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Department: Alumni Relations

New scholarship announcement to highlight Emporia State Sigma Sigma Sigma Founders’ Day

April 22, 2014

When members of Emporia State University’s Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority gather for their annual Founders’ Day celebration Saturday, April 26, the event will take on special significance.

“This won’t be a typical Founders’ Day for us,” said Beth Scharinger, a junior elementary education major from Leavenworth, one of the event’s organizers.

One member of the sorority will be named the recipient of the inaugural Roach Family Award, an endowed scholarship created by a generous gift from Neil and Carol (Harbour) Roach of Lenexa, Kan. The scholarship will be presented to a high-achieving Tri Sigma to celebrate the lifelong friends and close ties that the Roach family has made through its association with fraternity and sorority membership at Emporia State.

Those connections include not only Neil’s fraternity experience and Carol’s longtime association with Sigma Sigma Sigma, but also the involvement of the couple’s son Noel, active in Emporia State’s Kappa Sigma fraternity, and Noel’s wife, Tracy, a Chi Omega at ESU.

“Over the years, we’ve observed that Emporia State alumni who are members of a sorority or fraternity are typically those who come through the most to support their alma mater,” said Neil Roach, noting the service of fellow members of fraternities and sororities on campus boards and advisory committees, their gifts to fund-raising campaigns, and support of campus events.

Carol Roach was chapter advisor to the ESU Tri Sigmas from 1970 through the late 1980s. During one Founders’ Day dinner, she read a poem she had been inspired to write celebrating the quality of sisterhood that members of the sorority enjoy. That poem is now read during formal recruitments of new members as a testament to the lifelong connections each member enjoys.

“The women I met when I became a Tri Sigma are still among my closest friends now,” said Carol Roach. The group conducts reunions across the country, a practice they began in 1984, and they stay in touch year round. “No matter what happens to one of us, we have supported each other through good times and bad,” Carol added.

“We’re grateful to Neil and Carol for their leadership, their commitment to Emporia State University, and their support in sustaining and building fraternity and sorority life on campus through this outstanding example of personal generosity,” said DenaSue Potestio, Emporia State Foundation president/CEO.

The annual Roach Family Award will be presented to a freshman, sophomore or junior member of the Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority at Emporia State University. The scholarship recognizes the student's involvement in chapter activities and chapter leadership.

The recipient of the inaugural Roach Family Award will be announced during the Sigma Sigma Sigma Founders’ Day program at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 26, 2014, at Emporia State's Sauder Alumni Center. In addition to her scholarship, the winner will also receive a necklace created for the achievement and presented by Neil and Carol Roach.

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