road was during Fall 2008. Construction was finished August 1, 2009 and the chapter now resides in the New Chateau on River Road.
NOTABLE MU CHAPTER ALUMNI:
- Alfred Halsey- 1890, Captain of UGA's first football team in 1892
- William Kemp, 1893, former Vice Regent of Sigma Nu, founded Sigma Nu, Gamma Alpha Chapter at Georgia Tech
- Samuel Rutherford, 1895, Three term United States Congressman; died in office in 1932; Rutherford Street in Athens is named in his honor
- Eugene Talmadge, 1901, Elected Governor of Georgia four times; died in office 1946
- Charles Edwards, elected to serve nine terms in the United States Congress.
- Herman E. Talmadge, 1932, elected Governor of Georgia three times and served four terms in the United States Senate
- William F. Jenkins, 1896, Chief Justice of Georgia Supreme Court.
- Hatton Lovejoy, 1893, prominent banker & lawyer; instrumental in building chapter house on River Road
- Marion Folson, Jr. 1909, Secretary of Health Education and Welfare during the Eisenhower Adminsitration
- Curtis Taylor, 1954, actor and producer, appeared in Gomer Pyle and General Hospital
- Charles Snelling-initiated at VMI, former President of the University, dining hall on South Campus named in his honor
- J.D. Todd, 1933, past president South Carolina Bar Association
- Verner Chaffin, 1936, Dean Emeritus University of Georgia Law School.
- Joseph Fraiser, 1947, original real estate developer, former Chairman, Sea Pines Plantation, Hilton Head Island, SC.
- Charlie Cook, 1953, served on Sigma Nu High Council as Vice Regent, founded chapter at Jacksonville University
- Marion T. Pope, 1951, Chief Justice Georgia Court of Appeals
- George Hearn III, 1953, Judge in Walton County, Georgia and former House Corporation President
- E. Speer Mabry, III, 1954, Senior Partner of law firm Mabry & McCelland, former Sigma Nu Division Commander.
- M. Anthony Greene, 1957, CEO, Raymond F. James Securities
- James P. Martin, 1959, former Executive Director, Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants
- W. Thomas Johnson, 1961, retired CEO, Cable News Network; former Publisher, Los Angles Times; considered by many as Journalism School's most distinguished alumnus
- R. Lindsay Thomas, 1963, four term United States Congressman, SVP Governmental Relations, Atlanta Gas Light
- Bill Stanfill, 1965, All-American football player for Bulldogs, won Outland Trophy as the nations most outstanding offensive lineman in 1968, three time NFL All-Pro, three time Super Bowl winner with Miami Dolphins, Georgia Sports Hall of Fame
- Daniel P. Amos, 1970, Chairman and CEO, AFLAC in Columbus, Georgia
- Robert Durham, 1975, Southeastern Managing Director, Lehman Brothers; currently Regent of Sigma Nu
- Stewart McDowell, 1975, Chief Executive Officer, Wachovia Insurance Services, one of the top ten insurance brokers in the country
- Kyle Chandler, pledge 1984, actor, won People's Choice Award for role in China Beach, star of CBS series The Early Edition for four seasons in mid 1990s, now stars on NBC's Friday Night Lights
- John Ramsey, 1962, Chairman of Ramsey Foundation, major benefactor to the University
- George Patton, 1962, Two time All-American Defensive Tackle for Coach Dooley, 1966 SEC Lineman of the Year, former Atlanta Falcon, elected to the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.
- Gene Callaway, 1980, Callaway Gardens, Georgia
- Blake Callaway, 1981, Callaway Gardens, Georgia
- John T. Edge, 1981, food critic of Southern cuisine, author of hundreds of magazine articles and three books on cuisine and Southern culture
- John Dillard, 1988, The Dillard House, Dillard, Georgia
- Mark Schlabach, 1994, sports journalist for ESPN.com; former beat writer covering UGA sports at The Washington Post and Atlanta Journal-Constitution
- Brother Stewart- 1968, CEO, Bibb Distributing, Anheiser-Busch Distributor, member of Terry College of Business Alumni Board
- John Phelps, 1974, Senior Vice President, Wachovia Wealth Management, Atlanta, member of Terry College of Business Alumni Board
- Stephen Smith, 1982, Orthopedic Surgeon, Atlanta, National Sigma Nu Brother of the Year in 1986; twin brother of Stuart Smith
- Stuart Smith, 1982, Orthopedic Surgeon, Nashville, TN, National Sigma Nu Scholar of the Year in 1986; twin brother of Stephen Smith
- Tom Cochran, 1960, Executive Director, National Conference of Mayors, Washington, DC
- Herman E. (Gene) Talmadge, Jr. 1961, Real Estate Developer, Henry Co., GA
- Herman E. Talmadge, III, 1984, mortgage broker, Henry Co., GA, first 4th generation member of Mu Chapter, brother Tyler Talmadge, 1987
- Luther Lockwood, 1989, Managing Director, MBL Advisors, Chairman of the Patrick H. Mell Leadership Fund at the UGA Foundation, awarding scholarships to top male student leaders.
Sigma Nu actives and alumni are leaders in all aspects of the University, the State and the Country.