Holiday Break Was Once a Busy Time for GLOs

It’s hard for today’s collegians to contemplate spending December 24 through January 2, part of the Holiday Break, on campus. Most higher education institutions and Greek-Letter Organizations (GLO) HQs shut down for the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. However, that week has been a significant one in the history of GLOs.

An antique anchor ornament owned by a Delta Gamma (For more GLO decorating, see

Delta Gamma was founded over the Christmas holiday in 1873 when three young women were stranded at the Lewis School in Oxford, Mississippi, due to inclement weather. Alpha Omicron Pi began on January 2, 1897.

Stella Perry, Alpha Omicron Pi Founder


Both celebrate Founders’ Day at other times. Alpha Omicron Pi celebrates on or around December 8, founder Stella George Stern Perry’s birthday. Delta Gamma celebrates Founders’ Day on March 15, the date of Eta Chapter’s founding at Akron University. It is Delta Gamma’s oldest continuous chapter. George Banta, a Phi Delta Theta, brought Delta Gamma to the north and was the only man to be an initiate of Delta Gamma. His fraternity, of which he also served as Historian, celebrates Founders’ Day on March 15, too.

George Banta, Phi Delta Theta and Delta Gamma

Chi Phi traces its history to the Chi Phi Society established on December 24, 1824 by Robert Baird at the College of New Jersey (later known as Princeton University).

Phi Delta Theta, one of the Miami Triad was founded on December 26, 1848. Its Founders’ Day is celebrated on March 15, the birth date of founder Robert Morrison.

Phi Iota Alpha, the oldest Latino fraternity still in existence was founded in Troy, New York on December 26, 1931. Zeta Beta Tau was created on December 29, 1898 when a group of young men attending several New York universities met at the Jewish Theological Seminary and formed an organization called ZBT.

Sigma Nu became a Greek-letter organization on January 1, 1869. It was founded at Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia by three young men who were opposed to the hazing that was a part of a cadet’s life at VMI. Delta Tau Delta celebrates its 155th anniversary on January 1. It was founded at Bethany College in 1858.


© Fran Becque,, 2016. All rights reserved. If  you enjoyed this post, please sign up for updates. Also follow me on twitter @GLOHistory and Pinterest


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