Great story by Suki Casanave Read about a UNH Fraternity and Etiquette

The Boarding House Reach and Other Perils
By Suki Casanave ’86G

OK. Let’s be honest. The word “fraternity”—as in college fraternity—does not immediately conjure up visions of fine dining, sharp dressing and polished social behavior. It is not, to put it bluntly, a term that is usually uttered in the same breath as the word “etiquette.” Which is why Armida Geiger was, well, taken aback when she got a call from Matthew Andrews ’11, vice president of member development for UNH’s Sigma Phi Epsilon. “It really was a good thing I was sitting down,” says Geiger, founder of theAdelie School of Protocol in Durham. “I was just floored.”
Turns out the fraternity brothers wanted to brush up their manners and spiff up their style in preparation for their Sweetheart Ball. In short, they wanted to look good. What they discovered, though, is that etiquette isn’t just something you put on for special occasions. “Manners are like boxers—you always have them on,” says Ross Randall ’12, outgoing vice president of programming. “That’s what Mrs. Geiger told us—and she got a good laugh, seeing as she was talking to a bunch of fraternity brothers.”
During the table manners portion of the training, Geiger addressed a slew of questions and misconceptions. “Most of us thought you should throw your tie over your shoulder to keep it out of your food,” Randall says. Not true. If you’re not prepared with a tie clip, simply tuck the end into your shirt. Other reminders: Spoon your soup away from yourself. Wait for the hostess (or the boss) to place her napkin in her lap before doing the same. And do not remove your jacket until the person who is treating you to lunch has removed his. If he doesn’t, simply follow suit, so to speak.
And then there was the handshake. During one session, the room was full of fraternity brothers working on their grip. They learned how to avoid both “the dead fish” and “the bone crusher.” And they were advised against the “Joe Jock” approach, which swings wide and then comes in for the shake. Instead, Geiger suggested going for the straightforward “web to web” shake—two hands clasping firmly at the “web” where the thumb and forefinger meet, followed by a brisk one-two pump.
In the end, even the skeptics were won over. “I really thought it was going to be terrible,” Kenny Mancuso ’12 wrote in his evaluation. “But it was honestly fantastic!! I loved every minute of it!” Others commented on the valuable life skills they learned and the fact that they felt better prepared for the real world.
“The most important thing they gained, though,” Geiger says, “was an awareness, an attitude. Etiquette is really about respect for others. It’s about kindness and consideration.” Having braved the strange new world of social manners—and emerged on the other side, the newly polished brothers of Sigma Phil Epsilon have proved that it’s possible to narrow the distance between the words “fraternity” and “etiquette.” Plus, they’ve got better posture, stronger handshakes—and a touch of style to show for it. They’re lookin’ good


NH Etiquette Camp – Mannerly Kids

It’s a Matter of Manners- Mannerly Kids is a unique twist on the usual New Hampshire Camp experience.  The children ages 7-11 engage in activities that promote  self-confidence, positive impressions and proper manners.  Children learn to be more confident in any social situation.

It’s fun learning together with laughter, questions, and respect.  The goal is to equip kids with knowledge of  everyday manners.  Proper manners, if used everyday can become a habit.

Similar to underwear…you wear your manners every day!

A sampling of topics:

  • Handshaking
  • Eye contact
  • Extending and accepting invitations
  • Introductions
  • Table manners
  • Giving and receiving compliments
  • Telephone etiquette
  • Poise
  • Posture
  • The art of listening
  • Theater Etiquette
  • Accepting Awards/Recognition
  • And more.

Certificate Awarded Upon Completion of  Camp Program and a  Dining-Out Luncheon!



Job Interview Coaching

During interview coaching clients learn how to make a positive and lasting first impression. Many applicants think of the interview as the time spent during the actual face to face interview either in the office or over lunch.  This time is important, but equally important is how you execute appropriate mannerisms before and after.  If you think of the interview starting from the time you leave home and ending when you leave the interview location, perhaps you may do things differently. I am here to help you acquire the skills for a winning interview. For more information go to Home  Page on the website and click on Interview Coaching.

