Phi Mu’s Waupaca Convention and Sigma Phi’s Connection to Lincoln

Phi Mu was founded on January 4, 1852 at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia. Originally known as the Philomathean Society, it and Alpha Delta Pi, also founded at Wesleyan College, are known as the “Macon Magnolias.” Phi Mu  was founded by Mary DuPont (Lines), Mary Myrick (Daniel) and Martha Hardaway (Redding). In 1852, the founding of the Philomathean Society was publicly announced on March 4, which is now Founders’ Day. On August 1, 1904, the group received a charter from the state of Georgia and was established as Phi Mu Fraternity. The second chapter was founded at Hollins College in 1904. Phi Mu joined the National Panhellenic Conference in 1911.

On June 27, 1916, Phi Mu’s Convention was called to order by the National President, Nellie S. Hart. The first session was devoted to the address of welcome by Iota Chapter at Lawrence College. The chapter was founded in 1914. According to an article in the Lawrence College Bulletin, the charter members of the chapter were “Jennie Fuerstenau, Xena Cade, Katherine Ketchpaw, Lucile and Marietta Walsh, Dora Sharp, Blanche, Ruth and Jennie  Pinkerton and Agnes Herbst. The grand chapter members are Mrs. George Banta,* Menasha, and Miss Ruth Wakeman, Neenah. The patronesses of the Iota Chapter of Phi Mu are Mrs. Rufus Bagg, Mrs. Louis Youtz and Mrs. George Whiting from Neenah. After the installation service, which was held in Menasha, the members of the sorority banqueted at Hotel Menasha.”

Phi Mu chapter room at Lawrence College (courtesy Lawrence University Archives)

Phi Mu chapter room at Lawrence College (courtesy Lawrence University Archives)

The 1916 convention took place at Waupaca, about 45 miles from Appleton Wisconsin, the chapter’s home. The first session also included the response by the National President, the presentation of credentials, the reading of recommendations, the appointment of committees, and announcements.

Iota Chapter’s welcome address as given by Iota charter member Xena Cade:

It is my privilege and pleasure to greet the chapters of Phi Mu as represented in Convention, in the name of Iota Chapter. I think we have all felt the warmth of the welcome with which not only Iota has greeted the delegates, but which every Phi Mu here has extended to every other Phi Mu. We have already come to feel the spirit of fraternity, of love, and of whole-hearted cooperation which everyone has brought to Waupaca. lota is glad to welcome the Fraternity if not to her home, at least to her picnic ground. We’re proud of Wisconsin, we’re proud of Waupaca – and we’re proud of our Fraternity, so we take great pleasure in introducing the one to the other. We don’t know what the name Wisconsin has meant to you in the past, but henceforth we want the memory of Wisconsin to be one of your pleasantest thoughts. It is a significant fact that this convention of 1916 is at the home of one of the farthest north chapters; that a Fraternity founded in the south, and limited to the south for so many years, has slowly but surely extended its influence so that today a convention in one of the north central states is a place centrally located. For this development it is fitting that we turn to our national officers and grand council in grateful appreciation and loving recognition of their labors in putting Phi Mu in the front rank of college fraternities for women. But even more must we turn to our active and alumnae members for the work of keeping Phi Mu standards high; it is a truism that a fraternity is judged by its individual members. Wherever a girl wears a Phi Mu pin, whether it be in home circles, in the office or the class room, there she represents her Fraternity. That’s a challenge! We are Phi Mus. Henceforth we’re living not for ourselves but for Phi Mu! And it’s to receive inspiration for that living, as well as to shape our national policies that we, delegates of chapters of Phi Mu, are here in Convention assembled. Again lota welcomes you to Waupaca!

$_57

Here is National President Nellie Hart’s response to the welcome address:

Ten years ago in this glorious month of June was held at Jamestown,
Virginia, the First National Convention of Phi Mu. To some of us, dates are a mere matter of passing notice, but certainly to all of us who are bound together in Phi Mu, these days in June, 1906, should be most significant. They mark the beginning of our real national life, the life, which, in this last decade, has been so full to overflowing with varied interests, so much a change and interchange of ever-widening activity and so strenuous a conflict for the upbuilding of an even brighter future. Were Phi Mu to be taken seriously ill, the most eminent specialist or the least known country doctor would pronounce with one accord that we were suffering from a complete nervous breakdown. The immediate remedy would be rest, recreation and sunshine. That explains to you why you are here, why it is our splendid privilege to be holding our Sixth National Convention in this most wonderful State in the Union – the State where one is sure to find rest, recreation and sunshine. You are sure to find rest, because where sixty or seventy girls are gathered together rest does abound, and then – the lights in the respective ‘Mansions of the Almighty’ go out at twelve. You are sure to find recreation, because companionship with one’s own people always brings that, and then – at these meetings where we shall gather to talk and listen and talk again, you will find the most stimulating recreation. The sunshine is all about us; outside, it flickers through the leaves of the trees and dances lightly on the Chain O’ Lakes, and inside, we have only to glance up and around to find little truant patches of it peeping through the many crevices of this Amusement Hall. Almost it seems as though the little flocks of sunshine wish to scatter their tonic blessing of radiance on our assembly. We are here for work and for play, and, in the days to come, make room for all of both that you can. Let this Convention prove a time of great privilege and a season for the renewal of enthusiasm – not the transient enthusiasm of today and the few tomorrows that we may enjoy together, but a lasting enthusiasm that yon may take home with you to be preserved and cherished as your especial heritage.

