Eta Mu Chapter of Sigma Chi at Eastern Illinois - Derek Pierce ’17 Carries on Family Sigma Chi Legacy

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Sigma Chi Has Prepared Him to Make a Difference Wherever He Goes

Derek Pierce
Derek with his brothers

The Pierce Family
Left to right: Derek, Cole, Blake, Cheri, and Kevin 

When Derek Pierce was initiated into Sigma Chi, it held a different kind of weight than it did for most new members—because he was the third son to follow in his father’s footsteps.

His father, Kevin ’84, and brothers, Cole ’14 and Blake ’11, had all gone through this same ritual and now it was Derek’s turn.

“It was incredible to have my dad there shedding a tear and choked up as my older brothers stood beside him, as well as our close family friend, Barry Reichart ’84, who my Dad grew up with and is the reason my father became a Sig,” Derek says.

Though they didn’t know it, Derek and his brothers were raised to honor the values of Sigma Chi. That’s why they were all natural fits.

“When each of us rushed, my father was very proud and honored,” Derek says. “He had been helping with initiations for many years—ever since we were kids.”

Now, outside Derek’s room in the chapter house is an old composite that includes his father. Further down the hall are those of his siblings. “It's like walking back in time,” Derek says. “I hope someday all our sons will be fortunate enough to be in a composite in that hall.”

There’s little doubt that a few more Pierces will be joining the ranks of Eta Mu. After all, Blake is now a Grand Praetor and Kevin was inducted into the Order of Constantine in the summer of 2016 at Grand Council for all his years of service.

Derek, himself, has already grown immensely thanks to his Sigma Chi experience.

“Sigma Chi has taught me about true leadership and how to assume all of the roles in a team,” he says. “My chapter taught me how to interact with individuals with all different backgrounds and beliefs. Horizons taught me how to face my biggest flaws, fears, and weaknesses. BLTW taught me how to assume great responsibilities and pressures and push my chapter—or any organization I'm a part of—to new heights and successes.”

Among Derek’s most notable accomplishments is leading his chapter to raise $7,000 for the Huntsman Cancer Research Institute from Derby Days in 2015, doubling the chapter’s previous totals.

But Derek’s impact goes far beyond the fraternity. “As Student Vice President of Student Affairs, I helped organize Pantherpalooza, an event with 100-130 Registered Student Groups showing up and recruiting more members, as well as overseeing the allocation of over $300,000 in student fee money with my role in Apportionment Board,” Derek says.

No matter where he goes, Derek strives to make a positive impact.

“I hope to make a difference on campus by helping all students connect with groups and people that share their passions and interests,” he says. “Within Sigma Chi, I want to help my brothers become true leaders across campus in different organizations, the community as a whole, and within our International Fraternity.”

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