Founded: December 22, 1917
The Alverado Club, formed in 1915, was installed as the Tau chapter of Alpha Sigma Phi by William J. Cooper, Nu '13, in ceremonies at the Nu Chapter house in Berkeley, on December 22, 1917. The Alverado Club had a house at 16 Alverado Row from 1916 to 1918. The Chapter built and occupied a house at 534 Salvatierra Street from May 1918 until 1965, when the University took the house as part of a site for University Library construction. The 18 Alvarado Row house had a capacity of 28 residents. From 1965 to 1967, the chapter used a former chapter house of a suspended fraternity on a temporary basis. A new chapter house was built on University land in 1966-67, and Tau Chapter moved into that house in the Cowell cluster in 1967. Tau Chapter won the first Grand Senior President's Award in 1960.
In the 1960's, demand for on-campus housing at Stanford exceeded available supply, and the university required that fraternity chapter membership exceed capacity for retention of the fraternity on-campus facility. The chapter felt unable to assure that membership would exceed capacity and authorized the university to assign residents to the house on a preference basis. After passage of Title IX, university required houses receiving assigned students to accept residents without discrimination as to gender; the chapter's housing thus became co-educational in 1970. Further pressures led the chapter to operate its business meetings and house, at least, on a fully co-educational basis. On three occasions, Tau Chapter proposed amendments to the Fraternity Constitution which would have allowed co-educational chapter membership and operations; all were rejected. In 1983, the chapter, preferring its co-ed operations to compliance with the Fraternity Constitution, surrendered its charter. The chapter newsletter was "Tau Talks." Tau's chapter roll contains the names of 844 initiates through 1983.
Four members of the chapter have served on the Grand Council of Alpha Sigma Phi. Emmett Hayes, Stanford '31, served as Grand Senior President of Alpha Sigma Phi from 1954 to 1956, and has been awarded the Distinguished Service Award. Floyd Mosiman, Stanford '17, past Grand Secretary of Alpha Sigma Phi has also received the Distinguished Service Award. Twenty-five Tau alumni have been awarded the Delta Beta Xi Award.
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