Sweetheart of Sigma Chi
The Sweetheart of Sigma Chi is many things: a representative, a song and an inspiration.
The Chapter’s First Sweetheart
After the Delta Phi Chapter was installed on February 4, 1950, it worked toward naming its first Sweetheart of Sigma Chi.
On March 26, 1950, the chapter invited a slate of Sweetheart candidates to the Oakes House for a waffle breakfast held in their honor. A cohort of dedicated mothers of members prepared the breakfast, and brothers served it to the candidates.
Subsequently, the chapter narrowed the field of candidates to four women and held a dinner in their honor on April 10, 1950, at the Top of the Ocean restaurant.
On April 15, 1950, the chapter held its annual Sweetheart Ball in the grand Crystal Ballroom of the Winthrop Hotel, one of the finest institutions in the city.
At the event, the chapter named Joan Otterson, a member of the Lambda Sigma Chi sorority, its new Sweetheart.
Joan Elizabeth Otterson
Joan Otterson of Tacoma, Washington, was named the Chapter’s first Sweetheart of Sigma Chi on April 15, 1950.
As an undergraduate at the University of Puget Sound, Joan joined the Lambda Sigma Chi sorority and studied drama. She played the role of “disgusted wife” in a one-act play called “Goodnight, Please!” in September 1949 and appeared in the April 1950 production of “Lost Horizon,” an adaptation of James Hilton’s novel about Shangri-La. Joan later returned to complete a bachelor’s in education.
She taught French and Russian at Curtis High School from 1965 – 1992. She coached the drama students in their high school productions, and repeatedly escorted high school students on trips to Russia and France in the 70’s. Joan completed her Master’s in Comparative Literature in 1980.
Listed by year when named Sweetheart. Surnames in parentheses indicate married names.
2019: Ella Denman ’22, Delta Delta Delta
2018: Kayla Stevenson ’20, Gamma Phi Beta
2017: Lilli Patton ’20, Pi Beta Phi
2016: Colleen Hanson ’19, Gamma Phi Beta
2015: Katherine Tannehill ’18
2014: Kallan Christiansen ’15, Alpha Phi
2013: Patricia Cava ’15, Gamma Phi Beta
2012: Kelly Rotstan ’14, Pi Beta Phi
2011: Avery Zoellner
2010: Elizabeth Weil ’11, Gamma Phi Beta
2009: Rachel Kakach ’10, Gamma Phi Beta
2008: (No Information)
2007: (No Information)
2006: (No Information)
2005: (No Information)
2004: (No Information)
2003: (No Information)
2002: (No Information)
2000: (No Information)
2001: (No Information)
1999: (No Information)
1998: (No Information)
1997: (No Information)
1996: (No Information)
1995: (No Information)
1994: (No Information)
1993: Lisa Arner
1992: Jolynn Parker, Alpha Phi
1991: Valerie Suprenant, Gamma Phi Beta
1990: Laura Strong
1989: Stephanie Brown
1988: Lesley Milhem (Broyles)
1987: Helen Black (Harwood), Delta Delta Delta
1986: (No Information)
1985: (No Information)
1984: (No Information)
1983: Kathy Sahr (Calcagni), Kappa Alpha Theta
1982: (No Information)
1981: Lorraine Hingston, Gamma Phi Beta
1980: (No Information)
1979: (No Information)
1978: (No Information)
1977: Cheryl Birdie, Claracy Clyser, Ann Darnel, Liz Erickson, Dianne Hamilton, Ann Catherine Marteny, Jody Policio and Claudia Risdon
1976: (No Information)
1975: (No Information)
1974: (No Information)
1973: (No Information)
1972: Julie Clark, Pi Beta Phi
1971: (No Information)
1970: Linda Rodgers, Pi Beta Phi
1969: Chris Colman, Pi Beta Phi
1968: Nancy Johnson
1967: Nancy Johnson
1966: Elaine Allen, Delta Delta, Delta
1965: Janice Jensen, Kappa Alpha Theta
1964: Sue Charles, Kappa Alpha Theta
1963: Jeannie Hart, Alpha Phi
1962: Sandra Seyler, Pi Beta Phi
1961: Sheri Zabel, Pi Beta Phi
1960: Terry Turnbull, Delta Delta Delta
1959: Gail Pokela, Alpha Phi
1958: Pat Nichols, Alpha Phi
1957: Marsha Smith, Alpha Phi
1956: (No Information)
1955: Roberta Elson, Chi Omega
1954: Lynn Green, Chi Omega
1953: Elberta Claine Conklin
1952: Joyce Anderson, Delta Alpha Gamma
1951: Dorothy Kathleen Powell (Hunt), Delta Alpha Gamma
1950: Joan Otterson (Macpherson), Lambda Sigma Chi
“The Sweetheart of Sigma Chi”
Sigma Chis Byron D. Stokes and F. Dudleigh “Dud” Vernor (both Alpha Pi, Albion 1913) composed “The Sweetheart of Sigma Chi” in 1911 while studying at Albion College. Stokes wrote the lyrics and Vernor composed the music.
When asked about the motivation behind the song, Stokes responded, “The ‘sweetheart’ is the symbol for the spiritual ingredient in brotherhood. It was the Sigma Chi Fraternity itself that inspired the song. I wrote the words not long after my initiation, and the magic of our Ritual with its poetic overtones and undertones was, I suppose, the source of my inspiration.”
When the world goes wrong, as it’s bound to do
And you’ve broken Dan Cupid’s bow
And you long for the girl you used to love
the maid of the long ago
Why light your pipe, bid sorrow avaunt,
Blow the smoke from your altar of dreams
And wreathe the face of your dream-girl there
The love that is just what it seems.
The girl of my dreams is the sweetest girl
Of all the girls I know.
Each sweet coed, like a rainbow trail
Fades in the afterglow.
The blue of her eyes and the gold of her hair
Are a blend of the western skies;
And the moonlight beams on the girl of my dreams
She’s the Sweetheart of Sigma Chi.
Ev’ry magic breeze wafts a kiss to you
From the lips of your “sweet sixteen.”
And one by one the maids you knew
Bow to your Meerschaum Queen.
As the years drift by on the tides of time,
And they all have forgotten but you,
Then the girl of your dreams the sweeter seems,
She’s the girl who is always true.