Nellie Hart

Nellie S. Hart

* The first Mrs. George Banta, nee Lillian Vawter, was a charter member of the Delta Gamma chapter at Franklin College. She was initiated by her fiance, George Banta, the only man to be an initiated member of Delta Gamma (that story is at http://wp.me/p20I1i-AS). George and Lillie had a son and were married for four years before she died. On June 16, 1886, Banta married Ellen Lee Pleasants from Tidewater, Virginia. I am not sure if Ellen Lee Pleasants Banta was an initiate of Phi Mu. If she was initiated while in college, she could have only been initiated into one chapter, the original Philomathean Society chapter at Wesleyan College. I am not sure if she was perhaps an alumna initiate. If anyone can solve this puzzle, please let me know.

***

The Sigma Phi Society was founded at Union College on March 4, 1827, It is the second of the three fraternities founded at Union College, the Union Triad. Its four founders include brothers Thomas F. and John T. Bowie, T.S. Witherspoon, and Charles T. Cromwell. The first three were southerners. The brothers hailed from Maryland and Witherspoon from Alabama. Cromwell was from Mosquito Cove, New York.**

Monogram3-BLUE

Sigma Phi was the first fraternity to expand to another campus. That happened in 1831 when the chapter at nearby Hamilton College was established. 

Henry Reed Rathbone was a member of Sigma Phi at Union College. Rathbone has a distinct place in American history. Rathbone and his fiance Clara Harris accepted a last minute invitation to attend a play at Ford’s Theater with President and Mrs. Lincoln on April 14, 1865. The invitation was issued after General Grant and his wife, the original theater companions, were unable to get to Washington. Rathbone was the first to go after John Wilkes Booth and had his arm severely slashed in the process. The events of that night at Booth’s Theater remained with Rathbone and cast a dark pall over his life.

**As a native New Yorker, I never heard of from Mosquito Cove. Mosquito Cove is how the town’s original name of Musketa Cove came to be known. The town is now Glen Cove, on Long Island’s north shore.

© 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/

Posted in Founders' Day, Fran Favorite, Phi Mu, Sigma Phi, Union College | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NPC Organizations That No Longer Exist; A Reflection on International Badge Day

The National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) celebrates International Badge Day on the first Monday in March. NPC asks its members to “Wear Your Letters on Your Heart.” Men’s fraternities and other Greek-letter organizations have joined in on the fun. The more the merrier, I say!

International Badge Day began in 1997.  In the spring of 1996, after she wore her Alpha Sigma Alpha pin to work one day, Nora M. Ten Broeck wrote an article about her experience. It appeared her sorority’s magazine, The Phoenix, and was titled “A Simple Solution – Wear Your Membership Badge Today.” The month of March was chosen because it is also National Women’s History Month. International Badge Day is an apt time to reflect on the organizations that once were a part of NPC, but no longer exist.

The first of these organizations admitted to NPC was Beta Phi Alpha; it joined NPC in 1923. Beta Phi Alpha was founded as Bide-a-wee on May 8, 1909 at the University of California – Berkeley. A few months later, the name changed to Aldebaran, In 1919, it became Kappa Phi Alpha. It then changed its name to Beta Phi Alpha. In 1936, chapters of Phi Delta at New York University and George Washington University affiliated with Beta Phi Alpha. On June 22, 1941 Beta Phi Alpha was absorbed by Delta Zeta. At that point, 30 chapters had been installed and there were 3,000 members. Beta Phi Alpha’s “Convention Lights” is still sung at the close of Delta Zeta conventions.

Beta Phi Alpha’s badge was a “Phi outlined in pearls with Beta and Alpha embossed on the black enamel at either side of the stem of the Phi.”*

Alpha Delta Theta was granted associate NPC membership in 1923 and full membership in 1926. It was founded as Alpha Theta in the fall of 1919 at Transylvania College and it took the name Alpha Delta Theta in 1922. That year, a second chapter was founded at the University of Kentucky. Twenty-five chapters had been established when Violet Young Gentry, Alpha Delta Theta, presided at the 26th NPC meeting at the Greenbrier Hotel in 1939. After the meeting, Alpha Delta Theta merged with Phi Mu. The national officers of both organizations then embarked on a trip to Alpha Delta Theta’s Alpha chapter at Transylvania University to install the collegians and alumnae as members of Phi Mu. Visits to the other Alpha Delta Theta chapters followed. Phi Mu affiliated five chapters and gained eight others through campus mergers. Four Alpha Delta Theta alumnae groups were installed as Phi Mu. In the 18 cities were Phi Mu and Alpha Delta Theta both had alumnae groups, Alpha Delta Theta’s alumnae chapters were disbanded and absorbed into Phi Mu. Hazel Falconer Benninghoven, Alpha Delta Theta National President at the time of the merger, served as Phi Mu’s National President, too.

Alpha Delta Theta’s badge was a “yellow gold pin, delta in shape, bordered with 15 pearls and with an emerald at each corner, the Delta superimposed upon a gold key place horizontally. The center of the Delta was of black enamel, bearing the emblems in gold, the Alpha in the lower left corner, the Delta in the apex, the Theta in the lower right corner, a lighted candle in the candlestick between the Alpha and Theta with crossed palm branches above.”

Theta Upsilon was granted associate NPC membership in 1923 and full membership in 1928. Theta Upsilon was founded at the University of California – Berkeley in 1914. Its roots can be traced to 1909 when a group of women rented a house on Walnut Street that they called “Walnut Shell.” On January 1, 1914, they organized as the Mekatina (“Among the Hills”) Club. In September 1933, Lambda Omega became a part of Theta Upsilon. On May 6, 1962, Theta Upsilon became a part of Delta Zeta. Three campuses overlapped, that is, they had both a Theta Upsilon and Delta Zeta chapter on campus. These three were Miami University, the University of Illinois, and Temple University. Delta Zeta gained nine new chapters.

Theta Upsilon’sbadge was a “jeweled Theta superimposed upon a hand-chased Upsilon.”

