Iowa State University
Founded: May 8, 1920 Re-chartered: June 5, 1954; April 26, 1997
Ideal Chapter Size: 65
President - Adam Christensen
Vice President - Ian Graham
Recruitment Director - Elan Leykin
Alumni Director - Jake Emblen
Grand Chapter Advisor - Mark Bundy
Alumni Association President - Phil Monnig
Alpha Kappa Pi Gold Cup - 2015
Alpha Kappa Pi Gold Cup - 2014
Phi Pi Phi Silver Cup - 2013
Phi Pi Phi Silver Cup - 2012
Alpha Gamma Upsilon Bronze Cup - 2011
Grand Senior President's Cup - 2002
Grand Senior President's Cup - 2000
Otto Sonder Grand Chapter Advisor of the Year - 2015 - Mark Bundy
Undergraduate Hall of Fame - 2013 - Daniel Devine
Undergraduate Hall of Fame - 2011 - Stanley Jensen
Distinguished Merit Award - 2007 - Stan Thurston
Frank F. Hargear Award - 2001 - Isaac Knoot
Evin Varner Distinguished Service - 2000 - Stan Thurston
The Iowa Agricultural College was authorized by legislation signed on March 22, 1858, and became the first Merrill Land Grant College in 1862. The first freshman class was admitted in 1869, and its first degrees were granted in 1872. Iowa was the first state to accept provisions of the Morrill Act of 1862 and Iowa designated Iowa State as the land-grant college on March 29, 1864. Iowa Agricultural College became the Iowa State College of Agricultural and Mechanic Arts in 1898, and on July 4, 1959, the college was officially renamed Iowa State University of Science and Technology.
The Palisades Fraternity was organized in 1911. In 1912 and 1913, initiates of other chapters of Alpha Sigma Phi attending Iowa Sate attempted to interest local fraternities in Alpha Sigma Phi but the attempts led nowhere. Gerald Thornton, president of The Palisades contacted Alpha Sigma Phi in February 1919. While investigation was underway, contacts from other local fraternities were received by Alpha Sigma Phi on March 12, and March 25th, 1919; these were tabled pending a conclusion to the application of The Palisades. The petition was delivered on June 14, 1919. An investigating committee met in Ames in November 1919, and issued a report wholly in favor of the petitioners. The petition of the Palisades Fraternity was accepted and Phi Chapter was installed on May 8, 1920 in ceremonies at the Xi Chapter house. The local fraternity had a house at 158 Hyland Avenue, which was sold in 1922. The chapter then moved to 115 Welch Avenue. On October 14, 1922, the Alsiphi Corporation was formed to promote construction of a permanent home. This plan was realized in 1930 when the chapter moved into its new house at 2138 Sunset Drive. Depression forced abandonment of the new house, and the chapter returned to 158 Hyland Avenue. It remained there until the Fall of 1941, when the chapter opened with three brothers and one new member. Operations ceased on the eve of World War II due to low membership. Alumnus Bill Stacey took possession of the records of the chapter and most other property was sold.
After World War II, the chapter remained inactive until 1953 when two alumni, Lewis Hawkins, Iowa State '20, Robert Pierce, Iowa State '40, and a transfer student, William Yates, Westminster '52, started a reactivation drive. The chapter was reinstalled on June 5, 1954, when 21 brothers were initiated. The 1954 reactivation was also assisted by Arthur L. Neilson, Milton '49, three other alumni of the chapter, and Mervin S. Coover, Colorado '24.
The Alsiphi Corporation arranged for housing at 2727 West Avenue for the Fall of 1954. The charter was presented in ceremonies on October 16, 1954. Although consideration was given at times to finding a larger house in 1969-70, the chapter remained in the 2717 West house from 1954 until 1993. In 1976-77 the chapter house was remodeled adding an East wing with a new kitchen, four bedrooms, a den and basement. Geoff Grimes, Phi '65, had designed the addition and prepared the blueprints for the renovation. On January 18, 1991 a fire destroyed the cold dorm of the chapter house and damaged adjacent areas. Fire regulations applicable on reconstruction reduced the housing capacity from 56 to 47 men. With the reduced capacity, chapter operations became more troubled. In 1993 AlSiPsi Corporation decided to sell the West Avenue house and relocate. On December 2, 1993, Phi Chapter undergraduates were made alumni, and chapter operations suspended.
In February 1995 an interest group was formed and adopted the acronym BEST, standing for Brotherhood, Excellence, Spirit, and Truth. The chapter was re-colonized on May 6, 1995, and acquired a house at 208 Stanton Avenue. The Stanton Street house accommodated 18 men. Upon re-organization, the group decided to operate a substance free housing operation. Phi Chapter was re-chartered on April 26, 1997. In Fall 1997 the chapter leased housing accommodating 42 men at 305 Lynn Avenue. In 1998, the chapter purchased a lot and in 1999 moved into a new house on that lot, "Thurston Manor," at 2132 Sunset Drive.
The chapter won the Grand Senior President's Award for 1970, and the National Province Leadership Award for 1975. It won the Chapter Scholarship Award in 1960. The chapter newsletter is Phi Cries. Bradley Barling, Iowa State '80, and Isaac Knoot, Iowa State '99, won the Frank F. Hargear Awards for 1982 and 2001. William J. Anderson was Alpha Sigma Phi Scholar of the Year in 1956.
Stanley B. Thurston, Iowa State '66, served on the Grand Council of Alpha Sigma Phi from 1988 to 1996, holding offices of Grand Treasurer 1990-1992, Grand Junior President, 1992-1994, and Grand Senior President, 1994-1996. He also served as a Trustee, director, and Chairman of Trustees for the Alpha Sigma Phi Educational Foundation from 1996 to 2006. Brother Thurston received the Distinguished Service Award in 2000. Stan also led the AlSiPhi Corporation building efforts in the late 1990's and contributed over $100,000 to fund the effort. In 2010 Brother Thurston made the largest intervivos gift to date to the Alpha Sigma Phi Foundation, $500,000.00. Scott Olson, Iowa State '65, served on the Grand Council and as a Trustee of the Alpha Sigma Phi Educational Foundation. Fourteen alumni of the Chapter have received the Delta Beta Xi Award. Richard F. Ross, Iowa State '54, received the Distinguished Merit Award in 2000.
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