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Fraternities Founded After 1900

Many of the fraternities founded after 1900 were done so for persons who were racially, culturally, or religiously different, or whose sexual preference or ethnicity kept them from being offered membership into existing organizations. Since 1900 the development of fraternities has been so rapid that the 20th century organizations outnumber those established in the preceding 125 years. At the same time, the great growth of education institutions and the tremendous increase in the number of students led to notable expansion of some of the older organizations.

World War I, the depression of the 1930s, and World War II were periods of crisis which the fraternities weathered gallantly but which nevertheless helped mold them into a changed institution. During World War II, to counteract the effect of depleted manpower, the national boards of a number of fraternities voted to increase rather than decrease their staffs in order to be of greater service to undermanned chapters. Many organizations also increased their publications to include service news to keep in touch with alumni.

With the close of World War II, the fraternity situation changed almost overnight. Famine changed to feast as men flocked back to campuses not only to resume studies but to enjoy student and fraternity life. Thanks to many who took advantage of the GI Bill for education, many men were able to afford to belong to fraternities who otherwise might not. As a result, chapters became large and often unwieldy. However, these men were serious about academic pursuits and were impatient with juvenile hazing tactics. Thus, they had a greater appreciation for the real values of fraternity life.

Unfortunately, hazing continues and this coupled with other excesses such as alcohol abuse has created a new crisis for fraternities. Society has become less tolerant of pranks, particularly pranks that are destructive to property and human dignity. Natural selection or survival of the fittest will allow those organizations who change to meet the challenge of society as well as to meet the ever changing needs of their members to survive and flourish. Those who live in the past and refuse to learn from it will surely perish.

Kappa Delta Phi

 

1900

 

Founded at what is now Bridgewater State College. Incorporated in 1929. It was open to those with a keen interest in higher education and philanthropy. 

Sigma Phi Epsilon

 

 

 

 

 

1901

 

 

 

 

 

Founded at Richmond College, now the University of Richmond. Carter Ashton Jenkins had been a Chi Phi at Rutgers. The group petitioned Chi Phi; however, this organization was not interested in expanding to Richmond College. Thus Sigma Phi Epsilon was born. Originally called themselves "The Saturday Night Club." After taking a Greek letter name, they became known as the "Sacred Hearts" as a result of the design of the badge. The conversion to a national fraternity was made in October 1902. Sig Ep merged with Theta Upsilon in 1938. 

Acacia

 

 

1904

 

 

Founded at the University of Michigan. All of the 14 founders were Masons. Membership in a Masonic lodge was required for membership until 1931. Until 1919 members of other fraternities were eligible for membership as well.

Alpha Gamma Rho

 

 

 

1904

 

 

 

Merged with Delta Rho Sigma in 1908. Prior to 1917 several chapters were conducted on the basis of a professional agricultural fraternity, thus other fraternity members could join and their members could join other fraternities.  Membership is still limited to agricultural students and although it is classed with other general fraternities, it is properly referred to as a professional-social agricultural fraternity.

Theta Tau 1904 Theta Tau was founded as the "Society of Hammer and Tongs," on October 15, 1904, by Erich J. Schrader, Elwin L. Vinal, William M. Lewis, and Isaac B. Hanks, mining engineering students at the University of Minnesota. They agreed that character qualifications should have top priority in membership selection. The Fraternity fulfilled the dream of its principal Founder, Erich Schrader, that there be established in engineering a fraternity similar to those already existing in law, medicine, and dentistry. Founder Schrader established a record of service unequaled in the Fraternity's history. He served as its first Grand Regent until 1919, and then for 35 years as Grand Scribe. At its Founders' Golden Anniversary Convention (1954), Theta Tau established the position of Counsellor to be held only by him. His unselfish service continued until his death in 1962, at the age of 81. The other Founders also maintained their interest in the Fraternity throughout their lives. The last, Brother Vinal, passed away in 1971.

