For more than half a century, pledges, actives, and alumni have recited "The True Gentleman," and no other words, save perhaps those of the Ritual of initiation, have more nearly represented the ideals of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. It may be that few members have ever been able to exemplify all the attributes set forth in the statement, but it does set forth the perfecting purpose of the fraternity.
The Creed of Sigma Alpha Epsilon
"The True Gentleman is the man whose conduct proceeds from good will and an acute sense of propriety and whose self-control is equal to all emergencies; who does not make the poor man conscious of his poverty, the obscure man of his obscurity, or any man of his inferiority or deformity; who is himself humbled if necessity compels him to humble another; who does not flatter wealth, cringe before power, or boast of his own possessions or achievements; who speaks with frankness but always with sincerity and sympathy; whose deed follows his word; who thinks of the rights and feelings of others rather than his own; and who appears well in any company; a man with whom honor is sacred and virtue safe."
- John Walter Wayland