Epsilon Beta Rechartered
Delta Sigma Phi History 1965
After several months of visits and correspondence the numbers of nationals from which Delta Kappa could choose to merge with was narrowed to five: Alpha Chi Rho, Delta Chi, Pi Sigma Epsilon, Sigma Pi and of course Delta Sigma Phi.
In the spring of 1964 the convention was held at Oshkosh. It was hoped that the delegates would select a national at that time but problems arose and no selection was made. It was decided to wait until that summer when a special convention would be held to make the final choice. Finally in July the chapters met. The meeting proceeded irregularly and quickly, Sigma Pi National Fraternity was chosen by a majority of the delegates, but two chapters elected to proceed independently. The case for doing so was strong. An officer of Delta Kappa National had accepted a position with one of the other national office choices before the convention. This and other irregular proceedings prompted Iota Alpha Sigma at Oshkosh and Epsilon at Ithaca New York to refuse affiliation. Iota Alpha Sigma, at the recommendation of Ed Stodola sought affiliation with Delta Sigma Phi National Fraternity. Delta Sigma Phi expressed its wish to add Iota to its rolls. From that point on, it was a matter of details.
Special note should be given to those who led Iota to its membership with Delta Sigma Phi. Edward Stodola whose efforts far exceeded that of any other member, Daryl Enli, John D'amencourt, Darryl Messer, James Berger, and those who assisted with the myriad of details without which the merger would not have been possible.
DECEMBER 4, 1964 INITIATION INTO DELTA SIGMA PHI
Forty-five former members of Delta Kappa Fraternity, which dissolved last summer to affiliate with Delta Sigma Phi International Fraternity, will be initiated into the new group tomorrow evening. The forty-five will be initiated by regional represents assisted by six fraternity brothers who were initiated in special ceremonies held at the University of Illinois chapter a week ago. Once a large national group with 46 chapters, Delta Kappa's roster was reduced due to two wars. Seven chapters remained when the group was dissolved and have been since absorbed into larger nationals. In merging with Delta Sigma Phi, Delta Kappa becomes one of 104 chapters with a total membership of 50,000.
SUMMER 1965 FROM THE CARNATION
Great and sincere pride was felt by all who attended the recent installation of a new chapter in the family of Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity. Too many it is a story that was once a dream and now has come true. The evening of May 5 5 1965 will be a most memorable one for the 60 newly activated members of Delta Sigma Phi International Fraternity, for this was the night that EpsilonBeta would be initiated into the brotherhood.
EPSILON BETA THE EARLY DAYS
Despite what many think, our Fraternity chapter wasn't always called by the same name. The Epsilon Beta chapter of the Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity started out as Iota Alpha Sigma, which then joined the Delta Kappa National Fraternity. After a couple of years Delta Kappa then merged with Delta Sigma Phi. I have assembled several news articles from the respective mergers and have assembled them in chronological order. They are unedited and therefore several points may be repeated. I think our older members may remember some of these articles from when they first appeared.
1960 IOTA ALPHA SIGMA JOINS DELTA KAPPA
Iota Alpha Sigma men became members of Delta Sigma Phi National Fraternity Inc., in the spring of 1960. Delta Kappa encourages brotherly friendship, interest and support both during the college days and later as alumni Membership in Delta Kappa means comradeship, fellowship, membership in a social order, opportunities for leadership and a real group experience. The motto of the fraternity, "True leadership is possible only through honorable and upright living," was well evidenced this year. Seven Delta Kappa men served on student government, and the YGOP and the young democrats were both led by DK presidents.
At Homecoming, Delta Kappa backed court members Karen Koeper, their Winter Carnival King Candidate, Ed Stodola and placed on the court. "Nearsighted Mr. Magoo," provided a theme for the DK ice sculpture. Fraternal social events also found their place on the Delta Kappa agenda. In December, the annual Winter Formal was held in Green Lake. The Red Rose Formal was again held in New London in May. As has been done in the past, DK sponsored the annual "Songfest" and gave the proceeds in the form of a scholarship to some worthy male OSC student.
