Remembering the Fire - 40 years


            As we all take pause today to remember the five brothers we lost 40 years ago today, I would like you to reflect on the impact Kappa Sigma has had on your life. August 29th, 1976 is without a doubt one of the most life altering days in the history of Kappa Sigma at Baker University. We lost brothers and friends, mothers and fathers lost sons, and a college community lost five young men with limitless and bright futures ahead.Steve Hoge, Stuart McCoy, Ted Bailey, David Sloop and Mark Morris lost their lives that night and have forever impacted ours ever since. For the members that were present then, Kappa Sigma has meant great sorrow, great loss, and great pain. It was also the source of great joy, healing, and honor. Thank you for living - and dying, as Kappa Sigma men – you have shown us all what brotherly bonds are capable of mending.

            I cannot imagine what it was like to live in the house in the year leading up to and the years closely following the fire. I cannot image the lifelong mental and physical pain that members having survived the fire continue to confront to this day. I cannot imagine a bond with my brothers made even stronger by the sudden loss of five such beloved men. I can only hope to ensure they are not forgotten. Not forgotten by Beta Tau, Baker University, or anyone who asks what happened in ’76. I can honor their memories, listen to their families, and make sure such a tragedy never occurs again. We miss you brothers, A.E.K.Δ.B.

            It is in this moment of remembrance and reflection that I am most proud to be a Beta Tau of Kappa Sigma alumnus. I am also extremely proud to finally announce that a whole-house fire suppression system has been installed, the required main water line upgrades completed, and the final testing and activation will be performed in the next 3 weeks. Each individual living quarters as well as all common areas on the main floor and basement will have live sprinklers before you come back for homecoming this fall. One the same note, over $15,000 in electrical safety and functional upgrades have also been completed and final bids from general contractors on the complete renovation are due by September 15th.

            To end on another positive thought, I am extremely happy to announce that the current active chapter accepted 20 new pledges just this Saturday. They have been working very hard, and it is paying off. The chapter finances are healthier than ever, the membership is thriving, the members are athletes, leaders, musicians, and scholars. I congratulate them on the achievements made with less than a full week of classes under the belt. It is going to be a great year to be a Kappa Sigma from Baker University.


Fraternally Yours,


Evan Durnal ‘01

Board President

Copyright 2011 Remembering the Fire - 40 years. Kappa Sigma Beta Tau
Beta Tau Chapter of Kappa Sigma