Beta Pi Chapter
Franklin and Marshall College
Founded: September 11, 1936
Franklin and Marshall College was founded in 1787. On November 13, 1927 the Torch Club was formed, and on May 4, 1929 it was chartered as Eta of Sigma Delta Rho. Alpha Pi, established in 1925, was the last local fraternity at Franklin and Marshall. On February 3, 1934, the Sigma Delta Rho chapter absorbed Alpha Pi, and the chapter moved to the Alpha Pi house at 553 W. James Street. Sigma Delta Rho had been founded at the Miami University of Ohio on January 8, 1921. Disagreement as to policy and the financial hardship of the depression led to disintegration of the fraternity in Spring 1935. The Franklin and Marshall College, Toledo University, and University of Cincinnati chapters of Sigma Delta Rho petitioned for and were chartered by Alpha Kappa Pi, while the University of Illinois chapter revived an inactive chapter of Pi Kappa Phi. The remaining chapters were or became inactive. The chapter was chartered as Alpha Gamma of Alpha Kappa Pi in 1936 and re-designated Beta Pi of Alpha Sigma Phi in 1946. The chapter initiated 110 members.
In 1989 Franklin and Marshal withdrew official recognition from fraternities on its campus. Concurrently, the Franklin and Marshal chapter of Zeta Beta Tau was in financial distress and lost its charter. Members of the Zeta Beta Tau chapter led by Jay Seigler Ridder, formed Alpha Tau. After securing their release from national fraternity membership, the members operated Alpha Tau for a year without recognition by the college or IFC, and then became the only local fraternity at Franklin and Marshall. In Fall 1993 Alpha Tau decided to seek a charter in Alpha Sigma Phi. A petition for charter was submitted in April 1994, signed by 47 colony members including 18 new members to the colony. The group requested and was allowed to charter as Alpha Tau II, notwithstanding the active chapter at Stevens Institute of Technology chartered since 1946 as Alpha Tau Chapter.
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