1963 THE STORY OF THE MERGER
The Delta Kappa National Fraternity met in convention in Ithaca, New York, early in the spring of 1963. Six chapters were present, the entire strength of Delta Kappa. One of the resolutions that resulted from the meeting brought Delta Kappa close to its new future. It was decided that expansion was too costly for six chapters to undertake; therefore merger with a larger national fraternity would be sought. Ed Stodola of the Iota Alpha Sigma chapter at Oshkosh, Wisconsin was selected to investigate the possibilities of a merger. In the fall of 1963, he sent out requirements to over 60 nationals
Epsilon Beta Rechartered
December 7, 1984
Since becoming a colony in November 1983, Epsilon Beta has had an interesting and exciting time on the Oshkosh campus. Delta Sigma Phi was the first national fraternity to reorganize an inactive chapter there. That fall, National Chapter Leadership Consultants Joe Curley and Eric Johannsen rushed and secured 40 pledges. The pledges were instructed by Epsilon Iota and experienced many growing pains during the pledge education period. The main goal of the group was to become a chapter by 1985.
The colony was under the leadership of President John Kelly and Vice President Mike McEnroe during the 1983-84 school year. The remainder of the first semester was devoted to activities that stressed brotherhood and working together as a group to accomplish attainable goals. The service project that Epsilon Beta undertook was a jail-for-bail. It was held in an area shopping mall and a mock trial was broadcast on a radio station. Then treasurer Ron Vallone was supposedly tried and convicted for embezzlement.
Thirty men were intitiated on March 24, 1984, at the Pollack Alumni House on campus. The initiation was run by the Lacrosse chapter. This single event was the turning point for the colony. Spring elections and a rush were held at the very end of March. Five men were pledged.
Maintaining close relations with the alumni of the is important to Epsilon Beta. Newsletters were started once again. This kept the alumni in touch with the colony and gave the brothers the opportunity to use their writing skills. Through the newsletters, trips to see the Milwaukee Brewers and the Green Bay Packers were planned. These trips gave brothers and alumni a chance to get to know each other by socializing during and after the games. Much planning work took place in the summer of 1984. The new officers reviewed the group with which they would be working in the fall and set goals.
The fall rush drew in excess of 20 men. Eighteen were pledged to the fraternity on Sept. 26 1984. Steve Hartzheim pledgemaster, directed the pledges through a six week pledge education program, which concluded with the initiation of 15 dedicated men. One of their many pledge projects was to help in the construction of a float for the homecoming parade. Homecoming on the Oshkosh campus was the weekend of Oct. 27. Since homecoming is a time for alumni to rturn to their alma mater, many of the activities were geared toward participation of the colony's alumni. The float, a large covered wagon, won first place in the float competition. It was pulled through the parade route by a team of actives and pledges.
Brothers Dan Dettlaff, Rick Wolfe and pledge Tom Krueger were attendants in the homecoming court. After the parade, a bratwurst fry was held with the alumni in the front yard of the Pollack Alumni house. The Oshkosh Titan football team was defeated in a pouring rain, 31-6 but that didn't dampen the enthusiastic Delta Sigs. That evening actives, alumni, pledges and their dates sailed Lake Butte de Morts on a dinner cruise aboard the Valley Queen II riverboat. Participating in campus and fraternal activities was highly stressed after the initiation of the new members. Brothers Dave Sitter, John Kelly and Pete Geske attended the Eastern Leadership Conference in Indiapolis and returned with many ideas for the continued success of the colony. Delta Sigs are involved in just about every aspect of campus activity. Many of the brothers are hall advisers at Oshkosh. Brothers also are members and hold offices in differen hall governments, the union board, student government and intercollegiate and intramural clubs in their majors. Participation within the fraternity has also risen drastically in part because of the Engineered Leadership Director, Dan Dettlaff.
Winter Carnival, a week full of fun and games, was held the week of Feb. 18, 1985. This was the first big activity for the newly chartered chapter. Epsilon Beta finished in the second place overall in points and won first place in the spirit category. Delta Sigs were the most spirited competitors In fact the brothers cheered for other fraternities when the two were not competing for points...
