Delta Phi

Last updated
Delta Phi (St. Elmo)
ΔΦ
Deltaphi3.jpg
FoundedNovember 17, 1827;195 years ago (1827-11-17)
Union College
TypeSocial
Affiliation NIC
ScopeNational
Motto"Semper Ubique" ("Always Everywhere")
Colors  Columbia blue and   White
Symbol Maltese Cross
Patron saint St. Elmo
Chapters12 active
NicknameSt. Elmo / St. Elmo Hall / Elmo
Headquarters120 Providence Rd., Ste 102
P.O. Box 4633

Chapel Hill , NC 27514
USA
Website Official website

Delta Phi (ΔΦ) is a fraternity founded in 1827 at Union College in Schenectady, New York consisting of ten active chapters along the East Coast of the United States. The fraternity also uses the names "St. Elmo," "St. Elmo Hall," or merely "Elmo" because of its relation to Erasmus of Formia with some chapters known almost exclusively by one of these names on their respective campuses. Delta Phi was, after the Kappa Alpha Society and Sigma Phi Society, the third and last member of the Union Triad.

Contents

History

Delta Phi was officially founded on November 17, 1827 at Union College by nine upperclassmen. [1] Delta Phi and the other Union Triad fraternities were established during a time of strong Anti-Masonry sentiment in the United States and became targets of the Anti-Masonry movement. This led Phi Beta Kappa, the original fraternity, to abandon secrecy and become a strictly honor society. [2]

In the early 1830s, Dr. Eliphalet Nott, president of Union College, called for the dissolution of all fraternities. Before this policy could be enacted, John Jay Hyde, a member of Delta Phi, argued the benefits of the fraternity system so convincingly that Dr. Nott relented and permitted the organizations to remain in existence. Hyde went on to design the badge still worn by members of Delta Phi today, which includes a Maltese Cross, a symbol used by the Knights of Malta.

This connection to the Knights of Malta led Delta Phi to become known as "St. Elmo", a name first used by the Omicron chapter at Yale, which since has transformed into a senior secret society known as St. Elmo Society that is no longer associated with Delta Phi. Beginning at some point shortly after the Omicron chapter's inception in 1889, the brothers there used the name of St. Elmo, the patron saint of mariners and the Knights of Malta. [3] On some campuses, Delta Phi chapters are known almost exclusively as "St. Elmo," "St. Elmo Hall," or simply "Elmo."

Expansion

In 1838, the Beta chapter of Delta Phi was founded at Brown University and Delta Phi finally became a “national” fraternity. Next, the Gamma chapter was established at New York University in 1841, followed quickly by the Delta chapter at Columbia University in 1842, [4] the Epsilon chapter at Rutgers University [5] and the Zeta chapter at Harvard University, both in 1845, [4] and the Eta chapter at University of Pennsylvania in 1849. [5] In 1844, Delta Phi held its first convention, only the second fraternity to have such a meeting and was held under the auspices of the Alpha chapter but was held in Troy, New York. The next convention was held in New York City and, seeing the growth in the organization, authorized the fraternity to undertake its first printed publication, a complete catalogue of the membership up to 1847.

Delta Phi left its base in the Northeast and expanded into what was then still the northwest of the young country, establishing the Iota chapter at University of Michigan in 1855 and southward to charter the Kappa chapter at the University of North Carolina that same year. [4]

Delta Phi today

Delta Phi Badge.jpg

Delta Phi remains a small fraternity with ten active chapters and few chapters with more than a couple dozen members. It has resisted expansion in order to create an "intimate, personal experience" [6] for its members. The fraternity's current expansion policy is to reactivate dormant chapters. [6] As a member of the Union Triad, Delta Phi is the third oldest fraternity and the oldest continuous fraternity in the United States.

Governance and organization

Owing mostly to its development in the early 19th century, Delta Phi organizes itself federally. Individual alumni chapters still exercise significant power over chapter governance. Those powers that are given in the national organization are vested in the Board of Governors. [7] The board consists of one member appointed from each alumni chapter plus two undergraduate representatives elected at the annual leadership conference the fraternity sponsors. [7] Among the duties given to the board is hiring the Executive Director who oversees day-to-day management of the fraternity. [7]

In addition to the national governing organization of the fraternity, Delta Phi alumni have also established the Saint Elmo Foundation which, among other things, sponsors the annual leadership weekend and provides scholarships to undergraduate members of Delta Phi. [8]

Alumni membership

Overall alumni participation among active chapters remains strong, with chapters hosting several social events throughout the year. [9] [10]

On or around November 17 of every year, the national organization sponsors the Founder's Day Dinner at the Saint Elmo Club where undergraduates and alumni celebrate the founding of the fraternity. [11]

