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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Beta Psi Chapter

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Founded: November 16, 1940
Status: Active
Ideal Chapter Size: 40

Chapter Awards

Alpha Gamma Upsilon Bronze Cup - [2016]
Most Improved Chapter - [1980, 1974]

Individual Awards

Distinguished Merit Award
Caldwell, James L. '55 [1989]

Delta Beta Xi
Kaiser, David F. '75 [1998]
Sharke, Karl G. '40 [1969]
Silverman, Bob '76 [1992]
Stockert, Paul A. '80 [1993]

Chapter History

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute was founded in 1824. Theta Nu Epsilon was founded at Wesleyan University as a sophomore society in 1870. It established its Lambda Chapter at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1882 (elsewhere stated to have been January 1884); it was the seventh fraternity to establish a chapter at Rensselaer. The Theta Nu Epsilon Fraternity was non-exclusive in its membership policies and loosely governed. At least 83 chapters of Theta Nu Epsilon existed with or without authorization of the mother chapter at various times. After 1908 the fraternity came into increasing disrepute with other national fraternities. In the 1920's it reorganized and suppressed chapters which would not operate responsibly. The change in role, and its prior reputation, coupled with the hardships of the Great Depression led to inactivity of most of the Theta Nu Epsilon chapters by 1939.

In 1940 the Lambda Chapter of Theta Nu Epsilon, at R.P.I., petitioned for a charter in Alpha Kappa Pi. The petition was accepted and the group was charted by Alpha Kappa Pi as its Alpha Kappa Chapter in 1940.

In 1946 the chapter bought its house at 81 Belle Avenue. The chapter newsletter is "Cardinal and Stone".  The chapter received Alpha Gamma Upsilon Awards in 1974 and 1980.  Beta Psi Chapter also won the 2010 Manigault Award for Financial Management, and the 1981 and 1979 Tomahawk Awards. Jeff L. Martin, Rensselaer '07 and Todd Feathers, Rensselaer  '05, won 2009 and 2006 Friends of Alpha Gamma Scholarships.

Karl G. Sharke, Rensselaer  '40, served as Grand Chapter Advisor for over 40 years, and received the Delta Beta Xi Award.  Brother Sharke was also named a charter member of Rensselaer's Column Club, an organization to honor those RPI alumni who have contributed materially to their chapters at the school.  Bob Silverman, Rensselaer '76, Paul Stockert, Rensselaer '80, and David Kaiser, Rensselaer '75, have also received the Delta Beta Xi Award.  James L. Caldwell, Rensselaer '55, received the 1989 Distinguished Merit Award.

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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