Paddy Week is a spirit week of sorts that is meant to commemorate the life of Paddy Murphy, a brother of Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) from the 1920s.
Chapters of SAE from universities all over the country hold events for Paddy Week to celebrate the memory of Paddy Murphy. The Ohio Sigma chapter at Mount Union hasn’t held Paddy Week in several years, but finally brought it back this year.
The week was structured with different events each day, competition-style, with friendly competition against the four sororities (Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Xi Delta and Delta Sigma Tau), with each trying to wind up with the most points at the end of the week.
Monday was the Amazing Race, which included scavenger hunt-type event at SAE’s house. Tuesday was social media day, which involved each sorority painting and hanging up a banner outside their house promoting Paddy Week. Photos of these banners were then posted on Twitter and the chapter twitter account that received the most retweets won the points for this day. Wednesday was the Waffle Wednesday. This event allowed all of the Mount Union community to pay $5 to attend and be served waffles, and the money went to supporting the chapter’s philanthropy, the Children’s Miracle Network. Additionally, there was a donut eating contest, and the sister who was able to eat 6 donuts the fastest won points for her chapter. Thursday was the Miss Paddy competition, in which two members from every sorority were able to compete in a talent contest. Finally, Friday was the Paddy Week casket walk, in which all sorority members and members of SAE were invited to go on a funeral march around campus in memory of Paddy Murphy. The sorority chapter with the most sisters in attendance would win the points for this day.
In the end, the sorority that had the most points was Alpha Delta Pi with 3,698 points, followed by Delta Sigma Tau with 2,826 points, then Alpha Xi Delta with 2,579 points, and Alpha Chi Omega with 2,050 points. All of the sisters had fun supporting their friends at Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
So who was Paddy Murphy? During the prohibition era, Paddy Murphy was a famous mobster. He was a part of the Five Pointers- Al Capone’s infamous gang. Murphy and Capone had a special bond and the two mobsters thought a lot alike. They were successful for a long time, until one night when the feds tracked them to a warehouse where they were stashing their alcohol, cash, and weapons.
Legend has it that Murphy and Capone returned to the warehouse to find the cops inside. Murphy, looking through the window, saw one of the cops with a gold diamond pin engraved with the letters Phi Alpha- the same pin he had received when he had been initiated as a brother of SAE. Capone handed Murphy a gun and told him to shoot the cop, but Murphy refused, saying he could never kill a brother. Capone pointed a gun at Murphy and said “It’s either him or you.” Murphy again refused, and Capone pulled the trigger.
This story is why every year brothers of Sigma Alpha Epsilon all across the country celebrate the legacy of Paddy Murphy. To lay your life down for your brother is the most noble thing a man can do.
Thanks, Paddy Murphy, for reminding the members of SAE of the sacred bond they share with their brothers.