Epsilon Pi Chapter of Sigma Nu Fraternity Scholarship Program

purpose

To encourage scholarly achievement and fraternal leadership exemplifying the Creed of Sigma Nu, the Epsilon Pi Alumni of Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc. (the Alumni Board) has established this scholarship program to benefit members of the Active Chapter. For the Academic Year 2020-2021, allocations will provide $260,000 in tuition grants to members and will be awarded on a graduated basis so that all members in good standing may benefit.

Program Entities

This scholarship program works under the coordination of four distinct entities:

  1. The Alumni Board is a tax-exempt 501(c)7 corporation that owns the fraternity facility and oversees activities of the undergraduate members. As a feature of the AB, a scholarship subcommittee oversees the evaluation of scholarship applicants and the allocation of grants.
  2. The Sigma Nu Alumni Scholarship Fund (SNASF) is a separate tax-exempt corporation that qualifies as a 501(c)3 entity that provides tuition support and reimbursement to the AB for expenses of an educational nature. The SNASF controls an endowment valued at approximately $1.3 million (Jan 2020) and makes annual determinations of the aggregate amount of grants to be made available to the AB for tuition assistance and reimbursement of AB expenses of an educational nature.
  3. The Carol L. Merlone Educational Foundation (CLMEF), that alumnus Peter Merlone established in honor of his mother, will serve as a 10-year transition to full scholarship support by the Sigma Nu Scholarship Foundation. The $200,000 annual commitment is meant to establish a sustainable path that restores the original concept of nearly free undergraduate public university tuition for Epsilon Pi Chapter Members. By providing that support and leadership, Epsilon Pi will demonstrate to the wider UCLA community that a return to the original concept of tuition-free higher education is possible through private tax-advantaged support.
  4. The undergraduate Scholarship Chairman, an active member of the Epsilon Pi Fraternity of Sigma Nu, coordinates the submission of scholarship applications and makes recommendations to the AB regarding the distribution of grants.

Scholarships winners are announced each fall at Sigma Nu Honors, an alumni-led event that reinforces the lifetime bond and support network enjoyed by members of the UCLA Fraternity.

Alumni Volunteers

Alumni Scholarship Fund Directors: Dave Schmidt (EP 738), Dan Jordan (EP 910), Peter Merlone (President, EP 972), Steve Fulton (EP 1001), Jay Shepherd (EP 1018), Scott McPherson (EP 1186), Brian Zirbel (EP 1628)

Alumni Scholarship Committee: Russ Wyle (President, EP 516), Michael Exner (EP 1616)

Program Elements

The scholarship awards will apply to net tuition per academic year (fall through spring) after accounting for other University tuition assistance from such programs as Pell grants as well as payments from various UCLA and UC endowments programs.

An award may be withheld or suspended in event of house bill arrears at discretion of the Chapter ExComm and the Alumni Board.

Each chapter member in good standing will be required to file a UCLA tuition financial assistance statement for each academic year of chapter membership to assure that the Chapter scholarships will be applied to net tuition with residue remaining with SNASF and/or CLMEF.

Base Scholarship–All members in good standing with the Chapter and the University

  • $1,000 each ($333.00 for Freshmen having completed pledging)

Supplement Scholarships for Members Resident in Fraternity House

  • $1.500 each

Added Scholarship Supplement, for Junior/Senior Members Resident in Fraternity House

  • $3,000 each

Excellence in Academics, Applied available to both Live-in and Live-out members

  • Up to $3,000 each

A Chapter member meeting all criteria for scholarship support, including Excellence in Academics, could receive up to a total of $8,500 in scholarship support for one term of three quarters.

Individual Award Categories

The Gerald L. Coffee Scholarship

$10,000 awarded annually

Scholastic Leadership Achievement Awards

Award size varies annually

Sigma Nu Honor Awards

Award size varies annually

Need-Based Leadership Awards

Award size varies annually

The following criteria will be applied to the Gerald L. Coffee Scholarship:

  • Scholastic Achievement of a High Order
  • Fraternal Exemplar of the Creed of Sigma Nu
  • Demonstrated Leadership Qualities such as goal orientation and creativity, motivation and persistence in pursuing worthy goals, and ability to lead, communicate and motivate a team
  • Integrity of Character
  • Use of Talents to the Full
Captain Coffee receiving an award
Fall2018ScholarshipWinners
Pat Graham shares lessons on success

The following criteria will be applied to Scholastic Leadership Achievement Awards:

  • Academic Accomplishment (3.5+ GPA minimum)
  • Leadership Exemplifying Sigma Nu Values to Epsilon Pi, UCLA and/or Community
  • Live-in Experience of at least one full term of three quarters
  • Minimum one full term (3 quarters) remaining to graduation at Time of Application
  • In Good standing in Chapter, UCLA and Community

The following criteria will be applied to Sigma Nu Honor Awards, including those which are named in memory of significant contributors to the chapter’s history:

  • Academic Accomplishment (3.0+ GPA minimum)
  • Leadership Exemplifying Sigma Nu Values to Epsilon Pi, UCLA and/or Community
  • Minimum one full term (3 quarters) remaining to graduation at Time of Application
  • In Good standing in Chapter, UCLA and Community
Dr. Kyle Kern with prospective med students

The following criteria will be applied to Need-Based Leadership Awards:

  • Academic Accomplishment (3.0+ GPA minimum)
  • Leadership Exemplifying Sigma Nu Values to Epsilon Pi, UCLA and/or Community
  • Minimum one full term (3 quarters) remaining to graduation at Time of Application
  • In Good standing in Chapter, UCLA and Community

Application Process

Submissions to be directed to the Chapter Scholarship Committee.