Sigma Phi Beta was granted associate NPC membership in 1928. It was founded at New York University on November 1, 1920 under the name of Sigma Sigma Omicron. It became Sigma Phi Beta on July 28, 1927. Phi Alpha Chi, with its three chapters, joined Sigma Phi Beta’s five chapters on January 7, 1928. On October 1, 1933, Phi Omega Pi absorbed Sigma Phi Beta; on August 10, 1946, Delta Zeta absorbed Phi Omega Pi.

Sigma Phi Beta’s badge was a circle bearing a Sigma, Phi, and Beta, with six jeweled points on the edge of the circle. The bottom badge is that of Sigma Sigma Omicron, which preceded Sigma Phi Beta.

Beta Sigma Omicron was granted associate NPC membership in 1930 and full membership in 1933. It was founded in 1888 at the University of Missouri. A second chapter was founded in 1891 at the Synodical College in Fulton, Missouri. The Alpha chapter closed in 1892. Although 61 chapters had been established, in 1964 when the organization was absorbed by Zeta Tau Alpha, there were only fifteen active chapters. Seven chapters became Zeta Tau Alpha chapters. These were: Howard College (now Samford University); Millsaps College; William Jewell College; Evansville College (now University); Thiel College; Westminster College; and Youngstown State College (now University). Alpha Phi picked up three chapters from those on campuses where there was already a chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha. The three Beta Sigma Omicron chapters that became Alpha Phi chapters were located at Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge, Baldwin Wallace College, and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Beta Sigma Omicron’s badge was “a monogram of the Greek letters Beta Sigma Omicron, the Sigma being superimposed.”

Lambda Omega was granted Associate NPC membership in 1930.  Lambda Omega was founded on May 5, 1923 at the University of California – Berkeley. It began as the Norroena Club founded in November 1915. It existed as a local house club for more than seven years until the house burned. Norroena “meaning ‘breath of the North,’ developed its ritual around an Indiana legend and had a Norse motif emphasizing the hardihood of the Norse people, their hospitality, economy, and friendship.” Other chapters were founded shortly after the organization became Lambda Omega. The Iaqua Club was founded at Berkeley in 1919, and it later became Alpha Sigma Delta; it merged with Lambda Omega in 1932. In 1933, Lambda Omega merged with Theta Upsilon. In 1962, Theta Upsilon merged with Delta Zeta.

Lambda Omega’s badge was a monogram of the Greek letters.

Phi Omega Pi was granted associate NPC membership in 1930 and full membership in 1933. It was founded at the University of Nebraska on March 5, 1910. In its early years, membership was limited to those belonging to the Order of the Eastern Star. In 1931, this restriction was eliminated. In 1933, Sigma Phi Beta was amalgamated with Phi Omega Pi. Phi Omega Pi disbanded in 1946. Four chapters were inactive. Other chapters were taken over by Alpha Omicron Pi, Alpha Gamma Delta, Sigma Kappa, and Kappa Alpha Theta. Delta Zeta was asked to consider the alumnae and a few chapters that remained. On August 10, 1946, Delta Zeta absorbed Phi Omega Pi.

Phi Omega Pi’s badge was an “irregular pentagon of black enamel surrounded by a gold band, had a five pointed star set with a sapphire above the Greek letters Phi Omega Pi engraved in gold.”

Pi Sigma Gamma was sponsored by NPC in 1930. It was founded in 1919 at the University of California – Berkeley. There were four chapters. The other three were at the University of Washington, Hunter College.  and the University of California – Los Angeles. The UCLA chapter closed in 1930. That same year, the three remaining chapters affiliated with Beta Sigma Omicron.

I could find no description of the Pi Sigma Gamma badge, but above is a picture of it.

Delta Sigma Epsilon, an Association of Education Sororities member, became a member of NPC in 1947. Delta Sigma Epsilon was founded on September 23, 1914 at  Miami University. It became a member of the Association of Pedagogical Sororities, an organization that then became the Association of Education Sororities. In the fall of 1940, Pi Delta Theta, another Association of Education Sororities member, merged with Delta Sigma Epsilon. It was the only merger within the Association of Education Sororities. In 1941, Delta Sigma Epsilon alumnae donated an outdoor drinking fountain and patio to Miami University. In 1956, Delta Sigma Epsilon was absorbed by Delta Zeta. At the time of the merger more than 13,000 women had been initiated as members in its 52 chapters. The chapter at Southern Illinois University Carbondale became an Alpha Gamma Delta chapter; both its collegians and alumnae were released from obligations to Delta Zeta (there is a chapter on this episode in my master’s thesis available on this site).

Delta Sigma Epsilon’s badge was a “shield-shaped, having seven point, the background of enamel, bordered with pearls, and displaying the fraternity letters, a circle, and a cornucopias. There was a plain badge in black and gold.”

Pi Kappa Sigma, an Association of Education Sororities member, became a member of NPC in 1947. It was founded on November 17, 1894 at the Michigan State Normal School (now Eastern Michigan University). At first it was known as J.P.N. In 1897, it reorganized and the name was changed to Pi Kappa Sigma. It was absorbed by Sigma Kappa on May 15, 1959.

Pi Kappa Sigma’s badge was “a modified triangular shield of black enamel displaying the letters Pi Sigma Kappa and a lamp and carrying a diamond surrounded by thirteen gold rays.”

Theta Sigma Upsilon, an Association of Education Sororities member, became a member of NPC in 1947. It was founded on March 25, 1921 at Kansas State Teachers College in Emporia. Its roots can be traced to 1909 when it was known as the Sigma Society. Theta Sigma Upsilon united with Alpha Gamma Delta on June 29, 1959.

Theta Sigma Upsilon’s plain badge was “a five pointed shield of black enamel, displaying a torch and the Greek letters and mounted upon a beveled shield of gold similarly shaped.” The jeweled badge was “shield similar to the plain badge, but jeweled with pearls and turquoises.”