Pi Kappa Phi

1906

Farmhouse 1905

 

Kappa Delta Rho

 

1905

 

Phi Kappa Tau

 

1906

 

Alpha Phi Alpha

 

1906 The founders of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. were no ordinary achievers. Given racial attitudes in 1906, their accomplishments were monumental. As founder Henry Arthur Callis euphemistically stated—because the half-dozen African American students at Cornell University during the school year 1904-05 did not return to campus the following year, the incoming students in 1905-06, in founding Alpha Phi Alpha, were determined to bind themselves together to ensure that each would survive in the racially hostile environment. In coming together with this simple act, they preceded by decades the emergence of such on-campus programs as affirmative action, upward bound and remedial assistance. The students set outstanding examples of scholarship, leadership and success—preceding the efforts even of the NAACP and similar civil rights organizations.

 

Triangle

 

1907 Triangle's beginnings came from the desire of some congenial college friends to extend their friendship, not only through college, but also for life. It was in the fall of 1906 that sixteen civil engineering juniors at the University of Illinois began the association that became Triangle Fraternity. These Founders based their organization on the principles of honor, friendship, character, brotherhood, courage, and ideals. They developed their plans quickly, and on April 15, 1907, incorporated Triangle in the State of Illinois. Triangle limits its membership to students majoring in engineering, architecture, and the sciences. Thus, Triangle is unique in the North-American Interfraternity Conference, being the only member fraternity that selects its membership from these majors. This is done to draw together outstanding men with similar course work and career goals.

 

Lambda Chi Alpha

 

1909 The strength of Lambda Chi Alpha can be found in the rich diversity of our family of undergraduate chapters and alumni. More than 87 years of unprecedented growth across the length and breadth of the North American continent has resulted in more than 300 chapters and colonies, and our distinguished rolls exceed 220,000 alumni and undergraduate members. Our reputation is one of leadership, progressive idealism, and a dedication to excellence. Lambda Chi Alpha was founded as the dream of one man, Warren A. Cole. Over the past eight decades, the Fraternity that started with a single member has grown, evolved, and flourished into one of the largest men’s general fraternities in North America. However, our journey has not always been an easy one. Only through tremendous sacrifice and the intense loyalty of many individuals has Lambda Chi Alpha persevered.

 

Sigma Alpha Mu

 

1909 In the fall of 1909 the Sophomore Class at the College of the City of New York had found itself embarrassed by a lowly freshman group. At a school where "warfare" between freshman and sophomore classes is still a tradition, the Sophomores found it necessary to regain their fallen honor. Class Marshal, Lester Cohen, thereupon called a meeting of Sophomore leaders on November 26, 1909, to decide on a plan for redemption. Only eight appeared - Cohen, Hyman Jacobson, Adolph I. Fabis, Samuel Ginsburg, Abraham N. Kerner, Jacob Kaplan, Ira N. Lind and David D. Levinson, who are now known as the Founding Fathers. It is interesting to note that while there were many friends among the eight, none of them knew all the others. During the discussion which took place, much loftier ideals were expressed than the mere formulation of plans for asserting sophomore honor. The men discovered that they held many ideals in common, and the inspiration for the formation of a new fraternity came to them. During this meeting, it was suggested that the Greek letters "Kappa Phi Omega" be used to symbolize the words "Cosmic Fraternal Order" as the new name for the fraternity. This proposal was accepted and the meeting was adjourned. A second meeting was held a week later. It was found necessary to revise the name of the fraternity because several members had already inadvertently made public the chosen name. Ginsburg then suggested a motto which was unanimously adopted and which has since remained the Fraternity motto. From that time the Fraternity was known as Sigma Alpha Mu.

 

Phi Sigma Epsilon

Phi Kappa Sigma

 

1910

The first fraternity founded for teacher's college students. It merged its chapters with Phi Kappa Sigma in 1985.

