Delta Sigma Phi
|Delta Sigma Phi|
|Founded||December 10, 1899
City College of New York
|Motto||"Better Men, Better Lives" (public)|
|Philanthropy||American Red Cross|
|Chapters||103 Active Chapters, 17 colonies|
|Founders||Meyer Boskey, Charles A. Tonsor, Jr.|
|Headquarters||1331 N. Delaware Street
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Delta Sigma Phi (ΔΣΦ, also known as Delta Sig or DSP) is a fraternity established at the City College of New York in 1899 and is a charter member of the North-American Interfraternity Conference. The headquarters of the fraternity is the Taggart Mansion located in Indianapolis, Indiana. The mansion was once the home of former Indianapolis mayor and congressman Thomas Taggart and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Delta Sigma Phi was the first fraternity at C.C.N.Y. and the first national fraternity to allow membership of men from different religious backgrounds. It is currently the largest national fraternity to have not gone through a merger or acquisition with another national or regional fraternity.
The Sphinx was the first symbol adopted by the fraternity at the time of inception. Chosen for its longevity and stability over centuries. Other symbols include a lamp, a lute (depicted as a lyre), a Gordian Knot, and the Egyptian Pyramids. The White Carnation was chosen as the fraternity's official flower because it contains the fraternity's colors; white, nile green, and white as well as being a relatively common and sturdy flower which can grow in almost any climate. The publications of the fraternity are often named after its symbols:
- The Sphinx - an esoteric publication for initiated members only
- The Gordian Knot - the new member manual
- The Lute - the fraternity songbook
- The Carnation - a quarterly and open publication delivered to all members
The pledge emblem is a white circle with a green equilateral triangle set inside of it. Gold lines radiate from the center of the emblem to the three points of the triangle in addition to outlining the circle and triangle. The pledge emblem is very prevalent in the symbolism of the fraternity; not only is the emblem on the new member pin, but the emblem also graces the flag, the membership badge and the basic design is also the basis of the fraternity's seal.
The Beginnings 
At the end of the nineteenth century, most fraternities were exclusively Christian or Jewish, and barred membership to individuals on the basis of religion. When a group of friends at the City College of New York tried to join a fraternity, they were denied membership because their group was composed of Christians and Jews. In response, they organized the first chapter of Delta Sigma Phi on December 10, 1899. The chapter was called Insula due to the chapter's location in Manhattan. In late 1902, with five members from Insula signing incorporation papers, Delta Sigma Phi was incorporated with the purpose to spread "the principles of friendship and brotherhood among college men, without respect to race or creed." By 1903 the fraternity had established chapters at Columbia University and New York University. However even though they were a Jewish and Christian fraternity, there were a few chapters who did not mix. In 1909, eight Jewish men sought membership in the Columbia chapter of Delta Sigma Phi, and were denied it. These men then founded Phi Sigma Delta. 
The Founders 
Delta Sigma Phi recognizes Charles Tonsor (Christian) and Meyer Boskey (Jewish) as their two primary founding fathers. Although Boskey was one of the original members at the City College of New York and Tonsor was one of the charter members of the chapter at Columbia, it is believed that the fraternity was originally developed by a group of nearly a dozen men. The national organization adopted both of these men as the "founders" given their lifelong commitment to the fraternity and their service as visionaries for the development of the fraternity's ritual and national expansion.
Growth and World War I 
In the two years after the 1914 Convention Delta Sigma Phi almost doubled in size with the addition of ten chapters. In 1915, the first West Coast chapter, Hilgard Chapter at UC Berkeley was installed. Hilgard Chapter was named after a Dean at University and is the only chapter in the fraternity without a Greek letter designation, taking the place of Xi Chapter.
Also in 1914, the fraternity decided to admit only white men of the Christian faith, thus going against the founders vision. Many Jewish members and other minorities left the fraternity or joined others, including Meyer Boskey, who withdrew active participation in the fraternity.
As a testament to the geographic shift of the fraternity, the 1916 Convention was held in Chicago, Illinois. By this time, the fraternity had expanded the number of staff and a national headquarters was created at the Riebold Building at Dayton, Ohio.
