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American University

Beta Chi Chapter

American University
Founded: May 28, 1940
Status: Active
Ideal Chapter Size: 45
Violations: Chapter Size (2017), Educational Programs Attendance (2017)


Chapter Awards

Phi Pi Phi Silver Cup - [2014]
Alpha Gamma Upsilon Bronze Cup - [2015, 2013, 2012] 

Individual Awards

Distinguished Merit Award
Scott, Willard H. '53 [2009]

Evin C. Varner Distinguished Service Award
Sonder, Dr. Otto L. '47 [1996]

Delta Beta Xi
Behrer, Stephen A. '73 [1987]
Benson, John R. '54 [1966]
Britton, William R. C. '61 [1970]
Cerny, Milton '54 [1960]
Denny, Robert L. '49 [1992]
Maher, James R. '68 [1984]
Mann, Karl O. E. '42 [1964]
Petrini, William S. '55 [1963]
Shaw, Robert J. '84 [1995]
Sonder, Otto L., Jr. '47 [1967]
Tourtellot, Peter L. K. '57 [1963]

Undergraduate Scholar of the Year
McProuty, Timothy P. '73 [1974]

Frank F. Hargear Memorial Award
Shaw, Robert J. '84 [1986]

Chapter Newsletters
Fall 2017

Chapter History

American University was founded in 1893. Phi Epsilon Alpha was organized at American University in January 1937. It was chartered as Alpha Iota Chapter of Alpha Kappa Pi in May 1940. Alpha Kappa Pi was the second NIC fraternity to establish a chapter at American. Shortly thereafter, operations were suspended due to World War II. In 1947, the Chapter was revived as Beta Chi of Alpha Sigma Phi by initiating six men, including Dr. Otto Sonder, American '47. 

The Chapter operated from a quonset-hut from 1953 until 1959. In 1962, plans to build a three story house on campus were announced. The new house on the American University campus was dedicated in 1964.  Hubert Humphrey III, American '62, past Grand Senior President Charles Akre, Iowa '28, Karl Mann, American '42, Peter Tourtellot, American '57, and Lou Petrini, American '55, were speakers at the dedication. The Chapter's bell made from a shell casing gave the name to the chapter newsletter, "The Beta Chi Bell."

Under the leadership of Tim McProuty, American '73, the Chapter rebounded from a low membership of two undergraduates in 1973. Beta Chi was named American University Chapter of the Year in 1986-87. In the late 1980's the Chapter sought to keep the University from razing its house for building development. In the early 1990's, the Chapter house was taken by the University for its needs. The former house served as the university police station at times but has since been demolished. The Chapter has had facilities in campus residence halls.

The Chapter hosted the 1990 National Leadership Conference and Convention. It won 1956-58 and 1964-66 Chapter Newsletter Awards.

Brother Dr. Otto Sonder, American '47, served as Grand Chapter Advisor at Lycoming from 1959 to 1967, at Hartwick from 1967 to 2000, as Grand Province Chief from 1966 to 1993, as chairman of the National Leadership Conferences of 1971 and 1973, and Principal Architect in bringing Alpha Gamma Upsilon to merge with Alpha Sigma Phi. The Dr. Otto L. Sonder Grand Chapter Advisor Award was created during the 2006 Grand Chapter. The award recognizes a Grand Chapter Advisor who has helped to advance the Vision and Purpose of the Fraternity on a chapter level.

Peter Tourtellot, American '57, served on the Grand Council of Alpha Sigma Phi, and Milton Cerny, American '54, served as Trustee of the Alpha Sigma Phi Educational Foundation. Ned Adams, American '58, served as Field Secretary on the Fraternity Staff in 1960-61.

Submitting Changes to the Chapter's History: Any member of the fraternity and/or chapter is welcome to submit a request to update/change/correct information listed within the chapter history portion of this page. Submissions will be accepted in two ways: Should a correction need to be made, please submit the entire sentence/paragraph that needs to be updated with the correction highlighted in yellow or in a different color. If something new or updated needs to be added, please submit the entire sentence/paragraph that needs to be added and/or revised with the new or added information highlighted in yellow or in a different color.

This information should be submitted to where it will be reviewed by Fraternity Staff and/or the Grand Historian. Your submission will not be acknowledged unless it has been added to the website. It is very important that the chapter's history accurately and objectively reflect the chapter, so all corrections, additions, revisions should be reviewed by other members of your chapter/provisional chapter before they are submitted for consideration.

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