Phi Kappa Sigma was founded by Samuel Brown Wylie Mitchell  at the University of Pennsylvania on August 16, 1850. Fascinated by the prospect of fraternal relations with his fellowman, Mitchell set out to found a new, secret order in the restricted life of the university at that time. His papers indicate that on August 16, 1850, he had determined to install a new order on the campus in the fall of 1850. Between August 16 and October 19, 1850, Mitchell sought six other men to constitute the Alpha Chapter of Phi Kappa Sigma. The formal organization of Alpha Chapter occurred at the home of James Bayard Hodge on October 19, 1850. While the official founding date of the Fraternity is August 16, 1850, Phi Kappa Sigma began celebrating "Founder's Day" on October 19 as a commemoration of the establishment of Alpha Chapter. Mitchell, born August 16, 1828, attained a high level of achievement at the University, including earning B.A., M.A., and M.D. degrees. He spent a year as an assistant physician at Philadelphia Hospital and was responsible for supervising the Fraternity's growth at the University of Pennsylvania and the other schools where early chapters were established. Dr. Mitchell practiced medicine until he was commissioned on April 11, 1861, as a Major and Surgeon in the Union Army with the Eighteenth Pennsylvania U.S. Volunteers. He served with distinction until the expiration of his service on January 24, 1865. In March of the same year, Mitchell was made Lieutenant-Colonel U.S.V. for "gallant and meritorious service.

 

Tau Delta Phi

 

1910 The band of young men who were to become the founding fathers of Tau Delta Phi formally organized themselves as a fraternity in 1910. Because these men did not attend the same college, three chapters were formed simultaneously: Alexander B. Siegel, Milton J. Goodfriend and Miximillian Coyne were the nucleus of the Alpha chapter at the City College of New York; Beta became the designation for Gustave Schieb and Leo Epstein, enrolled at the New York College of Dentistry; and the group to become the Gamma chapter was founded by Maxwell S. Goldman, Max Klaye, Samuel Klaye and Benjamin Gray at New York University. All nine founderswer Jewish

 

Tau Epsilon Phi

 

1910

For many years, there existed in the Department of Pharmacy at Columbia University, two fraternities. Neither of which, however, would allow the admission of members of minority races, religions or creeds. During the year 1909-1910, two small groups of men became intrigued with the idea that friendship acquired during collegiate days should be bound together through some means for the remainder of one's life. The desirable qualities that one gathered from those around him should be interchanged for more than the mere two or three years of collegiate association. Neither of these two groups had any inkling of the existence of the other until the opening of the school term the following year when providence interceded to bring together these men. One of these groups based their linking together on the idea that a social club was the solution to their problem. The other felt that a fraternity (about which they knew little except for the two groups on campus) was the correct solution. With the contact of these two groups, it was immediately evident that one could not get along without the other and the union was made. On October 10, 1910, during a lunch period, a hurried conference was held between that two groups in a deserted lecture hall. The spirit of organization was so instilled in the eight original gatherers that another meeting was arranged for that very afternoon after school hours. At five o'clock that afternoon, a determined group of young men met in Central Park to hold a lengthier discussion and see the plans that they had dreamed of approach reality. The problem of the moment appeared to be finding a meeting room but this was settled quickly with an appeal to the school for permission to use an empty lecture hall. That appeal was granted. The first regularly recorded meeting was called to order in the library of the Department of Pharmacy, Columbia University, on Friday afternoon, October 19, 1910. Four additional men, two of whom later dropped out, were invited to that meeting.

 

Kappa Alpha Psi

 

1911 Kappa Alpha Psi was founded on the campus of Indiana University on January 5, 1911. The Fraternity's fundamental purpose is achievement. Early in this century, African-American students were actively dissuaded from attending college. Formidable obstacles were erected to prevent the few who were enrolled from assimilating into co-curricular campus life. This ostracism characterized Indiana University in 1911, thus causing Elder W. Diggs, Byron K. Armstrong, and eight other black students to form Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, which remains the only Greek letter organization with its 1st Chapter on the University's campus. The founders sought a formula that would immediately raise the sights of black collegians and stimulate them to accomplishments higher than they might have imagined. Fashioning achievement as it's purpose, Kappa Alpha Psi began uniting college men of culture, patriotism and honor in a bond of fraternity.