When the United States entered World War I in 1917 Delta Sigma Phi had over one thousand initiates and nineteen active chapters. During the course of the war over three quarters of the fraternity's membership served the government in some capacity with half of that number in combat duty overseas. The publication of The Carnation, the fraternity's magazine, and the 1917 and 1918 Conventions were suspended for the duration of the war.
Even though the colleges and universities remained open during the war many chapters suspended their operations when most of their members were called to service. Some chapters never recovered from the disruptions of World War I.
The Roaring Twenties 
Delta Sigma Phi went through continued expansion during the 1920s, at this time many local fraternities and other social clubs petitioned for fraternity membership. Among these local fraternities was Phi Nu fraternity at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada when Phi Nu was chartered as the Alpha Omicron chapter, Delta Sigma Phi became an international fraternity.
It was also during this time the fraternity published its first pledge manual, the Gordian Knot, it was based upon a manual previously published by the Epsilon Chapter at Penn State. The Gordian Knot is considered to be one of the first pledge manuals to be published on a fraternity-wide basis. Another tradition started at this time was the Sailors' Ball, first held at the Alpha Chi chapter at Stetson University. Today at many Delta Sigma Phi chapters, the Sailors' Ball is an annual event that is a semi-formal counterpart to the Carnation Ball, the fraternity's formal banquet.
Depression and World War II 
A scant two months after the Wall Street Crash of 1929 the yearly convention was held in Richmond, Virginia. Despite the financial uncertainties of the time, a traveling secretary was added to the fraternity payroll. During the Great Depression the growth of the fraternity had ground to a halt; college enrollments declined and those who attended college were less likely to be able to afford joining a fraternity. Several chapters became dormant and lost their equity in chapter properties. Among them were Alpha and Gamma; the remaining chapters in New York City.
The only chapters that were founded during the years of the Great Depression were Beta Kappa at the University of Alabama and Beta Lambda at Wake Forest. It was also during this time that the Executive Director, A.W. Defenderfer, moved the headquarters of the fraternity to his insurance offices in Washington, DC. Delta Sigma Phi was re-incorporated in Washington, DC in 1929.
Although the fraternity was rebounding by the late 1930s, World War II caused a disruption within the fraternity. Many members had joined in on the war effort leaving the chapters weak. It was during this time that the fraternity's only Canadian chapter at McGill University became dormant, with many of its members joining to Commonwealth forces. By 1944 only twelve of the fraternity's forty-three chapters were active.
Return to the Founders' Vision 
After the war, the GI Bill gave many veterans the chance to attend college. With an influx of new students, many of the dormant chapters of the fraternity were quickly re-activated. Another consequence of the GI Bill was the establishment of many new public universities. With more institutions that were open to fraternities, Delta Sigma Phi, along with many other Greek organizations, experienced their greatest period of growth in the Post-World War II era.
In the late 1940s college administrators across the country began to refuse expansion to fraternities which restrictive rules on membership. In response to the new rules the fraternity leadership amended the constitution of the national fraternity to remove all references to race or religion. However, the line "the belief in God is essential to our welfare" in the preamble was untouched and remains so to this day.
In a compromise to several southern chapters in the 1949 Convention, the amendments to the constitution were approved while language which barred the initiation of non-white and non-Christians were inserted into the fraternity ritual. Since the ritual was a private document and the constitution was a public one, this compromise appeased those who resisted integration of the fraternity while allowing it to expand to new universities.
The 1950s were a turbulent time for fraternities and sororities in general. While most of the national Greek organizations still had rules restricting membership, a few chapters bucked those rules and initiated Jews and African Americans. Some of those chapters were suspended by their national organization while others disaffiliated from their national organizations and "went local." In 1957 the California Legislature threatened to pass Assembly Bill 758 which prohibited state universities and colleges from recognizing any student organization that "restricts its membership on the basis of either race, color, religion or national origin." Two years later the regents of the University of California passed a regulation that required all fraternities and sororities to sign a certificate stating that the organization does not have any discriminatory policies or face the loss of recognition.
