A Historical Timeline of Delta Sig

Follow our history, year-by-year! 

  • Association formed at City College of New York, called Insula (the mother chapter, later renamed Alpha), on December 10
  • Second chapter established at Columbia University, called Morningside (Beta)
  • Delta Sigma Phi incorporated in New York state on December 15
  • Third chapter informally established at New York on December 15 
  • First national Fraternity dinner held December 26
  • Formal installation of University Chapter January 2
  • Constitutional Convention held in August at Insula' apartment 
  • Charles A. Tonsor, Jr. elected president, and Meyer Boskey elected secretary 
  • The Convention adopted a Constitution that created national offices and an executive committee to govern between Conventions Two new chapter formally received into the Fraternity during the Convention: Technology (Delta), which had been organized at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1904; and Keystone (Epsilon), organized in 1905 at Penn State
  • Tonsor and Boskey chartered the Washington and Lee Chapter as Stonewall (Zeta)
  • First alumni group chartered as the New York Alumni Chapter 
  • The Convention changed the Fraternity's approach to naming chapters to the present Greek-alphabet designations
  • Boskey, having conceived the idea of a national magazine to bind the chapters together, published the first issue of The Carnation in April
  • Eta Chapter installed at Texas 
  • Theta Chapter installed at Cornell
  • Official badge designated at the convention 
  • Kappa Chapter established at Alabama Polytechnic Institute (Auburn) in November 
  • Iota Chapter installed at Penn in December
  • Lambda Chapter installed at Trinity 
  • Delta Sigma Phi became a founding member of the National Interfraternity Conference
  • Mu Chapter installed at Chicago
  • Nu Chapter installed at Waynesburg
  • Omicron Chapter installed at Cumberland 
  • Convention created an Administrative Council with the power to grant chapters between Conventions 
  • Office of national general secretary created at the Convention and Arthur Defenderfer chosen to fill the position 
  • The Ritual first published 
  • Fraternity restricted membership to men of the Christian faith 
  • Coat-of-arms, seal, pledge symbol, and badge adopted
  • First Delta Sigma Phi Headquarters opened in the Reibold Building, Dayton, Ohio 
  • Hilgard Chapter installed at UC-Berkeley
  • Pi Chapter installed at Furman 
  • Rho Chapter installed at NC State 
  • Sigma Chapter installed at Thiel 
  • Tau Chapter installed in Hillsdale 
  • Upsilon Chapter installed at Franklin and Marshall 
  • The Carnation is named the official magazine of the Fraternity
  • Phi Chapter installed at St. Louis
  • Chi Chapter installed at Tulane 
  • Psi Chapter installed at Wofford 
  • Omega Chapter (the last of the single Greek letter charters) installed at Pitt 
  • The Convention divided the nation into geographical districts, established a system of district deputies to supervise each one
  • Convention made biennial instead of annual
  • First deputy district system established
  • Lon A. Scott, who had graduated from Cumberland University in 1915 as valedictorian of his class, became Delta Sigma Phi's first congressman 
  • The Convention established Board of Governors of seven men with full power to manage and direct the affairs of the Fraternity; the Board of Governors later shrank to five members, and the Administrative Council disappeared, replaced by an Endowment Board of Trustees
  • On May 23 a trademark was granted to Delta Sigma Phi for the quarterly, The Carnation
  • The Sphinx, an esoteric publication, first appeared; it has been issued subsequently as needed 
  • The Convention adopted a ceremony for the dedication of new chapter houses and instituted the Pilgrim Degree, a special ritual for those making the pilgrimage to a national Convention 
  • The Fraternity initiated its first and only honorary member of the Fraternity when the Honorable James J. Davis, secretary of Labor in the Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover cabinets, was initiated at the request of Omega Chapter 
  • At the Fraternity's quarter-century mark, there were forty undergraduate chapters
  • First pledge manual issued; now called the Gordian Knot
  • Board of Governors adopted official Fraternity flag 
  • The first Sailors Ball held at Alpha Chi Chapter
  • First Fraternity Manual published
  • Fraternity reincorporated in the District of Columbia, where the offices of General Secretary Defenderfer were located
Harvey H. Herbert Award for distinguished service to the Fraternity first awarded

