Jan 23, 2012
By Kyle Ranally
Ohio University undergraduate students have started the nation's first professional sports management fraternity, Sigma Alpha Sigma Mu.
The fraternity, which took about 18 weeks to develop, was unveiled on campus on Jan. 20 after a speech by guest speaker Mark Shapiro, president of the Cleveland Indians professional baseball organization. The fraternity is currently accepting membership applications.
The fraternity was founded to provide academic and professional development opportunities for its members in the sports management field. It is currently the only chapter, but there are long-term plans for expansion to other colleges and universities.
"Ohio University is a pioneer in sport management education as it started the first academic degree program in the country designed to prepare future leaders for the sport industry in 1966," said Ming Li, chair of the Department of Sports Administration and the fraternity's faculty adviser. "Four decades later, it again established the nation's first sport management professional fraternity whose main goal is to provide the students with various professional training opportunities to become industry-ready future sport professionals."
Fraternity founders include President Doug Vinci, Vice President Marcya Betts and Treasurer Dustin Boucher.
"This is a great opportunity for us to advance professionally and academically," Vinci said. "Students have the opportunity to be a part of something new since it's the nation's first sports management fraternity, and they can have a hand in the actual development of this fraternity."
Potential applicants must meet the group's academic standards and majoring in sports management or pre-sports management. The application process will also consist of an interview. The founders encourage the involvement of freshman and sophomore students.
The fraternity will feature resume workshops, networking events, etiquette dinner and other events as benefits to its members and in some cases non-members.
"There are a lot of things it's (the fraternity) going to encompass that give you things you can't get in a classroom to advance yourself in your career," Vinci said.
Sigma Alpha Sigma Mu also is the third student-run Sport Management organization within the College of Business.
For questions or inquiries regarding Sigma Alpha Sigma Mu, email Douglas Vinci at firstname.lastname@example.org.