Black shirts and bagpipes made their way across campus April 7 at noon as the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity performed a mock funeral processional to celebrate Paddy Murphy Week.
There were over 40 members of SAE as well as over 50 sorority women in attendance for the processional that started near the mailboxes at the dorms.
The attendees walked alongside pallbearers carrying a casket as bagpipe players performed funeral music. They walked through the center of campus and stopped at the Student Union flagpole. The pallbearers casket was then loaded into a hearse and driven away.
Tucker Holmes, president and four-year member of SAE, said the processional strengthens the brotherhood within the chapter and helps remind the members of the core values within the fraternity.
Austin Terhune, a UNF communication senior and vice president of SAE, said the processional is the coolest thing he’s ever done at UNF.
“It really exemplifies the bond of brotherhood that we preach about to everyone on campus including incoming freshmen and new fraternity men,” Terhune said.
The UNF chapter of SAE derives their mock processional from the death of Paddy Murphy.
Murphy, a brother of SAE, worked as a bootlegger and was known to have close ties with gangster Al Capone in 1920s Chicago. One night, Murphy was shot during a shootout in a warehouse. When crime fighter Eliot Ness found Murphy dying on the ground, Murphy reached out his right hand and gave Ness the SAE secret handshake. Ness, also a brother of SAE, realized then that a brother in the fraternity has been killed.
Members of the fraternity said there are multiple stories concerning who shot Paddy Murphy –some say Al Capone shot him, others say Eliot Ness — but the focus of the story centers on the actions of Ness in the aftermath of Murphy’s death — he held a funeral for Murphy to honor his fallen brother.
The annual processional is only a part of the fraternity’s charity week, which raises money for the fraternity’s national charity, The Children’s Miracle Network.
Terhune said the fraternity is still counting the money they’ve raised, but he believes this year’s fundraiser was more successful than the last. In 2010, SAE raised over $2,500 in donations. Terhune said he believes they have raised more money this year than last.
SAE, chartered at UNF in 2005, has over 55 members.