Greek organizations at Washington & Jefferson College

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Photographic collage of the fraternity houses at Washington & Jefferson College in 1902

Washington & Jefferson College is host to 10 Greek organizations and a significant percentage of the undergraduate student body is active in Greek life. With 43% of women and 40% of men of the student body participating in "greek life," fraternities and sororities play a significant role in student life at W&J.[1] The Princeton Review named Washington & Jefferson College 12th on their 2010 list of "Major Frat and Sorority Scene" in the United States. As of 2010, the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life recognized 6 fraternities, Alpha Tau Omega, Beta Theta Pi, Delta Tau Delta, Phi Delta Theta, Phi Gamma Delta, and Phi Kappa Psi, and four sororities, Delta Gamma, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and Pi Beta Phi. The fraternities are governed by a local Interfraternal Council and the sororities are governed by a local Panhellenic Council, while the Greek Judiciary manages broad policy violations at the chapter-level. All Greek organizations occupy College-owned houses on Chestnut Street on campus. All members of fraternities and sororities must pay the $100 "Greek Membership Fee," a levy designed to fund leadership seminars and other educational events for Greeks.

During the 19th century, three national fraternities were founded at Jefferson College; thus, the two surviving organizations, Phi Gamma Delta and Phi Kappa Psi are collectively known as the Jefferson Duo. A third fraternity was founded at Jefferson College, Kappa Phi Lambda, but it dissolved after a decade of existence amid a dispute between chapters. In 1874, a fourth fraternity was founded at W&J, the short-lived Phi Delta Kappa. The new fraternity grew to several chapters before falling apart in 1880.[2]

The greek system[edit]

Members of Phi Kappa Sigma pose for a chapter photo in the early 1870s.

With 42% of the student body participating in "greek life," fraternities and sororities play a significant role in student life at W&J.[3] In 1992, that percentage was as high as 65% and 49% in 2001.[4] The Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life recognizes 6 fraternities, Alpha Tau Omega, Beta Theta Pi, Delta Tau Delta, Phi Delta Theta, Phi Gamma Delta, and Phi Kappa Psi, and four sororities, Delta Gamma, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and Pi Beta Phi.[5] The fraternities are governed by a local Interfraternal Council[6] and the sororities are governed by a local Panhellenic Council,[7] while the Greek Judiciary manages broad policy violations at the chapter-level.[5] All members of fraternities and sororities must pay the $100 "Greek Membership Fee," a levy designed to fund leadership seminars and other educational events for Greeks.[4][8]

History[edit]

Early history and the Jefferson Duo[edit]

During the 19th century, three national fraternities were founded at Jefferson College. Two of them, Phi Gamma Delta and Phi Kappa Psi grew into full-fledged national fraternities and are collectively known as the Jefferson Duo.[9][10][11][12]

In 1848, Phi Gamma Delta was formed in the "Fort Armstrong" dormitory at Jefferson College.[13] While the fraternity grew in a southward direction, the Jefferson chapter survived only a short time after unification with the Washington chapter in 1865, dissolving in 1879.[13] In 1852, the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity was founded at Jefferson College by two students who had formed a bond while treating their classmates during a typhoid outbreak on campus.[14] By 1863, the Jefferson and Washington chapters merged, as most members had enlisted to fight in the American Civil War.[14] In 1862, the Kappa Phi Lambda fraternity was founded at Jefferson College.[15] It dissolved in 1874.[15] The two surviving fraternities are colloquially referred to as the Jefferson Duo.

In 1874, a fourth fraternity was founded at W&J, when the national Iota Alpha Kappa structure dissolved, allowing the W&J chapter to reconstitute itself as a new fraternity, Phi Delta Kappa.[2] The new fraternity grew to several chapters before falling apart in 1880.[2] In 1881, the W&J chapter joined Phi Gamma Delta, reclaiming the "Alpha" designation that had belonged to the founding chapter at Jefferson College.[2][13]

Modern history[edit]

Many of the surviving fraternities on campus were founded during the mid to late 19th century, including Beta Theta Pi at Jefferson College in 1842,[16] Delta Tau Delta in 1861 at both Jefferson and Washington Colleges,[17] Phi Kappa Sigma in 1854,[18] Phi Delta Theta in 1875,[2] and Alpha Tau Omega in 1882, which had been a chapter of Alpha Gamma before the national fraternity dissolved the previous year.[19][20] A number of fraternities from that time period did not survive the union of the two colleges, including Sigma Chi,[21] Delta Kappa Epsilon,[22] and Delta Upsilon.[23] The chapter of Theta Delta Chi was founded in 1858 and was dissolved in 1872.[24] The W&J chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon was founded in 1902 and dissolved in 1906.[25] In the early 2000s, two fraternities that were founded in the 19th century, Kappa Sigma[26] and Lambda Chi Alpha, had their charters revoked by their national organizations after alcohol violations, and a third, Zeta Beta Tau dissolved due to a lack of membership.[4] All four sororities were formed during the 1970s, when women were first admitted to the College.