 

Alpha Epsilon Pi

 

1913

Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity, the Jewish Fraternity of North America was founded to provide opportunities for a Jewish man seeking the best possible college and fraternity experience. AEP has maintained the integrity of our purpose by strengthening our ties to the Jewish community and serving as a link between high school and career. Alpha Epsilon Pi develops leadership for the future of the North American Jewish community.

 

Phi Beta Sigma

 

1914 Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., an international organization of college and professional men, was founded in 1914 at Howard University and has as its principles BROTHERHOOD, SCHOLARSHIP AND SERVICE. These principles are exhibited in the Fraternity motto "Culture for Service and Service for Humanity". As one of the nine predominately African-American Greek-Lettered organizations, Phi Beta Sigma has a membership of over 110,000 with over 650 chapters throughout the continental United States, Switzerland and Africa. Phi Beta Sigma consists of men dedicated to enhancing and promoting systematic fellowship, African American freedom, justice, equal rights, and service to America's communities. Being both a social and service organization, Phi Beta Sigma has many programs. Our three National Programs are Social Action, Education and Bigger and Better Business. In order to implement these and other programs, the Fraternity works with organizations such as: The National Pan Hellenic Council, The NAACP, The National Urban League, March of Dimes Birth Defect Foundation, and The National Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity is an organization that is concerned and involved in meeting the needs of the community.

 

Alpha Kappa Lambda

 

1914 In April of 1914, the Los Amigos club formed a national fraternity at the University of California in Berkeley.  That fraternity is Alpha Kappa Lambda.  Today AKL has chapters located coast-to-coast of the United States.  The Fraternity has over 20,000 initiated members and has granted charters on 74 campuses.  

 

Alpha Phi Delta

 

1914

 

Phi Mu Delta

 

1918 Phi Mu Delta traces its roots to the National Federation of Commons Clubs. The Commons Club was founded at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, in 1899. The Commons Club grew to an impressive 19 chapters from Washington State to Maine prior to the formation of Phi Mu Delta. At the 1918 Conclave, held at the Massachusetts Agricultural College (now UMass), Clarence Dexter Pierce and many of his supporters petitioned the assembly for the formation of a Greek letter fraternity. The petition was adopted and the original plan was in favor of all chapters of the Federation to join Phi Mu Delta. However, only four chapters did so: The Universities of Vermont, New Hampshire and Connecticut, as well as Union College.

 

Sigma Tau Gamma

 

1920 Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity is an international brotherhood of men based on Principles of Value, Learning, Leadership, Excellence, Benefit and Integrity. Its more than 50,000 members share a common commitment to leadership, scholarship and service. Founded in 1920 at Central Missouri State Teacher's College in Warrensburg, MO, Sigma Tau Gamma has grown to more than 100 college campuses across the United States.

 

Delta Phi Kappa

 

1920

 

Alpha Gamma Sigma

 

1922 The professional agricultural fraternity, Alpha Gamma Sigma, was first organized as a local fraternity at Columbia, Missouri, on January 28, 1923. It was the outgrowth of a feeling among certain men that the other agricultural fraternities were disregarding the type of men essential to the proper forwarding of agriculture. During the organization and growing period of Alpha Gamma Sigma, a similar organization was going through a period of development at Ohio State University. This organization was known as the National Agriculture Club. It was established October 23, 1922. During its first year its name was changed to Tau Gamma Phi Fraternity. Tau Gamma Phi rapidly grew into prominence in Ohio State campus affairs, and ranked high in scholarship. It maintained as it's ideals, the advancement of agriculture, scholarship, athletics and the social development of its members. Unknown to each other, Alpha Gamma Sigma as Columbia, Missouri and Tau Gamma Phi at Columbus, Ohio grew to be among the strongest fraternities on their respective campi. Each had opportunities to affiliate with national fraternities but the members of these two chapters believed that their ideals were high enough to form the foundation of a new and unique organization. In March, 1931, members and alumni of Tau Gamma Phi met with members of Alpha Gamma Sigma at Columbia, and worked out a plan for joining the two groups in what now constitutes the National Chapter.