The fraternity faced these issues in the 1959 Convention. While the fraternity was interested in maintaining its California chapters, there was opposition to any plan to integrate the entire fraternity. Several southern chapters passed resolutions against and relaxation of racial and religious restrictions and threatened to withdraw from the fraternity. A compromise was again reached where the current rules were not to be changed but exemptions were granted to chapters in danger to losing their recognition due to fraternity policies. The California chapters were immediately given exemptions.
In 1962, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education joined the University of California by requiring the integration of its fraternities and sororities. Exemptions were given to the chapters in Pennsylvania. While exemptions were originally granted to chapters in danger of losing recognition with their universities, the Beta Iota Chapter at Wittenberg University proved otherwise. In order to avoid bad publicity by refusing initiation to an African American who was an All-American athlete in addition to being an outstanding scholar, the fraternity granted the chapter an exemption.
The process of integration was slow and awkward in the fraternity. As a result of numerous compromises the fraternity remained intact on a national level. Civil Rights legislation finished the job that started with the granting of exemptions to certain chapters. Delta Sigma Phi again was universal brotherhood of man, just as the founders had intended.
The Fraternity Today 
Today Delta Sigma Phi consists of 107 chapters and colonies across the continental United States. At the 2005 convention, the fraternity adopted "Vision 2025," a plan to transform Delta Sigma Phi into "America's Leading Fraternity" by the year 2025 with aggressive goals for leadership training, alumni involvement, and new chapter development. The ultimate goal is to have Delta Sigma Phi rank within the top 5 or 3 of any quantitative measurement of national fraternities in the NIC.
The fraternity has also adopted the American Red Cross as its national philanthropy, and members are urged to support the endeavors of the non-profit and raise funds. Since the adoption of the American Red Cross and "Vision 2025," Delta Sigma Phi aims to be recognized as "Men of Action" in their recruitment and development philosophy. These are highlighted in the 2009 call to action video titled "All In."
As part of Vision 2025, the fraternity is preparing to launch leadership programs to train 100% of their undergraduates by 2015, developed "The Summit" to train all presidents and recruitment chairmen with professional recruitment techniques, and opens between 5-8 chapters each year with a goal of hitting 200 by 2025. Other milestones include the creation of an Alumni Summit in 2012 to facilitate the growth and training of the alumni volunteer base. The fraternity has also developed programs such as the Growth Acceleration Program (GAP) for struggling chapters and new chapters to receive necessary recruitment training to grow and find the right men on their campus. In the 2013-2014 academic year, Delta Sigma Phi will (re)develop new chapters at Oglethorpe University, Indiana University, San Diego State University, University of Washington, Iowa State University, Bradley University & The University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
The fraternity was the first to create a partnership with Phired Up Productions, a fraternity & sorority recruitment consulting company, to coach the New Chapter Development team. Since the partnership began in 2009, Delta Sigma Phi has broken the fraternity's record for number of men in a new chapter three times.
In 2013 Delta Sigma Phi became the first national organization to build a partnership with the Fraternal Values Society. As part of the agreement, Delta Sigma Phi will sponsor new chapters of FVS at 10 institutions each year for 5 years and will incorporate FVS programming into the fraternity's online programming for all members.
National Programs 
Prior to the adoption of Vision 2025, Delta Sigma Phi was providing leadership training and development to fewer than 500 students annually. Since the creation of a number of new programs, over 1,600 members receive annual leadership development & training from the national organization annually. With the launch of Delta Sig's online learning management system in the summer of 2013, that number will hit 100% of the undergraduate membership by 2015.
Leadership Institute (L.I.) 
Delta Sigma Phi's flagship leadership program is the Leadership Institute, celebrating it's 20th Anniversary in the summer of 2013. The Leadership Institute is based off of Kouze's & Posner's Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership and engages members in a curriculum including large & small group discussions, team-building activities, high-ropes courses, and personal assessment and reflection. Members apply to attend LI, however there is no limit to the number of members that may be admitted from each chapter. It is a 5-day program held in Indianapolis each summer (though will be moved to Phoenix in 2013 to coordinate with the 2013 Convention for the 20th Anniversary) and is completely free to undergraduate members of Delta Sigma Phi. Over 1,000 men have graduated from the Leadership Institute to date.
