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Phi Gamma Delta History Articles


General History

The History of Phi Gamma Delta, 1848-1923: The First Seventy-Five Years. Includes corrections to the 1920s histories, The History of Phi Gamma Delta, Tomos Alpha and Tomos Beta.

Misconceptions about Phi Gamma Delta History:
 Our debunking unit attacks error and rumor with truth and light. The results may surprise you.


The University of Nashville, 1850:
 Our third chapter, and father to several others.


The Washington College Myth, 1852:
 Our first Zeta Chapter was established at Maryville College, Tennessee in 1852. So why has the record since 1856 mistakenly shown that the chapter existed at Washington College?


Union University, Tennessee and Early Expansion, 1851-1873:
 Long-ignored Grand Chapter minutes reveal the important role played by the Union Chapter in the antebellum growth of Phi Gamma Delta.


The Lost Chapter at The University of Mississippi, 1855-1856:
 Founded by the Delta Chapter at Union, and lost to the Fraternity for many years. Who were its members? Why did it fail?


The Lost Chapter at Soule University, Chappell Hill, Texas, 1861-1867:
 The previous article on Union explains how a chapter came to be founded at Soule University. This article gives further detail on the chapter and its members, and how they founded a chapter at Washington College, Virginia, now Washington and Lee University.


Delta Deuteron and Phi Chapters at Northwestern, 1868-1870:
 One chapter forfeits itself in an act of treachery, while another transfers itself from Baker University. Based on a 1931 article, with new information.

Mu Chapter at Howard College, 1856-1861:
 New photographs and biographical research may shed light on this antebellum southern chapter.

Jefferson College History

Jefferson College (1802-1865), Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, was the site of Phi Gamma Delta's founding, and a predecessor of Washington and Jefferson College. These articles by Dr. James T. Herron, Jr. were previously published in The Jefferson College Times, produced by the Jefferson College Historical Society. They are featured with his permission.

Jefferson College in 1848 (Vol. 31, No. 3, September 1998)

Jefferson College's Class of 1848 (Vol. 31, No. 3, September 1998)

I Wanna Be First! Analysis of three claims to be the "first college west of the Allegheny Mountains." (Vol. 12, No. 4, March 1979)

A Not-So-Small College: Jefferson's enrollment compared to its contemporaries. (Vol. 26, No. 1, March 1993)

Histories of Jefferson College's fraternity chapters, in order of establishment:

Special Topics

Before and After Sweetwater: What happened to Bolivar G. Krepps (Jefferson 1849), who met Founder McCarty on the road to California. (1979)

The Thirteenth Fiji:
 Thomas W. B. Crews (Jefferson 1850), called "That God of Boys" by the Founders. (1979)


Duels, Digs and DeltaThe story of Major D. Sterrett (Virginia 1861) and his badge - lost during the Civil War, recovered by a relic hunter, and now in the Fraternity Museum. (Winter 1979, with adaptations from April 1925)

The First Small Arms Fired in The Civil War: Yes, a Fiji was there. (October 1937)

Old Log Cabin Will Be Moved: Ancient Structure, Foundation of Jefferson College, Will Be Placed on New Site and Protected. (November 1930)

Phi Gamma Delta and Kappa Alpha Theta: DePauw brothers had something to do with founding of Kappa Alpha Theta. Take the article's tongue-in-cheek manner with a grain of salt. (Condensed from May 1931, and reprinted October 1947)

The Origin of the Norris Pig Dinner:
 A traditional banquet held at every chapter.


An Exiles' Toast, Annotated:
 The famous Frank Norris poem explained.


Frank Norris as an Undergraduate:
 Founder of the Pig Dinner.


The Lost 1872 Convention:
 
New records shed light on this event.


Chapter Histories

The Story of Graduate Chapters (December 1932)

Highlights of Alpha and Beta Chapters:
 Founded in 1848, merged in 1865, and resuscitated twice.


Delta at Union University:
 Murfreesboro, Tennessee. A southern stalwart of our early years, 1851-1861 and 1870-1873.


Epsilon at the University of North Carolina:
 
Its early life, 1851-1852 and 1859-1862.


Theta at the University of Alabama:
 
Founded 1855 and revived twice; the connection to the first Kappa Alpha; the Sigma Alpha Epsilon tradition. (November 1930)


Kappa at Baylor University 1856-1861:
 Chartered by Union University when the school was located in Independence, Texas.


Lambda at Indiana Asbury 1856-1870:
 Listing of initiates at I.A.U. (now DePauw), with photographs and historical notes.


Omicron at the University of Virginia, 1859-1860:
 A look at the earliest members of this antebellum chapter.


Omicron at the University of Virginia
: 
Founded 1859 and revived three times. (March 1958)

Xi at Gettysburg College:
 Founded 1858. (March 1958)

Rho at Kentucky University 1860-1862:
 Born at the brink of civil war in Harrodsburg, this school later merged with Transylvania University in Lexington.


Sigma at Western University of Pennsylvania:
 Founded 1863. (March and May 1909)


Tau at Hanover College:
 
Founded 1864. (April 1939)

Omega at Columbia University:
 Our second east of the Alleghenies, founded 1866. (November 1941)


Alpha Deuteron at Illinois Wesleyan University:
 
Founded 1866. (December 1941)


Chi at Monmouth College:
 This short-lived chapter operated from 1869 to 1871.


Lambda Deuteron at Thiel College:
 Thiel's first chapter lived from 1872-1873 and was killed by a college ban on fraternities. (November 1931)


The Establishment of Phi Gamma Delta at California:
 The story of the first (and second) chartering of our first West Coast chapter, 1881 to 1886. (Paraphrased from November, 1936 article)

Beta at the University of Pennsylvania:
 Founded 1881. (January 1956)


Sigma at Wittenberg University:
 Founded 1884 after an interesting saga. (1933) 


Lambda Deuteron at Denison:
 The second chapter with this name, founded 1885 at Denison College in Granville, Ohio. (April 1935) 

Sigma Tau at the University of Washington:
 Founded 1900. (September 1951)


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