LDS frat creates memorial

Derek Banks spent his Saturday morning raking leaves and pulling up roots to fulfill David Lowe’s dream.

Banks, and about 25 others from the Latter-day Saints Student Association fraternity Sigma Gamma Chi, performed their first service project of the year in the backyard of Chapter Vice President Creighton Lowe’s home.

Lowe, whose father died Aug. 22, wanted to make his father’s dream of planting an orchard a reality, and turned to his fraternity for support.

“They were talking to my mom at the funeral service and the idea just sort of happened,” Lowe said.

Established in 1967, the LDSSA’s fraternity, Sigma Gamma Chi, is the largest fraternity at the U, with more than 400 members.

Although the chapter is not officially affiliated with the U’s Greek Row, the members are among the most visible on campus, occupying the front row of the student fan section during every home football game.

“Coach [Urban] Meyer visited one of our chapters before the season started, and he gave them season tickets because he heard we were the loudest group of fans on campus,” Lowe said.

But Saturday’s was a more subdued and personal gesture. “This house was going to be my dad’s retirement home…The association of these brethren has really helped me get through this difficult time. It’s touched me deeply to have them here,” Lowe said.

Banks, whose ankles were scuffed with scratches, joined the fraternity in 1998.

“I’m definitely glad I joined…Our letters are also our philosophy,” he said.

Sigma Gamma Chi stands for “Service to God and Country,” and it’s something chapter members take to heart, Lowe said. “We’re a frat based on LDS standards. We’re not interested in a house on Greek Row. The institute is our house,” he said. David’s widow, Susan, said without the efforts of chapter members, her husband’s dream of planting an orchard never would have come to fruition.

“It wouldn’t have happened without them. This is just the ultimate in community service…To have these guys rally around, this is fabulous,” she said.

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