Regional Events 
The Regional Leadership Academies (RLAs) were developed following the adoption of Vision 2025 to target a wider audience of the membership and provide development and training on the business and day-to-day operations of chapters. In 2013, Delta Sigma Phi held 4 RLAs allowing each chapter to send up to 10 members at no additional cost to what is payed in membership dues. The content of the RLAs have changed each year as members needs and requests have evolved, though the 1-day program has maintained tracks regarding Risk Management & Recruitment since inception.
In 2013 RLAs were held in Atlanta, GA, Indianapolis, IN, Philadelphia, PA and Santa Clara, CA. Delta Sigma Phi also piloted two state-wide regional events in the 2012-2013 school year for chapters in Wisconsin/Minnesota and Texas. These chapters were exempted from the requirement to participate in RLA and were invited to bring their entire memberships. The organization seeks to inevitably host more state-wide events in a similar fashion, allowing more members to receive in-person development and training from staff and volunteers.
Developed in 2008, Summit is a 3-day retreat prior to the traditional start of the Spring Semester for chapter Presidents and Vice Presidents of Recruitment. Summit focuses heavily on the best-practices in recruitment and pushes all chapters of Delta Sig to utilize a 365-day outreach process, proven to improve the quality & quantity of chapter membership. Through the fraternity's partnership with Phired Up Productions, Summit has continuously evolved and advanced with regard to the curriculum. In 2013, a new curriculum was developed between the Fraternity & Phired Up CEO Josh Orendi to get all chapters "on system," utilizing a names list, year-round outreach programs and to practice "social excellence," a key concept that Phired Up promotes through their recruitment philosophy.
Since the inception of Summit & Vision 2025, the average chapter size for the national fraternity has grown by more than 10 men and the number of men recruited annually has steadily increased. Also incorporated into Summit are accreditation & risk management training, reducing the number of risk-related incidents by 75% and increasing the number of chapters submitting complete annual accreditation reports from near 50% to over 90% annually.
The Convention is the longest-running national program of the Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity. 2013 will mark the 58th now biannual Convention and will be hosted by the Biltmore Resort in Phoenix Arizona in mid-July. Convention serves as an opportunity for members new and old alike to meet, share stories, vote on business and elect members to the Grand Council of the Fraternity. Over 500 men attended the 2011 Convention in Orlando, the largest attendance at any convention in the organization's history.
Educational programming is offered in convention with focus on chapter operations, volunteer development, new national programs and career development. Vendors occupy a space on the floor and the Fraternity has national partnerships with Bank of America, Geico & Brooks Brothers including discounts & specialized products.
Online Programming in 2013 
In the summer of 2013 the first phase of Delta Sigma Phi's online learning management system (LMS) will launch to provide new member orientation to all new members of the fraternity & to simplify the member-registration process. Chapter resources will also be available through the member portal and redesigned as the year progresses to better suit the needs of chapters and to provide more clear direction as to how chapters of Delta Sigma Phi can & should operate. The online programming will inevitably extend to include programming for all members regardless of their status as an undergraduate member or alumnus.
Blood, Sweat & Cash 
The primary initiative for the Fraternity regarding the American Red Cross is "Blood, Sweat & Cash." As Delta Sig continues to build on it's partnership with the Red Cross the Fraternity will begin to incorporate more opportunities for component chapters to utilize resources from both the Fraternity & the ARC and its own local & regional chapters to help grow this initiative to become the number one single donor of pints of blood, community service hours and funds given to the American Red Cross by 2025.
Most recently, a 100+ man chapter at Arizona State University provided CPR training for all members. The chapter at James Madison University gained national recognition for it's "Restore The Shore" campaign after Hurricane Sandy and chapters across the nation raised thousands of dollars for the victims while participating in the disaster relief effort. In the spring of 2013, the chapter at Virginia Tech donated $16,000 and 160 pints of blood to the ARC.
