History of the University of Arizona Greek Community
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.
Nine fraternities and two sororities were established during this time – Lambda Delta, Phi Kappa Theta, Alpha Kappa Lambda, Sigma Alpha Mu, Alpha Epsilon Pi, Tau Kappa Epsilon, Phi Sigma Kappa, Chi Phi, Alpha Phi Alpha, Phi Mu, Delta Zeta.
The University Small Group Housing Project was created at UA and ASU to provide housing for fraternities and sororities. Ten houses were built north of campus on the old Polo Field and two additional houses were built on First Street.
1965 – Sorority membership averaged in the 70’s, fraternity membership ranged between 80-100. Total membership neared 2,900.
1966 – 28 fraternities and 15 sororities.
1968 – Alpha Phi Alpha, second historically Black Greek fraternity to be established.
1968 – The Vietnam war causes fraternity membership to significantly drop to a range of 20-50 members per chapter. Sorority membership remains in the 70’s.
Three sororities were established during this time – Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Sigma Kappa. No new fraternities were established.
In 1975, Alpha Kappa Alpha was the first historically Black Greek sorority to be established.
Fifteen fraternity chapters close – down from a high of 28 in 1966 to 13 in 1975. Sorority chapters remain at 14.
Sorority membership averages in the 70’s, fraternity membership in the 50’s.
Greek President’s Council was established.
UA undergraduate enrollment reached a high of 22,550.
Two fraternities were established – Phi Beta Sigma & Omega Delta Phi.
Drinking age changes from 19 to 21.
40 national fraternities & sororities.
1982-1986 – total membership approximately 3,600.
1986-1989 – total membership jumped to 5,000.
Fraternity and sorority rush registrations hit record numbers at 1,000 men and 1,200 women respectively.
In 1980, the National Order of Omega – the national Greek Leadership Honorary – was established at UA.
The University Hazing and Greek Relationship Statement Policies were adopted.
The Greek Awards Night Program, Greek Retreat, New Member Symposium, Greek Leadership Conference, Greek Coordinating Council, officer workshop series, monthly advisor meetings and newsletters were established.
Leadership Classes for credit were offered to Greek and chapter leaders and Panhellenic Rush Counselors.
The G.A.M.M.A program was developed and adopted by Greek community.
11 chapters were added that had been on the campus before and/or reorganized.
Three fraternities and six sororities were established – Delta Lambda Phi, Sigma Lambda Beta, Phi Kappa Tau, Zeta Tau Alpha, Zeta Phi Beta, Kappa Delta Chi, Gamma Alpha Omega, Sigma Gamma Rho, Sigma Lambda Gamma.
Greek Jewish Council established.
University-wide budget cuts impact funding for Greek Life staff and operations. Fraternities and sororities vote to initiate a student fee (a per member fee) to support Greek Life staff and operations. A President’s Budget Advisory Committee established to advise on this fee.
Five fraternities and seven sororities were established during this time – Pi Alpha Phi, Sigma Pi, Lambda Theta Phi, Delta Chi Lambda, Theta Nu Xi, Sigma Lambda Gamma, Phi Beta Chi, Alpha Pi Omega, Chi Upsilon Sigma.
44 recognized national fraternities and sororities
CatWalk a Greek community-wide philanthropic event was established raising over $250,000 for UA Cancer Center. Started as a walk and evolved into a multi-event event.
The Standard of Excellence Program was established.
Rho Lambda was established; a national honorary for Panhellenic women.
In 2003, the Greek Life Task Force conducted assessment of Greek community, identified priorities and strategies to ensure strength and health of Greek Life at UA.
United Sorority Fraternity Council (USFC) was founded in 2006
The Philanthropy Advisory Board was established in 2004.
The Social Change model was developed and incorporated into programming.
A Critical Issues leadership class developed and implemented in 2004.
There are currently more than 600 recognized student organizations at the University of Arizona and 50+ Greek Organizations. Multicultural and special interest organization now comprise 15 of the chapters.
The Greek community is among the largest on the West Coast. More than 4,500 student are involved in UA fraternities and sororities. The Panhellenic Women's groups are the largest they have ever been, many with more than 300 members after Fall 2015 recruitment. On the UA campus 1 in 5 women are members of sororities.
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