Our VP of Communications, Cullen Marshall ’22, recently had the honor of attending SigEp’s Frank J. Ruck Leadership Institute at the University of Richmond campus in Richmond, VA, where Sigma Phi Epsilon was founded in 1901. The Ruck Leadership Institute was launched in 1999 and is focused on preparing undergraduates to lead culture change in their chapters and communities and to facilitate challenging and meaningful conversations with their peers. Less than 150 undergraduates were chosen from a pool of over 500 applicants, so IL-Gamma is very proud to have had a brother in attendance. It was also a special experience for Cullen as it was his first time flying, and he celebrated his 22nd birthday on the first day of the trip!
Over the course of 5 days, Cullen was able to connect with brothers from across the nation in order to learn leadership skills and brainstorm solutions to each participant’s problems at their home chapters. The lessons learned were based on The Leadership Challenge, co-authored by brother Barry Posner (UCSB ‘70).
As a member of Team Purple, Cullen also got to experience a High Ropes Course (or at least an abridged version due to an unexpected tornado warning), a walking tour of the University of Richmond with a history lesson about the fraternity, an Ultimate Frisbee tournament (in which Team Purple got 2nd place), and a tour of SigEp’s HQ, Zollinger House.
Cullen also got to connect with two IL-Gamma alumni, Brad Nahrstadt ’89 and Roy Sye ’13, who were the facilitators for Team Yellow and still play an active role in Monmouth’s AVC!
“My favorite part was getting to see the exact locations and artifacts used by our founding members over a century ago. It was inspiring to learn about the humble beginnings of a small group of like-minded men and how the brotherhood was able to grow from that. It makes me feel a lot more confident about the impact my own chapter can have on a smaller campus like Monmouth College. I can’t overstate how grateful I am to IL-Gamma’s AVC (Alumni and Volunteer Corporation) and the donors to the SigEp Educational Foundation for providing the funding for me to attend this life-changing program. It challenged me in ways I’ve never experienced before, and it’s helped build my confidence to lead our chapter to success in my final semester at Monmouth” – Cullen Marshall ‘22.