On March 25, 1917, seven female Cornell University students founded Sigma Delta Tau. Their organization was originally called Sigma Delta Phi, but when they discovered the name belonged to another Greek-letter organization they changed the “Phi” to “Tau.”
Sigma Delta Tau’s founders are Dora Bloom (Turteltaub), Inez Dane Ross, Amy Apfel (Tishman), Regene Freund (Cohane), Marian Gerber (Greenberg), Lenore Blanche Rubinow, and Grace Srenco (Grossman).
There was also a male involved in the beginnings of Sigma Delta Tau. Bloom asked Nathan Caleb House to write the ritual. “Brother Nat” is the only man to honored with the organization’s gold membership pin.
Its Kappa chapter was installed at the University of Illinois on March 6, 1926. I walked past the Sigma Delta Tau chapter house at the University of Illinois the last time I was on campus. It’s a beautiful home. An article in a 1927 issue of the Daily Illini gave this account, “Work is in progress for a new $65,000 home for Sigma Delta Tau at 1104 West Nevada Street to be completed February 1. The outside will be a combination of cream colored stucco, stone and brick. The roof is brown shingles, and the architecture Old English. The interior has 20 study rooms, chaperone’s room, upstairs living room, a sunken living room downstairs opening into a large sunken solarium and a library. There will be a secret chapter room in the basement. A cement terrace will open out from the den room in the back to a garden, Three fireplaces will be built into the house, one exceptionally large one in the living room. A.W. Stoolman, Champaign, is the contractor, and Omar and Lilanthol , Chicago are the architects. ”
I was unable to find out anything about the architects except for the fact that they were mentioned in this article. I think it may have been a misspelling. A.W. Stoolman built many of the fraternity and sorority houses at the University of Illinois (see http://wp.me/p20I1i-Jm). His buildings have stood the test of time.
The city of Urbana website gives this info, “1104 W. Nevada is a Jacobean Greek House that was built in 1926 (likely started in 1926, but completed in 1927). The house is home to the Sigma Delta Tau Sorority. The house is constructed of multi-colored brick with interspersed limestone blocks. The composition of the house is asymmetrical and the main façade is dominated by a steeply pitched cross gable roof inset into a hip roof. The cornice of the roof has exposed wood rafters. A two story rounded bay window protrudes from the main façade. A large brick chimney with limestone details protrudes from the roof. Many of the windows are tall, thin, hinged casement windows. Many of the windows are arranged in horizontal rows. Some of the casement windows have diamond patterned panes of glass held together by lead cames, or grooved strips of lead. Each window is divided by limestone mullions. This unique architectural revival style is used on a very small number of Greek Houses on the University of Illinois campus.”
Happy Founders’ Day to these GLOs, too.
Gamma Phi Delta Christian Fraternity founded March 21, 1988 at the University of Texas.
Sigma Phi Zeta Sorority, founded at Albany University in New York by ten women. It is an Asian interest sorority.
© Fran Becque, www.fraternityhistory.com, 2015. All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed this post, please sign up for updates. Also follow me on twitter @GLOHistory and Pinterest www.pinterest.com/glohistory/