 

Alpha Delta Gamma

 

1924 Alpha Delta Gamma was founded on October 10, 1924 when four undergraduates at Loyola University in Chicago decided to build a union of men based upon the principles and ideals of Ignatius Loyola, Francis Xavier, and Issac Joques. The "Founding Four," Francis Patrick Canary, John Joseph Dwyer, William S. Hallisey, and James Collins O'Brien, Jr., wanted to bring to the campus of Loyola University an organization unlike any other existing at that time. Alpha Delta Gamma is founded on Five Basic Principles, known as the Five S's: Spiritual, Scholastic, Service, School Spirit, and Social. Our colors are Scarlet Red and Gold and our fraternity insect is the Praying Mantis.

 

Phi Lambda Chi

 

1925 Phi Lambda Chi National Fraternity was founded on March 15, 1925, in Conway, Arkansas, on what is today the University of Central Arkansas. For the past 70 years, the men of Phi Lambda Chi have walked the grounds of our university.

 

Beta Sigma Psi

 

1925 Beta Sigma Psi is the national Lutheran college fraternity, founded in 1925. The purpose of Beta Sigma Psi is to provide an environment in which the Lutheran college man can grow spiritually, scholastically, and socially. To that end, Beta Sigma Psi undertakes programs to develop Christian leaders and to aid the individual in assuming a satisfying and useful role in society. Through its alumni and undergraduate leadership, Beta Sigma Psi endeavors to assist each member develop character, develop intellectual awareness, develop responsibility to chapter, college, community, state, nation, and world, develop spiritual welfare, develop brotherhood, develop integrity, promote friendship, and advance justice.

 

Sigma Beta Kappa

 

1943 This fraternity was founded by a Benedictine priest as a social fraternity with chapters on Catholic campuses. They do not descriminate on the basis of religion.

 

Iota Phi Theta

 

1963 On September 19, 1963, at Morgan State College (now Morgan State University), 12 students founded what is now the nation's fifth largest, predominately African-American social service fraternity: Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Incorporated. As Iota Phi Theta continues to grow and strengthen, so will its commitment to make meaningful contributions to society in general, with particular emphasis in the African-American community. Throughout America, Iota Phi Theta has come to represent excellence in all areas. The Fraternity is, and shall forever remain dedicated to its founders' vision of "Building a Tradition, Not Resting Upon One!"

 

Sigma Gamma Chi

 

1967 This fraternity is sponsored by the Mormon church as a social fraternity.

 

Lambda Phi Epsilon

 

1981 Lambda Phi Epsilon was founded at UCLA as an alternative to the existing Asian-American fraternity. 

 

Delta Lambda Phi

 

1988 In October of 1986 (Washington DC.), three elderly gentlemen established a trust for the creation of a fraternity that would not discrminate on the basis of sexual orientation. These donors expressed regret that wuch an alternative social organization had not existed during their formative years. Vern Strickland administered the founding of Delta Lambda Phi, creating the Fraternity crest, selecting the Fraternity mascot, and designing our rituals. In April 1987, the Trustee initiated 24 men into the Brotherhood. The Alpha Chapter of Delta Lambda Phi was born. Since then, Delta Lambda Phi National Social Fraternity for Gay, Bisexual and Progressive Men has grown quickly and currently has chapters from coast to coast.

 

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Last Updated: 2008-03-14 18:23
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