Written Ideals 
Code of Conduct for Member of Delta Sigma Phi 
In order to fulfill its solemn obligation to help its members reach the highest standards of educational attainment, moral values, and social responsibility, Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity has adopted the following Code of Conduct for the daily lives of each of our members.
- I will strive for academic excellence and encourage it in other members.
- I will support Delta Sigma Phi's policies against the illegal use and abuse of alcohol and drugs.
- I will respect the dignity of all persons and therefore I will not physically, psychologically, or sexually haze or abuse any person.
- I will respect the property rights of others. Therefore I will neither abuse nor tolerate the abuse of private, chapter, or public property.
- I acknowledge that a safe, clean, and attractive environment is essential to both physical and mental health. Therefore I will work with other members to properly maintain the chapter property.
- I will pay my Fraternity bills and other financial obligations when due and recognize the need for all other members to do the same.
- I will recommend for membership only those men of outstanding personal character, who join me in seeking to achieve excellence in all we do.
- I will exemplify and encourage self-discipline, responsibility, and leadership within my chapter.
- I will work to make my chapter the most respected on campus and within the community.
- I will encourage and support other members in pursuit of the ideals of this code of conduct.
The Preamble 
The Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity in Convention assembled declares and affirms the following principles:
That the belief in God is essential to our welfare.
That loyalty to the constituted authority of our nations and their subdivisions is a cardinal virtue of our brotherhood, the pledged faith of which shall never be broken; and that our brotherhood, receiving the blessings of liberty, education and fraternity, shall ever support, foster and defend our universities, colleges, and school systems, founded under the dispensation of our governments and constituting the bulwarks of democracy for us, for our posterity and for all men.
That the sanctity of the home and the sacredness of the family bond, the hearthstone of our enlightened civilization, and the chivalry of man toward woman, shall be maintained and protected by us, not only for ourselves and our posterity, but also for the good of all mankind.
That a symmetrical culture, a fraternal communion among the colleges of this country, and a brotherhood of men, whose ideals and beliefs are those of modern civilization, are essential to the welfare of our college men.
In furtherance of these aims, this Fraternity has recognized certain standards of attainment and gentlemanly conduct, expressed in the ideals symbolically represented by the three Greek letters, Delta, Sigma, Phi; and it shall be the constant endeavor of the brothers who may be called to preside over and govern the Fraternity, or its component chapters, to enforce the precepts of the Fraternity by every reasonable means within their power, and they, and each brother of the Fraternity shall exemplify those principles by conduct as well as enforcement in order that the Fraternity may grow and prosper with honor to itself and that the world may ever be convinced of the sincerity of our purpose.
In accordance to the Gordian Knot, the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity states that, "Each chapter shall not conduct hazing activities. Hazing activities are defined as any act or attempt to embarrass, humiliate, intimidate, ridicule, shame or endanger physically or mentally any person, or to compel physical activity or do physical or emotional harm to any person, or to require consumption or ingestion of liquids, food, or other materials."
Further, hazing does not promote the air of respect between brothers that Delta Sigma Phi seeks to elevate. "Any man that would haze a brother is not fit for membership in Delta Sigma Phi. Also any man that permits himself to be hazed by a brother is also not fit for membership."
Active chapters and colonies 
Notable alumni 
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (December 2011)|
- Clair Bee, Waynesburg '23, member, Basketball Hall of Fame
- Christopher Myers, Univ. of Maryland '96, Co-Founder and President MCG LLC, Principal Virtualization Architect, COO Coriorcco Gold SAC, MCG and VMware
- Mike Bellotti, UC Davis '70, Former Head Football Coach, current athletic director, University of Oregon
- Rev. Lawrence Biondi, Loyola '74, President, St. Louis University
- Jim Bouton, Western Michigan '59, Former Major League Pitcher and author of Ball Four
- Albert P. Brewer, Alabama '48, Former Governor, State of Alabama
- Frank T. Cary, Hillsdale, Former Chairman and CEO, IBM
- Robert Carothers, Edinboro of PA '62, President, University of Rhode Island
- Ralph E. Cindrich, Pittsburgh '68, Former NFL Football Player, Houston Oilers
- Admiral Robert Conway, St. Francis College '72, Vice Admiral, US Navy
- Herb "Fritz" Crisler, Former Head Football Coach and Athletic Director, University of Michigan
- James J. Davis, Pittsburgh '23, Former Secretary of Labor of the United States
- Michael Deaver, San Jose State '59, Former Assistant White House Chief of Staff, Reagan Administration
- Mike Duke, Georgia Tech '68, CEO of Wal-Mart
- William C. Eacho III, Duke '76, US Ambassador to Austria
- Ruben Vladomir Abramov, "UPenn Wharton School of Business '72", Founder of Russian Standard Vodka
- John M. Harbert,Auburn '46, billionaire businessman from Birmingham, Alabama who started Harbert Corporation
- Thomas Harkin, Iowa State '60 , United States Senator, State of Iowa
- Mike Hayden, Kansas State University '64, Former Governor of Kansas.