Iota Alpha Pi was granted associate NPC membership in 1953 and full membership in 1957. The oldest national sorority for Jewish women, it was founded in 1903 at the New York Normal College  (now Hunter College).  A second chapter was founded in 1913. The first six chapters were all in the metro New York area.  The organization disbanded in 1971.

Iota Alpha Pi’s badge was a “diamond shaped pin, with two full-blown gold roses on each of the horizontal points, consisting of a scarlet field surrounded by a border of twenty pearls.” The roses were added to the corners after Iota Alpha Phi joined NPC, perhaps because it was so similar to Alpha Delta Pi’s badge.

*Quoted descriptions of badges are taken from the 19th edition of Baird’s Manual of American College Fraternities.

© 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/

Posted in Baird's Manual of American College Fraternities, GLO, Greek-letter Organization, Greek-letter Organization History, Iota Alpha Pi, National Panhellenic Conference, Sorority History, Women's Fraternity History | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NPC Badge Day, the Founding of ΠΚΑ and ΦΜΔ, and a Rabbit Hole

(Trying to figure out why notices aren’t being sent. Sorry if this is a duplicate e-mail.)

Tomorrow, the first Monday of March, is the National Panhellenic Conference’s International Badge Day. This rare Sunday post is a reminder for my NPC friends to wear their badge and show the power of the 26 NPC organizations.

imgres

NPC’s International Badge Day began in 1997.  In the spring of 1996, after she wore her Alpha Sigma Alpha pin to work one day, Nora M. Ten Broeck wrote an article about her experience. It appeared her sorority’s magazine, The Phoenix, and was titled “A Simple Solution – Wear Your Membership Badge Today.”  The month of March was chosen because it is also National Women’s History Month. (Fraternity men can wear their badges in support of the women, too!)

imgres

***

Happy Founders’ Day to Pi Kappa Alpha and Phi Mu Delta. they were both founded on March 1, 50 years apart.  

On March 1, 1868, Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity was founded at the University of Virginia. According to the PKA website:

It all started in Room 47 West Range when Frederick Southgate Taylor turned to Littleton Waller Tazewell, his cousin and roommate, for help in starting a new fraternity. Also present were James Benjamin Sclater,  Jr., a schoolmate of Tazewell, and Sclater’s roommate, Robertson Howard. Those four men voted to add a fifth to their group and chose Julian Edward Wood. In addition, William Alexander, probably a friend of Sclater, was proposed for membership and admitted as a founder. 

Senator Everett Dirksen, whose name is on the plaques in many buildings in Illinois, was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha. Dirksen is buried in Pekin, Illinois. We passed the cemetery many times as we drove the scenic back roads to Knox College to watch our sons play football. (Until the 1980s, Pekin’s school teams were known as the Chinks, but that is a story for another day. And Tremont the town next to Pekin, calls its teams the Turks.)

***

 Phi Mu Delta was founded in 1918. This information is from its website:

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.

The formation of the new fraternity met with some early resistance when the alumni of the Union chapter refused to join Phi Mu Delta. So, the Universities of Vermont, New Hampshire and Connecticut went on to become the founding chapters. Chapter designations were determined by lottery. The Connecticut chapter drew the number one and therefore became the Nu Alpha chapter, New Hampshire drew the number two ticket and became Nu Beta and Vermont became Nu Gamma (the Nu prefix was determined by the location of the chapter, New England Region).

***

For those who are snowed/iced in or those with time on their hands, I offer this wonderful time waster www.oldhousedreams.com.  Thanks to my friend Susan I have spent a good deal of time looking at old houses. Susan and I discussed this Victorian in Monmouth. Could the Pi Phi founders have visited this home later in their lives (since it wasn’t built when Pi Phi was founded in 1867)? http://www.oldhousedreams.com/2013/04/17/c-1900-queen-anne-monmouth-il/

Speaking of Monmouth, Illinois, did you know that it was also the birthplace of Wyatt Earp? http://www.oldhousedreams.com/2014/04/17/1841-monmouth-il/

One of my favorites is a Ward Wellington Ward home outside of Syracuse  http://www.oldhousedreams.com/2014/07/22/1922-tudor-manlius-ny/ . Ward Wellington Ward designed some of the homes occupied by Syracuse University fraternities and sororities throughout the years.

103-Academy-St-23

The home owned by Frank Hinckley Sisson, Beta Theta Pi’s National President, for whom the Sisson Award is named, is there. His wife, Grace Lass Sisson was Grand President of Pi Beta Phi. They were both graduates of Knox College. http://www.oldhousedreams.com/2011/08/31/1890-romanesque-yonkers-ny-mona-lisa-smile-6-25m/

© 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/

 

Posted in Fran Favorite | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NPC Badge Day, the Founding of ΠΚΑ and ΦΜΔ, and a Rabbit Hole

Tomorrow, the first Monday of March, is the National Panhellenic Conference’s International Badge Day. This rare Sunday post is a reminder for my NPC friends to wear their badge and show the power of the 26 NPC organizations.

imgres

NPC’s International Badge Day began in 1997.  In the spring of 1996, after she wore her Alpha Sigma Alpha pin to work one day, Nora M. Ten Broeck wrote an article about her experience. It appeared her sorority’s magazine, The Phoenix, and was titled “A Simple Solution – Wear Your Membership Badge Today.”  The month of March was chosen because it is also National Women’s History Month. (Fraternity men can wear their badges in support of the women, too!)

imgres

***

Happy Founders’ Day to Pi Kappa Alpha and Phi Mu Delta. they were both founded on March 1, 50 years apart.  

On March 1, 1868, Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity was founded at the University of Virginia. According to the PKA website:

It all started in Room 47 West Range when Frederick Southgate Taylor turned to Littleton Waller Tazewell, his cousin and roommate, for help in starting a new fraternity. Also present were James Benjamin Sclater,  Jr., a schoolmate of Tazewell, and Sclater’s roommate, Robertson Howard. Those four men voted to add a fifth to their group and chose Julian Edward Wood. In addition, William Alexander, probably a friend of Sclater, was proposed for membership and admitted as a founder. 

