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Alpha Tau Omega records

Alpha Tau Omega (Delta Rho chapter) records

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Alpha Tau Omega (Delta Rho chapter) records STO.0005.001

Delta Rho chapter

Archives of DePauw University and Indiana United Methodism
11 E. Larabee Street
Greencastle, IN


Profile Description

Creation: This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2018-05-21T09:41-0400
Language: Description is in English.

Repository: Archives of DePauw University and Indiana United Methodism
creatorAlpha Tau Omega. Delta Rho Chapter. (DePauw University)
Title: Alpha Tau Omega (Delta Rho chapter) records
Dates: 1913-2015
Quantity: 4.832 Cubic feet, 11 document cases, 13 volumes
Identification: STO.0005.001

Collection Statement

Collection consists of various minutes, certificate of incorporation, constitution, correspondence, membership records, newletters, photographs and related items.

Historical Sketch

On September 12, 1912, thirty DePauw men organized themselves with the "avowed purpose of bringing men of similar character, personality, and ideals together for mutual aid, brotherhood and fellowship; with the aim of all-around development of its members along scholastic and social lines." The group lived in a ten-room house on Hanna Street, between College and Indiana Avenues, and adopted the name of the Commons Club.

On May 8, 1915, members of the Commons Club became members of the Eta Chapter of the Beta Phi National Fraternity. Beta Phi's Alpha Chapter and central offices were located in Chicago, Illinois. The local chapter house was then at the northeast corner of Hanna and College Streets. Later, they moved to a house on College Avenue, north of Seminary Street. In February 1919, the Chapter moved to 506 South Indiana Avenue.

The association with Beta Phi was never a happy one, and, hence, the Eta Chapter of Beta Phi withdrew from the National Fraternity on March 18, 1920. On March 20, 1920, the Brothers announced to the DePauw campus their new name of Delta Sigma Psi. As a new local fraternity, Delta Sigma Psi had to spend quite a bit of time designing a pin, a crest, writing songs, creating an initiation ritual, and writing by-Laws, rules, and regulations. At its beginning, the Chapter consisted of 102 men.

The men of Delta Sig who had returned from service in the first world war and the new high school graduates helped to make Delta Sigma Psi a very strong chapter that "the national fraternities on campus recognized on equal terms." Evidence of this strength was the fact that even though the Chapter was undergoing changes from the Commons Club to Beta Phi to Delta Sigma Psi, it led the campus fraternities in scholarship in 1913, 1915, 1916, 1918, 1920 and 1921. Kappa Tau Kappa, the interfraternity council, amended its constitution in 1919 so that Delta Sigma Psi, a local fraternity, could be admitted to membership.

In the spring of 1922, Delta Sigma Psi was informed by its landlord that he was selling the property, so, by a great effort on the part of 113 actives, with help from alumni, the Cole property and its three-story brick house at 511 East Washington Street was purchased. It was valued at $25,000 and the Chapter finally had a house of its own.

Some thought was given to possible affiliation with a strong and effective national fraternity. Although Kappa Sigma and Sigma Alpha Epsilon were considered (a petition was actually made to the Sigma Alpha Epsilon National Fraternity), the Chapter eventually voted to appeal to Alpha Tau Omega.

ATO affiliation negotiations continued from 1920 through 1923 with the Worthy Grand Chief Thomas Arkle Clark and Executive Secretary Frank Scott. With the change of ATO national leadership in 1923, the efforts were greatly renewed. Chapter president Donald Turner (class of 1924) worked diligently with Province Chief Edson Fulsom. The application was submitted in October, 1923. With Delta Sig's reputation already having been established on the DePauw campus and also among other chapters of ATO in Indiana, it was accepted. The fraternity received word from Edson Fulsom in person in April, 1924 that the petition had been granted, with all state and national chapters of Alpha Tau Omega having voted in favor of the affiliation.

On May 3, 1924, Delta Sigma Psi was transformed into the Indiana Delta Rho Chapter of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity. Delta Rho was the 115th chapter and the 82nd active chapter of the Fraternity. At 9:30 a.m. on that date, Donald Turner, the past-president of Delta Sigma Psi, became Delta Rho's first and the National Fraternity's 19,849th initiate. 36 Brothers were initiated that day, 14 of those being alumni.

In 1927, construction began on Stonecroft, the current chapter house. The east wing was added on in 1960, and the newest addition - the larger dining room area, TV room, housemother's apartment, and sundeck - was built on in 1978. During World War II, in 1943 through the spring of 1946, the house was occupied by women, as the house was leased to the University. On August 8, 1945, the chapter house suffered a fire loss of $15,000 and another fire in February 1982 caused $10,000 damage to the formal lounge floor.

Alpha Tau Omega. Delta Rho Chapter. (DePauw University)
Fraternities and sororities


Access Restrictions

Collection is restricted.

Usage Restrictions

Access limited to initiated members (actives and alumni) of the Delta Rho chapter of Alpha Tau Omega. Non-members may be granted access with express written consent of the president of the Board of Directors, or the Executive Director of the House Association. (Detailed Agreement Form available.)

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