Alpha Sigma Gamma
Initiation Ritual


The initiation ritual for the Alpha Sigma Gamma may be conducted in formats ranging from an uncomplicated informal ceremony with no meals or speakers to a lunch or dinner with a speaker. The type of ceremony that fits your chapter will depend on the characteristics of your real estate faculty, number of initiates, time availability, facilities, local custom, available financing, and other factors.
The ceremony should not add to the cost of membership for the student members. However, any chapter may seek to cover costs of initiation from contributions. Chapters may also solicit funds for initiation expenses from a sponsor or sponsors to fund any expenses associated with the initiation.
All Alpha Sigma Gamma initiates, including honorary and faculty initiates, should be encouraged to attend the initiation ceremony. All current members of the local chapter should also be invited if possible. All real estate and related faculty at the host institution should be invited as well as all appropriate administrative personnel including department chairs and dean’ s office representatives.
The initiation room should have a table or lectern in the front with the Alpha Sigma Gamma name and logo in a prominent position behind the lectern. Initiates should be seated in the first few rows of the room facing the table or lectern. If the ceremony involves a meal or other sitting arrangement, initiates should be asked to come forward and/or stand facing the table or lectern for initiation.
The initiation ceremony should be supervised by the faculty Chapter President or his/her representative, who is the Presiding Member.
The order of the initiation ceremony is:
1) Initiates are asked to stand.
2) General introductory and congratulatory comments.
3) Initiation ritual is read and initiates pledge to uphold the values of Alpha Sigma Gamma.
4) Membership certificates are presented to each initiate by asking each new initiate to come forward when his/her name is called.
The presiding member should start certificate presentations with student members, then faculty members, and finally, honorary members. The presiding member may wish to comment on each honorary member's accomplishments and the reasons he/she was elected to membership in Alpha Sigma Gamma.
5) Closing comments and completion of initiation ritual.
Initiation Ritual.
The initiation ritual has an introduction; discussion of the meaning of each Greek letter; discussion of the overall meaning of the Parthenon, the symbol of Alpha Sigma Gamma; and a membership pledge for initiates.
The Alpha Sigma Gamma initiation ritual may be administered by the Presiding Member or by an initiation team. If a team approach is used, members of the team may read the meaning the Greek letters and the Parthenon. However, the Presiding Member should administer the membership pledge and present membership certificates.
The Ceremony
Initiates, either seated or standing, should be facing the presiding member or initiation team. The initiation team should be standing, in the order of presentation, if possible, facing the initiates.
Presiding Member: You have been selected for initiation into the Alpha Sigma Gamma International Real Estate Honorary Society. Does each of you desire to become members of Alpha Sigma Gamma? Signify by saying "I do."
All Initiates: I do.
Presiding Member: Alpha Sigma Gamma is founded on certain principles appropriate for the study and practice of real estate. Because you have distinguished yourself in the real estate area and have expressed your desire to become a member of Alpha Sigma Gamma, these basic principles, represented by three Greek letters forming our name will now be revealed. You will also learn the significance of the Parthenon, the symbol of Alpha Sigma Gamma.
Presiding Member or Alpha Speaker: Alpha is the initial letter of word Arete, which in Greek means EXCELLENCE. To the Greeks, the achievement of excellence in all aspects of living was a life-long pursuit. It was a pursuit of excellence in the broadest sense of the word - incorporating honor, virtue, and balance. Arete also describes the Greeks attitude toward their equivalent of our cities, the Polis, and its development. Today, Arete serves as a laudable goal reflecting continued effort for personal excellence in real estate endeavors. It also incorporates the responsibility you have to the community in which you live and work.
Presiding Member: Striving for excellence is an important element of real estate endeavors. However, striving alone is not enough as the meaning of the Greek letter Sigma reveals.
Presiding Member or Sigma Speaker:
This letter Sigma represents the Greek word Sophia meaning WISDOM. Wisdom is a composite of knowledge, judgment, attitude, and a consistent internal philosophy for planning and making decisions. Wisdom results from academic pursuits and experience being melded into insights of what is appropriate. Wisdom is the ability to learn from experience.
Wisdom provides the context for making choices. Wisdom combines science and philosophy to produce a comprehensive decision context. It is the ability to discern inner qualities and relationships and to put new knowledge into perspective.
Presiding Member: The pursuit of overall excellence and the role of wisdom in that pursuit must both occur within a particular context in order to be most meaningful. Listen now to the meaning of Gamma.
Presiding Member or Gamma Speaker: The letter Gamma is the first letter of the Greek word Gaia which means EARTH, the most fundamental element of all real estate. It is the ultimate object to which the pursuit of excellence and wisdom is applied. Through the wise pursuit of excellence you can contribute to the quality of the built environment and to preserving the Earth for future generations.
Gaia represents an awareness of the need to achieve excellence through wisdom.
Presiding Member: This brings us to the symbol of the Alpha Sigma Gamma, the Parthenon. The Parthenon embodies the attributes of excellence and wisdom and the need for a harmonious relationship between the built environment and the Earth. The columns surrounding the Parthenon represent the multidisciplinary nature of real estate while its overall proportions represent balance and the skillful blending of many disciplines, skills, and interests. The location of the Parthenon on the Acropolis, or high city, represents the constant need to seek the highest ethical and moral ground in all real estate activities. Finally, the enduring nature of the structure is a reminder of the long-term consequences of real estate activities and the need for the pursuit of wisdom and excellence in all decisions involving the use of the Earth. The Parthenon, then, embodies many of the elements central to Alpha Sigma Gamma.
Presiding Member: As you have already affirmed your desire to become a member Alpha Sigma Gamma will you please stand and repeat after me.
“I (state your full name) will endeavor to pursue / the principles of the Alpha Sigma Gamma, the International Real Estate Honorary Society. / I will strive for overall excellence in all real estate activities. / I will work to develop wisdom to guide my decisions. / I will endeavor to work for the betterment of my community, / its environment, and the Earth in general. / I always will work / to further and promote real estate scholarship / and the highest levels of business practice in the real estate industry.”
Presiding Member: To commemorate your achievements and you acceptance of the principles of Alpha Sigma Gamma, we will now present membership certificates.
Ask each new member to come forward and receive his/her certificate as you call initiates’ names.
Presiding Member: On behalf of the … (Chapter name) Chapter of the Alpha Sigma Gamma International Real Estate Honorary Society, I welcome you to membership. This concludes our initiation ceremony.