Senator Everett Dirksen, whose name is on the plaques in many buildings in Illinois, was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha. Dirksen is buried in Pekin, Illinois. We passed the cemetery many times as we drove the scenic back roads to Knox College to watch our sons play football. (Until the 1980s, Pekin’s school teams were known as the Chinks, but that is a story for another day. And Tremont the town next to Pekin, calls its teams the Turks.)

***

 Phi Mu Delta was founded in 1918. This information is from its website:

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.

The formation of the new fraternity met with some early resistance when the alumni of the Union chapter refused to join Phi Mu Delta. So, the Universities of Vermont, New Hampshire and Connecticut went on to become the founding chapters. Chapter designations were determined by lottery. The Connecticut chapter drew the number one and therefore became the Nu Alpha chapter, New Hampshire drew the number two ticket and became Nu Beta and Vermont became Nu Gamma (the Nu prefix was determined by the location of the chapter, New England Region).

***

For those who are snowed/iced in or those with time on their hands, I offer this wonderful time waster www.oldhousedreams.com.  Thanks to my friend Susan I have spent a good deal of time looking at old houses. Susan and I discussed this Victorian in Monmouth. Could the Pi Phi founders have visited this home later in their lives (since it wasn’t built when Pi Phi was founded in 1867)? http://www.oldhousedreams.com/2013/04/17/c-1900-queen-anne-monmouth-il/

Speaking of Monmouth, Illinois, did you know that it was also the birthplace of Wyatt Earp? http://www.oldhousedreams.com/2014/04/17/1841-monmouth-il/

One of my favorites is a Ward Wellington Ward home outside of Syracuse  http://www.oldhousedreams.com/2014/07/22/1922-tudor-manlius-ny/ . Ward Wellington Ward designed some of the homes occupied by Syracuse University fraternities and sororities throughout the years.

103-Academy-St-23

The home owned by Frank Hinckley Sisson, Beta Theta Pi’s National President, for whom the Sisson Award is named, is there. His wife, Grace Lass Sisson was Grand President of Pi Beta Phi. They were both graduates of Knox College. http://www.oldhousedreams.com/2011/08/31/1890-romanesque-yonkers-ny-mona-lisa-smile-6-25m/

© 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/

 

Posted in Beta Theta Pi, Fran Favorite, Phi Mu Delta, Pi Kappa Alpha, University of Virginia, Ward Wellington Ward | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sigma Pi’s Founders’ Day with an Appearance by a Kappa Alpha Theta

Today, February 26, is the date on which Sigma Pi was founded in 1897. It was interesting  to read this on the Sigma Pi website, “On January 26, 1897, Miss Charlotte N. Malotte, the professor of Latin and French, spoke to a student group at the chapel hour. She spoke on the subject of ‘College Fraternities’ which sparked the interest of several students. Then, on the afternoon of February 26, a new fraternity had its first meeting. When, after a long session, the meeting adjourned, a literary society had been born, though it was yet unnamed.”

The founders of the organization they first called Tau Phi Delta were all cadets at Vincennes University, a two year institution in southwestern Indiana. There were three seniors – William Raper Kennedy, James Thompson Kingsbury, and George Martin Patterson – and a freshman, Rolin Rosco James.

The Founders of Sigma Pi

The Founders of Sigma Pi

Tau Phi Delta was, according to the organization’s website, “a combination of the fraternity idea and the old style literary society, the like of which flourished in almost every college in the United States in the 19th century. However, in all its outward aspects, Tau Phi Delta possessed the characteristics of a fraternity chapter. It was strictly secret and possessed a password and a grip and included an initiation ritual. Its badge was a simple black shield, with a border of gold, upon which were displayed the Greek letters ΤΦΔ. The colors were black and gold, and the red clover was the official flower.”

On February 11, 1907, the members last assembled as Tau Phi Delta and assumed the name of Sigma Pi Fraternity of the United States. In 1984, the Fraternity again changed its name to reflect it first Canadian chapter. It is today known as the Sigma Pi Fraternity, International.

But what about Miss Malotte, the Latin teacher? Why would she talk to men about college fraternities? How did she know about them? Was she herself a fraternity woman? These were the questions I was asking myself as I read the Sigma Pi history. So I started looking.

Charlotte Northcraft Malotte was born in Indiana. She studied at Indiana University where she joined the Beta chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta. She worked at Vincennes University for three years as a Professor of French and Latin. In 1899, she took a job at Washington A and M College (now Washington State University). Her salary was $1,000 a year. There she met William Carl Kruegel and they were married in 1909. They had two children.

According to Noraleen Young, Theta’s Archivist, Kruegel was active in the Theta alumnae group in Pullman. She was also present at the establishment of the Theta chapter at Washington State University. Another Theta alumna added, “She is also the reason a small group of women at Washington State College (now WSU) chose to ultimately become the Alpha Sigma chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta in 1913. What an inspiring person!”

This appeared in a WSU Library publication after her death in 1965:

The death of Mrs. William C. Kruegel in Spokane this past winter has caused a sense not only of personal loss to her family and friends, but also the awareness of the passing of an era of WSU’s development, to which both she and her husband, who died a number of years ago, had devoted practically all of their adult lives. Mrs. Kruegel (Charlotte Malotte) came to WSU as Latin Instructor in 1899 and was Professor and Head of the Latin Department in 1909 when she married Mr. Kruegel, WSU Bursar.

For the rest of her life in Pullman, Mrs. Kruegel was a leader of a large proportion of university and community civic or cultural organizations. After the death of Marian Kruegel, who had been active in Little Theater groups, Mrs. Kruegel each year gave funds for the purchase of current Broadway plays as an FOL memorial to her daughter. In addition to her personal support of the organization, she represented to many generations of WSU students and friends the stability and growth of the institution as a whole as epitomized in the Library.