- James W. Holsinger, Duke '58, Surgeon General of the United States nominee.
- Thomas M. James, Washington State '70, Manufacturing Manager, Intel Corporation.
- Giti Khalsa, Ohio State '89, Drummer, Seven Mary Three
- John E. McLaughlin, Wittenberg '61, Former Deputy (and later Interim) Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
- David K. Russell, "UNC Charlotte '00", Executive Director, Campus Outreach Washington, D.C.
- Mike Shanahan, Eastern Illinois '71, Head coach of Washington Redskins
- William Todd Tiahrt, SD School of Mines '70, Member, United States House of Representatives, State of Kansas
- Mike Turner Ohio Northern '79, Member, United States House of Representatives, State of Ohio
- Richard Mathy Jr. Oswego State University '02, Season 4, The Bachelorette
- Bobby Sharma Duke '95, Vice President & General Counsel, NBA Development League
- Richard D. Parker, Auburn '89, Chair, Department of Marketing and Sport Management, High Point University
- Charles R. Walgreen III, Michigan '55, Former President and CEO, Walgreens
- Gilbert P. Williamson, San Jose State '58, Former President and CEO, NCR Corporation
- Marty Snider, UNC Charlotte '91, Sportscaster, NBC Sports, TNT Sports and Sirius Radio
- Barry Zulauf, Wittenberg '79, Former Director, College for the Advancement of National Intelligence, Director of Policy and Plans, Chief Human Capital Office Office of the Director of National Intelligence ODNI, ODNI Chair, National Intelligence University
- Richard Winters, Franklin and Marshall '41, World War II hero, inspiration for the HBO series Band of Brothers
- Jared Veldheer, Hillsdale College '07, Offensive Lineman for the Oakland Raiders
- Paul Splittorff, Morningside College '68, Pitcher for the Kansas City Royals
- Brian Brooks, Missouri '67, Associate Dean of Journalism, University of Missouri
- Andrew Wenger, Duke '12, Forward for the Montreal Impact
- Nidal Haddad, Loyola '86, Board of Directors for Deloitte Consulting LLP, Principle Consultant
- Sean Kinlock, Fresno '10, Athletics Holy Spirit Parish School
- John P. Bilbrey, Kansas State University '76, President & CEO, The Hershey Company.
- Steve Pepoon, "Kansas State University '75", Co-Creator of The Wild Thornberrys
- Benjamin F. Gayman I, "Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University '09", Associate Justice of Montgomery County Court, Eagle Scout, Voice of Franklin the Turtle from 2001-2003
- Dean Johnson, University of Oregon '08 Current Co-Anchor for NBC Casper, Wyoming Evening News.
- Randy Jones, University of Oregon '09 Current PGA Tour Golfer, Ranked 78th in the World.
- Evan(Rex) Howard, University of Oregon '12 Current intern with the Golden State Warriors
- Jeff Norin, University of Oregon '13 Current leading frat star at the UO
- The Gordian Knot. Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity. 2012. p. 114.
- Sanford, Charles (1995). Bonds of Brotherhood; The History of Delta Sigma Phi. Heritage Publishers, Inc. ISBN 0-929690-27-3.
- A Brief History of the Jew in the American College Fraternity By Steve Hofstetter