Sigma Nu is an undergraduate, college fraternity with chapters in the United States and Canada. Sigma Nu was founded in 1869 by three cadets at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia. Founders James Frank Hopkins, Judge Greenfield Quarles and James McIlvaine Riley formed Sigma Nu shortly after Hopkins witnessed what he considered a hazing ritual by upperclassmen at the Virginia Military Institute. Sigma Nu’s existence remained secret until the founders publicly announced their new society on the first day of January 1869, the accepted birth date of Sigma Nu Fraternity. The Fraternity’s values are summarized as an adherence to the principles of brotherly Love, Truth, and Honor. Because of its military heritage, Sigma Nu retains many military trappings in its chapter ranks and traditions, and places much importance on the concept of personal honor.
Today, Sigma Nu honors its founders’ integrity as the basis of its strictly enforced ban on hazing. Sigma Nu is one third of the Lexington Triad along with Kappa Alpha Order and Alpha Tau Omega, all of which were founded in Lexington.