Chapters[edit]

Phi Gamma Delta[edit]

In 1848, Phi Gamma Delta was formed in the "Fort Armstrong" dormitory at Jefferson College.[13] While the fraternity grew in a southward direction, the Jefferson chapter survived only a short time after unification with the Washington chapter in 1865, dissolving in 1879.[13]

Phi Kappa Psi[edit]

The 1922 "Greek Swingout" at the Phi Kappa Psi house

In 1852, the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity was founded at Jefferson College by two students who had formed a bond while treating their classmates during a typhoid outbreak on campus.[14] By 1863, the Jefferson and Washington chapters merged, as most members had enlisted to fight in the American Civil War.[14]

Kappa Phi Lambda[edit]

In 1862, the Kappa Phi Lambda fraternity was founded at Jefferson College.[15] It dissolved in 1874.[15] The two surviving fraternities are colloquially referred to as the Jefferson Duo.

Phi Delta Kappa/Phi Gamma Delta[edit]

In 1874, a fourth fraternity was founded at W&J, when the national Iota Alpha Kappa structure dissolved, allowing the W&J chapter to reconstitute itself as a new fraternity, Phi Delta Kappa.[2] The new fraternity grew to several chapters before falling apart in 1880.[2] In 1881, the W&J chapter joined Phi Gamma Delta, reclaiming the "Alpha" designation that had belonged to the founding chapter at Jefferson College.[2][13]

Mid to Late 19th Century[edit]

Many of the surviving fraternities on campus were founded during the mid to late 19th century, including Beta Theta Pi at Jefferson College in 1842,[16] Delta Tau Delta in 1861 at both Jefferson and Washington Colleges,[17] Phi Kappa Sigma in 1854,[18] Phi Delta Theta in 1875,[2] and Alpha Tau Omega in 1882, which had been a chapter of Alpha Gamma before the national fraternity dissolved the previous year.[19][20]

Other[edit]

A number of fraternities from that time period did not survive the union of the two colleges, including Sigma Chi,[21] Delta Kappa Epsilon,[22] and Delta Upsilon.[23] The chapter of Theta Delta Chi was founded in 1858 and was dissolved in 1872.[24] The W&J chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon was founded in 1902 and dissolved in 1906.[25]

Kappa Sigma/Lambda Chi Alpha/Zeta Beta Tau[edit]

In the early 2000s, two fraternities that were founded in the 19th century, Kappa Sigma[26] and Lambda Chi Alpha, had their charters revoked by their national organizations after alcohol violations, and a third, Zeta Beta Tau dissolved due to a lack of membership.[4]

Barron Patterson McCune was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha.[27]

Sororities[edit]

All four sororities were formed during the 1970s, when women were first admitted to Washington & Jefferson College.

References[edit]

General
Specific
  1. ^ "Washington and Jefferson College Student Life". U.S. News & World Report. 2012. Retrieved August 8, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Baird (1920) p. 741
  3. ^ "W&J: Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life". Washington & Jefferson College. Retrieved 2010-04-11. 
  4. ^ a b c d Smydo, Joe (2001-10-14). "Major changes afoot for W&J Greek life". Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Retrieved 2010-04-14. 
  5. ^ a b "Washington & Jefferson College Student Handbook" (PDF). Washington & Jefferson College. 2009. pp. 29–30. Retrieved 2010-04-10. 
  6. ^ "W&J: Fraternities". Washington & Jefferson College. Retrieved 2010-04-11. 
  7. ^ "W&J: Sororities". Washington & Jefferson College. Retrieved 2010-04-11. 
  8. ^ "W&J: Schedule of Tuition, Fees, Room & Board". Washington & Jefferson College. Retrieved 2010-04-11. 
  9. ^ "North American College Fraternities: The 'Jefferson Duo'", pages 68-69. The Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta Guide to Brotherhood. 2004
  10. ^ Mayer, J.M, ed. (1886). "The Miami Triad In Extension". The Scroll of Phi Delta Theta X. New York: Phi Delta Theta. p. 169. ...together with the Jefferson Triad, went beyond it in the direction most natural—South, where...  Missing |last1= in Editors list (help)
  11. ^ "Phi Psi Scholarship". The Phi gamma delta, Volume 45. Board of Trustees of the Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta. October 1922. p. 807. ...PHI GAMMA DELTA'S fellow member of the "Jefferson Duo" — Phi Kappa Psi — has taken an unusually courageous stand in the matter of... 
  12. ^ "History of Greek Letter Organizations". Phi Gamma Delta. Retrieved 2010-04-26. These two-Phi Gamma Delta and Phi Kappa Psi- comprise the famed “Jefferson Duo.” A third fraternity, Kappa Phi Lambda, also had its genesis at old Jefferson College, where it was established in 1862, spreading to nine other colleges. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f Baird (1920) p. 255
  14. ^ a b c d Baird (1920) p. 270
  15. ^ a b c d Baird (1920) p. 737
  16. ^ a b Baird (1920) p. 97
  17. ^ a b Baird (1920) p. 169
  18. ^ a b Baird (1920) p. 283
  19. ^ a b Baird (1920) p. 728
  20. ^ a b Baird (1920) p. 83
  21. ^ a b Baird (1920) p. 332
  22. ^ a b Baird (1920) p. 140
  23. ^ a b Baird (1920) p. 180
  24. ^ a b Baird (1920) p. 349
  25. ^ a b Baird (1920) p. 361
  26. ^ a b Baird (1920) p. 219
  27. ^ The Cross & Crescent 22 (2). Lambda Chi Alpha. 1935. p. 107.