Source: Dan Lawrenz, 25th Anniversary Handbook, Epsilon Beta UW Oshkosh 1990
History of Greek Lettered Organizations at UW Oshkosh
By Tom Breunig
When Universities first started in the United States they had a German inspired intellectual concern for the student. Most classes required memorization of facts and regurgitation on examinations. Students wanted a place to debate and apply the knowledge they had learned. The modern day student organization and Greek-lettered societies spawned from this need.
In 1871, present day University of Wisconsin Oshkosh was created as the Oshkosh Normal School with the primary function of producing teachers. It has grown both in disciplines of study and size since that time. The University has also held the following names at one point in its history: Oshkosh State Teachers College, Wisconsin State University, University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh…
You can find the roots of present day Greek-letter organizations in the first organizations founded on campus, for they had academics as their priority, membership development as a mission and social interactions as a consequence. The first organizations on the campus of UW Oshkosh dealt with the application of knowledge learned in the classroom and were mainly literary and forensic organizations.
Lyceum organized in the first year of the university, 1871. The organization accepted both men and women for membership, with its main objective being to send out orators in defense of liberty. Their motto was “We shape our own destiny.”
In 1873 a group of young men organized a society. Protarian, which excluded women, but quickly reorganized to include them. The new Forensic society was called Phoenix, for they had risen from the ashes of their predecessor. Their motto was “Culture, not Show.” In the spirit of competition, Phoenix and Lyceum participated in annual debating contests.
The first organization with a stated objective of brotherhood was formed in 1899. Philakean was an exclusively male literary and debating society. In 1900, Alethean organized as an all women’s literary and debating group. They strived to create an atmosphere of sisterhood development along with loyalty to each other, school and society.
Greek letters were first used in the name of an organization in 1922 with the emergence of two all-women’s organizations. Delta Phi was created to promote the further social advantages of women along with the study of contemporary poetry. Gamma Sigma perpetuated the study of literature, promoting acquaintances and participation in campus life. They limited their membership to 25 members and met every Saturday evening.
In 1923 Lambda Chi, a women’s only society, and Kappa Gamma (originally named Val Ferrari), a coed society were also founded at UW Oshkosh.
Up to this point none of the organizations had a national affiliate. In 1926 Ruralities was created on campus. They became affiliated with the National Country Life Collegiate Club in 1927. Their name was changed to Alpha Chi in 1930.
Iota Alpha Sigma, named so in 1927, originated in the Industrial Arts Department as an organization of students in 1914. Membership was opened up to secondary education majors in 1935 and worked under the motto of “The All Is the Sum of The Small.” It was the objective of Iota Alpha Sigma to promote fellowship and the ideals of worthy social standards.
The last pre-World War II Greek organization, Kappa Delta Pi, was established in 1935 with the help of Lyceum.
The current structure of social activities between male and female organizations can be traced back to post World War I. At this point in our history there was a trend toward having brother-sister society affiliations. Some coed societies become single sex. Phoenix became exclusively female while Lyceum absorbed their men. Delta Phi also became the sister society of Iota Alpha Sigma. Periclean became the brother society of Gamma Sigma. The affiliated organizations began having joint social affairs in the form of formal and informal dances.
These organizations became active in community service around 1911. Several notable events were sponsored by the Greek letter society. Alethean sponsored an annual Christmas Romp for the underprivileged youth of Oshkosh in which each child would leave with a stocking full of goodies. When this event was overtaken by a similar Elk’s sponsored event, Alethean began a Faculty Tea. Phoenix also sponsored a Christmas Program, and Lambda Chi hosted an annual Orphan Party and donated Christmas baskets to needy families.
