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History of the University of Arizona Greek Community

UA Traditions

UA Greeks have established many traditions the entire student body enjoys.

 Albert H. Condron (Sigma Alpha Epsilon), persuaded his engineering professor to survey Sentinel Peak for a class assignment so that an "A" could be constructed. Albert led the student body in building the A. It was whitewashed in 1916.

E.C. Ted Monro (Kappa Sigma), wrote the UA's Alma Mater - "All Hail Arizona".


John "Button"Salmon (Sigma Nu), told his coach J.F. "Pop" McKale (Sigma Nu), to "tell them... tell the team to bear down" 


Douglas Holsclaw (Delta Chi), wrote the words and co-wrote the music for UA's official fight song - "Fight! Wildcats! Fight!"

Wilbur "Bill" Bowers (Phi Gamma Delta), rescued the bell that had hung from the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor from being melted down. It now hangs in the Student Union and is rung during many campus events and after athletic wins.


Bob White (Kappa Sigma), drew the first human drawing of a male and female cartoon form of the UA "Cat", for the cover of the Kitty Kat Humor Magazine.


Richard Heller & John Paquette (Phi Kappa Psi), developed the concept of a costumed mascot and named it Wilbur. Ed Stukenhoff (Alpha Tau Omega), wore the first Wilbur costume.

UA Buildings Named for Fraternity & Sorority Members 


* Not greek from the UA community

The Origins of the Greek Community 1900-1915

The University of Arizona was established in the Territory of Arizona in 1885. At the time, there were no high schools in the Territory and a preparatory school became the responsibility of the university.

Parents sent their children, some as young as thirteen years of age, to the preparatory school in hopes that they would become well educated girls and boys.


Several of our current national fraternity and sorority chapters began as local groups with members who were attending the preparatory school, including our first fraternity Delta Phi (Kappa Sigma) in 1900. By 1905, Delta Sigma (fraternity) and Gamma Phi Sigma (Kappa Alpha Theta) established, creating a Greek community presence on campus.

Soon many others followed.

1900 -- Delta Phi preparatory auxillary (Kappa Sigma)

1905 -- Delta Sigma (preparatory auxiliary with no known national affiliation)

1905 -- Gamma Phi Sigma preparatory auxiliary (Kappa Alpha Theta)

1906 -- Phi Lambda Epsilon (fraternity)

1906 -- Alpha kai Omega (sorority)

1907 -- Gamma Delta preparatory auxiliary (Pi Beta Phi)

1908 -- Amun Ra (fraternity)

1910 -- X? (fraternity)

1910 -- Mooch Club (fraternity)

1911 -- Sigma Phi Beta (Sigma Nu)

1913 -- Sigma Pi Alpha (Sigma Alpha Epsilon).

No groups had national recognition until 1915.


Eleven fraternities and eight sororities were established during th Pre and post WW1 era.  


1915 -- Kappa Sigma (Delta Phi, 1900)

1917 -- Sigma Alpha Epsilon (Sigma Pi Alpha, 1913)

1917 -- Pi Beta Phi (Gamma Delta, 1907)

1917 -- Kappa Alpha Theta (Gamma Phi Sigma, 1905)

1918 -- Sigma Nu (Sigma Phi Beta, 1916)

1920 -- Kappa Kappa Gamma (Alpha Sigma, 1916)

1921 -- Sigma Chi (Tau Delta Psi, 1917)

1922 -- Gamma Phi Beta (Delta Rho, 1919)

1922 -- Chi Omega (Chi Delta Phi, 1921)

1923 -- Phi Delta Theta (Omega Kappa, 1918)

1923 -- Delta Gamma (Alpha Gamma, 1920)

1924 -- Pi Kappa Alpha (Pi Alpha Epsilon, 1922)

1925 -- Delta Chi (Delta Nu)

1925 -- Lambda Sigma Alpha (1st Latino Fraternity)

1926 -- Zeta Beta Tau

1926 -- Alpha Phi (Delta Delta, 1922)

1928 -- Omicron Phi Omicron

1929 -- Beta Kappa , Phi Omega Pi


Five fraternities and three sororities were established during this time – Alpha Tau Omega, Delta Sigma Lambda, Phi Gamma Delta, Lambda Delta Sigma (men’s chapter, Gamma Alpha & women’s chapter, Gamma Omega), Aggie House, Alpha Chi Omega, Delta Zeta.


Chapter membership averaged in the 40’s.


Seven fraternities and two sororities were established during this time – Theta Chi, Phi Kappa Psi, Lambda Chi Alpha, Delta Sigma Phi, Kappa Alpha Order, Tau Delta Phi, Alpha Epsilon Phi, Delta Delta Delta. 

In 1944, fraternity membership declined significantly – as a result of members serving in the military during the war. Fraternity membership ranged between 10-15 members. Most fraternity houses were contracted to the Defense Department for use in supporting the war. Alpha Tau Omega fraternity was able to keep their doors open due to members who were from Peru. Phi Gamma Delta & Sigma Chi houses were turned into women’s dormitories. Panhellenic sold defense bonds to aid the Red Cross.


In 1946 the IFC was reestablished, as it had been inactive during WWII.  
In 1949, fraternity membership returned to an average of 60 members.


Eleven fraternities and five sororities were established during this time – Acacia, Phi Kappa, Pi Kappa Phi, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Alpha Sigma Phi, Kappa Alpha Psi, Blue Diamonds, Delta Upsilon, Beta Theta Pi, Alpha Gamma Rho, Delta Tau Delta, Phi Sigma, Alpha Xi Delta, Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Omicron Pi, Sigma Delta Tau.

1950 – Women’s chapter membership ranged from 70-80; men’s chapter membership was averaged around 40.

1958/1959 – chapter membership increased to a high of 98 (women’s) and 104 (men’s). Average fraternity membership was still in the 50’s.


1959 – There were 28 fraternities and 14 sororities who made up the Greek community.

Panhellenic Association and Interfraternity Council established a joint Judicial Council. Each association established pledge councils. Panhellenic established the Rush Counselor program and started using the IBM computer for managing the mutual selection process.

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