The Gerald L. Coffee Scholarship:

  • 500 Word Essay on “Applying Leadership Values of Truth, Honor and Love as Exemplified in the Life of Captain Gerald Coffee”
  • Resume
  • Formal UCLA transcript
  • Letter of recommendation from an outside source

Scholastic Leadership Achievement Scholarships:

  • 500 Word Essay: “What Sigma Nu Means to Me”
  • Resume
  • Formal UCLA transcript

Sigma Nu Honor Scholarships:

  • 500 Word Essay: “What Sigma Nu Means to Me”
  • Resume
  • Formal UCLA transcript
  • The Ruthie Scott Memorial Award will go to the applicant with the greatest positive impact on the chapter’s food service program
  • The Harry Montague Memorial Scholarship will go to the non-officer applicant most integral to the brotherhood

Need-Based Scholarship Award:

  • 500 Word Essay: “What Sigma Nu Means to Me”
  • Resume
  • Formal UCLA transcript
  • Statement of Need and/or Copy, Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Memorial Awards

The Gerald L. Coffee Scholarship

Few have been tested and fewer still have survived an ordeal with such honor as Gerald L. Coffee (Epsilon Pi 468). While flying combat missions over North Vietnam in 1966, his reconnaissance jet was downed by enemy fire. As he parachuted to earth, he was immediately captured and for the ensuing seven years was held as a POW. After his repatriation in 1973 Captain Coffee returned to operational duties in the Navy and retired from active duty in 1985 with 28 years of service. His military decorations include the Silver Star, two awards of the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, two Bronze Stars, the Air Medal, two Purple Hearts and the Vietnam Service Medal with 13 stars.

In honor of Captain Coffee as the personification of the highest ideals expressed in the Creed of Sigma Nu, this scholarship is to be awarded to the applicant who exemplifies the highest ideals of fraternal leadership.

The Harry Montague Scholarship

A towering figure at 6-foot 5-inches, Harry Montague (Epsilon Pi 774) joined Sigma Nu in the fall of 1967. His joyful involvement, willing ear and sincere commitment to the Sigma Nu lifetime bond made him a cherished friend among his peers. Always a sports enthusiast, brother “H” used his economics degree to launch a 12 year career with the Huntington Beach recreation department where he coached the essentials of sports and exemplified the spirit of life.

In 1988, at age 40, he was tragically killed in a bicycle accident on Pacific Coast Highway. This scholarship in “H’s” honor will be awarded annually to the non-officer applicant most integral to the brotherhood.

The Ruthie Scott Scholarship

Epsilon Pi brothers from 1957 to 1970 enjoyed the best meals on Fraternity Row thanks to Ruth “Ruthie” Scott. An excellent manager of food budgets and dedicated employee of the active chapter, Ruthie essentially served as the “House Mother” for 14 years. Her personal interest in each and every one of “her boys” earned her fierce loyalty from the chapter and especially those who worked alongside her in the kitchen as she prepared meals each day of the week.

In memory of Ruthie’s service to the chapter, this scholarship will be awarded to the live-in member who had the greatest positive impact on the chapter’s food service program.

Implementation

  1. The Chapter Scholarship Chairman will call for applications in Spring Quarter.
  2. The Chapter Scholarship Committee will review applications and forward recommendations to the Alumni Board of Directors by the end of the academic year.
  3. The Chapter Treasurer will present to the Alumni Board a document containing the names, class (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior) and UCLA account numbers so that the base scholarships may be paid. The document will be organized by those living in the Fraternity House and those choosing to live out. Junior and senior classmen choosing to live in will be identified so that their live-in supplements may be paid. The Treasurer’s report will be delivered to the Alumni Board by end of the spring quarter. In event of changes prior to start of a new term in the fall, the Treasurer will report those changes to the Alumni Board so adjustments may be made to the awards.
  4. For the Gerald L. Coffee Scholarship, the Committee will submit a minimum of two nominees for a final determination by the Alumni Board of Directors.
  5. The Alumni Board will review the Committee’s recommendations and adjust and/or confirm the recommendations.
  6. The Alumni Board will determine the qualifications, amounts and number of awards for the Scholastic Leadership, Scholastic Achievement, and Need-Based scholarships year-to-year.
  7. The awards, which will be announced prior to the beginning of fall quarter will be applied in three equal installments for a full term of three quarters.
  8. The Alumni Board retains copyrights to all applicant essay content and reserves the right to publish in portion or in full this content to advocate for the fraternity through all media methods of communication.
  9. All recipients must be and remain in good standing with the Chapter and with UCLA. The Alumni Board reserves the right to disqualify any candidate for application content or actions as reported by the Scholarship Committee unbecoming of a Sigma Nu.
  10. In event a Member should leave or graduate before completing three quarters in a term, the scholarship will paid one third of the total amount per quarter attended with the residue remaining with the scholarship foundations.
  11. Once the Alumni Board has determined final scholarship awards, the AB Scholarship Chair will forward the information to Bresee-Warner and the Sigma Nu Alumni Scholarship Fund. Bresee-Warner will prepare instructions for payment of the scholarships through UCLA’s Office of Payments Solutions and Compliance, University of California Los Angeles, Box 951432, 1125 Murphy Hall, Los Angeles CA 90095-9000.