© 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/

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Julian H. Lewis, Ph.D., M.D., Alpha Phi Alpha, the “Father of Anthropathology”

“This is the greatest unknown story of the greatest unknown medical and African American pioneer of the 20th century,” said Robert L. Branch II. Branch was speaking about Julian Herman Lewis, a member of Alpha Phi Alpha. Lewis was honored this past Saturday at the University of Chicago during Black History Month, in a program called “The Life and Legacy of Julian H. Lewis.”  Branch, also an Alpha Phi Alpha, has studied Lewis’ life extensively and he spoke at the event. Branch added, “He is virtually unknown, not just within the University, but to the whole world.” Lewis doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page.

Lewis was born in 1891 in what is now Old Shawneetown in southern Illinois, near the Kentucky border. The Ohio River flooded in 1937 and the town was moved. His parents had been born into slavery, but they became educators. Lewis traveled from Shawneetown to Champaign and, at the age of 16, enrolled at the University of Illinois. He earned a bachelor’s degree in 1911 and a master’s degree a year later. He then entered the University of Chicago where he earned a Ph.D. in physiology and pathology from the University of Chicago in a year and a half. He graduated magna cum laude and his dissertation on the role of lipids in immunity was published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. It also won the prestigious Ricketts Prize.

He then entered Rush Medical College and earned his M.D. in 1917. He also won the Benjamin Rush Medal. That year he joined the University of Chicago faculty as an instructor in pathology. He became an assistant professor in 1923. He was the first African American faculty member to be hired by the University.

Lewis was one of the first African Americans to earn both a medical degree and a doctorate. In 1913, he was the first African American inducted into Sigma Xi, the scientific honorary. He was also the first African American to be a member of Alpha Omega Alpha, a medical fraternity.

Julian H. Lewis, 1917 Graduation from the University of Chicago (courtesy of the University of Chicago Archives)

Julian H. Lewis, 1917 Graduation from the University of Chicago (courtesy of the University of Chicago Archives)

He was a charter member of the Xi Lambda Graduate chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha. The chapter was installed on May 15, 1924.

At the 18th Annual Convention of Alpha Phi Alpha, held in Detroit during the last week of 1925, Lewis was the keynote speaker at the public meeting, on Sunday, December 27. It was held at the Bethel A.M.E. Church at the corner of St. Antoine and Frederick Streets. In the fraternity’s magazine, The Sphinx, he was called “the brilliant young Doctor of Philosophy and Assistant Professor of Pathology at the University of Chicago.” Brother Lewis, “delivered a masterpiece of the subject ‘world standards,’” and his talk was printed in the magazine. 

According to this account in the June 1926 Sphinx, on May 16, 1926, he was in Atlanta with the Eta Lambda, Alpha Pi and Alpha Rho chapters as Eta Lambda at Atlanta University hosted, “the greatest educational campaign in its history. The outstanding events in conjunction with the movement in Georgia as outlined in the report of the state director, J. Garland Wood, were: the High School Essay Contest on ‘Why I Am Going to College;’ educational sermons by pastors in the churches; the publication of a booklet, ‘Go to College – Why and How;’ which received nationwide distribution; and the presentation of Dr. Julian H. Lewis, Assistant Professor at Chicago University in a monster mass meeting….the mass meeting which was addressed by Dr. Julian H. Lewis of Chicago was the largest of its kind ever held in this city. The First Congregational Church was filled to capacity to receive this masterpiece that had been prepared for them by our own distinguished Brother from Chicago….Dr. Lewis, who is well known to Alpha Phi Alpha as a keen and forceful speaker, was at his best on the subject of education.”

Lewis is considered the “Father of Anthropathology,” the study of racial differences in the expression of disease. His book, Biology of the Negro, was published in 1942 and it was the result of his research on race and blood typing. Lewis studied in Switzerland on a Guggenheim fellowship.

The information about the program which was held last weekend.

The information about the program which was held last weekend.

He left the University of Chicago in 1943 after having unsuccessfully proposed a laboratory devoted to the study of comparative physiology, chemistry and pathology of the races. He then joined Provident Hospital, the United States’ first black-owned and operated hospital.

Lewis and his wife Eva had three children. They lived in a house at 47th and Champlain near the University of Chicago campus. Lewis was living in that house at the time of his death on March 6, 1989, at the age of 98.

One of the highlight’s of Saturday’s program was the unveiling of an oil painting of Lewis, which will be donated to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. The museum is scheduled to open in 2016.

© 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/

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Rotary International Turns 110 with a Surprise Visit from a Sigma Nu

Rotary International, one of the world’s first service organizations, was founded on February 23, 1905.  That first Rotary Club in Chicago has the name Rotary One. According to this on the Rotary One website:

On February 23, 1905, Paul Harris had dinner with his closest friend, Chicago coal dealer Silvester Schiele. Afterwards they walked up to Room 711 of the Unity Building where they met their host, Gustavus Loehr, a mining engineer; and another friend, Hiram Shorey, a merchant tailor.  Harris proposed that they form a club. No name was chosen for the group. But they agreed to meet next at the offices of Silvester Schiele. The second meeting was March 9th. Three other men, Harry Ruggles, William Jenson, and A. L. White joined them. Ruggles was a printer, and created the “name badge” version of the Rotary “wheel” and also started singing in Rotary. In fact his singing kept the group from disbanding more than once. It was also decided that “rotating” the meetings made “Rotary” the most logical name. Two weeks later the group gathered at the office of Silvester Schiele, in his coal yard at Twelfth and State Streets.  Six of the previous seven were present along with Charles Newton and Arthur B. Irwin.

The first four Rotarians (from left): Gustavus Loehr, Silvester Schiele, Hiram Shorey, and Paul P. Harris, circa 1905-12.