Before we detail the histories of the current individual chapters, let us take a quick look at the evolution and history of the InterFraternity and Panhellenic Councils. Starting in 1924 the Inter-Society Council was created to deal with issues in recruitment in addition to the changing from societies to fraternities. The council was composed of two representatives from each men’s and women’s society. The council changed its name to the InterFraternity Council (IFC) in 1953, while still having the same composition. Panhellenic became the new name of the governing body of the fraternities and sororities in 1958, and until 1960 they kept the same make-up of the IFC. IFC and Panhellenic first co-existed in 1961, serving in capacities similar to today.
UW Oshkosh has been home to a number of nationally recognized Greek organizations. Sororities such as Alpha Phi, Chi Omega, and Gamma Sigma Sigma have held charters here. For fraternities, Tau Kappa Epsilon, Sigma Phi Epsilon and Delta Upsilon (mentioned for the Homecoming & Winter Carnival Guru, Jerry Bloesl). The Greek letter organizations on this campus spawned out of the original societies (i.e. Lyceum and Philomathean) in addition to starting from scratch. Through examining the Winter Carnival records it is inferred that there has been a Greek letter organization continuously on campus since Gamma Sigma and Delta Phi in 1922. However, there was a period from 1977 to 1983 where fraternities and sororities were so few in numbers, only one or two organizations existed, that many like to think they did not exist.
I feel it necessary to pay homage to the very first nationally chartered modern Greek organization on campus. Sigma Tau Gamma received their charter on March 12, 1960, however they folded before the Vietnam War and never returned.
Now we come to the national and international Greek organizations that grace our campus. The very first nationally chartered sorority at UW Oshkosh is still on campus today. With roots back to 1922, this organization began with the name Gamma Sigma. They had a limit of 25 members who participated in campus life, promoted acquaintances and sustained the study of literature. On December 11, 1965 the women of Gamma Sigma became officially known as Alpha Xi Delta Fraternity. Despite folding in 1972, the women of Alpha Xi Delta were re-chartered in 1986 and have been on campus ever since.
Iota Alpha Sigma began as a small departmental (Industrial Arts) student organization in 1914; however in 1965 they became known as the men of Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity. It is unknown exactly when Delta Sigma Phi left campus; they were re-chartered and have had a presence on campus since December 7, 1984.
The third nationally charter organization started as a group called Val Ferraris in 1923. In 1927 their name changed to Kappa Gamma. Finally on May 14, 1966 they received a charter from Gamma Phi Beta Sorority. After a short leave of absence, Gamma Phi Beta has existed on campus since 1985.
The fourth campus organization chartered missed being number three by 8 days. Sigma Pi Fraternity was chartered on May 22, 1966. They have had a chapter on campus every year since, accept from 1976 to 1985.
Coming from the Philomathean Society on campus, Phi Mu was originally chartered in 1968 and re-chartered in 1993. They are last of the original Greek organizations on campus.
The first fraternity on campus to own their house was chartered in 1969. They first resided in the house at 911 Wisconsin St during the 1968-1969 school year. It is believed that Delta Chi has never lost its national charter at UW Oshkosh.
The rest of the twelve Greek letter organizations began after 1987 and all started from the ground up. Sigma Sigma Sigma received their charter on April 11, 1987. Kappa Sigma Fraternity became a nationally recognized chapter on February 9, 1991. Beta Theta Pi was next in line, being chartered on April 8, 1995. Theta Chi Fraternity became the tenth organization on campus by receiving their charter on April 13, 1996. Number eleven, Zeta Tau Alpha was presented their charter on November 21, 1997. On October 29, 1999 Gamma Alpha Omega, a national Latino founded service sorority, was chartered.
This history will surely evolve and improve; however, it is what we know as of now. It is up to each and every one of us to ensure that Greek organizations continue to thrive at UW Oshkosh. Through living the four principles of Greek life (academics, community service, fellowship and leadership), the future pages of this history will tell of fraternities and sororities as role model organizations.
- UW Oshkosh Archives (Polk Library, 3rd Floor)
- Oshkosh State Teachers College 1871-1946
- Quiver Yearbooks (1946-1974)
- Winter Carnival Records (Reeve 104H – Jerry Bloesl)
- Local & National Chapter Websites
- Sigma Tau Gamma National Office