Founders

Chapters

These are the chapters of Delta Phi. Active chapters noted in bold, inactive chapters noted in italics. Two chapters have withdrawn from affiliation with the national fraternity, but remain active on their campuses; their dates of withdrawal are noted. [12] [13] [14]

NameCharteredInstitutionLocationStatusNotesReference
AlphaNovember 17, 18271999 Union College Schenectady, NY Inactive
Beta18381856, 18681877, 18811966, 19832011 Brown University Providence, RI Withdrew [lower-alpha 1] [lower-alpha 1] [lower-alpha 2]
Gamma18412019 New York University New York, NY Inactive
Delta18422001 Columbia University New York, NY Inactive
Epsilon18451999, 200x ? Rutgers University New Brunswick, NJ Active [15] [lower-alpha 3]
Zeta18451848, 18851901 Harvard University Cambridge, MA Inactive
Eta18491871, 1882 University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA ActiveCo-ed (1979) [16] [lower-alpha 4]
Theta18541877 Princeton University Princeton, NJ Inactive
Iota18551874, 19231936 University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI Inactive [lower-alpha 5]
Kappa18561861 University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, NC Inactive
Lambda1864 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy, NY Active [17]
Mu18741876 Colgate University Hamilton, NY Inactive
Nu18842015 Lehigh University Bethlehem, PA Inactive [18] [lower-alpha 6]
Xi18851916, 1921 Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD Active [lower-alpha 7]
Omicron18891925 Yale University New Haven, CT Withdrew [lower-alpha 8] [19]
Pi18912018, 2022 Cornell University Ithaca, NY Active [20]
Rho1908 University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA Active
Sigma19171965, 19822001 Trinity College Hartford, CT Inactive [lower-alpha 9]
Tau19202009 University of Illinois Champaign, IL Inactive [lower-alpha 10]
Upsilon19261965 Williams College Williamstown, MA Inactive [lower-alpha 11] [lower-alpha 11] [lower-alpha 12]
Phi1940 Kenyon College Gambier, OH Active [lower-alpha 13]
Chi1950 Hamilton College Clinton, NY Active [21] [lower-alpha 14]
Psi19601974, 19862007, 2015 Pennsylvania State University State College, PA Active [lower-alpha 15]
Omega1968 University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA Active [22] [lower-alpha 16]
Omega Alpha1987 College of William and Mary Williamsburg, VA Active [23] [24]
Omega Beta19942001 Wabash College Crawfordsville, IN Inactive

Notes

  1. 1 2 This chapter is active under the name of Delta Phi and uses the fraternity's crest, but is disaffiliated from the national fraternity.
  2. At its 1966 reorganization, Beta chapter was created from Delta Phi Omega (local).
  3. Epsilon chapter was revived with a 2003 recolonization.
  4. Eta chapter was revived in 1882 when it absorbed Delta Beta Phi (local), which had formed in 1878.
  5. Iota chapter was revived in 1923 when it absorbed Kappa Beta Psi (local), which had formed in 1912.
  6. Nu chapter had its origin as Alpha Gamma Phi (local), which had formed prior to becoming a chapter of Delta Phi.
  7. Xi chapter was revived in 1921 after a brief dormancy, when it absorbed Beta Beta (local).
  8. Omicron chapter dissociated with Delta Phi and is now known as the St. Elmo Society at Yale.
  9. Sigma chapter had its origin as Iota Kappa Lambda (local), which had formed in 1829.
  10. Tau chapter had its origin as the Iris Club (local), which had formed in 1908.
  11. 1 2 Williams College banned all fraternities in the 1960s, phasing them out by 1970.
  12. Upsilon chapter had its origin as Alpha Tau Alpha (local), which had formed in 1925.
  13. Phi chapter had its origin as Alpha Pi Tau (local), which had formed in 1927.
  14. Chi chapter had its origin as Alpha Chi (local), which had formed in 1947.
  15. Psi chapter had its origin as the Beaver Society (local), which had formed in 1935.
  16. Omega chapter had its origin as Lambda Sigma Rho (local), which had formed in 1965.

Notable alumni

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  18. "Lehigh Delta Phi loses recognition". 23 Feb 2015.
  19. The oldest traditional fraternities (~junior societies) at Yale named their buildings with "Hall" nicknames, by which they wished to be known on campus: Thus Delta Phi was known at Yale as St. Elmo's AND as a Delta Phi chapter until its disassociation. Similarly, Psi Upsilon became the Fence Club. Phi Gamma Delta was Vernon Hall which later became Myth and Sword . Sigma Delta Chi (local) was renamed the Cloister Club which soon became Book and Snake . Theta Xi's chapter was Franklin Hall, Phi Sigma Kappa adopted the name Sachem Hall, Delta Psi adopted the name St. Anthony Hall which spread to their entire small but old national fraternity. Chi Delta Theta (local literary honorary) established the Manuscript Society , and finally, Chi Phi was York Hall.
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