A Red Carnation on Theta Chi’s Founding Day

One does not often think of military colleges and fraternities. They seem mutually exclusive. I always find it interesting that several fraternities were founded at military colleges. On April 10, 1856, Theta Chi was founded at Norwich University, in Norwich, Vermont. In 1819, Norwich University was the first private military college founded as literary, scientific and military academy.

Frederick Norton Freeman and Arthur Chase, military cadets, met in Freeman’s room in Norwich’s Old South Barracks. After taking an oath, they declared each other “true and accepted members” of the Society. Chase became President and Freeman became Secretary. The next evening two more cadets – Edward Bancroft Williston and Lorenzo Potter – joined the order.

Theta Chi’s Beta chapter at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was installed on December 13, 1902. Other chapters quickly followed. The Alpha chapter lasted until 1960 when Norwich disbanded all its fraternities.

Theta Chi’s flower is the red carnation. I can’t help but share that fact because carnations are my favorite flower (although I am partial to wine carnations).

For Theta Chi's 75th Anniversary, a stone monument was dedicated at Norwich, Vermont.

For Theta Chi’s 75th Anniversary, a stone monument was dedicated at Norwich, Vermont.


Happy Founders’ Day, a day early, to Sigma Phi Delta and Theta Nu Xi.

Sigma Phi Delta, an engineering fraternity was founded at the University of Southern California on April 11, 1924. Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority was founded on April 11, 1997 at the University of North Carolina.


About yesterday’s posts about Bells Across the Land post –

Two of my favorite institutions of higher education, the University of Illinois and Monmouth College, participated in the effort.

© 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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