Theta Chi Fraternity (ΘΧ) is an international college fraternity. It was founded on April 10, 1856 at Norwich University in Norwich, Vermont, and is a member of the North-American Interfraternity Conference. Theta Chi has initiated more than 175,000 members and currently has more than 6,700 undergraduates across North America.
History[edit | edit source]
Founding and early years at Norwich[edit | edit source]
Theta Chi was founded on April 10, 1856, at Norwich University in Norwich, Vermont, by two military cadets, Frederick Norton Freeman and Arthur Chase. A third man, Egbert Phelps, is considered to be the "assistant founder" for lending his help and advice to Freeman and Chase after transferring to Union College in 1854 (he was a member of the Chi Psi Fraternity). The first initiates after the founders were Edward Bancroft Williston, Lorenzo Potter, and Frederick Howard Farrar. Theta Chi's early history is closely connected to the history of Norwich University. In 1866 a massive fire devastated the University, completely destroying the Old South Barracks, where the Fraternity had been founded. This disaster prompted the University to move from Norwich, Vermont to its present location in Northfield, Vermont. During fall quarter in 1881, Norwich University was reduced to only 12 students and Theta Chi's membership was reduced to one undergraduate member, James M. Holland. In November of that year, Phil S. Randall and Henry B. Hersey approached Holland and insisted that they be allowed to join Theta Chi; Holland agreed, thus saving the Fraternity from extinction.
Growth[edit | edit source]
With the help of brother Charles Dole, who was serving in the Vermont State Legislature, Theta Chi was formally incorporated under the laws of Vermont on November 22, 1888, and acquired its first chapter house in 1890. There were early efforts to expand Theta Chi but because of the anti-expansion sentiment among members of the Alpha Chapter it remained a single entity for 46 years until the Beta Chapter was installed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on December 13, 1902. A Grand Chapter was organized in 1908 to direct the fraternity and promote its growth. On April 14th, 1942, Beta Kappa Fraternity merged with Theta Chi, bringing 16 undergraduate chapters and over 6,000 undergraduate and alumnus members into the ranks. Unlike other Fraternity mergers, Beta Kappa was completely absorbed into Theta Chi with no changes to the name or ritual of Theta Chi. The Foundation Chapter was established in 1953 as a charity to provide educational scholarships and assistance. In 1965, the Zeta Gamma Chapter was installed at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, making Theta Chi an international fraternity.
Theta Chi today[edit | edit source]
Today, Theta Chi Fraternity's undergraduate members are involved on their respective campuses with a multitude of leadership organizations, including Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), the Order of Omega, Student Government Association (SGA), Phi Beta Kappa, Florida Blue Key, NCAA athletics, and Theta Chi's preferred philanthropies are the Children's Miracle Network, the American Red Cross, Relay for Life, Habitat for Humanity, the USO, as well as various organizations that support the U.S. military overseas.
Members[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
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