Knowledge of proper etiquette eases the interview appointment. Adelie School of Protocol is located in New Hampshire.  Certified Etiquette Instructor Armida Geiger. Please call (603) 868-7156 or email

Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else. JGarland



Adélie School of Protocol equips clients with refinement of proper manners and social skills. Gaining knowledge of appropriate dress, body language, and communication style combined with execution is central in order to achieve positive results. The client will reap rewards of greater self-confidence and respect of self and others. Allow your professional career, social scene and personal endeavors to become the best they can be!     Contact Armida Geiger via email

Gentlemanly Fraternity at UNH – Durham NH

“You never know when you’ll have to impress someone classier than you,” remarked Michael, a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, at the University of New Hampshire. What a true statement. Twenty members of the nation’s largest fraternity, who pride themselves in being gentlemen, were looking for ways to polish up their dining manners and social skills. They turned to Adélie School of Protocol for further instruction and participated in several seminars focused on “How to Be Your Best”. Initial reactions to this decision? “I was dreading this, I really was.” An unsurprising but not very encouraging message. But what were the opinions coming away from the class? “Very fun and laid back” says one member, while another says, “I’ve never felt more like a gentleman”. Dress tips were particularly memorable, as instructor Armida Geiger told the partakers who should wear striped ties and who should stay away from cuffed trousers. As well as dressing, dining and social etiquette, helpful instructions were given on how to catch the attention of a prospective employer, a friend and the overall respect of others. A student’s way of putting it? “A knowledgeable and priceless lesson of the fine arts and chivalry”.

Article written by Catherine Geiger


Sigma Phi Epsilon - etiquette seminar participants-


Additional story found at The UNH Connection, published by the University of New Hampshire Alumni Association. 


Dining Etiquette

“Pass The Peas, Please”

Girls and boys it’s time to sport your finest and learn table manners!  Learn and practice dining etiquette in a fancy restaurant over a multi-course dinner. Knowing how to conduct yourself  at and away from the table is a confidence builder  It makes eating pleasurable without worrying about which fork to use and how to pass the rolls.   Investment fee includes a multi-course dinner, Table Etiquette Handbook and Hands-on Instruction.  Small class size benefits the participant.  Please register 7 days prior to the class date. Contact Armida Geiger via phone (603) 868-7156 or email:  


Dining Savvy – An Evening of Etiquette & Dining  

Discover the secrets of successful dining.  Learn the proper approach to the table, accept being seated, table posture, “cheek-tuck” method for conversing, plus American and Continental utensil holds.  Prepare for the future today by learning and executing proper dining skills. Investment includes a multi-course dinner, several hours of  instruction and a Table Etiquette Handbook.  Call to register 7 days prior to class date.  Contact Armida Geiger via  phone (603) 868-7156 or email:  

Dining Etiquette Dinner Party!

It’ s  unique,  fun and a great style of entertaining… Invite your friends and “host” a formal/non-formal dinner party! An Etiquette Instructor is your guide, helping to maneuver the  ins and outs of hosting a perfect dinner party. Learn the secret skills of a relaxed, yet poised and gracious host.  Males seat females,  napkin protocol, pacing, body language, posture,  proper use of the bread plate,  the list goes on. Who starts the dinner? When does a napkin go on the lap? Which direction to pass the rolls?  Yes,  you do appear like you’re guarding the plate while eating!  Salt and pepper stick together…really?   

Friends reminice sharing stories about  the do’s, the don’ts and rules of their youth. Experience hosting a  party that guests won’t forget.   Contact  to receive additional information. Call Armida Geiger @ (603) 868-7156.


Seymour Osman Community Ctr Teens Learn Etiquette

Eight teens dressed to the nines, escorted by Mimi Bergere, director of The Quantum Program in Dover, New Hampshire  spent the evening at Acorn’s Restaurant on the campus of the University of New Hampshire  The “menu” consisted of introductions, place setting identification, how to be seated, restaurant protocol and table manners.


Quantum Program at Seymour Osman Community Center

With a bit of nervousness, the teens were ready and up for the challenge. Armida Geiger, Adelie School of Protocol, director comments, “It is always a pleasure to witness the change in teens; from anxiety and nervousness to feeling relaxed and confident at the conclusion of the 2 1/2 hour class. Once teens know the proper way to hold their silverware, pass food counter-clockwise, and talk with food in their mouth, they can approach any dining situation and feel confident. The confidence comes from knowledge of the dining protocol and finese at the table comes from practice.” Often there is confusion over which bread plate is yours,  on the left or the right? How soon should you start to eat and what should I do with my spoon when I am finished? Armida Geiger has a passion for teaching manners. She enjoys watching the transformation of individuals from uncomfortable to confident. Practice is key to refining your good manners. Don’t wait for a special occasion to polish up on your manners. Practice every time you eat. Soon you will notice that your acquired dining skill takes no effort at all!  Contact Armida Geiger 603-868-7156