Home
Up

Sanguine et Purpure Blog

 

Questions, comments, information?

Contact:

The Oracle

Fraternities founded from 1825-1859

This group of fraternities share a number of things in common. Colleges at this time in history were almost exclusively for white Anglo-Saxon Protestant upper-class males. The predominant curricula available was for the ministry, medicine, or law. All of these organizations were student-derived, being founded by students without any assistance from adults. Most of these organizations were founded as a protest against domination of student activities dictated by a strict university administration. As one group formed, others sprang up to compete. These groups developed primarily because students wanted to have some control over their lives and activities and because they wanted to complement what was being dogmatically taught in the classroom. These organizations fostered independent thought and creativity. The student activities were highly structured by the administration, the curriculum was lock-step or prescribed by the university, most of the regulations  were very strict, and there were few opportunities for students to have any social interaction. These organizations, out of necessity, were highly secretive. The faculty felt threatened by these groups and the members were often sought out for punishment or expulsion. All of these groups were sectarian.

Organization

Founding

Notes

Kappa Alpha Society

 

1825

 

part of Union Triad, 2 founders were members of Phi Beta Kappa, not to be confused with Kappa Alpha Order

Sigma Phi Society

 

1827

 

part of Union Triad, first of the existing college fraterntieis to establish a branch chapter

Delta Phi Fraternity

 

 

1827

 

 

part of Union Triad, 5 of the 9 founders were members of Phi Beta Kappa, first of the secret organizations to use the name of fraternity rather than society

Alpha Delta Phi

 

 

1831

 

 

first college social fraternity to establish a chapter outside of New England, at Miami University, Oxford, OH, Divided in 1832 as co-ed literary society and fraternity

Psi Upsilon

 

1833(?)

 

Social Fraternity of William's College

 

1834

 

Founded as an anti-secret organization. It has no secret grip, ritual, or oath. Still non-secret and is known as Delta Upsilon.

Beta Theta Pi

 

1839

 

the presence of Alpha Delta Phi prompted its formation

Chi Psi

 

1841

 

badge contains many masonic symbols

 

Delta Kappa Epsilon

 

 

1844

 

founded when 15 sophomores were not invited to join one of the junior class societies at Yale

 

Alpha Sigma Phi

 

1845

 

founded as a sophomore class society at Yale

 

Delta Psi

 

 

1847

 

highly secret group, even the officers are not known outside of the chapter, St. Anthony is the patron saint of this group; chapter houses are often referred to as St. Anthony's Hall

Zeta Psi

 

1847

 

secret works incorporates many elements of Freemasonry

Theta Delta Chi

 

 

1847

 

 

6th and last social society to be founded at Union College, first founded as a literary society, it later changed to a secret social fraternity

Phi Gamma Delta

 

1848

 

all of the founders were Masons and all became attorneys

Phi Delta Theta

1848

Phi Delta Theta is the second member of the Miami Triad (Beta Theta Pi, and Phi Delta Theta, and Sigma Chi) founded at Miami University (Ohio). Today, Phi Delta Theta is an international fraternity with more than 180 chapters. Phi Delta Theta was the first fraternity to use a guide or "pledge manual" for new members. They were also the first fraternity to use a "pledge pin" for new members. Phi Delta Theta is included in the top 5 fraternities nationally and is the largest international fraternity.

Phi Kappa Sigma

 

 

1850

 

 

Founded at Philadelphia. Operated sub rosa after the University banned all secret societies. Most of the expansion was in the South until the Civil War. The only fraternity for which a college was named (Phi Kappa Sigma Male College at Monticello, AR.

Phi Kappa Psi

 

1852

founded by two men who became friends as they nursed fellow students during a typhoid fever epidemic

Chi Phi

 

 

1854/1824

 

founded by 3 students at Princeton. In 1874, 3 groups calling themselves Chi Phi merged. An alternative date for founding is 1824 at Hobart College

Sigma Chi

 

 

1855

 

 

first example of members of one group being involved in the founding of another. It was founded by 7 men, 6 of whom resigned from the DKE chapter on their campus. The original name was Sigma Phi.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon

 

 

1856

 

 

the only fraternity founded in the South before the Civil War,

 

Theta Chi

 

 

1856

 

 

the second example of one group assisting in the founding of another, A Chi Psi helped select the secret motto and badge design, initiation Ritual is highly influenced by the Episcopal worship liturgy

Delta Tau Delta

 

1858

 

several of the founders were Masons and did not intend to form a national college fraternity

 

Note: All the information provided above is for informational purposes only. Every attempt has been made to provide accurate information. Updated information with appropriate references/links would be greatly appreciated. Please send to history@sigepsouth.org

Only by understanding our origins can we plan for and make our future brighter.

 
 
Copyright 2000-2006 Sig Ep South  and Sig Ep West
Last Updated: 2008-03-14 18:23
Questions or Comments? Contact: Webmaster