The first four Rotarians (from left): Gustavus Loehr, Silvester Schiele, Hiram Shorey, and Paul P. Harris.

Paul Harris, spent most of his childhood in Vermont, after he and his brother were sent to live with his grandparents in Wallingford, Vermont. While a student at the University of Vermont, he joined Lambda Iota (the Owls) a local fraternity founded in 1836.

Paul Percival Harris as a University of Vermont student. That badge that he is wearing is the Lambda Iota badge, from the local fraternity at the University of Vermont.

Paul Harris as a University of Vermont student. That badge that he is wearing is the Lambda Iota badge, from the local fraternity at the University of Vermont.

He was expelled in the late 1880s for refusing to name the students involved in the painting of the statue of the Marquis de Lafayette. Years later, the University of Vermont awarded him an honorary doctorate.

Marquis de Lafayette statue, University of Vermont

Marquis de Lafayette statue, University of Vermont

Since 1905, Rotary International has taken its commitment to service to heart. The first mass inoculation of American children began 61 years ago today, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. PolioPlus, Rotary International’s program to eradicate polio from the world turns 30 today. Since that program began, 2 billion children have been immunized, 10 million children have been saved from lifelong paralysis, and 125 countries are now declared polio-free.

I signed up to do the program for the Rotary Club meeting tomorrow, in celebration of the 110th. When my husband (he’s a Rotarian, too) found this video (http://youtu.be/mJ2T1G1WWTo ) for me to use in the program, he knew it contained a surprise. He’d heard me talk about “Chic” Sales from my months of writing the history of the Sigma Nu chapter at the University of Illinois.

Charles “Chic” Sale grew up in Champaign, Illinois. As a high school student, he hung out with his friends, some of whom were Sigma Nus, at the chapter house on the University of Illinois campus. In those early days of the 1900s, fraternities sometimes pledged men before they enrolled at the institution. Sale was pledged to the Gamma Mu chapter in 1906. The Sigma Nus gave him the nickname “Chic” when he entertained them at the chapter house. He had a way of making the chapter members laugh while entertaining them, and they encouraged to make his way as a performer. He left Champaign and tried his hand at vaudeville. He became one of America’s best-loved character actors and comedian on both stage and screen. During his travels, he frequently visited Sigma Nu chapter houses or attended alumni association meetings. One of his close friends was University of Wisconsin Sigma Nu alumnus Nick Grinde, who became his publicity man and later a renowned movie director.

Sale was an instant success in the film The Star Witness and his popularity grew with the publication of his humorous book, The Specialist. The book was published in 1929 and was a best seller (and this was before books of this type were published – vaudeville was rife with plagarism). It was a play about an outhouse builder. Sale, at a luncheon of the Sigma Nu Alumni Association, dined with a few lawyers who encouraged him to copyright and publish as a book the tale that he told them, the funny story about Lem Putt and his outhouses. He did just that. (Since the history was about the chapter and not Chic Sale, I did not take good notes on the meeting, but that is my recollection of the story.)

Chic

Sale, who apparently was also a Rotarian, was initiated into the Gamma Mu chapter in 1927 by an act of the Sigma Nu High Council. He was named to the Sigma Nu Hall of Fame in 1986. Sale died in 1936 at age 51.

© 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/

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Rotary International Turns 110 with a Surprise Visit from a Sigma Nu

Rotary International, one of the world’s first service organizations, was founded on February 23, 1905.  That first Rotary Club in Chicago has the name Rotary One. According to this on the Rotary One website:

On February 23, 1905, Paul Harris had dinner with his closest friend, Chicago coal dealer Silvester Schiele. Afterwards they walked up to Room 711 of the Unity Building where they met their host, Gustavus Loehr, a mining engineer; and another friend, Hiram Shorey, a merchant tailor.  Harris proposed that they form a club. No name was chosen for the group. But they agreed to meet next at the offices of Silvester Schiele. The second meeting was March 9th. Three other men, Harry Ruggles, William Jenson, and A. L. White joined them. Ruggles was a printer, and created the “name badge” version of the Rotary “wheel” and also started singing in Rotary. In fact his singing kept the group from disbanding more than once. It was also decided that “rotating” the meetings made “Rotary” the most logical name. Two weeks later the group gathered at the office of Silvester Schiele, in his coal yard at Twelfth and State Streets.  Six of the previous seven were present along with Charles Newton and Arthur B. Irwin.

The first four Rotarians (from left): Gustavus Loehr, Silvester Schiele, Hiram Shorey, and Paul P. Harris, circa 1905-12.

The first four Rotarians (from left): Gustavus Loehr, Silvester Schiele, Hiram Shorey, and Paul P. Harris.

Paul Harris, spent most of his childhood in Vermont, after he and his brother were sent to live with his grandparents in Wallingford, Vermont. While a student at the University of Vermont, he joined Lambda Iota (the Owls) a local fraternity founded in 1836.

Paul Percival Harris as a University of Vermont student. That badge that he is wearing is the Lambda Iota badge, from the local fraternity at the University of Vermont.

Paul Harris as a University of Vermont student. That badge that he is wearing is the Lambda Iota badge, from the local fraternity at the University of Vermont.

He was expelled in the late 1880s for refusing to name the students involved in the painting of the statue of the Marquis de Lafayette. Years later, the University of Vermont awarded him an honorary doctorate.

Marquis de Lafayette statue, University of Vermont

Marquis de Lafayette statue, University of Vermont

Since 1905, Rotary International has taken its commitment to service to heart. The first mass inoculation of American children began 61 years ago today, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. PolioPlus, Rotary International’s program to eradicate polio from the world turns 30 today. Since that program began, 2 billion children have been immunized, 10 million children have been saved from lifelong paralysis, and 125 countries are now declared polio-free.