  • The Lute Songbook first published
  • First district training school for officers conducted in Chicago 
  • Board of Governors banned Hell Week practices throughout the Fraternity
  • Upon the retirement of Arthur Defenderfer, the Headquarters moved from Washington, D.C., to Springfield, Ohio, the home city of Arthur Sprague, the new national treasurer 
  • Marcus E. Sharpe became executive director
  • Arthur H. Sprague became executive director
  • Harold Balback became executive director
  • System of universal life membership approved, providing The Carnation to each initiate as a life subscription 
  • Francis Wacher became executive director
  • Twelve chapters installed-the largest number in the history of the Fraternity-two revived
  • Deputy district system gave way to an eighteen-member governor system 
  • Headquarters moved to Denver 
  • New flag chosen
  • The Delta Sigma Phi Foundation established; granted status as a nonprofit educational Foundation in 1958, it provides scholarships to students with high academic achievement and supports other Delta Sigma Phi educational programs
  • The Lute Songbook reissued
  • Delta Sigma Phi votes to end racial and religious discrimination policies (though the policies had not been enforced for much of the time they were in effect)
  • Office of executive secretary renamed executive director
  • Outstanding Active Award established
  • The Grand Council formed 
  • Governor system redesigned to reflect the earlier deputy district system
  • Mr. Delta Sig Award, the highest honor the Fraternity can bestow, first conferred 
  • Denver Headquarters moved to Milwaukee Street
  • Following retirement of Francis Wacker, E. Allen James became executive director
  • Headquarters moved in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Taggart Mansion purchased, renovation completed in 1984
  • Delta Sigma Phi became the first organization to provide fraternity experience to deaf students by establishing a colony at Cal State-Northridge
  • Pyramid of Excellence implemented, a new award structure for recognizing the top chapters in the Fraternity 
  • Delta Sigma Phi became the first fraternity to ban Little Sister organizations 
  • Outstanding Active Award renamed the E. Allen James Outstanding Undergraduate Award upon James's retirement as executive director David A. Testerman became executive director 
  • Risk Management Policy adopted, prohibiting use of chapter funds for purchase of alcohol
  • Daniel A. Smercina became executive director 
  • Largest Convention attendance ever (held in Washington, D.C.)
  • Regional Leadership Director program introduced to replace leadership consultants
  • First College of Engineered Leadership; held at Purdue 
  • Alumni Recognition Ceremony adopted 
  • Austin Hastings became first undergraduate member of the Grand Council in January
  • Delta Sigma Phi launches Internet home page on the World Wide Web
  • Tony Smercina is appointed the executive director of the Foundation - Jon Hockman becomes the executive director of the Fraternity
  • College of Engineered Leadership changes to the Leadership Institute
  • The Challenge Team replaces the Regional Leadership program
  • The 52nd Biennial Convention assembled voted to adopt The Challenge initiative effective December 10, 2000 
  • Delta Sigma Phi celebrates the 100th Anniversary of the Fraternity
  • December 10 - Delta Sigma Phi adopted Alcohol-Free Housing initiative
  • Scott Wiley hired as Executive Director 
  • Regional Leadership Academies (RLAs) developed and held to educate chapter leadership on operations
  • Regional Director program replaced Challenge Team
  • 55th and Biennial Convention held in Austin, TX
  • Delta Sigma Phi Commissioners Program developed to provide support to Fraternity's ACBs
  • Inaugural Brotherhood Retreat programs held to educate new initiates about the national Fraternity
  • Songs of the Lute CD developed and sold
  • Fraternity begins Alumni Spotlight feature on web site
  • Epsilon chapter at Penn State re-started 
  • Inaugural Alumni Executive Roundtable held in Hollywood, FL
  • 56th and Biennial Convention held in Phoenix, AZ
  • Blood, Sweat & Cash national service project developed in conjunction with The American Red Cross ®
  • Delta Sigma Phi Circle online community developed and launched
  • 15th Anniversary of the Delta Sigma Phi Leadership Institute celebrated with Omicron Class graduation
  • Hilgard chapter at Cal-Berkeley re-started
  • Vision 2025 adopted
  • The Summit program for chapter presidents and recruitment chairmen developed and held in Indianapolis - over 170 brothers trained during inaugural event
  • Delta Sigma Phi Foundation moves back in house after 11 years
Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity
1331 North Delaware Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
PHONE | 317.634.1899
FAX | 317.634.1410
HOURS | Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
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