Phi Delta Theta was founded on December 26, 1848 at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. The men of Phi Delta Theta share a commitment — to the intense bond of friendship between brothers, high academic achievement, and living life with integrity. A Phi Delt has high expectations of, and for, himself and his brothers.
Washington DC, Alumni
The Washington, DC Area Alumni Club of Phi Delta Theta was established with the purpose of providing a network for members of Phi Delta Theta, and their families, living and working in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. The nation’s capital has hosted a number of prominent Phis over the years.
Various club activities through the years have included supporting local chapters, participating in ALS Advocacy Day, networking receptions and Founders Day celebrations. Ideas for new alumni events are always welcome.
The Early Days
The first Greek letter organization was Phi Beta Kappa, founded Dec. 5, 1776 at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. 63 years later, Beta Theta Pi was founded at Miami University in Ohio. In protest against the president of the university, members of Beta Theta Pi and other students blocked the entrances of the main educational and administrative building in what became known as the Great Snow Rebellion.
A year later, after the president expelled most of the students involved in the uprising, Phi Delta Theta was formed. Six men staying in a dormitory the day after Christmas formed the Greek-letter society. Robert Morrison, a senior, proposed to fellow classmate John McMillan Wilson they bond together to form a secret society. They invited juniors Robert Thompson Drake and John Wolfe Lindley; sophomores Ardivan Walker Rodgers and Andrew Watts Rogers into the fold. The first meeting was held in Wilson’s room at Old North Hall, now called Elliot Hall.
During the early meetings, the founders wrote The Bond of Phi Delta Theta, which is the fundamental law of the Fraternity. It has remained unchanged ever since. The Founders also designed the badge, consisting of a shield, eye and scroll with the Greek letters on it.
Beta Theta Pi, Phi Delta Theta and Sigma Chi were the first three fraternities founded at Miami University, so they are known as the Miami Triad. The first branch of Phi Delta Theta was founded at Indiana University in 1849.
Phi Delta Theta Today
As of April 2016, Phi Delta Theta now has over 190 active chapters and colonies in 42 states and five Canadian provinces. The Fraternity has initiated more than 250,000 men and currently has more than 175,000 living alumni. There are just under 100 recognized alumni clubs across the U.S. and Canada. The Fraternity operates from the General Headquarters building on South Campus Avenue, across from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. At the corner of the campus closest to headquarters, memorial gates were erected in honor of the Fraternity’s 125th anniversary.
Membership in Phi Delta Theta goes beyond belonging to a social organization. The men of Phi Delta Theta tell of the tremendous support that exists between brothers and how, during their college years, they developed self-confidence, leadership qualities, and a belief in the strength of their abilities. They believe their lifetime commitment to the fraternity is one of the most important commitments they ever made.