I signed up to do the program for the Rotary Club meeting tomorrow, in celebration of the 110th. When my husband (he’s a Rotarian, too) found this video (http://youtu.be/mJ2T1G1WWTo ) for me to use in the program, he knew it contained a surprise. He’d heard me talk about “Chic” Sales from my months of writing the history of the Sigma Nu chapter at the University of Illinois.

Charles “Chic” Sale grew up in Champaign, Illinois. As a high school student, he hung out with his friends, some of whom were Sigma Nus, at the chapter house on the University of Illinois campus. In those early days of the 1900s, fraternities sometimes pledged men before they enrolled at the institution. Sale was pledged to the Gamma Mu chapter in 1906. The Sigma Nus gave him the nickname “Chic” when he entertained them at the chapter house. He had a way of making the chapter members laugh while entertaining them, and they encouraged to make his way as a performer. He left Champaign and tried his hand at vaudeville. He became one of America’s best-loved character actors and comedian on both stage and screen. During his travels, he frequently visited Sigma Nu chapter houses or attended alumni association meetings. One of his close friends was University of Wisconsin Sigma Nu alumnus Nick Grinde, who became his publicity man and later a renowned movie director.

Sale was an instant success in the film The Star Witness and his popularity grew with the publication of his humorous book, The Specialist. The book was published in 1929 and was a best seller (and this was before books of this type were published – vaudeville was rife with plagarism). It was a play about an outhouse builder. Sale, at a luncheon of the Sigma Nu Alumni Association, dined with a few lawyers who encouraged him to copyright and publish as a book the tale that he told them, the funny story about Lem Putt and his outhouses. He did just that. (Since the history was about the chapter and not Chic Sale, I did not take good notes on the meeting, but that is my recollection of the story.)

Chic

Sale, who apparently was also a Rotarian, was initiated into the Gamma Mu chapter in 1927 by an act of the Sigma Nu High Council. He was named to the Sigma Nu Hall of Fame in 1986. Sale died in 1936 at age 51.

© 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/

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@GLOHistory Rambles On

Today is National Love Your Pet Day. Last year at this time, I was dealing with a dying dog. This year, we are counting the days until Coco the puppy turns one, so that we can start counting down the days until she turns two. Hopefully, by then, she will be done with chewing our socks and anything else she can find lying around. Coco is an aggressive chewer but we love her, nonetheless.

Coco was a shelter dog and when we saw her, we were told she was part Pomeranian and part terrier. I thought she was more terrier than anything else. One of my sons, as a Christmas present, settled the debate. He had a DNA analysis done on her. Turns out she is part Pomeranian and part Irish Setter mix (if we can believe a dog DNA test – I am a little cynical about these things).

Coco loves the snow!

Coco loves the snow!

10849764_977996550015_171373232403172085_n

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A Pi Phi friend, who is also a very talented glass artist, has a shop on etsy. She honed her skill at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee (http://www.arrowmont.org/). The 2015 class schedule is available and I encourage anyone with any level of skill to sign up for classes. Participants can be beginners or experts. It is a wonderful school and taking a class there can be a life changing experience.

I love this wonderful wine carnation made by Lake Angel Glass!

I love my  wonderful wine carnation made by Lake Angel Glass!

My friend, the glass artist, is also a proud Mizzou alumna and some of her work has a definite Tiger flavor. https://www.etsy.com/shop/LakeAngelGlass

il_170x135.727455958_995f

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If you have been a subscriber to this blog and are no longer receiving the e-mail notices, please let me know (use the comment section below. I moderate the comments so it will not appear on the blog). I suspect there is a problem with the subscription notices, but I am not sure what it is.  There is also a new way to subscribe (the annoying pop-up screen).

© 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/

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“Bro. (Woodrow) Wilson, our Delegate to Washington”

Phi Kappa Psi was founded on February 19, 1852 in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, at Jefferson College (now Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania). Phi Kappa Psi’s founders are William Henry Letterman and Charles Page Thomas Moore.

Phi Kappa Psi is the only Fraternity (as far as I can tell) that can boast of a U.S. President who was an active member of two chapters and served as a delegate to the fraternity’s Grand Arch Council (Convention).

Woodrow Wilson became a member of Phi Kappa Psi in 1879 when he was initiated into the Virginia Alpha chapter at the University of Virginia. He was 23. He had already graduated from Princeton and was at UVA to study law. In 1883, he affiliated with the chapter at Johns Hopkins University.

The minute books from the Virginia Alpha chapter include mention of Wilson. On January 31, 1880 a successful motion was made to “subscribe $3.00 each to pay the expenses of Bro. Wilson, our delegate to Washington.” On February 28, 1880, it was noted in the minutes that “Bro. Wilson, delegate to the G.A.C. made a verbal report of his trip and was listened to with marked attention.”

Phi Kappa Psi’s Woodrow Wilson Leadership School, held in the odd, non Grand Arch Council year, is named in his honor. From 1902-10, Wilson served as President of Princeton University. In 1911, he became Governor of New Jersey. In 1913, he began his term of office as the 28th President of the United States. This year’s Woodrow Wilson Leadership School will take place in June at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

To read The Shield article about Woodrow Wilson’s time in the Virginia Alpha chapter, see . To read last year’s post about Phi Psi’s unique headquarters, see http://wp.me/p20I1i-1s8.

Woodrow Wilson, Phi Kappa Psi

Woodrow Wilson, Phi Kappa Psi

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February 19 is also Founders’ Day for  La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Incorporated, a fraternity for Latino students. It was founded at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York on February 19, 1982, by 11 undergraduate men, a faculty advisor, and a Cornell administrator. The majority of the founding members were in pre-med and engineering majors and they  had little free time to devote to creating a fraternity of their own. But create it they did; in the ensuing 33 years, the fraternity has grown to more than 55 undergraduate chapters and more than a dozen alumni chapters. Happy Founders’ Day!

Lambda_Upsilon_Lambda_Crest

© 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/

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